Cystic fibrosis is a chronic and progressive disease, usually diagnosed in childhood, that causes mucus to become thick and sticky. The mucus builds up and clogs passages in the lungs, pancreas, and many other organs in the body.
Early symptoms of cystic fibrosis include abnormally salty sweat or skin and a failure to thrive, which includes a poor appetite, lack of energy, and weight loss during infancy. Some babies who have cystic fibrosis are born with a blocked small intestine. Later symptoms include coughing up mucus and a lack of energy. Adults who have cystic fibrosis may have fertility problems.
There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. Management of the disease varies from person to person and generally focuses on treating respiratory and digestive problems to prevent infection and other complications. Treatment usually involves a combination of medicines and home treatment methods, such as respiratory and nutritional therapies.
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerSusanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise