What is CF?

"Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system and other organs of the body. This mucus leads to chronic lung infections and difficulty digesting food and nutrients. The treatment of CF depends upon the severity of symptoms and the organs involved."

"Most people with CF must take pancreatic enzyme supplements with every meal to absorb enough calories and nutrients to grow and stay healthy. They also must eat a high-calorie, high-fat diet. People with CF also perform daily airway clearance therapy to help clear mucus from the lungs. Other types of treatments include antibiotics to fight lung infections and drugs to thin the mucus and improve lung function."

-Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Is CF contagious?

No. CF is part of a person's genetic makeup, much like eye color or height. You can't "catch" CF. However, there are certain bacteria that, while they may be harmless to most people, can be very detrimental to the health of someone with CF. These germs are easily passed from one CFer to another, so people with CF are strongly encouraged to keep their distance from each other.

Does CF affect more than just the lungs?

Yes. The same thick, sticky mucus that clogs our airways affects other organs as well. The pancreas is another major organ that is commonly affected. CF can also have an affect on the liver, intestines, sweat glands and reproductive organs.

What is the life expectancy for someone with CF?

"In recent years, many advances in the care and treatment of CF have improved the length and quality of life for people with the disease. The median predicted age of survival for a person with CF is now 37 years. Although the outlook for people with CF is improving, there is no cure."

-Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask (see the "Contact Me" page above) or click on the CF Foundation's website links listed within this page.