Salt, and D, E, and K

Many times CF teams are so focused on the powerful therapies that they may overlook some simple therapies that are foundational to optimal bodily functioning in CF. Here are some simple things deserving of attention: salt, and vitamins D, E, and K.

Salt: CF persons sweat out more electrolytes with their sweat than normal persons. This puts them at extreme risk for heat exhaustion, and even the potentially deadly heat stroke. It is essential for CF persons operating in hot weather to be drinking an electrolyte-providing drink, such as a sports drink. In addition, simple salt tablets can be an invaluable aid in preventing heat exahustion, but also in maintaining stamina and energy. When low on electrolytes, a person will feel tired and sluggish. Making sure a salt tablet is part of the daily regimen of a CF person is important. (Furthermore, inhalation of hypertonic saline has been shown to improve lung function and mucociliary clearance, and should be considered by all with CF.)

Vitamins D, E, and K: Most CF persons take a special multi-vitamin that contains water-miscible versions of the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Researchers have found that although while on these multi-vitamins CF persons seem to maintain a normal Vitamin A range, the same cannot be said for the other three vitamins (D, E, and K). All three are essential, with D as a super-important regulator of the immune system, E as a powerful antioxidant, and K as an essential element in proper blood clotting. Until the manufacturers of these multi-vitamins adjust their formulas to ensure that CF persons are able to maintain normal levels of these three vitamins, it may be important to add additional D, E, and K to the daily regimen.