What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited, progressive disease that affects the lungs, sinuses, digestive and reproductive systems and sweat glands. People with CF have an abnormality in the function of a cell protein called Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR). People who inherit two abnormal copies of the gene that encodes this protein have abnormal production of mucus, sweat, and digestive secretions. Normally these secretions are thin and aid the body’s functioning, but for people who have CF, the secretions are too thick and sticky for the body to process and as a result it plugs up airways, ducts and passageways, causing damage to the affected organs.
You can only get CF if you inherit two CF genes, one from your mother and one from your father. A person who has only one CF gene is healthy, but as a carrier, you have an increased chance of having a child with CF. Testing is available at University Health.
Symptoms of cystic fibrosis:
- Salty-tasting skin
- Persistent Coughing that produces think mucus
- Repeated sinus, ear and lung infections
- Shortness of breath
- Poor weight gain
- Foul-smelling, greasy stools
- Intestinal blockage
- Severe constipation
When is it time to see a doctor?
If you or a family member have a combination of these symptoms, follow-up with your doctor or make an appointment at our Cystic Fibrosis Center for appropriate testing and treatments if necessary.
Adults diagnosed with cystic fibrosis are more likely to demonstrate symptoms outside the more quickly recognized signs. They may have multiple episodes of pancreatitis, infertility issues, and be prone to getting pneumonia.
We deliver high-quality treatment for cystic fibrosis all in one, convenient location
When you meet with us for the first time, a multidisciplinary treatment schedule is put into motion. The team pulls together and creates a unique plan to address your specific medical care issues.
At our Cystic Fibrosis Center, you have access to numerous medical experts:
- Nurse coordinator
- Respiratory therapist
- Physical therapist
- Social worker