Mold Tests vs Mold Avoidance?
Mold is often what is keeping patients from complete recovery.
By Lonnie Marcum
According to Dr. Raj Patel, if you have been treated for chronic Lyme disease and are not getting better, toxic mold could be a contributing factor.
Dr. Patel has over 20 years’ clinical experience in medicine, treating chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, mold illness, autism and related conditions.
He recently shared information and insights about his approach to Lyme and mold at LymeDisease.org’s MyLymeData2017 conference in San Ramon, California.
Exposure to Lyme and mold are very common occurrences, Dr. Patel says, but not all people who are exposed will come down with symptoms. Patients with a strong immune system may be unaffected, but those with a weakened immune system, or other contributing factors, can become chronically ill.
The signs and symptoms for mold illness are very similar to chronic Lyme disease:
Dr. Patel’s backstory is particularly intriguing. He suffered years of progressive fatigue after attending medical school in New Jersey before finally being diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease.
Years later, after repeated exposure to a water-damaged building, he came down with mold illness and all of his Lyme symptoms came back. The treatment he recommends to his patients is the same method he used to heal himself.
According to Dr. Patel, common genetic defects seen in patients with mold illness are within the methylation detox pathways (MTHFR), and the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLAs).
We each receive a set of genes from our parents, so any person has the potential for no defects, to be heterozygous (1 defect from 1 parent) or homozygous (2 defects—1 from each parent).
MTHFR is a gene that instructs the human body on how to convert folic acid from the foods we eat to a usable form of Vitamin B called methyl-folate. Methyl-folate is involved in the proper function of almost every system in the human body including: cell repair, making neurotransmitters (that control sleep, moods, memory), metabolizing fats, activating the immune system and clearing the body of toxins and heavy metals.
People who have methylation defects will have more difficulty healing from infections and clearing toxins like mold and heavy metal.
HLAs are antigens that are found on the surface of nearly every human cell in the body. These antigens help the immune system identify foreign invaders.
If there is a defect on an HLA gene a person will have difficulty clearing toxins and infections. Approximately 24% of the normal population carry an HLA defect, making them more susceptible to mold illness.
Dr. Patel says mold is the number one cause of uncontrolled inflammation involving the innate immune system. Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) happens when repeated exposure to toxins causes the immune system to go haywire. CIRS can be triggered by the combination of mycotoxins, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other inflammatory toxins found in water-damaged environments.
Over time, this inflammation causes damage in the following:
Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) is a DNA analysis of settled dust collected in buildings to determine the concentration of 36 species of mold associated with water-damaged buildings. For more information on ERMI see mycometrics.com
Dr. Patel recommends using the ERMI cloth method, and collecting samples from each room in the building where dust has settled for 4-6 weeks. The top shelf, above cabinets, above door jams, along baseboards, above ceiling fans are all good places for collecting dust.
For two-story buildings, he recommends using two separate ERMI kits. If the ERMI score comes back borderline, clean the building then re-test. If the score comes back with high levels of mold, it is considered a dangerous living environment for those with mold illness.
Patients with severe mold illness will need to decide whether to remodel (remediate) or remove themselves permanently from the environment.
There is no single test for detecting mold illness in humans. In addition to a full workup that would include testing for autoimmune diseases, he recommends testing for specific hormones and inflammatory markers as listed below.
Tests for detecting chronic inflammation specific to Lyme and mold illness:
*For more information on laboratory testing see SurvivingMold.com
Dr. Patel says, “quite simply, the more mold exposure is avoided, the faster the patient responds to antimicrobials.”
Dr. Patel is board-certified in Family Medicine and has completed extensive post-graduate studies in autism spectrum disorders, Lyme disease and mold illness. He is an active member of Defeat Autism Now (DAN) and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), and has completed advanced training in pediatric Lyme disease. He currently practices integrative medicine at Medical Options for Wellness in Foster City, California.
LymeSci is written by Lonnie Marcum, a Licensed Physical Therapist and mother of a daughter with Lyme. Follow her on Twitter: @ Email her at: email@example.com .
Webinar Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SdjXQbfmQQiOa4p8s0b7ew
Published on Mar 15, 2019
Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by Dr. Kelly McCann, a public health expert who discusses Lyme Disease, mold and environmental toxins.
Dr. McCann is on staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., and has been in private practice in Costa Mesa, Calif., since 2008. She founded Partners in Health at the Spring Center in August 2009.
