Cystic fibrosis (CF) can cause a wide range of complications that vary depending on the genetic profile of that person’s particular CF mutation, age, and gender.Almost everyone with CF experiences significant respiratory and gastrointestinal complications eventually, but the age when these begin, and the severity, can be quite different from person to person.
What are some of the causes of complications in cystic fibrosis?
Respiratory and gastrointestinal complications are often caused directly by the thick, sticky mucus generated because the body can’t process the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein properly. The CFTR protein helps our cells move the chloride ion, an element in salt, to a cell’s surface. Without chloride, water isn’t attracted to the cell surface, which causes thick, sticky mucus to clog airways and ducts throughout the body.However, some complications are the downstream result of the disease or treatment. And, people with CF who have had organ transplants are more likely to experience complications.