Mold/Biotoxin Illness

I highly recommend reading “Surviving Mold” and “Mold Warriors” by the leading researcher on biotoxin illnesses which includes molds, dinoflagellates, algae, Lyme and other tick borne diseases, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. These illnesses fall under the Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome umbrella. The official definition from Dr. Shoemaker’s website is: “an acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response syndrome acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and mycobacteria as well as inflammagens such as endotoxins, beta glucans, hemolysins, proteinases, mannans, c-type lectins and possibly spirocyclic drimanes, plus volatile organic compounds.”

Dr. Shoemaker’s 20+ years of research and clinical trials has led to lab tests to both diagnosis and check progress of the illness and a treatment protocol. The recommended tests and the treatment protocol can be found on his website, in his books and in various medical journal articles written by him and his research partners (articles are available on PubMed). Here’s a link to the recommended lab tests. There’s printable lab order forms on the website as well.

Dr. Shoemaker’s a strong advocate for hard science and doesn’t believe illnesses should be treated by guesswork. He’s very critical of doctors who diagnosis people with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, IBS, MS, and psychological/mental health illnesses without checking the biomakers for systemic inflammation. Those tests include HLA DR to check for genetic susceptibility, and the inflammation markers MSH, C4a, TGF beta-1, VIP, MMP-9, ADH, and VEGF. His website lists the tests and their descriptions. He also includes printable lab orders for your doctor along with instructions to the labs. These are not standard lab tests, though they should be. Dr. Shoemaker recommends samples be sent to two labs for testing: Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. I found clinics for both companies within 50 miles of me where I can have the blood drawn instead of depending on the hospital lab sending the proper samples to them. The lab tests and medications used in the treatment of CIRS are covered by most insurance companies.

CIRS involves many body systems and has a large variety of symptoms. Below are just the common symptoms that I’ve experienced. There are many more that include chronic Epstein-Barr virus, organ failure, tumors, and seizures.

    • Abdominal Pain
    • Appetite Swings
    • Blurred Vision
    • Cough
    • Decreased Learning of New Knowledge
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Focus/Concentration Issues
    • Headaches
    • Issues Reading
    • Joint Pain
    • Light Sensitivity
    • Memory Issues
    • Mood Swings
    • Morning Stiffness
    • Muscle Weakness
    • Muscle Cramps
    • Numbness
    • Post Exertional Malaise
    • Rashes
    • Red Eyes
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Skin Sensitivity
    • Sinus Problems
    • Sleep Disorders
    • Tearing/Watering Eyes
    • Temperature Regulation Problems
    • Tingling
    • Tremors
    • Vertigo
    • Word Recollection Issues

Sound familiar? Most of them are symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (Dysautonomia).

An estimated 24% of the population is genetically susceptible to the innate immune response caused by mold/biotoxin illnesses (and an estimated 25% of buildings in the US have water damage). The more exposure to molds/biotoxins, the sicker those susceptible get until their health and lives are severely compromised.


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