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Adult Cystic Fibrosis

Adult Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that damages the lungs, digestive system and surrounding organs. It affects a gene found in all organs of the body that produce mucus, including your lungs, pancreas and sweat glands. Instead of having normal mucus that is slippery and protective, people with cystic fibrosis have thick, sticky mucus that causes blockages, infection and other types of harm to organs throughout the body.

Cystic fibrosis usually shows up during childhood or the teenage years. Over time, it causes lung function to decline. Adults with cystic fibrosis typically have lung problems, including wheezing or a chronic bloody or mucus-filled cough.

Treating Cystic Fibrosis in Adults

The experienced pulmonologists at MultiCare help adults with cystic fibrosis after they have transitioned out of pediatric care. Although there is no cure, adults can live active, fulfilling lives if treated.

You’ll visit regularly with both your primary care provider and your pulmonologist, who will help you manage the condition with one or more of the following:

  • Airway clearance therapy: During this therapy, your provider will use different techniques to loosen the mucus in your lungs. Your provider may gently push against your chest and back to manually clear your airways. Certain devices such as vibrating vests and breathing machines can also dislodge trapped mucus.
  • Lifestyle changes: Your physician will provide specific dietary and physical activity recommendations to keep you in the healthiest shape possible.
  • Medications: Your physician may prescribe antibiotics to prevent lung infection, bronchodilators to make it easier to breathe or medications that help clear mucus from your airways.
  • Nutritional supplements: Cystic fibrosis can make it difficult to absorb sufficient nutrients from food. Taking pancreatic enzymes, vitamins and supplements can help you get adequate nutrition.

Contact Us for More Information

If you've been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, MultiCare Pulmonary Specialists can help you manage the condition. Find a pulmonologist or contact the clinic near you to learn more.