Well this is a topic I never expected to write about, but given that everyone is currently cooped up at home during this pandemic, the topic seems to be coming up more and more in discussions with clients and friends. So, how do mold and autoimmune relate?
First, many think that mold isn’t problematic because we’re surrounded by it in nature. The problem doesn’t lie there though, it’s when there is toxic mold in the home (or car) that just continues to circulate. Or, when an individual cannot adequately detoxify the mold and it just remains in their body.
Mold much like any other toxin can wreak havoc on the body and be a trigger in autoimmune disease. In fact, it’s a very common trigger in autoimmune disease and one that’s not explored enough. Mold is usually more comprehensive than “just” mold, and is diagnosed as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Unfortunately symptoms are so broad-ranging that often no two patients are alike. They vary from digestive issues, to respiratory issues, to cognitive function, to extreme fatigue.
How did mold build up in my body?
Of course there’s the obvious water damaged building. I had a client once who worked in a building damaged by a flood, and the entire office was filled with water. Even though a company came in to remediate, the mold spores still hung around and were likely in the walls and carpet. Within months she became debilitated and couldn’t go to work any longer. Sadly, the company ignored her pleas and she had to leave.
There are also old buildings that have just developed mold over the years. For instance, I taught in a very old school (and schools are notorious for mold) that had noticeable water spots on the ceiling and a distinct smell. Unfortunately at that time I didn’t make the connection. Now I know that a smell like that means far more than just mildew.
There’s also a possibility that you’re genetically predisposed to developing CIRS. In fact, Dr Shoemaker estimates that 2% of the population has the gene that predisposes them, and that 1 in 4 will deal with biotoxin illness. That’s quite an alarming statistic.
What to do if you suspect mold
First, either find a mold specialist or test your house with an ERMI which you can purchase online. Just be very cautious with the mold specialist, and do your due diligence with their testing methods and expertise since anyone can slap that title on their contracting work.
Take the Visual Contrast Test online . This is a quick 5-min test that if positive, has a 92% of indicating you are in fact dealing with CIRS.
Stop feeding the mold. It’s a fungus and sugar, refined carbs and high starch foods will fuel it. Really limit those items if you suspect mold, or hire a nutritionist trained in the appropriate diet if you are indeed dealing with CIRS.
Hire a Functional MD that is well-versed in mold. It’s definitely not my area expertise, and I cannot diagnose. If I suspect one of my clients has mold, I refer them out. The doctor I contract with has become a bit of a mold specialist, so if you suspect mold or have not been able to rid yourself of CIRS symptoms, I highly recommend giving the office a call or checking out their website HERE. He also has a free mold guide you can look at HERE.