Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that leads to increased and sticky mucus secretion. Normally, your body produces mucus that is thin and slippery. But in cystic fibrosis, it is too thick, which eventually causes clogging of the systems. Most commonly, it causes clogging of the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and reproductive system.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive disease, and until now, there is no cure for it. However, healthcare providers can manage it with symptomatic treatment. But some days you might have severe symptoms, whereas some days you might feel better.
The symptoms of cystic fibrosis keep coming and going. It is a lifelong condition. Therefore you need to learn the art of living with it. You should visit your healthcare provider frequently so that they can manage your condition and prevent it from worsening. If you have cystic fibrosis, you can visit the Best Pulmonologist in Lahore.
In this article, we will tell you the complications of cystic fibrosis.
What are the complications of cystic fibrosis?
The complications of cystic fibrosis most commonly involve the respiratory tract, digestive system, and reproductive system. However, it may involve other body parts too. They can be described as:
The complications of the respiratory tract due to cystic fibrosis can be:
Long-term clogging of the bronchioles can lead to bronchiectasis- a condition in which lung bronchi are thickened due to inflammation and infections. It makes it harder for your lungs to perform a gaseous exchange, and get rid of mucus.
Long term presence of mucus in the respiratory tract can serve as an ideal ground for the growth of bacteria and fungi. Therefore, people having cystic fibrosis often have recurrent sinus infections, lung infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Antibiotic-resistant infections are also common among patients with cystic fibrosis.
Long-term inflammation in the nose due to thick mucus can lead to the development of soft and tiny outgrowths, known as nasal polyps.
Hemoptysis is the occurrence of blood in a cough. It occurs because cystic fibrosis can lead to airway damage and inflammation. Mostly there is a small quantity of blood in the sputum. But it can be life-threatening sometimes. If you have a complaint, you should visit the healthcare provider soon.
It is a condition when air leaks into the space that separates the lungs from the chest wall. Due to it, a part of the lung or the whole collapses. It can cause sudden chest pain and breathlessness.
The complications of the digestive tract due to cystic fibrosis are:
Cystic fibrosis causes too much mucus secretion in the digestive tract, due to which digestive juices get blocked that digest food and help in the absorption of nutrients. When food is not digested properly, it leads to nutritional deficiencies. Therefore it can lead to delayed growth, pancreas inflammation, and weight loss.
Cystic fibrosis increases the risk of diabetes- a condition in which your body can not absorb sugar. The glucose in your blood is absorbed with the help of insulin- a hormone that your pancreas secretes. In diabetes, your pancreas is unable to secrete insulin, or your receptors become insensitive to it.
The liver produces bile, and it goes through a tube to the gallbladder. Due to excess mucus, that tube gets blocked. This increases the chances of liver diseases such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, and sometimes the development of gallstones.
Other complications due to cystic fibrosis can be:
- Reduced fertility in men
- Infertility in men
- Thinning of bones- a condition is known as osteoporosis
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and fear