Dr. McCann received a bachelor’s degree in music from Brown University and a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany. She went on to receive her doctor of medicine degree and simultaneously earned a master’s in public health (MPH) in tropical medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. She completed both an internal medicine residency at Banner Samaritan Medical Center and a pediatrics residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix.
Dr. McCann practiced medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine where she worked and trained with renowned Dr. Andrew Weil as one of 35 distinguished fellows in residence throughout the world. After completion of the fellowship, Dr. McCann became certified in medical acupuncture through the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, studied environmental medicine and chelation with Dr. Walter Crinnion and biotoxins with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker and membrane medicine with Dr. Patricia Kane.
Dr. McCann is certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine and also Board Certified in Integrative Medicine by the American Board of Physician Specialties. Dr. McCann completed a master’s in spiritual psychology at the University of Santa Monica in August 2010. She was named to the newly created Board of the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness.
She lectures internationally on mold, lyme and environmental toxins. She lives in Costa Mesa with her husband, his daughter and their dog and cat. She enjoys yoga, dancing with her partner and traveling.
“© [October 10,2018] [https://drjaydavidson.com/mold-in-the-home/?inf_contact_key=bcb84d711f60d57a7d1c96dfe3f12451ae791a1d2419e622fbda3ee5db9bca9e] This content is distributed and reproduced with the permission of DrJayDavidson.com”
Humans and mold have always had a tenuous living arrangement. At times, mold has willingly obliged our efforts to make beer, wine, and cheese from grains, fruit, and milk, as depicted in ancient Egyptian art.
At other times, mold has invaded and imposed upon us, often with dire consequences. Mold was to blame for destroying the entirety of Ireland’s potato crop, resulting in the Great Famine of 1845-1849. Rightfully dubbed the Great Hunger, it left over one million people dead of starvation.
Mold’s harmful effects on human health and well-being are well-documented. Inspection, evaluation, and remediation of mold is an age-old and enduring need. A home mold management protocol, or “cleansing of defiling mold,” is outlined in the Book of Leviticus, from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Bible even recommends that when mold in a home is persistent and continues to spread, the structure must be torn down!
So why must we have a conversation about mold in the present day? One would think with all our sanitizers, fungicides, pre-treatments, and technologies, that mold would be a non-issue in the modern age. Still, mold continues to be a challenging issue, one that is highly exacerbated by the stresses of contemporary living. Certain stresses add a heavy load to the body’s toxic burden, including:
• Chemical toxicity. Thousands upon thousands of chemicals have been created, a very high percentage of which have never been individually tested for safety, and most definitely have not been tested for safety in combination with other chemicals.
• Digital toxicity from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are known to produce undesirable biological effects.1 WiFi signals, in particular, are known to exacerbate mold growth and cause the biological mycotoxins released by mold to be more plentiful, potent, and pathogenic.
• Emotional stress is an epidemic in today’s society. Demands and expectations required and put on individuals in our contemporary culture overtax our emotional and physical tolerance.
In the 1990s the Harvard School of Public Health, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO) coined the term “burden of disease,” which defines loss of health and death due to injuries, diseases, and risk factors. Sadly, mold in the home increases the burden of disease.2
So, think about it. The mold in your home that was hurriedly wiped off or painted and caulked over, maybe not by you, but by the previous owners, could contribute to illness and death for you and your family. Furthermore, this hidden, health-destroying mold danger is present in buildings where you work, worship, shop, or go to school as well.
Mold illness, also known as “mold mycotoxicosis,” has harmful effects on the immune system, the central and peripheral nervous systems, and the respiratory organs including the lungs, sinuses, and throat. It’s associated with an across-the-board inflammatory response and generalized irritation to many organs and systems.3 Mycotoxicosis can occur when molds are inhaled, ingested, or come in contact with the skin.
Mold illness has a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to:
Toxic byproducts, known as mycotoxins, are produced by many species of mold.4 Over 200 types of mycotoxin have been identified, and many more have yet to be cataloged through ongoing research.
Mold mycotoxins can cause disease and death in humans and animals.5 They range from mild to moderately irritating issues like athlete’s foot to critical and deadly cases such as invasive aspergillosis. The symptoms of mycotoxicity depend on:
Nutrient deficiency, infectious disease status, alcohol and substance abuse, caloric deprivation, and exposure to EMFs can increase the severity of mycotoxin poisoning. Additionally, mycotoxicoses can exacerbate and enhance the effect of malnutrition and microbial diseases like Lyme and related co-infections. Furthermore, they can combine synergistically with other toxins to overburden the body’s toxic load.
