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Taking care of yourself to stay healthy.

You work hard to manage your idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Taking care of your overall health is an important part of your treatment plan. To help you stay healthier, here are some tips you can add to your day-to-day life.

  • If you smoke, quit. Talk to your doctor if you need help
  • Don’t let anyone around you smoke
  • Stay at a healthy weight. If you need to lose or gain weight, do so under the care of your doctor or dietitian
  • Use your oxygen. You may want to purchase a pulse oximeter so you can monitor your oxygen levels
  • Practice breathing techniques, especially if you start getting anxious when you feel breathless
  • Stay active. This may be hard to do when you feel out of breath, weak and tired. But, doing the right types of exercise can help you stay healthier. So, talk to your doctor to create a plan that’s best for you. Your doctor may suggest pulmonary rehabilitation to help you breathe better and build stronger muscles so you can do the things you enjoy easier
  • Get plenty of rest. Take short naps. Try to sleep 7 to 9 hours a night
  • Ask for help with tasks like grocery shopping, cleaning and meal prep
  • Make meals and snacks ahead of time. This way, you have food handy to eat when you’re too tired to make a meal. Frozen meals can be very helpful. Food or meal delivery may also be an option
  • Avoid the foods that make you feel nauseous, or have heartburn or diarrhea
  • Call your doctor right away if you think you are getting sick
  • Keep up with your flu and pneumonia vaccines
  • Get the emotional support your need and help manage your stress. One way to do this is to join a support group (in-person or virtual).

For more tips on staying healthier, talk to your doctor. Let you doctor know of any symptoms or side effects you may experience. You can also visit the IPF Foundation and Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation websites.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.

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