Spotlight on Cystic Fibrosis; by Alisha Malik

Genetic disorders can be caused when a mutation (a random and spontaneous change in the structure of a gene) occurs in a single gene. However, most of these mutations can have little or no effect. Some, on the other hand, have detrimental effects as each gene codes for a protein which plays a certain role in the body, and this can be obstructed by the mutation. This results in a genetic disorder – an example is cystic fibrosis.

In this particular condition, individuals find themselves having difficulties with lung function where they are more susceptible to infections, and digestion where they find it particularly hard to consume amongst various other problems. It can also result in the deterioration of bones, acid reflux and 30% of people with CF are found to suffer from diabetes. This also means that due to poor health, people suffering have to bear the consequences of not being able to work like the average person or enjoy leisure activities the same way, in fact find themselves regularly in hospital or at check-ups, having a significant impact upon their mental health.

Although there is no ultimate treatment for cystic fibrosis there are various methods available to ease a patient’s daily life and provide them with a more comfortable and stable routine. These include antibiotics, operations and drugs that can significantly improve daily conditions and above all, introducing a healthy diet and exercise allows patients to improve their lung’s conditions whilst ensuring regular exercise which are both seen to have a positive effect. As much as physical health is important, it is vital to ensure the individual gets as much time doing activities they enjoy such as going outside in order to help them remain mentally healthy.

Currently, researchers are investigating and discovering new things such as the effect of calcium and Vitamin D for cystic fibrosis sufferers and are hoping to provide more beneficial information. Funding and donating is absolutely essential in order to find new treatments and technology to help those suffering from CF, and is a simple way in which you can help provide to people suffering.  Additionally, another in which you can help people suffering from genetic disorders is through Ragdolls UK where you can take part in volunteering opportunities for example support groups where you can directly make a difference in someone’s life.

For further information and support on Cystic Fibrosis please visit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust

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