Endocrine System– The pancreas contains the “islets of Langerhans,” which are responsible for making insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose levels. Damage of the pancreas can lead to loss of the islet cells, leading to a type of diabetes unique to those with CF.
Musculoskeletal System– People who have Cystic Fibrosis have low bone density, because we have malabsorption which includes absorbing vitamin D and calcium, two nutrients that are necessary for healthy, strong bones. Having these deficiencies create diminished bone density and can make a person who has CF more likely to have problems with our skeletal system including things like osteoporosis. To combat this problem CF patients need to take supplemental amounts of Vitamin D, also exercising, and spending time in the sun can help to offset the problems these deficiencies cause.
People with CF also often develop arthritis, and can have pain and swelling in our joint’s and connective tissue’s.
Reproductive system– One of the most uncomfortable discussion topics among males with CF is the reproductive system in relation to Cystic Fibrosis. As they are almost always (98% of cases) infertile due to lack of development of the “vas deferens,” which is the tube that carries sperm from the testis to the penis. Since I have CF but also at some point want a family, I have spoken to several doctors about this problem, and it can be corrected with a small surgical procedure…scary, but manageable.