I thought many of you would be interested to see there is a mold summit being put on by Jeffrey Smith. (The same person who educated so many people on GMO dangers in the past.)
You Are Actually Dealing With Much More Than MoldThere is so much more than mold in water-damaged buildings that cause this biotoxin response that we call a "mold" illness/susceptibility. It is technically more appropriate to call it CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) due to a water-damaged building, rather than "mold illness" or toxic mold illness or mold susceptibility. However, "mold illness" is largely what it is called by people. It is important that people realize they are dealing with much more than mold. Water-damaged buildings have a variety of nasties growing in them and releasing biotoxins. They contain a variety of pathogens inflammagens and toxigens. Secondary metabolites of mold and bacteria have been found in carpeting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, wallpaper and dust.
Culprits in a Water Damage Building That Causes the IllnessSome of the specific nasties you can find in a water-damaged building are mold, bacteria, amoebas, actinomycetes and mycobacteria. Additionally, the chemicals in the building materials can create an environement that alters these oranisms as well as adds to the release of toxins. You can have a release of mycotoxins, bacterial endotoxins, beta glucans, mannans, proteinases, hemolysins, c-type lectins, spirocyclic drimanes, and volatile organic compounds. It is thought that the combination of these various toxins from a variety of organisms is what causes the illness. Indeed, mycotoxins which are the toxins molds make, have been identified in body fluids as well as tissue samples of people exposed to water-damaged buildings. Indeed in one clinical study Ochratoxin A (a mycotoxin) was found in 83% of over 100 individuals tested with chronic illness and a history of water-damaged building exposure. Since it is so hard to test for all of the offending organisms and their biotoxins they release into the environment and there are not tests to test for many of them in body fluids, it is easier to test for the inflammatory reaction to these toxic elements. I will talk about this in a later blog.
Today We Will Examine What Mold Really Is
Molds are a type of fungi. They are multicellular and grow in filamentous hyphae (long thread-like branches). Networks of these hyphae form a mycelium which is considered a single organism. They produce airborne spores. They break down organic waste and are therefore an important part of natures recycling system. They cannot photosynthesize and just like humans they rely on organic matter for nutrition.
They reproduce using both sexual and asexual methods. Molds may produce mycotoxins which can be harmful to our health as well as our animal's health.
Yeast is not mold: Yeast is also a type of fungi but it is not a mold. They are single celled microscopic fungi with an oval shape. They reproduce by mitosis (budding). There are different types of yeast such as Saccharomyces in wine and beer or Candida albicans (can bud and also grow via hyphae as well as make chlamydospores) which creates opportunistic infections in humans and animals. Candida and other yeasts, like molds may produce toxins which can be harmful to humans and animals.
It has been known for some time that fungi and the mycotoxins they create can cause health problems. However, we have focused mainly on mold allergies and mold infections (colonization). We were aware of the internal exposure to fungi such as Candida overgrowth in our intestines, or athlete's foot, as well as the infectious growth of various unusual and more serious molds seen mainly in immunocompromised individuals. There are also chronic rhinosinusitis problems caused by fungi such as Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Fusarium, Penicillium, and Trichoderma. It was Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker that brought our attention to the mold toxicity in our environment which has been causing illness in genetically susceptible individuals. This illness has been overlooked for many years by practitioners simply due to our ignorance of it. It is my opinion that much of what we call "Chronic Fatigue", Chronic Lymes", "Fibrolyalgia", and "Morgellans" is really "Mold" Illness or more specifically illness due to water-damaged buildings. I also have no doubt that this susceptibility is associated with many other inflammatory diseases.
The Bottom Line
"Mold Illness" is a biotoxin illness caused by exposure to a water-damaged building.
Other Illness That May Cause Similar Symptoms
Mycotoxins (mold toxins) are a subset of biotoxins. There are other biotoxins besides mycotoxins that can cause a similar disease symptomology as mycotoxins do. They can come from toxic algae, a bite from a toxic insect or snake. I will discuss this in the future.
Learning About Mold Susceptibility
Some years back I realized I had a mold susceptibility and was reacting to water-damaged buildings. No one seemed to know much about it in the medical community and initially it was hard to find data. However, I read all the research I could find on the subject (There was more than I would have thought, but hard to find.) and all of Dr. Shoemakers data as it was being made available. He was not teaching Docs at the time or I would have taken his classes. I took his wonderful clinical data, the research I read mixed with what was known about biotransformation (detox) processes in the body and put together enough knowledge to help myself and others by using a mix of binders, herbs, diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. If you think this may be an issue for you or someone you love, I suggest you learn more about "mold illness/susceptibility" as something can be done about it. You can read some prior blogs I wrote on my own experience as well as more details on mold susceptibility here:
I have also made it my new years resolution to educate folks more on mold, so you will be seeing more blogs on this very soon. Additionally, I have a book in the works.