Model: (My Medication)
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). 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; and
- obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
Signs and Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis:
- very salty-tasting skin;
- persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;
- frequent lung infections;
- wheezing or shortness of breath;
- poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite; and
- frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.
- About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year.
- More than 70% of patients are diagnosed by age two.
- More than 45% of the CF patient population is age 18 or older.
- The predicted median age of survival for a person with CF is in the early 40s.
For more information on how you can help, please visit: www.cff.org/
My brother was lucky enough not to end up with CF, so I have no one close to me that I can confide in about it. But I'm glad to be able to talk to you.
What part about CF bothers you and your brother the most? The digestive thing or the breathing problem?
The breathing stuff is definitely a bigger problem. But the digestive stuff has been really bad as of lately. Any time I get an acid reflux flare up, I get sick to my stomach and eventually yeah...I'm sure you can guess. The gas and bloating is really embarrassing, especially in class. And if I forget to take my enzymes...oh boy... lol