DECEMBER 3, 2008
Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects several of the major systems of the human body. These systems are the respiratory system, the digestive system, the sweat glands, and the reproductive system. If affects these systems because an abnormal gene causes the normally watery mucus in certain organs to become thick and sticky. This thick sticky mucus can block air passages in the lungs and respiratory system, as well as causing blockages in the tubes and ducts in the other systems of the body that carry enzymes. This can cause problems with absorption of nutrients into the body.
A mutated gene that encodes the membrane ...view middle of the document...
If the person reaches adolescents or adulthood before they are diagnosed, the onset of puberty is often delayed. Girls may be infertile and have scanty cervical mucus. Boys or often sterile or azospermic. Girls and boys will often develop bronchiectasis.
There are three main ways to diagnose Cystic Fibrosis. The most accurate and easiest of these tests is a sweat test. In this test, a small amount of pilocarpine is driven into the skin by stimulation with small amperes of electric current. The sweat is then collected and tested for the concentration of sodium and chloride. A concentration of 70 millimoles or higher is diagnosed as Cystic Fibrosis.
Another test that can be done to diagnose Cystic Fibrosis is a DNA test. This is a relatively new test. It is accurate in approximately 75 percent of the time. In this test a personâ€™s DNA is tested for up to a dozen common errors in the CFTR gene.
In adults, a sweat test is not very accurate. This is because adults sweat more than children do and so their sweat is normally higher in salt. Because of this, the electric charge across the cells that line the nose must be measured. This test must be performed in specialist centers.
Treatment of Cystic Fibroses must be multifaceted and continuous. For lung problems, sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis are given antibiotics for infection. These antibiotics are administered in three ways; orally, inhaled, and intravenous. They endure daily physical therapy, which includes posture changes and thumps on their chest and back to help clear the mucus. Sometimes a person has to receive oxygen through a mask or nasal prongs if their oxygen levels drop too low. Sometimes a lung transplant is...