Doctors Have to Take Precautions to Treat Mold Patients
By Cesar Collado
Let me begin by saying that good physicians who understand and effectively treat mold illness are very hard to find. One common characteristic I have observed (from speaking with physicians who treat mold patients) is that many have either personally experienced or have a family member who has gone through the trials and tribulations of mold illness. They know too well the debilitating and chronic disease state as well as the slow healing process. They have followed the treatment plan and prescriptions (hygiene, supplements, and medicines). This firsthand experience provides them with an entirely different perspective of the significant unmet medical need for environmental illness awareness and treatment.
As a result, some address a “calling” to treat this population. To do so, their practices may have to re-invent themselves to serve these patients. Alterations to typical office procedures may include the following:
- More time scheduled with patients to get the full picture of previous medical history and indoor environments;
- New treatment modalities to help patients detoxify their bodies to reverse the inflammatory response;
- The use of natural and pharmaceutical binders to help patients excrete toxins from their bodies;
- Behavioral and nutritional counseling on eating changes to assist the patients in starving the fungus from their digestive systems;
- Teaching of mold hygiene modalities, like having patients rinse their nasal passages daily;
- Finally, convincing the patients to get out of the moldy homes and into safe places and/or having their homes remediated for mold before reentering.
The last point on the list is always the hardest, but must be done for lasting recovery. It is universally believed and often experienced that patients who stay in moldy environments do not heal! For that reason, it is not uncommon for a doctor to ask a patient if they are willing to move from their home prior to even the first visit. Again, no medicine, procedure, or treatment will help a patient reachwellness if they stay in a moldy environment. Dr. Dennis often provides an analogy and suggest patients ‘treat mold situation as if their home as infested with lice’. This often resonates with many patients.
When mold patients visit the Doctor from a moldy environment, the often bring the mold with them on their bodies and on their clothes into the doctor’s office. I have been told by office staff they can often “smell” the mold. In some cases, they can determine the mold species based on the specific odor. Dr. Dennis takes precautionary steps to protect the staff and other patients in his facility from mold exposure, as cross-contamination and even small exposures can be a real medical threat to sensitive people.
I have since had the opportunity to speak to two other functional physicians that treat mold. Their responses were alarming. One physician located in the Atlanta area, Dr. Gena Mastrogianakis, is a functional medicine and family physician. She had to modify her approach to mold patients. Because of her personal mold sensitivity, this young, excellent physician must use telemedicine during initial visits to get the process started. She has to have the patient remove mold from their environment before they can see her in an in-person office visit. Another very reputable Atlanta physician decided to sell her practice and retire due to the physical toll treating mold patients has taken on her over the years. In both cases, the doctors had to prioritize their own health to be able to continue to practice medicine.
Dr Dennis’ Practice-Mold Plate Tap Testing
Dr. Dennis performs a tap test on all patient’s clothing along with other triage diagnostics for mold. A couple years back, we took a blinded view of the mold test plates for 76 new patients. 97% of the patients
tested positive for mold on their clothes. 63% of those tested were positive for mold species that produce mycotoxins. In addition, 37% also tested positive for Candida. This is an interesting fact because the presence of candida on the plate cultures likely comes from the patient’s breath while setting the test plates out.
These figures are strong indicators that either their homes, offices, or cars have significant amounts of mold. Mold can hitchhike on clothing from furniture or the air. It can also survive and reproduce on clothing or any other organic matter. As you can see, mold tracking from place to place is a real threat and can become problematic.
Safety Precautions at the Drs. Office
To protect himself, his staff, and for general safety, Dr. Dennis’ staff fogs the entire office, waiting room, and each exam room with the EC3 SANI+TIZER fogger and EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate daily.
In addition, for mold patients, the staff sometimes requires that the patient themselves be fogged with EC3 Mold Concentrate. The product is safe and all-natural and cannot hurt the patient, even when aerosolized as a mist.
I volunteered to be fogged just to experience it. It was quick, harmless, had no smell, and took less than a minute. It was a very fine mist and did not leave my clothing damp. Inhaling the mist was refreshing in my opinion.
Practitioner Safety Precautions
Dr. Dennis also takes steps to directly protect himself and the patients during any office procedures. Because of his proximity to the patients, he wears full surgical gear. The patients are protected with it as well. Dr. Dennis also inhales 100% oxygen while conducting procedures. This ensures he is not inhaling any mold or mycotoxins and also improves his body’s ability to process the toxins and to detoxify. Afterwards, he sometimes has his staff fog him too.
Watching this practice and approach to mold safety reminded me of several compelling facts:
- Living in a moldy environment is not only harmful to the occupants, but, it can be harmful to others. “Stowaway” mold can contaminate cars and other environments, exposing others to this safety hazard;
- Good mold physicians are hard to find. The passionate physicians I know have had some personal connections to mold illness, causing them to modify their practices and behaviors to allow appropriate time to investigate mold as a cause to chronic illness;
- The environmental physician’s whom I spoke to emphasized that exposure to mold in any environment is a health hazard. I had the opportunity to discuss this with a physician who takes numerous precautions to protect himself, staff, and patients. I spoke to another physician where exposure to mold impacts her health, and another who had chosen to retire at a relatively young age;
- It may be telling to see if your physician practices mold precautions in their practice. If they truly understand mold illness, it would seem like they should be doing something to protect their office environment, if not for themselves, for their other patients. Feel free to ask them about it;
- Fogging with the EC3 SANI+TIZER Fogger and EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate is a quick, safe, and painless means to stay safe;
- EC3 Mold Screening Test Plates and Mold Diagnostic Tests have immense informational value. I believe these tests provide visual and compelling evidence to change behaviors and to begin the path to making an environment safe.
- Regularly using EC3 Laundry Additive is an easy and inexpensive solution to make sure our clothing and linens are not harboring mold and mycotoxin “stow aways”.