What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis also known as CF is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. These thick secretions also obstruct the pancreas, preventing digestive enzymes from reaching the intestines to help break down and absorb food. The mucus also can block the bile duct in the liver, eventually causing permanent liver damage.
Adults may experience additional health challenges including CF-related diabetes and osteoporosis. CF also can cause reproductive problems; more than 95 percent of men with CF are sterile. Although many women with CF are able to conceive, limited lung function and other health factors may make it difficult to carry a child to term.
There is NO cure for Cystic Fibrosis to date and the median age of survival for those living with the disease is 35 years old.