What Mold Does to Your Body - Understanding Mold Illness
Accomplishing daily tasks didn’t use to be so difficult. It didn’t use to be so challenging just to make it through a day at work, now it seems almost impossible to get through a load of laundry. You are always so tired all of the time. Of course, you still “look” OK on the outside, but you feel like your dying on the inside.
You probably get told all the time that you don’t look sick and that it’s all in your head. After seeing countless doctors, you’ve been told that your lab work is normal or you possibly have allergies. Or worse, you are told that you have psychological problems or that you are just depressed. Am I going crazy? What’s wrong with me?
You may have been at the top of your class and a star athlete at school. Now because of the unrelenting fatigue, you are just trying to make it through class. A daily headache is challenging not to mention nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Your only goal for the day is to stay awake and to focus on your studies, not to mention trying to remember what you are learning. The days of cruising through your classes and making off to ball practice seem like a distant memory. You were an athletic standout at the top of your game, now you can barely have enough stamina to make it through practice. Dreams of being a starter on the state championship team have been destroyed. You have had countless tests, only for your doctor to tell you that your labs are normal and you are healthy. He mentions that it may be a psychological issue and suggests medication.
There are multiple symptoms related to mold illness because the illness affects multiple systems in the body. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, you could be suffering from mold illness.
Brain fog, memory issues, focus/concentration issues, word recollection issues
Weakness, fatigue, especially post-exercise
Aches and pains, joint pain, cramping, “ice pick” nerve pain
Numbness and tingling
Blurred vision, light sensitivity, red eyes, tearing
Sinus problems, asthma-like symptoms, shortness of breath, cough
Multiple chemical sensitivities, exposure to chemicals cause fatigue
Multiple food sensitivities, ingesting many types of food causes fatigue
Nausea, appetite changes, abdominal pain, diarrhea
Weight gain despite sufficient exercise and proper diet (weight loss resistance)
Excessive thirst, Increased urination
Problems with temperature regulation, night sweats
With so many nonspecific symptoms, it is easy to see how mold illness could be mistaken for other conditions and could go unnoticed. Solid scientific evidence now points to the serious health problems that mold illness can cause.
Take the Online Screening Test to determine your probability of having this illness.
These are some very real examples of people that have been exposed to mold in a Water-Damaged Building. These unfortunate people, because of their genes, are filled with biotoxins that their bodies just cannot process. This hidden but very real illness wreaks havoc on the body causes inflammation and a cascade of imbalances throughout. Unless treated properly, life as you have known it has been changed forever.
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The Low Down on Mold
Mold is a type of fungi that reproduce by forming very small spores which sprout and fly away. These mold spores can easily engulf your home in a very short period of time. Mold grows in places that are exposed to the smallest undetected water leaks to flooding events. Mold loves drywall, so a leaky window or roof is all that is needed for the beginning of a mold problem. Just because mold is not visible to the naked eye, your wall could be full of it. Many times people don’t even know that they have a mold problem until they start remolding a kitchen or bathroom and discover that a wall is engulfed in the mold. Mold can grow almost anywhere attaching to your furniture, carpets, clothing, shoes, pets, books, old newspapers, cardboard boxes, and papers. It can circulate throughout your air ducts, especially if you do not change the filters. Mold produces toxic chemicals named mycotoxins that appear in the spores and fragments of the mold into the air.
The Definition of Biotoxin Illness
Molds toxicity falls under the category of “Biotoxin Illness” (also called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or CIRS). Per Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, the author of Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings, Biotoxin Illness is an acute and chronic inflammatory response resulting from the exposure of water-damaged buildings (at home and at work) that have toxin-producing organisms that include fungi, bacteria, mycobacterium, mycobacterium, actinomycetes, as well as inflammagen bacteria such as hemolysins, endotoxins, proteinases, beta glucans, mannans and spirocyclic drimanes.
In short, when you suffer from Biotoxin Mold Illness, you feel as though you have a really bad flu (but possibly worse). This is because your body becomes inflamed. As the illness progresses, you can develop chronic fatigue, cognitive issues from inflammation in the brain, joint and muscle pain, auto-immunities, cancer, hormonal imbalances, shortness of breath, food and chemical sensitivities, just to name a few.
