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Synopsis on Cystic Fibrosis, Essay Example

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Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a disease that affects both adults and children. Approximately one out of 3200 newborns is born with CF (Hamosh et al., 1998). CF occurs through a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which causes the body to produce thick mucus that clogs the lungs (NASPGHAN).  It has been indicated that there is a link between pulmonary function in cystic fibrosis and nutrition, in that appropriate nutrition is a necessary factor to survival in individuals diagnosed this disease (Goodin, 2005). “Up to 85% of patients with CF cannot produce the enzymes necessary to digest and absorb fats, proteins and starch (NASPGHAN)”. The inability of CF patients to absorb foods leads to malabsorption and possibly death.

Early assessment of Body Mass Index (BMI) and ideal body weight (% IBW) in individuals with CF is extremely important. Patients that are considered at risk of malnourishment should be carefully monitored. CF patients are also required to have a high calorie, high protein and high fat diet with added salt to make up for the lack of digestion and extra energy expenditure CF patients undergo. (NASPGHAN)  If patients are experiencing malnutrition symptoms, such as abdominal pain, loose and recurrent stools, and steartorrhea (diarrhea with oil and odor), the patients should be placed on pancreatic enzyme therapy. (Goodin, 2005). The pancreatic enzyme supplements help patients digest and absorb food more efficiently, as the supplements contain digestive enzymes. (NASPGHAN)  Furthermore, vitamin supplements are necessary for patients with CF. For instance, supplements containing fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can help decrease malnutrition. (NASPGHAN).

Patients with CF must be continuously monitored for nutrition status. In addition, any changes in their status must be met with changes in their food intake, enzyme supplements and vitamin supplements. In addition, early detection of malnutrition is essential in nutrition therapy and mortality prevention in CF patients.

References

Goodin, B.  May 2005. Nutrition Issues in Cystic Fibrosis. Practical Gastroenterology. 94pgs.

Retrieved November 30, 2011 from: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/medicine/divisions/digestive-health/nutrition-support-team/nutrition-articles/GoodinArticle.pdf

Hamosh A., FitzSimmonsS.C., Macek M. Jr., et al. 1998. Comparison of the clinical manifestations of cystic fibrosis in African-American and Caucasians. J Pediatr. 132(2):255-259.

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN). Nutrition and Cystic Fibrosis. Retrieved November 30, 2011 from:  http://www.naspghan.org/user-assets/Documents/pdf/diseaseInfo/New%20brochures/CF%20%20NUT-E.pdf

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