Crow-Fukase Syndrome – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Saturday, February 24, 2018 by

Crow-Fukase syndrome (also known as POEMS syndrome) is a unique multisystem disorder that is linked to abnormalities in the plasma cell. The disease was first described by R.S. Crow in 1956 and then by M. Fukase in 1968.

In 1980, a research team led by Dr. Peter Bardwick coined the term POEMS syndrome to address the five main features of the disease, namely, polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes. For a person to have the Crow-Fukase syndrome, he must have at least three or more of the five features indicated in POEMS.

The reasons for the condition are unknown. However, studies have suggested that people with the Crow-Fukase syndrome have abnormally high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) — a substance that aids the development of new blood vessels. On the other hand, VEGF is also a factor in the progression of cancer, since VEGF can cause also blood vessels to supply certain tumors. Additionally, elevated levels of cytokines, that is, cell signaling proteins, like interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha are also noted in patients.

Known risk factors and symptoms of Crow-Fukase syndrome

Records of people with Crow-Fukase syndrome are rare — only a several hundred cases have been reported in scientific literature, but experts believe that this could also be due to the disease being underreported. Moreover, the condition tends to affect men more than women, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.5-to-1. It is also seen more frequently in older adults, usually in their 50s to 60s; however, there have been cases of the Crow-Fukase syndrome affecting teenagers.

The acronym POEMS stands for the signs and symptoms that are present in a person with Crow-Fukase syndrome.

  • Polyneuropathy — This is the medical term for the chronic progression of peripheral nerve disease, which is the first apparent symptom of Crow-Fukase disease. Patients with the condition feel weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling in areas that are affected. The tingling sensation first starts in the hands and feet, then work their way upwards — over time, the hands become affected, with some reporting difficulty breathing.
  • Organomegaly — People with Crow-Fukase syndrome will develop enlarged organs, particularly those inside the abdomen (called visceromegaly). At least two-thirds of patients will have an enlarged liver, while one-third will experience an abnormally enlarged spleen. There are cases where the lymph nodes will also swell, which may indicate the existence of Castleman’s disease — a rare disease that is similar to lymphoma.
  • Endocrinopathy — The Crow-Fukase syndrome can affect various organs of the endocrine system. This could include hypogonadism, a decreased activity in the gonads like the ovaries and testes. There is also an increased likelihood of diabetes when a person has the Crow-Fukase syndrome. Other symptoms include a decrease in function of the thyroid and adrenal glands and an impaired tolerance of glucose.
  • Monoclonal gammopathy or M protein — Also known as plasma cell dyscrasias, this is a disorder resulting from the rapid growth of an abnormal bone marrow plasma cell. This leads to the development of tumors that contain plasma cells and the presence of plasma cells in the blood.
  • Skin abnormalities — People with Crow-Fukase syndrome experience an abnormal darkening of the skin, thicker skin, and increased facial and leg hairs.

Other symptoms aside from that listed by POEMS include fluid buildup in the lungs, renal problems and abnormalities, and clubbing of the hands and fingers.

Body systems affected by Crow-Fukase syndrome

The Crow-Fukase syndrome affects multiple organs in the body, and symptoms will vary on the organs affected by the condition.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve Crow-Fukase syndrome

Having the proper diet is one way to get ahead of conditions such as Crow-Fukase syndrome, and other myelomas (defined as conditions located in the bone marrow). Here are some recommended food items to get you started on managing this condition.

  • Cayenne peppers — The active component in cayenne peppers — capsaicin — inhibits the onset of multiple myeloma, and boosts the efficacy of certain medicines that help fight the condition.
  • Thunder of God vine — Experiments have noted that root extracts from the plant inhibit the formation of myeloma cells.
  • Turmeric — Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, is known to bring down inflammation, as well as other symptoms of Crow-Fukase syndrome.
  • Astralagus — The herb assists in restoring the normal count of white blood cells.
  • Ginseng — It activates natural cancer killer cells, which tackle malignant cells.
  • Goldenseal and echinacea — These two herbs fend off any infection that may likely affect the body.

Treatment and management options for Crow-Fukase syndrome

Most patients with Crow-Fukase syndrome are treated using a combination of medical, surgical, and adjuvant therapies. These usually include corticosteroids, low-dose alkylators, and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation after a session high-dose chemotherapy.

Treatments follow two outcomes — the treatment of the underlying plasma cell disorder and addressing specific symptoms that appear in an individual. These could involve surgery or radiotherapy for removing lesions.

Where to learn more

Summary

Crow-Fukase syndrome (also known as POEMS syndrome) is a unique multisystem disorder that is linked to abnormalities in the plasma cell. The reasons for the condition are unknown, but studies have suggested that people with the Crow-Fukase syndrome have abnormally high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cytokines.

The Crow-Fukase syndrome affects multiple organs in the body, and symptoms will vary on the organs affected by the condition. Most patients are treated using a combination of medical, surgical, and adjuvant therapies. Treatments follow two outcomes — the treatment of the underlying plasma cell disorder and addressing specific symptoms that appear in an individual.

Sources include:

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

eMedicine.Medscape.com 1

eMedicine.Medscape.com 2

RareDiseases.org

URMC.Rochester.edu

ScienceDirect.com

MayoClinic.org

Cancer.org

FindHomeRemedy.com



Comments

comments powered by Disqus