Understanding Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition which can seriously affect our digestive and respiratory systems. Usually, the damage is caused by mucus buildup in the organs. The disease impacts the cells which produce digestive enzymes, mucus, and sweat. Although those who have the condition require care every day, they can enjoy a normal life if they manage their disease well.
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
People who have cystic fibrosis reported varying symptoms, depending on how serious their condition is. One of the signs of this chronic disease is a strong salty taste to the skin. Other symptoms result from complications which impact the pancreas, lungs, and liver.
Causes of Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis arises due to the “cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator” gene defects. The gene controls water and salt movement in and out of the cells of the body. As the CFTR gene suddenly changes or mutates, the mucus becomes stickier and thicker than it has to be. Parents with damaged CFTR gene can pass this on to their children who inherit a copy of the gene from every parent.
Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis
While cystic fibrosis is incurable, there are different treatment options which can help in relieving the symptoms and minimizing the risk of complications. These treatments include the following.
- Manual Chest Physical Therapy
This therapy is meant to loosen the lungs’ thick mucus which makes it easier to cough it up. Removing the sticky secretions is essential to prevent infections and helps in easing breathing.
Percussion and Vibration. This helps in loosening and mobilizing secretions. It involves repeatedly tapping the designated position. It can be performed with a manual percussion or by hand.
Postural Drainage. In this therapy, the patient’s body is placed in a position that lets the mucus drain from the smaller airways into the main airway with some gravity.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs may help in relieving pain and fever that can come with cystic fibrosis.
Bronchodilators. These are meant to relax the muscles which surrounds the tubes that carry air to the lungs.
Mucus-thinning medications. These can make mucus stick less and thinner, as well as helps the patient cough up the mucus for improved lung function.
Patient Care at Home
People who have cystic fibrosis may have intestines which are not able to absorb necessary nutrients from food. They need up to 50% more calories every day than those who do not have cystic fibrosis. The patient may also have to take pancreatic enzyme capsules with each meal. A fiber-rich diet, multivitamins, salt, and antacids may also be recommended by the doctor.
If you have cystic fibrosis and are prescribed with some medications, call Morris Ave Pharmacy to order your medicines at 718-292-2500.