What Do You Know About Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease. Nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. have CF. Most of them are descendants of people from northern Europe. Find out more about CF by taking this quiz.
4. How is the digestive system affected by extra mucus in CF?
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The pancreas helps in digestion by making enzymes and bicarbonate to neutralize stomach acid. If the pancreas ducts are blocked by mucus, digestion is affected. Enzymes can't help digest food, which means the person won't get the nutrients they need. Bowel movements become bulky and foul-smelling. Malnutrition and slowed growth and development can also occur. If the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are damaged, the person can develop cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. If the bile ducts in the liver are affected, biliary cirrhosis may result. Other symptoms and problems linked with CF include sinusitis, nasal polyps, clubbed fingers and toes, ruptured lung tissue, belly (abdominal) pain, gassiness, gallstones, coughing blood, enlargement of the right side of the heart, and infertility.
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