The sweat glands and other exocrine glands are affected during cystic fibrosis-CF. This dangerous debilitating disease is a lifelong illness which often starts in individuals of a young age-the disease leads to a very significant reduction in the life span of the individual. The physical manifestations of the disease include the secretion of a great deal of sticky and very thick mucus from the glands in the body, this is particular seen in the lungs and in other vital organs such as the pancreas of the affected individual. Respiratory processes are affected due to the presence of the mucus in the lungs, as the huge amounts of mucus begins to interfere with normal breathing and as a consequence the person may suffer from constant and persistent bouts of coughing and gasping for air. The disease also increases the susceptibility of the person to recurring respiratory infections-due to this factor; the opportunistic disease of pneumonia often affects the person. Nutrient absorption in the digestive system is very poor, as the usual digestive enzymes are lacking in the pancreas due to the presence of the condition. The person is thus affected by many types of digestive disturbances, patients are affected by malnutrition, there is very poor weight gain in children affected by the condition, and the stools produced tend to be large, shiny and smelly in the extreme. The person usually develops a very poor tolerance to heat-this is a very important and typical symptom induced by the presence of the condition in people. Cystic fibrosis is usually diagnosed by a perspiration test as the sweat glands, the salivary and the parotid glands produce more than the usual amounts of sodium and chloride-the tests confirms the presence of the condition by probing for these minerals in the exuded fluids from the glands. Racially the incidence of cystic fibrosis is slightly more in whites then blacks and approximately one in 1800 individuals suffers from CF-the disease is therefore fairly common in incidence. The incidence of cystic fibrosis is also very rare in those of Asian ancestry. Approximately ninety percent of all the cases affect a person during infancy itself, at the same time approximately ten percent of the individuals with milder symptoms of the disease are diagnosed with the condition in their adolescence or during their childhood.
As a condition, cystic fibrosis is considered a very serious disorder and is lethal in its final implications. While many patients do survive into their twenties and thirties, the average survival rate for CF patients is approximately twenty years-the chances of surviving beyond such an age is uncertain. The prognosis for the condition improves with the early diagnosis and detection of the condition in the affected person. The major organ that is affected by CF is the lung, the disease can induce bronchitis, disease such as pneumonia, bronchiectasis and lead to lung abscesses, it can also induce sinusitis and lead to the formation of nasal polyps. Other problems can be certain cardiac complications and even complete respiratory failure due to the accumulation of mucus in the lungs. The insufficiency in the pancreas can result in a rather long list of digestive problems for the affected individual, these problems result as the pancreas is not able to secrete digestive enzymes-such as amylase, lipase and protease along with the other enzymes in proper amounts. Nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition are included in these gastrointestinal complications-these are secondary to the main complications such as poor absorption of digested products, the incidence of major metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, all kinds of liver problems, the development of hemorrhoids and persistent constipation in the individual. Sterility can result in affected males; this condition may come about due to defective or absent organs-such as the epididymis or the seminal vesicles within the genital tract of the individual. On the other hand, female patients, often experience a decrease in their fertility as a direct result of the increase in viscosity for the vaginal secretions produced normally. The other physical symptoms and affects of the condition include the retardation in bone growth and its rapid aging-the bones may often lose a great deal of minerals similar to the condition of osteoporosis, they can then become very brittle and easily break.
Children are only affected by hereditary cystic fibrosis, if both parents of the child carry the gene for cystic fibrosis-the disease is passed only from parents to child and is thus genetic in origin. The major cause of the symptoms of the disease can be connected to the improper transport of electrolytes within the body of the individual. The deficiency in absorption of nutrients from the diet is a factor which complicates many of the physical symptoms of cystic fibrosis in an individual with this unfortunate disease. There is an increase in the susceptibility of the individual to all kinds of disease and the resulting malnutrition in turn causes many other physical symptoms in the affected individual. As far as a person affected with cystic fibrosis is concerned, a proper diet always plays an essential role in the health of the person-a nutrient rich diet will elongate the life of the person and enable him or her to deal with the symptoms. The diet must contain minimal sugars and chemical additives and all foods consumed should be rich in the essential nutrients and minerals. Some of these nutrients are available only in fresh and raw foods, the majority of refined, packaged or processed foods have empty calories and almost no nutrients-such foods must be avoided by the patient having cystic fibrosis.
