Cystic fibrosis is a genetic & progressive disorder that primarily affects the digestive system, pancreas, liver, the intestines, or the lungs. The condition affects the ability of the sweat, mucus, and digestive enzyme-producing cells to produce smooth secretions. Instead, it leads these cells to produce thick and sticky secretions that clog the passageways and tubes in the body.
The main causes of cystic fibrosis are the inheritance of a defective mutated gene from both the parents. If children inherit only one copy of the defective gene, they will not develop cystic fibrosis genetic disease, but they will be carriers of this and can pass on the gene to their children.
Asian and African people are the least affected by this disorder and it is mostly found in people of Northern European countries. Women are slightly more prone to this than men.
Cystic fibrosis symptoms vary depending on the age of the affected person, the severity of the condition, and the general health. Some people display no symptoms while some have serious and evident symptoms right from childhood. Since the condition affects the lungs and the digestive system primarily, the most common symptoms that occur are seen in the functionalities of these organs like:
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition and while new treatments have increased the life expectancy of people to around 44 years, a cure is yet to be found for this. Some of the complications that drastically impact people’s lifespan include:
Cystic fibrosis diagnosis is done through several tests that depend on your signs and symptoms. Some of the most common tests include:
While a cure for cystic fibrosis is yet to be found, advances in treatments and medicines are helping people in improving their quality of life. This has also helped in increasing the life expectancy to mid-forties from around 10 years in the 1960s. Respiratory dysfunctions are majorly responsible for much of the morbidity and mortality that occurs due to cystic fibrosis.
The medical management of cystic fibrosis includes:
Physiotherapy has played a long-term and very effective role especially in the respiratory management of this condition and has helped people in adapting to the patterns and complications of the disease that occur. The role of the physiotherapist however is not limited to this. It also includes exercises that improve one’s mobility, posture, ability to inhale and non-invasive respiratory support in the later stages of the disease. Physiotherapy can be easily learned and administered by the parents of children suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Some of the ways in which physiotherapy lets you live a better life include:
The long-term benefits that physiotherapy has brought in the management of this condition enabling patients to live a more active and longer life are well-established. Physiotherapists also serve a very important role of mentors and guides as they effectively induce positivity in the patients of this disorder helping them to have a positive outlook towards life that in turn makes the treatments more effective.
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