Cystic Fibrosis

Biology Project

Cystic Fibrosis

The reason that i chose to research Cystic Fibrosis, is because of its severity. As well as who it mainly affects.
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What is Cystic Fibrosis ?

Cystic Fibrosis is a inherited genetic disease that causes the body to produce a thick mucus substance in the lungs and digestive tract. While Humans always produce a small amount of mucus to serve as a lubricant. Cystic Fibrosis produce a thick, sticky mucus instead of a smooth slick substance. This mucus clogs/infects the subjects organs, and can lead to death.
What is cystic fibrosis?

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

Depending on where the disease is located the symptoms can vary.


If located in the lungs common symptoms are

- A persistent cough that produces mucus

- Wheezing

- Inability to exercise

- Constant lung infections


If found in the digestive system symptoms include:

- Foul smelling/ greasy stools

- Intestinal blockage/ severe constipation

- Malnutrition/diabetes

- Difficulty gaining and maintaing a healthly weight

How is Cystic Fibrosis inherited, and what causes it?

Cystic Fibrosis is a inherited genetic mutation. The disease is a recessive trait caused by the mutation of the CFTR gene. Which is what transports chlorine ions in and out of the cell. This specific gene is located in the seventh chromosome of cells.

Can Cystic Fibrosis be treated?

The disease Cystic Fibrosis cannot be cured; however researchers have discovered new ways to further increase the quality of the affected subjects lives.


Chest physical therapy (CPT) is the most common form of treatment for individuals whose lungs have been affected by cystic fibrosis. CPT "also known clapping or percussion" involves pounding on the back, and chest of the affected individual to loosen the mucus so that it can be coughed up. This may be done by simply using ones hands, or using a device such as a electric chest clapper. Treatment specialist may also prescribe antibiotics to help prevent/cure any lung diseases. Also medications will be prescribed to thin any remaining mucus.


The main treatments for Cystic Fibrosis in the digestive tract are vitamin supplements, new diet restrictions, and in some cases may even require a feeding tube to ensure proper nutrition. Also antibiotics may be prescribed to thin the mucus in the bowls of the affected subject.

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Living with Cystic Fibrosis
A Day in the Life of a Cystic Fibrosis Patient (Full Version)

How is it diagnosed?

To see if an individual shows any signs of the disease, the most common test is a sweat test. Other test such as blood and saliva testing are sometimes done as well; however they are not the most common. If the results from any of the first test show a possibility of Cystic Fibrosis the subject will go through more blood testing, and most be subjugated to numerous test to confirm weather or not there are any infections or blockages. To test for blockages this is mainly done with X- Rays. Specialist will also give numerous test to determine how well a subject's organs are working. Genetic Counseling may also be done to determine to likelihood of a subjects' child being infected with the disease.

Who does the diease mainly affect,and how common is it?

Cystic fibrosis is most commonly found in Caucasian people of Northern European ancestry, but also occurs in Hispanics, African-Americans and some Native Americans. The disease is extremely rare in people of Asian and Middle Eastern origin. While the disease is not extremely common it is also not completely rare either. With cases being in-between 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 3,500 in Caucasian newborns. As well as the average number of cases occurring in African Americans being 1 in 17,000 and 1 in 31,000 in Asian Americans.

What i have learned.

I have learned that the deadly disease Cystic Fibrosis is a inherited genetic disease; the disease is a recessive trait cause by the mutation of the CFTR gene. The disease causes the body to produce a abnormally thick mucus in the lungs and bowls. While there are many symptoms of the disease the main ones are: difficulty breathing, lung infections, malnutrition, diabetes, and intestinal blockages. I have learned about the different tests used to diagnose the disease, and that the disease is mainly found in the Caucasian race. Also in the end i have learned about the people and what they endure every day with this terrible disease.