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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Cystic Fibrosis: Symptoms & Signs
      Category : Health Centers > Respiratory System (Lungs and Breathing)

Cystic Fibrosis

Alternate Names : CF

Cystic Fibrosis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

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:

  • cough
  • excess mucus
  • be short of breath
  • wheeze
  • 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.

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    Cystic Fibrosis: Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors


    Cystic Fibrosis: Diagnosis & Tests

    Author: William M. Boggs, MD
    Reviewer: H. William Kelly, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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