Let's talk about Mold Illness (CIRS)

How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick?

How do you know if mold is making you sick? Due to the composition of construction materials, the treatment of typical drywall, and the “tightness” of home construction, indoor mold tends to be toxin-producing most of the time. If you have water intrusion which is not totally cleaned up within 48 hours, you will have toxic mold growth.

Allergic symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, cough and wheezing are distinctly different from the symptoms of CIRS; chronic inflammatory response syndrome. CIRS can be caused by other “biotoxins” such as Lyme or Blue-green algae, but most cases of CIRS are caused (or contributed to) by mold toxins.

CIRS can present with a variety of symptoms. People often think that toxic mold has to be black mold. Toxic black mold was first thought to be only due to the Stachybotrys species. While Stachybotrys is indeed a black mold, two other common toxin-producing molds; Aspergillus and Penicillium, are often black as well. That’s why we call black mold symptoms just plain mold illness or mycotoxin illness symptoms.

Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, cognitive and/or mood issues, weight gain, diarrhea, hormonal imbalances, night sweats, exaggerated pain and excessive thirst and urination.

You will know that mold is the cause of your medical problems with the proper testing of you, your home and possibly, your workplace. If you have gone to “regular doctors” and been told that your labs are all “fine”, it’s because no one is checking the correct labs!

Unless you have had prolonged exposure to toxic mold, you may not have experienced a “triggering” of your innate immune system-so in reality, there is no test for mold exposure; just for the illness caused by prolonged mold toxin exposure.

If you do indeed have CIRS, a good screening test is the VCS test. This picks up about 90% of active cases. This is a patented test, so the doctor who has it on his website charges a nominal fee. Please take this screening test, and then send it to me for (free) analysis.

Mycotoxin testing in the urine is generally reliable, but not usually needed, as the common indoor mold species spew out four main mycotoxins. It is generally more cost effective and predictable to simply obtain innate immune system testing, as well as genetic testing for mold susceptibility.

A nasal swab for MARCoNS is done if the serum MSH is low, as multiple-antibiotic-resistant-coagulase-negative-Staph organisms secrete biofilm to lower MSH and thereby trigger the innate immune response.

The long term effects on the GI tract can now usually be reversed, even if someone has been detoxed with toxic cholestyramine. The same can be said for the many changes in the immune system, and the enzymatic systems that process glucose and cholesterol. The changes in the body’s energy factories called mitochondria can be reversed. If CIRS is diagnosed early enough, the vast majority of the damage to the brain can be reversed.

The hormonal drops seen due to anterior pituitary gland damage are generally reversible over time. So, too are the changes due to the posterior pituitary; reversing the thirst and frequent urination as well as pain and fibromyalgia syndromes often seen in CIRS patients.

The night sweats due to damage to the hypothalamus generally resolve within the first year of treatment, but temperature regulation issues can take years to resolve.

Of concern are the un-addressed cognitive changes that sometimes occur with only mild or no other CIRS symptoms. Loss of “executive function” or even mild memory problems can be caused by CIRS and progress to Alzheimer’s disease; if left untreated.

This concept is another misconception. The problem is (generally speaking), not that you have mold growing in your sinuses or your “gut.” Yes, this can happen, but it is the exception rather than the rule. The problem is that you are reacting to a mixture of mold toxins and other environmental debris which causes an enormous response all throughout your body.

Here is the simple answer to detoxing:

  1. Be in a clean, safe environment at work and at home. Use proper environmental testing and remediation, as well as non-toxic fogging.
  2. Use a gut-friendly detoxification protocol such as the one used by Dr. Crawford; no gut-damaging cholestyramine is used; ever! No BEG spray for sinuses-ever!
  3. Support the damaged organ systems with hormones, peptides, integratives, GI support, sleep aids, mood aids, cognitive and pain aids, until detox is completed. This last step is unique to Dr. Crawford’s CIRS protocol, making recovery and restoration of function much faster.

Dr. Crawford and her engineer-husband Gilles Pesant will guide you through the how to's of finding out where the environmental problem is, and then fixing it. They have prepared manuals and powerpoints to guide you, and will help you find (if needed) mold inspection and remediation companies. To eliminate health-damaging mold toxins, we recommend the non-toxic solutions being offered by this company.