Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease

What You Can Do To Make It Better

How Do We Define Interstitial Lung Disease?

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. Pretty scary if you think about it!

One such lung disease is that of interstitial lung disease. 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.

Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease

As stated above, interstitial lung disease has 100 types of pulmonary conditions. So you can imagine that the symptoms of interstitial lung disease are bound to vary from each case. Thankfully some research has found that there are some very common symptoms of interstitial lung disease. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Severe or chronic coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • On again/off again infections
  • Fatigue
  • Excess amount of mucus
  • Wheezing

To this day, interstitial lung disease is—unfortunately—incurable, but that does not mean that it is not able to be treated. In fact, there are many treatments out there for interstitial lung disease, but these do not actually reduce any of the effects of interstitial lung disease. As an incurable disorder, the therapy is not meant to make the disease disappear, but rather therapy can be used to improve an individual’s quality of life, to reduce symptoms or to prevent the ongoing progression of the disease.

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 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.

 Cellular Therapy for Interstitial Lung Disease

In the case of interstitial lung disease, autologous cells are used, meaning they come from the patient’s own body, and can be found in the patient’s venous blood or bone marrow. Cells derived from bone marrow or blood have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells. During the procedure, cellular therapy involves isolating adult cells from bone marrow and blood, which requires special laboratory techniques to collect them. After being extracted from the patient’s body, they are isolated. Then they are given back to the patient intravenously. The treatment is minimally invasive and typically an outpatient procedure. The procedure should be performed in a clinical setting under the supervision of a professional.

It takes a physician with specific training to perform cellular therapy adequately and safely. If you would like to find out more about ways to relieve your symptoms of interstitial lung disease, please contact one of our patient care coordinators today at 888-745-6697 to schedule a free consultation.

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.