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What is cystic fibrosis?

May 14, 2001

What is cystic fibrosis?



Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus due to poor transport of salt in cells that line organs such as the lungs and pancreas.

The mucus clogs the lungs, which can lead to infections. It also obstructs the pancreas, which prevents enzymes from reaching the intestines to digest food.

Symptoms include salty-tasting skin, persistent coughing or pneumonia, excessive appetite but poor weight gain, and bulky stools.

It can be misdiagnosed as recurrent pneumonia or asthma.

There are treatments, but there is no cure.

- Source: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

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