The effects of CF

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Gas Exchange

  • Mucas accumulates in the lungs, bacteria trapped in te mucas increase the possibility of infection


  • Mucas can block bronchioles, which reduces the number of alveoli in contact with fresh air so reduces the surface area for gas exchange.
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  • Mucas blocks the pancreatic duct, so digestive enzymes can't reach the duodenum (small intestine) and food is not properly digested. This leads to tiredness and difficulty gaining weight.
  • Enzymes trapped within the pancreas cause fibrosed cysts and damage to insluin producing cells, leading to diabetes.
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  • In women, mucas can block the cervix preventing entry of sperm


  • In men, the vas deferns (sperm duct) is either missing or blocked with mucas, so sperm cannot leave the testes.
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Sweat contains water and salts and the sweat of a person with CF contains more sodium and chloride than usual

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