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Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that is known to affect some of the vital organs of the body including the lungs, digestive system to name a few. For long it was believed that cystic fibrosis affects a person in their childhood. However, various research and studies suggest that adults are also susceptible to this inheritable disorder. In this article, we will discuss the cause and symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis.
The epithelial cells that line the stomach, nasal cavity and lungs, are responsible for the production of the digestive fluids, sweat, tears, mucus. The Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene codes for a protein called the CFTR protein. The CFTR protein, a membrane protein plays a pivotal role in transporting the chloride ions of the epithelial cells inside and out of the cell. This regulation of the chloride ions goes a long way in ensuring that the mucus produced is free-flowing and thin.
In the case of Cystic Fibrosis, the CFTR gene that codes for the protein undergoes a mutation. With the CFTR protein unable to perform its function, sticky and thick mucus builds up and clogs some of the major systems of the body including the digestive system, reproductive, and respiratory system. There is also a higher salt content in the sweat of the affected person.
For a person to be affected by cystic fibrosis, he/she must inherit a copy of the mutated CFTR gene from both the parents ( Autosomal Recessive Disorder) at birth.
The symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis depends on the organs and systems affected.
- The thick mucus formed can clog the digestive tract resulting in incomplete absorption of the essential nutrients from the food. This may have an impact on the overall growth and development of the body.
- - There may be stunted growth or no weight gain.
- - The stool may appear greasy and foul smelling. Some may also suffer from constipation.
- - Newborns and infants may suffer from an intestinal blockage.
- Cystic fibrosis, left unattended can lead to diabetes, intestinal blockage or obstruction.
- - The mucus can also block the bile duct triggering a host of problems including liver disorders.
- - At times, the obstruction or blockage can occur at the junction where the large and the small intestine meets (Distal intestinal obstruction syndrome).
- The thick mucus can also affect the lungs and the respiratory system by blocking the tubes that act as a passage carrying the air inside and out of the lungs. As a result,
Left untreated the complications can worsen resulting in
In severe cases, there may be a respiratory failure.
Cystic fibrosis can also trigger fertility problems (both in males and females).
Hello doctor, I am 20. Year old boy and I have cough and throat infection last two days. what should I do? please tell me.
I am 35 years old and diabetic and I am suffering from nasal congestion, little fever, chills, sinus problem, difficulty breathing and extreme fatigue. My tests like cbc, urine culture, blood culture, xray, malaria,all are negative. Should I go for a swine flu test. Because I am feeling extreme fatigue, chills, joint pain, nasalcongestion. Sinus problem. Pls advice.
I am having a bad cough and so I tried yoga technique. Drinking hot salty water and then vomit. So all dirt came out, black stains in cough. For how many times in a week we should try?
Are you experiencing irregular and fluctuating heartbeats? Is your heartbeat too fast or too slow? If yes, then it signifies that you are suffering from arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms. This is a disorder which affects the heart rate or heart rhythm and the heartbeat becomes irregular.
Causes of abnormal heart rhythms
Arrhythmias occurs due to problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart. In this case, abnormal signals might occur; the electrical signals might get blocked or slowed down, or the electric signals may travel in different paths throughout the heart. Abnormal heartbeats are commonly caused by the following:
- Abnormal potassium levels in the body
- Heart attacks or due to a damaged heart muscle, owing to a previous heart attack
- Inborn heart diseases
- Cases of an enlarged heart and heart failure
- Overreaction of the thyroid gland
- Several other substances or medicines may lead to arrhythmias, such as alcohol, stimulant drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and antidepressant medicines or blood pressure medicines.
Diagnosis of abnormal heart rhythms
For the diagnosis of arrhythmias, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat. Several health monitoring devices are used to detect abnormal heart rhythms. These include the Holter monitor and the event monitor, or a loop recorder.
Other diagnosis tests which are required to be carried out include coronary angiography, ECG or electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram. A test known as an electrophysiology can be undertaken for getting a closer look at the electrical system of the heart.
Treatment for abnormal heart rhythms
When a case of arrhythmias is severe, urgent treatment is required for restoring the heart’s rhythm to normal. The different forms of treatment are as follows:
- Electrical shock therapy such as defibrillation or cardioversion
- Implanting of a heart pacemaker for a short term
- Certain medications which are given through the veins or orally
- A group of medicines known as anti-arrhythmic drugs is used for the prevention of recurrence of the condition and to keep the heart rate from fluctuating continually.
- Cardiac ablation may be carried out for destroying some areas in the heart from where the rhythm problems are caused.
- An implantable cardiac defibrillator is used in people who are at a risk of facing cardiac death.
In case you experience abnormal heart rhythm, you must consult a doctor immediately. You should only start taking medicines and follow a treatment after it has been recommended by a doctor. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!