One may not be able to see or smell mold. Yet it may be growing in the home and it is a reason one feels sick, because mold poisoning may be impacting health. How we can know if there is? Funny but, most likely regular doctor won’t be of much help, because conventional medicine doesn’t believe mold exposure is a real root of problem. It is difficult to diagnose someone with mold toxicity- it may mimic many other conditions and symptoms which are nonspecific.

Symptoms of Mold Illness

  • Fatigue, or weakness, post-exercise malaise and also fatigue
  • Memory problems, brain fog and trouble focusing and execute function
  • Muscle cramp, aches and pains, joint pain with no inflammatory arthritis, also persistent nerve pain, “ice pick” pain
  • Headache
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Red eyes, light sensitivity,  and/or blurred vision
  • Sinus problems, coug and, shortness of breath, air hunger and asthma-like symptoms
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Persistent nerve pain, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea, appetite changes
  • Metallic taste
  • Weight gain despite a sufficient effort (weight loss resistance)
  • Night sweats, problems with temperature regulation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Static “shocks”

The Low-down on Mold

Molds are multiple types of fungi which grow in filaments. They reproduce by forming tiny spores which sprout and fly away and they are invisible to the naked eye. Mold grows in warm damp, and humid locations, inside and also outside. Even in a dry location as Arizona or Nevada, mold is a problem if there are water leaks, poorly ventilated bathrooms, also floods.

Mold grows in bathroom, showerhead, or corner near your shower, particularly if it is not well ventilated. Mold can attack your shoes, and pets, clothes, carpets and furniture, books and papers. Mold also can circulate in air system ( recommendation is to change HVAC filters once every  month or three months!)

Moreover water-damaged buildings are creating complicated mixture of contaminants present in the air. It is resulting in a toxic chemical stew. Also, mold produces toxic chemicals- mycotoxins, present on spores and fragments of mold into the air.

1.No single toxin is responsible for all mold illness-rather think of cause as the water-damaged area or building itself.

2.Half of buildings in the United States are water damaged and they are leading to mold growth and potential for mold illness.

Why mold is a problem?

Mold toxicity is in larger category of biotoxin illness, known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). The author of eight books, Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, knows everything about mold and defines CIRS this way:

Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) is acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response which acquired following to exposure to interior environment of a water-damaged building. There resident toxigenic organisms, including and not limited to fungi and bacteria, actinomycetes and mycobacterium as well as inflammagens

24 % of people cannot make adequate antibody response, and they’re comprise over 95 percent of people that are ill from water-damaged buildings.

3.This leads to next topic, and it is the role of DNA in making more or less susceptible to mold illness.

Why Some People Are Susceptible

Aapproximately 24% of the population is genetically vulnerable; have a certain immune response gene (HLA-DR). They have an adverse reaction to mold if exposed to a sufficient quantity.   95 % of mold illness occurs in this so called -subgroup. Additionally, 2 % are particularly susceptible  a “sicker quicker” variation of the genes. If you aren’t susceptible then, your chances are lower but they are not zero.

People genetically mold susceptible aren’t able to recognize specific toxins as toxins- as mold- toxins get recirculated in their bodies. In this case mold, triggers a persistent inflammatory response and most of these folks don’t really know they have a genetic susceptibility. And mold illness got from water-damaged buildings is serious health problem.

4..This illness is not an allergy, but it’s a state of chronic inflammation caused by  immune system that is becoming out of whack.  CIRS doesn’t heal on its own, also will not abate, and continues to provoke illness unless it’s treated properly. Illness is built into DNA and once it is triggered, inflammatory response and resulting symptoms can last for years.

CIRS Defined

Experts have agreed that you need to meet the following criteria to make a diagnosis of CIRS

  1. History, signs and symptoms consistent with biotoxin exposure. With in cases of mold toxicity history includes exposure to toxin-producing molds as it is documented by EPA-approved ERMI test. Other cases (microcystin, ciguatera), history includes likely exposure or laboratory evidence of exposure.
  2. Genetic predisposition to biotoxin-related illness, which is based on identification of HLA susceptible haplotype.
  3. Abnormalities which are documented by Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) test.
  4. Biomarkers consistent with neuroimmune, also vascular and endocrine abnormalities characterize CIRS. History consistent with biotoxin exposure, and susceptible genotype, with abnormal VCS test, means one is very likely to show laboratory abnormalities seen in CIRS.


If you suspect of a problem with mold, follow these steps.

Step 1. Learn about mold illness and start with Dr. Shoemaker who has excellent website and also book- Surviving Mold.

Step 2. Test your home for mold presence. The best test is an ERMI-hire an environmental professional to perform visual inspection. You can also perform an ERMI on your own with one at a lower price (about $325) but, it is helpful if it’s positive only, and it means still you’ll need to hire an environmental professional. We suggest -skip the self-testing.

Step 3. Work with a clinician which is trained with the Shoemaker Protocol.