At GI Care for Kids, we provide care to many children with cystic fibrosis. Initially, we are often asked to determine whether cystic fibrosis is present. Subsequently, we work with a multidisciplinary team of health care providers to optimize the health of children with cystic fibrosis. To ensure continuity of care, Dr. Edith Pilzer is the lead physician in managing the gastrointestinal problems of children with Cystic Fibrosis.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis is a chronic disease that is caused by changes in mucus production. Due to the abnormally-thick mucus, patients develop many problems, especially in the lungs and the digestive tract. The thick mucus can clog the lungs and lead to serious infections; in addition, the thick mucus usually does not allow for normal pancreatic enzyme secretion. This, in turn, results in malabsorption with poor growth.
Potential signs and symptoms:
- Failure to thrive
- Intestinal obstruction (meconium ileus)
- Rectal prolapse
- Low sodium (salt) levels
- Liver/gallbladder dysfunction
How common is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic Fibrosis affects about 1 in every 2000 births in this country. Approximately 1000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
How is Cystic Fibrosis diagnosed?
There are many ways to diagnose Cystic Fibrosis, including analyzing the salt content of sweat (very high in cystic fibrosis), genetic testing, and analyzing pancreatic enzymes. Additional information on testing can be obtained at the following website.
If your pediatrician is worried that your child has cystic fibrosis, please help us by bringing all of your child's growth records and previous evaluations to your first visit at GI Care for Kids.