Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
It comes in such a variety of forms, each with it’s own optimal form of treatment. Classically presenting with an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count and erythrocyte sedimentation “sed” rate and/or elevated Highly Sensitive C-Reactive Protein (HS-CRP), it does not always present that way. Physical exam findings include heat, swelling, redness among other findings. Impaired function is a big give-away; inflamed organs and structures don’t work right. An inflamed brain often presents with a variety of emotional and mental illnesses.
Removing inflammation, healing, also generally restores normal function; if not immediately, then certainly with a bit of “tincture of time”.
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, “CIRS” is a syndrome that 25% of the population is genetically susceptible to. CIRS susceptibility is a genetic trait passed through families. “Genes load the gun, exposure pulls the trigger.” Exposures come in a variety of forms, locally, toxic mold exposure in buildings is the most common means, although others such as Lyme disease, certain illnesses, even vaccines can trigger the onset of the syndrome among the susceptible. Any exposure that causes a “cytokine storm” is a potential CIRS-triggering event. CIRS shortens lifespan while causing great pain and suffering. Physicians generally tell their patients that “you look fine, your lab work is normal”. That’s true if the wrong labs are done; very esoteric specialized labs are needed to properly care for these patients.
www.vcstest.com is a vision test that can be done from your computer. Developed by the US Air Force, this test uses subtle changes in shades of gray to determine mitochondrial dysfunction in the rod cells of the retina–the test is 98% sensitive & specific (accurate) in the diagnosis, takes 15 minutes to do and costs about $15.
There are fewer than 50 physicians in the world at this point with recognized excellence in the protocol developed by Ritchie Shoemaker MD that reverses the immune system errors that define CIRS. Dr. Oenbrink is one of those physicians. We draw patients to our practice from Ontario to Texas and Florida. Testing is done while ongoing supportive care is initiated. This is a serious illness; we don’t wait for all of the lab results prior to starting treatment. Medications frequently prescribed typically can be obtained as generics. With proper care and elimination of future exposure to triggers, full restoration of health is a reasonable expectation.
The first and most important step in treating those with CIRS is eliminating further exposure. Most of our patients have been exposed to toxic mold/fungus that set the CIRS ball into motion. Unfortunately, not very many “mold specialists” are as educated as necessary about the dangers of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and only work to the standard of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More stringent standards are needed for treating mold-related illness. There are some recommended professionals in this area;
More information is available on the “CIRS” link of this website.
Inflammation can start in genetically susceptible people from a variety of sources. CIRS is obviously a big, though often unrecognized both by people and medical personnel, cause of inflammation. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is another source, though there is usually something that initiated that as well. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is another source that can be treated by avoidance of triggers and various detoxification protocols to help the body rid itself of the trigger. Lymphatic massage techniques can also help. Finally, a less well-recognized source if ElectroMagnetic Field (EMF) sensitivity.
Medication-Assisted Treatment of Addiction
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) involves the use of medications prescribed by a specialist in addiction medicine to help folks get free of their dependence and/or addiction to substances and bad behaviors. This is NOT simply replacing one addictive substance for another, it involves much more than that, including counseling, 12-Step meetings and careful use of medications and other treatments such as acupuncture to help ease the patient in the transition from addiction to healthy recovery. It’s possible to get better from pneumonia without antibiotics–but it’s a risk. We know that people die of pneumonia every day, no doctor would want to see a patient with this without being able to help with antibiotics. Addiction also kills people every day. It’s possible to get clean and sober without medication, but appropriate use of medication is the “gold standard” and is about as much of an improvement in getting those suffering addiction better as adding antibiotics to the care of a pneumonia patient!
More information is available on the “Addiction” links of this website.
New Patients; Please tell us about yourself, fill out this form;
This website provides a lot of information for our visitors. Dr. Oenbrink has written numerous articles over the course of a quarter-century of his Family Practice & Integrative Medicine career.
New patients are asked to complete the “Tell us about yourself“ form that this link leads to; it’s simply your demographic information.
We ask that one of our patient history questionnaires be completed prior to every visit.
We see many patients with chronic pain issues. Some of these folks have developed dependence and even addiction to their medications. We strive to unshackle patients from these prisons while controlling their symptoms. If you have issues with Pain, Addiction or both, please complete the New Pain Medication and/or Addiction Patient Medical History Form for your initial visit or Follow-Up Pain Medication & Addiction Patient Visit for each subsequent visit.
Patients suffering from Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome “CIRS” (Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Mold-related illness, Chronic Lyme and similar diseases) should initially complete New Patient CIRS Medical History Form. At each follow-up visit, the Follow-Up CIRS Patient form should be completed.
Finally, we have a lot of patients who “should have picked better parents” and are unfortunate enough to suffer from CIRS and chronic pain or CIRS and addiction. If you’re one of those unlucky people suffering more than one of the issues that we specialize in, please complete the New Combined Patient Medical History Form prior to your first visit. Subsequent visits should have the Follow-Up Combined Patient Form completed prior to each visit.
Most of all, we understand that you’ve been suffering. We’re here to help, to care, to provide relief in a supportive, non-judgmental friendly atmosphere.
New to Appalachian Wellness?
Questions regarding our financial policies and new patient information?
There are a few things to do (forms to complete) to get started.
First, Tell us about yourself…
(new patient demographic information, Notice of HIPAA Omnibus Privacy Practices)
Complete either a…
New Patient Medical History (left column, below) or Established Patient/Interval History (right column, below)
Then, Schedule your Follow-Up Appointment
If scheduling an INITIAL/FIRST-EVER appointment, please call us at (828) 785-1850 (business hours) to ensure we have all of your completed forms/information and we’ll set up your appointment.
Initial appointments cannot be scheduled online, only by telephone.
Only follow-up appointments can be scheduled online.
If you arrive for an initial appointment within 24 hours of completion of your forms you risk not being seen that day.
Some poor souls have both of these problems simultaneously. If you need help with CIRS AND pain and/or addiction/dependence please fill out the “Combined” questionnaire that includes information on both conditions.