About Cystic Fibrosis

Living with Cystic Fibrosis Requires Constant Care

There are many things to be positive about for people living with cystic fibrosis. Unlike years ago, living with cystic fibrosis is not as difficult today. A person afflicted with the disease can expect to live well into adulthood and look forward to have a quite normal and fulfilling life.

However, the prerequisite for all this is proper health care and nutrition. This should be the number one priority in a patient’s life. Being healthy is the perquisite for a healthy and fulfilling life. Denial or poor health care will result in sickness, poor weight gain, failing to thrive, frustration and poor life quality.

Proper Health Care for Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Regular doctor check up

A person with cystic fibrosis needs to check with his doctors regularly in order to monitor the status of his condition. Usually patient’s will be going 4 times a year to their doctor for a follow-up.

Medication

Medications need to be taken on a scheduled basis to fight infections and clear the lungs from mucus. Patients use nebulizers to administer medicines right into the respiratory system and this can take up to 30 minutes in the morning and in the evening.

Physical therapy

Aside from medication, the patient should also keep up a physical therapy regimen. Chest massage is required to ease the lungs of mucus buildup, especially in the morning. Children can get this from their parents, but adults must learn to do this for themselves. There are mechanical aids to get this done, such as vests and PEP masks. Typical chest therapy can take up to 30 minutes and must be performed every day.

Infections

A patient suffering from cystic fibrosis also must avoid any risk to his health. As much as possible, he should refrain from getting in contact with people who are sick with infections that he can acquire in his lungs. Above all he should avoid any cross infection with germs from other cystic fibrosis patients.

Exercise

A person with cystic fibrosis must also make the effort to exercise regularly if possible. Regular exercise will help make the mucus in the lungs thinner, ease breathing, and make the body more resistant to infections.

Proper Nutrition for Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Pancreatic enzyme supplements

With cystic fibrosis, the body is not capable of breaking down food and absorb nutrients properly. The reason behind this is that the pancreas does not provide enough pancreatic enzymes to aid in digestion. Thus, the patient’s body often lacks the necessary nutrients.

Since the body cannot absorb nutrients easily, taking pancreatic enzyme pills will help in replacing the lack of enzymes available in the patient’s body. A person living with cystic fibrosis will have to take pancreatic enzymes for the rest of his life during meals and snacks.

High calorie foods

Difficulty in breathing and the excessive production of mucus is also a characteristic of cystic fibrosis. The act of breathing alone burns more calories than normal for a person living with cystic fibrosis.

Consequently, patients need to eat lots of calories to compensate for their higher metabolism. Then they also need to eat high quantities of salt to compensate the big amounts of salt lost in sweat. The fatty, salty and high-calorie foods that people normally avoid are very important for people with cystic fibrosis.

And from a patient’s point of view?

It is very important for patients to explain their environment what condition they have and what it involves. It is normal for patients to cough a lot, to be tired, to be sick more often and thus stay at home or to be hospitalized. Students, teachers, friends and colleagues should know that this is a normal situation for the patient.

Above all, people living with cystic fibrosis should live their lives as they want it to be. They should live their life to the fullest but always stick to their health care.

Disclaimer: This website provides general information about cystic fibrosis and in no means should be taken as a medical or health advice. Please consult your doctor before acting on any of its information.