What you need to know
about Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary illness, meaning you get it from your parents. It alters the way your body produces mucus, a substance that aids the function of your organs and systems. The mucus should be thin and slippery, but it thickens and becomes glue-like when you have CF. This obstructs tubes and ducts all over your body.
This viscous mucus builds up inside your airways over time. It’s difficult to breathe because of this. Mucus traps microorganisms, resulting in illnesses. It can also produce cysts (fluid-filled sacs) and fibrosis in the lungs (scar tissue). That’s how the acronym CF came to be.
Cystic fibrosis affects around 10,600 persons in the United Kingdom, or one in every 2,500 newborns born. Around 100,000 people worldwide suffer from cystic fibrosis.