Symptoms of cystic fibrosis are usually caused by the production of thick, sticky Reference mucus Opens New Window. Symptoms vary from person to person and are not always obvious in childhood.
Early signs and symptoms
Symptoms of cystic fibrosis in a baby or young child may include:
- A blocked small intestine at birth, called a Reference meconium plug or meconium ileus.
- Salty sweat or skin.
- Wanting to eat more or less, having little energy, or losing weight.
- Unusual bowel movements. This may include diarrhea that does not go away; large, greasy stools; very smelly stools; or constipation. If the intestines become blocked, the child's belly may stick out and the child may not be able to have a bowel movement.
- Breathing problems or getting tired easily while playing.
- A cough that does not go away or Reference wheezing Opens New Window.
Later signs and symptoms
Over time, symptoms may get worse and result in:
- Coughing up mucus that sometimes has blood in it.
- Difficulty exercising or not being able to exercise.
- Reference Rectal prolapse Opens New Window, when part of the rectum protrudes from the anus.
Additional symptoms may develop during late childhood or early adulthood, including:
- Clubbing (rounding and flattening) of the fingers.
- Growths (Reference polyps Opens New Window) in the nose or sinuses.
- Not being able to have children (infertility).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology