Can You Reverse Lung Damage?

Posted by nla4625 @nla4625, Nov 22, 2020

The author of the article linked below said 2020 is the year when our lungs have been under attack by the usual culprits, ie pollution, flu, etc. PLUS COVID-19 and wildfire smoke. I really learned a lot from reading it, particularly how COVID impacts the lungs and steps we can take to improve our own lung function and help our lungs heal. I know there are people on this site who have serious medical issues that require serious medical interventions; but the article gave me hope that breathing exercises, losing weight, using my exercise cross training machine, and getting in shape will help my breathing issues and get me in the best shape possible for surgery in the spring. Happy Thanksgiving and please stay safe and take care as COVID runs rampant. Nancy
https://elemental.medium.com/can-you-reverse-lung-damage-ac4a77d85b4e?source=linkShare-c2d5f539b979-1606057946

@nla4625– This is a great question, Can you reverse lung damage? Please keep in mind that I am not a biologist or science person at all. I'm a patient just as you are.
The thought used to be that lungs couldn't regenerate, but that has since been disproven unless there is permanent damage where cells have been killed.

After my first and second lung lobectomies, my other lobes seemed to fill in the spaces left by their removal. New alveoli also seem to grow. But we can not, at this point regenerate lungs like an octopus can of one of its limbs.

After the lungs are damaged the irritant (s) need to stop so that any non-permanent swelling can subside. When I'm even a little overweight I feel my lungs strain. I feel more sluggish and tired. I know for a fact that you can feel so much better with weight loss, exercising, walking, and eating cleanly can make a big difference in how you breathe. How you feel will also depend on how much damage was done and how much cells regrew. I wish that I could be more specific but this site is certainly a good one. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm also 74 and can feel so much younger when I'm at my best. When do you plan to start feeling better?

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@merpreb

@nla4625– This is a great question, Can you reverse lung damage? Please keep in mind that I am not a biologist or science person at all. I'm a patient just as you are.
The thought used to be that lungs couldn't regenerate, but that has since been disproven unless there is permanent damage where cells have been killed.

After my first and second lung lobectomies, my other lobes seemed to fill in the spaces left by their removal. New alveoli also seem to grow. But we can not, at this point regenerate lungs like an octopus can of one of its limbs.

After the lungs are damaged the irritant (s) need to stop so that any non-permanent swelling can subside. When I'm even a little overweight I feel my lungs strain. I feel more sluggish and tired. I know for a fact that you can feel so much better with weight loss, exercising, walking, and eating cleanly can make a big difference in how you breathe. How you feel will also depend on how much damage was done and how much cells regrew. I wish that I could be more specific but this site is certainly a good one. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm also 74 and can feel so much younger when I'm at my best. When do you plan to start feeling better?

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Thanks for telling us about some of your experiences. It's no wonder you have so much good information to share, although I'm sorry you had to go through it all to gain the expertise. I'm actually feeling pretty well now, as long as I pace myself. It is such a relief to have a diagnosis of what is causing my symptoms. I thought I was having heart and circulatory problems and was afraid I could have a stroke or heart attack at any moment. Now I'm not worried about that. My heart really goes out to people who don't have and can't seem to get a diagnosis for what are real and horrible symptoms. I feel pretty lucky! Take care. Nancy

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Do you know if it is possible to keep the fibrous from getting worse?

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@bdsmith

Do you know if it is possible to keep the fibrous from getting worse?

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@bdsmith– Good morning. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. There are treatments for pulmonary fibrosis. "FDA-approved Drugs for IPF
These include nintedanib (Ofev®) and pirfenidone (Esbriet®). These medications are called anti-fibrotic agents, meaning that they have shown in clinical trials to slow down the rate of fibrosis or scarring in the lungs. These drugs are approved for patients with mild, moderate and severe IPF".Mar 22, 2020

"Causes of pulmonary fibrosis include environmental pollutants, some medicines, some connective tissue diseases, and interstitial lung disease. Interstitial lung disease is the name for a large group of diseases that inflame or scar the lungs. In most cases, the cause cannot be found." Oct 2, 2020
Pulmonary Fibrosis | Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis | IPF …
medlineplus.gov ›
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pulmonary-fibrosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353690
Have you discussed this with your Pulmonologist?

