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Cystic fibrosis

Research indicates that Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that is inherited.  It causes damage that is sometimes severe to the digestive system and lungs.  Cystic fibrosis can affect the cells that help produce sweat, mucus and the digestive juices.  These secretions are in a normal person without Cystic fibrosis, slippery and thin.  But with a person who is affected with this condition have a defective gene which causes the secretion to become sticky and thick.

What Causes Cystic fibrosis:

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that is passed by both parents being the carrier of the mutated or faulty gene.  If both parents are carriers, then there is a 50% chance that the child being a carrier too.  The disease makes the person produce more mucus than that of a person who does not have it.  The mucus can be found in organs of the body but is generally worse in the lungs and sometimes the pancreas.  The mucus begins to get sticky and thicker and therefore sticks to organs and tissues.  When this happens in the lungs it makes breathing problems occur and then unfortunately causes lung disease.  The disease is a degenerative one and life expectancy is affected.

If the mother is known to be a carrier of cystic fibrosis, then they can be offered an antenatal test at around the 10 week of gestation period to see if the developing baby is affected.  Some people may not, until they are in their teenage years or adulthood, have the appearance of the symptoms.

Signs and symptoms:

Symptoms can be present at birth.  All babies when they are born produce a black sticky substance called meconium, which is present in the baby’s bowels and is usually passed out of the body roughly by the second day of life.   In a baby that has cystic fibrosis, the meconium becomes blocked due to its density and is unable to be passed.  Usually an operation is required to remove the blockage.  Another symptom is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.  This is called jaundice.  In a baby with cystic fibrosis this will take much longer to clear than normal.

In general people with cystic fibrosis will be prone to sinusitis (ringing in the ears) and nasal polyps (swelling of the lining of the nasal cavity).  Also some may develop swelling and pain in the joints which develop into arthritis.

Other signs and symptoms are:

  • Chest infections – caused by the build-up of the mucus in the lungs which provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Having a back massage Lincoln can help with chest infections
  • Affected Lungs – Untiring coughing as the person’s body tries to move the thick mucus from the lungs. Lungs become inflamed causing shortness of breath and sometimes difficulties with breathing.
  • Cross infection – This can be from one patient with cystic fibrosis to another patient who suffers from the same condition.
  • Affected digestive system – Mucus can block the ducts in the pancreas thus not allowing the food digesting enzymes that are produced in the pancreas to reach the intestines to break down the food – this in turn causes:
  • Blocked Bile Ducts in the Liver can become blocked by the mucus that is produced and sometimes some cases will require a liver transplant.
  • Incontinence – This has been reported more in females than in males.
  • Large smelly stools
  • Malnutrition
  • Infertility – both males and females

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