Symptoms of cystic fibrosis will normally show in children by the age of three. Adults can be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis but that is usually rare. Each child may experience symptoms differently and some will have mild symptoms and others may be more serious. Most victims of cystic fibrosis will experience thick heavy mucus that collects in the lungs and intestines.
This can result in poor nutrition and poor growth. Some children may experience frequent upper respiratory infections that result in breathing difficulties. Cystic fibrosis patients may experience gland abnormalities in sweat and mucus glands that can cause an abnormal balance of minerals in the blood. Other symptoms may include abnormal heart rhythms and shock.
There are more serious symptoms of cystic fibrosis but it is hard to predict the severity of your childs symptoms. They may experience nasal polyps and frequent sinus infections. If you notice your childs fingers and toes becoming enlarged and getting wider that may be a symptom of cystic fibrosis.
This is especially obvious in the fingers. Your infant or toddler may experience bloating in the stomach, pain, and excessive gas. Gas may also accumulate in the plural cavity and eventually cause lung collapse.
Another serious symptom of cystic fibrosis is a chronic cough that produces thick, sticky mucus. The mucus is usually discolored and the child may also be coughing up blood. Enlargement of the right side of the heart may be a result of cystic fibrosis. These are serious complications, which is why it is so important to get an early diagnosis of this disease.
Other Signs of CF
Your child may not be having the serious complications of cystic fibrosis, but there are other signs that may signal the disease is in the childs body. If your infant or toddler has frequent bouts of diarrhea that look greasy, does not go away, and smells horrible, this may indicate the presence of cystic fibrosis. A child who experiences frequent bouts of persistent cough, wheezing, or pneumonia may have cystic fibrosis.
Pay attention when you kiss your child. A kiss that tastes salty may be a signal the child has cystic fibrosis. The symptoms of this disease often are mimicked by other conditions and medical problems. If you have any question about your childs health, consult your doctor immediately.
One more item of interest for those who suspect a problem in their infant or toddler is the fact they are not growing at the proper rate for their age. They may have a healthy appetite, eat regular and balanced meals, and express hunger between meals but are still not growing properly. Cystic fibrosis prevents the essential nutrients from reaching the body.
If your child is eating regularly but still not thriving you should take him or her to be checked by your family doctor. They may recommend seeing a doctor that specializes in cystic fibrosis.
Dont take a chance with the health of your child. If your child has any of the symptoms listed on this page, take them to the doctor to be checked.
photo by Mark Knobil – CreativeCommons Attribution