Medical Surgical Cystic fibrosis #3

Question

Which effect on the gastrointestinal system is most concerning for the cystic fibrosis client?

Answers

  1. Thick mucus blocks the pancreatic ducts, preventing enzymes from entering the small intestines resulting in pancreatic insufficiency.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because this is the main problem in the gastrointestinal system for clients with cystic fibrosis. The goal of treatment is to replace pancreatic enzymes to make sure the appropriate enzymes are mixed with food. These enzymes are required to help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

  2. Too much mucus in the colon leads to abdominal pain and bloating with steatorrhea.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although steatorrhea results from impaired absorption of dietary fat from the cystic fibrosis, it is not the origin of the problem. This is a result of pancreatic insufficiency.

  3. Bile from the liver thickens and moves too slowly, sometimes forming stones.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although it is a problem, only 5-10% of people with CF develop liver problems. Also, gallstones are not a main concern.

  4. Overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel resulting in absorption of nutrients.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although this happens due to pancreatic insufficiency and is preventable with pancreatic enzymes. Stagnant food in the small intestines becomes a breeding ground for bacteria formation which interferes with absorption of nutrients.

Overview

In cystic fibrosis, thick mucus blocks the pancreatic ducts, preventing enzymes from entering the small intestines, resulting in pancreatic insufficiency. This leads to an abundance of problems for the gastrointestinal system.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

In cystic fibrosis, thick mucus blocks the pancreatic ducts, preventing enzymes from entering the small intestines, resulting in pancreatic insufficiency. This leads to an abundance of problems for the gastrointestinal system. The goal of treatment is to replace pancreatic enzymes to ensure the appropriate enzymes are mixed with food. These enzymes are required to help break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. This in turn will help prevent some other gastrointestinal issues as a result of pancreatic insufficiency. Some of these issues are steatorrhea, gallstones, and an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines.

Test Taking Tip

Understand the role cystic fibrosis plays in pancreatic insufficiency.

Video Rationale