Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms Treatment
Due to the commonness of premarital and prenatal genetic testing, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has become quite rare. Nevertheless, it is important to talk about it, as there is a small possibility that this will happen despite testing. The genetic test has a 3% failure rate.
In this article will discuss Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms Treatment
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that is inherited only if both parents carry the gene for it. If only one of the parents carries the gene, their children have a 25% of being a carrier themselves, and will never actually have CF. If both parents carry the gene, their children have a 50% chance of being a carrier, and a 25% of having CF themselves.
As we’ve discussed in past articles, every person’s body produces mucus, which helps protect the internal organs. In a healthy person, this mucus is thin and watery. By a person who has CF, the mucus is very thick and sticky. Instead of running freely, the mucus sticks in place and can even block airways and other organs. This makes sufferers more exposed to inflammation and other diseases. The most affected organs are the lungs and pancreas. This causes breathing and digestive problems. As the mucus remains in the lungs, it attracts bacteria that multiplies and causes infections. In the pancreas, the enzymes that need to enter the gut cannot get through and the body cannot process and absorb important nutrients and vitamins. CF can also affect the liver and sweat glands.
In New York, on the first day or two after birth, every baby’s blood is checked for about 40 diseases, including cystic fibrosis. If not caught then, most people with CF are diagnosed by the age of three. However, it is possible for CF to be milder and not be noticed until mid-teens. If there is suspicion of CF, a doctor will perform a sweat test. In the test, the doctor will swab a chemical on the hand and then use a warming device to cause the hand to sweat. The sweat is collected and examined for chloride, a chemical in salt. A high level of chloride in the sweat can indicate CF.
What Is Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms
Symptoms of cystic fibrosis are:
- Frequent lung inflammation,
- Coughs that do not let up, accompanied by thick mucus, as well as wheezing
- Abnormal bowel movements, sometimes with diarrhea
- Not gaining weight, even when eating normally.
- Slow growth, especially in height
- Very salty sweat.
- Growths in the nose
- Frequent sinus inflammation
After frequent lung inflammation, the lungs can be damaged. It may take long-term antibiotics and even lengthy hospital stays. Adults with CF can also develop diabetes, osteoporosis, and a problem with the fingers called clubbing.
Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
It is also good to take an Immune booster such as ImmuniKid, Immune Defense, or Abreve which contain pantothenic acid. This can help prevent inflammation as well as make the mucus thinner and runnier.
Regular exercises can help loosen up the mucus. Also, a doctor may prescribe medicine that is taken by an inhaler (like asthma sufferers) or a nebulizer that sends the medication directly into the lungs. Coughing helps move the mucus. At times, sufferers are told to take long-term antibiotics to prevent further infections. There is also special chest physical therapy that can be very helpful.
Years ago, many CF children did not live for more than 10-15 years. Today, 40% of Americans with CF are over 18 years old. With the drugs recently released, many have lived into their 30s. In some cases, a lung transplant extended the life of patients.
- People with CF carry germs that are only harmful to people suffering from the disease. Therefore, people with CF are told not to be closer than six feet away from other sufferers.
- People with CF lose a lot of salt, especially when they sweat.
- People with CF look completely healthy. This means that others may not understand how difficult their life is.
- About 12 million people, one in 20, carry the CF gene. Most of them are unaware of this.