Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a single faulty gene that controls the movement of salt in the body. In people with Cystic Fibrosis, the internal organs become clogged with thick, sticky mucus resulting in infections and inflammation making it hard to breathe and digest food. For a baby to be born with Cystic Fibrosis, both parents must be carriers of the faulty CF gene. The diagram shows how CF is inherited. Where both parents carry the faulty gene, each child has a one in four chance of having CF, a two in four chance of being a carrier and a one in four chance of not having any CF genes. Cystic Fibrosis causes the body to produce thick secretions that particularly affect the lungs and digestive tract. Symptoms of CF can include a troublesome cough, repeated chest infections, prolonged diarrhoea and poor weight gain. It is common for people with CF to encounter some difficulties with their lungs. A combination of physiotherapy and medication can help control lung infections and prevent lung damage. To avoid the risk of cross-infection, it is recommended that people with CF do not come into close contact with others with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis affects the pancreas, which makes it difficult for people with CF to digest food. This can cause malnutrition, which can lead to poor growth, physical weakness and delayed puberty. There is medication that can compensate for the failure of the pancreas. People with CF are prone to developing bone disease due to the nutritional and other problems involved with the disease. Adults with CF are at an increased risk of bone disease because of the adverse effects of steroids taken to control lung disease. Although Cystic Fibrosis does not cause sexual impotency, it can lead to fertility problems. In most men with CF, the tubes that carry sperm are blocked, which causes infertility. Because underweight women are more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles, the nutritional problems associated with CF...
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