What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis primarily affects children, but it occasionally manifests during adulthood. This condition typically damages the lungs first, leading to dangerous respiratory difficulties. However, this genetic disorder also causes problems with other internal organs, including:

• Intestines
• Kidneys
• Liver
• Pancreas

The patients with this condition will have thick mucus that will fill the lungs, leading to frequent infections. These infections often spread to other regions of the body, causing additional problems. This genetic disorder is difficult to manage, and the individuals with this disease have a shorter life span.

What Are the Signs Of Having Cystic Fibrosis?

There are several signs of having cystic fibrosis, and some of these symptoms are present at birth. The individuals with this condition may have one or more of these signs:

• Clubbing of the toes and fingers
• Poor growth patterns
• Fatty stools
• Infertility in adults
• Frequent sinus infections
• Coughing
• Salty-tasting skin
• Bowel obstruction
• Frequent bruising
• High blood pressure
• Allergies to mold
• Nasal polyps
• Chronic fevers
• Headaches
• Diabetes mellitus
• Osteoporosis

What Causes Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that is inherited from one or both parents. It is caused by mutated genes. An individual can carry the mutation, but in some cases, she won’t have the disease, but she can pass it on to offspring. Other individuals do have the symptoms of cystic fibrosis because the defective genes are damaged, leading to problems with the body’s mucus, digestive fluids and perspiration. In some regions of the world, infants are tested at birth for cystic fibrosis to begin treatments right away.

What Is the Treatment For Cystic Fibrosis?

There is no cure for this genetic disorder, but when a patient has a severe lung infection, she will need antibiotics. This medication is often given intravenously, but it is also available in tablet or inhaled formulas. Patients often require specialized lung treatments that are similar to what asthmatic individuals require. Physicians prescribe a nutritious diet and dietary supplements for cystic fibrosis patients. When the lungs are severely damaged by cystic fibrosis, a patient will require breathing machines or a lung transplant.

How Is Cystic Fibrosis Preventable?

It is possible for adults to have genetic testing to determine if they carry the specific genetic mutation that leads to cystic fibrosis. Individuals who have relatives with cystic fibrosis may request this type of test to avoid having a child with this condition.