Respiratory system complications of cystic fibrosis (part 4)

Published : 15 Jun 2022 07:42 PM

• Pneumothorax: In this condition, air leaks into the space that separates the lungs from the chest wall, and part or all of a lung collapse. This is more common in adults with cystic fibrosis. Pneumothorax can cause sudden chest pain and breathlessness. People often feel a bubbling sensation in the chest.

• Respiratory failure: Over time, cystic fibrosis can damage lung tissue so badly that it no longer works. Lung function usually worsens gradually, and it eventually can become life-threatening. Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death.

• Acute exacerbations: People with cystic fibrosis may experience worsening of their respiratory symptoms, such as coughing with more mucus and shortness of breath. This is called an acute exacerbation and requires treatment with antibiotics. Sometimes treatment can be provided at home, but hospitalization may be needed. Decreased energy and weight loss also are common during exacerbations.

Digestive system complications:

• Nutritional deficiencies: Thick mucus can block the tubes that carry digestive enzymes from your pancreas to your intestines. Without these enzymes, your body can't absorb protein, fats or fat-soluble vitamins, so you can't get enough nutrients. This can result in delayed growth, weight loss or inflammation of the pancreas.

• Diabetes: The pancreas produces insulin, which your body needs to use sugar. Cystic fibrosis increases the risk of diabetes. About 20% of teenagers and 40% to 50% of adults with CF develop diabetes.

    Courtesy: Mayo Clinic