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What Are The Early Signs Of Pulmonary Fibrosis?

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Old 11-30-2011, 05:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bristol
Posts: 5
2point8ghiax HB User
What Are The Early Signs Of Pulmonary Fibrosis?

I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and am worried about some symptoms from my lungs that I have been getting for some time. I went to my doctor, who did some breathing tests and sent me for a chest X-Ray, which came back normal. The symptoms still get slowly worse. He told me that because my X-Ray was normal I don't have PF. I believe that you can't diagnose PF with an X-Ray?

Although my symptoms started as a very minor wheeze on hard inhalation 2 years ago, and my AS plus blueish finger tips, my doctor doesn't seem concerned. I wish I could feel the same. Eventually I managed to get an appointment for a chest specialist out of him, but not until 16 Jan 2012. Yes, the UK National Health Service is rubbish.

So, I am interested to hear from anyone with experience of PF, what the early symptoms are. Thanks to all.

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Old 11-30-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hobart
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Asadian25 HB User
Re: What Are The Early Signs Of Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis effects the joints between the ribs as well. This can make it hard or painful to fully expand the chest. Which can give the "sensation" that you are Short of breathe. Did your doctor not mention this to you? A chest Xray can detect "fibrosis" of the lungs as it shows up as scarring. If you had a chest X ray and Breathing test that were both normal I think you may be letting worry get to you. You could get a CT to be absolutely certain if you are worried that much. What are your symptoms besides bluish finger tips? Are your lips bluish as well? Have you had your O2 saturation checked in the doctors office while your fingers were blue? A very minor wheeze on hard inhalation could be nothing but that, a small wheeze. Do you have a more pronounced wheeze now??

Last edited by Asadian25; 11-30-2011 at 09:02 AM.

Old 11-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bristol
Posts: 5
2point8ghiax HB User
Re: What Are The Early Signs Of Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Many thanks Asadian for taking the time to reply.

I was already aware before these lung (?) symptoms started that I may have reduced lung capacity/movement. This is because the AS has affected my ribs to some extent or other for approx 15 years. The spiro tests my doctor arranged recently confirmed this.

Strange thing is, I don't really suffer from shortness of breath. I walk a couple of miles most days, and make myself walk fast as well. Yes, I do get a bit puffed after really going for it up big hills, but at 45, never been an athlete, and some AS chest restriction it's only to be expected.

Other Symptoms - yes, the wheezing has worsened a bit over time. It's not there under normal shallow breathing, but I don't have to inhale/exhale too hard to make it happen. It is definitely more pronounced. I have lost weight, but this was at the same time as I experimented with a starch-free diet, so may be coincidental. Sometimes, I clear my throat a lot, as mucus is present, especially if I lie on my side in bed. Lying on my back in bed makes the wheezing disappear. Also, sometimes, I feel like my trachea area and throat is inflamed/irritated. No blue lips, no o2 sats done yet.

I'm having sleepless nights, worrying what it could be. The knowledge that UK waiting lists are long, even for a first specialist appointment don't help.

Sorry for the essay, I really appreciate your help. I'm also keen to hear from PF patients, especially details of early symptoms.

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