Supplements and herbs
The main aim of supplementation in patients with cystic fibrosis is to improve the digestive process-supplements are aimed at alleviating malnutrition and to enable foods to be better assimilated into the body after absorption. Supplemental nutrients can improve overall health substantially when used over a long period of time. Inevitably, individuals suffering from the condition tend to have very few enzymes which are able to assimilate nutrients-thus supplemental supply of essential digestive enzymes to the body becomes a very important goal in the treatment of the condition. Disease resistance is improved when the friendly bacteria known as the Lactobacillus acidophilus is provided to the patient in the form of combination cultures, such supplements provide and reintroduce populations of healthy bacteria into the bowels-these bacteria support the digestive process as well. Supplements of different green foods, including blue-green algae and chlorella, are also strongly recommended for long term use by the patients. Such supplements are very rich in the beneficial compound chlorophyll and also contain many trace nutrients which will support the renewal of internal tissues and help in hindering bacterial growth and the inflammation inside the body. The rate of infection is slowed down by supplemental use of thymus extract along with the beneficial compound coenzyme Q10.
The essential fatty acids tend to be at very low levels within the body of individuals suffering from cystic fibrosis-supplements must be taken to supply the needed fatty acids to the patients. The oil of the evening primrose herb can be taken in the form of a herbal supplements as this oil is rich in the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an important essential fatty acid-necessary for restoring health and combating the inflammation inside the body of the affected individual. A good internal supply of different proteins is required by the body for growth and tissue repair, supplements of the free form amino acid will ensure that an adequate protein complement exist within the body of the individual. to improve the resistance of the individual to diseases and infections, supplements of extra vitamin C along with the plant based natural substances known as bioflavonoids is also recommended-both of these supplements will boost the functioning of the immune system in the affected individual. Because of its ability to reduce the physical symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis, supplements of the vitamin E are also important to the long term health of the patient. The scarring of the pancreatic tissues is also prevented by supplements of the vitamin E-this supplement must be used by the patient on a regular basis.
The repeated use of different antibiotic medications can reduce the active intestinal flora populations and this factor results in a deficiency of B complex vitamins in the body of the patient suffering from cystic fibrosis. The sublingual form of the supplemental vitamin B12 should be taken in under the tongue; this supplement will allow the direct absorption of the compound into the mucous membranes of the body. This is a very good way to supplement the vitamin as the enzyme which is necessary for the absorption of the vitamin is usually deficient in patients suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Supplements of optimal amounts and dosages of the vitamins A, D, and K as well as the essential minerals such as zinc and selenium should also be taken, the appropriate doses of these supplements can be determined by the use of relevant lab tests.
The natural antibiotic effects of the amino acid compound, known as N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) can be utilized as a supplemental measure to reduce some of the physical symptoms in patients. These supplements will aid in the dissolution of accumulated mucus all along the respiratory tract-the supplement is particularly effective in the treatment of sinusitis and bronchitis affecting the patient. Supplementation with the lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, the bifidobacteria and lactobacillus sporogenes species becomes very important especially if a lot of antibiotics have been used by the patient. The prevention of yeast-candida-and other infections from pathogens is carried out by these intestinal bacteria and indiscriminate antibiotic use may eliminate most of them-supplementation must therefore work to restore the loss of these populations of friendly bacteria.
The use of the following herbs and herbal remedies is aimed at stimulating the glands; they are to be used in aiding the digestion, and in strengthening the functioning of the immune system and the lungs, and in build up the body of the blood. The disease will affect a lot of areas in the body and different herbal remedies can be taken, each of which is aimed at a particular solution in a specific area of the body.
The blood can be fortified by drinking the herbal juices of many leafy herbs and vegetables, the juices can be made from herbs such as the nettle, the dandelion, the watercress, the common spinach and the comfrey. Dosage of these herbal juices can be a single tbsp. of the remedy every day. Digestive organs and the digestive process can be aided by drinking the juice of the aloe vera, the fennel, the lady's slipper and the safflower herbs. Before mealtime, take a tsp. of the herbs every day. The digestion of fats in the diet can be aided by the use of the saffron herb. The irritated gastrointestinal tract is aided by drinking the herbal ginger root and yarrow tea-these herbal teas are very soothing to the inflamed intestinal tract. The following herbal antibiotics can be used either alone or in a herbal combination, the most effective herbs for this purpose are herbs such as the Echinacea and the goldenseal-which are also antipyretic, the propolis, the common garlic, the astragalus herb, the burdock, the common capsicum, the slippery elm and the sheep sorrel, the chaparral and the red clover, the Turkish rhubarb, berries like the elderberry, the calendula, the Chinese herb ma huang, the white willow, the sea kelp and the herb pau d'arco or taheebo. The use of these herbs will no produce any side effects whatsoever and two ounces of any of these herbs can be taken on a daily basis even by people who are otherwise healthy, as an inherent part of a comprehensive immune system and health optimization program-these herbs have the same antibiotic effect as prescription drugs.
Additional things you may do
Every other day, you must work the natural reflexes in the glands, in the thymus and the pancreas-to improve their performance over the long term. An alternative medication for the condition is the use of colloidal silver as a part of long term treatment. The mineral, enzymatic and vitamin levels in the body can be determined by undergoing the appropriate blood, urine and hair analysis tests in a laboratory - as well as using live cell microscopy techniques.