Cystic Fibrosis a hereditary disorder affecting the exocrine glands. It causes the production of abnormally thick mucus, leading to the blockage of the pancreas ducts, intestines, and bronchi and often resulting in respiratory infections. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, life altering respiratory tract problems, sever or chronic lung infection, impaired growth or weight gain and extreme difficulty absorbing nutrients all due to this abnormally thick mucus. Healthy lungs produce mucus, which protects the airways and makes it easier to breathe. But for a person with CF, the mucus is thick and sticky and can clog up the lungs. This creates a place where bacteria can easily grow which will eventually cause infections. When cystic fibrosis is a consideration for a person’s disease the physician will do what is called a sweat test. This is a simple and cheap way to determine if your child has the disease. Because people who have cystic fibrosis (CF) have saltier sweat than others, the sweat test detects the amount of salt in the sweat of the individual. This is the best way to diagnose a person with the disease. Cystic Fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. Even though CF is the most common fatal genetic disease it is also the least known about. It is extremely important that they do more research on CF, due to the fact that it is the most common fatal genetic disease, it is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada have cystic fibrosis and most important of all there is no cure and causing at least 1 death a week. First I’d like to start with why Cystic Fibrosis is a disease. Secondly why the medical community needs to do more research on Cystic Fibrosis. Thirdly who this is important to that they further their research on cystic fibrosis. Fourthly I will discuss when, where and how the research of cystic fibrosis began and where we are now with research.
What makes a “disease” a disease? I asked myself this question a million times. A physical disease is when the body is physically unable to function. An example of a physical disease would be Cerebral palsy. Mental disease is when the mind has been distorted in some way to produce a behavior which is considered as "abnormal" an example of this would be anorexia nervosa. Inherited disease is when a disease has come about because of the genes that the parents carry. Both parents must be a carrier of a disease for a child to inherit that disease. An example of inherited disease would be Cystic fibrosis. Degenerative disease is when someone gets ill because they are getting older. There are many possible examples one of which would be angina. Even though Cystic Fibrosis is considered a hereditary disease it could also be classified as a physical disease, due to the fact that it severely affects the respiratory and digestive system.
The medical community wasn’t overly concerned about the quality of life of adults with cystic fibrosis. The life expectancy for the disease was just so low that the vast majority of CF patients never lived to see adulthood. But improved understanding and management of the disease in the past 30 years has changed that. The percent rate of patients living up to the age of 30 has increase by 85 percent since 1980's. According to 10 cystic fibrosis centers across America looked into the quality of these patients’ lives and they were lacking enjoyment in living. Age and sex were also linked to quality of life scores. Compared with men, women reported significantly lower scores in physical functioning, vitality and respiratory symptoms, but higher scores in body image and weight. Older age was associated with decreased physical activity. Even though life span has increased significantly for patients with cystic fibrosis, you can’t mentally and physically be content with knowing the fact that you're most likely to die by the age of 48. You may