When To Call a Doctor
It is important to diagnose and treat cystic fibrosis early. Call your doctor if your child:
- Has frequent lung infections (Reference pneumonia Opens New Window), colds, an ongoing cough, shortness of breath, or Reference wheezing Opens New Window.
- Coughs up mucus that contains blood.
- Does not gain or maintain weight.
- Has smelly, large, greasy stools or diarrhea.
- Tires easily during activity.
- Has rounded, flat fingertips (clubbing).
Call your doctor if your child who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis gets worse in any way. Typically, this is when your child:
- Has increased coughing or has a cough that is getting worse.
- Has new wheezing or has wheezing that is getting worse.
- Has more trouble breathing than usual.
- Has lost weight or is not gaining weight, without an explanation.
- Is having symptoms that you and your doctor have discussed as being more serious problems.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your child's symptoms without using medical treatment. Watchful waiting is not a good idea for people who have cystic fibrosis. If your child has any signs of cystic fibrosis, even if they seem to be mild, see the doctor right away.
Who to see
The following doctors can diagnose and treat cystic fibrosis:
- Reference Pediatrician Opens New Window
- Reference Family medicine doctor Opens New Window
- Reference Pulmonologist Opens New Window
- Reference Internist Opens New Window
- Reference Gastroenterologist Opens New Window
Other health professionals may also be involved in your child's care:
- Reference Respiratory therapist Opens New Window
- Reference Physical therapist Opens New Window
- Reference Registered dietitian Opens New Window
- Exercise physiologist
- Reference Social worker Opens New Window
- Reference Psychologist Opens New Window
- Reference Pharmacist Opens New Window
Cystic fibrosis multidisciplinary specialist centers offer the best, most comprehensive treatment available by addressing the medical, nutritional, and emotional needs of people who have cystic fibrosis. You can locate one by contacting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.cff.org.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology