You never thought you would be diagnosed with lung disease. Now that you have, you have two options: you can either let it take over your life or you can enhance your life with pulmonary fibrosis by making certain changes. Take control of your life with these tips from the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
A detrimental consequence of life with pulmonary fibrosis is that it’s more difficult to stay physically active. In fact, you may purposely avoid exercise to limit your shortness of breath. However, lack of exercise weakens your muscles, which makes it even harder to complete day-to-day activities. Nip this vicious cycle in the bud by starting a doctor-approved exercise program.
A healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy products. It’s also low in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar. Aim to eat smaller meals on a more frequent basis to prevent becoming overly full.
Avoid pollutants that irritate your lungs
This includes cigarette smoke, secondhand smoke, indoor contaminants and outdoor air pollution. Maintain indoor air to keep your home a healthy place to spend your time, and limit outdoor activities when smog is thick or pollen counts are high.
Learn to relax
When your muscles and mind are relaxed, you consume less oxygen and avoid panic attacks that can surface from exacerbations. Join a support group, see a counselor and implement other relaxation techniques to help ease life with pulmonary fibrosis.
Actively participate in your own healthcare
You are on the same team as your doctors and nurses. They're here to help you by asking questions and determining the right treatments. Do your part by asking your own questions, reporting any changes in your condition and following instructions as closely as possible.
Keep a positive attitude
If you perceive your disease to be manageable with these lifestyle changes and the help of others, your positive attitude helps shape your ability to cope with your disease.
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Photo Credit: Tormond Ulsberg