10 major symptoms of cystic fibrosis
Signs & Symptoms
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the lungs and the digestive system. This condition is associated with cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices and impels them to turn the fluid into a thick and sticky one. The fluid clogs up the lungs and possibly obstructs the pancreas, causing discomfort. In some cases, it can even cause fatal symptoms. Let’s take a look at the symptoms and causes of cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis can also be life-threatening, and people with this condition have a shorter span of life. The symptoms associated with this condition include:
The obstruction in the lungs, tubes, and passageways can lead to chronic cough with phlegm or blood.
- Respiratory problems
Obstruction of the windpipe can cause fatal respiratory issues like pulmonary hypertension, shortness of breath, acute bronchitis, wheezing, or sinusitis.
- Abdominal pain
Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, malabsorption, intestinal dysfunction, and constipation can lead to abdominal pain.
- Gastrointestinal issues
The thick and sticky fluid in the pancreas can interfere with the digestive system, resulting in heartburn, diarrhea, severe constipation, or bulky stools.
- Stunted developmental growth
Children and teens with cystic fibrosis can be a victim of slow growth, delayed structural development, and prolonged puberty.
Shortness of breath and incapability of the lungs to produce optimal levels of oxygen can interfere with the function of the body. It’s common for people with cystic fibrosis to feel weak or tired despite getting quality sleep.
- Nasal polyps
This is a condition that is associated with the development of a grape-like benign growth on the lining of the sinuses. Cystic fibrosis patients are most likely to manifest nasal polyps, which could further lead to nasal airway obstruction, anosmia, rhinorrhea, and exacerbation of rhinosinusitis.
- Weight loss
Many studies conclude that people with cystic fibrosis are significantly underweight despite an excessive appetite. Declining health and severe malnutrition are linked with this condition.
- Male infertility
Almost 97-98% of men with cystic fibrosis are prone to manifesting infertility. However, that doesn’t impact their sex lives or restrict them from having biological children.
- Deformity of nails
People with cystic fibrosis have fingertips that grow bigger, and the nail bed is unusually curved from the front to the back. Another sign of this disease is clubbed fingers, which denotes low oxygen levels.