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Cystic Fibrosis - Can it be Life Threatening?

Ms. Sadhana Ghaisas 90% (10 ratings)
PHD - Science
Geneticist, mumbai  •  29 years experience
Cystic Fibrosis - Can it be Life Threatening?

Does your baby’s skin taste too salty when you kiss him or her? Did he or she not poop after being born? These symptoms indicate cystic fibrosis in your baby, which is a condition that changes the way your body makes sweat and mucus. It also affects the functioning of the lungs and digestive system. The condition occurs from a flawed gene. If you have cystic fibroids, your mucus may be too thick or your sweat can be too salty. Heavy mucus clogging in your lungs may affect your ease of breathing. This is a serious and life-threatening disease, but it affects different people in different ways.

Causes
The gene known as CFTR is present in everybody. It makes a protein which controls the amount of salt and water that are moved in and out of the cells of the body. In case of cystic fibroids, the CTFR gene is broken, which occurs if you inherit two bad copies of the gene. A bad CFTR gene may lead your cells to make the wrong amount of water or salt. This makes the body incapable of getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients, as the body loses them via sweating.

Symptoms
Apart from the primary symptoms, several other symptoms are also likely due to cystic fibroids. The common symptoms which your child may experience are as follows:

  1. Coughing up thick mucus, wheezing and shortness of breath
  2. Sinus infections, pneumonia, or very frequent bronchitis
  3. Development of polyps in the nose
  4. Bulky, oily and foul-smelling stool
  5. Low bone density, widening and rounding of the fingertips and weight loss
  6. In later life, cystic fibroids may cause liver disease, gallstones or pancreatitis.

Treatment
There is no specific treatment for cystic fibroids. Several treatments are followed for relieving the symptoms and help patients feel better, breathe easier and have lesser infections or stomach problems.

  1. Airway clearance technique can help you with breathing as the mucus from the lungs is cleared in the process. There are several ways to undertake airway clearance and special devices can be used for assistance.
  2. Several inhaled drugs such as salt solutions, steroids and antibiotics are used in thinning the mucus, clearing the lungs and fighting infections.
  3. Several medicines are used for fighting the inflammation and reducing swelling in the lungs.
  4. In case your pancreas are not working properly, you can take enzyme pills for digesting proteins and fats for absorbing more nutrients from the food you take.
  5. Vitamin A, E and D supplements provide the nutrients, which your intestine cannot absorb.

In case you experience the symptoms of cystic fibroids, you should consult a doctor immediately. This will allow you to go for an early diagnosis and effective treatment.

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