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5 Ways to Manage Your Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms

5 Ways to Manage Your Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic condition, meaning there’s no cure after you receive a diagnosis. Luckily, with the right care, you can expect to live a healthy and comfortable life with cystic fibrosis for many years to come.

Coming up with the right management plan for your cystic fibrosis is an individualized process developed in consultation with chronic disease specialist Thomas Nguyen, MD, and the team at Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida. Understand five of the methods available to manage symptoms of cystic fibrosis.

1. Airway clearance therapy

When you have cystic fibrosis, sticky mucus tends to develop in your lungs, causing infections, breathing issues, and digestive challenges. Airway clearance therapy, or chest physical therapy, is an effective therapy for loosening the mucus in your lungs so you can cough it out.

There are a number of safe techniques you can use to clear your airway, which you can perform as needed, up to several times a day. You can try clapping the back or front of your chest with clapped hands or using breathing techniques.

Portable, mechanical devices also help you breathe in a way that loosens lung mucus. These can include a vibrating vest or breathing with a mouthpiece or mask.

2. Medication

A number of different types of medications help control cystic fibrosis symptoms. Inhalers or nebulizers with albuterol thin the mucus, making it easier to cough it up.

Antiinflammatory medications like ibuprofen also help relieve inflammation in the lungs. When you develop significant potentially harmful bacteria in your lung mucus, antibiotics can treat it.

Finally, certain enzyme and nutrient supplements help cystic fibrosis patients get and absorb the nutrients they need to thrive with cystic fibrosis.

3. Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a popular cystic fibrosis therapy program that helps you improve lung functioning using a number of interventions. These include learning breathing techniques, doing physical exercise, and learning more about cystic fibrosis. Many programs also involve counseling, emotional support, and nutritional help.

4. Lifestyle management

Living a cystic fibrosis-friendly lifestyle is an important part of managing your symptoms. Many cystic fibrosis patients have a difficult time maintaining a healthy weight, so our team often recommends a diet high in calories and sodium to help you gain or stay at a high enough weight.

Staying physically active and up to date with your vaccinations and medications helps you stay stronger and avoid infection. You should also perform any prescribed cystic fibrosis treatments as prescribed to stay as healthy as possible.

5. Regular medical monitoring

Because cystic fibrosis is a serious chronic condition, regular medical monitoring is important to ensure you stay healthy. This means attending all your scheduled appointments at Nguyen Medical Group and with any other cystic fibrosis care you receive.

At our chronic disease management appointments, our team checks in with you to ensure your care plan is working. You can discuss any questions or concerns you have, and our team can make adjustments to your medications or other treatments.

Our team might also order medical tests. Things we might want to monitor in cystic fibrosis patients with testing include:

We might also occasionally want to perform a lung biopsy, chest x-ray, or colonoscopy.

Help is available to assist you in living a healthy life for as long as possible with cystic fibrosis. Contact us to schedule your chronic disease management appointment. 

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