Children's Health and Wellness

What Do You Know About Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease that mostly affects the respiratory and digestive systems. About 30,000 children and young adults in the U.S. have CF. Most of them are descendants of people from northern Europe. Find out more about CF by taking this quiz, based on information from the National Institutes of Health.

1. CF affects which body system?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The sweat glands and the reproductive system usually are involved, as well. A person with CF makes too much thick, sticky mucus. This clogs the air passages in the lungs. It makes the person more likely to get an infection. The clogged passages also make it harder to breathe. The sweat of a person with CF often is saltier than normal. Thick secretions also clog the ducts of the pancreas. This keeps digestive enzymes and other chemicals made by the pancreas from helping with digestion. Most men with CF are infertile. Most women with CF have difficulty getting pregnant.A. Circulatory systemB. Respiratory systemC. Digestive systemD. Nervous systemE. B and C2. How many Americans are carriers of the abnormal CF gene?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Most of the 12 million people who have this gene don't know that they are carriers, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The abnormal CF gene has many variations. This means the disease can range from very mild to severe. Many CF cases occur in whites whose ancestors came from northern Europe. But the disease can also affect other races and ethnic groups. About 1,000 newborns are born with CF in this country each year.A. 1 in 100B. 1 in 75C. 1 in 50D. 1 in 30E. None of the above3. Which symptom in an infant or young child might mean CF?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Symptoms can vary from child to child, the NHLBI says. A baby born with CF genes usually gets symptoms within his or her first year of life. More than 80% of people with CF are diagnosed by age 3, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Some children with CF may not be diagnosed until they are teens.A. Stools that are pale, foul, or floatB. Frequent wheezing or pneumoniaC. Salty-tasting skinD. Chronic coughE. All of the above4. What happens to the mucus glands in a child with CF?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is An abnormality in the glands that make mucus causes the mucus to be thick. The mucus builds up in the intestines and lungs. This causes malnutrition, poor growth, and breathing problems, the NHLBI says. The extra mucus becomes a place for bacteria to grow. This causes frequent respiratory infections. Researchers first thought that these lung infections caused the lung failure typical in people with CF. They now believe that it is chronic inflammation of the lungs that does the most damage. People with CF also lose too much salt when they sweat. A severe loss of salt can upset the heart's rhythm and may cause shock.A. Too little mucus is madeB. The mucus made is too thinC. The mucus made is too thickD. The mucus builds up in the bodyE. C and D5. How is the digestive system affected by extra mucus in CF?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The pancreas helps in digestion by making enzymes and bicarbonate to neutralize stomach acid. If the pancreas ducts are blocked, digestion is affected. Bowel movements become bulky and foul-smelling. Malnutrition and slowed growth and development can also occur. If the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are damaged, the person can develop type 1 diabetes. If the bile ducts in the liver are affected, biliary cirrhosis may result. Other medical problems linked with CF include sinusitis, nasal polyps, clubbing of fingers and toes, rupture of lung tissue, abdominal pain, gassiness, gallstones, coughing blood, enlargement of the right side of the heart, and infertility.A. The mucus can cause stomach ulcersB. The mucus can damage the bile ducts in the liverC. The mucus can clog the ducts in the pancreasD. The mucus can damage the rectumE. B and C6. How is CF diagnosed?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The sweat test measures the amount of sodium chloride (salt) in a person's sweat. A person with higher than normal amounts of sodium and chloride may have CF. Because newborns don't make a lot of sweat, they may instead be given a blood test called an immunoreactive trypsinogen test. For this test, the blood is checked for a protein called trypsinogen, which means CF. Testing for CF also can be done as a prenatal blood test to find out whether the developing child has the disease. Genetic testing also can be done to help figure out the diagnosis and for couples with a family history of CF who are considering having children.A. Sweat testB. Blood testC. Lung volume testD. Urine testE. A and B7. Currently, no effective treatment is available to correct the cause of CF. Doctors can slow the progression of the disease. Which of these types of medicine can do this?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Bronchodilators widen the bronchial passages in the lungs. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause lung infections. Decongestants ease the swelling of bronchial membranes. Mucolytics thin the mucus in the lungs. Physical therapy and exercise also can help manage CF. Chest therapy helps the mucus drain from the lungs by clapping the chest and back to dislodge the mucus from the airways. A small, hand-held device called a flutter also loosens the mucus. When a person exhales through the flutter, a valve causes rapid air pressure changes in the patient's airways, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The changes cause vibrations. These loosen the mucus. Exercise also helps loosen the mucus. For people with advanced CF, a lung transplant may be an option, the NHLBI says. To help ease digestive problems in people with CF, doctors prescribe a well-balanced, high-calorie diet that is high in protein but low in fat. Vitamin supplements and enzymes are also often given.A. BronchodilatorsB. AntibioticsC. DecongestantsD. MucolyticsE. All of the above8. A defect in a gene that makes the protein cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator is the cause of CF. According to recent research, this problem causes an imbalance of which key substance in the body?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Fatty acids are long molecules that serve as the building blocks of the cell membrane, the CFF says. Certain fatty acids play a key role in controlling the body's inflammatory response. The hallmark of CF is chronic inflammation of the lung tissue. People with CF appear to have high levels of arachidonic acid (AA) and low levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This combination leads to tissue inflammation. This also explains why omega-3 oils reduce inflammation in general. These oils boost because they boost DHA levels and lower AA levels.A. HormonesB. GlucoseC. CarbohydratesD. Fatty acids9. CF is an inherited, disease. How is CF passed down through families?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is To develop CF, a person must inherit 2 defective CF genes, 1 from each parent, the CFF says. Each time 2 carriers conceive, they have a 25% chance that their child will have CF. They also have a 50% chance that the child will be a carrier of the CF gene. And they have a 25% chance that the child will not be a carrier.A. One parent is a carrier of the CF geneB. One grandparent is a carrier of the CF geneC. Both parents are carriers of the CF geneD. All of the aboveYour score was:
Online Source: National Institutes of Health
Online Source: March of Dimes
Online Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Author: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/14/2014