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Mold Illness Treatment Clinic in Carmel, IN

Read more to learn about signs and causes of Mold Illness.

But other people aren’t sick?

I think I might have mold illness, but the other people in my house are fine. They think I’m just crazy. Am I?

When we talk about mold illness that could mean different things to different people. People may worry about having a large amount of mold living in their bodies or that they are highly allergic to mold. While those can happen, the first one is pretty rare and the second would allow for pretty full resolution of symptom quickly upon leaving the moldy environment which doesn’t seem to happen with most people who are afraid they have mold illness.

Generally speaking, we are talking about a third, more common condition known as mold biotoxin illness a.k.a. Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). In CIRS the person usually is genetically susceptible and exposed to a moldy building. This can be done with a simple blood test.

Imagine you live in a clean, bustling city with lots of job opportunities, growing businesses, arts, entertainment and parks, and best of all a low crime rate. But then one day a notorious gang shows up and crimes begin to escalate. At first the police do their best, but as it turns out, the police force in this city just isn’t that strong. In fact, their detective unit simply had no training on this particular threat and is completely stumped at how to respond. The crimes get worse and worse until one day there is utter chaos in the streets. The mayor in conjunction with the state’s governor calls a state of emergency. They call in detectives from the FBI who eventually sort out the problem, find the gang members and put them away. Only then is the state of emergency lifted.

But suppose there is no FBI. Suppose there are no other detectives to help out. If that happens, then the state of emergency will go on and on forever. What happens in CIRS is that the biotoxins are like the gang attacking you. The police are doing their best to fight the attack but they aren’t great at it and that fight itself is causing a lot of chaos -read inflammation in your body. But to really finish the work they need the detectives and the FBI. Lots of people are exposed to water damaged buildings, but almost everyone who has this condition is genetically deficient in police detectives who can actually find the criminals systemically and root them out. Since they don’t have the detectives, if help doesn’t come from somewhere the state of emergency never lifts.

Part of the reason the you might have mold biotoxin illness living in a water damaged building while someone else doesn’t is that you may have genetics that make you more susceptible to having a hard time getting rid of the toxins (no good detectives) and when they build up, they cause trouble. The other person likely has them also, but if he feels OK, he likely doesn’t have the susceptible genetics.

Another issue can be at play, however. We find that for many people it’s not only genetics and exposure but often the addition of a third thing that really seems to be the final push that flips the switch of CIRS. The third thing could be an even longer exposure to mold or a deeper exposure or a very traumatic life stress or getting an infection like Lyme that is a real threat to the immune system.

This explains why a person who is genetically susceptible to mold might have been exposed to some degree earlier in life but not seem to have suffered from it as much as later. It also provides another element of explanation for the difference between people in how they respond to mold.

Even if a person who was genetically susceptible CIRS were not yet having the full blow symptoms of it in a water damaged building, every day that she was in the building she’s been veering closer and closer to the day she did develop CIRS, so it would be important to know how safe the environment was even before symptoms arise.

To answer you more directly, no, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy.

Bruce Thomas, MD