What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis – CF is a chronic lung disease where mucus buildup occurs in the lungs and digestive tract. This life threatening disorder can be passed down through families is most commonly found in children and young adults.
About 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. have CF, and 70,000 candidates have it worldwide. The unusually thick mucus byproduct is caused by a combination of a defective gene and its protein. This mucus is most destructive, as it clogs the lungs and leads to infections that are life threatening.
In the digestive tract, this thick mucus clogs the pancreas and inhibits the natural production of enzymes that are imperative to our absorption of vital nutrients in food, as well as inhibits the creation of digestive enzymes.
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
- Persistent coughing with phlegm
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Frequent lung infections
- Salty-tasting skin
- Slow weight gain and growth, despite healthy eating
- Bulky stool, or difficulty in bowel movements
How To Manage
There is no cure but there are definitely some good treatment options. One of the most critical steps for managing cystic fibrosis is proactively treating airway infection. This is usually done through pulmonary rehabilitation.
Pulmonary rehabilitation refers to a broad spectrum of rehab therapies aimed to help breathing problems.
Therapies For Cystic Fibrosis
- Breathing strategies
- Exercise training
- Counsel on nutrition
- Education on and how to manage lung disease
- Energy conserving techniques
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