What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic Fibrosis – or CF is Ireland’s most common life threatening inherited disease. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder. It is not contagious, you are born with it. Approximately 1 in 20 people are carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis gene and when two carriers parent a child there is a 1 in 4 chance of the child being born with Cystic Fibrosis.

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 30’s, 40’s and beyond.

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:

  • 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.

Has your child been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and do you attend Cork University Hospital? Would you like to talk to a parent of a child with Cystic Fibrosis? If so, please email info@build4life.net or call 0862317722 and we will get someone to call you