Mold illness is a medical condition that is very serious and often misdiagnosed. When an individual is exposed to toxic mold spores in a water-damaged building, an inflammatory cascade occurs due to the body’s inability to remove the mycotoxins. This could result in a complex multi-system illness, also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, (CIRS). Common symptoms of CIRS may include fatigue, weakness, headaches, sinus issues, muscle pain, headaches, dizziness, abdominal pain, joint pain, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.
CIRS represents a constellation of symptoms that collectively encompasses Biotoxin Illness. Originally thought to be caused only by mold exposure, it has been found that exposure to other fat-soluble toxins as well as numerous bacteria, fungal and viral infections can lead to Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. Some auto-immune disorders, as well as post-treatment Lyme syndrome, is actually the manifestation of immune dysregulation resulting in regional and/or systemic chronic inflammation.
Due to the complexity of symptoms of CIRS, a systematic approach should be taken to evaluate and treat mold and biotoxin illness. Olathe LAD Clinic makes an effort to utilize the best of each evidence-based approach to optimize patient outcomes. For diagnosis, this commonly includes some combination of the following:
- Direct testing for mycotoxins
- Performing a swab of the sinuses for culture to determine if there is a fungal presence or certain bacteria that are characteristic of ongoing mold exposure.
- Indirect testing to ensure no particular mold/biotoxin was missed as well as to determine the severity of illness and how best to initiate and progress through treatment.
Once the diagnosis of mold/biotoxin illness has been made, an integrative approach is used to help eliminate toxins from the body. Depending on the individual diagnosis, this includes some combination of the following:
- The first and most essential starting point is ensuring that the patient is no longer being exposed. Testing for mold spores (and toxin levels) is critical, as ongoing exposure will prevent recovery.
- Binders to sequester toxins and promote elimination, primarily through stool. Medications are chosen based on the specific toxins identified as well as gauging which substances are most likely to be individually tolerated. Common binders include cholestyramine, charcoal, clay, chlorella, Propolmannan and modified citrus pectin. Taking these binders can be provided either orally or intravenously.
- Nasal-sinus sprays or washes to eliminate abnormal fungi/bacteria associated with mold illness. This can range from prescription antibiotics and antifungals to essential oil formulas or patented colloidal silver sprays with EDTA.
- Mobilizers to promote the elimination of mycotoxins/biotoxins from fatty tissues such as cell membranes. This ‘lipid-exchange’ method can be done orally or, if needed, intravenously and involves the use of true phosphatidylcholine, fatty acids in a specific ratio, folinic acid, glutathione and other nutrients needed for cell membrane and mitochondrial membrane repair and remodeling.
- Medications, either naturally or pharmaceutically, can help repair the damaged systems in the body. This is done in a very targeted and systematic way.
In certain cases of CIRS, the offending biotoxin comes from an implanted material or a resident organism living in the body. This could be virtually any organism that has found a way to survive in the human body including herpes, Candida, Klebsiella, Strep, Epstein-Barr, a dental filler or implant, a stool parasite or a tick-borne infection such as Borrelia (the organism that causes Lyme). In these cases, it is not always possible to eliminate the source of inflammation, so the goal is to re-establish immune tolerance.
Diane Gordon is an active member of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) and experienced in the treatment of biotoxin related medical problems.