Natural home treatment and care for cystic fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and one’s ability to breathe. Someone who has this disease has inherited a defective CF gene from each parent. Not all people who have inherited a defective gene from each parent will have CF, however.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

PREVALENCE

About 75,000 people worldwide live with cystic fibrosis.  Advances in treatment and care have increased life expectancy considerably over the past few decades.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Diagnosis requires testing and is usually identified by the time an afflicted person reaches the age of 2.

  • Airway clearance
  • CFTR modulators
  • Inhalant Medications
  • Supplements
  • Fitness plan
  • Regular pulmonary function tests
  • Chest x-rays every few years

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system will help you to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, and to keep you strong and avoid complications during treatment. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.  The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

Your appetite may be poor, so be sure to get enough calories to support your muscle mass and activity levels. Supplement with protein shakes if necessary.

You will need plenty of good nutrients like iron, zinc and calcium but if you eat enough and your diet is varied, you will get a fair amount in your food. Discuss supplementation with a doctor.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • 70% dark chocolate
  • Bone broth
  • Check with your doctor to be sure you are getting enough salt to replace what you lose through perspiration.
  • Fermented foods like Kefir and yogurt
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Foods that contain digestive enzymes, like pineapple
  • Foods that decrease mucous production like garlic, onions, watercress, horseradish, parsley, celery, pickles, lemon
  • Nut butters
  • Olive oil
  • Protein shakes

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Alcohol
  • All the usual empty-calorie foods like sugar and packaged foods
  • Low-fat manufactured foods
  • Saturated fats
  • Smoking
  • Trans fats

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Chamomile tea
  • Green tea
  • Lemon balm tea
  • Lime tea
  • Linseed tea
  • Mallow tea
  • Mint tea
  • Rosehip tea

HERBS AND SPICES

The following may be helpful but also may interfere with certain medications and may not be appropriate if you have other conditions as well as CF.  Check with your doctor and do your research.

  • Astragalus root
  • Bromelain
  • Burdock root
  • Cat’s claw
  • Comfrey
  • Echinacea
  • Elecampane
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Ground Ivy
  • Licorice root
  • Lobelia
  • Melatonin
  • Milk thistle
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Red sage
  • Skullcap
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Bergamot
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Ginseng
  • Lavender
  • Myrrh
  • Myrtol (a combo of pine, lime and eucalyptus oils)
  • Sweet Orange

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Antioxidant supplements
  • Co Q10
  • MSM to reduce inflammation
  • Mucolyxir, sublingually. (Contains small amount of DNA from Pacific wild salmon that may balance mucus levels)
  • Multivitamin, maybe extra D
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Omega 3’s
  • Pancreatic enzymes
  • Probiotics
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Adequate water intake can thin mucus, making it easier to clear from your body, which will improve breathing. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Water transports nutrients throughout your body, lubricates your joints, regulates your temperature and removes waste from your body.  Without it, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough?  There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients.  If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day.  Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed.  Aerobic exercise can improve your circulation. Exercise can strengthen your heart and strengthen bones.  If you exercise regularly, you likely will sleep better. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body.  Do what you can without making yourself feel worse.  Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies.  If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition. Yes, it is difficult to sleep well when your breathing is labored and when you are uncomfortable.  Some prescription sleep meds may impair your breathing, so talk to your doctor if you need help.  Try some of the suggestions below for relaxation and emotional support.  The less stressed you are, the better you may sleep.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health.  Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • A neti pot to clear your nasal passages
  • Breathing exercises
  • Exercise in the water if you are weak.
  • Rule out food allergies that increase mucous production (foods like dairy, soy, corn, sugar)
  • Use natural cleaning products in your home.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine – https://northshoreacupuncturecenter.com/tcm-and-cystic-fibrosis/
  • Ayurveda – https://saiayurvediccollege.com/ayurvedic-management-of-cystic-fibrosis/
  • Chiropractic – https://kalksteinfamilychiropractic.com/improvement-in-breathing-sleeping-and-infections-in-cystic-fibrosis-patient-under-chiropractic/
  • Earthing – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151462/
  • Homeopathy – http://www.mindheal.org/cystic_fibrosis.html
  • Massage may help drain mucous from the lungs

 

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