A cystic fibrosis diet is specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of a person suffering from cystic fibrosis. This HealthHearty article offers you the required details about this diet, take a look.
Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease, which affects the body and leads to scarring and formation of cysts in the pancreas. Other common symptoms, include, difficulty in breathing and recurring bouts of lung infections. Furthermore, sinus infections, decreased growth, diarrhea, and even infertility can occur as a result of cystic fibrosis. This basically happens due to the mutation of the gene that is responsible for regulation of sweat, digestive juices, and mucus. Thus, due to the mutation of this gene, thick mucus tends to get in the way of proper digestion, absorption, and assimilation. This is the reason why following a proper diet is of paramount importance, so that the person gets all the required nutrition. Given below are the details regarding the diet that the patient needs to follow, so as to ensure that he or she gets all the nutrition that is required by the body.
High Fat and Protein Diet
A person suffering from cystic fibrosis needs to have a diet that is high in calories. This is mostly because people suffering from the above condition need to ingest up to 50% more calories compared to a person of the same age, who does not have the disease. This is because, due to the malabsorption, the person cannot get enough calories that are required by the body. Furthermore, a person who has good nourishment is in a better position to fight off chest infections and other illnesses. This is why, a diet high in fatty foods is important because people, who frequently suffer from chest infections tend to lose a lot of fat in their stools.
A person also needs to ensure that his intake of proteins is high (almost double the normal amount). Hence, the planned diet for the patient should also incorporate protein-rich foods. However, despite all of this, you need to keep a check on the amount of sugar that you are taking in. This is because as a person gets older, there is progressive scarring of the pancreas. As the pancreas are the organs that are responsible for secreting insulin, there are high chances that a person may get diabetes later in life.
Approximately 85%, or more of people with this disease, have pancreatic insufficiency and hence, they need to take pancreatic enzymes to aid the process of digestion. This is an important part of their diet. Different enzymes suit different people, so if you are intolerable to certain types of food, then it is best to visit your doctor and change your dosage of supplements. You should also stop taking these enzymes only on the advice of your doctor. If you do not regularly take your enzymes, as directed by your physician, you run the risk of bowel blockage, which might require hospitalization. You also need to take other supplements, like mineral and vitamin supplements. Of the vitamin supplements, it is more important to lay emphasis on the fat soluble vitamins, i.e., vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Although cystic fibrosis is said to be one of the most common life shortening inherited diseases in the world, this does not mean that there needs to be a compromised quality of life accompanying this condition. By religiously following the recommended diet, one can easily attain as many nutrients as possible. This way, one can lead a healthy life, because after all, a healthy life is much more important than a long life!