A Look Back on 2022 and the Articles That Sparked Your Interest and Discussion

At the beginning of this new year filled with possibilities and expectations, whether that be improved health, deeper relationships, ambitious work or financial goals, or just making more time for rest and relaxation, it can be helpful to review the hurdles faced or knowledge gained.

Here at Sinusitis Wellness, we like to review past articles to see which topics struck a chord with our audience and which inspired the most comments and discussion. Knowing what our readers find interesting and thought-provoking helps us move forward with increased purpose and understanding of future topics. When an article elicits much response, it is usually because the topic hits on something many people are going through and evokes curiosity and strong emotions—responses that matter deeply to us and make this work worthwhile and fulfilling.

What follows are some of the most commented-on articles from 2022.  Below, are direct links to the original articles as well as a selection of some of the questions that were sent in and our answers to those questions.  As you will see, not only do the topics cover everything from your indoor environment to healing the damage done by mold to the body, but they also elucidate a shift in the narrative regarding mold and environmental illness. It is in reading your detailed questions that we see the patient taking the reigns and becoming the expert at digging deeper to heal themselves–you all know so much and ask wonderful, thoughtful questions! We hope you will find increased healing, strength, knowledge, and courage to keep moving forward knowing that if you are suffering, you are NOT alone and there are many resources available for help and encouragement.

Impacts of Mycotoxins on the Kidneys 

Question: Can you detox mold safely if you are having trouble maintaining sodium levels (dropping to 120s and trouble maintaining long-term)? Is there something that can be done to support sodium levels naturally so that the kidneys can handle mold detox?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: The first thing is to try to determine why your sodium is so low… you may be doing that already but ruling out a number of medical issues needs to be considered. That being said, the first step in detox is always avoidance! Is your air clean? Nothing else you do will be successful if your body is continually being challenged with an influx of toxins. I’m hesitant to recommend any specific detox regimen without knowing more about your personal history and other lab work, though.

Environmental Mold and Mycotoxin Testing

Question: How would collection for the EMMA or the Environmental Mycotoxin Test be accomplished if my apartment doesn’t have forced air heat or central AC? My heat is via old-fashioned radiator and my cooling is a portable AC machine. Thank you.

Catherine’s (Mold Free Living) answer: You would follow the instructions for collecting dust to submit for testing. There is both a filter medium testing strategy and a dust collection testing strategy that can be used for collecting a sample for testing.

Question: We recently had a mold inspection done since I have high levels of Ochratoxin A in my body. This inspection also included an ERMI test. All air samples, moisture levels, HVAC system (new 10 months ago) were all clean with no mold issues. Our walls were tested for moisture and the humidity level was good as well. However, the ERMI test came back showing several elevated levels of Aspergillus strains including the highest level of Aspergillus Versicolor.

We are told that we need to remove all items from the home and clean everything before putting them back in. We are also going to remove all carpeting since the previous owners had an old dog that had accidents. We’ve only lived here for 10 months. My issue is that no source was found for why there are high levels in our dust. How is the test you are recommending going to give me different results? Will it tell me the levels of Ochratoxin A in the dust or from some other source? We don’t want to do all this extensive cleaning and then it just comes back.

Catherine’s (Mold Free Living) Answer: The EMMA Test or an Environmental Mycotoxin Test would help to illuminate if the mold issue found in your dust is current or was historical to the home–possibly caused by the contaminated carpets or a historic leak. It would do this by testing for current mycotoxin levels in the home. If the molds found in the dust samples are currently producing mycotoxins, then you need to continue looking for an active moisture source. If the mycotoxin levels in the home are not elevated, the high Aspergillus will most likely be solved by doing carpet removal and extensive cleaning of the home and its contents. Additionally, if the home is not high in Ochratoxin, you may need to investigate other areas where you may be getting the exposure, like at work or somewhere where you spend a lot of time. Sometimes pairing a OAT (Organic Acids Test) with urine mycotoxin testing and working with a functional medicine doctor who can help you sort through the results is the best way to dig deeper.

Common Symptoms Ignited by Mold Exposure

Question: My daughter and I were exposed to large amounts of mold/fungus in an apartment in Tampa 10 years ago. We became extremely ill and were treated with antifungals, which saved our lives, I guess. However, we never got well and have not found a doctor who knows anything about mold-related illnesses. The doctors say we couldn’t still have fungus in our bodies since exposure was 10 years ago. What does the research show on this issue? Should we try taking antifungals again?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: Research shows that mold illness is more of a toxicity or exposure-based illness. While antifungals can treat colonization or infection, you have not addressed the damage done by mycotoxins–toxic by-products of some molds. I would recommend finding a doctor trained in environmental medicine who treats the whole body and is not just going after a fungal infection. Additionally, some patients do need to cycle antifungals more long-term to see lasting improvements. This could also be part of your treatment plan, but you would need to consult with a doctor to make sure that is what is needed.

