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Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms

What are the Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic Fibrosis causes the body to produce thick secretions that particularly affect the lungs and digestive tract.

  • Lungs
  • Symptoms include a persistent cough, repeated chest infections, prolonged diarrhea and poor weight gain. These symptoms are not unique to Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Digestive system

Cystic Fibrosis affects the pancreas, which makes it difficult for people with CF to digest food. This can cause malnutrition, which can lead to poor growth and delayed puberty. In older patients, insulin production can become deficient due to increasing pancreatic tissue damage. Some develop CF related diabetes mellitus and their blood sugar levels are no longer controlled. This rarely happens to children with Cystic Fibrosis.

  • Common symptoms of diabetes include thirst, hunger, weight loss and excessive need to urinate.
  • Other Affected Organs
  • People with CF develop thin, brittle bone due to the nutritional and other problems involved with the disease. Bone disease in adults is because of the adverse effects of steroids taken to control lung disease.
  • In most men with CF, the tubes that carry sperm are blocked, which causes infertility. Because underweight women are more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles, the nutritional problems associated with CF may affect fertility. Women with CF do produce healthy, fertile eggs so effective contraception is necessary. Cystic Fibrosis does not cause sexual impotency.
  • Cystic Fibrosiscan cause the blockage of small ducts in the liver. This only happens to approximately 8% of people who have CF, but it is a serious health risk and may require liver transplantation. Continue reading