Signs & Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis + Natural Treatment With Turmeric
7 minute read
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that can severely impact respiratory and digestive function. There currently is no cure for this condition, which makes the search for treatment options all the more important.
Medications are most commonly used to treat symptoms, but there may be a more natural option sitting in your spice rack. The healing properties of turmeric put it at the forefront of available options in treating cystic fibrosis.
Understanding Cystic Fibrosis
The cells that produce mucus, sweat, and enzymes are affected in cystic fibrosis, resulting in a buildup of mucus in your organs. In a healthy individual, this lubrication is necessary to prevent tissues from getting too dry or infected.
With cystic fibrosis, the excess fluid clogs passages, which can lead to serious health complications.
Treatment for cystic fibrosis needs to be sought right away to prevent life-threatening problems such as respiratory failure, malnutrition, and serious infections. The good news is that you can lead a normal life with cystic fibrosis, so long as you monitor the condition regularly and follow a treatment plan. The earlier you seek treatment, the better off you’ll be.
Symptoms of cystic fibrosis vary between individuals and depend highly on the severity of the condition. The respiratory and digestive systems are primarily impacted, but your lungs, liver, and pancreas can also be affected.
Initial symptoms you may notice include a saltier than usual sweat, an inability to gain weight, and chronic fever. Respiratory complications occur when mucus collects in the lungs and blocks passages that carry air to and from the lungs.
The most common symptoms include:
♦ Shortness of breath
♦ Nasal congestion
♦ Recurrent lung infections
♦ Persistent cough
♦ Stuffy sinuses
Digestive problems develop after mucus builds up and plug the channels responsible for delivering enzymes from the pancreas to your small intestine. These digestive enzymes are essential for the efficient absorption of nutrients from your food.
| Related: How Turmeric Helps Heal the Gut and Your Body |
When this process is disrupted, symptoms can include:
♦ Bloating and gas
♦ Distended abdomen
♦ Loss of appetite
♦ Foul-smelling stools
A compromised respiratory or digestive system can signal the release of inflammatory chemicals. Inflammation throughout the body will only further irritate and damage affected tissues and organs.
| Related: Turmeric: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory |
In fact, inflammation of the lung cavity, or cystic fibrosis lung disease, is the number one cause of death in cystic fibrosis patients. Uncontrolled inflammation will also increase your risk of other diseases if left untreated.
What Turmeric Can Do
Turmeric has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in treating inflammatory-related disease. With inflammation being the root of most diseases, and its presence in cases of cystic fibrosis, finding a treatment option is important.
By controlling inflammation, symptoms can be relieved, and severe complications like lung disease can be avoided.
Curcumin is the main compound in turmeric, and it has been found to be one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds across the globe. Given this, turmeric has the potential to provide symptom relief for cystic fibrosis patients.
At this time, the bioavailability of turmeric is low, so research continues to find ways to increase its absorption so it can become a more efficient tool in controlling the inflammatory response. A new, more bioavailable form of turmeric is available.
Apart from controlling inflammation, turmeric helps cystic fibrosis symptoms in another important way. The condition is specifically caused by a defective gene that produces a mutated CFTR protein. The CFTR is a channel that transports ions and water in and out of your cells and when the protein that regulates this channel is mutated, a buildup of mucus results.
Studies have found that administering turmeric results in a correction of the defective gene, which allows the CFTR to function correctly. Testing has only been concluded in mice, but the results are promising enough to give researchers hope.
The effect turmeric has on the genes and proteins associated with cystic fibrosis could lead to a potential treatment for this incurable condition.
Currently, medications are the most effective treatment options. While they do not cure the disease, they are used to control and reduce the unpleasant symptoms.
The problem with medications is that they often have side effects, which is where turmeric, again, can be a more natural and beneficial alternative. Here is how:
Pain Relief: The inflammation associated with cystic fibrosis causes pain and swelling throughout the body. NSAIDs are typically prescribed to reduce pain and fever, but overuse can result in the development of stomach ulcers and damaged intestinal lining.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that can reduce pain and swelling without the adverse side effects, making it a beneficial resource in controlling cystic fibrosis symptoms.
Digestive Support: Blocked bowels and digestive pathways can result in discomfort and serious digestive issues. Not only are you at risk for malnutrition, but the lining of your gut can become permanently damaged, leading to leaky gut syndrome.
Regular consumption of turmeric supports healthy digestion by relieving inflamed bowels so that efficient absorption and movement can continue.
The Bottom Line
Without a cure, cystic fibrosis remains one of the more serious and devastating diseases in the world. Discovering the potential of a natural compound like turmeric is a huge step for researchers. The effect turmeric has at a genetic level is the best chance we have at beating the disease and discovering a cure.
It may take time, and turmeric alone is not a magical elixir, but it can definitely help alleviate symptoms and promote a higher quality of living.