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Pulmonary fibrosis

Looking after yourself

If you have pulmonary fibrosis, you can do a lot to help yourself by leading a healthy lifestyle. Feeling very tired is a common symptom and health problems that used to be minor - such as catching a cold – can become more serious.

These tips will help you keep your strength up, reduce the risk of complications and help you feel better:

  • Have a flu jab each year and avoid being around people with colds.
  • Ask your nurse for a pneumonia vaccination. This is a jab you have just once.
  • Stay as fit as you can. There are many different ways to be active – find one that you enjoy.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to a dietician, who can give you tailor-made advice, especially if you are losing weight.
  • Try techniques and positions to help your breathing. If you have pulmonary fibrosis, you may tend to breathe very fast and shallowly - a bit like panting. You can use techniques and positions to help you control and slow down your breathing. You can also use them to avoid getting too breathless when you exert yourself, and to help you recover when you do get out of breath. Try the different breathing techniques to find what helps you and practice the ones that help. Talk to your respiratory physiotherapist or nurse for help to find out what works for you.

Next: support for pulmonary fibrosis >

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Last medically reviewed: August 2019. Due for review: August 2022

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.