The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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How to Tell If I'm Sensitive to Mold?

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by EsmeDolce, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. EsmeDolce

    EsmeDolce

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    I've been very interested to read the accounts of some ME/CFS patients who were able to get better by avoiding mold. How can I find out if mold may be affecting my symptoms?

    Julie Rehmeyer, Jill Neimark, and Janis Bell all talk about spending 2+ weeks camping in order to detox before returning to their home environments and feeling the differences, which is just not possible for me. I've never been an outdoors girl to begin with, and my ME/CFS symptoms now are so severe that, at risk of sounding dramatic, I don't think I would survive two weeks of camping.

    Is there another way to detox from potential mold issues? Could the trip be condensed to a shorter period of time or preferably move indoors, like a weekend at a hotel in the desert? What kind of environment would I need to stay in, in order to fully detox mold from my system, and how long would I need to stay away from my house in order to determine if I'm affected by the mold when I return? For reference, I live in Los Angeles.
     
  2. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Ventura, CA
    Dr Shoemaker has a protocol for de toxing the mold from your system called CIRS, however have you had your current home tested for mold? You would have to move from the affected place of mold before starting on any protocol or treatment with lasting affect. The people that do recover using it also will need to be sure that their future home environments are also contamination free. A little bit of exposure here and there from other reasons will be okay if everything has been de toxed, however if you go to live back into a place where the toxic mold can be then its an issue. Camping is a nice way to go for treatment but it is not necessary, what is though again to make sure your current place of residence is contamination free.

    Here is a link to his site,

    http://www.survivingmold.com/about/ritchie-shoemaker-m-d
     
  3. antares4141

    antares4141 Senior Member

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    Truth or consequences, nm
    I've had extensive exposure to pesticides so that might or might not set me apart from others. To see if mold is an issue there's a few things you could do. Camp in the backyard it's not a long-term solution but it would be enough to assess just how much of a problem mold exposure might be. In order for the test to be reliable you really need to stay completely out of the house which means no trips to the bathroom or to the kitchen or to wash clothes.

    Hotels not a bad idea but would have to be relatively new one and well-maintained If not you might end up with a false negative. One week might even be enough. If you have a friend with a well-maintained house that's another option. Again could set you up for a false negative. So camping outside would be better even if it's at a local campground. . I don't think it's necessary to do it in the desert. I might even argue it's worse because it's so dry and there so many airborne particles there. But I won't because I've spent time in the New Mexico desert and I've spent time in a temperate rainforest near Asheville North Carolina. When I stay strictly outside (or in a mold free structure) the symptoms are fairly similar in intensity albeit I will admit their different I might even lean slightly on the rain forest being more conducive to my health. Unlike some while the benefits of getting out of a moldy environment are undeniable I am far from cured. Many would argue it's because I don't believe in mycotoxins specifically with contaminating new living spaces. Not that I think they don't exist or are not toxic. Just that the levels are so minuscule may as we'll be just as concerned about the acceptable levels of arsenic In the water you drink. I would almost undoubtably be dead though if I stayed in a moldy house. (From illness induced suicide) Guess what I'm saying It is important that you do this so there's absolutely no denial as to your house promoting your symptoms or not. They can be devastating just don't expect moving to cure you. The sooner the better. If the results are positive (undeniable reactivity upon re-entry) it's (imho) almost definitely mold and you might want to be careful about whether you spend money on testing. It might be better spent moving. That money could probably pay your first last and security. Conversely if you own and the problem is not that extensive maybe it would be better to try to rectify the situation. Doubtful though because you could spend tens of thousands of dollars and be no better off in the end. People who are sensitized to mold usually are sensitive to gluten and other food sensitivities. As well as chemical sensitivity. Mold (again IMHO) far & away worse then food & chemicals & might even be responsible for them. But than it could be the other way around I suspect pesticides set my illness into motion. Regardless mcs and gs symptoms might relax a little once you control the mold exposure. They haven't for me but I'm not as anal about mold avoidance as I probably should be and the pesticide thing. I spend time with my dad in nc and sometimes have in the past gone inside his house for short periods thinking the dues I pay will be short term but I'm starting to think that the effects last for months. And to truly get clear I suspect you can't do this type of crap. You have to have a safe place and stay away from almost every other place friends relatives businesses etc. You have to be cognizant of placebo and Noceto effects also. Very easy to fool yourself they're just too many variables. Which might mean multiple tests until you can confirm the condition (mold reactivity) is reproducible. It took me two years of denial before I finally came to the conclusion of my house making me sick. In the end was when I spent one week in a hotel in Arizona then came back to Florida walked inside my house and the symptoms were undeniable. And I had already spent weeks camping outside prior to this trip. So who knows maybe the desert is better I don't know. Could be because I had no way of cheating by going inside and using the bathroom and what not. Probably should take everything I say with a grain of salt though. I've fooled myself with the things I believe pertaining to my illness so many times over the last 18 years. One thing I know I'm not imaging it like some who are responsible for public health and want to save face would like for everyone to believe. Sorry for the poorly written post getting late and need to get to bed. Don't have time to edit out all the mistakes and poorly articulated thoughts.
     
