Living With Cystic Fibrosis
Assisted Reproductive Techniques
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a collection of techniques that help in achieving pregnancy by manipulating eggs, sperm, and embryos. The thick mucus in CF affects reproductive function in both men and women, but it usually is more of an issue for men because most men with the disease also have a condition called congenital bilateral absence of vas deferens in which the duct that helps transport sperm is completely absent. However, reproduction may still be possible with the help of ART.
Caring for a Family Member With CF
As it is an inherited disease, CF runs in the family, but in some cases, families may not know they are predisposed to the genetic mutation and receiving a diagnosis may come as a shock. From the start and during the entire process of caring for a CF patient, knowing what to expect and what is not normal can be helpful and prevent caregivers from being afraid or surprised when symptoms of the disease manifest.
Cystic Fibrosis in Children
Signs and symptoms of CF, such as mucus buildup. can start very early in life, but children also can be diagnosed with the disease before any symptoms appear. The treatment of children with CF depends on factors like age, overall health, medical history, disease extent, tolerance for specific medications or therapies, and parent preferences. Because of improvements in care and treatment, many children now live well into adulthood.
In addition to the physical symptoms, patients, family, friends, and caregivers face an emotional burden associated with the disease. As a progressive disease, CF can involve a stressful routine of symptoms and treatments, and it can be difficult to balance a normal life with these demands. Because of this, people in the CF community may face numerous psychological and social problems. The first step to coping with these issues and seeking emotional wellness is to recognize the signs.
Even though CF patients may find it difficult to be physically active, it is shown that keeping active shown has benefits like increased exercise tolerance, respiratory muscle endurance and sputum expectoration, reduced residual volume and rate of decline in pulmonary function, improvements in fluid balance and retention of serum electrolytes, and a lower risk of death. Exercise should be done cautiously and under the supervision of a medical expert.
Due to the disease and the accumulation of sticky mucus in the pancreas, the production of enzymes in CF patients is compromised. Due to this, patients may have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight or they may not be getting the right nutrition, even if their weight is normal. Several strategies can be employed to help CF patients gain weight, ingest enough calories, and maintain the required energy levels, one of which is tube feeding, which can provide additional nutritional support.
Delayed puberty is common in young boys and girls who have CF. However, good nutrition and medical guidance can stimulate height growth, body mass, and hormone production. Adults with CF have normal levels of sex hormones and can lead normal sex lives, as the sexual performance or desire for intimacy is not affected. However, the thick mucus that is produced in people with CF can affect fertility.