What causes Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis doesn't really have factors that increase the risk of a child getting the condition.
- It is passed on genetically
- People with the condition produce thick, sticky mucus in the lining of their internal organs (lungs, digestive system)
What are the signs/symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis?
There are lots of signs/symptoms that a person with this condition suffers from. These include:
- Persistant coughing/wheezing
- Sweating, salting skin
- huge appetite, poor weight gain
- Pale, oily faeces
- recurring chest/lung infections
How is Cystic Fibrosis diagnosed?
People with the condition have oily, salty skin, so this can be swabbed and tested for Cystic Fibrosis.
A week after birth, a midwife will ask to take a sample of blood from the baby's heel. This will be tested for Cystic Fibrosis.
This type of newborn screening is called "blood spot screening."
How is Cystic Fibrosis treated?
There are lots of different ways to treat Cystic Fibrosis, including:
- Antibiotics for recurring chest/lung infections
- Physiotherapy - exercise to help clear mucus from the lungs
- Bronchodilators - medication to help expand airways
- If the condition is severe, a lung transplant may be required
At the moment, there is no cure for the condition.
How does Cystic Fibrosis progress?
As a person with the condition grows older, they may develop:
- A barrel-shaped chest
- Nasal polyps (abnormal tissue growths)
They're also at risk of:
- Collapsed lungs
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Bowel obstruction
- Sterility (males)
- Difficulty conceiving (female)