The genetic disorder, Cystic Fibrosis, affects the quality of life in children and damages the lungs and digestive system. Read on to know more about this inherited condition.
By Dr Senthil Kumar
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system in children. In this condition, there are abnormalities in the movement of the body’s salt, water and mucus-making cells due to faulty genes. Children inherit this disease through their genes. The affected children produce a thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and prevents the pancreas from functioning normally. The reproductive organs of the body may also get affected.
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, there are around 70,000 children with cystic fibrosis around the world. However, there is not enough data available in India about its prevalence. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (AIIMS) published a research paper named 'Cystic Fibrosis in India: Past, Present and Future' in December 2015.
In the paper, the authors, Anirban Mandal, Sushil K Kabra and Rakesh Lodha have pointed out that once thought to be non-existent, there have been regular reports of CF cases from all over India over the years. The first case of CF was reported in the year 1968. CF among Indian children occurs throughout geographic and ethnic groups. However, Indian children with the disorder are diagnosed late and most suffer from malnutrition too.
The effects of the condition vary from children to children; thus, symptoms of the disease can defer too.
Looking after a child with CF can be challenging. However, the development of new treatments is making it easier for parents to cope.
Dr Senthil Kumar is a paediatric and neonatal consultant, and a cardiac intensivist in a leading hospital in Bengaluru.
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