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Cystic Fibrosis

 

Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease of the mucous glands causing thickening of the mucous and affecting the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines and sex organs.

Causes

  • Defect in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene
  • Heredity

Symptoms

  • Frequent lung infections
  • High levels of salt in sweat
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Thick sputum
  • Greasy stools
  • Poor growth
  • Malnutrition
  • Clubbed or rounded finger tips and toes
  • Infertility

Treatment
Cystic fibrosis can not be cured and leads to early deaths, usually around 20 to 30 years of age. Treatment is given to increase life expectancy and manage the symptoms. It includes:

  • Antibiotics to fight bacterial infection of the lungs
  • Mucous thinning medication to make the mucous thinner and easier to expel
  • Bronchodilators to open clogged airways
  • Manual drainage of the clogged airways
  • Pancreatic enzymes to help in digesting the nutrients
  • Nutritional supplements to fight malnourishment
  • Lung transplantation in case of severe complications

Prevention
There is no way to prevent cystic fibrosis.