Guest post by Denise Trachsel: Living with Churg-Strauss Syndrome

By Denise Trachsel on 2012-06-21

I have a rare form of a vasculitis called Churg-Strauss Syndrome (CSS).  CSS typically involves the lungs and newly-developed or worsening asthma can be a symptom.  CSS causes eosinophilic inflammation of the small to medium blood vessels and can affect any area of the body.

My course of the disease began decades prior to the vasculitic stage.  I had a mild allergen-triggered asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, nasal polyps, nasal sores that wouldn’t heal completely, and arthritis-like aches.  With progression, I was stricken with generalized roving pains, joint swelling, muscle weakness and damage, fatigue, weight loss, fever, etc.  I finally was diagnosed after I developed rashes, numbness, coughing of blood in sputum and infiltrates in lungs.

Organ damage can result if not diagnosed in the early stages, and I have mild kidney damage and some permanent nerve damage as a result of the severe progression of my CSS.  There is no cure, but learning to live a new normal is possible because of new advances in research and medications to treat it.

If you are concerned about any combination of these or other signs or symptoms, please learn more about CSS, and find a physician who specializes in vasculitic conditions.  Awareness is crucial to saving lives.

I am an open book regarding my illness, and if you ever find that someone needs support with CSS or any type of vasculitis, please email me at: or contact The Lung Association of Saskatchewan for my contact information at 1-306-343-9511 or toll-free in SK: 1-888-566-5864.


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Page Last Updated: 05/06/2019