Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis part 2
In this article we discuss all the treatments available for digestive problems, inflammation, low blood oxygen level and lung failure.
Management of Digestive Problems
Cystic fibrosis blocks the pancreatic ducts and causes intestinal blockages due to its thick mucus. Appropriate treatments include:
- High calorie Diet
With proper nutrition, the patient can become strong enough to resist most of the lung infections that usually plague most sufferers. A well-balanced, high-calorie, high fat diet is a must.
- Pancreatic enzymes
In order to absorb the necessary ingredients from the high calorie diet, doctor will prescribe oral pancreatic enzymes for digesting fat, starch and proteins while assisting with vitamin absorption. Also, supplements of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K will be recommended.
- Mucus thinners for intestines
There are also treatments that seek to help with conventional methods. These include enemas and mucus thinners to dislodge intestinal blockages due to sticky mucus in the intestines caused by the disease.
Other treatments are medications to reduce stomach acid to maximize the effectiveness of oral pancreatic enzymes.
Cystic fibrosis patients may also take steroids to reduce inflammation and lung deterioration. As inflammation of the air passage walls reduces, the airway clears up for proper respiration.
Over time, the lung capacity of CF patients becomes smaller. Low blood oxygen will then become a major problem. In these cases, oxygen therapy will help alleviate this ailment with the use of nasal prongs or mask to give oxygen to the patient. In this stadium the patient will probably be waiting for a lung transplantation.
When all else fails, lung transplantation is seen as the last resort treatment for severe cases of cystic fibrosis. Such symptoms and conditions like severe respiratory problems and fatal pulmonary complications, as well as the body’s resistance or adverse reactions to antibiotics, can be the indication that this method is required. However, factors like overall health, various lifestyle aspects, and donor availability dictate the chances of utilizing this option as a solution.
Research for cystic fibrosis bore fruit during 1989 when the genetic mutation that causes the disease was finally identified. Upon that discovery, scientists worked hard in finding ways to use normal genes to be inserted into respiratory cells.
Finding a reliable process to deliver a normal gene to the lining cells of the airways has been quite a challenge. Options like the use of altered viruses, synthetic vectors, fat capsules, and so on have been experimented upon. These experiments continue up to this day.
Finally, research is being done to find ways to manipulate proteins produced by cystic fibrosis genes. This can help with salt and water movement through the cells, thus minimizing mucus buildup.
Disclaimer: This website provides general information about cystic fibrosis and in no means should be taken as a medical or health advice. Please consult your doctor before acting on any of its information.