What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that attacks both the respiratory and digestive systems. Mucus in patients with CF is very thick, and collects in intestines and lungs, this causes difficulty breathing as well as chronic lung infections and scarring; sufferers often compare it to breathing through a straw or drowning. Most patients will eventually require lung transplantation; unfortunately the lack of donors means that most of them will die before a healthy pair of lungs is available. The mucus in the pancreas and digestive system makes digestion very hard, sometimes blocking the pancreatic ducts completely, therefore causing malnutrition. Due to this, CF sufferers are required to take an average of 35 pancreatic enzymes every day, to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients. The sweat glands are also affected by this disease, causing sufferers to lose a huge amount of salt when they sweat. This can upset the balance of minerals and can cause abnormal heart rhythms, putting them at risk of going in to shock. Aside from the main aspects of CF, there are also other side effects such as poor growth, premature arthritis/osteoporosis, liver failure, gallstones, reoccurring nasal polyps, infertility (mainly in males)… [Read more…]