Most patients with cystic fibrosis are diagnosed when they are infants or toddlers. Some adults may be diagnosed with the disease but this is normally rare. Modern medicine has found ways of giving a cystic fibrosis patient a better standard of living and a longer life span. With this longer life span come more medical problems caused by cystic fibrosis. Adults who recently have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis may want to ask relevant questions of their doctor. Education is the key to controlling and treating any disease, especially cystic fibrosis. You should choose a medical team that specializes in treating the disease.
Drugs that are prescribed or found over-the-counter may be used to control the symptoms and allow the patient to have a better quality of life. Chest physiotherapy is recommended either manually or by a mechanical device that will loosen the mucus and help the body expel it. Some manual methods are controlled breathing exercises, and lying down while the chest and back area is manipulated and thumped to loosen the thick mucus and move it out of the air passages. This chest therapy should be done every day to avoid a massive build up of the thick mucus.
Cystic fibrosis patients may find they have digestive problems even though they are eating a healthy diet. They may be eating a balanced, high-caloric menu filled with all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs and still having digestive problems. A doctor and nutrient specialist can help relieve excess gas; bloating, and accompanying pain felt when the body is having digestive problems. A patient may be asked to take supplements of Vitamins A, D, E, and K and a pancreatic enzyme to promote a healthier digestive tract.
An adult patient suffering from cystic fibrosis may develop liver and gallbladder problems. Diseases in the gallbladder and liver may be treated in various ways. A patient may have gallstones removed in a conventional surgery using small incisions to remove the gallbladder and stones. Some doctors today are using laparoscopic surgery and removing the diseased gallbladder through one small incision in the belly button area.
Using a therapy to dissolve formations found in the liver can treat liver disease. Oral dissolution means taking an oral medication, normally a drug with ursodeoxycholic acid will dissolve any formations in the liver.
Infertility is a problem that affects men with cystic fibrosis. Almost 90 percent of men who have CF are infertile. Artificial insemination with donated sperm or adoption is the only options an infertile man has to father a child. A woman may become pregnant in the regular way but pregnancy may leave the woman with severe lung damage. This could be life threatening. If a cystic fibrosis patient cannot find any relief from these severe complications and are facing reduced lung efficiency and death a doctor may recommend a lung transplant. Fifty-five percent of patients who receive a lung transplant have a life expectancy of about three more years.