The harmful effects of mold have been studied for more than 30 years and it has been discovered that mold is a combination of fungi which reproduce by creating small spores that sprout and fly away and the naked eye cannot see them. It thrives in damp, humid, and warm areas, for example, Nevada and Arizona, and areas with lack of poor ventilation and areas prone to flooding or water leakage.
Other places where mold can appear are the bathroom, shower cabin, paper, carpet, on pets, shoes, books, etc. Mold can also circulate in the air system, therefore, regular replacement of the HVAC filters should be done on every three months or so.
Buildings that have been water-damaged encourage the formation of contaminants in the air and dust which form a toxic mixture of chemicals. It also leads to the formation of toxic ingredients known as mycotoxins that remain on fragments of mold released into the air. According to recent review, sinuses may be the cause of persistent mold disease.
Mold toxicity is classified as a biotoxin illnesses and it’s known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. According to the author of Surviving Mold: Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings, R. Shoemaker, MD, this disease is a chronic and acute inflammatory response following the exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building, which includes, but it’s not limited to fungi, mycobacterium, bacteria, etc. He also added that nearly 24% of the world population is genetically prone to mold toxicity due to an immune response gene. Thus, they have an increased risk of mold disease.
Mold illness from water-damaged building is a serious health problem because it’s a condition of chronic inflammation due to a weakened immunity which cannot heal on its own and if left untreated, it can cause other complications, as mentioned previously. Since the disease is built into the DNA, when it gets activated, the symptoms and the inflammatory response may last for a longer period of time.
If a patient meets the following criteria, he/she is diagnosed with CIRS:
- Abnormalities documented by VCS tests
- Genetic predisposition to biotoxin-related illness
- History and symptoms of biotoxin exposure
- Biomarkers consistent with the neuroimmune, vascular, and endocrine abnormalities specific to CIRS
If you suspect exposure to mold and if you experience some of the symptoms we’ve mentioned earlier, you should do more research on mold disease, you need to test mold presence in your home which can be done with an ERMI test or you can hire an environmental professional. What’s more, you should examine your susceptibility to mold disease with the help of a clinician who is trained in the Shoemaker Protocol.