Contact Cystic Fibrosis
Pediatric cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects mucus production, leading to lung infections and breathing difficulties.
For those with cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs. Normally, mucus is a slippery, watery substance that keeps the lining of organs moist. Mucus also helps remove inhaled dust, bacteria and other small particles. When mucus is too thick, it traps these particles instead, leading to infections in the lungs.
In addition to affecting the lungs, cystic fibrosis causes problems with the pancreas, liver, intestines and sex organs. Because of the thick, stagnant mucus trapped in the nose, children with cystic fibrosis are also prone to sinus infections.
Thick mucus in the pancreas prevents the release of digestive enzymes that help the body break down food and absorb nutrients, including fats and proteins. That can lead to vitamin deficiency and malnutrition.
Cystic fibrosis is a congenital disease that is present at birth. It occurs when a child inherits a faulty gene from each parent. The parents likely do not have the disease.
Most babies are screened for cystic fibrosis as a part of newborn screenings in the hospital. In Texas, newborns are screened for a protein that can indicate cystic fibrosis. Most children are diagnosed by the age of 2. The severity of the disease can differ from child to child, even in the same family.
*Age of infants as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).