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Cystic fibrosis: causes, treatment and prognosis

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder in which mucus builds up in the lungs, pancreas, and other body parts. This condition allows the epithelial cells, which are the tissue that internally lines our body’s cavities and hollow organs, to form an incomplete protein that alters the balance between water and salt in our body to create a light fluid. This fluid stops germs from entering the lungs and then being expelled, but if this layer of fluid becomes too dense, the germs will be trapped, and the airways will be further infected. At FastlyHealwe, explain cystic fibrosis’s causes, treatment, and prognosis.

Causes of cystic fibrosis

This disease is inherited and is caused by a faulty gene that irregularly creates a sticky substance called mucus that accumulates and affects the respiratory tract and the digestive processes. Cystic fibrosis is more likely to develop in people of European descent and is diagnosed from two years of age; in less severe manifestations of the disease, they may not present symptoms and not be detected until 18.

The symptoms that accompany cystic fibrosis are different depending on the affected area:

In newborns :

  • Absence of evacuations between the first 24 or 48 hours.
  • Growth retardation
  • Salty sweat

Regarding intestinal function :

  • Weightloss
  • Severe constipation
  • Sickness
  • Pale stools

Airways :

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinusitis
  • Fatigue
  • Top
  • Pneumonia
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

Later symptoms :

blood test will be necessary to diagnose cystic fibrosis, and if there is a high value for immunoreactive trypsinogen, you may have cystic fibrosis. It can also be detected by measuring sweat chloride; if a high salt content is present, it is a sign of the disease.

Treatment for cystic fibrosis

Treatment for cystic fibrosis is based on avoiding complications, although an early diagnosis will be necessary to control the disease. Antibiotics are usually prescribed in higher doses than those customarily taken to prevent infections from treating lung problems. Bronchodilators are another drug for cystic fibrosis, as they will help open the airways; there are also concentrated saline solutions to improve the expectoration of mucus.

Likewise, postural drainage should be done, which is a technique to loosen mucus, where small blows are made with the hand in the shape of a cup in different areas and positions that make a rumbling sound. They should last between 5 and 7 minutes for each body area. Lung transplantation may be an option in some cases.

On the other hand, treatment must cover nutritional areas, so people with this condition must have a diet rich in protein and calories and consume supplements of vitamins A, D, E, and K, in addition to taking pancreatic enzymes that will help assimilate fats and proteins.

Cystic fibrosis prognosis

Children born with this disease can have a relatively everyday life until adulthood. In the long term, the condition worsens, incapacitating the person who has it. The average age of life is 37 years, and death is caused by respiratory complications or malnutrition.

Possible complications

If cystic fibrosis is not diagnosed and treated in time, it can cause much more severe damage to the body. Some of the diseases that can occur are:

  • Heart failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic respiratory failure
  • Diabetes
  • Liver failure
  • Osteoporosis and arthritis
  • Coughing up blood


There is some home care that should be taken into account so that the disease does not get worse:

  • Stay hydrated, especially if you live in a warm climate.
  • Do exercises like swimming, jogging, or cycling, two or three times a week.
  • Perform postural drainage one to four times a day to prevent mucus build-up.
  • Avoid contact with smoke, dust, household chemicals, and fungi.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Cystic Fibrosis: causes, treatment, and prognosis , we recommend entering our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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