Cystic fibrosis (CF) causes extreme damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. This inherited disease affects the cells that are responsible for producing mucus, sweat, and digestive juices. They cause defects in the gene, making the usually thin and slippery secretions sticky and thick. Therefore, instead of acting as lubricants, the secretions block the tubes, ducts, and passageways. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive disorder that requires daily care. With medical advancements, people often have a better quality of life as they can attend school and work than people with CF in older times.
A mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene causes the disease. This causes changes in a protein regulating the movement of salt in and out of cells, resulting in thick, sticky mucus in the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems and increased salt content in sweat.
Many different defects can occur in the gene, and the severity of the condition depends on the type of gene mutation. Cystic fibrosis is a recessive disorder, meaning children inheriting one copy of the mutated gene from each parent will get the disease, but if they inherit only one copy, they won't develop cystic fibrosis and will only be carriers.
The appearance of cystic fibrosis signs and symptoms depends on the severity of the disease. Some people may have a milder disease if they do not experience symptoms until adulthood. Signs and symptoms of CF mostly affect the respiratory and digestive systems, along with some other issues such as:
Cystic fibrosis complications can impact the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems, among other organs.
Respiratory system complications:
Reproductive system complications
A comprehensive exam and a thorough study of family history are undertaken to diagnose cystic fibrosis in adults. The diagnosis most often includes:
Treatments for cystic fibrosis must be carried out daily and are not a one-time thing. Daily treatments generally include:
Cystic fibrosis damages the cells that produce mucus, perspiration, and digestive fluids. These fluids that are released are often slippery and thin. In people with cystic fibrosis, however, a faulty gene causes the secretions to become sticky and thick. Instead of functioning as lubricants, these secretions block tubes, ducts, and passages, notably in the lungs and pancreas.