6 Cystic Fibrosis Treatments and Therapies
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 3,000 people. Though CF is currently incurable, there are plenty of treatments and therapies to help patients ease their symptoms and improve their quality of life. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, treatments vary but nearly all encompass the following:
1. A treatment plan
Treatment plans encompass all of the separate therapies a patient with cystic fibrosis will undergo to feel better and live a happy life. Included in the plan are visits to specialized doctors and clinics, medications, airway clearance techniques, exercises, and a healthy food diet.
2. Airway Clearance
Because CF produces a lot of mucus in the lungs, it is important to regularly clear the airways and release the mucus to reduce risk of infection and improve the overall function of the lungs. Lung clearance can occur in these ways:
- Coughing and huffing – although this needs to be done in conjunction with other methods.
- Airway clearance techniques – such as chest physical therapy (CPT) using clapping, percussion and vibration.
- High-frequency chest wall oscillation – such as the Afflo Vest.
Medications are prescribed to help with the symptoms of CF. Some include:
- Antibiotics to clear infections.
- Mucus thinners to help the mucus build-up drain easier.
- Nebulizers to turn medicines into mists to be inhaled directly into the lungs.
- CFTR modulator therapies that help to correct the protein in the faulty CTFR gene. The two most common drugs for this purpose are Orkambi and Kalydeco.
Cystic fibrosis patients have trouble getting nutrients from food because the build-up of mucus doesn’t allow the pancreas to make enough digestive enzymes to extract the nutrients. To counter, CF patients need a balanced but high-calorie diet. Additional supplements and vitamins may also be necessary.
Exercise is very important for cystic fibrosis patients because it improves lung function and overall strength and fitness.
6. Lung Transplant
Some patients with cystic fibrosis may need a lung transplant. New lungs can help extend a person’s life, but patients will need to take anti-rejection medications and be prepared for other complications that can occur.
Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.