Neuroimmune Toxicity Recovery Programs
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) and Mold Biotoxin Illness is a progressive, multi-system, multi-symptom illness characterized by exposure to biotoxins: the contamination of indoor air, food, water, by a wide variety of microorganisms and chemicals as well as from insect bites.
When a person encounters biotoxins, such as mold, fungi, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulates, inflammagens, and other gram-negative bacteria, it can cause an inflammatory response characterized by an array of symptoms.
Most people will experience some level of illness when exposed to a sufficient level of biotoxins, however, many people recover once they’re removed from a contaminated environment.
Chronic illness only occurs in those who are genetically susceptible to improper toxin clearance (about 25% of the population). This minority of people typically have genes that prevent their bodies from being able to “tag” the biotoxin as bad and remove it. Instead, the biotoxin(s) can live in the body indefinitely and circulate, creating chronic inflammatory immune responses, thus, leading to chronic illness.
For those who aren’t genetically susceptible, it can cause acute illness while the biotoxins are being processed in the liver and released. However, following exposure, their detoxification system can eliminate the biotoxins via the normal mechanisms and symptoms usually subside.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware that their home or workplace may be conducive to mold growth. Mold growth can occur behind walls, under sinks, behind furniture, in the attic, and virtually anywhere there has been water damage or moisture. Today, it’s estimated that indoor pollutants, including mold, are at a concentration of 2 to 5 times higher than that of the pollutants found outdoors and may be contributing to more than 50% of patients’ illnesses.
Below are some common signs and symptoms of mold and biotoxin toxicity:
- Abdominal Pain
- Static Shocks, Electric Shocks
- Frequent urination
- Trouble regulating body temperature
- Skin sensitivity
- Pins and needles feeling on skin
- Body aches
- Blurred vision
- Red eyes
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle cramps
- Impaired memory
- Can’t find the right words
- Shortness of Breath
- Metallic taste
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
The ongoing inflammation can affect virtually any organ system of the body and if left untreated becomes debilitating.
CIRS/Mold Biotoxin Illness Diagnosis and Treatment
CIRS is an activation of the innate immune system, making a proper diagnosis difficult since common parameters of inflammation are generally negative upon laboratory evaluation.
There is a genetic component that can be tested.
CIRS is a brain on fire. A dominant clinical feature of CIRS is the common cognitive complaints by patients, including memory loss, mood disorders, brain fog, loss of executive function and fatigue. This is not a surprise considering that this is a key component of the innate immune response.
There are multiple markers to measure the innate response and measure the presence of inflammation in the brain.
Depending on the severity of their condition treatment involves a combination of procedures, processes, and medicines for reducing/eliminating the infections, removing the biotoxins, reducing/eliminating the inflammatory responses, supporting the immune system, supporting and treating the brain and nervous system, regulating hormones, and managing symptoms. Each person is different, and the protocols need to be customized for optimal results and to reduce unnecessary side effects.
Lyme Disease and Co-Infections is a form of CIRS caused by several strains of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Once a tick emerges from an egg, it frequently becomes infected during its larval or nymph stage, as it feeds off small animals like squirrels, mice, or birds that carry the Lyme-causing bacteria. During the tick’s subsequent feeding cycle, it passes the bacteria to a human, or another animal.
Early symptoms of the disease often manifest as a flu-like illness, with accompanying fever, chills, muscle aches, and joint pain. While the characteristic ‘bulls-eye’ rash called erythema migrans is often present, many people develop a different type of rash or no rash at all.
Moreover, a host of Lyme symptoms occur in other diseases, and as a result, many patients suffering from Lyme disease are misdiagnosed with conditions like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other psychiatric illnesses before being correctly treated.
If Lyme is not diagnosed or treated in its early stages, it frequently transitions to a chronic, highly problematic late-stage disease, and symptoms increase in their severity.
Untreated Lyme disease will eventually infect joints, the heart, and the nervous system—causing nerve paralysis and meningitis, and difficulty with memory and concentration.
While one of the defining features of chronic Lyme disease is fatigue, often there are a myriad of presentations without a defining symptom. For example: severe cognitive decline, loss of executive function, memory problems, mood disturbances, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary problems and more.
