Does Salt Therapy Help With Cystic Fibrosis?
Salt Therapy and Cystic Fibrosis
Salt is arguably one of the most integral compounds in human history. In the olden days, numerous wars were waged over salt or the lack of it. Salt has also been used as medicine by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and many other civilizations throughout history. Today, there are numerous uses of salt. And while the compound is easily found today, its importance to human life and existence remains. One of the many uses of salt is alleviating the symptoms of various conditions, like cystic fibrosis. What is cystic fibrosis, how does the condition affect your body, and more importantly, can salt help manage the condition? Read on to learn more about the relationship between salt and cystic fibrosis.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
This is a genetic disease that affects your digestive and respiratory systems as well as multiple other organs. Cystic fibrosis is perhaps most known for its effects on breathing. When you have a genetic disorder, your lungs produce thick and sticky mucus. This mucus can make breathing a challenging task. The mucus produced could also trap bacteria and act as a breeding spot for various infections. Other effects of the excess mucus excreted include constant coughing, inflammation, and reparatory failure. Cystic fibrosis can also affect the digestive system. Here, the sticky mucus blocks tubes that move digestive enzymes from the pancreas to the small bowel. This makes it harder for the small intestines to absorb nutrients from the food consumed. The result is usually weight loss in children, fatty stools, intestinal blockage, and chronic constipation.
How is Cystic Fibrosis Treated?
Currently, there is no known cure for cystic fibrosis. There are, however, a few medically approved options that can help manage symptoms of the genetic disorder. These treatment options alleviate the condition’s symptoms, make it easier to breathe, and improve nutrient absorption.
The most commonly used cystic fibrosis management options include;
- Vibrating vests – These are devices that reduce mucus buildup in your airways and lungs. Using vibrating vests also reduces the frequency of infections.
- Prescription medication – These medicines are administered through a nebulizer and also clear excess mucus from your lungs ad airways. If there are notable signs of infections, antibiotics may also be used in the same way.
- Pancreatic enzymes – These help the body efficiently absorb fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins from consumed foods.
Managing Cystic Fibrosis with Salt Therapy
Salt therapy or halotherapy is a process that involves breathing air infused with tiny salt particles. Halotherapy is often used as an alternative treatment option for lung problems like bronchitis, asthma, cough, and cystic fibrosis. Salt contains antibacterial properties that can help reduce bacterial presence in the lungs. The compound’s general dry components also help clear mucus in the lungs and pathways, making it easier to breathe. You are placed in a room during halotherapy, and dry salt aerosol is released into the air you breathe. Since salt houses both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, the micro-sized salt particles absorb allergens and toxins in the respiratory tract.
Most patients report feeling relief from the first salt therapy session, especially with breathing. However, for the best results, you might have to undergo halotherapy three times a week for a couple of months. If you’re uncertain how many sessions you need, you should consult a healthcare professional. In addition, it is important to recognize that salt therapy should not be used as a substitute for any other medications or treatments prescribed. Instead, think of halotherapy as a complementary solution. Generally, there aren’t any side effects associated with salt therapy. However, you may experience persistent coughing as a result of the body draining the excess mucus. Some patients have reported experiencing a slight throat tickle during the process. Sipping warm water after the therapy session should fix this.
A Final Thought
Ultimately, there’s a lot of effort to research curative options for cystic fibrosis. At the moment, salt therapy is one of the best alternative treatment options for a genetic condition. If you are struggling with cystic fibrosis, you should ask your healthcare provider about the best course of action involving halotherapy.