Cystic Fibrosis is a chronic genetic disease. Cystic Fibrosis mainly affects the lungs and digestive system. It is a very common disease affecting about 30, 000 children and adults in the United States and around 70,000 people worldwide. One thousand new cases are diagnosed each year with approximately seventy percent diagnosed before age of two. Around fifty years ago, children with Cystic Fibrosis lived a very short life, but not with the modern technological advances, they can live much longer, which average age of thirty seven.wordl.gif

When Cystic Fibrosis affects the lungs, it inflames the airways thus causing them to clog. Coughing, phlegm production and decreased capability to exercise may occur in the early stages. Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus associated with worsening of the lungs, is seen as lung disease associated with cystic fibrosis progresses. Cystic Fibrosis may also cause chronic difficulties in breathing, hemoptysis, bronchiectasis, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis along with many other defects. In terms of physical effects, facial pain, nasal drainage and headaches may persist.

When Cystic Fibrosis affects the digestive system, it mainly affects the gastrointestinal, liver and pancreas. It causes the person to fail to pass meconium, which leads to blocking of intestines, in a condition called meconium ileus, which affects ten percent of Cystic Fibrosis patients. The pancreas are organs that provide digestive juices for breaking down food. Cystic Fibrosis blocks the movement of digestive system into the duodenum which causes pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas. This lack of digestive enzymes also causes malabsorption, where nutrients are barely absorbed, and malnutrition and poor growth because so much food energy is lost. Malabsoption mainly affects the ability of a person to take in vitamins A, B, D and K. Patients with Cystic Fibrosis often display heartburn, constipation and thicekened feaces. Since the pancreas are responsible for making insulin, damage of the pancreas causes type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Patients may also display enlargement of limbs. Children with Cystic Fibrosis grow slower then their peers. Most patients with Cystic Fibrosis are infertile.

There are several symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis. The patients display salty skin, non stop coughing, lung infections, irregular breathing patterns, poor growth and weight gain rate and frequent stools. When these symptoms show, testing is required to determine if the person has Cystic Fibrosis. Genetic Carrier testing is performed on a couple to determine if they have the chance of passing on Cystic Fibrosis to their children. In Newborn Screening, newborns are tested for this disease can if treated early can even have improved growth and lung function as well as more years to live. During Sweat Test, the doctor measures the concentration of salt take from a person’s sweat. The higher the salt level, the higher chance of having Cystic Fibrosis.
There is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Patients, however, have treatments to ensure a better quality of life and lower the symptoms of this condition. Most patients undergo a procedure called airway clearance techniques in which the doctor gets rid of mucus from the lungs. Medication is also provided such as Mucolytics to think mucus and antibiotics to treat infections and inflammations. Good nutrition is also an important way to lower symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis.