Everything You Should Know About Cystic Fibrosis

The body experiences numerous challenges from within and without. When a child is born, it is likely to be endangered by the hormones it inherits from the parents. For instance, if parents have an issue with chronic diseases, their children are often at risk of contracting the disease. However, due to hormonal problems, there are some rear conditions that a person might suffer. One of these conditions is cystic fibrosis.

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What is cystic fibrosis?

More often, you will hear people asking what is cf and what are its effects on the body? Cystic fibrosis commonly known as cf is an uncommon genetic disorder. The disease affects the digestive and respiratory system. Common symptoms that tell a person is suffering from cystic fibrosis include shortness of breath, chronic cough, and lung infection. Also, children with this condition often experience trouble with growth and weight gain. However, these symptoms vary depending on age, general health, and genetic mutation.

How common is the condition

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition, and it is very rare. According to statistics, approximately 70,000 to 100,000 people are victims of the condition worldwide. However, the disease is common to the Caucasians of northern Europe. Statistics, however, have it that the majority of people with the condition are white Americans with an approximation that 1 in every 3,500 children are at risk of getting the disease.

What are its causes?

The leading cause for this condition is a defective gene that a person might inherit from their parents. For one to be affected by the disease, they must have inherited the defective gene from one or both their parents. However, in case they only inherit one gene, they will not have to deal with the condition, but rather be a carrier. Consequently, they are likely to pass it on to the future generation through their kids.

This faulty/defective gene contains an abnormality known as a mutation. The mutation changes a protein responsible for regulating salt movement in and out of various body cells. This protein is also known as CFTR.

In total, there are about 1,800 mutations that are known to cause cystic fibrosis. When each parent has a copy of cf causing mutation, their children are likely to inherit each copy hence becoming victims of the condition. However, if they only inherit one gene, they only have at least a 25 percent chance of developing the disease.

When is the disease diagnosed?

Unlike other genetic conditions, cystic fibrosis can be diagnosed as early as the age of two years. However, unless a person gets to a doctor, it may not be possible to spot its effects at an earlier stage. The doctors in the USA were given directives since 2010 to ensure every newborn is tested for cystic fibrosis. The screening or testing involves measuring the amount of salt in sweat as well as collecting blood samples.

Early diagnosis helps minimize the effects of the disease and prevents it from developing any further in the body. The disease affects both males and females; therefore, it is essential to ensure everyone is screened where possible. In case you were not diagnosed at birth, doctors can still screen you as an adult. If you spot an inflamed pancreas, lung infections, chronic sinus, nasal polyps, or male infertility, your doctor may recommend screening for cystic fibrosis.

Treatment

There is no adequate cure for cystic fibrosis yet. However, when you are diagnosed early, doctors can administer a treatment that will reduce its effects and ease the symptoms. A patient with cystic fibrosis requires to be on a regular watch by certified doctors and staff with exceptional training on the condition. Although it not a guarantee that a patient may be cured by obtaining early treatment, it helps a person to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Treatment includes:

  • Controlling and preventing lung infections
  • Preventing and treating intestinal blockage
  • Providing adequate nutrition
  • Loosening and removing mucus from lungs

Medication for cystic fibrosis involves antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, oral pancreatic enzymes, and mucus-thinning drugs. However, in case a patient has several mutation genes, the doctor may recommend advanced treatment to help ease the condition.

Conclusion

If you are unsure whether you are suffering from cystic fibrosis, it is essential to get screened. You may not tell for sure what you are suffering from without the intervention of professional doctors.