14 Cystic Fibrosis Therapies

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To improve the quality of life and increase life span, early detection is paramount.  Developing a comprehensive regime of treatment is necessary, along with close monitoring over time.  It is best for patients to be treated at CF clinics, which are available in a number of communities.

There are a number of CF therapies which patients may be prescribed for the lungs and also for the digestive tract as well.

Lung therapies:

There are antibiotics for prevention and treatment of lung and sinus infections.

1. Inhalers are available to open airways.

1. DNAse enzyme therapy – The mucus of CF patients contains a considerable amount of DNA, which is released from white blood cells as they die.  This enzyme cleaves DNA in the mucus, thereby breaking up the mucus in the lungs.  The CF patient then becomes able to cough up more mucus, making for a more productive cough. It is available in aerosol form.

3. Breathing in mists of high salt concentrations aids breathing (breaks down mucus).

4. Flu and Bacterial vaccines yearly to prevent lung infections.

5. Oxygen therapy.

6. Lung transplant if necessary.

7. Percussion vest or manual chest percussion.

Bowel therapies:

8. CF patients are required to eat a diet high in calories and protein (children and adults).

9. At some point, pancreatic enzymes will need to be taken to aid in digestion and absorption of fats and proteins.

10. Multivitamins are necessary, particularly vitamins A, D, E and K.

11. Anti-constipation medicine.

Lifestyle changes:

12. Avoid certain chemicals in the air such as tobacco smoke, household chemicals, mold/mildew.

13. Keep hydrated, drink lots of water particularly in hot weather or whilst doing physical activity.

14. Exercise regularly.

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