A Complete Guide To Cystic Fibrosis

The count of Cystic Fibrosis is increasing every year. With more than one thousand new cases every year affected by signs of cystic fibrosis, it is believed by doctors that most of these new cases are caused due to the ignorance by the patients.

Though most of the cases of cystic fibrosis are caused due to the inadvertence of the victims, yet it has far fetched implications that can cause damage, which might take a very long time to recover from. The bottomline here is, do not ignore the signs of cystic fibrosis, which we will talk about.

CF is caused mostly due to the gene mutation of the on Chromosome 7 of the human body. Many of the times the signs of cystic fibrosis are caused due to hereditary factors. The abnormality in the CFTR protein (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) with patients with cystic fibrosis leads to disruption of chloride channels on the cells.

Signs of Cystic Fibrosis

Signs of cystic fibrosis are characterised by building up of mucus inside the body centered around the airways. This makes breathing difficult and even painful. Often, the the obstruction in breathing acts another sign of cystic fibrosis, as a result of which, the flow of fluids reduce in the body leading to the building up of a sticky mucus. There are chances of the thick sticky mucus blocking the tubes and the ducts in the pancreas.

How is Cystic Fibrosis Passed?

Cystic fibrosis is not a contagious disease. It is caused due to the two CFTR genes which every child is born with, from the parents, both of which cause CF. But, if one of the genes pass on to the child he will only be a ‘Carrier’. Cystic fibrosis carriers are likely to pass on the disease to their children. The ‘Carriers’ do not suffer from any sign of cystic fibrosis and they are safe and protected from the disease.

How is Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosed?

There are various signs of cystic fibrosis, which vary from person to person. There are also various medical tests which are performed to understand whether a person, is actually suffering form the disease or not! It is thus important to go to a reliable doctor who has been in the medical profession for a long period of time.

Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosis

However, there are a couple of medical tests, which rule out or affirm on the possibilities of having cystic fibrosis. They are –

  • Sweat Tests: The sweat test is used to determine the level of salt in the body. There is a normal count of salt in the human body. But, in the case of cystic fibrosis, patients have the salt count which is much more than that of anyone not suffering from CF.
  • Nasal Potential Difference Test: This is another way of determining whether a person is suffering from CF or not. Hence, in this test there are electrodes which are used in the outer walls of the nostrils. It is attached to the walls to see, how well the salts flow in and out of the cells.
  • Lung Function Test: This is done to rule out the possibility of one’s child having cystic fibrosis. This is also performed to rule out when the parents have any concern over the signs of cystic fibrosis. Sometimes, when either of the parents are carriers and they are concerned about the child’s health purely based on the manifestations due to the sign of cystic fibrosis.
  • Sputum Culture: It is important to figure out about the kind of bacteria, which a person’s child might have. To rule out the possibility this test is performed, taking the sputum of the child.
  • CT Scan: A CT scan is done to have a closer check on the pancreas, lungs, kidneys and other organs.

Treatments Cystic Fibrosis:

Cystic fibrosis has no treatment. However, over the years there has been a lot of research done on the treatment of cystic fibrosis and the medication has helped in the reduction of the symptoms and the signs of cystic fibrosis.

The treatments include putting a person on antibiotic medication so that the lungs are disinfected and to prevent the infection from not recurring. The medicines are given for a short duration and they have to be taken without any breaks.

There are anti-inflammatory medicines, which are used to reduce the swelling in the lungs. The more the swelling persists in the lungs, it might have serious internal implications.

There are also mucus thinning drugs, which help in getting the mucus out of the lungs, making way for the lungs to function appropriately.

The bronchial tubes play an important role over here, because they are the tubes through which the air travels. It is of utmost importance to keep the airways open. Once the airways are open the adequate amount of air flows through and reaches the other parts of the body. In order to open up the airways for the bronchial tubes to function correctly, it is of utmost importance to use inhaler which is known as a bronchodilator.

There are certain pancreatic enzymes which help in the digestion of the various essential nutrients through the digestive tract.

These are the various ways in which the problems faced due to cystic fibrosis can be taken care of. The treatment needs a certain amount of time and a certain about of discipline with caution, so that the condition does not further deteriorate.


Sai Sanjeevini Multi Speciality Hospitals a unit of Singapanga Healthcare Pvt. Ltd has been providing health services to the people in need for the last 14 years. This health care organisation combines practical, proven research, cutting edge procedures and state-of-the-art treatment to produce excellent medical and lifestyle outcome for our patients. Our hospital and medical staff provide innovative medical care in a friendly, compassionate, community environment conducive to patient recuperation in a family atmosphere.

About The Doctor

Dr. M.Ravindranath is a reputed Pulmonologist in Hyderabad and has an experience of 12 years in this field. Dr. M.Ravindranath practices at Hyderabad Chest Clinic in Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad and Sai Sanjeevini Hospitals in Kothapet, Hyderabad. His knowledge of pulmonology has made him one of the best in the city and most patients visit him and go home, happy. So Book your Appointment now.