Learn about cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other organs, and how to treat and live with this chronic disease.
CF is a rare genetic disease found in about 30,000 people in the U.S. If you have CF or are considering testing for it, knowing about the role of genetics in CF can help you make informed decisions about your health care.
If you or your child has just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, or your doctor has recommended testing for CF, you may have many questions.
Diagnosing CF is a multistep process. A complete diagnostic evaluation should include a newborn screening, a sweat chloride test, a genetic or carrier test, and a clinical evaluation at a CF Foundation-accredited care center.
Raising a child with cystic fibrosis can bring up many questions because CF affects many aspects of your child’s life. Here you’ll find resources to help you manage your child’s daily needs and find the best possible CF care.
Living with cystic fibrosis comes with many challenges, including medical, social, and financial. By learning more about how you can manage your disease every day, you can ultimately help find a balance between your busy lifestyle and your CF care.
People with CF are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. As an adult with CF, you may reach key milestones you might not have considered. Planning for these life events requires careful thought as you make decisions that may impact your life.
People with cystic fibrosis are living longer and more fulfilling lives, thanks in part to specialized CF care and a range of treatment options.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited care centers provide expert care and specialized disease management to people living with cystic fibrosis.
We provide funding for and accredit more than 120 care centers and 53 affiliate programs nationwide. The high quality of specialized care available throughout the care center network has led to the improved length and quality of life for people with CF.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation provides standard care guidelines based on the latest research, medical evidence, and consultation with experts on best practices.
As a clinician, you’re critical in helping people with CF maintain their quality of life. We’re committed to helping you partner with patients and their families by providing resources you can use to improve and continue to provide high-quality care.
As part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's mission to help improve the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis, the PSDC initiative taps the CF community to inform key efforts to support the management of daily care.
Your cystic fibrosis care team includes a group of CF health care professionals who partner with you to provide specialized, comprehensive CF care.
Many cystic fibrosis patients and families face complicated issues related to getting the care they need. But CF Foundation Compass makes sure that no one has to do it alone.
For many people with cystic fibrosis, dealing with insurance is as much a part of living with the disease as nebulizers and vests. Many people with CF and their families face issues related to getting the care they need, but no one has to do it alone.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for CF and supports a broad range of research initiatives to tackle the disease from all angles.
The CF Foundation offers a number of resources for learning about clinical trials and treatments that are being developed to improve the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Our understanding of CF continues to evolve as scientists study what causes the disease and how it affects the body. These insights drive the development of new and better treatments and bring us one step closer to a cure.
Researchers, supported by the CF Foundation, have made tremendous advances to improve the health and quality of life of people with CF. We are committed to providing the tools and resources you need to continuously build upon this work.
After 33 years of living with cystic fibrosis, I thought I knew my body pretty well. Since I started on Symdeko®, I have noticed that my body is different, and I need to re-learn how to interpret my symptoms.
April 11, 2019
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This April will mark one year on Symdeko®. I started Symdeko six months after stopping Orkambi®, which didn't do much to help or stabilize my health.
My experience of starting Symdeko was much different than when I started Orkambi. Starting Orkambi brought up a lot of anxiety and excitement. I remember after taking my first dose of Orkambi, I was waiting for something to happen -- nothing monumental or life-changing, but maybe more coughing or something. But the day went on as usual, and the whole time I took Orkambi, nothing notable really changed for me.
So, when I started Symdeko, I went in with no expectations of change, good or bad. Of course, I was hopeful it would help, but I didn't want to get ahead of myself.
Now almost a year later, I can say that things have changed. Before I go any further and share my experience with Symdeko, I just want to put out a friendly reminder: This is just my personal experience. Some might experience something similar, and others may experience something completely different. We are all amazingly unique, and our experiences with these modulators are going to be unique too.
Prior to starting Symdeko, I had a dry cough. Like really dry. Trying to produce a sputum sample has been difficult for most of my life. That's not to say I never cough up sputum, but it's not a daily thing for me, and when I do, it's not much.
I have had doctors throughout my whole life comment on how clear (as far as crackle sounds go) my lungs sound. And while I've always had a cough, it's not too horrible. I attribute this dry cough to high levels of inflammation, one of my biggest struggles with CF aside from gaining and maintaining my weight.
After a year of taking Symdeko, my cough is definitely more productive. Producing a sputum culture can still be a struggle sometimes, but things are definitely moving more than they were before. On the one hand, it feels good knowing I'm able to get all that yuck up and out easier than before, but it's also been frustrating. I've had to relearn what my body is telling me, and that's been quite the learning curve because I have always felt really in tune with my body.
This past January marked 15 months hospital free! That's HUGE for me, and I'm so thankful for that time. Although it definitely wasn't smooth sailing, I have never gone that long without being hospitalized.
However, near the end of January, I had one of my worst experiences with hemoptysis (coughing up blood). It stopped pretty quickly (thank goodness), but my CF doctor wanted me to come to clinic that week. Aside from that episode, I felt pretty good -- maybe a little more tired, but nothing else to note. But my PFTs showed otherwise. My FEV1 had dropped more than 10 percent, and I was admitted that day.
Normally, I have been able to feel out my symptoms and know something was brewing before it reared its ugly head. But this time I didn't feel all my regular symptoms that usually mean it's time to pack my bags for a two-week stay at the hospital. And then I realized, it's been a somewhat subtle shift over time. My symptoms are different -- not just day-to-day but also when an exacerbation is coming on. I'm relearning how to listen to my body and what it's telling me.
It's been just a few weeks after that hospital stay, and I am still learning. It took me 33 years to be in tune with my body, so I'm sure this adjustment will take a little bit of time too.
I've also realized that my daily CF regimen needed to change. I've increased my treatments from twice a day to 3-4 times a day, and I've been switching up my preferred airway clearance treatments to see if there's something that works better.
I know many people might see these changes as a downside, but I look at them differently. The mucus in my lungs actually moves better, which makes it easier to get up and out. That's definitely a positive. Since starting Symdeko, my PFTs have also stabilized, and this is major, because this was such a constant struggle before. Did I mention I was able to stay out of the hospital for 15 months?!
These modulator drugs are so exciting, but we also have so much to learn. I'm thankful to be able to take these drugs and experience some exciting changes, even if it comes with more challenges as well.
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Adult with CF
Aimee is a nutritional therapy practitioner and registered yoga teacher. She was diagnosed with CF 32 years ago when she was 2 weeks old. In addition to CF, she has endometriosis and has had two surgeries for scoliosis that involved spinal fusion and the placement of metal rods. Despite her many health challenges, she continues to live life to the fullest and look for the positive in every moment. Aimee has a continued passion to help others live a life that supports better overall health, especially those within the CF community. She resides in Salt Lake City with her husband, two pugs, and a cat. You can find more about what she's up to at www.thenourishedbreath.com and on Instagram @thenourishedbreath.
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This site contains general information about cystic fibrosis, as well as personal insight from the CF community. Opinions and experiences shared by members of our community, including but not limited to people with CF and their families, belong solely to the blog post author and do not represent those of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, unless explicitly stated. In addition, the site is not intended as a substitute for treatment advice from a medical professional. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment.
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