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What Is Chronic Fibrosis?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2014
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Fibrosis refers to the excessive buildup of fibrous tissue in a particular area of the body. It can be very debilitating at times and, like most diseases, can be either chronic or acute. The term acute means targeted or ephemeral in nature. This short-term status of a disease is the opposite of chronic, which describes those conditions that last a long time. Chronic fibrosis, therefore, is defined as the long-term or reoccurring condition of fibrosis.

There are many possible causes of fibrosis. Among the most common causes of chronic fibrosis and its acute relative are genetics and trauma. In the case of traumatic fibrosis, damage to a particular body part or associated tissue can cause the initiation of a rebuilding process. This rebuilding process usually requires new fibrous tissue to form. The case of an ankle sprain and an abundance of resulting scar tissue can further demonstrate this concept.

Chronic fibrosis caused by genetics is a very different animal. Many cases of fibrosis from trauma tend to be acute or short lasting, usually going away as recovery progresses. Contrarily, chronic fibrosis is usually present throughout the course of one's life in either a constant or reoccurring fashion.

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In order to best understand chronic fibrosis, it may be beneficial to examine one particular type. Cystic fibrosis is probably the most widely known form of chronic fibrosis. In the case of cystic fibrosis, a genetic irregularity causes excessive secretions by certain glands of the body. Specifically, the glands creating mucus and sweat are not able to regulate themselves, causing an excessive amount of production.

When there is too much mucus and sweat present in the lungs due to cystic fibrosis, airways and breathing passages can be blocked, preventing healthy cardiovascular function. This is detrimental to a person's health for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, many suffering from this tragic, inherited disease tend to live relatively short life spans.

Anyone suffering from either acute or chronic fibrosis should immediately consult with a physician. Luckily, there are many specialists within the medical community motivated to treat this disease. This ambition of health care professionals coupled with the desire of many researchers to learn more about chronic fibrosis gives hope that better treatments or perhaps a cure may one day be achieved. In the meantime, the best solution for disorders of this nature are management of the many symptoms, hopefully allowing for an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

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