With cystic fibrosis it is usually the lungs and pancreas that are affected. Often the respiratory disease is the most prominent: A typical symptom of cystic fibrosis is a persistent cough to rid the body of the thick mucus. Shortness of breath, recurring infections and pneumonia are also observed.
The function of the pancreas and the liver is affected in almost all patients with cystic fibrosis. Digestion of food is impaired, resulting in stomach ache, constipation or diarrhoea. Infants and young children with cystic fibrosis are not infrequently underweight or have delayed growth.
Until two decades ago, patients with cystic fibrosis did not have a high life expectancy. Thanks to the ever-advancing treatment options, there is now a good chance of reaching the age of 40. It is expected that infants born now with cystic fibrosis will have an even higher life expectancy.
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