Cystic Fibrosis is a complex and sometimes confusing disease.
Each installment of Breathe 3-65 called,"Simply CF" will strive to explain the complexities of CF in a concise and accessible way.
The beginning of every Cystic Fibrosis (CF in every occurrence after) story starts with a series of tests. The tests prove a positive diagnosis. But, what exactly are the tests that confirm the presence of CF?"
In every U.S. state, babies are now required to undergo newborn screenings upon birth. The screenings are for a myriad of serious medical conditions, including CF.
Early detection is key to monitoring any condition and implementing treatment, especially CF. Within the first few days of life, a blood test is done to check for certain medical conditions. If the blood test comes back positive for CF another test will be conducted to confirm or rule out a CF diagnosis. Early intervention of CF is crucial to ongoing care, quality of life, and preventing lasting damage caused by the disease.
If a person is showing symptoms of CF or a newborn screening is positive for CF, a sweat test will be done to confirm a CF diagnosis by an accredited CF Center. A sweat test can be done at any age. A sweat test measures the amount of salt in a person’s sweat. People with CF have a high concentration of chloride in their sweat due to the genetic nature of cystic fibrosis. Depending on the amount of chloride found in the sweat of the individual tested determines the CF diagnosis.
If there is any discrepancy in the outcome of the sweat test results, genetic testing will take place. A blood sample is checked for specific defects in the gene that causes CF.vA genetic test is also done after a positive diagnosis to help learn more about the person’s mutations.
Upon a confirmed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, an individualized treatment plan will be put into place and a new story will be written by all those impacted by that diagnosis of cystic fibrosis – each unique and born of their own great tenacity.
To learn more about CF testing please visit https://www.cff.org/What-is-CF/Testing/
Source: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation