My dear friend suffers with a mystifying condition. About 2 or 3 months ago she started to get very short winded. Then sometime later she started losing her breath quite often, say every 10 minutes. She says that it feels that her breath has stopped and that a bubble comes into her throat and gives her a scare. She has just discovered she has pulmonary fibrosis. Do these symptoms seem to come with the pulmonary fibrosis? She is growing weaker and weaker/ Her oxygen levels stay within normal limits. She has consulted 3 doctors and this is a mystery illness. Please answer soon so she could be treated. thank you.
Lung scarring occurs due to pathological deposition of fibrous tissue. This is a progressive disease usually and hence needs frequent periodic monitoring. Long term exposure to pollutants like silica, asbestos, animal droppings, dust, pollens etc can cause this. Other reasons are GERD, certain medications like cancer medicines, some heart medicines or some antibiotics and certain diseases like Sjogren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and sarcoidosis. It is important to identify the cause for this. At times despite all tests no cause is found.
And a feeing of a bubble formation can be due to GERD or gastric reflux. Treatment is a combination of drugs to reduce the acid and lifestyle changes. You will need to take a combination of medications (under medical supervision) like a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole empty stomach in the morning and an antacid gel after meals or H-2 blocker such as ranitidine for complete relief. Possibility of H pylori infection too should be looked into by a carbon urea breath test and a combination antibiotic tried. Many a times a persisting H pylori infection can be the cause behind acidity not responding to treatment.
Life style changes that will help include: Drink cold milk. Avoid heavy meals and eat frequent small meals. Avoid too much of caffeine, tea, smoking, fried food and drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic fuzzy ones. Avoid heavy exercises within 4 hours of a heavy meal. Raise the head end of the bed by pillows to 30 degrees. Avoid lying down for least 2 hours after food. Take a late night snack. Maybe these tips will help your friend. Please let her discuss all this with her doctor. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
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