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I am very concerned with my sister’s son. She gave birth to him one month ago. Everything was ok; at least we thought it was. They diagnosed him with cystic fibrosis. I heard something that doctors were talking about distended stomach. Is this a symptom of this disease? Can I get more information?

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It is true that distended stomach in toddlers can be a sign of cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately, it is in case of your niece. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, life threatening disorder and it damages the lungs and causes digestive problems. A defective gene causes cystic fibrosis and it controls the production of a protein that controls how salt is carried across the membranes that separate cells. People with one copy of the defective gene carry it but have no symptoms. Cystic fibrosis is a condition a person is born with. Cystic fibrosis affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, saliva and digestive juices and in a person with this disease, these secretions are thick and sticky. Respiratory failure is the most dangerous complication of cystic fibrosis and one of the first signs of cystic fibrosis in a baby is slow gain of weight in the weeks after birth. The baby does not get enough nutrition to thrive because of a lack of pancreatic enzymes. Almost half of the children with cystic fibrosis are diagnosed when they are taken to the doctor because of frequent coughing and respiratory tract infections. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis and treatment is aimed at preventing complications.
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