Cystic Fibrosis is a chronic, life threatening disease that sees the internal organs (particularly the lungs) become clogged with mucus. Whilst an unaffected body produces a constant flow of mucus to trap bacteria in CF sufferers this mucus is gloopy and too thick which is what causes problems. Other symptoms associated with CF include osteoporosis, clubbed toes/fingers, recurrent chest infections, poor growth, constipation, fertility problems and sometimes liver disease and diabetes. Cystic Fibrosis is genetic and the 8000 sufferers in the UK make it the most common inherited disease in this country. Some people may be carries of the CF gene without knowing it but tests are available for those with a family history of CF and can be useful when considering making plans to have a family. For a newborn to develop CF both of their parents must carry the CF gene which means there is a one in four chance of their child having CF. The life expectancy for a sufferer is about 35 years. Whilst there is no cure for cystic fibrosis there are treatments available to keep sufferers as healthy as possible. Treatments typically involve a combination of frequent medication and physiotherapy which should allow a CF sufferer to live as long, happy and unaffected life as possible.
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