With All of the Toxic Mold “Talk,” Latest Detox Protocols, and Newest Remedies, Are We Actually Any Closer to REAL Solutions?
How is it that so many people are suffering from illnesses triggered by mold and other contaminants in “sick” indoor environments, but there still remains no general understanding, widespread medical acceptance, definitive mold illness treatment protocol or true answer for healing?
Similarly, how can so many people be in desperate need of medical interventions for mold toxicity, but, yet, most medical doctors are still not even asking patients about their environments or considering the possibility of mold as the cause for illness? Without a sufferer being able to get a correct diagnosis, there certainly can’t be a cure, right?
This can be so frustrating!
It doesn’t seem to make sense or like it should be that difficult to identify and treat illnesses triggered by mold. But, and for reasons I hope to illustrate in this post, it is, unfortunately, not that simple.
Compiling What We Know
When you do a deep dive into the scientific literature on water-damaged buildings (aka moldy indoor environments) and illnesses/diseases associated with residing in them, the history of reports on mold-related illness is actually quite long and convoluted. The only true medical cautions about humans spending time in moldy spaces are for children, the elderly and the immunosuppressed, as they are more susceptible to fungal infections and respiratory distress. Most, if not all, qualitative fungal research is focused mainly on contaminated food and agricultural products and diseases having to do with fungal infections such as farmer’s lung, and systemic infections acquired by transplant recipients or already sick hospital patients. These studies and literature date back 30 years or more. The definitive pronouncement about inhaled mold spores in everyday environments as the source of illness doesn’t occur until the Mayo Clinic study published in 1999 that links chronic sinusitis with an immune system response to mold and the presence of fungus in the sinus of those patients.
After that came a distinct influx of research and toxicological studies on water-damaged buildings sparked by the findings and work of Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. His work came onto the scene in the 2000’s (his site remains the top resource for mold illness treatment info on the web today, and he is still publishing studies and patient findings) forging the connection between biotoxin exposure (in indoor environments and otherwise) and the chronic inflammatory response, which he coined Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (“CIRS”). CIRS is diagnosed in patients whose bodies initiate an all-guns-blazing immune system attack on toxic mold antigens that never turns off, and thus begins to affect all systems in the body, causing malfunction, inflammation, and sickness on a large scale. His work identified various biomarkers for testing and diagnosis and a genetic HLA-DR susceptibility to such an inflammatory response from biotoxin exposure.