Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes severe damage to your respiratory and digestive system. The damage generally results due to the accumulation of thick sticky mucus in your organs. Cystic fibrosis is a condition that changes how your body makes mucus and sweat. During cystic fibrosis, either the mucus is too thick or sweat is too salty in nature.
Organs affected by Cystic Fibrosis:
There are different organs that get affected due to cystic fibrosis. The most commonly affected organs include:
Lungs are mainly affected by cystic fibrosis. The heavy mucus clogs your lungs and makes it difficult for you to breathe.
Mucus can also block your pancreas and makes it difficult for you to digest your food. A large amount of salt that is required by your body is removed from your body in the form of sweat while suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Mucus accumulation in the liver can hamper the normal functioning of your liver.
There are certain enzymes that are required by your intestine to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. The mucus clogs the channels that carry the enzyme to the small intestine. These digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas. In absence of digestive enzyme, it is difficult for your intestines to absorb essential nutrients from food.
Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms
Cystic fibrosis symptoms vary depending on the individual’s health and overall condition. The age when the visible symptoms appear also differs. In few rare cases, symptoms can appear during infancy. The most common symptoms include:
- Salty sweat
- Shortness of breath
- Recurrent lung Infections
- Stuffy nose
- Stuffy sinuses
- A persistent cough that leads to production of thick mucus or phlegm
- Abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Foul-smelling stools
- Delayed growth in children
Cystic Fibrosis Causes
Cystic fibrosis is mainly caused due to the defects in certain genes like CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) gene. CFTR gene is responsible for controlling the movement of water and salt in and out of your body’s cells.
A spontaneous mutation in CFTR genes causes your mucus to become thicker and stickier. It causes your sweat to be saltier. CFTR gene is generally passed on to the child from the parents. One copy of the gene from each parent must be inherited to the child for cystic fibrosis to develop.
Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosis
Generally, blood tests and genetic tests are used to diagnose cystic fibrosis. Genetic tests are usually done to detect the presence of a defective gene in the baby. Blood tests mainly help in determining whether the pancreas and liver is functioning properly. The other common tests include:
- Immunoreactive trypsinogen test
- Sweat chloride test
- Sputum test
- Chest x-ray
- CT scan
- Pulmonary function test (PFT)
Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
Cystic fibrosis can be cured by various treatments that help in relieving the symptoms and reducing the risk and complications. The most common treatments used for cystic fibrosis include:
- Antibiotics to avoid lung infection
- Mucus thinning medications
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Bowel surgery in complicated cases
- Lung transplant for removing the damaged part of the lung.
You gynecologist may suggest you certain genetic tests that help in diagnosing the presence of a defective gene in your body. The gynecologist in Hyderabad can perform the diagnostic test to determine the presence of CFTR gene.
Dr. Vandana Hegde is the best gynecologist in Hyderabad. Gynaecologist in Kondapur is known for successfully treating and preventing cystic fibrosis cases. You can also consult a gynecologist in Gachibowli for an early diagnosis and treatment.