What is Cystic Fibrosis?
It’s one of the most common life shortening inherited diseases
Cystic Fibrosis (also known as CF), is a common hereditary disease which affects the entire body causing progressive disability. CF is caused by the body producing thick sticky mucous which clogs the lungs and digestive system.
Cystic Fibrosis is life threatening and many children do not reach adulthood, those who do generally die in their 20’s and 30’s from lung failure. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated, though not cured, by antibiotics and other medication. A multitude of other symptoms, including liver and pancreas problems, diabetes, sinus infections, malnutrition, diarrhoea and infertility result from the effects of CF on other parts of the body.
A lifetime full of hospital appointments
A normal childhood is difficult as there are constant hospital appointments or admissions for these children, plus daily intensive chest physiotherapy to help relieve the lungs of the mucus and antibiotics taken orally, inhaled and/or through I.V’s. 8,000 to 10,000 people in the UK have CF making it one of the most common life shortening inherited diseases.
There is no cure for CF. Most people with CF die young – many in their 20’s and 30’s from lung failure, although many young children do not survive to adulthood. Ultimately lung transplantation is often necessary as CF worsens.
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