Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract. Persons with cystic fibrosis need to eat high-calorie and high-protein foods throughout the day.
The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen behind the stomach. An important job of the pancreas is to make enzymes. These enzymes help the body digest and absorb protein and fats. A buildup of sticky mucus in the pancreas from cystic fibrosis can lead to serious problems, including:
Because of these problems, a person with cystic fibrosis may have a hard time managing a normal weight. Even when weight is normal, a person may not be getting the right nutrition. Children with cystic fibrosis may not grow or develop correctly.
The following are methods for adding protein and calories to the diet.
Enzymes, vitamins, and salt:
Getting more calories and protein:
Accurso FJ. Cystic fibrosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 89.
Stallings VA, Stark LF, Robinson KA, Feranchak AP, Quinton H. Evidence-based practice recommendations for nutrition-related management of children and adults with cystic fibrosis and pancreatic insufficiency: Results of a systematic review. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2008;108:832-839.
Egan M. Cystic fibrosis. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 395.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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