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  4. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

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    Florida
    @antares4141 I really want to read your post, but it's simply too much. If you have the time/energy, would you mind breaking it up into 2 or 3 sentence paragraphs?

    Thanks so much.
     
  5. antares4141

    antares4141 Senior Member

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    Truth or consequences, nm
    I've had extensive exposure to pesticides so that might or might not set me apart from others. To see if mold is an issue there's a few things you could do. Camp in the backyard it's not a long-term solution but it would be enough to assess just how much of a problem mold exposure might be. In order for the test to be reliable you really need to stay completely out of the house which means no trips to the bathroom or to the kitchen or to wash clothes.

    Hotels not a bad idea but would have to be relatively new one and well-maintained If not you might end up with a false negative. One week might even be enough. If you have a friend with a well-maintained house that's another option. Again could set you up for a false negative. So camping outside would be better even if it's at a local campground. . I don't think it's necessary to do it in the desert. I might even argue it's worse because it's so dry and there so many airborne particles there. But I won't because I've spent time in the New Mexico desert and I've spent time in a temperate rainforest near Asheville North Carolina. When I stay strictly outside (or in a mold free structure) the symptoms are fairly similar in intensity albeit I will admit their different I might even lean slightly on the rain forest being more conducive to my health.

    Unlike some while the benefits of getting out of a moldy environment are undeniable I am far from cured. Many would argue it's because I don't believe in mycotoxins specifically with contaminating new living spaces. Not that I think they don't exist or are not toxic. Just that the levels are so minuscule may as we'll be just as concerned about the acceptable levels of arsenic In the water you drink. I would almost undoubtedly be dead though if I stayed in a moldy house. (From illness induced suicide) Guess what I'm saying It is important that you do this so there's absolutely no denial as to your house promoting your symptoms or not. They can be devastating just don't expect moving to cure you. The sooner the better.

    If the results are positive (undeniable reactivity upon re-entry) it's (imho) almost definitely mold and you might want to be careful about whether you spend money on testing. It might be better spent moving. That money could probably pay your first last and security. Conversely if you own and the problem is not that extensive maybe it would be better to try to rectify the situation. Doubtful though because you could spend tens of thousands of dollars and be no better off in the end.

    People who are sensitized to mold usually are sensitive to gluten and other food sensitivities. As well as chemical sensitivity. Mold (again IMHO) far & away worse then food & chemicals & might even be responsible for them. But than it could be the other way around I suspect pesticides set my illness into motion. Regardless mcs and gs symptoms might relax a little once you control the mold exposure. They haven't for me but I'm not as anal about mold avoidance as I probably should be and the pesticide thing.

