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Just breathe.

What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes mucus and sweat glands to produce extra thick mucus that can damage the lungs and other organs in the body. It does this by blocking airways and providing an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, which can lead to decreased lung function and an increased risk of infections. This mucus can also prevent proteins from traveling to the intestines, reducing the number of nutrients a person with cystic fibrosis can digest from their food.

Cystic Fibrosis diagnosis and management in the Brazos Valley

Whether you think you may have cystic fibrosis or you already have a diagnosis, our board-certified pulmonologists are here to help. Schedule an appointment today.

What are the symptoms of cystic fibrosis?

Since cystic fibrosis can affect multiple bodily functions, including those in the respiratory and digestive systems, there are a wide variety of symptoms a person may experience, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent lung or sinus infections
  • Chest tightness
  • Chronic cough
  • Greasy stools
  • Difficulty with bowel movements
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Jaundice
  • Clubbed toes or fingers
  • Low body weight
  • Delayed growth
  • Joint pain

What are the risk factors of cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition, and it is a recessive disease, which means that people can only get it if both parents are carriers of mutated genes. If a person only gets one mutated gene from their parents, they are a cystic fibrosis carrier, but they do not have the disease.

If you have a family history of cystic fibrosis and are thinking about having a child, consider asking your doctor for carrier tests for you and your partner.

What treatments are available for cystic fibrosis?

Currently, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis. However, our board-certified pulmonologists work with patients to develop customized treatment plans to help manage the symptoms. These plans may include:

  • Medications to thin the mucus
  • Antibiotics
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Bronchodilators
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of cystic fibrosis, schedule a visit with a St. Joseph Health pulmonologist today.

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