Pulmonary Fibrosis is a type of lung disorder that is chronic in nature. It results in scarring of the lungs . It is idiopathic in nature when scarring gets worse, it causes difficulty in breathing. IPF is a form of interstitial lung disease which primarily involves the interstitium.
Fibrosis is a production of fibrous connective tissue in an abnormal manner in any part of the body.
There are some other names of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis such as:
- Cryptogenic fibrosing
- Diffuse Fibrosing Alveolitis
- Usual Interstitial Pneumonitis
Causes of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Normally the exact cause is not known, but still, there are some triggering factors that can trigger the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. They are explained below :
- Due to some infectious microorganisms like bacteria, viruses that can lead to IPF. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is one of the major risk factors for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
- IPF can also occur from any other disorder. It is caused by some autoimmune diseases like in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma or Sjogren’s syndrome IPF can occur.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease means GERD also increases the risk of IPF. GERD is also called hyperacidity in normal language, it is a situation in which acid of the stomach comes back into the esophagus and creates irritation in the food pipe. Those people who have GERD may breathe some small tiny drops of acid which travel to the lungs. This acid damages the lungs and enhances its normal functioning.
- People with a family history of IPF can be at higher risk of developing IPF. But it is present in rare cases. If in a family when two or more than two members are present with IPF then risk chances of the disorder are increased. Another form of pneumonia can develop like Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonia.
- Due to exposure to certain pollutants, IPF can occur in some people. It is caused by breathing or inhaling pollutant particles like silica etc. These pollutant particles create irritation in the respiratory system and also cause respiratory discomfort. It damages the lungs.
- Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung disorders. Smoking decreases the lifespan of the lungs.
- Certain treatments have also become the cause of IPF, like chemotherapy and radiotherapy in cancer treatment.
- Males are more prone to IPF as compared to females.
Symptoms of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
There are two main symptoms of IPF which are
- Breathlessness – Difficulty in breathing is the main symptom of IPF. Initially it occurs during exercising but later on it can affect daily activities such as climbing stairs, showering etc. Scarring in lungs decreases lungs capacity to breath.
- Chronic cough -Most of patients with IPF have dry cough complaints.
- Other symptoms like chest pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue and clubbing are also present.
Diagnosis of IPF
IPF can be diagnosed with following tests:
- Chest x- ray
- Complete blood test
- Computed tomography
- Pulmonary function test
Natural Home Remedies for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
There are some home remedies along with some herbs which are highly beneficial to combat symptoms of IPF.
- Smoking cessation is key to treat any lung disease. Therefore it is an essential step to quit smoking.
- Cod liver oil is rich in fatty acids. It helps in improving functions of lungs and alleviates the inflammation of lungs.
- Baking soda is an effective home remedy to treat affected lungs. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink on a regular basis. It helps in removing toxins from the body.
- Citrus fruits are rich source of vitamin C . They stimulate white cell production that further helps in reducing inflammation of lungs. Hence must include oranges, grapes and lemons in your diet.
Herbs for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
According to Ayurveda, there are some herbs that are effective to treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
- Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica)- This herb is a potent herb that is used to treat various respiratory problems. It pacifies Kapha dosha which is the main cause of lung disorders. It helps in the removal of cough and promotes bronchodilation for easy breathing.
- Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)- Tulsi has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory action due to which it is highly recommended in respiratory diseases.
- Licorice roots( Glycyrrhiza glabra) – This herb is antiinflammatory in action, it reduces inflammation caused by various agents in the lungs.
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)- It is an immunomodulatory herb that helps in the stimulation of T and B lymphocytes.
- Amla (Emblica Officinalis)- Amla has antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. It helps in respiratory system healing.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.