There are many well-recognized types of mold in homes and buildings. A few of the most common are:
No matter how old or new house is, it can have a mold problem. That’s because mold spores inhabit both indoor and outdoor environments, and their source is not age dependent.
Mold gets in the home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and cooling units. It also hitches a ride into the house on shoes, clothing, bags, backpacks, and pets. You can also bring mold into your home with clothing and furnishings obtained second-hand or from thrift shops.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends these measures to control mold:9
Recommendations and tips for moisture and mold prevention include:10
Evaluate mold in your home by conducting a thorough home walk-through. Take your time and inspect every part of your house. Look at places where water flows or could enter the house. Look underneath things. Pull out and look behind them, too. Think back and do your best to recall all previous water incidents.
Pay attention to these house-wide considerations:
Heating and cooling
Kitchen and bathrooms. Look for plumbing leaks around or under:
Attics or crawl spaces
Your home walk-through could leave you overwhelmed and wondering what to do next. You can seek help from professional mold evaluation, removal, and remediation specialists. Research thoroughly the services available in your locality.
There are a wealth of essential tips and supplement protocols in Dr. Jay’s At-Home Lyme Disease Program that can help you mount an offense against mold’s uninvited and unwelcome invasion. To receive one-on-one advice and support in your quest to remove toxic mold from your home and body, apply for the 1:1 Coaching Program.
So, while your living arrangement with mold may always be contentious, with a bit of help, some steadfast determination, and perseverance you can cleanse mold from your body and turn things around in your home.
Keep in mind that although your battle with mold may seem quite personal, it’s really just part of the human condition. Humanity has been dealing with the unwelcome intrusion of mold since day one.
Upcoming Toxic Mold Summit FREE and online. From Jan. 28-Feb 3, 2019.
Dr. Neil Nathan’s New Book: Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness.
Lauren Tessier, ND is a Naturopathic Physician licensed in the state of Vermont. She received her Bachelors in Premedical Sciences and Health Psychology from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston and later became a Naturopathic Physician at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington.
Her practice, Life After Mold, uses a patient-centered approach to help recover those that are suffering from mold-related illness. She combines naturopathic, functional, and integrative medicine to address the entire person. She is a Shoemaker Certified Physician specializing in the treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) which results from exposure to water-damaged buildings.
In 2011, Hurricane Irene created an unimaginable flood in Waterbury, Vermont, and she was unprepared for what she would see next in her practice. Patients were ill with unexplained rashes, allergies that did not respond to treatment, fatigue, breathing difficulties, neurological complaints, headaches, nausea, and immune system dysfunction. When her normal approaches no longer worked for these patients, she dove deep into mold-related illness.
Her practice is dedicated to helping those suffering with mold, biotoxin, and mycotoxin associated illness resulting from water-damaged buildings. As time passed, she came to the belief that the environment plays a role in all chronic illness. Environmental illness includes mold, heavy metals, glyphosate exposure, chronic infections such as Lyme disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Dr. Tessier is an Executive Board Member of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) which aims to advance medical knowledge surrounding environmentally acquired illness.
In this episode, you will learn about Bau Biologie, or Building Biology, and how to evaluate and improve the health of the external environment in order to improve overall health.
May Dooley, MS, MA, CMC (Council-certified Microbial Consultant) is a former middle school science teacher who loves to educate and empower people with information to improve their environment – and thus, their lives. She has been an environmental consultant for more than 24 years helping people make their home environment healthier.
She leads her clients through the basic steps to assess and create a healthy home which includes air quality, water quality, and reduced exposure to other stressors that may impact health such as electromagnetic fields. Her inspections are interactive, and her clients learn how to measure EMFs, reduce body voltage in their bed, use a laser particle counter to evaluate their vacuum cleaner, and to take samples to explore for mold. She even brings along her microscope and looks at the samples in your home. Once she has evaluated an environment using the principles of Bau Biologie, she provides an easy-to-understand series of steps to improve the environment.
The content of this show is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition. Nothing in today’s discussion is meant to serve as medical advice or as information to facilitate self-treatment. As always, please discuss any potential health-related decisions with your own personal medical authority.