What are the symptoms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 10, 2013

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The signs and symptoms of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) develop over time. They may not even begin to appear until the disease has done serious damage to your lungs. Once they occur, they're likely to get worse over time.

The most common signs and symptoms are:

•  Shortness of breath

This usually is the main symptom. At first, you may be short of breath only during exercise. Over time, you're likely to feel breathless even at rest.

•  A dry, hacking cough that doesn't get better. Over time, you may have repeated bouts of coughing that you can't control.

Other signs and symptoms that you may develop over time include:

•    Rapid, shallow breathing

•    Gradual, unintended weight loss

•    Fatigue (tiredness) or malaise (a general feeling of being unwell)

•    Aching muscles and joints

•    Clubbing, which is the widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers or toes



The illustration shows clubbing of the fingertips associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
IPF may lead to other medical conditions, including collapsed lung, lung infections, blood clots in the lungs, and lung cancer.

As your condition gets worse, you may develop other potentially life-threatening conditions, including respiratory failure, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure.


Image Source: NIH

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