My wife (now 61) has had a stubborn chest problem for around a year or so. Over the past year she's had chest x-rays, scans and so on. Her doctors ruled out lung cancer and COPD but did see small areas of "scarring", one small are in each lung.

Her only symptom has been a cough, often several times a day with greenish sputum, earlier on (like 9 mths ago) she had several episodes were blood was present (worst case was like a small mouthful).

She had some form of steroid treatment as well as antibiotics and the blood disappeared but cough remained, varying from once or twice a day to sometimes every hour or so, she rarely if ever coughs when asleep, this was several months back.

She has been seen more recently by a pulmonologist who carried out more test and discovered a bacteria pseudomonas and staph infection. He gave her doses of antibiotics, strong and troubling (upsetting her stomach a lot).

This has it seems eradicated the pseudomonas but not the cough or sputum problem - she has - to my knowledge NO other symptoms (but there is an staph infection that's dragging on though).

More recently more tests were carried out as a preparatory step before she sees an infectious disease specialist, these test indicated she was a CF carrier and they are planning another set of genetic tests plus a skin sweat test.

This is pretty much the current situation.

Now I've scoured the web for info I'm obviously no doctor but as a technologist and electronics engineer no stranger to general technical data - I cannot seem to get an answer to a question, here it is:

Can someone who is either a "carrier" or has "atypical CF" exhibit these symptoms? bear in mind the following:

  1. Non smoker (last smoked in her twenties)
  2. No prior history of chest infections, pneumonia, cough, digestive issues or sinus issues.
  3. Healthy eater.
  4. Visits gym several times a week, aerobic bike etc.
  5. Slightly overweight but not enough for doctors to worry about it.
  6. No breathing difficulties, wheezing etc.
  7. Normal lung function (according to pulmonologist)
  8. Generally a robust healthy woman, who rarely gets ill.

It seems from much of what I read that patients with "atypical CF" generally have some history of a problem that wasn't enough to warrant proper CF tests and only later were recognized as having CF.

I couldn't find much info on whether a person can be (apparently) completely asymptomatic until the age of 61 and then suddenly exhibit symptoms.

Only one "mutation" was found it seems (making her a carrier) but another set of tests is being done to be sure and as I say the sweat test is being scheduled.