If your child has cystic fibrosis then you might want to take a little time to learn about the condition, the signs and symptoms to look out for, and possible treatments. Night Lite Pediatrics would like to help. Keep reading or reach out to our clinic today if you’d like to learn more about cystic fibrosis in children.
What is cystic fibrosis in children?
The condition is an inherited disease in which the body produces thick, sticky mucus which causes problems in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. A child with cystic fibrosis may get lung infections a lot, and over time, may start to struggle with breathing. Digestive problems are also common in these children, and the problems make it hard for these children to gain weight. If your child has the condition or if you suspect your child has it, there are certain signs and symptoms to manage or watch out for, and because the condition is chronic, it requires professional treatment and management.
What are the symptoms of cystic fibrosis in children?
Shortly after a baby is born, the baby can have the signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis. The first sign of the condition may be an intestinal blockage that’s called meconium ileus. Other signs and symptoms of the condition may not appear until later on in a child’s development. Symptoms can vary in severity. Some of the common symptoms of cystic fibrosis tend to be:
- Lung infections/pneumonia
- Wheezing, and coughing with thick mucus
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Bowel movements that appear bulky and greasy
- Sweat that seems very salty
- Difficulty gaining weight, or poor height growth
- And in some children, nasal polyps, regular sinus infections, and/or tiredness
How is cystic fibrosis diagnosed?
Generally, most children with cystic fibrosis are diagnosed by the time they are two years old, but if someone has mild cystic fibrosis, they might not be diagnosed until their teens. There are newborn screening tests which catch most cases of cystic fibrosis. It’s also possible for a doctor to provide a pain-free sweat test which can help with diagnosis. We can help you get these tests for your child here at Night Lite Pediatrics.
What are the treatments for cystic fibrosis in children?
The treatment a patient gets depends on their needs, but generally, cystic fibrosis patients will have to:
- Prevent and/or manage lung infections – By washing their hands regularly, taking preventive antibiotics, etc.
- Take enzymes – To help with food digestion and nutrient absorption
- Eat a diet higher than average in calories if necessary
- Take vitamin supplements when needed
- Clear mucus by:
○ Using an inhaler/nebulizer
○ Doing breathing exercises
○ Coughing on purpose
○ Getting exercise regularly
○ Having chest physical therapy
○ And/or wearing a therapy vest that shakes the patient’s chest
We’re able to help a lot here at Night Lite Pediatric by providing diagnosis and many of the treatments we mentioned above. We can also help you understand the condition better so you can be a part of your child’s support team! If you believe you need any of our services, even if it’s just a symptom check, get in touch with our clinic today.
Do you provide cystic fibrosis services near me?
We very likely do! Night Lite Pediatrics has many locations throughout the Greater Orlando, Jacksonville, Port St Lucie, and West Melbourne areas, which you can view here. If you’re in any of these areas or nearby, call us today or come see us in-person. We’re able to see patients on a walk-in basis, so you can come see us without having to make an appointment first, and if it turns out that your child does need care from us, we’ll be able to provide it whenever your child may need it. Connect with us today for an appointment or for a meet-and-greet with one of our pediatricians.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!