Combining Homeopathics with Nutritional Supplements

Question: Thanks for this article! I appreciate the topic – I have extreme MCAS from decades of mold exposure. I’m unable to tolerate any supplements or medications, even microdoses and homeopathics, despite painstaking remediation, limbic retraining, an ideal diet, ongoing saunas, and more. Do you have any recommendations?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: Sometimes extremely sensitive patients can use homeopathic spray formulations by using this adminstration method: Place the sprays in a small amount (10-20 cc) of warm (not hot!) water for 5-10 minutes. Swish the entire liquid around in your mouth for 30 seconds before swallowing to allow the ingredients to be absorbed through the mucosa of the mouth. It can be an easier way for the body to absorb the remedies and acclimate to using them.

An Ancient Remedy Provides New Hope for Mold Illness

Question: Can the MicroChitosan capsules be emptied into a nasal rinse and used that way?

Dr. Dennis’s Answer: Yes, but first, I always recommend trying the CitriDrops Dietary Supplement, 5 drops in 8 oz saline (Nasopure formula) 2x day. If not effective, or you cannot tolerate CitriDrops Dietary Supplement, add 1 cap Microchitosan to 8 oz saline solution 2 x day. Use 4 oz in each nostril. Note you may use this 3-4x day if needed. It has antifungal properties and is pro-immune. Do not use Microchitosan if have a shellfish allergy, though.

Question: Do you recommend a maintenance dosage for MicroChitosan (after 1 month of 3 caps, twice per day)? Or, do some patients require more months of the 3 caps, twice per day dosage? Can effectiveness decrease over time? Can some patients take it indefinitely?

Dr. Dennis’s Answer: As I am sure you know, it is impossible for me to give you a proper reply to all of your questions without seeing you as a patient in my office and doing a thorough exam. I will try to generically answer your questions, though, in the hope that my answers provide some help. Yes, I usually recommend a maintenance dosage for MicroChitosan, but that would depend on the severity of your symptoms that are still present. Some patients definitely do require more months of the 3 caps, twice per day dosage, but not all patients do. For some patients, the effectiveness decreases over time, but some take it long-term with continuing efficacy. It is dependent on the unique constitution and issues that the patient is dealing with. I would definitely recommend going to your local ENT doctor and getting a sinus CT scan to see if you still have fungal polyps. I would also recommend a current urine mycotoxin level test to see where you are with toxicity levels. That may illuminate a way forward or help you to see how far you have come. It can also inform further detoxification strategies.

When a Virus Rears Its Ugly Head, Again

Question: I have been suffering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia for over 20 years. I spend most of my time in bed. I take medication for depression and Ridellan for fatigue but it’s not what it used to be. Any insights?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: I am sorry to hear you are suffering. Have you tested your environment for mold? Often chronic fatigue, pain, and depression are caused by environmental mold. If you can find the root cause of the issues, you will likely have greater long-term success than can be provided with the medications to treat the symptoms.

Question: Can you offer guidance on EPSTEIN BARR VIRUS (EBV) testing:
1. What specific EBV test (s) is conclusive for diagnosing ACUTE MONONUCLEOSIS?
2. What specific EBV test (s) is conclusive for diagnosing a CHRONIC ACTIVE or REACTIVATED case of EBV?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: If a test for acute Mononucleosis is negative, usually this is a “mono spot”, then checking for Epstein Barr virus is helpful. It MUST be the full antibody panel, with IgG, IgM, EBnuclear antibody, and EB early antigen. The patterns of positivity (or negatives) help determine if there is acute mono, old infection, or reactivated or chronic infection. If all are negative then it is safe to say that it is not mono or Epstein Barr and other viruses may need to be tested for such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV) or HHV6. I hope this helps!

Let’s Talk About Mold Detoxification

Question: I want to detox from mold but I have amalgams in my teeth. I do not have the money to remove them or I do not travel well because of my issues. There is no one close to my area that removes them safely. What can I do?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: Detoxing from mold should not negatively impact your amalgam situation, in fact, detox should help reduce your total body burden, and is not about pulling mercury from the amalgams. That being said, actual mercury chelation is a different matter altogether and I generally do not recommend that if amalgam fillings are still in place.

Question: I was wondering if should I detox first before using candida products?

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: You may feel a little better if your detox pathways are open, but I often treat candida and detox simultaneously. If you are extremely sensitive perhaps start with very low doses

Question: I am desperately searching for help to connect my daughter’s symptoms to the mild found in our home.

Dr. Tanner’s Answer: I would recommend urine mycotoxin testing and environmental mycotoxin testing. Combining the two will show a correlation if one is present.