WHAT IS CYSTIC FIBROSIS?
Cystic Fibrosis is a congenital (suffered from birth) and hereditary disease that is estimated in Spain affects one case in every 3500 live-born babies. This pathology causes an anomaly in the glands of the body that secrete mucus, making it thicker than usual, obstructing important conduits for the performance of the fundamental bodily processes of the child.
WHAT COMPLICATIONS DOES IT CAUSE?
The main complications of Cystic Fibrosis occur at the respiratory and digestive levels. Children with this disease usually find themselves in a continuous process of inflammation, obstruction and infection of the respiratory tract, which little by little causes the death of tissues and the degradation of respiratory capacities. This translates into a low ability to perform activities and a low tolerance for effort.
IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 1 IN 30 PEOPLE ARE HEALTHY CARRIERS
CAN MY CHILD SUFFER FROM CYSTIC FIBROSIS IF HIS PARENTS DO NOT SUFFER FROM IT?
The disease has an autosomal recessive character. This means that parents can be healthy carriers of the disease and even if they have not developed it, they can transmit it to their child. It is estimated that one in thirty people are healthy carriers of the disease.
HOW DO I SUSPECT THAT MY CHILD SUFFERS FROM CYSTIC FIBROSIS?
Currently there are many autonomous communities that carry out early detection tests for the disease (except Asturias, Navarra, Ceuta and Castilla la Mancha). An early diagnosis can be important when starting treatment (the disease usually becomes visible around the second year of life, but can reach beyond puberty without giving any signs), so we must be suspicious if we identify that our child / a has a salty taste on the skin, continually suffers from colds or bronchitis , is underweight, and suffers from other recurrent digestive problems. In that case, we must go to the doctor to have the relevant tests performed.
IS THERE A CURE OR TREATMENT?
Today there is no cure for this disease, which places its life expectancy around 40 years. Treatment focuses on a multidisciplinary approach focused on achieving adequate nutrition, medication that keeps infections and inflammations at bay, and a good quality of life.
In this aspect, respiratory physiotherapy, occupational therapy and sports practice have an important influence in alleviating the problems associated with this disease and providing the child with a normalized development and a life that is as independent as possible.