Cystic Fibrosis In Children

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Imagine your very own child, only six years old, crying out for your help as he suffers through the most intense pain throughout his whole body. His lungs are severely damaged and diseased, his pancreas has shut down, and he cannot digest food. You thought he was perfectly healthy, until you found out that he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the worlds leading causes of death in children. About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed each year, with more than 70% of the patients diagnosed by age two (AboutCF). It is a very rare but serious genetic condition that can affect any child. It is mostly the Caucasian population that has this. If you are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, your life expectancy…show more content…
The mutated gene is passed down in families. To pass on this disease, both parents must be carriers of the mutated gene. In most cases, both parents have the cystic fibrosis gene but individually, neither of them have ever had cystic fibrosis. This abnormal gene disrupts the normal function of epithelial cells, which are cells that make up the sweat glands in the skin. These also line passageways inside the major glands of the body. The gene forces the body's epithelial cells to produce a protein called CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator). CFTR is found in cells that line the lungs, digestive tract, sweat glands, and reproductive system. When the CFTR protein fails, epithelial cells can't regulate the way chloride (salt) passes across cell membranes. This in turn, disrupts the amount of salt and water needed…show more content…
Well, after birth, the standard test for CF is called the sweat test. The sweat test is a small electric wave used to carry a special chemical into the forearm skin . This stimulates the sweat glands in the forearm area to sweat. After about an hour, the sweat gets tested for chloride. To diagnose cystic fibrosis, two sweat tests are usually done in a lab by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. A child needs to have a sweat chloride result of greater than 60 on two separate sweat tests to officially be diagnosed. (WebMD) When kids are first diagnosed with CF, they may or may not have to spend some time in the hospital. It all depends on how bad their condition is. If they do, they'll have diagnostic tests, like measurements of their breathing and seeing if they have enough nutrients. Before they leave, the doctors make sure that their lungs are clear and that they've started a diet with digestive enzymes and vitamins that will help them gain weight normally. After that, they'll probably see their doctor for follow-up visits at least once every 1 to 3

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