According to the data collected by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, there are about 30,000 Americans, 3,000 Canadians, and 20,000 Europeans with CF. The disease occurs mostly in whites whose ancestors came from northern Europe, although it affects all races and ethnic groups. Accordingly, it is less common in African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. Approximately 1,000 babies are diagnosed with CF each year in the United States.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage, and eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.
Salt Therapy is becoming increasingly popular in aiding persons with cystic fibrosis. Anecdotal reports can be found that report for some persons, salt therapy can bring relief and help prevent symptoms from recurring so frequently. A BBC News Report in 2006 entitled "A dose of salts to ease cystic fibrosis" tells the story of Richard Preen, who had been amazed at the effects of inhaling salty water in easing his cystic fibrosis. At the Vermont Salt Cave, no one inhales salty water but rather pharmaceutical grade sodium chloride which is crushed and released into the air where participants can breathe in the salty air. Of course, any person with health issues should not substitute halotherapy as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not use this information for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. Always check with your pulmonologist or doctor first.