Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis
Anti-inflammatory medications may help reduce the inflammation in your lungs that is caused by ongoing infections. Medications include:
- Inhaled or, sometimes, oral steroids. Steroids are the most effective anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Ibuprofen, a type of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicine. It may slow the progress of cystic fibrosis in young children with mild symptoms.
- Bronchodilators, which are inhaled drugs that relax the muscles around the airways so that the airways can open up. They should be taken just before chest physical therapy to help clear mucus.
- Mucus-thinning drugs, which reduce the stickiness of mucus in your airways.
If the level of oxygen in your blood is too low, you may need oxygen therapy. Oxygen is usually given through nasal prongs or a mask.
Lung transplantation requires surgery to replace one or both of your lungs with healthy lungs from a human donor. Factors that determine whether you can undergo lung transplantation include:
- The type of bacteria in your lungs
- Your age and weight
- The medications you are taking
- Whether you have other medical conditions, including osteoporosis
- How well your lungs are functioning.
Nutritional Treatment for Cystic FibrosisNutritional therapy as a cystic fibrosis treatment can improve a person's:
- Growth and development
- Exercise tolerance.
Nutritional therapy may also make you strong enough to resist some lung infections. Nutritional therapy includes a well-balanced, high-calorie diet that is low in fat and high in protein.
As part of your nutritional therapy, your doctor may:
- Prescribe oral pancreatic enzymes to help you digest fats and proteins and absorb more vitamins. The enzymes should be taken in capsule form before every meal, including snacks.
- Recommend supplements of vitamins A, D, E, and K to replace the fat-soluble vitamins that your intestines cannot absorb.
- Recommend that you use a feeding tube, called a gastrostomy tube or T-tube, to add more calories at night while you are sleeping. The tube is placed in your stomach. Before you go to bed each night, you attach a bottle with a nutritional solution to the entrance of the tube and it feeds you while you sleep.
Other treatment for digestive problems may include enemas and mucus-thinning medications to treat intestinal blockages. Your doctor may also recommend medicines that reduce stomach acid and help the oral pancreatic enzymes work better.