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Cystic Fibrosis

My Son, CFand 260 lbs, Dehydration



my son diagnosed cf at 3 months..now 28 yrs old and 260 lbs tells me that being overweight helps him recover quickly from bouts of dehydration. he is a chef and subjected to very high temperatures in the kitchen..has on occasion collapsed and cramped up to the point of immobility...want him to see a doctor but he blows me off..married last year and now listening but not sure how to proceed.. took him to scotland when he was 16 and tests showed he did not have one of the three lethal forms of cf that they were aware of.. i am scottish what advice if any can you give me...he is unaware of my involvement at this time but i am just being a father..


Weight and hydration are separate subjects. Hydration and adequate sodium intake are critical in CF, and, especially in a hot environment, those with CF MUST take sufficient amounts of both. This can be accomplished with water, rehydration drinks, and salty snacks.

Weight is also important. Evidence is very strong that maintaining a BMI greater than 23 Kg/M2 for men is quite important to maintain lung health and to provide reserves in case of illness. However, I am not aware that being overweight is helpful, and given the proclivity to develop diabetes in CF, it is likely to be harmful. You don't state your son's height, but I suspect that, if average height, he is likely to fall into the obese category, something we would discourage in our patients. An adult of 180 lbs. is as able to maintain good hydration as one of 260 lbs., and less likely to suffer other consequences.

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Response by:

John S Heintz, MD John S Heintz, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University