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Symptoms of CF

Lungs1,2
  • Abundance of thick, sticky mucus, which traps dirt and bacteria
  • Chronic lung infection — common lung infections in people with CF include Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia
  • Inflammation and scarring
  • Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath

In some cases, lung damage may result in a person with Cystic Fibrosis having to have a lung transplant

Digestive system1,4
  • Fatty stools
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Distal intestinal obstruction syndrome (DIOS) — blocked bowel difficulty going to the bathroom

Pancreatic insufficiency

  • Lack of digestive enzymes produced, resulting in difficulty in absorbing nutrients and poor weight gain
  • Insulin production impaired which can cause CF-related diabetes (CFRD).

The prevelance of CFRD is estimated to be around 30%3,6

Liver1,5
  • Scarring/fatty deposits
  • Jaundice
  • Liver disease
Skin6
  • Salty skin and sweat
Nose6
  • Nasal polyps
  • Sinusitis
Bones6,7
  • Osteopenia and osteoperosis
  • Low bone density leading to increased risk of fractures
Reproductive system8
  • Most males with CF are infertile, due to an impairment in the duct that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis. Fertility treatments are available
  • Some females with CF have issues with fertility due to thickness of mucus in the vagina

The extent to which people are affected by these symptoms varies between types of CF fault and from person to person6

Approval code: UK/RESP/16/0060ct

Date of preparation: January 2020

References
  1. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis. British Lung Foundation. Available at: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/cystic-fibrosis/symptoms Last accessed: January 2020.
  2. Lungs and cystic fibrosis. CF Trust. Available at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/how-does-cystic-fibrosis-affect-the-body/symptoms-of-cystic-fibrosis/lungs Last accessed: January 2020.
  3. Chronic Lung Infection. Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Specialist Care. Available at: https://www.rbhh-specialistcare.co.uk/diagnostics-treatments/lung-conditions/chronic-lung-infection/ Last accessed: January 2020.
  4. Digestive system and cystic fibrosis. CF Trust. Available at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/how-does-cystic-fibrosis-affect-the-body/symptoms-of-cystic-fibrosis/digestive-system Last accessed: January 2020.
  5. Liver disease and cystic fibrosis. CF Trust. Available at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/how-does-cystic-fibrosis-affect-the-body/symptoms-of-cystic-fibrosis/liver-disease Last accessed: January 2020.
  6. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis. CF Trust. Available at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/how-does-cystic-fibrosis-affect-the-body/symptoms-of-cystic-fibrosis Last accessed: January 2020.
  7. Bone disease and cystic fibrosis. Available at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/how-does-cystic-fibrosis-affect-the-body/symptoms-of-cystic-fibrosis/bone-disease Last accessed: January 2020.
  8. Fertility and cystic fibrosis. Available at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/what-is-cystic-fibrosis/how-does-cystic-fibrosis-affect-the-body/symptoms-of-cystic-fibrosis/fertility Last accessed: January 2020.

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