Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month at Randox Biosciences
May is National Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Awareness Month. The purpose of having the awareness month is to educate and raise additional awareness to the public about the horrible disease and how it affects those who suffer. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, more than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis. More than 75% of these people are diagnosed in their early childhood 1.
What is CF?
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic, life-threatening disease which affects the respiratory and digestive system. A person with CF is born with the condition and therefore it is not possible to catch it from someone else. The gene affected by CF controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells, which results in a build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs. This causes a wide range of challenging symptoms affecting the entire body.2
Symptoms of CF:
There are many symptoms to Cystic Fibrosis which can make life for someone who suffers with CF challenging. The build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs can make breathing difficult and clog up the pancreas which as a result can increase the risk of developing a lung infection or worse, death. This can make it difficult for those who have CF to absorb nutrients from food properly and therefore they must eat more calories to avoid malnutrition. Other symptoms include the following:3
- recurring chest infections
- wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and damage to the airways (bronchiectasis)
- difficulty putting on weight and growing
- diarrhoea, constipation, or large, smelly poo
- a bowel obstruction in new-born babies (meconium ileus) – surgery may be needed
Complications of CF:
3People with CF also have a higher risk of developing other conditions. These include:
- weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis)– medicines called bisphosphonates can sometimes help
- diabetes– insulin and a special diet may be needed to control blood sugar levels
- nasal polyps and sinus infections – steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics or sinus flushes can help
- liver problems
- fertility problems – it’s possible for women with CF to have children, but men won’t be able to father a child without help from fertility specialists (see a doctor or fertility specialist for more advice)
4There is no cure for CF, but with improved treatment and management people with Cystic Fibrosis are living longer. It’s thought that children born with CF nowadays are likely to live to an average age of over 50 years old.
How we can help:
Randox Biosciences offer the Vivalytic with the Chronic Lung Disease cartridge, in combination with our intelligent Biochip Array Technology which detects 132 pathogens. The 132 species are simultaneously detected across this 320 Array including bacterial, viral, fungal targets and an antibiotic resistance marker from a single sputum sample!