Leila Cruikshank

What If I get Sick?

Most adults with CF cough daily and have phlegm production on a regular basis. However, if you notice an increase in your sputum amount, worsening cough, change in the colour of your sputum, blood in the sputum, more difficulty breathing, worsening fatigue, loss of appetite, fevers, and/or a decrease in your day to day exercise tolerance, you may be experiencing a flare of your CF lung disease. This is called an exacerbation. If you are feeling very unwell, you should call the CF office (416-864-5409) or go to the emergency department if it is after regular hours. If you are unsure about the significance of your symptoms, you should call our clinic and speak to one of the nurses or doctors.

Being seen by the CF team regularly in clinic is important to your health. This provides an opportunity to monitor your lung function and catch signs of any deterioration early. CF exacerbations are often associated with a fall in lung function and the sooner you are started on treatment, the better the chance of regaining your lung function. Occasionally, a fall in lung function can occur with minimal symptoms which is why it is important to monitor lung function with regular clinic visits. Symptoms of an exacerbation could mean other things such as the development of CF-related complications, like diabetes.