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Cystic Fibrosis

November 15, 2010

What is Cystic Fibrosis??

Cystic Fibrosis is a disorder of membrane transport. It is an inherited chronic disorder that affects both the lungs and the digestive system. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce thick mucus that consequently clogs the lungs and obstructs the pancreas.

What causes thick mucus build up?

The main defect causes thick mucus build up. The main defect in cystic fibrosis arises in the epithelial cells lining the airways of the lung. There are channels in these lining cells through which ions pass. Normally, the movement of ions bring water to the surface of the airway and keeps the mucus moist. However, with people who have cystic fibrosis the channels which these ions pass through are blocked, causing the mucus to become thick and dry up. Thus blocking the lungs. 

What are symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis??

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis include:

  • Salty-tasting skin
  • Lung infections
  • Persistent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Poor growth/weight gain in spite of good appetite

What are treatments for Cystic Fibrosis??

Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis include:

  • Mucus-thinning drugs
  • Not smoking
  • Exercising
  • Chest clapper
  • Inflatable vest

All of these treatments help loosen the mucus in your lungs and helps your body get rid of that thick mucus.

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