An inherited disorder, cystic fibrosis causes normally thin and slippery mucus, sweat and digestive juices to become thick and sticky.
Thus, they can’t act as a lubricant as intended, and instead block vital tubes, ducts and passageways in the body, causing damage to the lungs and digestive system. Though there is not yet a cure for cystic fibrosis, with proper care from our specialists at the Lung & Allergy Institute of Los Angeles, the condition can be managed, reducing symptoms and preventing complications from developing.
Today, newborns are automatically screened for cystic fibrosis in the United States, so your child will likely be diagnosed immediately, even before symptoms develop. For individuals who were born before screening was performed, the signs and symptoms of this condition are:
- A chronic cough that produces mucus
- Wheezing, breathlessness and a stuffy nose
- Persistent lung infections
- An inability to exercise
- Greasy, smelly stools
- Poor weight gain and growth
- A blockage in the intestines
- Constipation (severe)
In addition to the above symptoms, cystic fibrosis is known to be associated with a number of complications, including bowel problems, respiratory failure, diabetes, infertility, chronic infections, nasal polyps, diabetes, infertility and osteoporosis, among others. Throughout cystic fibrosis treatment, our Orange County specialists will focus on not only relieving your symptoms, but also doing all we can to prevent serious complications from developing.
What causes cystic fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder caused by a gene mutation that affects the movement of salt and water in and out of the body’s cells. In individuals with cystic fibrosis, the gene doesn’t work properly, causing thick and sticky mucus throughout the body and increased salt in sweat. In order to develop cystic fibrosis, the child must inherit the gene from both parents.
How is cystic fibrosis diagnosed?
Due to screening regulations in the United States, most newborns are diagnosed via a blood test. If the results of that test are inconclusive, or if the patient is an older child or adult that was not screened as an infant, cystic fibrosis is diagnosed via a sweat test or genetic testing.
How is cystic fibrosis treated?
For patients seeking among the best cystic fibrosis treatment Los Angeles has to offer, our specialists focus on easing symptoms, reducing complications and ensuring an enhanced quality of life. Though there is not yet a cure for cystic fibrosis, long-term relief is possible with the proper care, which usually requires a multi-step approach involving medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, physical therapy and, in some cases, surgery.
Medications for cystic fibrosis include antibiotics to eliminate lung infections, drugs to thin your mucus, bronchodilators to open up the airways and oral pancreatic enzymes to promote the function of your digestive tract.
Physical therapy for cystic fibrosis will loosen the mucus, making it easier to cough up. In addition, a mechanical device such as a vibrating test or a breathing mask may also help loosen mucus in the lungs.
In many cases, we recommend long-term pulmonary rehabilitation to improve your lung function. These programs typically include exercise and breathing training, as well as nutritional and psychological counseling.
In some cases, surgery is required to address complications that have arisen due to cystic fibrosis. For example, we may perform surgery to remove nasal polyps and mucus from the airways. If the disease severely impacts your digestion, you may require a feeding tube or bowel removal. In addition, if you have severe breathing problems, a lung transplant may be necessary.
If you or your child suffers from cystic fibrosis, please know that long-term relief and control is possible with among the best cystic fibrosis treatment Orange County has available at the Lung & Allergy Institute of Los Angeles. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you manage your condition and improve your quality of life.Contact Us