Our old CF Commercial that plays on MCTV. Still working on this years.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Let's Learn About CF - Part 2

Tonight we're going to learn about some of the symptoms & effects of CF. My source is cff.org:

The severity of cystic fibrosis symptoms is different from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
  • Very salty-tasting skin
  • Persistent coughing, at times with phlegm
  • Frequent lung infections, like pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite
  • Frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements
  • Small, fleshy growths in the nose called nasal polyps

Sometimes people are told they have asthma or chronic bronchitis when they really have cystic fibrosis. New research shows that the severity of CF symptoms is partly based on the types of CF gene mutations (defects). Scientists have found more than 1,500 different mutations of the CF gene.

How does CF affect the lungs?

Scientists have many different ideas about what goes wrong in the lungs of a person with cystic fibrosis, but it all begins with defective CF genes. Normally, the healthy CF gene makes a protein—known as CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis conductance Transmembrane Regulator)—that is found in the cells that line various organs, like the lungs and the pancreas. This protein controls the movement of electrically charged particles, like chloride and sodium (components of salt) in and out of these cells. When the protein is defective, as in cystic fibrosis, the salt balance in the body is disturbed. Because there is too little salt and water on the outside of the cells, the thin layer of mucus that helps keep the lungs free of germs becomes very thick and difficult to move. And because it is so hard to cough out, this mucus will clog the airways and lead to infections that damage lungs.

It all seems so very clinical & far away when you read it like this, doesn't it? One of my favorite blogs that M introduced me to is Confessions of a CF Husband. Nate & Tricia's story really helped me understand so much better about the life of a person with CF. And when I say life, it's truly about life & not just about CF. I was so focused on all the symptoms & statistics & predictions I had been reading about that I hadn't stopped to think about the life Lil Chris will lead. Yes, CF will always be a part of his life but it doesn't have to be his whole life. I am so encouraged by Nate & Tricia's story of love & laughter admist even the hard times. I look forward to hearing the updates on the progress of their beautiful little girl & I pray for them daily. If you haven't seen their blog already, I hope you will check it out & pray for them also.

Lets Learn about CF - Part 3 coming soon...

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