Healing From Mold - The Process

This page contains educational material about Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome due to a water damaged building (CIRS). This is a biotoxin illness that is caused by mold and the interaction between mold, bacteria and chemicals used in building materials. Other biotoxin illnesses have similar signs and symptoms. They are also treated similarly. Some of them are discussed on this site. This information is for educational purposes only.. Nothing in this text is intended to serve as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made only with the guidance of your own personal medical authority. I am doing my best to get this data up quickly and correctly. If you find errors in this data, please let me know.

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People are confused about this process. Although, it is different for each individual and their circumstances folks want to know what can they expect? What does an average individual go through. So, I am giving you an outline here. I also would refer you to Dr. Shoemaker's book where there are quite a few examples of inidividual people's processes. His book is called Surviving Mold. This page is an easy to read outline. For details on the average treatment protocol see the Treatment page.

The Process Outlined

Realization that you may have a susceptibility to mold & Educating Yourself. Reading up on mold illness and treatment as well as the experiences of others to better understand it. (Please also realize although we say mold, it is really a mix of mold, bacteria, chemicals from mold and bacteria and chemicals from the building as well as their interactions with each other that are causing a reaction in people and animals.)

Identify if you have a mold susceptibility & Identify Mold Exposure in Your Environment. This is done via your senses, testing and then identifying mold and mycotoxin exposure in your environment. (Lab tests for you, lab tests for home, work, school)

Diagnosis: This involves finding a physician that treats it, so they may order the tests.

Testing your environment: DNA testing is best. If you already identified an area of your house where you see mold, you can do plate counts on the actual mold you see. However, this will only identify those molds you swab in that area.

Pay attention: Use your nose. Many molds have smells. Notice how you feel in different environments. Do you get a physical, mental or emotional reaction when you go into certain rooms in your home or visiting friends or families houses or community buildings, when you go to work or school? They may have had water damage in these rooms or buildings.

Evaluate your environment: Evaluate the Buildings you live in or spend time in. Do you notice that they cause you symptoms? Have they had water damage. Do they have signs of past water damage? Do they have visual mold growing? Have others had trouble in the building. Do you have any food that could be contaminated with mold More likely a building than food.?


Removing yourself from moldy environments is the first step of treatment and the most important. For those who do not have genetic sensitivity, this may be the only step neccessary along with building remediation.

Remediate the building ( I don't have these pages finished but they will still help, go to this link on mold prevention that has some cleaning tips on construction which will give you a lot of ideas on how to prevent mold and or remediate it.

Support the bodies detoxification and biotransformation process to remove toxins from the bodies.

Genome analysis: Getting a genome analysis and examining any mutations that may effect your biotransformational pathways can be incredibly helpful. There are dietary, environmental and supplemental actions taken to assist your health once you know what variants exist.

Bile Acid Sequestrants, Mycotoxin and Endotoxin binders: Using binders to bind toxins directly or to bind the bile which is bound to the mycotoxins is super helpful. Cholestyramine is the most common one used. Some people have had success using charcoal and clay. Although they are helpful, I find cholestyramine to be quicker. Some have found success with rice bran and I have not yet tried this method but the research looks like it may work 50% as well as cholestyramine. Please learn how to use binders correctly or you can end up with constipation and you can bind fat soluble vitamins as well as medications. Things like magnesium, and vitamin C can help with constipation from binders. The same information on timing and precautions for taking cholestyramine can be used for other binders such as charcoal and clay. To see this data, go to How to Take Cholestyramine.

Support Phase I, II, III of the Detoxification Process: Stress support of glutathione.

General Support of Organs of ellimination: This inludes the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary tract, the lungs, liver, and skin.

Adequate Nourishment: Make sure the body is getting adequate nourishment with a stress on minerals and antioxidants.

Endocrine System : Make sure there is hormonal balance. Check thyroid, sex hormones, adrenal homones, vit D.

Avoid Foods that tend to have mycotoxins or be sure your source is clean.

Use immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements which will lower the inflammation that has been caused by the mycotoxins/bacteria and chemical assault. Some people prefer to use protocols that use drugs and Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker has a very good drug protocol that can be used. He addresses the specific lab markers that are found to be too high or too low in CIRS. The herbs and supplments that are used also address these lab markers as the aberrant lab markers are by and large due to inadequate immune system response and inflammation.

There are additional things to rule out and treatments to undertake that I have or will elucidate in the treatment section. But this gives you an idea of what to expect.

When Will A Person Feel Better?

The individual should begin to feel better at one month after removal from a moldy environment and beginning cholestyramine treatment or before. Some will have a detox reaction and feel worse at first. You want to examine any reaction to get an idea of what is causing it. The person can be reacting to the choloestyramine/charocoal or clay by getting constipation, or the movement of mycotoxins as they leave their tissues and are redistributed and removed in the bile and or urine, or there could be a reaction of cholestyramine binding a medication if they take them together. The Cholestyramine links go into more detail on this. The person should check with their physician that prescribed the cholestyramine/charcoal/clay etc. if they have a reaction. Their Doc can explain the reaction usually and decide if anything needs to be changed or if it is a normal detox reaction.

If the person is not feeling better they need to examine their surroundings to make sure there is no continuing mold expsoure. They need to address all buildings they go into. They need to be sure they are not down-wind of a neighboring building that has mycotoxin air wafting towards them. Some sensitive individuals are bothered by this. Most folks notice they are much more sensitive to all chemicals as they get better. I personally think this is our bodies natural method of warning us of danger and that when we are under chronic onslaught we tend not to notice any more. As we clear the biotoxins out, we beome more aware of all toxins in our environment. If they are not in a moldy environment and they have taken the cholestyramine for a month and still do not feel better, they may need more time on the cholestyramine but it is more likely they are either missing a source of mold in their environment or they may have Lyme's, Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staph (MARCoNS), heavy metals or other factors causing their continued issues.

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