Cystic Fibrosis

Respiratory Disease

Type of Disease

Cystic Fibrosis - a genetic disease

The cells that are most affected are the ones in the lungs

Cystic Fibrosis can also affect other areas of the body: the pancreas and other organs


Before, about fifty years ago, children often died before they were able to attend elementary school. Nowadays, people with this disease can live all the way into their 40's and some even live longer than that.

Early detection can increase the patient's life span.

What It Does

Cystic Fibrosis (in the lungs) blocks the airways, which will cause lung damage and cause issues breathing.

In the pancreas, it clogs the pathways to the digestive system, interfering with proper digestion.

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These a just a few of the symptoms of cystic fibrosis:

- salty tasting skin

- persistent coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing

- no weight gain, but excessive eating

- greasy, bulky stool


- sweat test (measures the amount of salt in the sweat)

~if the salt level is high, that shows that the patient has cystic fibrosis

- can also be identified through pregnancy (before birth)

~an ultrasound

- or after birth

~ a newborn screening

Treatment (depends on the stage of the disease and what organs are involved)


- postural drainage and percussion (drain the mucus out through the mouth)

- inhaled medicines (restores normal airway functions)(reduces possible inflammation)

- antibiotic (restores normal airway functions)

- anti-inflammatory medicines

- lung transplant (if condition is serious)

How to Lower the Risks

- frequent hand cleaning (sanitation, washing)

- avoid contact with people who have an illness/cold

- get a flu shot (prevention)

- no smoking (stay away from second hand smoke