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Cystic Fibrosis: Improvements in Quality of Life & Sleep Along with Decreased Infections & Antibiotic Use

Cystic Fibrosis – Facts

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder where certain glands produce abnormal secretions which lead to tissue damage more commonly in the lungs and digestive tract. The abnormal secretions are usually thick and sticky, which allows it to easily clog the lungs and other organs, such as the liver, pancreas, sweat glands, and reproductive organs.

Cystic fibrosis affects adults and children equally. It occurs in 1 in 3,000-4,000 live births based on neonatal screening. Life expectancy is improving as treatment options are expanding.

Symptoms of cystic fibrosis includes loose stools, poor weight gain, delayed puberty, abdominal bloating, coughing, wheezing, and repeated respiratory tract infections. Constipation may also develop due to the long-term blockage of the intestines.

Some complications associated with cystic fibrosis include: Malabsorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which may lead to night blindness; osteoporosis, anemia, ruptured air sacs in the lungs, development of insulin-dependent diabetes, liver inflammation leading to cirrhosis, and impaired reproductive function.

Diagnosis is determined through pulmonary function testing, sweat chloride test, and genetic testing. Chest x-rays and CT scans often helpful in determining the extent of the lung damage. Treatment includes antibiotics, medications to clear the airway, and supplements to support pancreatic enzymes and digestive function. Depending on the severity of the cystic fibrosis, some people end up needing a lung transplant.

Quality of Life Improved After Chiropractic Care:

This case reported on a 34-year-old female suffering from cystic fibrosis. In addition, she had a productive cough that had been mistaken as allergies, shortness of breath, upper respiratory infections, and sleep disturbance. She was constantly on antibiotics.

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck, midback, low back, and pelvis. She also had tight muscles throughout her spine. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, she experienced improvement in the quality of her life, her breathing and sleep improved. She had “less dramatic ups and downs” when it came to her symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis. She no longer needed antibiotics and she returned to physical activity as her breathing issues resolved.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic for those with cystic fibrosis.


Improvements in Symptoms Associated with Cystic Fibrosis and Overall Quality of Life: A Case Report. Pamela Stone-McCoy DC, DACCP, Andrea L. Smith DC & Joel Alcantara DC. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. ˜ Volume, 2019.


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