Cystic Fibrosis is a common condition in the United States today that affects millions of Americans each year. This article will explain what it is, and what you can do about it.
What is cystic fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease. It causes the glands that produce mucous, sweat, and saliva to not function properly. The mucous is sticky instead of thin and slipper, and it may choke the lungs and block openings to other major organs, which may make it difficult to absorb or break down food. This can cause sever permanent liver damage.
This disease is one of the most common inherited diseases in Caucasian people. This occurs in one of every 3,000 births. It occurs in one in every 15,000 African American births. This affects almost every race, and about 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
Is cystic fibrosis contagious?
No. This is an inherited condition, and those who suffer from it are born with it. It comes from a defective gene that each parent carries. It is a recessive gene, so if one parent carries it and the other doesn’t, the child will not have this problem. Unfortunately, you cannot control which genes you pass to your children.
What are the symptoms?
People with cystic fibrosis have a variety of different systems including:
- Salty-tasting skin
- Steady coughing, often with phlegm,
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Thin in spite of a large appetite
These symptoms will vary from person to person.
How is cystic fibrosis diagnosed?
The main test for this disease is the sweat test. This measures the amount of salt that is in the sweat. If it is excess, it is believed that cystic fibrosis is present. Babies are most typically tested right after birth to see if they have this condition. If there is a reason to think a child has this disease, they should be sent to an accredited cystic fibrosis center for further testing.
What are the treatments for cystic fibrosis?
Treatments are aimed at preventing lung infections, reducing the amount of mucous in the lungs, and allowing airflow. There may also be treatments done to ensure that proper nutrition is attained by patients. Because they may not be able to retain enough nutrients to stay at a proper weight, they may need to meet with a dietician on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for cystic fibrosis, but there have been significant advances in treatments in recent years. These treatments have greatly improved the quality of life for these patients. New discoveries in these treatments have helped people with the disease live longer, happier lives.
This is a difficult condition to endure, and if you believe your child may have it, talk to your doctor immediately. If your child is suffering from ongoing symptoms, visit a pediatric urgent care Las Vegas center and we will be able to help you to manage their pain.
To learn more about cystic fibrosis, click here.