The debilitating effects of the disease then led to more devastating results: these patients often are unable to work, function in personal relationships, or complete simple daily activities without experiencing profound exhaustion.
There are approximately 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, and the number of those infected is expected to increase. Moreover, many experts believe the true number of Lyme cases is higher than reported, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require ‘objective measures’ like positive blood tests or rashes; therefore, estimates indicate that CDC surveillance only captures approximately 10% of reportable Lyme cases. There is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease, and the FDA-approved blood tests are often inaccurate.
Neurological inflammation and even damage frequently occurs in patients with Lyme, and I consider Lyme disease as producing a type of brain injury.
To successfully treat Lyme patients, one must eradicate the infection, resolve the chronic inflammatory response, and repair the injury to the brain – all of which is possible with targeted therapies to restore patients back to health. A true specialist in this field, therefore, must have an extraordinary ability and capacity to treat the patient as a whole, with experience and skill in not only hormonal balance, stress management, microbiome health, and detoxification, but also genomics, brain trauma and injury, chronic infections, and mold exposure—along with managing other complicated factors associated with Lyme disease.
Chronic Fungal Infections, or Mycosis, are diseases caused by a fungus (yeast or mold). Fungal infections are most common on your skin or nails, but fungi (plural of fungus) can also cause infections in your mouth, throat, lungs, urinary tract, and many other parts of your body.
Fungi are living things that are classified separately from plants or animals. They move around by spreading out or sending spores (reproductive parts) into the air or environment. Many fungi live naturally in our body (mouth, GI tract, skin) but can overgrow under certain circumstances.
Too often people are mistakenly diagnosed with bacterial infections and prescribed antibiotics when they have fungal infections. The antibiotics inadvertently promote the growth of the fungal infections and eventually the infection becomes chronic and spreads to other internal and external tissues of the body progressively weakening the immune system.
Deep Fungal Infections
Deep fungal infections are found in places in your body other than your skin, like your lungs, blood, urinary tract, or brain. Some are opportunistic infections, meaning that they usually only cause disease in people with weakened immune systems.
Types of Deep or Invasive Fungal Infections:
Histoplasmosis, Histoplasma, the fungus that causes histoplasmosis, can infect your lungs, brain, or other parts of your body. It’s commonly found in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.
Coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) caused by the fungus Coccidioides, coccidioidomycosis can infect your lungs and, rarely, move to other parts of your body. It’s most common in California and Arizona.
Blastomycosis, Blastomyces, the fungus that causes blastomycosis, commonly infects your bones, skin, and lungs. Rarely, it can also infect your brain and spinal cord.
Aspergillus, the mold that causes aspergillosis, can cause several types of lung infections, including allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. It can also infect other parts of your body or form a fungus ball (aspergilloma).
Candida Urinary Tract Infection. Bacteria cause most urinary tract infections (UTIs), but some are caused by yeast such as Candida.
Various Candida species cause invasive candidiasis. It can infect your heart, blood (candidemia), brain, eyes (endophthalmitis), bones or other parts of your body.
Pneumocystis jirovecii can infect your lungs and cause Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP).
Mucormycosis a group of molds called mucormycetes cause mucormycosis. Mucormycetes can infect your sinuses and brain (rhinocerebral mucormycosis), lungs (pulmonary mucormycosis), intestines (gastrointestinal mucormycosis), skin (cutaneous mucormycosis) or many parts of your body at the same time (disseminated mucormycosis).
Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii cause cryptococcosis. They usually infect your lungs, but sometimes can infect your brain and spinal cord (cryptococcal meningitis).
Treatment of Deep or Invasive Fungal Infections
Depending on the type and severity of the fungal infection treatment often includes a combination of prescription medications, herbal formulas, dietary changes, behavioral changes, treatment of spouses/significant others to prevent further cross contamination as well as treatment to manage symptoms and strengthen the immune system.
When you’re ready to positively change the trajectory of your health, call 941-923-0283 to schedule a brief phone consultation to see if I can be of help to you and if we are a good fit for working together.