How does CF af­fect the gas­troin­testi­nal (GI) sys­tem?

Wellness Update - - Get The Facts about Cystic Fibrosis -

The or­gan pri­mar­ily af­fected is the pan­creas, which se­cretes sub­stances that aid di­ges­tion and help con­trol blood-glu­cose lev­els. As a re­sult of the ab­nor­mal elec­trolyte trans­port sys­tem in the cells, the se­cre­tions from the pan­creas be­come thick and lead to an ob­struc­tion of the ducts of the pan­creas. This ob­struc­tion then causes a de­crease in the se­cre­tion of en­zymes from the pan­creas that nor­mally help to di­gest food. A per­son with CF has dif­fi­culty ab­sorb­ing pro­teins, fats, and vi­ta­mins A, D, E, and K. The prob­lems with the pan­creas can be­come so se­vere that some of the cells in the pan­creas can be­come de­stroyed. This may lead to glu­cose in­tol­er­ance and in­sulin-de­pen­dent di­a­betes. About 35 per­cent of CF pa­tients de­velop this type of di­a­betes in their 20s and 43 per­cent de­velop the dis­ease af­ter 30 years of age. The symp­toms that may be present due to the in­volve­ment with the GI tract in­clude the fol­low­ing: • Bulky, greasy stools • Rec­tal pro­lapse--a con­di­tion in which the end

part of the bow­els comes out of the anus. • De­layed pu­berty • Fat in the stools • Stom­ach pain • Bloody di­ar­rhea The liver may also be af­fected. A small num­ber of pa­tients may ac­tu­ally de­velop liver dis­ease. Symp­toms of liver dis­ease may in­clude: • En­larged liver • Swollen ab­domen • Yel­low color to the skin • Vom­it­ing of blood

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