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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

Symptoms of IPF

The first symptom you might notice is getting out of breath when you’re doing everyday activities like walking up the stairs. 

The main symptoms of IPF are:  

  • breathlessness 
  • a cough that doesn’t go away 
  • feeling tired all the time 
  • clubbing of the fingertips or toenails. 

If you have IPF you may feel short of breath a lot, and not just when you’re moving about. If you feel breathless you should visit your GP. 

A cough that doesn’t go away (usually a dry cough ) and feeling tired are other symptoms of IPF. 

You may also notice clubbing of your fingertips or toenails. This means the shape of your fingers or toes might appear like a drumstick, with the tips being larger around the nails. The base of the nails may also feel spongy. Having this doesn’t mean you have IPF as it can occur in other conditions too. But check with your GP if you notice it developing. 

Clubbing of the fingertips











Read next: how is IPF diagnosed?

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Last medically reviewed: February 2022. Due for review: February 2025

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.