The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Being diagnosed with and living with pulmonary fibrosis, or any form of chronic lung disease, can be a life-changing revelation. This news can be overwhelming because there are many things to consider, such as treatment options, disease management and how pulmonary fibrosis could affect your life. All of this can make staying at home and sitting on the couch seem like the best option, but it’s not.
How people spend their time after a pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis can make all the difference when prolonging one’s life or by inspiring others. Living with pulmonary fibrosis and staying positive with every step is possible, and we’re here to help.
What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that scars the lungs, causing intricate pulmonary passageways to thicken and harden. This prevents the free flow of oxygen through the tiny air sacs of the lungs into the bloodstream. Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease in which the rate of how quickly symptoms worsen varies from person to person. Pulmonary fibrosis symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing and weakness.
Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis
With every step he takes, Evans Wilson walks towards a bigger goal. In November, Wilson completed the Seattle Marathon; but unlike other runners, he completed it dragging an oxygen tank. Wilson, 63, is a pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension patient and has battled the diseases for more than five years. Evans walked 26.2 miles with the goal of raising $50,000 for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, so he could help others with living with pulmonary fibrosis.
“It’s really hard; it’s not fun,” Wilson told the Edmunds Patch. “But I would do it again.”
How to Rise Above Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis and chronic lung diseases can be isolating diseases for various reasons. Because of pulmonary fibrosis symptoms, it’s difficult for people to do their favorite activities, take care of household chores and stay socially active. Sometimes, explaining your condition to others is also challenging. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are networks of people with pulmonary fibrosis online support groups available.
In addition to joining a support group, one of the simplest ways to rise above pulmonary fibrosis is get yourself out there physically. Any form of exercise which gets people off the couch is a good thing because exercise is crucial to healthy lung function. For those who do not exercise regularly, starting small by walking short distances is a great way to build stamina before attempting difficult activities. Remember to talk with your doctor about what exercises would be best for you before you start or change an exercise regimen.
Alternative Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatment Options
Living with pulmonary fibrosis is challenging, but there are treatment options available to help you manage your symptoms. Traditional treatment options include oxygen therapy, medication and pulmonary rehabilitation programs. There are also alternative treatment options, such as stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy uses to the body’s own stem cells to help promote healing within the lungs and may help improve quality of life.
If you or someone you know suffers from a chronic lung disease like pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help. For more information about stem cell therapy, please contact us or call (800) 729-3065.