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Cystic Fibrosis

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How does Cystic Fibrosis affect the gas exchange system, digestive system and reproductive system? Every cell in the body needs different proteins for specific functions. DNA determines the structure of the protein. If DNA or RNA changes the structure of the protein, used for a particular function, due to wrong transcription or translation of protein synthesis, mutations occur. These mutations can lead to genetics disorders or genetic diseases. Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common genetic diseases caused due to an abnormality in Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulatory (CFTR) protein. CFTR controls the osmosis of water and salts in and out of mucus (indirectly). Fault in CFTR protein results in making the mucus viscous. This thickened mucus can affect many body systems including the three main body systems: * Gas Exchange System (by affecting lungs) * Digestive System (by affecting pancreas, liver, gall bladder and intestines) * Reproductive System (by clogging the ducts used for the carriage of sperms and eggs) This essay aims to look at how Cystic Fibrosis affects the respiratory (gas exchange) ...read more.


2. It makes the gas exchange system less effective. The main function of mucus is to trap the disease causing bacteria, called pathogens, and then with the constant beating on cilia expel those bacteria out of the body. With CF, the mucus becomes sticky the cilia become unable to remove that mucus containing pathogens out of the body. Mucus is still produced in the same amount as it would in a normal lung. Therefore, the airways are blocked with sticky mucus. As oxygen from the air cannot diffuse easily through the mucus and as in CF epithelial cells use more oxygen, therefore, the pathogens respire anaerobically producing lactic acid, which causes CF patients to feel tired. CF also affects the efficiency of the gas exchange system. Normally, oxygen is diffused into the walls of alveoli to the blood stream due to the fine structure of the gas exchange system. In CF, the airways (mainly bronchioles) are blocked which prevents the passage of oxygen below the blockage and thus reduces the number of alveoli providing the surface area for the gas exchange. ...read more.


The lower concentration of digestive enzymes within the intestine reduces the rate of reaction. Therefore, CF patients have difficulty in digesting starch, proteins and lipids that leads to the elimination of essential constituents of food. The lost of energy due to partial absorption of nutrients in the food is called malabsorption syndrome. This causes the CF patients to be weak and small. The blockage can become so severe that the hormone cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and glycogen can be damaged. The damage of the hormone producing cells can cause diabetes. The Effect Of CF On Reproductive System: CF causes severe problems in reproductive systems as well. In females having CF, mucus plug develops in the cervix and thus it reduces her chances of becoming pregnant. The plug that is formed in the cervix stops the sperm from reaching the egg. In male, CF can affect the development of the sperm-carrying duct called vas deferens. The tube can become blocked with mucus as a result of the disease. Sperm are still produced, but they are not released as part of ejaculation. This results in an inability to reproduce (infertility). ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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