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@bdsmith

Do you know if it is possible to keep the fibrous from getting worse?

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@bdsmith Do you know the cause of the fibrous?

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@merpreb

@nla4625– This is a great question, Can you reverse lung damage? Please keep in mind that I am not a biologist or science person at all. I'm a patient just as you are.
The thought used to be that lungs couldn't regenerate, but that has since been disproven unless there is permanent damage where cells have been killed.

After my first and second lung lobectomies, my other lobes seemed to fill in the spaces left by their removal. New alveoli also seem to grow. But we can not, at this point regenerate lungs like an octopus can of one of its limbs.

After the lungs are damaged the irritant (s) need to stop so that any non-permanent swelling can subside. When I'm even a little overweight I feel my lungs strain. I feel more sluggish and tired. I know for a fact that you can feel so much better with weight loss, exercising, walking, and eating cleanly can make a big difference in how you breathe. How you feel will also depend on how much damage was done and how much cells regrew. I wish that I could be more specific but this site is certainly a good one. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm also 74 and can feel so much younger when I'm at my best. When do you plan to start feeling better?

Jump to this post

Thank you for your post. I had a l upper lobe removed and a little bit of lower lobe removed. A lot of scarring due to radiation in the past. Mets from colorectal cancer. Surgery on 12/18/20. Any idea how long it takes for remaining lung to expand? I am overall better. They said to walk which I am doing. Because she had to go in the open way due to scarring it seems to be taking forever to recover. Over 7 hours in surgery.

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@lindabradley42

Thank you for your post. I had a l upper lobe removed and a little bit of lower lobe removed. A lot of scarring due to radiation in the past. Mets from colorectal cancer. Surgery on 12/18/20. Any idea how long it takes for remaining lung to expand? I am overall better. They said to walk which I am doing. Because she had to go in the open way due to scarring it seems to be taking forever to recover. Over 7 hours in surgery.

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@lindabradley42 – Good morning Linda. When I heard that this would happen I was thrilled. You had what is called a pneumonectomy. (and a little) I know that my lungs expanded but I can't tell you how much time it took. How are you feeling?

This will explain a lot of the information that you have asked for:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229034/
Exercise now is very important, especially stretching exercises. It is now only a couple of months post-surgery so you still need to be very careful.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/multimedia/lung-cancer-surgery/img-20006167
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/life-after-lobectomy-6-steps-to-a-smooth-recovery-after-lung-cancer-surgery/
As you continue to improve there are many exercise programs that are on youtube. Have you discussed Pulmonary Rehab with your doctor?

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Thank you for your reply. I just found it.

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This past fall I had a chest x-ray that showed I have "mild bilateral apical pleural" and that "thickening of the lungs is identified". Late this past Dec I had a pulmonary test that revealed "some hyperinflation of the lungs and some air trapping." I had radiotherapy (radiation) as part of my breast cancer treatment. I have read that radiotherapy for breast cancer can have a "late effect" & damage on the lungs. Has anyone experienced lung damage due to breast cancer radiation? Thank you

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@billie3

This past fall I had a chest x-ray that showed I have "mild bilateral apical pleural" and that "thickening of the lungs is identified". Late this past Dec I had a pulmonary test that revealed "some hyperinflation of the lungs and some air trapping." I had radiotherapy (radiation) as part of my breast cancer treatment. I have read that radiotherapy for breast cancer can have a "late effect" & damage on the lungs. Has anyone experienced lung damage due to breast cancer radiation? Thank you

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Hi @billie3, Because of the location of the breast, radiation to the breast can cause lung and/or heart damage. You may wish to also ask your question to the members of the Breast Cancer group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/breast-cancer/

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