National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness MonthMay 9, 2018
National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
May is National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. Cystic fibrosis affects over 10 million people in the United States every year. There is a good chance that you may know someone who has or has had cystic fibrosis. Famous celebrities with cystic fibrosis include Frankie Abernathy from MTV’s The Real World, composer Frederic Chopin, and 11-time Ironman winner Lisa Bentley,
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is mainly a pulmonary disease inherited as a genetic disorder. This disorder damages the lungs and affects other organs in the body with chronic infections. The Mayo Clinic defines cystic fibrosis symptoms as, “a persistent cough that produces thick mucus, wheezing, breathlessness, exercise intolerance, repeated lung infections and inflamed nasal passages.”
Other areas of the body that are affected include the digestive tract: through the stomach to the anus. Cystic fibrosis may produce foul-smelling greasy stools, blockage in the intestine, severe constipation and lack of weight gain. If you think you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, please consult a physician immediately.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder, and those with a family history are most likely to have someone in their family with the disease. The highest occurrence of cystic fibrosis is people with North European ancestry.
Complications from Cystic Fibrosis
Unfortunately, people with cystic fibrosis rarely make it to after the age of 30. One woman has lived into her 70s with cystic fibrosis. Complications from cystic fibrosis include damaged airways, coughing up mucus and blood. Respiratory failure is quite common. Digestive complications include diabetes, intestinal obstruction, blocked bile ducts, and nutritional deficiencies. Cystic fibrosis may leave men infertile.
Tips for Living with Cystic Fibrosis
- Seek genetic counseling if you know you are a carrier or have the disease
- Attend therapy
- Find a support group
- Eat a balanced diet
Has this article made you have an awareness of cystic fibrosis? Do you know anyone with cystic fibrosis? Comment below.