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Interstitial Lung Disease Progression

Interstitial Lung Disease Progression

Because there are so many varieties of interstitial lung disease, it can be challenging to feel like you have all of the information you need for your specific type. Understanding interstitial lung disease progression is important, so you can continue to be proactive in your healthcare. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a broad group of lung diseases that make up more than 200 types of pulmonary disorders. ILD affects the absorption of oxygen into the lungs. Typically, the most common characteristic of ILD is scarring of the lung’s delicate tissues. For example, pulmonary fibrosis and pneumoconiosis are both types of interstitial lung disease. ILD affects everyone differently and at different rates, so here’s what you need to know about interstitial lung disease progression.

What are the interstitial lung disease symptoms?

Because interstitial lung disease is comprised of a variety of disorders, some symptoms may vary based on individual conditions. However, there are some common symptoms that are shared by all interstitial lung diseases and can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cyanosis
  • Weight loss
  • Acute pneumonia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry, pestering cough

Typically, these symptoms develop and progress gradually over the course of many months or years. People with ILD usually experience shortness of breath after physical activity before they have other symptoms. However, symptoms will progressively worsen over time. Because of the gradual onset of interstitial lung diseases, many people don’t seek treatment or help for their symptoms until ILD symptoms become debilitating. While interstitial lung disease is progressive and will worsen over time, early diagnosis and treatment can help people live the best life possible.

What are the causes of interstitial lung disease?

Interstitial Lung Disease Progression

Interstitial lung disease is a category of chronic lung conditions that affect the air sacs of the lungs. Because it’s a progressive condition, interstitial lung disease progression will continue even with treatment. ILD can either be idiopathic (or without a known cause) or caused by a variety of factors. The most common form of idiopathic interstitial lung disease is pulmonary fibrosis. However, ILD can be caused by environmental factors, other disorders and certain medications.

ILD can be caused by bronchiolar disorders, such as bronchiolitis. It can also be caused by medications like cytotoxins, antiarrhythmics, antibiotics, biologics and statins, such as nitrofurantoin, sulfonamides, bleomycin, amiodarone, methotrexate, gold, infliximab and entanercept.

Certain autoimmune disorders can also cause interstitial lung disease because of the increased amount of inflammation in the whole body and include:

  • Lupus
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Scleroderma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Sjogren’s syndrome

Environmental factors, sometimes referred to as occupational lung disease, can also cause ILD, such as prolonged exposure to asbestos, coal dust, cotton dust, silica dust, cigarette smoke and radiation therapy to the chest.

How is interstitial lung disease diagnosed?

To determine if you have ILD or another chronic lung disease, it’s important to see you doctor and discuss your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may then recommend further testing, which could include a chest x-ray, blood tests, a CT scan, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, pulmonary function tests, a bronchoscopy or a minimally invasive biopsy.

What you can do about interstitial lung disease progression

Simply put, interstitial lung disease is a progressive condition, meaning it will worsen over time. However, there are treatment options available to help people live the best life possible. The key is to receive a diagnosis and start your treatment plan as soon as possible. Interstitial lung disease treatments are aimed at improving symptoms and slowing interstitial lung disease progression.

Unfortunately, the lung scarring that occurs with interstitial lung disease is often irreversible. Many doctors may prescribe medications and inhalers to reduce inflammation as well as medications to slow the interstitial lung disease progression. Some doctors may recommend oxygen therapy to help you receive adequate amounts of oxygen, and for some people, doctors may even recommend a lung transplant.

Alternative treatments are also available for people with ILD. For some people with ILD, stem cell therapy has helped them regain their quality of life and breathe easier. In fact, many patients are able to lead a more active lifestyle. If you or a loved one has interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumoconiosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.

11 Comments

  1. Lung Institute

    3 weeks ago

    Tracy:

    We tried to find this term used in medical terminology but could not find anything matching this term exactly.

    We would suggest contacting your primary doctor or specialist for this information.

    The term interstitial lung disease (ILD) refers to a broad category of lung diseases rather than a specific disease entity.1,2 It includes a variety of illnesses with diverse causes, treatments, and prognoses.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy for chronic lung diseases. We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Tracy

    3 weeks ago

    what is interestitial coarse opacity?

  3. Lung Institute

    3 weeks ago

    Tracy:

    Thank you for your question. Some forms of interstitial lung disease are short-term while others are chronic. We would suggest you discuss your condition with your primary doctor or specialist to get an accurate diagnosis.

    We’re happy to answer your questions, so feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Lung Institute

    3 weeks ago

    Emma:

    Thank you for your question. We suggest you discuss this with your primary doctor or specialist. We offer treatments to people who have been diagnosed with a lung disease but defer to doctors for specific diagnosis.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Emma

    3 weeks ago

    If you do not yet have fibrosis , but only inflammation of the interstitial tissues (T Lymphocyte infiltration), can you recover full function of lung and ‘cure’ interstitial lung disease?

  6. Tracy

    4 weeks ago

    is interestitial scarring serious?

  7. Lung Institute

    1 month ago

    Tracy:

    Thank you for your questions. We would very much suggest you contact your primary doctor or specialist for answers to your questions. These are very complex medical terms and better left to a medical professional to provide as detailed an answer as possible.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment for chronic lung diseases, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Tracy

    1 month ago

    could you explain to me what mild subpleural coarse interstial opacity is. along with this also mid chest focal intrestital scarring

  9. Lung Institute

    1 month ago

    Tracy:

    Thank you for your question. Interstitial scarring could be a form of pulmonary fibrosis. Interstitial lung disease describes a large group of disorders, most of which cause progressive scarring of lung tissue. Pulmonary fibrosis is a term that covers many different conditions that cause scar tissue to build up in your lungs. This build-up of scar tissue, which makes your lungs stiff, is called fibrosis.

    In order to determine if someone is a candidate for treatment, we need to gather more of their private medical history in a secure setting. The best way to do that is by giving us a call and speaking one-on-one with someone on our medical team over our secure phone line. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,

    The Lung Institute

  10. Tracy

    1 month ago

    i have interestital scarring is that fibrosis

  11. Pingback: Interstitial Lung Disease Prognosis: What to Do Next? | Lung Institute

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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