Churg-Strauss syndrome

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Churg Strauss syndrome is a disorder marked by blood vessel inflammation. This inflammation can restrict blood flow to organs and tissues, sometimes permanently damaging them. This condition is also known as eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA).

Asthma is the most common sign of Churg-Strauss syndrome. The disorder can also cause other problems, such as hay fever, rash, gastrointestinal bleeding, and pain and numbness in your hands and feet.

Churg-Strauss syndrom is rare and has no cure. Your doctor can usually help you control symptoms with steroids and other powerful immunosuppressant drugs.

Churg-Strauss syndrome varies greatly from person to person. Some people have only mild symptoms. Others have severe or life-threatening complications.

Also known as EGPA, the syndrome tends to occur in three stages and gets progressively worse. Almost everyone with the condition has asthma, chronic sinusitis and elevated counts of white blood cells called eosinophils. Asthma usually begins five to nine years before the diagnosis of Churg-Strauss syndrome.

Other signs and symptoms might include:

Hay fever
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Joint and muscle pain
Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal bleeding
Weakness, fatigue or a general feeling of being unwell
Rash or skin sores
Pain, numbness and tingling in your hands and feet
Severe abdominal pain
Shortness of breath
Blood in your urine or stools
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you develop signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulties or a runny nose that doesn’t go away, especially if it’s accompanied by persistent facial pain. Also see your doctor if you have asthma or hay fever that suddenly worsens.

Churg-Strauss syndrome is rare, and it’s more likely that these symptoms have some other cause. But it’s important that your doctor evaluate them. Early diagnosis and treatment improve the chances of a good outcome.

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