The meconium can also obstruct the large intestine, in which case the baby won't have a bowel movement for one or two days after birth.Other babies with CF are fine at birth but then develop problems breathing or can't seem to put on weight in their first four to six weeks. Parents may also notice a nagging cough and wheezing.Coughing and wheezing are hardly unique to children with CF, of course.
Each of these conditions is far more common than any genetic disease.
Still, cystic fibrosis is the most common life-shortening genetic disease among people of Northern European descent.
Other symptoms include salty skin, a big appetite with no weight gain, and large, greasy stools.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease.
A child with CF has a faulty gene that affects the movement of sodium chloride (salt) in and out of certain cells.
The result is thick, heavy, sticky mucus; salty sweat; and thickened digestive juices.
The thick mucus secretions can clog the lungs, making a child with CF very prone to breathing difficulties, lung infections (the mucus provides a rich environment for bacteria), and, eventually, severe lung damage.
And when thickened digestive fluids from the child's pancreas can't get to the small intestine to break down and absorb nutrients from the food she eats, she may also have digestive and growth problems.
Fifteen to 20 percent of newborn babies with cystic fibrosis have something called meconium ileus at birth.