Cystic Fibrosis: Causes & Symptoms

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Cystic fibrosis is a progressive disease in which a faulty gene leads to the deposition of thick, sticky deposition of mucus that clogs vital organs, making it easy for bacteria to grow.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) or mucoviscidosis is an autosomal genetic disorder that most commonly affects the lungs, but can have secondary impacts on a number of other organ systems, including the pancreas, intestines, sinuses, sex organs, and liver. The clogged airways and passageways in the body become infected as they become breeding ground for bacteria. Also, the person suffers from malnutrition as vital nutrients get blocked. Though modern medicine has managed to prolong life for people suffering from this condition, there is no cure and it usually cuts life far too short.

cysticfibrosis

Cause

A defect in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene is the primary cause of cystic fibrosis. This specific gene regulates the movement of water and salt in the cells.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of cystic fibrosis include chronic lung infections, including pneumonia and related conditions, that weaken and break down the integrity and strength of the lungs over time. While symptoms may vary depending on the organ affected, other signs include:

  • Skin that tastes salty
  • A persistent cough
  • Frequent infections of the lungs
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Nasal polyps
  • Poor development despite a good diet
  • Bowel irregularities
  • Male infertility
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