Living with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Living with IPFLiving with chronic lung disease changes a person's life and requires adjusting to a new way of being in the world. You may have been physically active your entire life, and now that you have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), you may find that you can't do things you once enjoyed. You may feel slowed down and less spontaneous. You may feel self-conscious about not being able to keep up, being on oxygen or having a chronic cough. You may be reluctant to go out in public.

These are common emotions for people with IPF. It is normal to feel angry, afraid, sad, depressed, guilty, stressed and frustrated with all of the changes. You will be better off if you allow yourself to feel all of these things, even when it is uncomfortable. Using the support of others will help you feel stronger and less alone in dealing with the challenges of IPF. Adjusting to an illness is a process and will not happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. Learn more about your disease and how to make lifestyle adjustments that can help maintain your quality of life. 

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The Four Stages of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • Stage 1: Recently diagnosed

  • Stage 2: Needing oxygen with activity, but not at rest

  • Stage 3: Needing oxygen 24 hours a day, with activity, at rest and during sleep

  • Stage 4: Advanced oxygen needs (needing high-flow oxygen or when a lightweight, portable delivery system is unable to meet a patient’s needs).


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Program

National Jewish Health is the leading hospital in the nation. We treat hundreds of people with IPF and other types of pulmonary fibrosis each year. Our expertise is recognized by the . It has designated National Jewish Health as a PFF Care Center. Learn more.

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