Understanding Cystic Fibrosis and How We Can Help

Understanding Cystic Fibrosis and How We Can Help

Over time, cystic fibrosis (CF) can cause significant damage to your lungs, digestive system, and other organs. However, a strict adherence to your daily treatment regimen can help you overcome its many challenges and live an active and productive life.

As part of your care team, the specialists at Align Infusion Clinic in Metairie, Louisiana offer enteral nutrition and other infusion treatments that are often vital to successful CF management. Our facility, while state-of-the-art, is designed to make you feel welcome and comfortable throughout your visit.

We are also committed to helping our patients and their families understand the health implications of CF and the supportive medical therapies we provide.

What is cystic fibrosis?

Certain glands within your body produce the sweat, mucus, and digestive juices that your lungs, intestines, reproductive system, and other organs rely on to function normally. These fluids are ordinarily thin and slippery.

However, when you have CF, specific genetic mutations that alter cellular function cause these glands to produce thick and sticky secretions instead, which essentially clog your lungs, pancreas, intestines, and other organs.      

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, about 75% of people with CF are diagnosed before age 2. In the United States, approximately 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed annually.

Health complications associated with this progressive disease can be quite severe and may include:

There is no cure for CF. However, ongoing research and advances in medical technology and technique have greatly enhanced our ability to manage the health complications related to CF and slow the progression of this complex disease.

Why would I need enteral nutrition if I have CF?

Enzymes and other substances produced in your pancreas, as well as bile created in your liver and stored in your gallbladder, enable your small intestine to absorb calories, vitamins, and other necessary nutrients from the foods and beverages you consume.

The thickened mucus related to CF causes blockages of small ducts within the pancreas and liver that normally allow these substances to move into your small intestine. Many patients with CF, especially infants and young children but also adults, are not able to consume the calories required for optimal health and growth.

Enteral nutrition, often referred to as tube feeding, helps supplement the calories and nutrition you’re not able to obtain orally due to CF.  

Supplemental enteral nutrition may be required daily, weekly, or monthly. Our Align Infusion team works closely with other members or your CF care team to provide the correct formula.

We do administer this therapy at our facility. We can also supply the training, equipment, and support you need to take enteral nutrition at home.

What other infusion services do I need?

People with CF are very vulnerable to developing bacterial respiratory infections due to the buildup of mucus in the lungs. Thus, successful CF management typically includes daily doses of oral or inhaled antibiotics to help prevent these life-threatening infections.

Periodically, however, you may develop an infection that’s best treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Our specialty team at Align Infusion includes an infectious disease specialist, April Ferguson, MD, and two pharmacists who are highly skilled in providing IV antibiotic therapy.

Align Infusion is a full-service facility and, in consultation with other professionals on your care team, we can provide other infusion therapies that may help combat the many health challenges associated with CF.

For more information about the infusion treatments we offer for CF and other illnesses, call the office to schedule an evaluation at Align Infusion or request an appointment online today.       

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