Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects lungs and digestive system. ” Inherited” means the disease is passed from parents to children through genes. A defective gene and its protein products cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that :

  • Clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections
  • Obstructs the pancreas
  • Stop natural enzymes from helping the body digest and absorb food

Children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis frequently have poor growth weight gain, caused by the combination of malabsorption, increased energy needs and reduced appetite.  For this reason, an important factor to stay healthy is good nutrition. And this problem is treated with :

  • High calorie, high fat diet
  • Vitamins
  • Pancreatic enzyme supplements

Do you know that people with cystic fibrosis need 30 % to 50 % more calories than other teens?

A high calorie, high fat diet is vital for normal growth and development in children and offers adults a way to maintain optimal health. Nutrition and general lung health are closely linked. People with cystic fibrosis may need extra calories to compensate for the malabsorption of nutrients. These extra calories also help to meet the greater energy needed for breathing. In fact, for children with cystic fibrosis, extra fat calories are food for fueling normal growth and development.

Busy schedules can get in the way of preparing and eating meals and snacks. To avoid the hassle, make meals and snacks a part of your routine. Here are some suggestions for using foods you can just GRAB ‘N GO throughout the day:

  • High fat cheese (such as cheddar cheese  kashkawan ..)
  • Whole fat milk and yogurt
  • Hummos in a small container
  • Fruit salad
  • Trail mix
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Shakes
  • Granola bar
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts and sunflower seeds

People with cystic fibrosis should make sure to drink lots of fluids because increasing fluid intake can help thin the mucus in their lungs.

Vitamins for daily use:

The body needs extra vitamins to help with normal growth, function and overall health. Since people with cystic fibrosis have trouble absorbing fats, they also have trouble absorbing the “fat soluble” vitamins (A,D,E,K). For this reason, people with cystic fibrosis should usually take these vitamins daily.

 

Why are enzymes important?

Your body needs enzymes to digest FAT, CARBOHYDRATE & PROTEIN

The job of the pancreas is to make enzymes that digest food. In cystic fibrosis, the tubes is the pancreas become clogged with thick, sticky mucus. This mucus blocks the enzymes from reaching food in the small intestines. Taking pancreatic enzymes with every meal, beverages or even snack will help to digest food, maintain a healthy weight and receive important nutrients.

 

Exercise and Cystic fibrosis:

Do you know that exercise is important to maintain lung health, especially for people with cystic fibrosis. In fact, it will help to improve mucus clearance, increases exercise tolerance, improves lungs function, and reduces breathlessness.

We advise people with cystic fibrosis to discuss first with their doctor about what kind of physical activity is best for them !

References:

  • Cystic fibrosis foundation
  • Color your calorie , cystic fibrosis foundation
  • Day to Day exercise and cystic fibrosis, cystic fibrosis foundation
  • Grab N’ Go, cystic fibrosis foundation
  • Knowing your CF, cystic fibrosis foundation

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2 thoughts on “Cystic Fibrosis

  • August 16, 2015 at 9:36 pm
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    If I’m exercising but I need to obtain lots of calories, does that defeat the purpose of, say, ab/core exercises?

    Reply
    • December 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm
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      It depends on your exercise schedule and what type of calories you are consuming. it is better if you consult your trainer and your nutritionist for better results. Good Luck

      Reply

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