Toews disease explained by health professionals

CHICAGO – Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed the 2020 NHL season due to an illness that some say affects about a quarter of the population, but is not commonly discussed and diagnosed.

Opinion leaders in Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), also known as Chronic Immune Response Syndrome, believe that 24% of the population is genetically predisposed to some kind of “chromosome six defect” that is triggered when a person’s immune system is affected. , according to Dr. Jeff Pfeiffer of Vero Clinics, his Decatur-based private practice specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of CIRS, other autoimmune diseases and more.

From something as small as starting Accutane to cure acne to COVID-19 to Lyme disease, Pfeiffer said that “any insult to the immune system” could trigger CIRS, and people with the disease could continue to suffer. feel sick and blame it on the trigger when in reality CIRS is causing symptoms to postpone.

“It’s a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder, and it tends to be migratory,” Pfeiffer said. “It tends to go to the brain, heart and joints, but it can migrate and this causes some misunderstanding due to the number of symptoms that can cascade.”

He said CIRS is “super controversial” because it is largely ignored in the field, even though many people are screened, given other diagnoses, but still don’t feel better.

“Experts on the subject think one in four people have it, but it’s mislabeled as MS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, whatever,” he said. “When you have so many affected people who are not feeling well, I don’t know why it is not more studied, more treated or accepted.”

Efforts to find an expert on CIRS at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health were unsuccessful.

Dr Greg Sharon, who focuses on adult and pediatric allergies and immunology at Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, said many people do not understand CIRS very well, so there is little information about it. subject.

“What probably happened to Jonathan was that he went off and part of his immune system overreacted,” Sharon said. “He wore it out and his body reacted.”

Toews said in a video announcing his intention to return to the team that “a lot has accumulated where my body has collapsed.” He said his immune system responds to anything and “any kind of stress” and he’s never able to fully recover from it.

Pfeiffer said that some of the more common symptoms of CIRS are cognitive problems, such as brain fog and memory impairment, fatigue, and joint pain. CIRS will affect a person mildly to severely, and Pfieffer has said it can be life threatening.

“It’s very variable,” he says. “I’m sure there are a ton of the population who don’t even know they have it. They just think they’re tired or something. It can cover the whole range.

While he’s not sure what affects the severity of the disease, Pfieffer said he would guess it had a lot to do with age, genetic makeup, diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices. He also said deciding whether or not to treat symptoms or treat CIRS incorrectly could affect the severity of the situation.

“Many agree that the four staples should be gluten-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free, and very limited in dairy to avoid inflammation, but you know that by eating well, sleeping well, de-stressing yourself , you do all of these things. to try to strengthen your immune system, ”he said.

“Too many of us keep going through infections, so we go to work when we’re sick, we keep cleaning the house,” Sharon said. “We are not resting. We don’t really eat well, sleep well, rest, and let our bodies heal. “There are so many things the body can do on its own, but we must not interfere with it. Listen to your body and rest, mentally and physically.

Pfeiffer said more people should research CIRS, especially if they’re being treated for symptoms but don’t feel they’re on the right track.

“If you don’t improve, if you feel a stone hasn’t been turned, I would say be gradual and proactive and keep pushing until you are satisfied,” he said. declared.


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