What You Need To Know

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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. That's because the digestive tract works a little differently when you have CF.

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    Vitamins

    Vitamins are needed to help your body grow, function and fight off infection. People with CF need extra vitamins for good general health. 

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    Minerals

    Like vitamins, minerals also help with normal growth, function and maintenance of good health. 

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    Enzymes

    Just as the lungs produce thick, sticky mucus, the pancreas also makes thick mucus that blocks the release of enzymes needed for proper digestion. Almost everyone with CF needs to take pancreatic enzymes with meals and snacks to help them digest food and absorb the nutrients.

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    Healthy Eating

    The thick and sticky mucus your body produces makes it hard to absorb fat and nutrients, which is why a good CF diet is one that is high in calories and high in fat. Maintaining a healthy weight  -- and sometimes increasing it -- is key to fighting infection and keeping your lungs and body strong. 

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    Phthalates

    Phthalates, a group of chemicals used in many products, help plastic be more flexible. In some medications, phthalates help slow the release of the medicine so it works over a long period of time, making the medicine more effective.

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    Use the Right Gastrointestinal Medications

    Taking the right medications not only helps you meet your nutrition goals, but it also prevents you from harming your health.

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    Antioxidants

    Part of achieving good lung health through nutrition is maintaining a balance of oxidants (toxic chemicals that kill invaders) and antioxidants (chemicals that control oxidants so lungs aren’t damaged).

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    Bone Health and Cystic Fibrosis

    People with cystic fibrosis (CF) are living longer than ever. As people age, bones get weaker and break easier. This pamphlet talks about bone disease in CF and different ways that it can be prevented with nutrition and exercise.

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    Understanding Tube Feeding

    Most individuals with CF can achieve and maintain a healthy weight by planning their meals and snacks, choosing nutrient-dense, calorie-rich items and taking enzymes. However, if gaining weight is a struggle, tube feeding is a healthy option.

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    Your CF Care Team – Your Partners in Nutrition

    Managing your daily life so that you don't miss your treatments while also taking in enough calories to maintain a healthy weight is not easy. You're not expected to do it alone. Your CF care team is there to help you.

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