Myth #4: People with CF should not drink milk because it makes too much mucus
Posted Aug 05 2008 4:05pm
Fact: While it may feel like it, milk does not increase mucus production.
A 2005 review of studies concluded that there was no link between milk consumption and mucus production.
In one study, participants infected with the common cold virus reported symptoms of increased in mucus production after drinking milk, but when their mucus production was actually measured there was no statistical difference.
People with CF need to be able to perform airway clearance in order to get as much mucus as possible out of their airways. There are many devices available to assist with this such as vibrating vests, percussors, and even a technique called “clapping” which is performed by another individual.
Additionally, there are medications that have been developed to help thin the mucus and make it easier to cough out. These include hypertonic saline, DNase (Pulmozyme) and guafeneisin, which is an expectorant.
Milk, particularly whole milk, is actually a good choice of beverage for people with CF. It contains plenty of calories, fat, protein and vitamin D to help keep the body healthy. Milkshakes made with ice cream and whole milk are one way for people who are pancreatic insufficient to put on some much needed weight.