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Cystic fibrosis and the main facts

This hereditary condition, which is caused by a defective gene, is primarily characterized by scarring and cysts that form in the pancreas and lungs. The gene affects those cells responsible for the production of mucus, digestive juices and sweat, in a negative way, causing them to become, sticky and thick instead of slippery and thin. Since these secretions play a very important part in a number of processes in the body, changes of this kind are the reason why lung infections, sinus infections, problems with breathing, diarrhea, and even infertility are common in people who suffer from this condition. Besides these problems, others that are also present in the majority of cases are poor growth and difficulty gaining weight, as well as persistent cough and wheezing. Since a cure for this disease does not exist, the treatment consists of relieving the symptoms and keeping them under control. Besides medications and several surgery procedures (in some cases), the treatment usually consists of certain changes in lifestyle and diet.

Cystic fibrosis diet

As far as diet changes are concerned, people who suffer from this condition have to follow a diet that is rich in carbohydrates. The main reason for this is, related to the fact, that this condition limits the absorption of calories, and in order to get a sufficient amount of calories, a person needs to ingest 50% more calories, then is normal. Besides, chest infections and a number of other conditions can be cured much more easily if the patient is properly nourished. The diet needs to be rich in fat and proteins as well, but since the chances of developing diabetes are increased in theses patients, they need to regularly check their blood levels of sugar.

Pancreatic enzymes are something that should be added to the diet in the form of nutritional supplements, because the majority of patients with cystic fibrosis suffer from pancreatic deficiency. Vitamins (particularly those that are fat-soluble) and minerals can also be taken in the form of supplements. In order to include all the needed elements in the diet, it is highly recommended to turn to nutritionists and choose the right diet with their help.

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