cystic fibrosis generally follows certain patterns,
each person's symptoms depend on what is happening with his or her
mucus-producing cells. These kinds of cells are found throughout the body in
many different organs and systems, including the:
Lungs and respiratory system. People
with cystic fibrosis have thick and sticky mucus that traps bacteria. This
causes lots of lung infections and often causes permanent lung
damage. Bronchiectasis, which is caused by long-lasting airway
inflammation, is common.
Sweat glands. You may notice that your child has unusually salty skin. Cystic
fibrosis can cause a person to become easily
dehydrated or to have very low salt levels.
Reproductive organs. Almost all men who have
cystic fibrosis are unable to father a child. Women who have cystic fibrosis may have more difficulty getting pregnant than other
Skeletal system. People who have cystic fibrosis may
have weaker bones than other people. This is because their bones contain lower levels of minerals.
Weakened bones can lead to bone
osteoporosis. Cystic fibrosis can also cause swollen
or painful joints (arthropathy or
arthritis). These problems are more common in adults
than in children.
The life expectancy for people
with cystic fibrosis has been steadily increasing. On
average, people who have cystic fibrosis live into their mid-to-late 30s. But new treatments are helping some people to live into
their 40s and longer. People who have a mild form may have a
normal life expectancy.
Even though cystic fibrosis can't be cured, the treatments continue to get better. And there are new treatments that target the cystic fibrosis gene defect.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this