Cystic fibrosis can lower the normal salt levels in
the body, which can lead to a variety of short- and long-term problems.
Sweat glands cool the body by releasing perspiration (sweat) from the
lower layers of the skin onto the surface. Sodium and chloride (salt) help
carry water to the skin's surface and are then reabsorbed into the body. As the
water evaporates, heat is carried away, and the body cools.
Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems
A lung injury can occur in many ways. A car accident could cause a harmful blow and a punctured lung. Or lungs can become injured from inhaling harmful chemicals. A lung injury can even occur while being treated in the hospital for an infection or while on a ventilator. If you or someone you love has an injured lung, you may want to understand better how it occurred and what your health care providers are doing to help.
In people who have cystic fibrosis, the salt travels to the skin's
surface with the water and is not reabsorbed. Because of this, the skin of a
child who has cystic fibrosis is abnormally salty. Parents may notice
salty-tasting skin when they kiss the child.
People who have cystic fibrosis can become quickly depleted of salts, especially when the weather is hot, when they exercise
strenuously, or when they have a fever. Low salt levels in the body lead to fatigue, weakness, fever, muscle cramps, stomach pain,
vomiting, dehydration, and heatstroke. To avoid these conditions, people who
have cystic fibrosis need to keep well hydrated and keep healthy salt
levels in the body. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes (such as sodium and
potassium) are especially good to help replace lost salts. Do not use salt tablets without talking to your doctor first.
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