Cystic Fibrosis Management

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the mucous glands especially of lungs, pancreas and intestines. There is increased production of the mucus which leads to congestion of the chest and causes recurrent chest infections. When the pancreatic ducts that carry pancreatic enzymes to the small intestine become obstructed, there is difficulty in breaking down the fats and proteins. It results in many digestive problems. There is abnormal loss of salts in sweat and saliva that causes an imbalance in the body.

Scientists are finding new techniques to determine the underlying genetic defect behind this disease. A combination of an enriched diet, vitamin supplements and natural therapies serves as the best treatment for cystic fibrosis. In conventional system, antibiotics are prescribed for lung infection that may produce harmful side effects. 

Natural treatment for cystic fibrosis

Diet for Cystic Fibrosis
People with cystic fibrosis suffer from recurrent lung infections. Many plants have been known that help in boosting the immune system and prevent lung infection. Researchers at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine have found that there is a natural antioxidant, thiocyanate, found in certain vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, which helps in the treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Findings of this study suggest that the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis are more susceptible to the damaging effects of cellular oxidants so thiocyanate might potentially be helpful in treating the disease.

Children suffering from this genetic disease should increase protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs and milk in their diet. They require extra calories to fight against this disease. Patients with cystic fibrosis should eat more fats as it helps in increasing the amount of fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K. Absorption of fat soluble vitamins help in quick recovery from the inflammatory symptoms of lung infection.

Eat foods that are rich in dietary enzymes. Fruits such as pineapple and papaya help in proper absorption of food as well as breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Oats, as a source of (lipase) enzymes, may provide ideal acid-stable adjunct to pancreatin derived enzymes.

Natural foods such as garlic, parsley, celery, oils and nuts help in reducing inflammation as these are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Slow mucus growth by incorporating some of the following into your diet: garlic, onions, mustard, parsley, celery and oils found in nuts, seeds and fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring.

Dietary supplementation with amla protects against bacterial colonization (Klebsiella pneumoniae) of lungs on long-term feeding in experimental model.

Probiotics: There are two types of bacteria in our body, one that makes us ill and other that keeps us healthy. The probiotic organism is found to be useful bacteria for people suffering from cystic fibrosis. It reduces the pain and discomfort of the people suffering from cystic fibrosis by reducing the inflammation of the pancreas. It also helps in reducing the lung inflammation and reduces recurrent attacks of respiratory infection.

Supplements for Cystic Fibrosis
Vitamin A and Vitamin E levels are inversely correlated with pulmonary exacerbations in cystic fibrosis.

Glutathione improves clinical markers in cystic fibrosis patients which can be supplemented with whey protein or N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

Higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acidsmay reduce the risk of pneumonia, reduces inflammatory biomarkers, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, interleukin-8 concentrations, improves pulmonary status and is effect against mucus over-production caused by pulmonary bacterial colonization in cystic fibrosis patients.

Adjuvant treatment with zinc accelerates recovery from severe pneumonia in children.

High dose vitamin D3 prevents recurrence of pneumonia in children treated with antibiotics.

Herbs for Cystic Fibrosis
Boswellia is an important herb that has natural anti-inflammatory properties. People with cystic fibrosis may include this herb in their diet to get the benefit of natural anti-inflammatory properties of this herb.

Ginseng also helps in eliminating the bacterial effects and decreases the symptoms of lung infection.

Gingko Biloba is a natural anti-oxidant and can help to reduce inflammation of tissues.

Echinacea, goldenseal are two other important herbs that help to fight against any bacterial infection naturally and boost up the immune system.