Helping Understand Cystic Fibrosis

Helping Understand Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis   (CF) is a recessive genetic disorder that affects mostly lungs, pancreas, liver and intestine.

Cystic Fibrosis is a lifelong, progressive condition which mostly affects the glands excreting mucus, sweat and intestinal secretion. It disrupts the salt balance in the body leaving too little water and salt in body. Due to CF, mucus is build up and clogs lung which makes breathing very difficult. This mucus is difficult to cough out and leads to lung infection.

The most common symptoms of CF are salty tasty skin, poor growth and poor weight gain, accumulation of thick sticky mucus, coughing and frequent chest infection. Lung infection in regular intervals like pneumonia and bronchitis, frequent greasy stools , unable to pass stool, nasal polyps, poor growth and infertility.

What are the causes of Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a mutation in a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR serves an important function in creating mucus, sweat and digestive liquid. Most people have 2 copies of gene for creating CRTF if a person lacks one unaltered version of gene that produce a CRTF protein , it will result in cystic fibrosis. A person can be infected with CF only if both the parents are carrier a child has to inherit 2 copies of defective gene.

One can diagnose cystic fibrosis as part of new born screening as soon as the baby is born mostly if a new born is not able to pass stool, sweat test or genetic test can also be conducted.

What are the treatments available for Cystic Fibrosis?

As such there is no cure for this disease but with help of specialized medicine, proper nutrition and care quality of life can be improved and prolonged. Treatment varies for each person depending on his severity and related symptoms of the patient.

Mostly patient undergo treatment for clearing mucus from lungs which helps in functioning of lungs, also some medicines like pancreatic enzyme supplements. In some sever cases where lung functioning is very low they recommend a lung transplantation.