Cystic Fibrosis

By: Callie Jo Gray

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestine. Long term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up sputum as a result of frequent lung infections.

How does the child get this disease?

Cystic fibrosis is a recessive disorder, which means that both parents must pass on the defective gene for any of their children to get the disease. If a child inherits only one copy of the faulty gene, he or she will be a carrier. Carriers don't actually have the disease, but they can pass it on to their children.

What are some symptoms or characteristics of cystic fibrosis?

Some symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis include cough, repeated lung infections, inability to gain weight, and fatty stools.

Is there treatment or medication?

Can't be cured, but treatment may help.

Treatments may ease symptoms and reduce complications. Newborn screening helps with early diagnosis. Treatment includes medications and injections.

What is the Life Expectancy of a child with Cystic Fibrosis?

Many young adults with cystic fibrosis finish college or find jobs. Lung disease eventually worsens to the point where the person is disabled. Today, the average life span for people with CF who live to adulthood is about 37 years. Death is most often caused by lung complications

Facts & Points

-Regular physical activity or exercise provides multiple benefits for those with CF. These benefits are more than improved lung function — they also help to strengthen bones, in managing diabetes and heart disease and improve your mood

-For people living with CF, the mucus in the lungs is thicker than normal, and becomes a source of inflammation and infection that can lead to lung damage.

-Eating a high-calorie, high-fat diet is important to help make sure you are getting the nutrients you need from food