Weight Management is Hard with IPF
To my fellow IPF patients: is weight something your doctor discusses with you at routine appointments?
I’ve heard from some patients it is, whereas other people say their doctors never bring it up. I wanted to write this forum post about how difficult it is to maintain a healthy weight while living with IPF. Whether the goal is to gain or lose weight, there are a number of factors that make weight management difficult for us.
Whenever I have an exacerbation or catch a viral or bacterial infection, my regular dose of prednisone is maxed out for a prolonged period of time before I start tapering off it. Prednisone has so many terrible side effects but for me, one of those is an increase in appetite and bloating/swelling of the face. Thankfully I’m not on a high dose of this medication rarely but on the contrary, I am on OFEV daily and that really throws off my appetite, meaning I eat too little. Managing the side effects from medications as they pertain to appetite and/or weight loss and weight gain is something I’ve struggled with since my IPF diagnosis!
Another factor complicating anyone striving to lose weight is how difficult exercising is when you’re low on oxygen. Not only does exercise often leave IPF patients feeling breathless but low oxygen during exercise can leave patients with headaches, blurred vision/dizziness, and sore muscles, which specialists don’t seem to acknowledge when weight management is brought up.
Does anyone else struggle to maintain their weight while living with IPF?
If so, have you found any strategies that help you either consistently gain or lose weight, and maintain it?
Please share if you have!
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