Monday, 18 August 2014

Cystic Fibrosis-Nutritional Considerations

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a potentially fatal disease that causes the accumulation of thick, sticky mucus in the lungs and digestive tract. People who suffer from this disease need to eat foods rich in calories and protein throughout the day. This article discusses the nutritional needs for people who suffer from cystic fibrosis. For specific information about the disease itself, see the article on cystic fibrosis.


The pancreas is an organ that lies in the abdomen behind the stomach. An important work of this body is to produce enzymes, which help the body to digest and absorb protein and fats. However, the accumulation of sticky mucus in the pancreas caused by cystic fibrosis can lead to serious problems, such as:

Stools containing mucus, are foul smelling or float Gas, bloating or abdominal distention Problems to get enough protein, fat, and calories in the diet Because of these problems, people with cystic fibrosis may have difficulty maintaining a normal weight. Even if your weight is normal, you may not be getting proper nutrition. Children with cystic fibrosis cannot grow or develop properly.


The following are methods for adding protein and calories to the diet. In addition to these tips, be sure to be taking a multivitamin containing vitamins A, D, E and K:

Enzymes, vitamins and salt:

The majority of people with cystic fibrosis must take pancreatic enzymes, which help the body to absorb fat and protein. Taking them at all times will decrease or eliminate the stools, gas and swelling.

Talk to your doctor about increasing or decreasing the enzymes, depending on symptoms. Ask the doctor about taking vitamins A, D, E, K and calcium extra. There are formulas for patients with cystic fibrosis.
People who live in warmer climates may need a small amount of additional salt.

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