Cystic Fibrosis Home > Cystic Fibrosis Information

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition affecting the mucus and sweat glands. An abnormal gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene causes mucus to become thick and sticky. This mucus then builds up in the lungs, blocking the airways. This makes it easy for bacteria to grow and leads to repeated serious lung infections. Over time, these infections can cause serious damage to the lungs.
Cystic fibrosis can also affect the tubes (ducts) in the pancreas. As a result, digestive enzymes that are produced by the pancreas cannot reach the small intestine. These enzymes help break down the food that you eat. As a result, fats and proteins are not fully absorbed.
(Click Cystic Fibrosis for more information, including possible symptoms, how this condition is diagnosed, and treatment options.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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