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Why does my son get sickly pale in the face for periods of several weeks?

My 11-year-old son, who has CF, becomes from time to time sickly pale in the face and the pallour can last several weeks. He also gets dark circles under his eyes. This happens maybe once in a year or two years. The symptoms gradually vanish.

I've googled this in various CF forums and noticed that others also have these symptoms but I could not find any explanation for their cause.

My son's lung function is good, his weight is normal and he has no vitamin deficiencies. These episodes do not seem to be related to anything respiratory, but they are worrying because he looks quite unwell.

Is it possible to explain what causes these symptoms? It would be great if there was a way to treat or prevent them.

Thank you for your help.

Dear Questioner, thank you for your question.

It is excellent that your sons lung function is good and that his weight is normal. As your son’s paleness is not related to any increase in respiratory symptoms, and there are no other associated symptoms to treat; there is no medical cause for concern regarding his paleness. There is no Cystic Fibrosis related explanation for paleness and it is likely that other children, with and without CF; experience paleness from time to time.
If you have any worries about this I would advise you to discuss this with your local CF clinical team at your CF Centre.

Yours Sincerely

Katherine O’Neill
The answer is edited by: Katherine O'Neill