The Need to Breath
Physiology 310 - Section 3
T.A. - Sheree Speckman
November 15, 2011
Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. It is an inherited deadly disorder that affects Caucasians in the United States. Cystic fibrosis of CF is a disease that is caused by a defected gene, which causes the lungs to build up with an abnormally thick and sticky fluid, or mucus. This mucus affects the lungs obstructing breathing along with also affecting the pancreas, causing poor absorption of nutrients. For my family Cystic Fibrosis is a well-known disease, because my Aunt Rae Ellen died of it back in 1962. The ...view middle of the document...
There are also foundations dedicated to Cystic Fibrosis informing people of the disease and taking steps to advancing in treatments.
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease of the secretory glands. It is caused by the defected cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. This mutated gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick sticky mucus. This mucus begins to build up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas causing many respiratory and absorption problems. The collection of this mucus in the lungs leads to life threatening lung infections and digestion problems. Cystic fibrosis can also affect the sweat glands causing salty-tasting skin, and affects the male reproductive systems by causing them to become infertile. This disease is genetic and is a recessive trait that must be inherited from both parents. Between the two parents having a child there is a 1 out of 4 chance that the child will be born with Cystic Fibrosis while the other four will be carriers of the trait. The carriers do not have the disease but they are able to pass it along. The inherited gene is on chromosome 7 called CFTR. The protein that is produced by this gene is one that normally helps salt, or sodium chloride, move in and out of the cells. The mucus that is produced obstructs the airway in the lungs which leads to an increased risk of infection by bacteria. This mucus also builds up in the pancreas and blocks the ducts so that the digestive enzymes can’t get into the intestines. With the absence of the digestive enzymes the intestines cannot properly digest food. And this leads to a lack of essential nutrients in the body for normal nutrition and grown for people with cystic fibrosis. The intestines are not able to fully absorb fats and proteins and this causes a vitamin deficiency and malnutrition. The nutrients pass through the body without being absorbed and used. “Women with cystic fibrosis tend to have worse disease and shorter life spans than men. Although members of both genders generally now live into their 30s, men live an average of about three years longer” (Robert Tarran, Estrogen).
My aunt Rae Ellen Beeck was born a victim to Cystic Fibrosis. She was born August 17, 1943 and died October 14, 1962 of cystic fibrosis. Rae Ellen was one of four children, daughter of Roy and Marcella Beeck. When born she was given by the doctors a life expectancy of 7 years, due to the medicine back in that time and the information known about cystic fibrosis. But Rae Ellen lived till the age of 19. She had frequent hospital trips to keep watch of her cystic fibrosis. Her doctors’ name was Dr. Cambell, he kept watch of Rae Ellen throughout her years of life with the disease. For some of her time in the hospital she was kept in an oxygen tent because her lungs collapsed frequently. Eventually she was not able to fight the disease anymore and died in the Santa Barbara hospital...