What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that causes damage to the lungs and digestive system. It causes mucous in the body to become thick and sticky.Iit affects mainly caucasian people in the United States. People with cystic fibrosis often have trouble digesting food, experience stunted growth, and have trouble breathing. It is caused by a mutation gene that is passed down to a child by both parents. Patients suffer from a defective gene that causes mucous in the body to build up, especially in the pancreas and lungs. It can also affect your reproductive system and affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. At one time, people with cystic fibrosis were fortunate if they lived to be 30 years old. But, with today's advanced treatments and more knowledge of this disorder, many patients can live into their 40's, 50's, and beyond. If you incorporate the following five things in your life, you can increase your chances of living a healthier and more productive life:
Maintain Regular Contact With Your Doctor
Early diagnosis is critical in treating this disorder. Most children are diagnosed with it by the age of 2, or even younger. A blood test such as Immunoreactive tryspinogen can detect cystic fibrosis. It is a lifetime disease and regular treatment and screenings are important for patients. They can prevent or reduce the risk of opportunistic infections and respiratory problems. Your doctor can also tell you about any new treatments or medications that may help you. Also, he or she can suggest foods and liquids you should consume or avoid. Even if you are feeling fine, you should keep your doctor updated on your condition. Getting a yearly physical is an absolute must.
Practice Proper Nutrition
You can never overestimate the importance of good nutrition in fighting cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis patients often suffer from malnutrition because their mucous clogs their digestive system and they have trouble digesting important nutrients. A healthy diet of fruits and vegetables can help people maintain a strong immune system. Children often suffer from stunted growth and lack of weight gain. Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, D, zinc, and iron can help patients. Vitamin A blocks bacteria and viruses and helps prevent or reduce the risk of infections. It is required daily for your body to function properly. It is one of the few vitamins that is produced naturally by the body. Your immune system is strengthened by this vitamin and it helps fight respiratory viruses and helps develop red blood cells. This gives your body more oxygen and improves your breathing. Eggs, fish, carrots, spinach, red peppers, and apricots are outstanding sources of vitamin A. Vitamin D is often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin" because the sun is the best natural source of this vitamin. It is essential for absorbing calcium and reduces the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis. It also helps people that suffer from joint and back pain. Your body needs it for overall good health.
Caution:Do not get too much sun exposure because it can increase your risk of melanoma and other skin diseases. Zinc can work wonders because it promotes growth and increases appetite. This is important because cystic fibrosis patients have trouble gaining weight. It is an essential mineral that is found in every cell in the body. Cells need zinc to divide and replace itself. It strengthens your immune system and reduces your risk of colds and aids your body in wound healing. Zinc activates white and red blood cells and reduces respiratory infections. Foods such as almonds, pecans, oysters, and turnips are good sources of zinc. Iron is crucial for people with this condition because it helps to form hemoglobin in the blood and supplies oxygen throughout the body. Patients often suffer from fatigue and breathing problems and iron can help to reduce these problems. Iron can increase your concentration and help you sleep better. Broccoli, fruits, cereals, bread, and legumes are excellent sources of iron.
Keep Immunizations Current
Children with cystic fibrosis should have all their pneumococcal shots and immunizations. They are more vulnerable to pneumonia and developing cysts, especially in the pancreas and lungs. Antibiotics are highly recommended because they can help fight infections, especially sinus infections. Immunizations can also help prevent other ailments such as diarrhea, coughing, and fever.
You should consider starting an exercise regimen because the health benefits can be enormous. Studies have shown that people with cystic fibrosis can improve their lung and heart function, strength and endurance. It is beneficial to their general well-being. Stretching exercises can increase your flexibility and reduce your pain and discomfort. Some medical experts believe that specific breathing techniques can protect your lungs and reduce mucous production. Caution:Before starting an exercise routine or incorporating breathing exercises, you should talk to your doctor first and find out what works best for you. Generally speaking, all you need to do is exercise 30 minutes a day, three times a week. When you first start out, take your time and gradually increase your workout routine. There is no need to rush yourself. If you stick with it, you will make steady progress.
Join A Cystic Fibrosis Support Group
Cystic fibrosis is a lifetime disease and it would be in your best interest to join a support group. Ask your doctor if he or she can refer you to one in your area. If there are not any in your area, then you should consider starting one. We all need support sometimes, and this will help you when you are having problems with this disease. When you are feeling depressed or stressed out, you can talk to other patients. They can encourage you and offer solutions. We all feel better when we can talk to someone that can relate to problems we are going through. You will know that you are not going through this alone. It will lift your spirits. The library and the Internet are essential to learning more about this disease.
Cystic fibrosis requires daily treatment and patients are living longer. Thanks to new medications and alternative treatments, people can live healthier lives. If you consult with your doctor regularly, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen, you can live a productive life. Regular immunizations are a necessity and joining a cystic fibrosis support group is strongly recommended.
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