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Cystic Fibrosis : Things You Didn’t Know!

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What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetically inherited disease, which means you get the genes of the condition at the time of birth.

Mucus is a substance that assists the organs of our bodies to function correctly. In a healthy condition, the mucus is thin and slimy. But, a person with this condition produces very thick and sticky mucus. 

Due to mucus in the lungs, the respiratory tract gets blocked, which causes serious breathing problems and lung infections.

What Causes Cystic Fibrosis?

A mutation in the gene CFTR causes CF or Cystic Fibrosis. 

CFTR is a gene that commands for creation of a channel that transports chloride ions back and forth between the cells. Chloride ions are negatively charged particles that monitor the water circulation in the tissue. 

Insufficient amounts of water in the tissue make the mucus thick and sticky. 

To cause CF, a child needs to inherit one copy of the gene CFTR from each of the parents. Inheritance of one copy doesn’t lead to the development of CF in the child. But, he acts as a carrier and can pass on the gene to offspring. 

What are the Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis symptoms rely on the fierceness of the disease and the affected organs. 

Some people experience specific symptoms of the disease, while others do not. Following are the symptoms experienced by most people:

  • Fatigue,
  • Weakness,
  • Fever,
  • Jaundice,
  • Low Body Mass Index,
  • Muscle and joint pain,
  • Delayed puberty,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Chronic diarrhea,
  • Constipation,
  • Salty skin
  • Night sweats,

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Cystic Fibrosis

  • CF Affects The Lungs And Digestive System

A person with CF produces thick mucus. It obstructs the airways and other organs, resulting in several lung and pancreatic disorders. It generally affects the respiratory system, but other organs can also get influenced in rare cases. 

  • Excessive Salt Releases From The Body Of The People Affected By CFC

An outrageous amount of salt is present in the sweat of a person suffering from CF. Many doctors perform sweat test for cystic fibrosis diagnoses. This is a preferred method by most doctors in diagnosing the disease. 

  • Residing With People Having CF Can Be Dangerous

CF is non-contagious for those who don’t have a copy of the transformed CFTR gene in their body. 

Maintaining some distance (about 6 feet) from people with the condition reduces the risk of transmission. 

  • CF Remains Unnoticeable By A Person’s Appearance 

You can’t tell if a person has CF just by his presence. The disease makes a person very sick from the inside. They experience trouble in performing everyday activities but appear hugely fit. 

  • Cystic Fibrosis Is Also Known As “65 roses”

One day, a boy overheard his mother speaking about the condition over a phone call. He thought his mother said 65 roses rather than the original name. Since then, the nickname has become renowned for the disease.

A single rose has been used for a long time to demonstrate CF.

  • Most newborn babies are diagnosed with CF.

Newborn babies are usually screened at the time of their birth. For newborn screening, a small blood sample is drawn from the body and tested for the presence of various diseases. 

Many newborn babies have CF at the moment of their birth. The life expectancy of people born with a condition such as cystic fibrosis is about 44 years.

Can You Prevent Cystic Fibrosis?

If both parents have a CF gene, they can undergo genetic testing before the baby is born. A sample of fluid is drawn from the mother’s womb and tested in this test. Unfortunately, you can do nothing to prevent CF after the child takes birth. 

How to Manage the Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis?

Take appropriate medication and treatment to get relief from your symptoms. The following points can be beneficial:

  • Receive the Right Treatment

It’s essential to receive proper treatment for your health. Your healthcare specialist may provide you with physiotherapy, antibiotics, and other medications. You can also reach out to the cystic fibrosis foundation if you need means to support your treatment.

  • Have a Healthy Diet

A healthy and balanced diet can keep you away from several diseases, including CF. Incorporate more nourishing foods into your diet and ensure that you get the proper nutrition.

  • Have Frequent Consultation

Frequent consultations are required to check the effectiveness of the treatment. For instance the medication is not working well for your condition, you can get it replaced with another. 

  • Avoid Cigarette Smoking

Smoking cigarettes and taking second-hand smoke is equally hazardous. It can worsen the symptoms to a certain level. 

  • Involve Yourself in Physical Activities

Patients receive physiotherapy as a part of their treatment. Ask the doctor for the same and make the symptoms manageable. 

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition which does not have a cure. With effective treatment one can manage the condition effectively to increase life expectancy and improve quality of life as well. 

Answering your questions

  • What are 5 symptoms of cystic fibrosis?

    Five of the most common symptoms  are

  1. Fatigue 
  2. Weakness,
  3. Fever,
  4. Jaundice,
  5. Low Body Mass Index.
  • How does a person get cystic fibrosis?

    According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a gene mutation causes CF. A child gets CF when both parents pass on two CF genes.

  • What is the life expectancy of a child with cystic fibrosis?

    As predicted by new studies in 2019, the life expectancy of CF patients born between 2015 and 2019 is 46 years. According to data, half of the newborns born in 2019 will live to be 48 years old or older.

  • What exactly is cystic fibrosis? Cystic fibrosis is a genetically inherited condition. Chronic lung, digestive, and other organ damage is caused by this inherited condition.

  • Is there any cure for cystic fibrosis?

    A range of medications can help control symptoms, prevent or decrease consequences, and simplify living with the condition. Regular consultations to monitor the condition are required, but there is no cure for CF. 

  • What age is cystic fibrosis diagnosed?

    Most CF kids are diagnosed by age 2. Diagnosis of a mild case may not happen until adolescence.
  • Is cystic fibrosis always fatal?

    This condition is progressive and often induces chronic lung damage, resulting in life-threatening complications

  • How do you test for cystic fibrosis?

    Sweat tests are used to measure – chloride, a salt component abundant in CF. It is used to diagnose CF. 
  • Can people with CF have kids?

    According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 97-98 percent of men with cystic fibrosis are sterile, through assisted reproductive technology allows them to have biological children (ART).

  • What are the first signs of cystic fibrosis in babies?

    If a baby has CF, they may have symptoms such as:
    Sneezing, wheezing
  • Lungs are full of mucous.
  • Pneumonia and bronchitis 
  • Breathlessness
  • Dry skin.
  • A big appetite yet slow growth.
  • Is cystic fibrosis a death sentence?

    CF is no longer fatal, and newer research are helping CF patients live longer and healthier lives.

  • Can you live a normal life with cystic fibrosis?

    While there is no treatment for cystic fibrosis, patients are living longer and better lives. Today’s CF newborns can expect to live into their mid-40s. More adults with this condition live today compared to children due to greater life expectancy.

  • Can cystic fibrosis spread?

    No. It isn’t contagious. It can’t be caught or given to anyone. If you have CF, you must avoid infections.

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Photo of author Janet Fudge
Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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