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Cystic Fibrosis

Salivary glands affected by cystic fibrosis



Hello. I am a 25 year old with Cystic Fibrosis. I have a mild case, but slowly it`s advancing through my system. My cf case mostly affects my sinuses and my digestive system. Two days ago, my doctor told me that the cf is starting to shut down my salivary glands which is causing severe dry mouth. Can give me an idea of what happens to the body? And can cf initiate IBS? and if it can how does the two collide with each other? Is their any relief for cf initiated IBS? Thanks for your time and advice.


To be honest, I have not seen any patients who developed salivary gland problems, or at least none that I identified as having that problem. To be sure, many medications can do that, and that could be a cause, or your CF may be the cause, and your doctor may be entirely on target.

CF doesn't cause IBS, so far as I know, although it can cause many bowel troubles, such as oily stools, constipation, and a special kind of constipation called Distal Intestinal Obstruction Syndrome (DIOS). All of these things can certainly worsen preexisting IBS, and control of the CF related factors AND the IBS might be needed for relief of bowel symptoms. Treatment of all those problems should be within the scope of your CF doctor's knowledge, with the help of a gastroenterologist, if need be.

A survey of "what happens to the body" is well beyond what I can cover here, but a pamphlet titled "Growing Older With CF", a handbook for adults, and books titled  Beyond Lungs, by McKenna and Goldsweig, and Now That I have CF, information for men and women diagnosed as adults, by Widerman, Palys and Palys, all available from Solvay Pharmaceuticals may be helpful to you

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Response by:

John S Heintz, MD John S Heintz, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University