What is Cystic Fibrosis?

The most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure.

Cystic fibrosis causes various effects on the body, but mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of cystic fibrosis involvement differs from person to person. However, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function, eventually causes death in the majority of people who have cystic fibrosis.

Typical complications caused by cystic fibrosis are difficulty in digesting fats and proteins; vitamin deficiencies due to loss of pancreatic enzymes; and progressive loss of lung function.

It is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis. Almost 4,000 Canadian children, adolescents, and adults with cystic fibrosis attend specialized CF clinics.

For more information about disease management, please visit Living with Cystic Fibrosis.

Causes of Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that occurs when a child inherits two abnormal genes, one from each parent. Approximately, one in 25 Canadians carry an abnormal version of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Carriers do not have cystic fibrosis, nor do they exhibit any of the symptoms of the disease.

When two parents who are carriers have a child, there is a 25 percent chance that the child will be born with cystic fibrosis; there is also a 50 percent chance that the child will be a carrier; and a 25 percent chance that the child will neither be a carrier nor have cystic fibrosis.

Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a multi-system disorder that produces a variety of symptoms including:

• Persistent cough with productive thick mucous

• Wheezing and shortness of breath

• Frequent chest infections, which may include pneumonia

• Bowel disturbances, such as intestinal obstruction or frequent, oily stools

• Weight loss or failure to gain weight despite possible increased appetite

• Salty tasting sweat

• Infertility (men) and decreased fertility (women)

Diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis

If a doctor suspects a patient has cystic fibrosis, a ‘sweat test’ may be administered. This simple and painless test measures the amount of salt content present in sweat. If the test comes back positive, it means the sweat content collected contains more salt than usual and validates a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. In addition, a test for the presence of enzymes in the intestine can be performed.

Genetic testing, prenatal and newborn screening are other methods of determining the presence of cystic fibrosis. These are relatively simple, non-invasive tests.

For more information, please visit Canada’s national website at www.cysticfibrosis.ca

 

Just Posted

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Trail workshop offers path forward for affordable/supportive housing

Columbia Basin Trust, BC Housing and the CMHC all spoke during the Tuesday morning session

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read