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What is cystic fibrosis?Cystic fibrosis or CF is a disease that mainly affects the lungs and digestive system (or digestive tract). Although CF can be treated and CF patients can usually lead fairly normal lives, there is no cure for CF. Today, half of Canadians with CF live into their 40s and beyond.
CF affects the lungsNormal mucus is thin and slippery. It keeps the lungs clean by removing dirt and germs from the lungs' airway tubes. In CF, mucus is sticky and clogs the tubes. This can make breathing difficult. Bacteria can collect in the tubes because the mucus cannot clear as quickly as it should. This leads to cycles of infection and inflammation (swelling in the airway tubes). These infections can damage the lung tissues.
CF may also affect the digestive systemCF may also affect the digestive system, especially the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ just below the stomach that makes enzymes to help digest food in the small intestine. Enzymes help with digestion and break down the food particles small enough to be absorbed. In CF, mucus blocks the ducts (tube-like channels that carry fluid) of the pancreas. When the ducts from the pancreas to the small intestine are blocked by mucus, the enzymes cannot reach the small intestine. This means food is not properly digested. When this happens, a child with CF does not get enough nutrition from their food. As a result, a child with CF may take replacement enzymes in order to grow normally and may have to eat a bit more food.
Information taken from https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=882&language=English