Seasonal Mold Allergies, Chronic Fungal Sinusitis, Neurological symptoms, Chronic Inflammation or Mold-Induced Illness/Toxicity
By Cesar Collado
Mold is a year-round antigen that is often untreated by physicians in the general population. There are tens of millions of mold sufferers with different diagnoses that have one thing in common: their physicians don’t consider mold’s role in illness. Further, most physicians are highly unlikely to seek to find the cause of a patient’s symptoms, continuous inhalation of mold and/or mycotoxins in the air.
Mold levels in homes can have a profound impact on wellness and quality of life. The cause of the mold ranges from minor water leaks, indoor moisture issues, flooding, ground water management, to severely water-damaged homes. There are numerous publications linking water-damaged homes with many severely and chronically ill patients.
I think it is helpful to characterize some of the subpopulations of mold patients and the solutions required to address the mold component of their symptoms or disease. This way, we can understand the magnitude of efforts required to mitigate the causes in the most effective means available. Addressing the the medical intervention required to help these patients is also important. Sometimes the patient will need to leave a sick home due to the severity of their illness and symptoms. Sometimes, the patient can opt to fix the problem, but fixing household mold issues can become an intimidating and expensive measure. In the end, it is quality of life that should determine the price to get well. Traditional medicine simply does not take this into consideration. Physicians typically continue to treat intractable illness by adding medicines to treat patients without a consideration of repercussions or symptom causes. Then, the burden to find the environmental components falls on the mold sufferers and their families.
Mold Sufferers Characterized
While all mold sufferers have quality of life issues, patients have a range of possible solutions that can improve their situation. The more severe the illness, the more addressing the environment and air should require serious consideration. Read More…
Chronic seasonal allergy sufferers often find relief with physician-prescribed OTC medications, such as antihistamines, nasal steroids, and decongestions. There are many brands of each of these medications, all sold OTC. It often takes trial and error to find the right brands and combinations to alleviate symptoms. It is estimated that the ideal combination is found by just over half of the users and most endure the allergy season sub-optimally but functional.
When mold is identified as a contributor to allergies via an immunoglobulin blood test, rinsing with a nasal rinse system and saline solution becomes a critical element to alleviate symptoms. Rinsing out the mold spores twice daily removes mold and mucous, allowing the nasal lining to heal while indoors at home, where pollen and mold levels are significantly less.
Rinsing with CitriDrops Dietary Supplement adds an antifungal component to the rinsing process. This actually gets at the mold piece of the allergic reaction. Sinus Defense is effective in helping the body identify the various mold allergens, so that the body’s innate immune system can eliminate the foreign invader as the first line of defense once it penetrates the body. The power of harnessing our innate immune system is often overlooked. How Sinus Defense works?
Chronic Rhino Sinusitis (“CRS”) & Chronic Fungal Sinusitis
It is estimated that approximately 30-40 M people in the US suffer from CRS. CRS is marked by a sinus infection that occurs at least 12 weeks out of each year. Chronic sinusitis is an illness that can feel as symptomatically miserable as congestive heart failure or rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed.
CRS is treated with many of the same treatments as allergies plus antibiotics to kill the bacterial infection. Unfortunately, antibiotics do not work on fungi or mold. A study by the Mayo Clinic showed that 96 percent of patients with CRS studied have fungus in their mucous.1. In these cases, the fungus is not killed, and the sinus infection remains, sometimes through several rounds and weeks on different antibiotics. It is often not addressed until mold colonizes in the sinuses and a “fungal ball” is visually identifiable in the mucous or sinuses and physically removed via rinsing or surgery. Traditional medicine is often too late or gets it wrong when it comes to chronic fungal sinusitis.
When a patient has chronic sinusitis, twice daily rinsing with a nasal wash system becomes as necessary as brushing their teeth to remove mold, biofilms, and mucous from the nasal passages to eventually clear the sinuses so they can heal. Unfortunately, when a patient has chronic sinusitis, the mold counts in the home must be investigated—something is causing the patient to be continuously exposed to the mold that is making them sick. Homes should be tested for mold and any water leaks or humidity issues need to investigated. (How to check your home for moisture.) In addition to finding the water source and fixing it, cleaning the home with EC3 Mold Solution Sprayor fogging with the EC3 SANI+TIZER fogger and EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate can be valuable tools for keeping fungal counts down. If mold counts to not stay down, the HVAC system must be investigated. If contaminated with mold, the HVAC system will distribute moldsystemically throughout the home via the ventilation system. EC3 air purification candles (DON’T FORGET TO ADD THE LINK) will remove mold and mycotoxins in the immediate area where you relax. The regular use of a HEPA Air Purifier will also remove mold and particulates from your air consistently.
In addition, the patient’s diet has to be considered. Sugars and simple carbohydrates feed fungi and fungal growth in the body. This becomes a concern when a person is consistently exposed to mold in their indoor environments. In many cases, Candida overgrowth can occur causing inflammation, GI problems, and gastroesophageal reflux in sinusitis patients. (Learn about Candida and Sinusitis) In most of these cases, an antifungal diet is highly recommended to starve the fungi in the body. Read about Dr. Dennis’ Candida Diet. An antifungal diet can both starve fungus from the body and can suppress the onset of full-blown autoimmune disease and treatment. To learn more about gut health and why modern diets cause inflammation, click HERE.
Chronic Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease
Mold-induced systemic inflammation can contribute to autoimmune disease. Alternatively, mold-induced
inflammation can worsen symptoms of a diagnosed autoimmune disease. Inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Grave’s Disease, Lupus, and several different variations of these diseases have become common in our population. Inflammatory disease requires an anti-inflammatory lifestyle for proper management. Diet and a mold-free environment are essential elements in disease management. In many cases, they can help patients to potentially avoid or decrease the utilization of expensive biological medicines. These medicines can cost $20-30,000 / year.
