Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) Resources

Definition | Doctors | Testing | Related Conditions

What is CIRS?

Also known as biotoxin illness, CIRS is caused by exposure to biologically produced toxins (biotoxins) from the environment. For genetically predisposed people, the immune system is unable to effectively detect and eliminate these biotoxins. As the toxins circulate in the body, they keep triggering the immune system, causing an ongoing chronic inflammatory response.

The result is a multi-system, multi-symptom illness. In other words, the symptoms may affect many different parts and functions of your body, including the way you feel. The combination of all the inflammatory symptoms caused by the biotoxins is called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).

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CIRS Certified Doctors

If you suspect your issues may be related to biotoxin exposure, you should be evaluated by a functional medicine physician who is certified by Dr. Shoemaker to diagnose and treat CIRS. A trained medical professional can assess your risk factors and likelihood of CIRS in a telemedicine consultation.

WebFMD CIRS Certified Doctors:

CIRS Testing

Unlike many illnesses that can be easily detected with lab tests, that is not the case with CIRS. Your bloodwork may be completely normal since routine tests for inflammation and chronic pain are not abnormal in CIRS.

Initial diagnosis for CIRS includes:

  1. Medical history analysis to identify and validate the biotoxin exposure, and also to make sure your symptoms cannot be explained as the result of any other illness.
  2. Symptoms review.
  3. Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) Test.
  4. Additional lab tests specifically look at how your immune system is responding to a biotoxin, and may also include HLA genetic haplotype. 95% of people with CIRS have a susceptible haplotype.

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Conditions Related to CIRS

Sick Building Syndrome

The sick building syndrome (SBS) includes nonspecific symptoms building occupants experience that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. Affected buildings can be both workplace and residential homes. Common symptoms may include:[1]

  • Cold flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Dry cough
  • Dry or itching skin
  • Eye nose or throat irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness of voice allergies
  • Increased incidence of asthma attacks
  • Nausea
  • Personality changes
  • Sensitivity to odors.

Learn more: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).