Alternate Names : CF
What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
In cystic fibrosis, the pancreatic enzymes that help digest dietary fat are not secreted into the intestines. Food, especially fat, is poorly digested, and stools may be bulky or fatty. Nutritional considerations are important with cystic fibrosis. About 10 to 20% of babies with cystic fibrosis have intestinal obstruction. This condition is called meconium ileus, and the infant is unable to pass any stool. Surgery is usually required to correct meconium ileus.
Cystic fibrosis causes obstruction of the breathing passages. People with the disease may:
be short of breath
have difficulty breathing when they exert themselves
cough up blood
have a collapsed lung known as atelectasis. The thick mucus lining the airways often gets infected. This may result in widespread damage, called bronchiectasis.
Many men with cystic fibrosis have low, or zero, sperm counts and have difficulty fathering children. This is caused by problems with the tubules leading from the testicles to the penis.