Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
Balance Your Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Needs with Your Lifestyle
Cystic fibrosis treatment advances have made it possible for adults with cystic fibrosis to live longer. Successfully managing the demands of your lifelong treatment can best be achieved when you partner with a team of cystic fibrosis experts, like the doctors, surgeons and therapists in Duke’s accredited CF Care Center. Under our care, you will work closely with the full spectrum of cystic fibrosis specialists. Our goal is to maximize your lung function, minimize your symptoms and complications, and improve your quality of life.
Our Team Approach to Your Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
Cystic fibrosis disease is a complex condition that is best managed by a team of experts who understand your concerns, and are trained to prevent and treat the many complications that can arise. When you receive care at an accredited CF Care Center, you have access to a wide range of specialists who work closely together to minimize the impact of cystic fibrosis on your daily life. We do this by providing medical services that consider the needs of the whole person, not just your lungs.
Here’s how Duke’s cystic fibrosis team can help you, whether you are already receiving care for your cystic fibrosis elsewhere, are transitioning your care because of a move or because you were cared for at a pediatric center, or because your cystic fibrosis treatment has lapsed for a period of time.
- We know that one-size-treatment-does-not-fit-all, and that treatment will only work if you can incorporate it into your daily life. At Duke, you'll be cared for by a pulmonologist and therapists trained in cystic fibrosis. They will develop an effective, individualized treatment regimen that meets your needs.
- Our involvement with cystic fibrosis clinical trials means you may have access to the latest CF therapies, including new antibiotics, drug-delivery systems, and CFTR modulators, which correct the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. As an accredited CF Center, we can look for mutations in your genes and determine if you qualify for one of these drugs, which can dramatically impact your cystic fibrosis symptoms and improve your life expectancy.
- If complications such as diabetes, osteoporosis, chronic sinusitis, liver disease, and digestive problems arise, you’ll have access to a wide array of specialists at Duke, including endocrinologists, otolaryngologists (ENT specialists), and gastroenterologists. These specialists are familiar with the needs of adults with cystic fibrosis, and appointments can be conveniently coordinated.
- Lung transplant is a treatment of last resort but may become necessary if your lung function declines. Your pulmonologists are also key members of Duke’s lung transplant team. We have the expertise to help you understand and prepare for the transplant process if it becomes necessary. In addition, our pulmonary rehabilitation centers in Raleigh and Durham can help you optimize your breathing and functional status, which may delay the need for a lung transplant, but can also increase the chances of you doing well with a lung transplant.
- Your support goes beyond medical care. Changes in financial situations, employment, and insurance coverage can result in interruptions in your lifelong care that can be detrimental to your health. If your care has been interrupted, we can help you get your care back on track and provide support to help reduce the risk of care gaps in the future.
CF Care Center Services
As a CF Care Center accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, we are committed to providing the highest quality of specialized care to adults with cystic fibrosis. In addition to doctors, you have access to nutritionists, social workers, respiratory therapists and physical therapists during your clinic appointment. An RN will help coordinate these appointments to make the most of your time.
Because digestive problems are common in people with cystic fibrosis, your cystic fibrosis care includes a nutritional assessment and counseling from a dietician with expertise in cystic fibrosis. Our nutritionist will help you design an eating plan to ensure proper nutrition and improve your overall health. If you have pancreatic insufficiency, we will work with you to come up with the appropriate pancreatic enzyme replacement regimen to make sure you absorb the nutrients you eat.
When needed, our physical therapists will work with you to develop a customized exercise plan that improves your breathing and lung function, and optimizes your posture. This can include teaching you breathing and exercise techniques that help open your airways and increase mobility in your muscles and joints.
Our clinic’s respiratory therapists provide guidance on airway clearance and breathing treatment techniques. You can meet with them on an annual basis to ensure you are doing your breathing techniques effectively, and learn ways to optimize them for better health.
Living with a chronic disease can be stressful. In addition to screening for depression and anxiety, our licensed clinical social worker also serves as mental health coordinator and can provide counseling and resources.
As a person living with cystic fibrosis, you have rights regarding employment and insurance coverage. Duke social workers help you understand these rights and learn about grants and other resources to offset treatment costs.