Diseases & Conditions : Respiratory Disorders
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
What are the symptoms of cystic fibrosis?
The following are the most common symptoms for cystic fibrosis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Abnormalities in the glands that produce sweat and mucus
This may cause a loss of salt. A loss of salt may cause an upset in the balance of minerals in the blood, abnormal heart rhythms, and, possibly, shock.
Thick mucus that accumulates in the lungs and intestines
This may cause malnutrition, poor growth, frequent respiratory infections, breathing difficulties, and/or lung disease.
Other medical problems, such as:
Clubbing of fingers and toes (a condition marked by the ends of the fingers and toes become enlarged; more prevalent in the fingers)
Pneumothorax (the presence of air or gas in the plural cavity causing the lung to collapse)
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
Cor pulmonale (right-sided heart failure from long-term high blood pressure in the lung arteries)
Gas in the intestines
Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) in males
As stated above, the symptoms of CF differ for each child. Infants born with CF usually show symptoms within the first year. Some children, though, may not show symptoms until later in life. The following symptoms may indicate CF, and infants having these signs may be tested for CF:
Diarrhea that does not go away
Frequent episodes of wheezing
Frequent episodes of pneumonia
Skin tastes like salt
Chronic sinus infection
The symptoms of cystic fibrosis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.