When you or someone you know has PF, you’ll likely have questions about the latest research and the safest treatment options available. No matter how many questions you have for your doctor or healthcare team, you’ll probably also be typing questions into Google or Yahoo. Hopefully when this happens, you’ll find helpful information and resources, such as our online community forum… but most likely, you’ll also find misleading information, myths, or outdated statistics. With that in mind, it’s essential to be able to find reliable information on your own.
The answers to questions about PF treatments can be found by staying up-to-date with the latest research publications. While deciding on treatment options, you may be considering FDA-approved medications, supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation, and/or lung transplants. You may also be curious about natural ways to boost your lifestyle or improve quality of life. Treatment plans can incorporate natural herbs and dietary supplements, nutrition improvements, exercise, and mental health support via individual or group therapy, mindfulness, and/or meditation. Believe it or not, research on all these topics is accessible in one easy place: PubMed.
PubMed is an online database that allows you to search for research from a variety of scientific journals or literature sources. Since there are over 33 million studies available on PubMed, you’ll need to know how to find the research related to PF specifically. You also might want to find information about any of the previously mentioned natural treatments. Thanks to a guide published by the National Institute for Complementary and Integrative Health, there are now step-by-step instructions available for finding research related to natural medicines and/or PF.
- To start, visit the guide at https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/how-to-find-information-about-complementary-health-approaches-on-pubmed.
- After reading the instructions, visit the database at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ and then search for the topic of your choosing. Here is an example of how the results will look:
- If the search worked, you’ll see a list of results. Click on the article of your choosing & let us know what you learn! If anything feels too complicated, remember our guide to help simplify what you’re seeing: https://pulmonaryfibrosisnow.org/2021/10/17/understanding-research-publications/.
- If the search didn’t work and you feel stuck, we are here to help. Please reach out and we’ll happily resolve any technical issues or confusions.
Once you know how to successfully conduct a search, you can get creative with the phrases you look up. Whether you’re interested in essential oils, exercises, or complementary therapies such as acupuncture, there is bound to be information available. You can even search specific names of medications, supplements, or herbs.
Still not sure what to search for? For a list of ideas, read our article on dietary supplements and pick an herb or supplement you’d like to learn more about. For instance, you can learn more about the safety and efficacy of Vitamin D supplements for PF patients by searching “pulmonary fibrosis vitamin d”. Try it out and you’ll see there are over 150 articles to choose from!
Though we always announce our research as soon as it’s been published, there is a lot more research out there to discover. Especially when it comes to PF and natural medicines or complementary/integrative health practices, it’s important to know where to find trustworthy information. PubMed is a great place to start. You can also stay in the loop by attending our monthly virtual support groups and participating in our online community forum.