CIRS

CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE SYNDROME (CIRS)

WHAT IS CIRS?

CIRS, also known as chronic inflammatory response syndrome, is an assortment of chronic symptoms which are based on inflammatory responses. These responses are triggered due to contact with biotoxins; for example, mold exposure from water-damaged buildings. For this reason, CIRS is occasionally called “biotoxin illness” or “mold illness”. In fact, it was originally believed that mold exposure was solely to blame for this condition. However, upon further research, medical experts theorize that bacteria, fungus, and various viral infections are also linked to the development of chronic inflammatory response syndrome.

It was from the fundamental need to classify the pathology of biotoxin and mold-related illnesses that the term CIRS was coined. Ritchie Shoemaker, MD. created the medical acronym to properly define the collection of symptoms. And while the panel of specialized lab markers for biotoxin / mold illness can differ greatly, vital clinical information, which may be used for tracking progress over time and treatment protocols, is usually included. Sadly, it is not uncommon for CIRS to be misdiagnosed or under diagnosed. For patients and physicians alike, managing a syndrome as complex as CIRS is quite the conundrum. This is partially due to chronic inflammatory response syndrome overlapping and even mirroring symptoms connected to other chronic infections, such as some auto immune disorders, ehrlichiosis, and lyme disease.

RECOGNIZING CIRS

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CIRS?

In general, the signs and symptoms of chronic inflammatory response syndrome are environmental sensitivity, exhaustion, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and weakness, as well as potential multiple diagnoses from various medical professionals. However, a seemingly endless supply of more definitive symptoms has also been observed in CIRS patients, which have been properly classified by whatever system of the body they afflict. These categories include:

1.  DIGESTIVE / LIVER / URINARY SYMPTOMS

2.  EAR / EYE / NOSE / THROAT SYMPTOMS

3.  ENDOCRINE / IMMUNE / NERVOUS SYMPTOMS

4.  EXTREMITY SYMPTOMS

5.  HEART / LUNGS SYMPTOMS

6.  MUSCULOSKELETAL SYMPTOMS

7.  SKIN SYMPTOMS

DIGESTIVE / LIVER / URINARY SYMPTOMS

  Abdominal Pain
  Bile Reflux
  Constipation
  Diarrhea
  Metallic Taste In The Mouth
  Nausea
  Urinary Frequency
  Vomiting
  Weight Gain
  Weight Loss

EAR / EYE / NOSE / THROAT SYMPTOMS

  Blurred / Hazy Vision
  Burning In The Throat
  Dark / Puffy Circles Below The Eyes
  Dizziness
  Hearing Loss
  Laryngitis / Raspy Voice
  Light Sensitivity In The Eyes
  Nasal / Sinus Congestion
  Nasal Polyps
  Night Blindness
  Nose Bleeds
  Odor Sensitivity
  Ringing In The Ears
  Sore Throat
  Tearing Easily In The Eyes
  Vocal Cord Polyps

ENDOCRINE / IMMUNE / NERVOUS SYMPTOMS

  Anxiety
  Decreased Learning Ability
  Disorientation
  Dizziness
  Extreme Thirst
  Forgetfulness
  Headaches
  Inability To Remember Names / Words
  Irritability
  Lack Of Sex Drive
  Low Blood Pressure
  Mental Confusion
  Mood Swings
  Numbness
  Painful & Swollen Lymph Nodes
  Parkinson’s-Like Symptoms
  Poor Body Temperature Regulation
  Poor Concentration
  Poor Short-Term Memory
  Poor Word Recollection
  Tingling
  Tremors
  Vertigo

EXTREMITY SYMPTOMS

  Cold Feet / Hands
  Discolored Feet / Hands, e.g., Red & White Mottling
  Finger / Toe Clawing
  Numbness In Part Of The Body, e.g., Feet “Going To Sleep”
  Shaking In The Hands
  Tingling

HEART / LUNGS SYMPTOMS

  Asthma
  Coughing
  Edema / Swelling
  Heart Palpitations
  Intermittent Heart Pounding
  Shortness Of Breath During Exercise
  Tachycardia (Rapid Heart Beat) During Exercise
  Wheezing

MUSCULOSKELETAL SYMPTOMS

  Burning Pain
  Charley Horse
  Feet / Toes Curling Up
  Fleeting / Transitory Pain
  Hands Clawing / Curling Up
  Ice Pick Sharp Pain
  Joint Pain
  Morning Stiffness
  Muscle Aches
  Muscle Cramps
  Muscle Spasms
  Muscle Weakness
  Shooting Pain
  Stabbing Pain
  Tics

SKIN SYMPTOMS

  Bruising Easily
  Bumpy Skin
  Burning Sensations
  Cherry Hemangiomas
  Facial Redness
  Itchy Pimples
  Itchy Skin
  Night Sweats
  Overeactive Skin, e.g., Skin Reacting To The Sun, Even Through Clothing
  Peeling Skin
  Sensation Of Bugs Crawling On The Skin
  Sensation Of Bugs Biting / Stinging The Skin
  Sensitive Skin
  Skin Sores
  Static Shocks
  Thickened Skin
  Urticaria (Hives)
  Vitiligo

MOLD EXPOSURE

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CHRONIC INFLAMMATION & MOLD EXPOSURE

Mold exposure has been proven to promote chronic inflammation in specific individuals. The infection from mold exposure involves a systemic inflammatory response, which select individuals are highly susceptible to. Today, it has become a well-established fact that frequent contact with these biotoxins has both neuroinflammatory and neurological consequences. Among these consequences include:

  Atrophy to certain structures of the brain, for instance, the caudate nucleus.
  Changes in white matter brain volume.
  Greater blood-brain barrier permeability.

Furthermore, medical experts have also confirmed that mold exposure can even induce Alzheimer’s and dementia-like effects.

THE POSSIBLE FACTORS OF MOLD EXPOSURE

To determine if mold exposure is a potential factor for those that currently (or formerly) reside in water-damaged buildings, further research should be carried out. Some of the symptoms include:

  Acute / Chronic Bronchial Cough
  Acute / Chronic Bronchial Spasms
  Acute / Chronic Bronchial Sputum
  Anxiety
  Autoimmune Disease
  Bowel Issues, e.g., Acute Bouts Of Diarrhea
  Chronic Fatigue
  Cognitive Decline, e.g., Alzheimer’s Or Dementia
  Constant Thirst
  Delayed Muscle Soreness Following Exercise
  Depression
  Inability To Find Words
  Increased Urincation
  Joint Hypermobility, e.g., Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Or Marfans
  Loss Of Motor Function / Muscle / Muscle Tone
  Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
  Peripheral Circulatory Symptoms, e.g., Loss Of Normal Skin Tone On Feet / Fingers / Hands / Toes
  Peripheral Neuropathy
  Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  Raynaud’s
  Rhinitis / Sinusitis
  Skin Hyperelasticity
  Slurred Speech
  Sudden Onset Joint Hypermobility

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