Mold Toxicity and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)
An individual’s response to mold exposure is based on any number of contributing factors, making the symptoms and diseases that may result extremely difficult to identify. In fact, a growing body of research suggests that a strong – and largely ignored – contributor of biotoxin illness and other chronic diseases is multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
MCS is not an allergy. Allergic symptoms produce reactions such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes and inflammation, and usually respond to shots and other desensitization techniques. MCS reaction is of a toxic nature and results in neurological symptoms ranging in severity from mild to disabling.
Individuals suffer with symptoms when exposed to low levels of biotoxins and toxic chemicals in the environment. MCS is, based on studies showing impaired detoxification, more attuned to chronic poisoning.
Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing MCS. Problems basically start when an individual is exposed to a biotoxin, often having a sudden onset characterized by severe depression, fatigue, anorexia, chills, fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and shortness of breath.
It is truly astounding how the chemicals surrounding us in our day-to-day lives can affect our families’ health. Exposure to biotoxin and other environmental pollutants, such as solvents, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), perfumes, gasoline and diesel, smoke, household chemicals in general, pollent, house dust mites, pet fur and dander and mold, can create acute and chronic illness. Avoidance of chemical triggers is essential to maintaining functional capacity. This is often difficult to achieve as fragrances and chemicals which have neurotoxic effects are all around us.
People suffering from MCS can also be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, cancer, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Inflammatory Response (CIRS), neuro-immune illnesses and autoimmune disorders.
CIRS is a cluster of symptoms that affect multiple systems in the body. It is an unusually severe sensitivity to biotoxins, neurotoxins, toxic metabolic products and cell wall fragments from filamentous molds that occur in water managed buildings. The problem is chronic, reproducible and ongoing.
Biotoxin exposure to many people may not create a response, because the biotoxin is tagged and identified by the immune systems and broken down/removed. However, about 25% of the population has a genetic makeup that makes their bodies unable to recognize and process toxins. These toxins get recirculated and they trigger an ongoing chronic inflammatory response. Some people with defective antibody production can remain sick even after they have been removed from the exposure.
If you are suffering from MCS or CIRS, it is critical to:
- Clean up your indoor air by investing in a high quality air filter.
- Eliminate harmful household products from your environment. Get rid of the bleach and replace with natural options.
- Keep the humidity level in your home below 50%.
- Clean the mold out of your home. This is not a job for you if you are sick. Ask a family member or friend to help (make sure they wear proper protective clothing) or for larger invasions, hire a professional.
- Follow a low mold diet. For more information, click here.
- Remove toxins from your system with binders and other natural detox methods. For more information on binders, click here.
1. www.ei-resources.org; Researchers Confirm Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is Poisoning, Not Allergy by Lourdes Salvador
2. Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment by Kellyn Milani, ND
3. Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome-CIS by Karen D. Johnson M.D., ABOIM, IFMCP