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Dr. Richie Shoemaker, MD. Author of Desperation Medicine, Mold Warriours, and Surviving Mold has been at the forefront of research on the damaging effects of mold. He describes the syndrome in which a person with a genetic predisposition is exposed to biotoxins from a water damaged building, develops an uncontrollable cycle of inflamation which he calls CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE SYNDROME.

An example of these biotoxins would be ionophores which are much smaller than a biotoxin such as mold, borerelia, pfisteria, ciguatera.

So let us focus on just mold. Mold exposure can cause symptoms especially in a genetically predisposed individual (meaning because of a persons genetic make-up they cannot breakdown and excrete these biotoxins very well), fatique, brain fog, poor concentration, insomnia, anxiety/depression, hormone imbalances, digestive problems, musculoskeletal and neurological symptoms.

So CIRS can also be a consequence of Lyme but I have seen Mold toxicity contribute to similar symptoms. Mold loves cellulose from wood and paper, drywall, OSB and plywood material. Put in humidity, water  and dark areas and you have a perfect opportuntiy for mold growth.

One must understand that MOLD ILLNESSES are not just mold but can come from Bacteria, Amoeba/Protozoa, Actinomycetes and offgassing of building materials such as formaldehyde.

The mycotoxins emitted from mold can influence other microbes stated above, so even though we are speaking of mold, it is not mold alone that can cause a persons symptoms. This must be understood from the practioners perspective if they are going to treat appropriately.

The genetic predisposition stated earlier effects 25% of the population which are HLA DR/DQ that can be tested via Labcorp blood test. So the problem is these individuals are unable to form antibodies against these biotoxins. The biotoxins accumulate because of the persons genotype which creates this severe inflammatory response. I have seen individuals without this predisposition be mold toxic because of exposure.

These biotoxins love nerve and brain cells. When exposed certain proteins called cytokines that recruit immune cells which in turn makes more cytokines which gives you symptoms like the flu eg: headaches, muscle aches, fatique, unstable temp, d and decreased blood flow to brain and organs. When chronically exposed, regulatory T cells that bring down inflamation are exhausted and cannot do their job, so a viscious cycle ensues.

How cytokines all tie in is they can confuse the immune system so other issues one may have, gluten intoleerance, food sensitivity, other forms of autoimmunity can be exacerbated. 

Blood markers to look for: Low MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone also associated with leaky gut), low ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone), low ADH (anti-diuretic hormone-very important for KPU patients that cannot stay hydrated) and associated decrease in sex hormones and Leptin resistance which controls appetite and metabolism.

I hope this information was not too daunting, but I wanted to give you a framework for concepts on mold. It is obvious that mold alone can cause illness but usually there are more than one factor affecting an indiviudal with mold toxicity. So there are some labs stated above that can be done with your physician if you suspect mold is an issue. In my practice when I suspect mold intoxication, I ask them if there is mold in their home which is usually the case. An ERMI score can be done in the home to see where it's coming from. Then appropriate treatment can be instituted looking at all other factors as well. 

I hope this was information was helpful. contact us with any questions.

Best In Health,

James Stivaly LMT






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