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Cystic Fibrosis

Could I Have CF

01/28/2010

Question:

My niece has CF, I am 40. I had double pneumonia dec. 2009, they tell me that it is all gone. I have stabbing pain in my lung area, both sides, shortness of breath, especially when I move around, I cough, sometimes i feel like I need to cough to catch my breath, sometimes I cough so hard I throw up. I also break out in sweats for no reason. I feel like I`m getting worse not better. My sister insists that I have all the same symptoms her daughter had before she was diagnoised. Do you think it is possible that I could have CF? I see an infectious disease Dr., a family Dr and a pulmonary Dr. all trying to figure out what is wrong with me. They all seem to be stumped.

Answer:

We do occasionally see adults diagnosed with CF, and some even later than 40 years old. Usually (though not always) these people have had some degree of problems for much of their life, though usually much milder than those with "classic" CF.

 

If you have not raised this question with your pulmonologist, I would. There is only one way to be sure-and that is to test. The gold standards are the sweat chloride test, done in a CF foundation certified site, and/or genetic testing. I wish you luck in sorting this out and resolving your persistent symptoms.

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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