Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic health condition that primarily affects the respiratory system, leading to excessive mucus production in the lungs and recurring infections. The condition affects approximately 30,000 patients in the United States1. Around 1,000 new diagnoses of the condition are made in the country each year. Cystic Fibrosis is a very complex disease as the symptoms produced tend to vary from one person to another, which often makes the provision of a treatment plan relatively difficult. A personalized approach to the management of Cystic Fibrosis is always required.
An Overview Of Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis develops when a newborn inherits two gene mutations, one from their mother and one from their father. The gene mutation occurs in a gene called the CF gene. This gene is responsible for the encoding of cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator proteins. The disease affects the secretory glands of the patient, leading to adverse effects in the production of both sweat and mucus. Patients with Cystic Fibrosis have mucus that is sticky and thicker than that of a person without the disease.
In a patient with this disease, mucus continuously builds up in the airways, as well as in their lungs. The pancreas can also be blocked by the excessive mucus production, which can lead to problems with the release of digestive enzymes2. In turn, this creates blockages and also the perfect environment for the growth of bacteria. These effects lead to frequent lung infections as a complication3 – often times, these lung infections can be quite severe. The continuous infections occurring in the patient’s lungs causes damage to their lungs4, which can cause the patient to experience serious breathing problems in the long run.
Some organs, including the pancreas and liver, as well as sex organs, are also affected by Cystic Fibrosis. This often leads to infertility, as well as inadequate absorption of nutrients by the body.
Treatment For Cystic Fibrosis
One of the most unfortunate facts about Cystic Fibrosis is that there is currently no cure for the disease. All of the treatment options available aims to help relieve the symptoms, make breathing easier, improve nutrient absorption, and, ultimately, improve the patient’s quality-of-life, as well as potentially improving their lifespan.
A variety of management solutions are available to provide a relief of the effects that Cystic Fibrosis has on a patient’s body5. The most common treatment options provided to patients with Cystic Fibrosis include:
- Techniques to help clear the airway of mucus, such as vibrating vests. The purpose of these devices is to help reduce mucus buildup in the lungs and airway, which makes it easier for the patient to breathe. These devices also help to reduce the frequency of infections.
- Certain types of inhaled medicines can be used in nebulizers to further help clear the lungs and the airways of mucus. When the patient develops a lung infection, antibiotics may also be used in a nebulizer to help fight against the bacteria that has caused the infection.
- Pancreatic enzymes can be provided to patients with Cystic Fibrosis to help improve their body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein from the food they consume.
Cystic Fibrosis And The Salt Suite®
Salt therapy has a history that spans back almost 200 years. This alternative form of healing has been proven effective in reducing the symptoms of many health ailments, including Cystic Fibrosis. The therapy is often also cited as halotherapy. Patients are placed in a room where dry salt aerosol is released into – the dry salt aerosol is then inhaled. The antibacterial properties can help to reduce the presence of bacteria within the patient’s lungs, while the general effects of the dry salt can help to clear out mucus and ease breathing in patients with Cystic Fibrosis.
The Salt Suite® specializes in state-of-the-art salt therapy solutions to bring patients diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis an opportunity to help improve their general quality-of-life. The staff at The Salt Suite® is experienced in working with Cystic Fibrosis patients and are all aware of the dangers that lie with placing these patients together – this is why the salt therapy rooms at The Salt Suite® will never be occupied with more than a single patient with Cystic Fibrosis. All patients with this condition will have a file clearly marking the fact that they can not be matched with another patient that has the same condition.
- About Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. https://www.cff.org/What-is-CF/About-Cystic-Fibrosis/
- Genes and Disease: Cystic Fibrosis. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 31 January 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22202/
- J.B. Lyczak, C.L. Cannon, and G.B. Pier. Lung Infections Associated with Cystic Fibrosis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews Journal. April 2002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC118069/
- P. Cole. The damaging role of bacteria in chronic lung infection. U.S. National Library of Medicine. December 1997. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9484867
- M.P. Murphy and E. Caraher. Current and Emerging Therapies for the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis or Mitigation of Its Symptoms. Springer Journal. 8 January 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4767716/