Individuals exposed to toxic mold may become ill from one or more of the following conditions:
- Hypersensitivity/Allergic response to the mold spores and other substances in the environment. These responses are typically histamine mediated allergic reactions that may require antihistamines and possibly allergy immunotherapy for desensitization.
- Infectious response - Inhaled mold spores can seed and begin growing in the nasal and respiratory passages especially in individuals that may be immunocompromised. Appropriate cultures to identify the infection and treatment with antifungal medications/herbs are highly effective.
- Toxicity/Inflammatory response - This category is perhaps the most dangerous due to its increasing incidence. Also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or Sick Building Syndrome, the illness that results from exposure to the toxins from mold and bacteria as well as the numerous chemicals found in water damaged buildings is quickly becoming an epidemic. These toxins trigger massive inflammation which over time begins to compromise the endocrine and immune systems.
Medical treatment (for toxicity/inflammatory response) involves three simple steps:
- Eliminate Exposure: This may involve moving and/or remediation.
- Reduce mold biotoxin load: In healthy individuals who are not genetically susceptible to mold illness, the immune system is capable of mounting a rapid antibody response to the toxins so that they can be promptly eliminated by the body. However, in those that are genetically susceptible, as determined by HLA DRB/DQB blood testing, the immune system is incapable of generating this prompt antibody response. As a result, these biotoxins persist in the body triggering uncontrolled inflammation eventually damaging the endocrine and immune systems. In such individuals the use of Cholestyramine (Questran) or Colesevelam (WelChol) is effective at binding to the biotoxins and removing them from the body. This effectively reduces inflammation providing individuals with prompt relief of some of their symptoms.
- Repair endocrine and immune damage. Once the biotoxin load in the body has been reduced, we want to repair the damage left behind. The hypothalamus, one of the main control centers in the brain of the endocrine system, is often compromised as a result of this inflammation. Deficiency of hypothalamic function can leave a individual feeling chronically fatigued, prone to chronic infections, insommnia, and a host of other symptoms. Through a series of steps too involved to go into here, we are able to restore hypothalamic function and help people gain a full recovery.