Recognising Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Recognising Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms

Cystic Fibrosis is not a contagious disease; it is inherited when the child gets two mutated form of a particular gene, one form each parent. The gene in question is called the CTFR gene. There are many cystic fibrosis symptoms and it is a chronic and often fatal disease, which affects the body’s mucus glands. The most serious cystic fibrosis symptoms are linked to the respiratory system as thick mucus is secreted in the lungs making it an ideal environment for infections and making the sufferers very susceptible to respiratory problems and infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma. The presence of the thick mucus, which accumulates in the lungs, causes many problems including malnutrition, poor growth, breathing difficulties and eventually permanent lung damage. Most sufferers of this disease die from lung disease. Another of the severe cystic fibrosis symptoms is an abnormal amount of sweating with excessive levels of salt. Too much salt in the sweat can lead to an imbalance of minerals in the blood, which in turn can lead to an abnormal heartbeat and even shock. Further cystic fibrosis symptoms, which can occur, are conditions including inflammation of the pancreas, liver conditions, late onset of puberty and infertility. The cystic fibrosis symptoms vary from each individual and also vary in severity. Some patients are diagnosed when they are young children but many aren’t diagnosed until they are young adults. Cystic fibrosis can easily be misdiagnosed for a respiratory infection and in some cases, it is only after a ling history of respiratory infections that cystic fibrosis is considered. Analysing the individuals sweat can test for the disease.

Other cystic fibrosis symptoms are foul smelling, clay coloured stools, wheezing, weight loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, enlarged fingertips and a chronic cough, in some cases with streaks of blood. In newborn babies a cystic fibrosis symptom is also the failure to pass stool. A very common symptom in sufferers if all ages is the coughing up of sputum; this is the mucus in the lungs and can vary in quantity and colour.

There are many other cystic fibrosis symptoms, which are slightly less common including inflammation of the nasal sinuses, pneumosthorax, which is when the lung tissue ruptures and air becomes trapped between the lung and the chest, as well as gassiness, rectal prolapse, liver disease, diabetes and gall stones.

Most patients will find that the cystic fibrosis symptoms get worse year by year. This is a result of recurring infection, constant coughing and inflammation causing more and more damage to the lungs and deterioration in how effectively and efficiently they are able to function. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, only treatment to relieve the symptoms and maintain quality of life. Thanks to continued research and development of treatments the average life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis is always being increased and many more patients are now living a long and full life.

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