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Medical Health Issues

Health Issue: Cystic Fibrosis

Treatment and Care

An early diagnosis of CF and a comprehensive treatment plan can improve both survival and quality of life. Specialty clinics for cystic fibrosis may be helpful and can be found in many communities.

Treatment for lung problems includes:

  • Antibiotics to prevent and treat lung and sinus infections
  • Inhaled medicines to help open the airways
  • DNAse enzyme replacement therapy to thin mucus and make it easier to cough up
  • Lung transplant, in some cases

Treatment for intestinal and nutritional problems may include:

  • A special diet to help with nutrition (see: Cystic fibrosis nutritional considerations)
  • Pancreatic enzymes to replace those that are missing
  • Vitamin supplements, especially vitamins A, D, E, and K

The most common complications are chronic respiratory infections.

  • Coughing up blood
  • Chronic respiratory failure
  • Cor pulmonale
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Osteoporosis and arthritis
  • Pneumonia, recurrent
  • Pneumothorax


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