How does cystic fibrosis affect the body?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. It causes the cells that produce mucus to malfunction, which makes mucus sticky and thick. This affects multiple systems in the body, which cause different problems. The effects of CF are treatable with medication and lifestyle changes.

What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that damages the airways and digestive system, causing persistent lung infections and difficulty with digestion. It is caused by a mutation in the CFTR gene.

An inherited disease, cystic fibrosis affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States and 70,000 worldwide. It is one of the most common fatal genetic diseases among European-American populations today.

cystic fibrosis
cystic fibrosis

How does cystic fibrosis affect the body?

Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs, pancreas and intestines. It causes a thick mucus to build up in the airways (bronchi and bronchioles) making it hard for air to get in and out of your lungs. This is known as respiratory failure.

CF also affects the body’s ability to process food and eliminate waste from food, known as malabsorption or maldigestion, which can lead to malnutrition or weight loss.

In addition, CF affects the body’s ability to fight infections because of abnormal salt levels (sodium) in sweat due to salty foods being poorly absorbed by the body. The higher-than-normal sodium content then results in increased water drainage from cells causing them not only shrink but also retain more water than normal—leading them become more susceptible than usual when infection strikes.

How does the body process food and eliminate waste when it has CF?

The body’s ability to process food and eliminate waste is affected by CF.

The digestive system takes nutrients from the food you eat, breaks them down into smaller components that can be absorbed into your bloodstream, and eliminates waste products from your body. When you have CF, this process gets more complicated than it should be because of damaged cells in the pancreas (a gland behind the stomach) and other organs involved in digestion.

You may also experience problems with:

  • breathing—your lungs’ mucus lining becomes thick and sticky; mucus builds up in different areas of your lungs; or mucus blocks airways so that you cannot breathe properly;
  • sweating—you may have trouble cooling off when it’s hot outside or during exercise; or
  • digesting fat—the enzymes made by your pancreas don’t work well anymore because they’re damaged by cystic fibrosis

What problems does the pancreas have in people with cystic fibrosis?

People with cystic fibrosis have problems with their pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing digestive enzymes and insulin, which helps the body use sugar (glucose) for energy. In people with CF, the pancreas does not produce enough of these substances, causing a wide range of problems.

CF affects digestion because it causes abnormal amounts of mucus to build up in the gastrointestinal tract (GI). This blocks food from being digested properly or absorbed into your bloodstream.

This can lead to malnutrition and poor growth (if diagnosed at an early age). It also makes it hard for you to gain weight if you’re older than five years old and does not respond well to treatment.

What is the effect of cystic fibrosis on the lungs?

Cystic fibrosis can cause a number of problems with the lungs, including respiratory infections and lung damage.

The lungs produce mucus, which helps clean and protect them. But if you don’t have enough CFTR proteins in your body (or they’re not functioning properly), mucus is too thick or sticky to move from the airways out of your lungs into the stomach where it belongs. This means that there’s more mucus than usual in your lungs, which can lead to infections like pneumonia or bronchitis.

There are many different types of cystic fibrosis-related lung disease that affect people differently:

  • Pulmonary thromboembolism (blood clots) can block blood flow through arteries in one or both lungs and cause chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries of one or both ventricles) may cause shortness of breath when sitting up or lying down

How can you treat infections caused by CF?

If you have CF, it’s important that you get a diagnosis as soon as possible. The sooner you know about your condition, the better. If a lung infection does occur, your doctor will give you antibiotics to clear up the problem. If one set of antibiotics doesn’t work, others can be tried until the infection is gone.

If a bacterial infection doesn’t respond to antibiotic treatment right away or keeps coming back, your doctor may ask if you’d like to try another type of medication called azithromycin (Zithromax) or dapsone with rifampin (Rifater). These drugs aren’t used often because they can cause serious side effects like blood problems and liver damage; however, they’re sometimes needed in special situations when other treatments have not worked well enough or at all.

If other treatments don’t work well enough or at all (including respiratory support), then doctors often recommend lung transplantation for CF patients who need help breathing due to severe lung damage caused by scar tissue buildup from chronic infections related diregardingly during childhood years spent playing outdoors with friends during summer vacations spent traveling abroad without proper hygiene precautions taken beforehand; these conditions could easily lead

How can you treat damage to your lungs?

To treat lung damage, you may need to take antibiotics and other medications. Some people also need to use a nebulizer or inhaled therapy.

Here are some things that can help reduce problems with the lungs in CF:

  • Antibiotics – These medications kill germs that cause infections in your body. You may be given them through an IV (intravenous) line or put on a special diet that reduces how much food you eat and how much fat is in your stomach contents. This helps lower the amount of bacteria in your intestines, which makes it harder for them to get into your lungs.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation – Specialized programs help people learn exercises that make breathing easier if they have trouble breathing because of their condition or other causes like being overweight or having asthma attacks often

What is the impact of CF on reproduction, pregnancy and fertility?

CF can affect fertility, pregnancy and the fetus. It can also affect both mothers and fathers, as well as their partners and families. CF affects the wider community because it is a genetic condition and therefore tends to run in families.

Cystic fibrosis affects multiple systems in the body, which cause different problems. The effects of CF are treatable.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs of the body. It is treatable, but there is no cure.

CF affects the body in different ways. The effects may range from mild to severe — or even life-threatening — depending on which parts of your body are affected by CF and how severely those parts are affected.

Cystic fibrosis is not contagious or genetic in most cases; it can only be passed down through genetics from parent to child (or vice versa). However, if you have CF, it’s important to let your sexual partner(s) know so they can get tested for CF as well.


Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. The symptoms are treatable and can be managed with good care. There are many ways to manage CF, including taking medications, following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.