About cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening and inherited disorder that affects the lungs, digestive tract, and other organs in the body. It is a type of lung infection that limits the ability of a person to breathe. In addition, the cells that create mucus, sweat, and digestive fluids are affected by cystic fibrosis. As a result, these fluids grow thick and sticky, thereby blocking tubes, ducts, and passages.
Every individual may have different symptoms. However, there are mostly two types of symptoms, respiratory and digestive. Below are some common signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis.
- Persistent cough with thick mucus
- Repeated lung infections
- Inflammation in the nasal passages
- Intestinal blockage
- Chronic or severe constipation
- Stuffy nose
- Recurrent sinusitis
- Greasy stools
- Poor weight gain
In cystic fibrosis, a mutation is found in the gene, which changes the protein, and helps in the movement of salt in and out of the cells. There are several different types of defects that can occur in genes, but the type of mutation depends on the severity of the condition.
Experts say a child should have inherited at least one copy of the gene from both parents to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis because if only one copy is found, then there would be no cystic fibrosis.
Diagnosis of cystic fibrosis depends on the symptoms and signs the patient shows. Below are some common tests and procedures that are done to detect the problem.
- Physical exam
- Screening test
- Sweat test
- Genetic tests
Though there is no cure found for cystic fibrosis, the doctors’ treatment protocols can help reduce and manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life. The doctors closely monitor the pattern being followed if the cystic fibrosis is growing aggressively or has a slow pace, which may help increase the life span. The treatment helps in
- Protecting and preventing the lungs from further damage/infection
- Removal of mucus from the lungs can help in improving the breathing movements
- Assists in providing adequate diet foods
Common treatment techniques
- Airways clearance methods
- Prescribed medication focusing on genes
- Stool softeners