What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis causes severe lung damage and deficiencies in nutrition. It is a life threatening disease that is inherited. It happens most often in white people of northern European ancestry. With much improved medicine and screening in recent years people living with cystic fibrosis can now leave much longer lives, into their 50s and longer. Before all the advancements were made most people with CF (cystic fibrosis) died in their teens.
This disease affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. A defective gene causes secretions to plug up tubes, ducts and passageways because they become so thick and sticky. These secretions especially affect the lungs and pancreas. Cystic fibrosis can affect everyone different but the most basic symptoms are a persistant cough and wheezing along with numerous lung and sinus infections.
As noted earlier CF can also affect nutrition. The thick mucus can block tubes that carry digestive enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine. This can result in poor weight gain and growth along with constipation or intestinal blockage.