Food and nutrition are very important for people living with cystic fibrosis. But as the temperature rises and we approach summer, it’s an even more important part of care and treatment. Today’s community blog was inspired by one of our caregivers who wanted to know: How do you adapt your diet to warmer weather? Do you have any tips or practical advice for others with CF? Check out what some members of our community had to say below:
“My diet doesn’t change much from season to season, but I do try to incorporate more salt during the summer because of the increase in salt lost through sweating. I usually do this by eating chips or keeping drinks on hand that are high in electrolytes. This is especially important if I know I’ll be spending quite a few hours outside, such as at the beach or the park.” – Terra Stephenson
“My diet and nutrition habits remain fairly consistent throughout the year. I like stability when my health is concerned. I think we all strive for stability. In terms of nutrition, I eat foods that I know work for me. I have learned over time what my body needs. I stay my course. I believe that paying attention to and discovering what works best nutritionally is the way to go. Learn about yourself and your nutritional needs. Set healthy parameters and try to live within those parameters to maintain equilibrium.
I pay very close attention to hydration. In addition to CF, I have CF related diabetes and recently had a double lung transplant. These combined make hydration enormously important. The warmer weather adds to the importance of hydration. My CF organs are constantly processing medications, some of them quite harsh. Staying hydrated is something I can control, so I do to ease the burden on my organs.
I believe being prepared facilitates compliance in regards to one’s CF care. With CF there are many moving parts; whether it is physiotherapy, medication schedules, exercise and nutrition. Being prepared translates to less and perhaps more easily handled surprises. I make sure I have an idea what my meal preparation is weekly and daily. For me, this is all part of the bigger issue of adherence to care. I make sure I am structured and organized (perhaps overly so) so I can do those extra things and live my best life with cystic fibrosis.” – Alex McCombes
“When summer arrives you want to make sure you are staying hydrated and loading up on salty foods. Some people will add salt pills to their diet to protect from dehydration as well. Make sure you are consistently drinking water all day not just when you’re thirsty. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you it’s dehydrated already.” – Rob Burtch