About Cystic Fibrosis:
It is a serious inherited condition that affects the respiratory and digestive systems. It causes severe damage to the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices resulting in these fluids become thick and sticky leads to blockages in the lungs and passageways. The most commonly affected organs are the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestines. Though there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment may ease symptoms and reduce severe complications.
Causes, Symptoms and Preventive Ways:
Cystic fibrosis occurs due to the production of abnormal mucus due to defect in a CFTR gene which helps to maintain the balance of salt and water in our body's cells. These secreted fluids are normally thin and slippery. A sudden change in the CFTR genes leads the mucus covering the cells to become excessively thick and sticky, which leads to clog up tubes, vessels and airways and damage the respiratory and digestive systems. It mainly occurs in a child whose parents have the defective gene.
Symptoms may vary from person to person depending on the age and severity of the condition. The main symptom is a strong salty taste to the skin as people with this condition have more than normal level of salt in their sweat. The other common symptoms include:
- Persistent coughing that produces thick mucus;
- Difficulty in breathing'
- Repeated lung infections;
- Weight loss;
- Severe constipation;
- Greasy, foul-smelling and fatty stools;
- Inflamed nasal passages or small, fleshy growths in the nose;
Diagnosis and Treatment Options:
In fact, more than 30,000 people in the United States living with this condition. Screening of all newborns in every state in the U.S. is performed through a genetic test to detect the baby has a CFTR defect gene and a blood test to identify if the pancreas and liver are working properly. The Doctors also perform the sweat chloride test which measures the amount of salt in sweat.
Though there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, there is a range of treatments available that can help get rid of the symptoms, reduce complications, and make it easier to live with. Some of the main treatments for this condition include medications, physiotherapy, lung transplant.
Doctors prescribe antibiotics and medicines
- to prevent and control infections that occur in the lungs;
- to make the mucus in the lungs thinner and also to expand the airways and make breathing easier;
- to prevent intestinal blockage;
In most cases where the lungs stop working properly in-spite of all the medical treatments, a lung transplant may be recommended.
It is vital to take the right nutrition to keep going on without many problems and stopping them becoming frequently ill. As per the guidance of dietitian it is important to take digestive enzyme capsules, vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid malnutrition.
Since the month of May is nationally recognized as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, it is right time to increase awareness by sharing key facts with your social networks and also organizing awareness campaigns in your community. It will help people understand the genetic disease that causes lung infections and digestive complications and the necessity for early diagnosis and treatment. Coordinate with other volunteers and healthcare professionals in your community and host an awareness campaign. Though there are many promotional products available in the market, choosing customized awareness wristbands as takeaway gifts in your campaign is the best choice, in view of the popularity and the reach they have among people. These products are not only used as stylish accessories but also used by people for creating awareness and other purposes.