Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition in which the lungs and digestive system can become clogged with thick, sticky mucus.
Itcan cause problems with breathing and digestion from a young age. Over many years, the lungs become increasingly damaged and may eventually stop working properly.
Most cases of cystic fibrosis in the UK are now identified through screening tests carried out soon after birth. It's estimated that 1 in every 2,500 babies born in the UKhas cystic fibrosis.
A number of treatments are available to help reduce the problems caused by the condition,but unfortunately averagelife expectancy is reduced for people who have it.
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Symptoms of cystic fibrosis tend to start in early childhood, although they can sometimes develop verysoon after birth, or may not be obvious until adulthood.
Some of the main symptoms of cystic fibrosis can include:
People with the condition can also develop a number of related conditions, including diabetes ,thin, weakened bones ( osteoporosis ) and liver problems.
This, along with recurrent infections, can result in a build-up of thick, sticky mucus in the body's tubes and passageways.
To be born with cystic fibrosis, a child has to inherit two copies of this faulty gene one from each of their parents. Their parents will not usually have the condition themselves, because they will only carry one faulty gene and one that works normally.
If both parents carry the faulty gene, there's a 25% chance that each child they have will be born with cystic fibrosis.
Most cases of cystic fibrosis are now detected soon after birth through the newborn blood spot test .
This involves collecting a drop of blood from the baby's heel and testing it forabnormalities that could indicate cystic fibrosis.
More testswill be needed to confirm the diagnosis, such as:
These tests can also be carried out in older children and adults with symptoms of cystic fibrosis who haven't been screened previously.
If you have a family history of cystic fibrosis, you can be tested to determine if you're at risk of having a child with the condition by checking if you're a"carrier" of the faulty gene that causes it.
Currently, about half of the people with cystic fibrosis will live past the age of 40. Children born with the condition nowadays are likely to live longer than this.
If you or your child hascystic fibrosis, your clinical team will pass information about you/your childon to the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Diseases Registration Service (NCARDRS).
This helps scientists look for better ways to prevent and treat this condition. You can opt out of the register at any time.
A genetic disorder is a disorder caused by a fault in the genes. It is usually hereditary (runs in the family).
A carrier is a person or animal that spreads an organism that causes disease but does not become ill themselves.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition in which the lungs and digestive system can become clogged with thick, sticky mucus. Read about the symptoms, causes and treatments.
Cystic fibrosis can cause a range of problems. The lungs and digestive system are the main areas that are affected.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a faulty gene that a child inherits from both their parents. The condition is present from birth and cannot be caught from someone else who has it.
Read about the tests that may be carried out to diagnose cystic fibrosis, including newborn screening tests, the sweat test and genetic testing.
Read about the main treatments for cystic fibrosis, including medications, airway clearance techniques, nutritional advice and lung transplants.
Lauren, 14, talks about living with cystic fibrosis and how she doesnt let it stop her from doing the things she loves.