Breathing comes naturally to many of us. In doing so, we breathe in much needed oxygen into our bloodstream, which enables the body to work and grow. Almost every day, an average person will breathe in and out nearly 25,000 times. Now imagine having a lung disease and struggling just to do this very simple action.
One such lung disease is interstitial lung disease (ILD). Interstitial lung disease is an umbrella term used to classify a family of about 100 diverse types of pulmonary conditions that impede the normal absorption of oxygen in the lungs. All of these conditions have an effect on the interstitium, which is the tissue and space around the alveoli—the cluster-like air sacs—in the lungs.
The interstitium is usually relatively invisible, but when an individual has interstitial lung disease, the interstitium becomes progressively scarred and more visible. This scarring is characteristic of the entire family of diseases encompassed by interstitial lung disease. The scar tissue affects the ability for oxygen to pass from the lungs into the bloodstream.
Interstitial lung disease can be a very complex puzzle. With over 100 different forms of the disease, knowing how to treat the condition comes down to an individual basis. All of the pieces eventually fall right into place, showing the bigger picture. One piece of this puzzle is especially holding the interest of some researchers: what related conditions can impact interstitial lung disease?
What Else Can Occur?
As with any medical condition, these is a pretty good chance that other complications might be in play. In the instance of ILD, other disorders or illnesses can develop over a period of time, adding additional stress to an already chronic disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some related conditions to interstitial lung disease:
- Pulmonary Hypertension – This condition affects only the arteries within the lungs. While scarring is present, blood flow is limited, thus causing increased pressure.
- Cor Pulmonale – Also known as right-sided heart failure; this disorder can happen when the right side of the heart has to pump blood harder and faster through blocked arteries.
- Respiratory Failure – In the final stage of ILD, respiratory failure can occur when low-oxygen levels are present and there is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries.
Stop Managing the Condition and Start Treating It
Stem cell therapy for lung disease has been a growing treatment option over the past few years. At the Lung Institute, a progressive stem cell treatment clinic that has emerged as a leader in the global stem cell community, they use stem cells from the patient’s own body to treat lung disease. The cells are called autologous stem cells. These cells are taken from the patient’s blood (venous stem cells) or bone marrow. The stem cells are then cultured and multiplied and returned to the body through an intravenous drip. The new healthy cells are attracted to the areas of the damaged lung cells and get to work promoting the healing of lung tissue. This results in the ability of the patients to breathe easier and inevitably get their life back.