When Should You See A Doctor?
If you suspect your child may have cystic fibrosis, you should contact your doctor immediately. Do you know you have a risk of passing on the mutant gene that causes cystic fibrosis? Does your child have other signs of this incurable disease? Those signs can be newborns that are not growing properly, chronic breathing and respiratory problems, and bulky, greasy stools. If your doctor is not growing steadily along the percentile curve may be a sign of cystic fibrosis.
When Should You See A Doctor?
You should contact your doctor if your child has frequent upper respiratory infections, recurring bouts of pneumonia, or other breathing difficulties. A child that may already be at risk for cystic fibrosis should be taken to the doctor if they develop a fever, seem tired when they are normally active or have a decreased appetite. If you receive a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis for your child, schedule a visit to a clinic that specializes in that disease. Your child will need to see a doctor for periodic examinations to check for any lung or digestive problems that may be developing.
Do not despair if your child is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. It is a natural reaction for a parent to blame each other for the child’s disease. Remember, there is nothing you did or did not do that gave your baby cystic fibrosis! Concentrate on giving treatments and allowing your child to grow with an improved quality of life. If you know you have a risk of being a carrier of the mutant gene that carries cystic fibrosis, you might want to be tested to see if you are a carrier of cystic fibrosis. Most doctors now offer genetic testing to all couples that are planning to start a family.
If you are pregnant and suspect you could be at risk for having a child with cystic fibrosis, your baby can be tested before he or she is born. It will tell you if the child has the disease but cannot tell you how severe the disease will be. If you child is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis before birth, you will have time to learn all you can about the disease and to find clinics and doctors that specialize in CF.
You should see your doctor if you have a family history of cystic fibrosis. Your risk is greater if your family is of Northern Europe descent and white. Cystic fibrosis is not as prevalent in African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic ethnic groups. The chances of a person of Asian ancestry getting CF is one in 90, the chances of an African-American getting the disease is 1 in 62. White Caucasians have a one-in 29 chance of developing cystic fibrosis. Your greatest risk of having cystic fibrosis is if your have a family history of the disease. Your chance doubles when both parents have cystic fibrosis in their family history.
If you have a child who is having any signs of having cystic fibrosis, take them to see your doctor immediately. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the better the chances of treating and easing the symptoms of the disease.