What Are the Symptoms of Pregnancy? The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can vary wildly from person to person. It is essential to be aware of the common symptoms and the possible and rare symptoms. So, what are the symptoms of pregnancy? We will dive into the specifics. Common Symptoms of Pregnancy 1. Missed Period Missing your period is most often the first sign of pregnancy. Your body recognizes the conception and stops making the hormone that sheds the lining of your womb. Your menstrual cycle is essentially paused, and you won’t have another period until after the baby is born. 2. Morning Sickness Contrary to what is shown on TV, morning sickness can also happen at noon and night. Feeling nauseous and vomiting is a normal part of early pregnancy. It is most common in the morning, and this is what coined the term. 3. Overtiredness or Fatigue You know the feeling when you sleep well but still feel tired? That is fatigue, and it is common in early pregnancy. Experts say this is due to the rise of hormone levels. This feeling tends to improve over time. 4. Frequent Urination Are you going to the bathroom every 10 minutes? This is another sign of pregnancy. Your body’s blood supply increases to support the new life, which means your kidneys must work harder. More waste plus more urine equals extra trips to the bathroom. 5. Aching Breasts Your breasts may start to feel sore and tender. You may have felt this before during your period, or it could be a completely new experience. This feeling is due to your fluctuating hormone levels and should fade with time. Some people describe this as an aching or tingling feeling. You might also experience a slight enlargement of your breasts. 6. Mild Cramps and Spotting Don’t panic if you see you have light spotting or cramping in the first few weeks. Spotting can indicate that the embryo has implanted in the lining of your womb. Implantation usually takes place a few days after you conceive and can cause blood spots or brown discharge. This symptom is crucial to know about, as it causes many people to believe they are not pregnant. If you are concerned or the bleeding persists, speak to your doctor without delay. 7. Headaches Persistent headaches can be a sign of so many things. That is why people don’t recognize them as a sign of pregnancy. If you are experiencing frequent headaches, there may be more to it than you think. Make sure you find a headache treatment option that safe for you. 8. Metallic Taste in Mouth Some people experience a metallic, coppery taste during early pregnancy. It can happen when eating or at seemingly random times throughout the day. Again, people do not consistently recognize the taste as a possibility of pregnancy. 9. Changes in Food Preferences This symptom varies from person to person, and some don’t experience it at all! You may crave certain foods; you may feel sick after certain foods; you can have a complete aversion to food altogether. Nutrition during pregnancy is important, and you should discuss this symptom with your doctor. [youmaylike] Rare Symptoms of Pregnancy Other symptoms that are rare but could affect you are: Heightened sense of smell. Heart palpitations. Increased saliva production (more drool). Nosebleeds. Swollen gums or tooth problems. More pimples or acne. Hot sweats. Are At-Home Pregnancy Tests Reliable? The sure-fire way to know if you are pregnant is to take an at-home test. These tests are reliable, and though false positives occur, it is rare. Always check the label, as different brands show different symbols to indicate pregnancy. The tests generally take a few minutes to develop, and digital tests can even display the word pregnant. When Should You Talk to a Doctor If You Think You’re Pregnant? If you suspect that you are pregnant, have a positive test result or are currently trying to get pregnant, the next step is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will want to take a complete medical history, and if you are already pregnant, they may prescribe prenatal medication. The doctor can guide you on the steps throughout the pregnancy and lend an ear if you have any questions. It is vital to discuss everything with a medical professional. Your doctor is the gateway to an informed and happy pregnancy.
What is IPF?
What is IPF? IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) is a lung disease that causes the tissue in your lungs to become stiff. This makes it harder for you to take air in and breathe naturally. According to research, about 30,000 to 40,000 new cases of IPF are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
When lung function becomes severely limited, severe complications such as heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), or pulmonary hypertension can be triggered. Existing symptoms of the disease are also known to get more severe after an infection, heart failure, or a pulmonary embolism.
What Causes IPF?
The causes of IPF are mostly unknown, but in some cases, it is said to have resulted from infections, medications, environmental exposures, and even other diseases. Doctors may look at several potential causes when diagnosing pulmonary fibrosis, including:
- Pollution and toxins
- Existing conditions, such as acid reflux disease
- Radiation therapy
- Genetic factors
Certain risk factors associated with IPF include:
- Age — it is more prevalent in people over 50 years of age
- Breathing in wood or metal dust at work or home
- Gender — about 75% of people diagnosed with IPF are men
- Smoking cigarettes
Common Symptoms Associated With IPF
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis causes scarring and stiffness in the lungs. The scarring usually worsens over time, while the stiffness makes it more difficult to breathe. The following are common symptoms that have been associated with the condition:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Leg swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplainable fatigue
- Joint and muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Chest pain or tightness
Over time, the lungs may not be able to take in enough oxygen to supply the body with the required amount. This can ultimately lead to respiratory failure, heart failure, and other health issues.
How is IPF Diagnosed?
It's usually difficult to diagnose immediately because its signs and symptoms develop slowly over time. It might also be tricky to differentiate it from other lung diseases because the scarring caused by IPF looks similar to scarring caused by other lung diseases. However, several tests can be used to diagnose IPF, including:
- Chest x-ray
- Lung function tests
- Arterial blood gas test
- Exercise testing
- Lung biopsy
- Pulse oximetry
- High-resolution computer tomography (HRCT) scan
Treatment Options for IPF
There is currently no cure, but treatment options are available to manage and reduce your symptoms. The medical treatment given for IPF aims to reduce lung inflammation, protect lung tissue, and slow down the loss of lung function.
Common treatment options include medications that help control inflammation and reduce lung tissue scarring and oxygen therapy to help with breathing. There might be a need for a lung transplant in some cases, but this is often seen as a final treatment step.
Although there is currently no cure for IPF, certain treatments may help slow the progression of IPF and improve quality of life.
Treatment options are usually based on the stage and may include:
- Kinase inhibitors. This type of medication can help slow down the loss of lung function and may prevent IPF from getting worse.
- Antacids. These help treat GERD if people also have this condition.
- Oxygen therapy. Initially, a person may need this therapy after exertion. In the later stages of IPF, they may need it continually.
- Ventilator support. A person may need this support if their breathing problems become severe.
- Lung transplant. This surgery may be necessary for people with advanced IPF.
Other forms of treatment depend on the person’s symptoms and will vary between patients. For example, if a person has developed a lung infection, they may require antibiotics. For chronic cough, they may take oral codeine.
Pulmonary rehabilitation may also be a part of their treatment plan. This program may involve:
- Breathing exercises
- Physical activity to strengthen the body
- Nutritional advice
- Education on IPF and how to manage the condition
Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage IPF
To help manage this, it is important you learn to adopt healthy lifestyle practices that can reduce symptoms and improve your outlook. The following lifestyle changes can help you manage symptoms:
- Stopping smoking and vaping, if you currently do
- Taking necessary vaccines, medications, and vitamins or supplements
- Attending regular check-ups
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating healthy to support heart and lung health
- Avoiding substances that can irritate the lungs, such as chemicals and dust
- Staying physically active and keeping up regular, moderate exercise
- Joining support groups for counseling
- Avoiding environments that may make breathing more difficult
- Using an oxygen monitor to keep your oxygen saturation in an optimal range
- Keeping track of symptoms and letting your doctor know if they worsen