Because CF also affects epithelial cells in the skin's sweat glands, kids with CF may have a salty "frosting" on their skin or taste "salty" when their parents kiss them. They also may lose abnormally large amounts of body salt when they sweat on hot days.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common cause of pancreatic insufficiency in children, but a condition called Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS) is the second most common cause. SDS is a genetic condition that causes a reduced ability to digest food because digestive enzymes don't work properly. Some of the symptoms of SDS are similar to those of CF, so it may be confused with cystic fibrosis. However, in kids with SDS, the sweat test is normal.
Because CF produces thick mucus within the respiratory tract, kids with CF may suffer from nasal congestion, sinus problems, wheezing, and asthma-like symptoms. As CF symptoms progress, they can develop a chronic cough that produces globs of thick, heavy, discolored mucus. They also may suffer from repeated lung infections.
As chronic infections reduce lung function, the ability to breathe often decreases. A person with CF may eventually begin to feel short of breath, even when resting. Despite aggressive medical therapy, lung disease develops in nearly all patients with CF and is a common cause of