Pulmonary Fibrosis – Interstitial Lung Disease
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a random division of fibroblasts into many parts which causes scarring of the lung tissue. In Lung fibrosis, the scarring of tissue prevails over the other cells (air sacs) and limits its functioning, which negatively affect the essential function of the lungs; hence, causing shortness of breath and less oxygen supply to body organs.
Once lung scarring occurs, it is generally irreversible; thereofre, Lung transplant would be an option for some people who have interstitial lung disease.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a hereditary disease that causes increased production of secretions in the respiratory system, digestive system, reproductive system and lymph nodes (such as pancreas and sweat glands). The disease is most common among white people. The severity of the disease varies from one patient to another and is determined by the extent of harm it causes to the lungs.
People wiht severe aggravation of the desease are often attached to a medical ventilator or a respirator.
Causes for Pulmonary Fibrosis:
- It may happen due to an old inflammation of the lungs, or due to constant exposure to triggers.
- It may happen as an adverse effect of certain drugs and medications. Amongst these medications are chemotherapy drugs, heart medications, some antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease – GERD.
- Smoking is one of the main causes of pulmonary fibrosis.
- Some disease may cause pulmonary fibrosis such as rheumatism, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, Sjogren’s syndrome, pneumonia.
- Long-term exposure to a number of toxins and pollutants such as silica dust, asbestos fibers, grain dust, radiation treatments, in addition to bird and animal droppings.
- Shortness of breath at rest.
- Deficiency in absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K which may cause night blindness, bone weakness, anemia, and disorders in blood clotting.
- Weight loss: most patient are underweight due to poor absorption and chronic diarrhea.
- Dry coughing.
- Tiredness and exhaustion.
- Muscle pain as well as joint pain.
Among the Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis are Some Problems to Some Body Systmes:
- Respiratory system: obstruction of bronchi and vesicles (small airway) due to excessive secretions which may lead to a defect in oxygen transfer to the blood and cause infections. This obstruction would eventually lead to curving fingertips and skin blueness, chronic cough with phlegm, wheezing, vomiting, sleep disorders, bronchitis, swollen chest (keg like).
- Reproductive system: infertility especially in men. Lung fibrosis decreases sperm count and sometimes even causes nonproduction of sperm. In women however, there might be a decrease in fertility due to the secretions in in the cervix and/or due to pregnancy complications.