We can only imagine how terrible it would be to be diagnosed with something that sits in our bodies for days or weeks, festering. For some, we find comfort in knowing where or how we ended up with this thing. What if the transience and source of this monster were taken away?
The only way to hold the fear at bay is to learn more about what it is.
That’s exactly the situation people diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) face.
Patients with IPF suffer from progressive scarring that restricts air flow. Fibrosis is the formation of these scars. Pulmonary means “related to the lungs.” And when things happen without a clear cause, it is described as idiopathic.
IPF usually affects people who are over 70, but it can be present much earlier on. Doctors and researchers are working to discover a common cause or set of causes. There seems to be some link with people who have worked around particles, such as wood, plastic, and metal.
Needless to say, there is much more out there about IPF that we could learn.
A recent article mentioned an upswing in funding from the British Lung Foundation. This money could bring on huge changes in IPF research, which, in turn, might encourage more researchers to apply for grants. With more funds available, more researchers will be testing new treatments.
The sooner we understand how IPF happens, the sooner we can develop new ideas for how to treat it. Many researchers are seeking the underlying biological causes. Others are working on theories to explain how the disease progresses and how we might slow or even stop it.