Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder which primarily affects the lungs. It also causes problems with the liver, pancreas and intestines. Currently, over 9,000 people in the UK and approximately 30,000 people in the US suffer with cystic fibrosis.
Scientific advancements in the fields of diagnosing and treating cystic fibrosis have meant that the disorder is much more manageable than it used to be. Previously, sufferers would struggle to breathe for much of their lives and would often face an early death – usually in childhood. However, in the 21st century sufferers are much more able to cope with the disease thanks to a large range of therapies and technologies which can alleviate symptoms.
For CF sufferers, regular ongoing care is vital if they are to enjoy a good quality of life. It’s important for parents of CF children to have as much information as they need to be able to support their children, and to have the support they themselves need in order to provide quality care.
CF checkups should take place every three months, and lifestyle measures should be put in place to ensure symptoms are not aggravated. Sufferers are advised not to smoke or be around smokers, to practice good personal hygiene in order to prevent infections, and to take part in regular exercise and physical therapy.
Nutrition for CF
Nutrition is an important part of coping with CF, as there is a link between body weight and lung function. A high fat diet is required for energy, as are dietary supplements, but CF sufferers are advised to watch their weight. It’s usually advised that both CF sufferers and parents of CF children investigate nutrition when learning how to manage the condition.
Understanding Your DNA
Cystic Fibrosis, like many other conditions, is a genetic disorder. It’s caused by a mutation on the CFTR gene, which is supposed to regulate a person’s sweat, mucus and digestive fluids. It’s now possible to find out whether or not a child will be born with CF by conducting in-utero DNA screening.
There have been many advancements in the field of DNA testing. It used to be that testing could only be carried out in a specialised hospital, but these days regular people can apply for DNA testing through an easily accessible company like GTLDNA. Laboratories still tend to be state of the art, but results can be obtained much sooner than if you were to go through your health system.