Modern medicine has excelled at understanding and treating acute illness and life-threatening conditions. Unfortunately, its ability to treat chronic illness is abysmal. Many people suffering from lingering symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, vague and diffuse muscle pain, and intestinal problems are often left to fend for themselves—that is, until now.
What is CIRS?
A new science of genomics focusing on the genetic expression of our DNA in response to stress has enabled us to understand how the body is made sick when it is exposed to various toxins.
This new illness, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), carries a new diagnosis.
CIRS arises from exposure to various toxins. This exposure may be a one-time event or occur on a continuous basis. For one-time events, these toxins may come from, say, a bite of a brown recluse spider or a tick. It may come from exposure to contaminated water or fish. Most commonly, however, the exposure is continuous and comes from toxins that grow in a wet environment of a home—e.g., a water-damaged building.
What Is a Water-Damaged Building, and What Grows in It?
A water-damaged building is one that has sustained any water leaks from windows, sinks, toilets, showers, roofs, or basements. In humid environments, the building can be water damaged from accumulated moisture even without active leaks.
Most people are familiar with mold toxicity. However, new science has shown that there are other pathogens that grow in a wet environment along with mold. These are bacteria that can survive and thrive even after the leak has been fixed and the water-damaged area dried. The most common of these bacteria is Actinomyces, and contrary to the common belief of mold being the main culprit, it is this bad actor that is responsible for 70% of water-damage-related illnesses. It is also Actinomyces that create a musty smell that everyone associates with mold.
How Do Mold and Actinomyces Make Us Sick?
These pathogens are most commonly inhaled as they recirculate in the air through a home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. When they enter our bodies, they attack each cell, damaging its genetic material and its ability to make energy. As a result, we cannot utilize energy sources such as glucose effectively, making lactic acid instead. As the lactic acid builds, it creates inflammation that further exacerbates the symptoms from the initial exposure. The result is severe fatigue, pain, brain fog, and much more.
Symptoms of CIRS Explored
In medicine, certain conditions are known as “the great masqueraders” because they mask themselves as other, more recognizable conditions. Such is the case with CIRS.
Patients suffering from CIRS are frequently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. They are also often given diagnoses of anxiety, hypochondriasis, and even malingering. They are placed on medications ranging from antidepressants to antiseizure medications and occasionally even opiates, typically worsening their symptoms.
People who have been exposed to various toxins and developed CIRS often suffer from a cluster of the following symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Memory impairment and decreased word-finding
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Night sweats
- Unusual skin sensitivity and tingling
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus congestion
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
- Blurry vision
- Abdominal pain
- Static shocks
These symptoms can come and go depending on the person’s environment, but in many cases, they can be so severe that sufferers must quit work and severely restrict their daily activities.
New Diagnosis Gives New Hope
Not everyone exposed to the above-mentioned toxins becomes sick with CIRS. An individual must have a genetic predisposition to it, making only 20% of the US population susceptible. This explains why in a household of five people, only one or two may become ill with CIRS from the same exposure.
For those who do develop CIRS, a combination of new sophisticated genetic testing and a methodical and structured approach to treatment is available and helps a majority of the people with this diagnosis.
The treatment protocol, as well as the diagnosis of CIRS, has been established by a world-renowned expert in mold-related illness, Dr. Richie Shoemaker.
First, treatment often starts with establishing the source of the exposure and either getting the person out of the contaminated environment or remediating it of its toxins. Testing through genetic analysis and blood sampling guides a physician in tailoring the treatment to each individual. Secondly, specific binders and antibacterial preparations are then used to isolate and remove toxins from the body and kill the pathogens.
Once these first two tasks are accomplished, various repair methods are introduced to initiate the healing of injured cells and tissues. These may include:
- Oral supplements, such as high doses of fish oil
- Intravenous infusions that help restore energy production and oxygenation, such as ozone and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)
- Subcutaneous injections of peptides that induce cellular repair, such as BPC 157, a pentadecapeptide derived from human gastric juice, and thymosin alpha
- Nerve and brain repair nasal sprays, such as Synapsin and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP).
Although very effective, this treatment strategy takes time and requires a commitment from patients seeking care.
Health care providers at OWM Integrative Wellness are trained in the treatment of CIRS and have sophisticated testing and treatment capabilities that produce results.