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Volunteer Advocate
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World Diabetes Day: Nutrition and CFRD

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. People living with CF have a unique type of diabetes called CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes) which is found in approximately 35 percent of adults with cystic fibrosis. One of the most common symptoms is weight issues (weight loss or lack of weight gain) which can be very difficult to treat. So, we wanted to explore how our community members are dealing with these issues.

“I have had to radically change my diet as a result of CFRD that I was diagnosed within 2014 after my double lung transplant. Over the last few years, I have removed many items from my previous nutrition menu. I am currently 210 lbs so my diet is very different from someone who is struggling to gain weight.” – Rob Burtch

“CFRD is complicated. Having CF leads to difficulty absorbing fat and nutrients so we were always taught to stay on a high-fat diet but when the diabetes aspect kicks in, it makes things trickier. We need to continue to eat more than the average person because we burn calories every day just by breathing and maintaining a safe weight is crucial while battling a lung exacerbation. CF is a giant balancing act, it’s not right or wrong…you just need to find your niche.” – Meaghan MacRury

“One of the hardest things I find about having CF and CFRD is dealing with slow nutritional absorption and pairing that with the administration of insulin so that my blood sugar doesn’t peak or crash. Trying to figure out when the food that I’ve eaten is actually being absorbed so that I can match that with the administration of insulin can be really frustrating and is often what dictates my food choices.  I often find my insulin kicks in quicker than my food is absorbed so I’ll experience a low blood sugar even though I’ve just eaten.  Slow nutritional absorption and CFRD causes a lot of frustration for me and it’s very tricky to fine tune.” – Kim Wood

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