What are the main causes of cystic fibrosis and is it cureable?
Cystic fibrosis is an autoimmune disorder that affects thewhole body, and that can even be life threatening. It is more common amongwhite people, particularly those or northern European origin and its maincharacteristics are the formation of cysts inside the pancreas and fibrosis,which is another term for scarring. Even though it is inherited, the exactcause is identified, and it lies in the mutation in the gene, which isnecessary for regulating components of sweat, mucus and digestive juices. This iswhy cells that are responsible for production of these secretions are affectedin cases of cystic fibrosis, and they cause problems since they tend to blockthe tubes, ducts and passageways, particularly those in lungs and pancreas. As forthe cure, unfortunately, it is not possible to cure this condition. However, itis necessary to treat the symptoms almost throughout the entire patient’s life,with the purpose of improving and maintaining the quality of their life and maximizingthe functioning of their organs. Frequent airway infections require continuoustreatment, which is why lungs are one of the main targets of the therapy, aswell as reproductive organs and gastrointestinal tract. Antibiotics, drugs thatwork as mucus thinners and bronchodilators are inevitable parts of thetreatment, while in severe cases, even transplantations may be necessary.
Which symptoms indicate cystic fibrosis?
The fact is that the symptoms depend on the organs affected,but generally, the first sign that may indicate this condition is extremelysalty taste to the skin, which is due to the increased level of salt in the sweatof the people with this disease. This can even be felt when kissing a child. Besidesthis, respiratory or digestive problems should not be neglected either. Persistentcough, wheezing, frequent and recurring lung and sinus infections are the mostcommon respiratory problems that occur, while greasy stools of foul smelling,poor gaining of weight, constipation, and intestinal blockage are the most frequentproblems that are related to the gastrointestinal tract.
It is important for people who suffer from cystic fibrosisand plan to have children to test themselves in advance, to find out about thechances that their child inherits their disease. The fetus can also betested in cases when women are already pregnant. It is also recommended that those who have in their families the history of this disease undergo the genetic testing.