Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system. People with cystic fibrosis have difficulty breathing and are at risk for lung infections.
Cystic fibrosis also causes problems with digestion, as the thick mucus that builds up in the lungs can also block the pancreatic ducts. This can lead to malnutrition and poor growth. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, but treatments can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
People with cystic fibrosis are born with a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. This gene controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells.
In people with cystic fibrosis, the mutated gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick mucus. This mucus is sticky and builds up in the lungs, digestive system, and other organs. The mucus buildup can lead to difficulties breathing and an increased risk of infections.
In the digestive system, the mucus can block the pancreatic ducts and prevent enzymes from breaking down food properly. This can cause malnutrition and poor growth. There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
Cystic fibrosis is a lifelong condition that requires daily care and treatment. Common treatments include airway clearance therapies, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and nutritional supplements.
Airway clearance therapies help to remove the mucus from the lungs. This can be done with manual techniques or mechanical devices. Antibiotics are used to treat and prevent lung infections.
Anti-inflammatory medications help to reduce swelling and mucus production. Nutritional supplements may be necessary to ensure that people with cystic fibrosis are getting enough calories and nutrients.