Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary disease that causes the body to create extra mucus, which can affect the lungs, pancreas, intestines, and more. This disease can also affect other parts of your body, such as the reproductive system, but most people notice the greatest effects on their breathing. Feeling like you can’t breathe can make life hard, but there are ways to make living with cystic fibrosis a little easier.
Since your body has to work harder to perform all the typical bodily functions, you need to ingest more calories. Unfortunately, this isn’t free permission to eat more junk food. While you will need to include full-fat dairy products and healthy fats into your diet to help maintain your weight, you’ll also need to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. Staying hydrated to thin out the mucus in your body and adding salt to compensate for the salt you lose to excess sweating are all important parts of eating well.
Exercise is important for your physical and mental health. It can help strengthen your lungs and heart and loosen the mucus in your airways. Additionally, it can help alleviate depression and anxiety, which is common in people with CF. You can work with your doctor and other specialists to build the best exercise plan, but many medical professionals will recommend aerobic exercises, such as cycling or jogging.
Connecting With Others
As we mentioned above, many people with CF struggle with their mental health. One way to improve your mental health and stay positive despite your disease is to connect with others who have CF. This is best done virtually to prevent cross-infection, which is unfortunately likely between people with CF. Even though the connection is virtual, you can still find community and encouragement through these meetings, which is important for making life easier.
Following Your Treatment Plan
No one wants to be sick, and sometimes that can extend into a desire to not follow your treatment plan. However, if you want to live the best life possible, you need to follow the plans you create with your healthcare team. Using oxygen therapy, going to physical therapy, taking medications, and learning what surgeries you may need for various complications are all important parts of your health plan. If you’re ever uncomfortable with a part of your treatment plan, discuss your concerns with your doctor. Your plan should help you feel confident in life.
Living with cystic fibrosis is challenging. These four ways can make it a little easier to get through those challenges and live your best life. If living your best life includes oxygen therapy, we can help you get the equipment you need. Our portable oxygen concentrators are affordable and enable you to fully live your life on the go while breathing better.