CF is a serious life-long condition, but the severity of the illness can vary greatly. The average life expectancy for someone with CF is about 35 years. Although, some with mild forms of CF can live to age 60 or beyond.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. CF is suspected in a child with classic symptoms, especially if a sibling has CF.
CF is often diagnosed by symptoms, family history of CF, or a positive screening test in newborns. The diagnosis may be confirmed with genetic testing. Other lab tests that may be used to confirm CF include:
Improving the amount of nutrition your body receives
Preventing and treating lung and sinus infections
Keeping the airways and lungs as clear as possible
Treatment for CF includes:
Better nutrition will help improve overall health. It will also improve growth and development in children. Children who have returned to normal weight within 2 years of the diagnosis have fewer coughing episodes and better lung function. Some nutritional steps that may help include:
A high-calorie diet planned by a registered dietitian
Nutritional supplements, including fat-soluble vitamins
Pancreatic enzyme tablets with meals to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients
Drinking lots of fluids and salt replacement, especially in hot weather or during illnesses
Managing Lung Infections
Thick mucus in the airways increases the risk of respiratory infections. The infection can also be more severe because of the mucus. Treatment of a current infection often requires antibiotics. Prevention of new infections may be done with:
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