The goal for treating CFRD is to keep blood sugar (glucose) at normal or near-normal levels. Doing so will help you gain weight, maintain muscle mass, feel better, and have more energy. Maintaining normal glucose levels also lowers the risk of problems
caused by diabetes.
CFRD can be well managed with insulin, along with monitoring your blood sugar levels, eating your usual high-calorie diet,
and staying active.
“Many people with CFRD are unsure about what to eat to manage their blood sugar levels. Fortunately, certain meal planning techniques can help.” -- Gretchen Garlow, MS, RD, LDN, a CF dietitian, from the CF Community Blog
There are many types of insulin, which are grouped by how fast they work and how long they last in the body. Insulin is injected into the body and helps your body cells absorb the energy (calories) from the food you eat. Calories in food come from carbohydrates,
protein, and fat. Insulin helps the body cells absorb these three nutrients so that you can achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and good nutritional status.
People with CFRD still need to eat the same high-calorie, high-protein,
high-fat, and high-salt diet to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Since foods with carbohydrates turn into blood glucose when eaten, people with CFRD need to count the carbohydrates in the foods they eat so they can give themselves
the right amount of insulin. Your diabetes care team will help you determine the amount of insulin you need for your carbohydrates.
Physical activity like
exercise is good for lung function and can also improve your body's response to insulin. People with CFRD are encouraged to do at least 150 minutes of some type of moderate
aerobic exercise -- activities that require you to breathe in oxygen, like jogging or playing sports -- every week. Monitoring your blood sugar levels will allow you to remain active since exercise may cause the levels to drop when muscles use the
sugar for energy.
“If you have CFRD, be sure to check your blood sugar before and after exercise.” -- Lee Degiorgio, an adult with CF, from the CF Community Blog
If you are diagnosed with CFRD, your CF care team may expand to include an endocrinologist (a doctor with special training in the treatment of diabetes) and certified diabetes educators. Working with you, this team will design a treatment plan to help
you manage your diabetes while also maintaining your health with CF.
Download the manual, "Managing Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes, An Instruction Guide for Patients and Families."
The manual is also available in Spanish:
"El Manejo de la Diabetes Relacionada con la Fibrosis Quística."
Learn how you can manage CFRD while traveling.