Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-threatening, genetic disorder amongst Australians. A person with CF needs to have inherited a copy of the CF gene from both of their parents.
One in 25 people carry the CF gene, 90% are unaware that they are carriers. A baby is born every four days with CF.
CF is a recessive genetic disorder affecting the exocrine glands which produce body secretions such as sweat, mucus and enzymes.
CF primarily affects the respiratory system (lungs), digestive system (pancreas and sometimes liver) and reproductive system.
CF causes a build-up of mucus in the lungs which may lead to repeated chest infections. Lung damage results, reducing lung function.
Most people with CF experience a persistent cough which helps to clear away mucus secretions in the lungs. CF is not contagious.
People with CF are also at risk of Liver disease, CF related diabetes and early onset osteoporosis.
It is an isolating disease, due to cross infection people with CF can’t get together socially for support.
Treatment is relentless and time consuming and includes:
- Intensive daily Physiotherapy
- Daily Nebuliser treatments for infection control and airway clearance
- Extra exersize to help clear the airways and build core strength
- Frequent hospital stays on IV antibiotics, called “Tune Ups”
- Enzyme replacement capsules with food to digest food
- Salt and vitamin supplements
- Up to 60 tablets a day
- A nutritious, high salt, high calorie, high fat diet
- Antibiotic therapy to treat lung infections