May 1, 2013
Well it's May and it's the first time I am activity advocating for Cystic Fibrosis! May is CF month, and I plan on blogging as much as I can this month to get everyone I can educated about this disorder.
Cystic Fibrosis is nicknamed 'Sixty Five Roses' as it is easier for kids to pronounce. CF is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects most the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestine. The lungs are the hardest hit as they become filled with sticky mucus and are then more vulnerable to infection and bacteria. See CF is caused by a mutation in the gene for the protein 'cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator' (CFTR). This protein is required to regulate sweat, digestive fluids, and mucus. Because of this mutation the cells in the body are not able to function as they should normally.
Nearly every system in the body are effected by CF. Lungs are constantly being filled with mucus and CF patients can usually be heard coughing quite frequently. This also effects the sinus cavity and can lead to nasal polyps. The pancreas also produces thick mucus which then blocks the exocrine ducts and leaves the organ useless. CF patients are usually unable to digest food normally, which leads to malnutrition. Calories are not absorbed normally and CF patients are usually on a constant battle to keep weight on. The damage to the pancreas can also lead to CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes). Infertility is also common in CF - in both male and females.
And that's the basics! I will be back later with some more facts and statistics about Cystic Fibrosis! And I hope to get a 'Day in the Life of a CFer' sometime this month!