Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes (CFRD) is a special form of diabetes that only affects people with cystic fibrosis (CF). It is very common as patients reach adulthood, often diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 24. With treatment, most people can manage their CFRD.
For people without CF, there are two forms of diabetes: Type 1, where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, and Type 2, where the body doesn’t use insulin correctly. CFRD has elements in common with both types. Like Type 1, the body has trouble creating enough insulin because CF has scarred the pancreas. Like Type 2, insulin is not processed correctly.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of CFRD
The symptoms for CFRD will seem common for people with cystic fibrosis. If you develop CFRD, you will feel thirsty more often and experience frequent urination. You might also feel more run down and have unexplained weight loss. CFRD can cause your breathing problems to get worse.
If you have CF and have not been diagnosed with CFRD, you should be tested every year as part of your regular treatment. There are two ways to test for CFRD. You might be asked to take an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), which measures the level of sugar in your blood after you drink a sugar solution. The other test is a fasting blood glucose test (FBG), which requires you to not eat beforehand.
Early diagnosis and management of sugar levels are important for treating CFRD. Once you are diagnosed with CFRD, you will always have it. Some people only need to manage their blood sugar levels when they are ill, while others need to use continuous treatment.
Your doctor will help you understand what your individual care will look like. You will also receive personalized diet and nutrition advice. Make sure to ask questions, because your treatment will only be successful if you are involved and committed to monitoring and controlling your blood sugar levels. Insulin therapy, which introduces extra insulin into the body, is one of the treatments used for CFRD. This is usually done with a syringe, an insulin injection device, or an insulin pump. People treated for CFRD generally start feeling better and gaining back weight.
If you want to know more about other cystic fibrosis treatments, IV Solutions has what you need.
Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. May 15, 2012. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes. Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes. Cystic Fibrosis Medicine. April, 2008. Accessed March 10, 2015.