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Pulmonary Fibrosis

Headaches & Deep Leg Pains

08/23/2010

Question:

My wife who is 58 has gone from fine health to having an acute episode with her lungs 10 months ago. 3months later they did a lung biopsy which showed that she had Interstitial Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. They sent her home with Oxygen to be use @ 2L occasionally. After putting her on cortisone @ 40mg for 6 weeks she felt no improvement. After 2 months later they now say she has developed fibrosis. She was weened off the steroid and now has her oxygen increased to 4L @ 24/7. She has severe headaches and leg pains at times and says that if she increases by a liter that the pain decreases. All that I`ve told has happened in 10 months. No where have I read that there is a correlation between leg and head pains and fibrosis. Can you answer that question and do you feel she is progressing at fast rate. Thank You for your time.

Answer:

There is not a correlation between leg/head pain and fibrosis in general. Some patients can develop fibrosis related to certain conditions, specifically autoimmune disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or scleroderma) that can cause leg or head pains.

These symptoms may also be signs of low oxygen levels or of increased carbon dioxide levels in the blood and can be checked by your physician.

It is also possible that these symptoms may be related to other medical problems or effects of other medications and should be discussed with your physician.

In addition to steroids, other treatments may be available for hypersensitivity pneumonitis that may be an option and should be discussed with your physician.

For more information:

Go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nitin Y Bhatt, MD Nitin Y Bhatt, MD
Clinical Assisstant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University