This report contains information on the disease cystic fibrosis and how people with it manage their life. The inherited disease cystic fibrosis is a condition that causes a thick mucus to build up in the lungs causing decreased lung function making anyone who has this condition life increasingly difficult keeping up with medications that can increase their quality of life.
How the respiratory system works normally
The respiratory system is one of the systems that help keep us alive. When we breathe in we go through inspiration this is where the muscles in our chest under the ribs (intercostal muscles) pull the ribs up and out letting the diaphragm flatten the abdomen by contracting causing the pressure in the lungs to decrease letting air in. after the air is inhaled the lungs then go through expiration to let the air (carbon dioxide) out causing the lung pressure to increase. The normal lung working capacity is round about 70% making tasks like running and walking such easy tasks. Although we can still get chest infections during the winter months in mst cases its not as serious as a person with cystic fibrosis as our immune systems are able to withstand much more than a person with cystic fibrosis is able to.
The effects of cystic fibrosis on the body
Cystic fibrosis primarily affects the lungs. People with cystic fibrosis have a life expectancy of around 37 years but it is constantly going up due to scientists constand studies and research. Many complications can be side effects of cystic fibrosis which can make anyone living with this disease life increasingly hard to manage. Living with cystic fibrosis can have an increasingly higher risk of having osteoporosis, liver problems, sinus infections and are also more prone to having diabetes. Among all of the other complications people with cystic fibrosis can contract chest infections that can be life threatening and could weaken their lungs further. In most cases people with cystic fibrosis need to have a lung transplant as their lungs start to weaken so much that their lungs can’t support them anymore.
Diagnosis and care
Cystic fibrosis can be found pretty early on doctors often perform a heel prick on newborn babies to determine if the baby has the genetic disease although this heel prick cannot detect all forms of cystic fibrosis. There is not yet a cure for cystic fibrosis but it can be managed children and adults are advised to eat a diet high in calories and vitamins but overall just a healthy balanced diet to help them grow. People with cystic fibrosis often struggle to breath their lungs are coated in a thick sticky mucus to help clear this they can often attend physical therapy or use a special type of vest to break up the mucus called an afflovest so that they can cough up this mucus. There is also medication that can help prevent these chest infections helping to keep them out of hospital. Taking part in aerobic exercises that cause you to breathe harder can also help breakup the mucus. The only downside to this form of exercise is it causes you to sweat causing you to lose salt so doctors may often recommend that you have a diet high in salt. Doctors can prescribe medicines such as mucus-thinning medicines, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories that help to thin the mucus, help open up the airways and reduce swelling that can occur.
Overall cystic fibrosis can be a difficult disease to manage but it can be done although people with cystic fibrosis have a decreased life expectancy they still try to make the most of it despite the multiple hospital visits and the tests they have to go through.