About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and young adults in the United States. The current average life expectancy for a person with CF is 41 years of age. Adults with CF now account for 50% of the CF population.
CF affects primarily the lungs and the digestive system. In the lungs, the disease causes abnormal thick mucus. This can be treated with vigorous clapping on the back and chest to dislodge the buildup. Antibiotics are also used to treat lung infections and are administered intravenously, by pills or medicated vapors.
Furthermore, CF often stops the body from adequately absorbing needed nutrients from the digestive system. This is treated through an enriched diet, replacement vitamins, and enzymes, often requiring as many as 25 enzymes a day.
However, great progress has been made in treatments, and young people with CF today can usually administer their medicines at home or school. Oftentimes, the disease requires hospitalization. The hospitalizations and medicines are very expensive, though, and can often cause financial hardship for many families.
For further information on cystic fibrosis, visit http://www.cff.org