child is diagnosed, a team of health professionals will build a treatment plan
based on the child's specific health problems. Following a treatment plan will help your child live a longer, healthier
Your child will likely have ongoing respiratory therapy, digestive therapy, and treatment with medicines such as antibiotics. Regular medical care, home treatment such as
postural drainage, and taking steps to reduce infection
can help people with cystic fibrosis lead relatively normal lives.
The best treatment available is generally found at cystic
fibrosis care centers. These centers address the
medical, nutritional, and emotional needs.
You can find one by contacting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.cff.org.
Doctor visits and immunizations
Regular visits with
the team of health professionals involved in your child's care are
important. Your doctor will want to
make sure that your child is eating properly and is gaining weight and growing
at a normal rate. The doctor will record your child's weight, height, and head
size in order to keep track of how your child is developing over time.
Lab tests can help your doctor know how
serious the disease is and how it is affecting your child's body.
Your doctor will ask you about your child's
immunizations and will schedule any shots that are needed.
Children with cystic fibrosis should have all the recommended shots, plus pneumococcal shots. To learn more, see the topic
Respiratory therapy is any treatment that slows down
lung damage and improves breathing. The focus of this therapy is on reducing
infection and getting rid of mucus to keep the lungs healthy. Medicines may be used to control the amount and thickness of mucus.
Other ways to help remove mucus from the lungs involve
certain types of movements, coughing, or exercises known as airway clearance
- Cystic Fibrosis: Helping Your Child Cough Up Mucus
with severe lung disease may need to use oxygen at home.
- Oxygen Therapy: Using Oxygen at Home
This treatment works to replace certain
digestive enzymes, to make sure the body absorbs all the
minerals it needs, and to prevent or treat intestinal
blockages. Digestive therapy involves:
enzyme replacement therapy (such as with Creon or
Pancreaze), to help the intestines absorb nutrients from food.
Nutritional therapy to help replace lost nutrients. This may include taking
vitamins; eating high-calorie, high-fat foods; drinking nutritional drinks;
getting fed through a tube in the stomach; and, in some cases, receiving
- Preventing intestinal blockages with stool
softeners (to avoid constipation) and
cystic fibrosis problems or
complications occur when the
respiratory system or
digestive system becomes damaged.
Bronchiectasis, which is caused by long-lasting airway
inflammation, is common.