Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common- and lethal genetic disease, afflicting 1 out of every 3,500 white children born each year in the United States and 1 in 12,000 non-white children.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease caused by a recessive gene inherited by the child that must be received from both parents. If both parents are carriers there is only a 25% chance that the child will have cystic fibrosis, a 50% chance that the child will be a carrier (will carry the gene but not have the disease) and a 25% chance that the child will be completely unaffected – they will not be a carrier or suffer from the disease.
Thirty thousand children and adults in United States suffer from cystic fibrosis. The disease which usually makes its first appearance before a child reaches the age of three, gravely impairs the ability of its victims to breathe and digest food. The parents of child who has cystic fibrosis may notice that he or she has very salty skin. Other early symptoms include persistent coughing, often with large amount of mucus, and wheezing or shortness of breath. Recurrent and chronic (repeated and frequent) infections of the airway are typical. Children with cystic fibrosis often have trouble gaining weight, and their bowel movements are excessively greasy and bulky.
As they grow older, patient with cystic fibrosis often experience frequent bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis (both are serious respiratory infections), asthma, collapsed lungs, and bleeding lungs. They also suffer from chronic diarrhea, malnourishment, diabetes, liver disease, infertility, and even lung and heart failure. Since in attacks so many body systems at once-respiratory- cystic fibrosis is difficult for doctors and even more difficult for them to treat. It remains a disease that presents the medical community with many unsolved puzzles.
Throughout human history, cystic fibrosis has often led to early death, usually in childhood. Today, better treatments are available, and people with cystic fibrosis are living longer. Indeed, some patients live long enough to have children off their own. Even so, cystic fibrosis continues to drastically shorten the lives of people afflicted with it.
It is generally agreed that the best hope for the cure of this deadly disease lies in a set of new medical techniques called gene therapy. Scientists hope to figure out how to use this revolutionary approach to fix the defective genes that cause people to develop cystic fibrosis.
Symptoms of Cystic fibrosis
There are four main symptoms of cystic fibrosis. People with cystic fibrosis have some or all of them.
- Salty-tasting skin
- Ongoing coughing, wheezing, or frequent lung infection such as pneumonia
- Loose, foul-smelling stools
- Poor weight gain, even when eating a lot
There are other various but important signs of cystic fibrosis. A baby or adult with cystic fibrosis may have one, some, or all of these:
- Frequent sinus infection; sinuses are the open cavities in the nose and face.
- Lack of energy and exhaustion in hot weather
- Smaller height and weight than average
- Frequent dehydration and exhaustion in hot weather
- Finger clubbing (tips of finger and toes become larger than normal and may be more rounded.)
- Nasal polyps or masses inside the nose
Cystic fibrosis symptoms may vary from person to person. Symptoms may appear suddenly only once in a while, or they may occur regularly. Sometimes, signs of the disease do not appear until the person becomes a teen or an adult.
Cystic fibrosis has other signs, too. People with cystic fibrosis may be tense or irritable because of discomfort. They may dislike playing sports or doing much physical activity because they get winded easily. People with cystic fibrosis may sound congested or have a nasal voice. They may avoid going places where they must climb many stairs or walk long distances.
Diagnosis of Cystic fibrosis
Diagnosis of cystic fibrosis involves several steps. Doctors first take the person’s medical history.
The next step is physical examination. Doctors observe the person’s general health. They check blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. In addition, they listen to the person’s breathing and breathing muscles. They also examine the eyes, ears, nose, and throat for signs of infection.
Laboratory tests are an important part of diagnosing cystic fibrosis.
Sweat test – the sweat test is the slandered diagnostic test for cystic fibrosis. This test measures the amount of sweat- producing chemical called pilocarpine.
Gene test – a sample of blood or cells scraped from the inside of the cheek can be checked for the cystic fibrosis gene.
Chest X ray – these can tell the doctor if cystic fibrosis has damaged the lungs and other air passages.
Pulmonary function test – these tests measures how well the lungs are working. They also tell how well the lungs respond to treatment.
Pancreas test – these tests involve a sample of blood or urine, which is liquid body waste. The sample is tested for normal amounts of certain substances that come from the pancreas. If the amounts are low, this can indicate cystic fibrosis.
Sputum test – sputum is mucus coughed up from the lungs. Studying a sample of sputum might show bacteria related to cystic fibrosis.
Treatment of Cystic fibrosis
Treatment of cystic fibrosis mainly includes antibiotics, decongestants, bronchodilators, and mucolytics.
Chest physical therapy and exercise especially aerobic exercises are helpful.
Homeopathic treatment of Cystic fibrosis
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat cystic fibrosis but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for cystic fibrosis treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for cystic fibrosis symptoms treatment:
Bryonia, Aconite, Sulphur, Silicea, Phosphorous, Calcaria Carb, Magnesia Carb, Graphites, Iodum, kali Iod, Hepar Sulph, Belladonna, Lycopodium, Lachesis and many other medicines.
- Maxine Rosaler; Cystic Fibrosis 2006; 4-5.
- Judy Monroe; Cystic Fibrosis 2001; 21-31
- Terry R. Des Jardins, George G. Burton; Clinical manifestations and assessment of respiratory disease 2006; 500.