Churg Strauss Syndrome
Chrug Strauss Syndrome is a disorder that affects the blood vessel of our body. This is commonly known as eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis. In this disease the flow of the blood inside the vessel is blocked due to which blood may not reach to some vital organs. No blood supply eventually leads to the damage of those organs. A very common symptom of this syndrome is Asthama.
But this is a complicated disorder that may cause various health hazards ranging from rashes, hay fever, gastrointestinal bleeding, numbness in limbs and chronic pain. Due to this wide range of symptoms identifying this disease is a biggest challenge. It is a very rare disease that does not have any permanent cure. Though medication may help you prevent the symptom. Patients with the history of airways atopy may suffer this disease. Sometimes damage to lung or digestive tract may also happen in Chrug Strauss Syndrome. It is a non transmissible and non inheritable disorder that was described by Jacob Chrug and Lotte Strauss for the first time.
No specific cause is known for this disease, some scientists believe that an overactive immune system may trigger the symptoms of this disease. The combination of certain genes and environmental reactions are also considered to be the cause behind the occurrence of Chrug Strauss Syndrome. Some medicines or particular type of allergens may also ignite this disease in an individual. Immune system may also over react while working against any bacteria or virus, and this reaction may trigger the onset of this syndrome. While fighting with these foreign organisms the immune system may overreact leading to an inflammation in healthy tissues. In few patients the Chrug Strauss Syndrome was started after taking a particular medication for treating Asthma or an allergy known as montelukast. However a direct connect between any specific medicine and Chrug Strauss Syndromehas not been developed so far.
This disease is a highly erratic illness as some people could experience mild and manageable troubles where as many others may experience chronic illness along with severe pain. This Chrug Strauss Syndrome may also lead some life threatening complications and if they are not treated in time then patient may also lose his life. The disease has three stages and each stage has its own signs and symptoms:
1. Allergic stage
The very first stage is called as allergic stage in which many allergies are observed:
Asthma: The primary symptom of this syndrome is Asthama and it may develop 5-10 years before of any other symptoms of the disease.
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis): running nose and itching may also be a symptom
Sinus pain and inflammation (sinusitis)
2. Eosinophilic stage
In the second stage a kind of white blood cells known as eosinophil is developed and the number of these cells increase a lot in the blood of the patient. Lungs and digestive tract may get damaged and affected with some other common symptoms which are:
Loss of apetite
3. Vasculitic stage
Severe blood vessel inflammation is the major sign of this stage and this is known as vasculitis. Blood vessel gets narrowed and the blood flow to vital organ is affected leading to organ damage. Weight loss, weakness and fatigue are the common symptoms of this stage. Few other symptoms of this stage are:
Swelling and joint pain
Blood while coughing
Numbness of the limbs
Chronic abdominal pain
Blood in urine
Breath shortness due to Asthma
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Blood tests are conducted to see the presence of eosinophil granulitis, anti neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and neutrophil granulocytes. The disease is diagnosed on the basis of various symptoms like:
Presence of mononeuropathy
High amount of eosinophils
Pulmonary inflates that cannot be fixed
Extravasular eosinophils with histological evidences
Only if all or more than 4 symptoms are present then the patient can be confirmed with Chrug Strauss Syndrome.
Glucocorticoids are the most common immunosuppressive that is given in this disease. No specific cure is present for treating the Chrug Strauss Syndrome but few medications may offer a long term relief to the patient. Some of the common medicines used for treating this disease are corticosteroids in which prednisone is the most commonly used drug. High dose of corticosteroids may cause side effects as well. Immune globulin and other immunosuppressive drugs like azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) is also given to slow down the immune system of the body
Severe Asthma usually persists in spite of giving immunosuppressive drugs along with prednisone. Relapses are quite common with this disease. Without treatment the survival rates are quite low.
There could be many side effects of long term use of Prednisone but these can be minimised with exercise and healthy diet. Alcohol and smoking should be stopped and sufficient amount of calcium should be taken for protecting the bones from getting damaged.