Best Approaches to Manage Your IPF Throughout a Flareup
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) causes long-term, ongoing (chronic) symptoms that may become increasingly more difficult. That is generally a slow process within the span of many months or months.
However, immediate onset of acute symptoms could indicate you are using an IPF flare up. Additionally, this is known as a serious exacerbation. As stated by the Clinic, acute symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis can last for days or weeks at one time.
It is important that you know the symptoms of an acute exacerbation and everything you could do about any of it ahead of time. Read on to find out more about how you are able to deal with your IPF during a flare-up.
How do I know if my IPF is not?
Shortness of breath is the earliest and most obvious sign of IPF. If you are experiencing a flare-up, then you might notice some changes along with your breathing. If you have not had shortness of breath while sleeping or other times of rest, you may possibly experience it today. Your overall breathing might be harder during your everyday activities too. Coughing can also worsen during an IPF flare up.
Other IPF symptoms may occur more gradually as the disorder progresses. But during a flare-up, you could experience the following symptoms more than usual:
- Pains and Aches
- Deficiency of appetite
It is imperative to not compare your own IPF symptoms with somebody else’s. Everyone else is different. As a rule of thumb, you might be having a flareup if your symptoms suddenly get worse and are more intense.
Consult your doctor about medications
Your doctor may prescribe additional medications during a flare-up. While not one of them treat IPF flares, some will reduce the frequency of exacerbations. The most important care for IPF is encouraging, which will help provide relief from the symptoms and makes you more comfortable.
Treatments can include:
- Antibiotics to deal with potential ailments
- Cough suppressants
- Oxygen treatment
You ought to not to accept any medications without your physician’s consent, even over-the-counter medication.
Increase your oxygen intake
Your lungs do not simply take in as much oxygen during an IPF flare up. Not only does this make breathing which far harder, however, but it can also affect the rest of your body too. Your blood vessels will not take in as much oxygen to make red blood cells, also it won’t be able to send oxygen to other organs such as your brain.
This really is the area where oxygen therapy may help. In accordance with the Lung Association, most people with pulmonary fibrosis will sooner or later require oxygen therapy. By supplementing your oxygen intake, then you also can be sure that your body gets the right level to maintain your organs functioning correctly. It will help give you more energy too.
In the event you already require oxygen for IPF, you may need to boost the amount that you employ during a flare-up. This could mean using oxygen therapy at nighttime in addition to through your daily pursuits.
Rest as much as Possible
Rest is crucial through an IFP flare-up. You’ll likely feel more fatigued than usual as you’re not getting as much oxygen. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation urges eight hours of sleep each night, at the minimum. Not only are you going to feel fuller, but also the perfect amount of sleep can also help in keeping your immune system under control.
Stay active, but do not overdo it
IPF can make staying active seem impossible, especially during a flare-up. But you shouldn’t give up on your activities altogether. Staying active helps raise your full-body endurance — including of your lungs. There’s also the added plus of fostered serotonin to help ward off feelings of sadness or stress.
Still, you might need to simply take your activity levels down a notch in a flare-up. This could mean doing things gradually overall or cutting your exercise intensity. If you are currently in pulmonary rehab, then speak to your team on your flare-up and what activities may be off limits.