Florida Conference Focuses on Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
By: BioDesign Wellness Center StaffRequest A Call From Us
“Mold Sickness” is an immunologic disease that is brought about by exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building that becomes a haven for toxic microbes and harmful chemicals. These “dangerous buildings” promote the growth of bacteria, microbes, fragments of microbes, and fungi, and residents or people working in these buildings who are harmed by these conditions often suffer a systemic inflammatory response syndrome known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).
Physicians, researchers, medical providers and indoor environmental experts have been studying CIRS for years, and much progress has been made. And late last month, during a four-day conference convened in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., current breakthroughs and updates about the mold epidemic facing this country were presented.
Meeting of the Minds
Called Meeting of the Minds, the conference was attended by BioDesign Wellness Center’s own functionally medicine-trained Dr. Matt Lewis, DC, DACBN, CFMP®; and BioDesign medical director Dr. Winston Cope, M.D. During the conference, Dr. Lewis passed his certification test for the Shoemaker Protocol and is currently completing that certification. The protocol features the most recent advances in the understanding and treatment of CIRS.
One of the more dismaying effects of this debilitating condition are the number of symptoms that can arise as a result of the sufferer residing or working in a water-damaged building. According to Dr. Richie Shoemaker of the Center for Research on Biotoxin Associated Illnesses (CRBAI), mold disease presents itself most often with symptoms of brain fog and a loss of acuity, memory, or concentration.
Dr. Craig Tanio, a CIRS-certified physician and another Meeting of the Minds speaker, supported cognitive decline as a major symptom of mold sickness sufferers. He cited recent literature that connects living environments and lifestyle factors to Alzheimer’s disease in a number of CIRS cases. Dr. Tanio also said research has shown an improvement in cognitive function for those who receive treatment (this based on more than 100 case studies that have been documented and will soon be published about).
Unveiling Markers for Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Unfortunately, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome symptoms are not limited to mental acuity or brain disease. Because the illness affects multiple systems in the body, it presents itself in multiple symptoms. Several symposium speakers listed many of these markers that might point to mold illness, including:
- Fatigue, weakness and muscle cramps
- Red eyes, blurred vision, light sensitivity, tearing
- Sinus issues, coughing, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, diarrhea
- Mood swings, appetite swings
- Night sweats, excessive thirst, increased urination, metallic taste
- Tremors, numbness, tingling, vertigo
Kellyn Milani ND, another CIRS-certified medical practitioner and Meeting of the Mindsspeaker, claimed the average mold sufferer has nearly two dozen symptoms when presenting for treatment — and this was several years after exposure to mold within a water-damaged building and post remediation. Milani said that — following correction of CIRS using the Shoemaker Protocol — most of those patients experienced fewer than five symptoms.
Dr. Scott McMahon, a pediatrician, discussed how, in a number of cases, symptoms for CIRS are similar to those affecting sufferers of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), Childhood Acute Neuropsychiatric Symptoms(CANS), and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). In his Meeting of the Minds lecture, Dr. McMahon said most of his pediatric patients are responding to the Shoemaker Protocol and avoiding antibiotics, while recovering from what was initially diagnosed as PANS.
A Warning about Antifungals and Antimicrobials
In addition to practitioners and physicians, the Meeting of the Mindsessions included talks by Indoor Environmental Professionals, who discussed means of checking and remediating “dangerous buildings.” There were also fungal experts discussing lab analysis. Among those speakers was environmental health scientist Jon Banta of RestCon Environmental, who warned against antifungals and antimicrobials to eradicate mold in a building. He said antimicrobials can’t kill the mycotoxins from the mold or the endotoxins from the bacteria. Instead, higher amounts of toxic materials end up spilling out of the spores or bacteria on site.
His bottom line: You can’t just kill mold. You have to remove it.
It was back in 1998 when Dr. Shoemaker began using Cholestyramine — a prescription binder — to successfully treat patients with Pfisteria, a toxin found in wilderness settings. However, he soon noticed that some of his patients remained ill. He found that these patients had a generic predisposition in the Human Leukocyte Antigen gene complex that recognizes antigens and binds them. And he discovered it wasn’t just the Pfisteria toxin that could do this. He found that people living or working in water-damaged buildings could be exposed to a number of toxins due to mold buildup. After more research, Dr. Shoemaker named this malady Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).
Over the last two decades, researchers discovered that a quarter of the nation’s population have genetic defects that put them at risk when exposed. Over that same time, most patients with mold issues were misdiagnosedwith Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. Here in Tampa, where we’re exposed to high levels of humidity and therefore higher levels of mold than other regions of the country, we especially need to be concerned with the fact that 50 percent of all buildings in the United States are currently water damaged. Last month’s conference saw hundreds of participants on hand, many who shared their data that now support’s Dr. Shoemaker’s initial hypothesis.
The Emergence of Ttranscriptomics
With respect to CIRS, the Shoemaker protocol is now utilizing transcriptomic techniquesto show hypometabolism at the genetic level in real time. Genes provide codes to make proteins through mRNA. Transcriptomics shows which proteins are being formed by sequencing the mRNA.
What this means is we can now study not just what DNA you have inherited, but how it is expressing. This differs drastically from a static 23&me test. SNP testing (single nucleotide polymorphisms) as in 23&me tells you if you have a three- or five-lane highway. What it doesn’t tell you is whether there is congestion or traffic on the highway. Transcriptomics can read the traffic patterns, providing up-to-date information.
For the past few years, the doctors and staff at BioDesign Wellness Center have been at the forefront in diagnosing and treating mold-related illnesses — including CIRS. We go to great lengths to keep current on mold-related illness by attending seminars, conferences and meetings of the mind like the one held last month in Fort Lauderdale.
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Disclaimer: The information in this blog post about the event named ‘Meeting of the Minds,’is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current medical thinking or practices. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from the medical staff at BioDesign Wellness Center, Inc., nor is this post intended to be a substitute for medical counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed medical professional in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.