Cystic Fibrosis Signs and Symptoms

What You Should Know About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis, referred to as CF, is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 people in the United States. The disease causes a buildup of thick mucus in the pancreas, lungs, and other organs. Persons with cystic fibrosis are prone to potentially life-threatening lung infections, difficulty breathing, and malnutrition.

Individuals with CF have received a copy of the CF gene from both parents. Each parent has to have a copy of the CF gene for the disease to be passed on to the child. Any time two people with one copy of the CF gene have a child, there is a 25 percent chance the child will have CF and a 50 percent chance they will be a carrier themselves.

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Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

The most common symptoms of CF include the following:

Treatment and Management of Cystic Fibrosis

The severity and specific symptoms of CF can vary drastically from person to person. Individuals with the disease should work closely with specialists to create a treatment plan to fit their needs. In most cases, people with CF will use some or all of the following therapies:

These modern treatments have added decades to the lives of CF patients. In the 1950s, children with CF usually died before they reached school age. Today, the average life expectancy of a CF patient is 41 years.

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