Have you or someone you know been recently diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about treatment options for PF. You may have even heard misconceptions about the prognosis. Contrary to popular beliefs, there are in fact many ways to treat PF. Learning about all of the options can help you self-advocate for the treatment plan you want.
Your health care team will help you decide on the treatment options that fit your needs. Because of this, it’s important to be working with a combination of doctors, PF specialists, and/or trained professionals who listen to you and help you feel heard. Similarly, it’s important to find people who you can trust to support you wherever you are in your healing journey. Don’t be afraid to get a referral or a second opinion. Taking control of your own treatment plan can feel healing in and of itself!
Here is a chart of treatment options. They are organized based off their potential to help you 1) feel better and improve quality of life, 2) slow the progression of the disease, 3) improve body function, and 4) stay healthy. When you talk to your doctor about treatments, you can ask for more information about each of these options.
As shown above, there are many possibilities for treating PF. For example:
- There are currently two FDA-approved medications that can ease breathing difficulties and slow the progression of the disease.
- Oxygen therapy with supplemental oxygen and pulmonary rehabilitation can improve lung function, endurance, and certain symptoms.
- In severe cases, lung transplants may be an option.
Your treatment plan could also incorporate alternative therapies or natural treatments. This can include:
- Natural herbs
- Dietary supplements
- Nutrition improvements
- Mindfulness and meditation practices
- Mental health support via individual therapy and support groups
Are you curious about even more treatment options? Our research on natural ways to treat PF is ongoing, and there are many other researchers conducting trials for PF treatments. To find clinical trials near you, visit clinicaltrials.gov. Managed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this website is a comprehensive database of clinical trials. The registry has over 391,000 trials spanning all 50 states and 219 countries.
This graphic shows how you can search for clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov. After clicking the link, head to the section titled “Find a study” and type in the disease you have (such as Pulmonary Fibrosis, or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). You can then add additional terms and search based off the country you reside in.
To narrow down your search, you can use the “Advanced Search” option instead. From there, you can refine the search based off the type of study, the status, and more. If you’d like to participate in a study, be sure to check or select “Recruiting” and to fill out the eligibility criteria based off your personal demographics.
No matter which treatment options you choose, remember that you are not alone. There are many people who have been able to take control of their healing and live full, meaningful lives with PF. To connect with others who can relate, please join our online community forum here and sign up for our virtual support groups here.