Cystic fibrosis, also known as mucoviscidosis or CF, is a disease that casues extremely thick mucus to build up in the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestine. This recessive genetic disorder, first recognized in the 1930s, is commonly passed down through families, and today, millions of Americans carry the defective cystic fibrosis gene.
Victims of this disease suffer from a variety of debilitating symptoms and complications. The accumulation of thick, sticky mucus prevents the break down of food in the body, causing life-threatening lung infections and hindering respiration. In children and infants, symptoms include failure to gain weight normally, poor growth, fatigue, nasal congestion, coughing, increased risk of pneumonia, loss of appetite, bloating, and severe constipation. Other symptoms that may occur later in life include infertility in men, constant inflammation of the pancreas, and additional respiratory complications.
Early diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis can dramatically improve the likelihood of survival as well as the overall quality of life for the victim. Lung infections can be treated with antibiotics, oxygen therapy, flu vaccines, DNAse enzyme therapy, and high-concentration salt solutions. Aerobic exercise is also known to help thin the mucous, making it easier to cough up out of the lungs. Specialized diets and supplements can help treat intestinal symptoms. In order to treat bowel problems one must be on a high protein diet and take in vitamin supplements. Most children and young adults with cystic fibrosis are able to participate in normal activities and attend school, but because there is no cure, the disease worsens over time. The average life span for people with cystic fibrosis who live to adulthood is about 37.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetic disorder among Caucasians of Northern and Central European descent. As many as 1 in 29 Caucasian Americans are diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Children are generally diagnosed with the disease by age 2, but not all cases are detected early, and there is not yet an effective long-term treatment.
Ben's Asphalt is a proud supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization committed to fighting CF in every way possible. We encourage you to visit their website to donate and help save the lives of children and young adults in America. Thank you for joining with us in support of a cure for cystic fibrosis!