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Cystic fibrosis (CF)
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Cystic fibrosis (CF)

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) - a life-threatening disorder that causes severe lung damage and nutritional deficiencies - used to be a genetic mystery, and most people with the disease didn't live beyond their teens. But researchers have made progress in unraveling the genetic basis of CF, which has led to earlier detection. In addition, improved and more consistent treatments now allow people with CF to live into their 30s and 40s and even beyond, and to have fuller, more comfortable lives.

Self-care 

If you have a child with CF, one of the best things you can do is to learn as much as possible about the disease. Diet, medication and early recognition of infection are important.

Also important is performing daily chest percussion to drain mucus from your child's lungs. Your doctor or respiratory therapist can show you the best way to perform this lifesaving procedure.

In addition, the following steps can help aid your child's health:

  • Keep your child's immunizations up-to-date. This includes your child's pneumococcal and influenza vaccines. CF doesn't affect the immune system, but children with CF are more likely to develop complications when they become sick.

  • Encourage your child to lead as normal and active a life as possible. Exercise is extremely important for people of all ages who have CF. Regular exercise helps loosen mucus in your airways and strengthens your heart and lungs. And for many people with CF, participating in sports can improve confidence and self-esteem.

  • Make sure your child eats a healthy diet. Be sure to discuss your child's dietary needs with your doctor or a nutritionist.

  • Use nutrition supplements. Provide the fat-soluble vitamin supplements and pancreatic enzymes your child needs to stay as healthy as possible.

  • Emphasize liquids. Encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids to help loosen the mucus. This is especially important in the summer when children are active and tend to lose a lot of fluids.

  • Eliminate smoke. Don't smoke in your home or car, and don't allow other people to smoke around your child. Secondhand smoke is harmful for everyone, but especially for people with CF.

  • Encourage hand washing. Teach everyone in your family to wash their hands thoroughly before eating, after using the bathroom, when coming home from work or school, and after being around a person who is sick. Hand washing is the best way to protect against infection.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 12:36 AM