What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a complicated disease and it affects every patient differently. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation does a pretty good job of explaining what this disease is so here we go, straight fromĀ http://www.cff.org :

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide) have CF.

In people with CF, a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:

  • Clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.
  • Obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients.

Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disease. This means, you have to get a copy of a mutated gene from each of your parents to inherit this disease. If both of your parents are CF carriers (the likelyhood of a person being a CF carrier is about 1 in 29), then there is a 25% chance that you will be born with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis research and drug development has come such a long way in the last 10 years. In 2015, the average life expectancy is over 40 years old and it’s only going up from here!

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