What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited life-threatening disease that affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. It causes these fluids to become thick and sticky.

It primarily affects the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, and sinuses and could cause severe reactive arthritis flares.

The mucus clogs the lungs, causing breathing problems and making it easy for bacteria to grow.

The build-up of mucus leads to repeated lung infections and permanent lung damage. Further damage is done to the pancreas, resulting in Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD). Treating arthritis becomes more challenging due to CFRD, as cortisone negatively affects blood sugar levels.

Until now, Doctors were only able to treat the disorder's symptoms, but a new groundbreaking/ life-changing medication is available that treats the underlying cause of CF.

What Causes CF?

CF is inherited and is passed from parent to child through genes. A gene is a part of your body’s cells that stores instructions for how your body grows and works. Genes come in pairs—you get one pair from each parent.

Your baby has to inherit a gene for CF from both parents to have CF. If they inherit the gene from just one parent, they have the gene for CF, but they do not have the condition. When this happens, your baby is called a CF carrier.

If your baby does have CF, they may have these signs and symptoms that can be mild or serious:

Suspect You Child has CF?

If your baby has CF, how are lung and breathing problems treated?

Frequent lung infections in babies with CF are caused by bacteria that do not usually cause problems for healthy babies. If your baby has CF, medicines like antibiotics often cannot eliminate all the bacteria in their lungs. These infections can lead to lung damage.

Your child’s treatment depends on the kind of symptoms they have and how severe the symptoms are. Certain medication can help children with CF breathe better and prevent infections. Some come as a mist that your child breathes into the lungs.

Medication used for CF include:

Your child’s healthcare provider may recommend more physical activity or other therapies to vibrate (shake) the chest to help loosen mucus in his/her lungs. Doing this can make it easier for your child to cough mucus up and out of the lungs.

A lung transplant may be needed if your child’s CF becomes life-threatening.