    I spend time with my dad in nc and sometimes have in the past gone inside his house for short periods thinking the dues I pay will be short term but I'm starting to think that the effects last for months. And to truly get clear I suspect you can't do this type of crap. You have to have a safe place and stay away from almost every other place friends relatives businesses etc. You have to be cognizant of placebo and Noceto effects also. Very easy to fool yourself they're just too many variables. Which might mean multiple tests until you can confirm the condition (mold reactivity) is reproducible.

    It took me two years of denial before I finally came to the conclusion of my house making me sick. In the end was when I spent one week in a hotel in Arizona then came back to Florida walked inside my house and the symptoms were undeniable. And I had already spent weeks camping outside prior to this trip. So who knows maybe the desert is better I don't know. Could be because I had no way of cheating by going inside and using the bathroom and what not.

    Probably should take everything I say with a grain of salt though. I've fooled myself with the things I believe pertaining to my illness so many times over the last 18 years. One thing I know I'm not imaging it like some who are responsible for public health and want to save face would like for everyone to believe. Sorry for the poorly written post getting late and need to get to bed. Don't have time to edit out all the mistakes and poorly articulated thoughts.
     
  6. Dufresne

    Dufresne almost there...

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    Montreal
    Apparently they were offering a free VCS test at the following site. http://www.vcstest.com

    Supposedly the VCS test can identify 92% of those with biotoxin illness and is what the US government uses to screen for such exposures.
     
  7. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    Anyone used this test?

    Since I've been sick I've lived in six different houses so could it be said that it would be unlikely they all had mold and it is a problem for me?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  8. antares4141

    antares4141 Senior Member

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    Truth or consequences, nm
    I think that would depend a lot on the condition of the houses. Realitivly new well maintained as opposed to old and poorly maintained. Also I think that the camping in your back yard or at a local campground would be a much better test. And specifically to see if you can expirence a relatively large contrast between the two different living conditions. The house you suspect is making you sick and camping outdoors, or in a motel or a friends house you syayed at. You should be able to notice it shortly after you move back in.

    You bring up a good point though and why I feel uneasy giving advice and should make some type of disclaimer after my posts. I am not a doctor and I don't know anything about your particular situation. All the different variables that apply to you. The possibility you have some different type of disorder that is diagnosable and I might be leading you away from discovering what it is. Or maybe you have some other type of invisible illness like lymes.

    I usually assume people have already considered these posibilities and that's why there reading and posting on these forums. That's also why I said people should take everything I say with a grain of salt cause I know how easy it is to fool myself and than mislead others. Like for instance my position I don't believe I can contaminate my trailer (make it unlivable) by going into a "contaminated" building and bringing the toxins back with me. As unlikely as I think that is it could be true. My skepticism is that all those things are everywhere anyways to some degree so while I'm bringing things back from a "contaminated" building. Which the way I understand it just has more of the same stuff that's essentially everywhere anyways. I'm bringing those same things back from a library or a hospital or a restruant or a friends vehical. Just not as much. But I'm just giving my opinion based on my reasoning and the limited research I have done on the issue. And my experience and the tests I have done on myself. I also know how easy it is to react to one thing and blame it on something else. Done it more times than I care to admit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  9. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Unless it's the desert, most houses have some mold problem. It may be unlikely that they had the same kind of mold.

    I think anyone with other immune problems is being affected by mold, but most of us are only affected a little (if we make sure we don't have a huge hidden growth of the worst types of mold).

    If you can afford to move or pay for remediation, it could be worth looking into. I can't spend on that so I focus on other chemicals in my environment.

    It's likely we are being affected by other chemicals around us. Clothing and furniture offgassing, chemicals in soaps and shampoos, etc.
     
  10. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    twitpic.com/photos/SlayaDragon
    If you look on the first page of the Paradigm Change website, you can find links to some information about mold avoidance.

    www.paradigmchange.me
     
    waiting and SDSue like this.
  11. Soundthealarm21

    Soundthealarm21 Senior Member

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    Dallas, TX

    I try to avoid it, but it doesn't seem to want to avoid me!
     
    Forebearance likes this.
  12. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    So do people feel this test is reliable? I scored 84%
     

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