March 19, 2010

Cystic Fibrosis Causes, Symptoms, & Effects

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Cystic fibrosis is a primarily inherited disease. It is caused by a genetic defect. Basically, the person who has the defective gene can also pass it down the generations. The symptoms of cystic fibrosis are pretty easy to understand and see, but you would have to get a medical description from your regular health care practitioner as well. This is important as this is a potentially fatal disease that simply cannot be taken care of at home or even by you. Our lungs and pancreas and all other passageways of the body need to have lubrication to run properly and freely. This is provided by a thin and runny fluid that runs through the cells. The typical effects of cystic fibrosis are that this fluid becomes thick and syrupy, thus blocking the cells as opposed to making the running of the fluids easier. Everything becomes plugged and there is a very real and immediate danger of respiratory failure. These thick secretions can also cause havoc with your digestive system. They can seriously impair the ability of the body to absorb key vitamins and nutrients that are required to keep things running smoothly. This can also lead to a poorly nourished and therefore less than healthy body.

The symptoms of cystic fibrosis essentially include respiratory and digestive trouble. However, all individuals who are afflicted with this disease need not necessarily have both these symptoms. They can have one or the other. In small children, they can include thick and sticky stools, which also smell foul. Children will also have such a high rate of water retention that parents can see, taste and smell the salt on their skin. Children with cystic fibrosis can also grow very slowly, thus causing alarm bells to ring for their parents. One of the most easily overlooked signs of cystic fibrosis is the constant recurrence of throat and sinus infections. Coughing and wheezing are also fairly common among these kids. It is also possible that children with cystic fibrosis can have bronchitis or pneumonia. At the later stage of the disease, the patient may also be afflicted with cirrhosis of the liver. This can happen when the liver becomes inflamed due to the obstruction of bile in it. One of the worst fears of the patient suffering from cystic fibrosis is respiratory failure. This can happen due to anything and at any time. The immunity of the person will be lowered due to constantly being infected.