Cystic Fibrosis What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic condition that affects a protein in the body. People who have cystic fibrosis have a faulty protein that affects the body’s cells, tissues, and the glands that make mucus and sweat.
Mucus is normally slippery and protects the linings of the airways, digestive tract, and other organs and tissues. People who have cystic fibrosis make thick, sticky mucus that can build up and lead to blockages, damage, or infections in the affected organs. Inflammation also causes damage to organs such as the lungs and pancreas.
Some people who have cystic fibrosis have few or no symptoms, while others experience severe symptoms or life-threatening complications. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis depend on which organs are affected and the severity of the condition. The most serious and common complications of cystic fibrosis are problems with the lungs, also known as pulmonary or respiratory problems, which may include serious lung infections. People who have cystic fibrosis often also have problems maintaining good nutrition, because they have a hard time absorbing the nutrients from food. This is a problem that can delay growth.