Learn about Cystic Fibrosis
[highlight color="blue"] Cystic fibrosis [/highlight] (CF) causes the body to produce mucus that is extremely thick and sticky. The mucus is much thicker than normal because CF affects cells in the epithelium which is the layer of cells that lines the passages in the body’s organs.
In a healthy person who is not suffering from CF, the epithelial cells produce a thin, watery mucus that acts like a lubricant helping to protect the body’s tissues. In someone with CF, however, the thicker mucus struggles to move as easily. The thick, sticky mucus clogs passages in many of the body’s organs which in turn causes infection to set in.
Diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis is diagnosed using a variety of tests such as,Newborn Screening,Sweat test,Carrier test and Prenatal Screening.
[tabbed tabs="Newborn Screening|Prenatal Screening|Carrier Testing|Sweat Test"] [tab] Newborns are screened for CF using a genetic test or a blood test. The genetic test will indicate whether a newborn has faulty CFTR genes. The blood test shows whether a newborn’s pancreas is operating efficiently. [/tab] [tab]
If you’re pregnant, prenatal genetic tests can show whether your fetus has CF. These tests include amniocentesis (AM-ne-o-sen-TE-sis) and chorionic villus (ko-re-ON-ik VIL-us) sampling (CVS).
In amniocentesis, your doctor inserts a hollow needle through your abdominal wall into your uterus. He or she removes a small amount of fluid from the sac around the baby. The fluid is tested to see whether both of the baby’s CFTR genes are normal.
In CVS, your doctor threads a thin tube through the vagina and cervix to the placenta. The doctor removes a tissue sample from the placenta using gentle suction. The sample is tested to see whether the baby has CF.
[/tab] [tab] People who have one normal CFTR gene and one faulty CFTR gene are indeed CF carriers. CF carriers usually experience no symptoms at all of CF and live perfectly normal lives. However, carriers can transmit faulty CFTR genes on to their children.
If you are known to have a family history of CF or a partner who has CF (or a family history of it) and you’re planning a pregnancy, you may decide you would like to find out whether you’re a CF carrier.
A blood test or a saliva sample can help to find out whether you have a faulty CF gene. This type of test is very succesful in detecting faulty CF genes in 9 out of 10 cases. [/tab] [tab] If CF is suspected the diagnosis can be confirmed by performing a sweat test. This test is a very useful test for diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis. A sweat test measures the amount of salt in sweat.
For this test, sweating is triggered on a small patch of skin on an arm or leg, the skin is rubbed with a sweat-producing chemical and then an electrode is used to provide a mild electrical current. This could possibly cause a tingling or warm feeling.
Sweat is then collected on a pad or paper for analysis. The sweat test is normally performed twice. High salt levels confirm a diagnosis of CF. [/tab] [/tabbed]
Your doctor may well recommend various other test to help with proper diagnosis of [highlight color="blue"] Cystic Fibrosis [/highlight] .
[tooltip color="orange" text="What is the treatment for Cystic Fibrosis? Cystic fibrosis (CF) has no cure. However, treatments havegot a lot better in recent years. The goals of CF treatment include: Prevention and controlling of lung infections Loosening and removal of the thick, sticky mucus from the lungs Preventing or treating the blockages within the intestines Providing adequate nutrition Prevention of dehydration (a lack of fluid in the body) Depending on the degree ofseverity of CF, you or your child may need to be treated in a hospital."] What Treatment Is Available For Cystic Fibrosis [/tooltip]