I, Janie Bowthorpe, once got extremely sick with a mold illness for over three months due to inhaling quite a lot mold spores while blowing wet leaves and dirt. And because it was so massively acute, it caused me problems for 5 more years. You may not be like that. But do know it’s all treatable. And I learned a LOT. The following 14 points of information are to help you learn about mold issues. All too frequently, people with mold illness just might be getting the wrong diagnosis like CFS/ME…or no telling what else.

1) Mold illness is CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) i.e systemic inflammation that doesn’t go away due to your immune system in a continual drive to fight it. They are one and the same for a lot of people (even if a small % with mold illness may not have CIRS). More about CIRS here: http://www.survivingmold.com/docs/Berndtson_essay_2_CIRS.pdf

2) The severity of a mold illness/CIRS can be caused by the HLA-DR gene mutation when one is exposed to mold or mold spores, i.e. your body is unable to make the needed antibodies to deactivate/remove mold. 25% of people have this problem. I do. But my mold inhalation was so bad that I would have gotten that sick anyway.

3) Because the mold biotoxins can’t get out of your body, your internal immune system defenses (inflammation) never turn off—–the hamster on the wheel. That fact is also why I was SO fatigued, day after week and months, as my hard-working immune system just never achieved success in getting that mold outta me. I needed help!! And you know why that’s bad?? Your immune system is going to use many nutrients over time. I eventually had low zinc, low manganese, low chromium, low CoQ10 and more….all due to my immune system never toning itself down. (I eventually got the same mold shots that individuals with mold allergies get–that started me on a road to recovery after several of those over a few weeks.)

4) Along with the “I’m stayin’ here” mold, chronic inflammation causes all sorts of problems in the body, including high Reverse T3 (RT3) and fatigue. It can also damage one’s thyroid gland. More seriously down the line, chronic inflammation can possibly lead to alzheimer’s, cancer, digestive issues, depression, pain, more thyroid problems, cancer and more. The symptoms of Mold Illness/CIRS can be similar to other conditions, thus misdiagnoses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME.

5) Tests which may be important for diagnosis and baseline (in no particular order) for those who have been exposed to mold:

  1. MSH (below 35, inflammation goes up)
  2. HLA DRB/DQB Panel (gene to discern inability to get rid of biotoxin)
  3. MMP-9 (inflammatory marker—should be low 300’s)
  4. C3a and C4a (common for mold alone is good C3a and high C4a)
  5. Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) (proteins which can cause inflammation and negatively affect the hypothalamus in brain)
  6. Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) beta (polypeptide and cytokine which goes up because of mold; can increase inflammation)
  7. ADH/Arginine Vasopressin (can cause dehydration, frequent urination if problematic)
  8. VEGF (signal protein that can go too low with biotoxins; reduced oxygenation; inhibiting cell growth)
  9. RT3 (inactive thyroid hormone which can go up due to biotoxin inflammation).
  10. VCS test--shows results of brain inflammation

More info here: http://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis/lab-tests

6) Good supplement strategies to counter the inflammation, as recommended on the following website: http://www.herbaltransitions.com/TreatmentOfCIRS.html Avoiding sugar and grains to keep insulin down is also important—the no amylase diet. (I, Janie, used a lot of these recommendations! This was my favorite site!) In the meantime, binders are needed to get the mold out, such as cholestyramine, which I was also on.I was also on several over the counter anti-inflammatories like curcumin.

7) Mold illness/CIRS can activate certain gene mutations, or turn off other genes. The former happened to me! I have a gene mutation where I don’t break down proteins well. It became worse.

8) Mold illness can cause nutrients to tank due to the constant activity of the immune reaction. As mentioned in #3 about the immune system never getting the job done, my zinc tanked and I didn’t even know it until I found myself with super high copper–the latter the result of low zinc. I also later found myself with low levels of manganese, chromium, CoQ10 and eventually low glutathione–the master antioxidant! I am suspicious it’s also what caused other nutrients to be borderline, as revealed by a Spectracell nutrient test.

9) Low VEGF (see above in #5) can cause “capillary hypoperfusion”, aka reduced delivery of oxygen leading to reduced mitochondrial function (easy fatigue; easy crashes; long recovery) and a rise of lactic acid.

10) There are controlled exercises to increase adiponectin which will help with capillary hypoperfusion, explained by Dr. Shoemaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjEDcBbpS_0

11) Dr. Shoemaker developed important steps to get well again. Some can be done at the same time: http://www.survivingmold.com/treatment/step-by-step

12) Some tests should be repeated in the get-well-again journey to gauge progress: VCS vision test, MSH, etc.

13) A MARCoNS nasal test may be important for some. MARCoNS represent a staph infection deep in the nose of 80% of those with a low MSH. The staph is antibiotic resistant. http://www.microbiologydx.com/ or www.dlmlabs.com BEG spray is used to treat; can cause nose irritation, fatigue, etc in some. 2-3 sprays a day, 30 days.

14) Some will need VIP spray to raise VIP levels or lower high C4a (dramatically helps fatigue if all else fails; four times a day; important to first clear Marcons and remove mold in house to see effect, says Dr. Shoemaker)

**Check out the need for protein with a mold illness: https://moldsafesolutions.com/learn-how-whey-protein-can-help-you-combat-the-effects-of-mold-toxicity-and-illness/

Many have gotten well again! I did, though you will be ahead of me knowing that you’ll need to test your nutrients afterwards. See. #8. Keep the hope!

See: http://www.survivingmold.com/docs/Berndtson_essay_2_CIRS.pdf

Important note: STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.