ZocdocAnswersDoes my 5 year old son have cystic fibrosis?

Question

Does my 5 year old son have cystic fibrosis?

No history of it in my family as far as I know, but maybe on my husband's side. My son is starting to have lung and chest congestion very often and the doctor seemed to be dismissive when I brought cystic fibrosis up. Could this be it or is it just chest infections like the doctor says?

Answer

There are many reasons to have congestion in children the age of your son. I suggest that you work on this problem with your general pediatrician, who knows your child's health best. There are many reasons to have chest congestion. First of all, it could just be that your son has had a run of colds. Quite frequently, just by chance, these can affect a child and give the impression that they have a weak immune system when, in fact, it has just been bad luck. It is also possible that your son is developing symptoms of asthma or that he has allergies that are provoking a chronic cough and congestion. Cystic fibrosis is a cause of lung symptoms. However, people who have cystic fibrosis suffer from repeated pneumonias and other infections. Congestion alone, in the absence of infection, would not be itself a sign of cystic fibrosis. Of course, if your son does develop several lung infections in a row, then a standard part of figuring out why would be to test him for cystic fibrosis. Start by talking with your pediatrician - they can help you figure out whether additional workup is needed or if a particular treatment should be started.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.