Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes serious damage to the respiratory system and digestive system of the body. It is mainly directed to the lungs, the liver, the pancreas, the intestines and the kidneys as well. Difficulty breathing and coughing of thick mucus are common features of cystic fibrosis that indicate infection in the lungs.
What happens during this illness?
The main characteristic of cystic fibrosis involves high levels of thick viscous mucus that accumulates in your organs, especially in the lung. In addition, it also affects the cells of the sweat glands. Typically, these secretions are soft and lubricating in nature. They provide a cushioning effect for devices that prevent them from drying out or becoming infected.
In contrast, patients with cystic fibrosis have thick, sticky forms of these fluids. This may be the result of some defective genes with variable functions. Extra-thick body fluids seal the ducts, pipes and body passages. The individual can cause complications, such as respiratory failure, malnutrition and some physical infections.
Each year, cystic fibrosis is diagnosed among thousands of Americans. However, people with this disease live a normal life and require daily care.
Causes of cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is basically a genetic defect. This occurs due to a defect in the “structured gene of cystic fibrosis” or the CFTR gene.
The CFTR gene regulates the movement of water and salt in and out of body cells. The mutation in the gene changes its function, which leads to excessive production of thick mucus and viscous mucus. This abnormal mucus builds up in the whole body, including the intestines, the pancreas, the liver, the lungs, etc.
The abnormal performance of the CFTR gene also increases the amount of salt in our sweat.
Diagnosis of cystic fibrosis
Specific screening tests help diagnose the disease. Most European countries are subject to diagnostic or screening tests soon after birth. The blood spot test of the newborn is a common test for cystic fibrosis.
The positive results of screening tests lead to some additional tests to confirm the disease. These stress tests include,
A sweat test that measures the salt content in sweat is abnormally high in sick individuals.
The Genie test is achieved by a defective gene, blood or saliva, which causes cystic fibrosis. It also reveals the possibilities of the individual being the carrier of the disease. In addition, it also confirms the likelihood that the disease will occur in prospective breeds.