Adequate nutrition is one of the most important aspects of cystic fibrosis (CF) care. Since the 1970’s it has been recognised that adequate nutrition is associated with vastly improved outcomes for people with CF. 

There are multiple challenges to providing adequate nutrition such as pancreatic insufficiency making it hard to absorb fat, an increased metabolic rate, and frequently issues such as nausea reducing appetite. 

The body’s immune system is seriously compromised by CF-related nutritional deficits, not to mention muscle growth and bone density.

In addition to nutrition there are several other issues with the stomach and digestive system relevant to people with CF. As mentioned, nausea is a common problem as are stomach pain and bloating. Identifying ways of managing these symptoms was highlighted as one of the top research priorities by families and health professionals.

Constipation is another common issues and frequently requires patients and families to monitor and adjust treatment. Another complication is known as Distal Intestinal Obstruction Syndrome, which is unique to CF, and presents with a severe pain and vomiting and often requires management in hospital. 

Additional Resources

Nutrition: Prevention and management of nutritional failure in CF – CF Journal

The new nutrition guidelines from Australia and US

Using food as medicine to manage CF: A Nutritionist’s view – CF News Today

Nutritional challenges in children and adolescents with Down syndrome – The Lancet

Taking care of your digestive system – CF Foundation

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