Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a progressive chronic lung disease where the tissue in the lungs becomes scarred and stiffens. This can lead to a multitude of symptoms including breathlessness, persistent coughing, fatigue, joint pain and for some patients, weight loss.
Weight loss in pulmonary fibrosis patients tends to happen slowly over time as the disease progresses. There are several possible reasons for this: medications used in the treatment of PF can, for some, cause nausea and lack of appetite; others may suffer from depression (fairly common in PF patients), which can often lead to a decreased appetite; in rare cases, some PF patients can develop hepatic congestion due to fluid retention, which can lead to a fluid build-up in the liver that can make the patient feel full after eating only a small amount.
Lower oxygen levels in the blood can contribute to fatigue which can make preparing and eating food tiring for PF patients. This can be treated with oxygen therapy, which will increase the level of oxygen in the blood stream and make the patient less fatigued. Find out more about weight loss in pulmonary fibrosis.
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