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Basics of the Digestive Tract 

If you have CF, you have to pay more attention to what you eat and how you digest food than most people do. And the focus is often on maintaining or even increasing weight — far different from the struggle to lose weight some of your friends probably face.

That’s because the digestive tract works a little differently when you have CF. This section gives you a kind of “owner’s manual” for your digestive tract.

In the five links below, we’ve tried to give you the essential things you need to know and do when it comes to eating and keeping your digestive tract on track.

In this Section

  • Learn about the digestive tract, including the ways cystic fibrosis can decrease pancreatic enzymes and increase constipation.

  • Work with your CF team, including the dietitian who can guide you on diet, pancreatic enzymes, vitamins, fluids and even constipation medications.

  • Use the right GI medications, including pancreatic enzymes, replacement vitamins (especially Vitamins A, D, E and K) and, when you need them, stool softeners.

  • Manage your time — take the time to prepare good meals, eat well and stay hydrated, and pick up cooking and shopping tips for people with CF.

  • Get help when you need it — find out who to call if you have abdominal pain, esophageal reflux, constipation, diarrhea or weight loss.

Thank you to Drucy Borowitz, M.D, from the Children's Hospital of Buffalo, NY Cystic Fibrosis Center, for writing this section.