What is Cystic Fibrosis? CF is a genetically inherited condition which is caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of the cells. Because this gene doesn’t work properly, it creates thick, sticky mucus, primarily in the lungs and digestive system but in other organs too.
Mucus is supposed to be a good thing in ‘healthy’ people because it captures bacteria and dust particles and which is then coughed up out the lungs. However, in a CFer the mucus is too thick to shift from the lungs and too sticky, which means that any bacteria that’s breathed in, can stay there causing infections to grow. Chest infections in a CFer are quite common and over time this can cause damage to the lungs.
Some CFers need lung transplants whilst others remain healthy for years. No two people with
Cystic Fibrosis are the same.
Problems with digestion means that CFers can’t break down the fat in food or drink which can lead to problems such as malnutrition, physical weakness, difficulty gaining weight and more.
Fortunately there are enzyme supplements which are to be taken with every meal (or anything that contains fat!)
Other issues evolving around CF is CF related Diabetes, liver disease, acid reflux, joint paint,
osteoporosis, bone disease, sinusitis, nasal polyps, mental health issues, infertility etc.
If you would like to find out more about the condition please visit the CF Trust website, or watch this video: