Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited autosomal disease that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body.
The damage occurs because the cells that make mucus, sweat, and digestive juices cause those liquids to be sticky and thick. In a healthy person, mucus is normally slippery. It acts as a lubricant, particularly for the lungs and pancreas.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 10 million Americans carry the faulty CF gene, and most are unaware they have it. It’s most common among white people of European descent, but anybody can have cystic fibrosis.
Years ago, children born with CF had an exceptionally short life span. But today, improved treatments are giving people the chance to live into their 40s and 50s.
Treatments may include nutritional and respiratory therapies, medicines, exercise, and other treatments. Eating a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is an important component on the nutritional side.
Having cystic fibrosis may cause fear, anxiety, depression, and stress. So having a support network is also important. Remember, depression can be treated, and can improve quality of life. Support groups are helpful for some people, while others might benefit more from participating in online forums and discussion groups.
There’s even more reason to hold on to hope if you personally have CF: SPYRYX Biosciences is about to launch Phase II of a trial for a new treatment known as SPX-101. It’s an inhaled medication that helps the surface of the lungs to clear mucus.