Crown Princess Mette-Marit diagnosed with fibrosis
Crown Princess of Norway, Mette-Marit (45), has been diagnosed an unusual variant of pulmonary fibrosis (lung disease) but announces that she wants to work as much as she is capable of in the future.
– Although such a diagnosis at times implies limits to my activities, I’m glad that the disease has been discovered this early. My aim is still to work and to participate in the official program as much as possible, the Crown Princess states.
– I’ve had periods where I’ve been ill for some time, therefore, I know a bit about what this is all about. I am primarily concerned with working as much as possible and am very happy with that, but it is obvious that there will be periods where I’m not as fit that I wish I was, she continues.
Mette-Marit has over the years undergone extensive check-ups related to her health, and an unusual variant of fibrosis in the lungs has been ascertained, according to the Crown Princess’s personal doctor, Professor at the National Hospital (Rikshospitalet), Kristian Bjøro.
It is not yet clear whether the lung disease is linked to a more extensive autoimmune disease process or if there are other reasons for the changes to the lungs, it is stated in a press release from the Royal Norwegian Court.
– For a number of years I have suffered health challenges on several occasions, and now we know more about what they are caused by. The condition means that her working capacity will vary. The Crown Prince and I choose to inform about this now, partly because in the future will be a need to plan periods without any official program. This will be necessary in connection with the treatment and when the disease is more active, Mette-Marit elaborates.
– It turns out that it is more chronic than we had hoped for, but it also causes a few more puzzle pieces to fall into place, so it’s a very big relief for me, Mette-Marit tells NRK.
Had to inform
The Royal Couple has chosen to publicise the disease because it will limit the Crown Princess’ working capacity in the times to come.
– It is obvious that it is never pleasant to inform about your own health publicly, but it is clear that we now see that I periodically will be occupied by further examinations and possible treatment. I will, therefore, be unavailable to the public at times This means we have to tell about it to avoid too much speculation regarding it.
– I’m primarily focused on working as much as possible, but it is obvious that there will be periods where I’m not in such a good health that I wish I was, Crown Princess Mette-Marit emphasises.
The Crown Prince couple do not want to elaborate on the pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis.
-It is a fibrosis in the lungs. It’s going to be a situation where we need more examinations and will figure things out eventually, but there are probably things we can not answer, so we may have to live with some uncertainty, says Crown Prince Haakon.
Has been ill for a long time
The Crown Princess has lived with the disease for several years, but it has not been diagnosed before now.
– It has been discovered early and has been very stable until now. There are two signs that are positive for the forecast for the future. I think that with some adjustments, it is most likely that there will be many good days in store for us, the Crown Prince states.
The Crown Princess admits that it is demanding not to have all the answers, but informs that she is very optimistic:
– I think some parts of life is learning how to live with uncertainty. That’s the way it is for me as well, but I’m very optimistic about what’s going to happen next and very happy that I have such good people around me, and not least that this was discovered at such an early stage.
Bjøro reports that lung changes have been followed for several years and that disease development during this period has been slow. Examination and treatment take place at the National Hospital in Oslo, in collaboration with doctors abroad.
Attempts at treatment
– The Crown Princess will have to undergo further examinations in the future and also treatment attempts. With such diagnosis as the Crown Princess has, it is common for us to cooperate with environments abroad, Bjøro informs.
He further states that the cause of the type of fibrosis Mette-Marit has been diagnosed with is little known, but there is broad consensus that it is not related to environmental or lifestyle factors as is the case with other more common types of pulmonary fibrosis.
The fact that the disease is diagnosed at an early stage is favourable in terms of the prognosis. Some studies and investigations remain, for example, to clarify whether this is an autoimmune process only in the lungs or if there are other organs involved or may be involved at a later stage.
– When we have a better overview, we can hopefully offer the Crown Princess treatment that can slow down and, at best, control the development of the disease, he lectures.
According to Bjøro, the doctors are optimistic on behalf of the Crown Princess:
– This has been diagnosed early and we have high hopes that we will be able to control it, to control the development of the disease in an adequate manner.
Facts about Pulmonary fibrosis (Mayo Clinic)
Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. This thickened, stiff tissue makes it more difficult for your lungs to work properly. As pulmonary fibrosis worsens, you become progressively more short of breath.
The scarring associated with pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by a multitude of factors. But in most cases, doctors can’t pinpoint what’s causing the problem. When a cause can’t be found, the condition is termed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The lung damage caused by pulmonary fibrosis can’t be repaired, but medications and therapies can sometimes help ease symptoms and improve quality of life. For some people, a lung transplant might be appropriate.
Signs and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis may include:
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- A dry cough
- Unexplained weight loss
- Aching muscles and joints
- Widening and rounding of the tips of the fingers or toes (clubbing)
The course of pulmonary fibrosis — and the severity of symptoms — can vary considerably from person to person. Some people become ill very quickly with severe disease. Others have moderate symptoms that worsen more slowly, over months or years.
Some people may experience a rapid worsening of their symptoms (acute exacerbation), such as severe shortness of breath, that may last for several days to weeks. People who have acute exacerbations may be placed on a mechanical ventilator. Doctors may also prescribe antibiotics, corticosteroid medications or other medications to treat an acute exacerbation.
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