Neurological Symptoms Caused by Mold Exposure
When patients experience neurological symptoms often associated with chronic sinusitis, mold and mycotoxin exposure should be considered, but is often ignored. A patient without chronic sinusitis suffering from neurological symptoms should consider mold mycotoxins as being the potential cause. Symptoms include brain fog, memory problems, dizziness, headache, migraine, joint pain, and severe neuromotor disorders, such as tremors.
In rare cases, motor functions are impacted. Ataxia includes, but is not limited to slurred speech, stumbling, falling, twitching, and incoordination. When suffering from these symptoms, testing the environment for mold can provide valuable clues as to why these things are happening. Then, a patient can address these issues before the vast array of medical testing occurs, which is what happens when they visit a neurologist. In my article “Taking Mold off the Table”, I describe that testing for mold is inexpensive, quick, and can help give you and your physician an opportunity to rule out mold and mycotoxins.
The alternative solution that does not consider mold starts with seeing a neurologist, followed by diagnostics such as MRIs, CT scans, and blood tests. While these tests can show the need for intervention, they take time and are very expensive. Diagnostics are also often not conclusive; therefore, pharmaceutical intervention begins with a choice or combination of antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, benzodiazepines, and pain medications. These medications carry their own neurological side effects that can mirror or be as impactful as the disease symptoms themselves. These medications carry efficacy rates that are marginally higher than placebo. When the initial medication doesn’t work, another medication may be prescribed to replace it, or another may be added. Each round of medications can take months to work and quality of life may not improve. Rarely do patients suffering from mold or mycotoxins find relief from a doctor that does not consider the environment as the potential cause. I have witnessed patients who have been chronically ill for years and even decades get well in a matter of months when mold and mycotoxins are finally considered.
Taking mold off the table is inexpensive and fast. They may delay the neurological intervention for weeks; however, they may lead down a path that eliminates the cause of the symptoms and promotes detoxification by the body to eliminate toxins. Wellness and quality of life often come sooner with this approach.
Severe Chronic Illness
Many patients that are severely ill go through years of seeing numerous doctors, obtaining various diagnostics, and trying many different medicines; however, they remain sick and debilitated. In many cases, they may be diagnosed with a “disease of exclusion.” This means that the physician cannot definitely determine the cause and uses a diagnosis, like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Epstein’s Barr virus, Chronic Pain, etc. to just give the patient some information. Integrative and mold physicians will ask questions about the environment and patient history to find out if their home may be water damaged or contaminated with mold.
Once mold is identified, it is not inexpensive to remediate and fix the problem. However, people living in contaminated environments will never get well until they leave or fix the home properly and get medical help to detoxify their bodies over time. The journey is not easy and is costly; however, quality of life or wellness should be the goal. In most cases, the cost of fixing the home, modifying behaviors and diet, and seeking integrative medical care to get better is minor compared to the human and health care costs endured by patients and their families who go another route. You can read about these costs and some means to frame and address these issues in “The Direct, Indirect, and Human Costs of Mold Illness”.
Mold and mycotoxins can be tipping points to exacerbate symptoms of many chronic illnesses. For example, patients with Epstein’s Barr virus get exponentially more symptomatic when exposed to mold. Healing for virtually every disease or illness can delayed when a patient is continuously inhaling mold and suffering from chronic inflammation.
Maximum Therapy for Mold and Mycotoxins
While every physician approaches mold illness using products and modalities of their choice, I can share the proven method used by Dr. Dennis with his sinus patients that meet the severely chronically ill criteria. This therapy sometimes comes in addition to surgery to remove fungal colonies in their sinuses. You can read more details about this approach in “What is Maximum Therapy for Fungal Sinusitis?” This approach may include surgery to remove fungus and treatment to address the fungal infection, detoxification of the body, diet, and the most important element, clean air.
IT IS A COMMON UNDERSTANDING AMONGST MOLD AND INTEGRATIVE PHYSICIANS THAT NO SURGERY, MEDICINE, DIET, OR TREATMENT MODALITY WILL BE EFFECTIVE IF THE PATIENT CONTINUES TO LIVE IN A MOLDY ENVIRONMENT.
Homeopathic support is also employed to support the body’s innate defenses to mitigate exposure to mold. Sinus Defense is sublingual transfer factor that aids the body in identifying foreign invaders. Regular use also enables the body’s immediate T cell response to eliminate threats quicker and with more efficiency. This is because the transfer factor has capitalized on the body’s innate immune system’s ability to identify and to remember marked threats. You could liken the way that it works to immunotherapy for mold. BetaMax 500 is beta glucan which increases the body’s ability to produce macrophages. It is synergistic with Sinus Defense CellTropin provides support for the pituitary system. The pituitary gland sits adjacent to the sphenoid sinuses and brain and controls eight hormonal systems in the body. Pituitary damage often occurs for mold patients, because mycotoxin-producing mold in the sinus shuts down normal hormonal function. This is likely a defense mechanism of the body, but can result in symptoms, like chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout, insomnia, and anxiety, just to name a few. CellTropin provides pituitary and adrenal factors that stimulate the body to produce the down-regulated hormones. This can help endocrine and immune function to turn back on, so that the patient can achieve homeostasis and get better faster.
If you have any questions or would like to comment on this article, please comment in the comment section.
- Ponikau JU1, et. al. The Diagnosis and Incidence of Allergic Fungal Sinusitis. Mayo Clin Proc. 1999 Sep;74(9):877-84.