In the Biotoxin Illness definition, it’s more than just mold that drives the Biotoxin Illness. Most people just focus on mold in particular and the mycotoxins (the toxins) that mold makes. It needs to be mentioned that with mold, different strains of inflammagen producing bacteria are always present. Together, mold and bacteria release toxins and inflammagens that work synergistically together making them far worse than any one of them alone. It should be mentioned that for patients suffering from Biotoxin Illness that common inflammatory tests like the C-Reactive Protein, CBC, ANA, SED rate, immunoglobulins, lymphocyte, thyroid, and a metabolic profile will typically be normal. Genetically speaking, 24% of the population is unable to create an adequate immune response to these organisms, and this 24% consists of the 95% of people that have Biotoxin Illness.
Why are People Susceptible to Mold Diseases?
24% of people have a certain immune response gene (HLA-DR) that makes them very susceptible to mold illness. If you are among the 24% who have this mold susceptible gene, then you are very likely to have an adverse reaction to a sufficient amount of mold. 95% of the people who suffer from mold illness occur in this subgroup. It should be mentioned that the other 2% of people who are susceptible to mold illness have a different variation of the genes If you are not genetically susceptible, your chances are lower but are not zero.
For the people who are genetically susceptible to mold, their bodies are not able to recognize specific toxins (including mold toxins) as a threat. For these people mold toxins continue to be recirculated throughout their bodies, triggering an inflammatory response. Without specific genetic testing, the 24% will be unaware that they are genetically susceptible.
These illnesses are a serious issue. They do not belong to the group of allergies, but rather they represent a state of chronic inflammation which is caused when the immune system becomes out of balance. Mold Illness does not heal on its own, it will not stop, and will go on provoking illnesses unless it is properly treated. The illness is built upon DNA and when it is triggered once, the inflammatory response and the symptoms will last for years.
These are the criteria that have to be met in order to make a diagnosis of Mold Illness:
Any signs, symptoms, or history of biotoxin exposure. If the case is mold toxicity, history should include toxin-producing mold exposure, and in other cases like ciguatera or microcystin, history needs to involve exposure or lab evidence of exposure;
Genetic predisposition to illnesses related to biotoxins based on the identification of an HLA susceptible haplotype;
Any abnormalities that have been documented by the VCS testing;
Biomarkers that consist of neuroimmune, vascular, and endocrine abnormalities which characterize this disease. If there is a history of biotoxin exposure, a susceptible genotype, and an abnormal CVS test you will probably show lab abnormalities that are seen in CIRS.
We suggest you the following steps if you feel that you may have Biotoxin Mold Illness:
Step 1: Learn more about Biotoxin Mold Illness. This is a great website with everything you need to know about Biotoxin Mold Illness
Step 2: Complete the online VCS test (Vision Contrast Sensitivity). This online vision test is a neurological test that is very accurate and can be used to detect if you are suffering from Biotoxin Mold Illness.
Step 3: If you fail the VCS test, please contact me for guidance and direction. Through Autonomic Response testing I can help detect the severity of your mold illness and can help you to determine the best protocol based on your specific genetic profile, your risk for exposure, and the severity of your illness. More lab work maybe required to help determine the severity of the illness.
Step 4: Test your home and/or office with the ERMI or HERTSMI test. You cannot start any protocols for addressing Biotoxin Mold Illness until you know for certain that your home and work have been tested for high levels of mold. These do-it-yourself tests, available through Mycometrics, are the most accurate tests available today. You could hire a professional to do a visual inspection and an air quality test and pay big bucks, or perform the ERMI on your own for around $325 or the HERTSMI for around $150. If your test is positive, then mold remediation will be needed. Once rememdiation is complete, the home must be tested again and if it is at safe level, then you can return home and start the Biotoxin Mold protocol.
Call Mycometrics for details.
Step 5: Begin the Biotoxin Mold Illness protocol.
Step 6: Get your “Old-Self” back and start enjoying life once again.