The symptoms of IPF and how quickly the condition worsens may be different for each patient.
The most common symptoms of IPF are shortness of breath and a dry, persistent cough. Other symptoms associated with the condition include:
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Gradual weight loss
- Aching joints and muscles
- Clubbing (widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers or toes)
Causes and Risk Factors
Pulmonary fibrosis is linked to many conditions, but in most cases, the cause is never found. When no cause is known, the condition is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Researchers are looking into what might cause the disease. Viruses and tobacco smoke are two possible causes. Certain types of the disease seem to run in families.
The condition can affect both men and women and is most often diagnosed in patients between the ages of 50 and 70 years old.