Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease characterized by the scarring and damage that it does to the body’s lung tissues. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when there is inflammation in the joints, causing pain. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other organs such as the lungs.
Approximately 40% of patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis will also have pulmonary fibrosis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Pulmonary Fibrosis
Doctors do not know exactly what sort of connection there is between the two diseases as of yet. However, rheumatoid arthritis is said to increase your risk of pulmonary fibrosis. This is because higher counts of rheumatoid arthritis antibodies have been linked to interstitial lung disease. Interstitial lung disease leads to pulmonary fibrosis if it is left unchecked.
If that is the case, pulmonary fibrosis can lead to a collapsed lung, heart failure, respiratory failure or even high blood pressure. Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include shortness of breath, fatigue, a dry and hacking cough, widening of the fingertips or toes, and unintentional loss of weight. You should go and see a doctor or healthcare professional if you are feeling symptoms of either rheumatoid arthritis or pulmonary fibrosis.
Tests are necessary to provide you with a proper diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made it is important to discuss what treatment options are available for you and your condition.
Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pulmonary Fibrosis
Several different medications exist to help treat pulmonary fibrosis, including corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. Oxygen therapy can help you regulate your breathing and pulmonary rehabilitation can help to strengthen your lungs.
You should also try and maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle to prevent your condition from worsening.
It is advised that you stop smoking and avoid any other pollutants, including secondhand smoke, that could irritate the lungs.
Your doctor will be able to help you determine what treatment could work for you and your condition.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ JirsakPosted on May 5, 2023