Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Managing your IPF
There are things you can do to help you manage your IPF:
Work with your health-care team to manage and understand your IPF
It is important to work with your family doctor or respirologist (lung specialist) to find the best treatment for you. Not all medications will work for everyone. Your doctor knows your medical history and will be able to determine if medication is an option for you.
Here are some things to talk to your health-care team about:
- Prepare a written list of the questions you want to ask. Put the most important questions at the top of your list.
- Take notes as the doctor is answering your questions. If you don't understand the doctor's answers, ask for more details.
- Show the doctor a written list of all your symptoms. Be honest.
- Bring along all your medications (including herbal remedies).
- If you're not sure you're taking your medications correctly, ask your doctor to review it with you.
- Bring a friend or relative to your appointment. He/she can help you remember details and also take notes for you.
- Ask your doctor about programs in your community that help people with IPF and other lung diseases. Ask about joining a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
Your health-care team can help you learn more about IPF and how to cope with it. People on your IPF health-care team may include:
- Doctor(s), you may have a family doctor and a respirologist (lung specialist)
- A nurse
- A certified respiratory educator, a health professional with special training in lung disease
- A pharmacist
- A respiratory therapist, nurse, or cardiopulmonary physiotherapist who leads your pulmonary rehabilitation program
- A certified respiratory educator from the Lung Association's free helpline (call 1-866-717-2673)
Make changes to your lifestyle to stay healthy, and fight germs to prevent infections
- Quitting smoking is the number one thing you can do to help slow down the progression of any lung disease.
- Get a flu shot each year.
- Ask your doctor about getting a pneumonia shot.
- Keep away from people with chest infections and colds.
- Wash your hands properly.
- Stay as fit as you can.