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The Cystic Fibrosis Endocrine Clinic, under the direction of M. Max Feldt, DO, takes a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to endocrine-related disorders associated with cystic fibrosis. This includes children with cystic fibrosis who may have abnormal blood sugar, growth failure, or delay in puberty.

Our monthly clinic offers children with cystic fibrosis and their families the opportunity and convenience to meet with the cystic fibrosis medical team, a pediatric endocrinologist, and a certified diabetes educator. This way, all your doctors and caregivers are working together to help you manage any identified issues, while also screening for associated endocrine concerns and giving you specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations if your child has cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

An inpatient hospital service also provides endocrine-specific recommendation once weekly if a child with cystic fibrosis is hospitalized at Children's Mercy.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a birth defect. Normally, the mucus in the lungs is thin and slippery. In cystic fibrosis, the mucus is thick and sticky and causes infections and blocks the lungs. This is especially dangerous if it blocks airways and stops breathing. These thick secretions also block the pancreas. The pancreas helps the intestines digest and absorb food. The mucus also can block the bile duct in the liver, causing liver damage over time. Cystic fibrosis can affect all races and ethnic groups, but occurs mostly in whites. It affects people in different ways and to different degrees.

Cystic Fibrosis symptoms

Cystic fibrosis symptoms in children and young adults include: 

  • Salty skin

  • Blockage in the bowels

  • Foul-smelling greasy stools

  • Thick saliva

  • Chronic coughing or wheezing

  • Poor growth or poor weight gain

  • Frequent chest and sinus infections

  • Growths in the nose  

Additional signs may also include delayed growth, enlargement or rounding of the fingertips and toes, liver problems, on-going diarrhea, abdominal swelling, part of the rectum coming out of the anus, or a collapsed lung.  

Frequently treated diagnoses

  • Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes

  • Growth failure

  • Delayed pubertal development

  • Bone strength and density