By Nese, Emma, & Jordan
What is Cystic Fibrosis you ask?
It’s caused by very thick mucus that builds up in the body. CF is inherited. You have to inherit a gene change for CF from both parents to have CF. If you inherit the gene change from just one parent, you have the gene change for CF, but you don’t have the condition.
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How do you prevent getting cystic fibrosis?
How & when is is diagnosed?
The most common test for CF is called the sweat test. It measures the amount of salt (sodium chloride) in the sweat. In this test, an area of the skin (usually the forearm) is made to sweat by using a chemical called pilocarpine and applying a mild electric current. To collect the sweat, the area is covered with a gauze pad or filter paper and wrapped in plastic. After 30 to 40 minutes, the plastic is removed, and the sweat collected in the pad or paper is analyzed. Higher than normal amounts of sodium and chloride suggest that the person has cystic fibrosis.
What types of symptoms or complications will the child have?
Going into shock is also a risk.
Mucus in CF patients is very thick and accumulates in the intestines and lungs.
~frequent respiratory infections
~eventually permanent lung damage.
Lung disease is the usual cause of death in most patients. CF can cause various other medical problems.
~hemoptysis (coughing of blood)
Liver disease, diabetes, inflammation of the pancreas, and gallstones also occur in some people with CF.
Is this a curable or treatable birth defect?
Since CF is a genetic disease, the only way to prevent or cure it would be with gene therapy at an early age. Ideally, gene therapy could repair or replace the defective gene. Another option for treatment would be to give a person with CF the active form of the protein product that is scarce or missing. The best that doctors can do is to ease the symptoms of CF or slow the progress of the disease so the patient’s quality of life is improved. This is achieved by antibiotic therapy combined with treatments to clear the thick mucus from the lungs.