Cystic fibrosis is a disease caused by the deposition of thick mucous in the lungs and digestive system. This disease is a life threatening genetic disease, but through medical advancements people with Cystic Fibrosis can now expect to live into their 40's and even beyond.
Cystic Fibrosis is a deadly disease which affects both the digestive tract and the respiratory system. This disease produces a sticky mucus which builds up in the lungs and pancreas, resulting in troubled breathing and problems absorbing nutrients from food. In some cases Cystic Fibrosis can also affect the sweat glands as well as a man's reproductive system.
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis vary according to the age of the individual with the disease. Some of the major symptoms of Cystic fibrosis in newborns include delayed growth, a lack of bowel movements following birth, inability to gain weight, and salty skin. Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis in adults include fatigue, chronic pneumonia, nausea, swollen belly, gas, and coughing from increased mucus. Men may notice later in life infertility as a symptom of Cystic Fibrosis.
Diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis is done through a blood test which can identify the gene known to cause Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, a sweat chloride test may be performed, as increased salt levels in an individuals sweat may signify Cystic Fibrosis. Other tests used in diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis include chest x-ray and lung function tests. Newborns are screened at birth for the disease.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetically inherited disease that is caused by a defective gene. It is possible to carry the defective gene and show no symptoms because an individual must have two defective genes, one from each parent, to exhibit symptoms.
The biggest risk factor of Cystic Fibrosis is family history, as it is an inherited disease. It is also more common in white people with northern European ancestry.
Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis is aimed at alleviating the symptoms as there is no cure for the disease. In addition to medications, people with Cystic Fibrosis often get involved in therapy sessions to help loosen and reduce mucus. In severe cases a lung transplant or bowel surgery may be necessary. Sometimes a feeding tube in suggested for an individual with Cystic Fibrosis to help them absorb the nutrients needed.
Common medications for Cystic Fibrosis include antibiotics, mucus-thinning drugs, and bronchdilators.
Because there is no cure, recovery from Cystic Fibrosis is measured by the comfort level of the affected individual. Controlling the symptoms and preventing further complications is the best form of recovery from Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetically inherited disease, so prevention is only possible when considering passing on the disease to your children. Genetic testing before and or during pregnancy can tell you whether your child will inherit the defective genes that would cause Cystic Fibrosis.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.