Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious interstitial lung disease that results in scarring in the lungs. To date, there have been more than recorded, most originating from unknown causes. Most cases of pulmonary fibrosis develop once a person passes the age of 50, however, it can appear at any age. Several forms of lung disease may result in the development of pulmonary fibrosis and if lung disease runs in your family, you may be at a more considerable risk of developing the disorder.
As pulmonary fibrosis progresses, the lung tissue scarred which causes difficulty breathing among other side effects. When the cause of the disorder can’t be identified, it is diagnosed as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by environmental factors, workplace toxins, medications, and even as a result of genetic disorders. A person may suffer from pulmonary fibrosis for years without exhibiting any external symptoms. As the scars worsen, signs of the disorder will become more noticeable.
Signs of Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
Pulmonary fibrosis is often misdiagnosed due to how closely the symptoms resemble other types of lung disease. The eight known signs of pulmonary fibrosis are below.
1. Weight Loss
One of the most commonly reported symptoms of PF is weight loss. When a patient is in the early stages of PF weight loss is not very noticeable. As the disease advances, weight loss becomes more noticeable. If you notice unexplainable weight loss despite maintaining your regular eating habits, PF may be to blame. This drop-in weight is due to several factors. PF causes a recurring cough which prompts many patients to take cough medications often. These medications cause fatigue, depression, and dry mouth which can result in weight loss.
Many prescription medications used to help manage the effects of PF cause a loss of appetite or nausea which also results in weight loss. In the advanced stages of the disease, though rare, patients may develop hepatic congestion and fluid retention. When fluids accumulate in the liver it makes a person feel full after a very small amount of food has been consumed.