What You Can Do To Make It Better?
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) can leave you feeling downright exhausted and frustrated from having to deal with the constant struggle. One day you may feel better and the next you could be fighting with your lungs just to breathe properly. While the feud may seem never ending, we want to let you know that there is help available to relieve the symptoms of this chronic condition. In our ongoing topic this week about ILD, we take today to discuss the treatment options for ILD and share a personal story of one patient who found relief in stem cell therapy.
What Treatments are Usually Offered?
Breathing comes naturally to most of us. In doing so, we breathe 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 interstitial lung disease and struggling just to this very simple action. Pretty scary if you think about it!
Interstitial lung disease is a broad category 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. Ultimately, the scar tissue affects the ability for oxygen to pass from the lungs into the bloodstream.
Upon diagnosis, many physicians utilize a combination of medications to suppress the immune system, but these have not proven successful. In order to help patients who are struggling to breathe, compressed oxygen can be used to help manage shortness of breath. There are times that pulmonary rehabilitation and nutritional counseling are recommended in order to improve endurance. In severe cases, pulmonologists may resort to a lung transplant, but this invasive procedure often has limited availability and extensive requirements for eligibility. Since there is currently no cure for ILD, all treatments are used to relieve the symptoms of ILD. Here are of the most common treatments used:
- Oxygen Therapy
- Lung Transplants
It Might Be Time to Take a Second Look at Your Treatment
It is no secret that the Lung Institute is using stem cells to treat patients with different pulmonary conditions like ILD. One such ILD patient that has seen great improvement from stem cell therapy is Al. This is his story:
Twelve years ago, Al was exposed to toxic fumes in the workplace and was subsequently diagnosed with interstitial lung disease and bronchiectasis. These serious pulmonary conditions had a major effect on his life. Shortness of breath, coughing, reliance on supplemental oxygen and fatigue were taking a toll. He loved running his horse farm in upstate New York, but everyday tasks were taking longer and longer to complete. Looking for an alternative treatment, Al discovered stem cell treatments here at the Lung Institute.
Following treatment, Al is feeling better. He is getting back to the routine at his horse farm. Months later, Al is using less oxygen and is testing higher on his pulmonary function tests.
Al’s story is just one of many hopeful and positive stories that we have seen here at the Lung Institute. There is hope to be found from stem cell therapy, and it could possibly be beneficial for you or someone you love. If you want to learn more about treatment options, contact us or call (800) 729-3065.
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