Heat Intolerance Since IPF Diagnosis
Following a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), so many things change for a patient. Emotionally, our ability to cope with everyday tasks changes and can become overwhelming as our life is suddenly threatened by this fatal lung disease. Socially, it can feel like no one understands what we’re going through and as a result, friendships are tested, changed and sometimes even breakdown as a result of our diagnosis. And physically, our bodies endure major changes as the disease progresses and eventually steals our ability to breathe.
One unexpected physical side effect that I can only attribute to IPF, since this has happened following my diagnosis, is my intolerance for the heat. I have always loved summer months, and the heat never bothered me. Understandably once diagnosed with a lung disease, I’d find it harder to breathe in the high heat and humidity of summer, but this isn’t only what I mean about being intolerant of the heat.
My whole body is now effected by the heat. I get headaches if I am outside too long, I also overheat easily and sweat more frequently than I ever did before. My eyes are more sensitive to sunlight, and my skin burns a lot easier without a very high SPF sunscreen (which is due to the anti-fibrotic medication I am on). Not only am I intolerant of the outdoor heat and humidity, I also hate being hot indoors and am finding that is happening more frequently as well.
This summer has been very hot, humid and sticky where I live. It might be one of our hottest summers on record actually! As a result, I’ve had my air conditioner (AC) working overtime to keep my house cool and typically have the AC set at 22.5 degrees celsius. Pretty cool, right? I am still so hot upstairs! I had to get a fan to put beside our best and circulate the air, in addition to the AC running consistently at 22.5.
Does anyone else experience this heat intolerance since your IPF/PF diagnosis?
Have you noticed it since starting the anti-fibrotic medications for this disease?
I’ve written a few difference columns about this over the years, including Dealing with the Heat Since my IPF Diagnosis and how Heat and Humidity Can Become Another Hurdle in coping with IPF. However, I think my body’s overall inability to deal with the heat is getting worse as now it is not just my lungs that are impacted by the heat but I experience other heat-related issues now as well.
If this is something you’ve noticed getting progressively worse since your diagnosis, I’d love to hear from you! Please share your experiences, and any tips/tricks or information you might have in making this a little easier to manage. Thanks in advance!
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