Like the world around us the medical field is always changing. It is always pushing forward, trying to understand mysteries of the human body that have boggled researchers for decades. What confuses scientists more, are the organisms or conditions that create these abnormalities that can send the human body into a downward spiral. Disease is something that has affected human civilization since the dawn of time. It can either be chronic or acute, but in either case it has the potential to bring havoc to the human body systems that can lead to devastating consequences. Generally there are two main types of diseases, ones caused by invading pathogens and those which are hereditary. One hereditary disease that can be particularly tragic is cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a particularly fatal disease, it affects primarily young children and adolescents but a diagnosis later in life is not unheard of. “It is an inherited disease of the secretary glands” ("What is cystic," 2011) that can affect many of the body's organs, most characteristically the lungs. One of the reasons CF (the short form for cystic fibrosis) is so life-threatening is because of the amount of organs it can affect inside the body. It can affect organs such as the “pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses and sex organs” ("www.medincinet.com," 1996). Mucus lines many body tissues, it naturally is a “thin and slippery” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010) secretion but in a client with cystic fibrosis these secretions “become thick and sticky. [Reference Figure 1.] Instead of acting as a lubricant the secretions plug up tubes, ducts and passageways especially in the pancreas” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010). These blockages in the pancreas mean that “digestive enzymes that your pancreas makes can't reach your small intestine. Reference Figure 2. Without these enzymes your intestines can't fully absorb fats and proteins” ("www.medincinet.com," 1996) causing more complications to emerge. These thick, secretions can also be found in the lungs, creating breathing complications and a breeding ground for bacteria.
Cystic Fibrosis cannot be developed or contracted it is something you’re born with. CF is a recessive disease, it occurs when a child inherits one defective copy of the gene from each parent. This gene mutation is responsible for cystic fibrosis. ("Cystic fibrosis Canada," 2011) This gene is known as the CFTR gene ("www.medincinet.com," 1996). Reference Figure 3. The “gene makes a protein that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of your body's cells. In people who have cystic fibrosis, the gene makes a protein that doesn't work right. This causes the thick, sticky mucus” ("www.medincinet.com," 1996).
“About 1 in 4,000 children in the United States are born with CF” (Crosta, 2009) and “one in every 3,600 children born in Canada [have] cystic fibrosis” ("Cystic fibrosis Canada," 2011). According to several resources a consensus has formed which proposes that people with northern...