May is Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Awareness month. Cystic Fibrosis is a disorder caused by a genetic mutation that impacts a protein involved in the production of mucus, sweat, and digestive enzymes. Symptoms can revolve around difficulties with breathing due to thickened mucus in the lungs and thickened secretions in the digestive tract which can impact a child’s ability to absorb nutrients and grow. This can impact a person’s ability to exercise, cause repeated respiratory infections leading to pneumonia, impact a baby’s ability to gain weight, and cause difficulty with pooping due to constipation or impaction. 

In the US there are 30,000 children and adults currently diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. CF develops when a child inherits a specific gene from both parents. Testing may be needed following a positive newborn screening and can involve a sweat test and genetic testing. After diagnosis, treatments are customized to the individual, based on which symptoms are causing complications. These can include therapies to help clear the airway of mucus, inhaled medicines to thin the mucus, and supplements to help with absorbing essential nutrients.

Improved management of CF symptoms in the last 60 years has extended life expectancy by 3 times.  Part of the current maintenance involves a regular exercise program. If your child has been diagnosed with CF and you would like support on developing a plan to help them maintain fitness, please reach out to your doctor to see if a referral to PT would be appropriate. Our therapists at Kid Physical have over 32 combined year’s experience offering specialized, holistic healthcare for children of all ages. Our top priority is providing support for both caregivers and children so that they can reach their highest potential.