Cystic Fibrosis

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Medical Center Campus
  • East Pavilion, Level 5
  • 111 Colchester Avenue
    Burlington, VT, 05401
  • Phone: 802-847-1158
  • Fax: 802-847-2444
  • Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
  • Directions

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. Cystic fibrosis needs daily care, but people with the condition are living longer, better lives because of improvements in diagnosis and treatment.

Cystic Fibrosis: What You Need to Know 

Teamwork

Patients with cystic fibrosis have access to a comprehensive program at Fletcher Allen that takes a team approach to care and treatment. 

Experienced, Trusted Expertise

We participate in a variety of clinical trials and work closely with basic science researchers at the University of Vermont interested in how cystic fibrosis lung disease develops and the discovery of new therapies.  We are members of the Northern New England Cystic Fibrosis Consortium, which includes the Cystic Fibrosis Centers at Maine Medical Center and Dartmouth, and participate in clinical trials and quality improvement projects with this group.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition where the cells that make mucus, sweat and digestive juices are thick and sticky instead of thin and slippery. So these secretions end up stopping up ducts, passageways and tubes especially in the pancreas and lungs.  

There are a couple risk factors for cystic fibrosis: 

  • Family history - parent, brother or sister with cystic fibrosis
  • Race - cystic fibrosis can occur in any race, but it’s most common in Caucasian people of Northern European descent. The condition also can occur in Hispanics, African-Americans and some Native Americans. People of Asian and Middle Eastern origin rarely inherit the disease.

Cystic Fibrosis Symptoms

As of 2010, screening for cystic fibrosis in newborns is mandatory across the United States because early diagnosis is tied to better health. Those born before screening was common, and now required, should know cystic fibrosis symptoms:

  • A cough that doesn’t seem to go away and makes thick mucus and spit (called sputum)
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • A decreased ability to exercise
  • Repeated lung infections
  • Inflamed nasal passages or a stuffy nose
  • Bad-smelling, greasy bowel movements
  • Reduced weight gain and growth
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Severe constipation

Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosis and Treatment

Although there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, modern treatments offer patients less symptoms and complications.

Our knowledgeable doctors care for approximately 130 adult and pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis on an ongoing basis.

Learn more about cystic fibrosis diagnosis and treatment.

Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call 802-847-1158.