What Is Pulmonary fibrosis?
The disease which causes the lung tissue between the alveoli (air sacs) to become scarred and damaged is known as pulmonary fibrosis. This thickening of the tissue makes it very difficult for the oxygen to get into the bloodstream and makes it very difficult for the lungs to function properly.
The scarring which is caused due to pulmonary causes can be because of several reasons. However, when the cause is unknown, the condition is known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. While the damage which is caused by the condition of pulmonary fibrosis cannot be repaired, the symptoms of the disease and the quality of life can be improved by medication and therapy and if the condition becomes very severe, the person may have to undergo a lung transplant.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pulmonary fibrosis?
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are:
- A dry cough
- Dyspnea or shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Pain in the joints and muscles
Clubbing or rounding and widening of the fingers or toes
What Are The Causes Of Pulmonary fibrosis?
Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused due to many factors such as exposure to some toxins in the long-term, radiation therapy, some medications and some medical conditions.
Environmental and occupational factors
Exposure to pollutants and toxins can cause damage to the lungs including:
- Asbestos fibres
- Silica dust, coal dust
- Hard metal dust, grain dust
- Animal and bird droppings
Radiation therapy for breast or lung cancer and the severity of the damage depends on:
- Level of exposure
- Amount of radiation
- If chemotherapy treatment was also administered
- Presence of some underlying lung disease
- Chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics
- Heart medications, anti-inflammatory drugs
- Polymyositis (degeneration and inflammation of skeletal muscle)
- Dermatomyositis (inflammatory disease)
- Sarcoidosis (inflammation of various organs)
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (autoimmune inflammatory disease)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Mixed connective tissue disease
- Scleroderma (tightening and hardening of the connective tissue and skin)
Triggers of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
Risk factors for pulmonary fibrosis
- Age: Mostly affects middle-aged and older people
- Sex: PF Affects more men than women
- Some types of occupations: construction, mining, farming, etc.
- Cancer treatments
- Genetic factors
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Pulmonary fibrosis?
- Stop smoking as it can cause pulmonary fibrosis and if you already have it, then it will worsen the condition. Also, avoid second-hand smoke.
- Eat well, as the lung disease can cause extra weight loss.
- Exercise regularly, as this can help to improve the lung function as being inactive cause your lungs to become weaker.
- Get plenty of rest as this will give you the energy to cope with the condition.
- Get all your vaccinations on time to prevent any pulmonary infections that can worsen the condition of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Participate in pulmonary rehabilitation programs that will make it easier to breathe, help to increase your stamina, exercise safely and help your lungs breathe more efficiently.
- Monitor the oxygen levels in your blood by using a pulse oximeter.
- Stress and anxiety can lead to breathlessness. So, try and avoid situations that cause anxiety and stress and learn techniques to relax.
- Eat smaller meals and eat frequently.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Pulmonary fibrosis?
- Avoid crowds during the flu season.
- Don’t go near people who are sick with cold and cough.
What Are The Best Foods For Pulmonary fibrosis?
- Follow a healthy pulmonary fibrosis diet and eat plenty of vegetables such as kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and fruits like mango, berries, cherries, squash and citrus fruits, whole grains, lean meat, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and healthy fats.
- Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that can help to strengthen the immune system and fight against the infection and reduce the symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which causes the condition of pulmonary fibrosis to worsen.
- Eat complex carbohydrates such as 100% whole grain cereals and bread, barley, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, etc. as this provides the body with energy to fight against the disease.
- Seeds and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc. are a great protein source and are great for pulmonary fibrosis as they help to prevent weight loss.
What Are The Worst Foods For Pulmonary fibrosis?
- Avoid saturated and trans-fats as these worsen the condition of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Cured meats such as cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, ham, etc. contain nitrates which worsens the condition of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Avoid salt or reduce salt intake, as salt causes water retention and causes breathing problems.
- Sometimes, dairy products can worsen the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis as the casomorphin in the milk increases the mucous production in the intestines.
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, radish, broccoli, etc. may cause gas and bloating which may make it difficult to breathe if you are suffering from lung disease.
- Fried foods like fried chicken, chips, French fries, etc. can cause bloating and make it difficult for you to breathe and worsen the condition of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Carbonated beverages like beer, soda, sparkling wine, etc. cause weight gain and also cause bloating which cause the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis to worsen.
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruit juice, coffee, spicy foods, tomato sauce, etc. as this causes the symptoms of lung disease to worsen.
What Are The Medicines For Pulmonary fibrosis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Pulmonary fibrosis?
Some home remedies for pulmonary fibrosis are:
- Serrapeptase, an enzyme supplement helps to remove the excess mucus from the lungs and also reduces inflammation and also pulmonary fibrosis.
- Colloidal silver helps to fight against viruses and bacteria that worsen the condition of pulmonary fibrosis and helps to heal the lungs.
- Live cell yeast is known as immunocomplex and helps to improve the immune system and also aids in re-establishing the cellular respiration and reduces the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Seaweed has several beneficial nutrients and helps to detoxify the body and boosts intercellular communication. Capsules with seaweed extracts is a natural remedy and reduce the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Liquorice capsules are very effective for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. These help to inhibit the B cells so that they halt the attack on the lungs. Liquorice also helps to produce natural steroids that help to reduce inflammation and also acts as a natural expectorant that helps to clear the mucus from the lungs and helps to reduce the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Silica helps to repair the collagen which forms the lining of the lungs and also helps to remove the toxins and restore the suppleness of the collagen in the lungs. Organic silicon is a good remedy for pulmonary fibrosis and is also absorbed very easily by the body.
- Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation. If you cannot get hemp oil, you can use cod liver oil. Having a teaspoon of any one of the oils helps to reduce the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Organic germanium helps to detoxify the cells and boosts oxygenation of the tissue. Consuming organic geranium is an extremely effective remedy for pulmonary fibrosis.