Mold illness is a condition that results when the body is unable to identify and remove toxins effectively, following mold exposure in a water damaged building. The very small toxins released by mold are called biotoxins, and mold is one of several causal factors of biotoxin illness. Some individuals are more genetically-susceptible to developing biotoxin illness and a multi-system widespread inflammatory condition called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Because the biotoxins released by mold are small enough to transfer from cell to cell directly through cell membranes, many traditional forms of testing are ineffective for diagnosing this condition. Rather, physicians must instead look for evidence of the damage the mold biotoxins cause in the body to accurately diagnose mold illness.
What are the causes of mold illness?
Mold illness is caused by exposure to mold in a water damaged building. Water damage can occur after plumbing leaks, leaks after storms, condensation in HVAC, or water exposure that occurs while a building is under construction. It’s important to note that exposure doesn’t only happen in the home, but also office buildings, schools, public buildings, garages, and other structures. Mold exposure can also occur in humid climates when moisture is allowed to accumulate in window areas, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas indoors that may not have enough air circulation and provide ideal conditions for mold growth.
What are the symptoms of mold illness?
Mold illness can have a variety of seemingly-unrelated clusters of symptoms. The image below demonstrates several of these symptom clusters.
How is mold illness treated?
If the diagnosis of mold illness is confirmed, the most important step to treating it is proper remediation to eliminate the source of mold exposure. A patient with mold illness cannot improve when they are repeatedly re-exposed to the mold causing their illness. Once the source of exposure is identified and eliminated, Dr. Thomas follows a mold and biotoxin illness treatment plan called Shoemaker’s Protocol for Biotoxin Illness. This treatment plan is designed to help rid the body of the biotoxins causing the condition and repair damage the biotoxins caused to various systems throughout the body. Repairing this damage and healing the body is a process and is not an overnight fix. Dr. Thomas will also check for other conditions that may be influencing the patient’s health, such as nutrient deficiencies and hormone imbalances, which can hinder immune response and slow down the healing process.