This blog follows Part 1: Naturopathic Diagnosis of CIRS (Mold Illness)
Once it has been determined that CIRS is the most likely diagnosis that accounts for the majority of the challenging symptoms, the next step is to determine the treatments needed.
Using a naturopathic approach, I conduct a very comprehensive consultation with each client to determine their health concerns, other possible diagnoses, lifestyle factors, diet, stress and support needs before deciding on their unique treatment plan.
Generally, my first treatment step is to focus on detoxification strategies. Mold toxins have an affinity to bind to bile acids within the body. Ensuring that the liver, gall bladder and bowel are functioning is important before starting to target the toxin binding directly.
During this initial focus on detoxification strategies, it is important to ensure that all the elimination organs; liver, kidney, lung, skin, lymphatic system and bowel are capable of excreting toxins, so that once mold and other toxins are being bound and removed from the body, the elimination organs are functioning well enough to eliminate them, rather than reabsorbing and recirculating them making the patient feel worse. Think of it as unblocking the blocked drain before turning on the tap.
A combination of physical treatments such as infrared saunas, coffee enemas, dry skin brushing and castor oil packs to assist with detoxification, as well as nutritional and herbal supplements to support liver detoxification, lymphatic excretion and bowel elimination are very useful.
Once detoxification organs are starting to function better and there is an improvement in the symptoms of constipation, headaches, nausea and energy, then the body is ready to introduce binders. This may take a few days or many months depending on how toxic and unwell a person is.
There are many non-pharmaceutical binders that are very effective at removing mold such as activated charcoal, bentonite clay, chlorella, chitosan and zeolite. These natural binders can be used once detoxification is occurring successfully as they have low side effect rates and are easily sourced. A combination of binders is usually most effective to achieve binding of different types of mold species. (Nathan, pg 68)
The single most important thing to remember when taking binders is that there must be bowel movements occurring daily. The body will reabsorb the toxins from the bowel if elimination isn’t regular. Bowel movements can be achieved with high doses of vitamin C or magnesium in oxide or citrate form if required to achieve a 20-24 hour transit time and emptying of the bowels 1-3 times each day.
Another important consideration while taking binders is that they will absorb essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron if the binder is taken within 45 minutes of food or supplement consumption.
Once these two initial steps of detoxification and mold toxin binders are in place and successfully tolerated, it is necessary to identify and address the next major symptoms and discomforts that the patient is experiencing.
For many people the next block to healing is to identify and treat any MARCoNS or other bacterial or fungal infection in the sinuses. I find a combination of ionic silver, xylitol (to break down biofilm) and herbal extracts such as chamomile, borage and echinacea to be very effective for bacterial infections in the sinuses.
By this stage of the treatment plan my patients are usually feeling significantly better and the next layer of healing varies for each person, it is often gut healing, balancing the hormones or related to the nervous system and cognitive function. For other patients it’s time to start addressing systemic inflammation, heavy metal toxicity or a high infectious load with organisms such as parasites, Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Epstein Barr virus or Ross River virus.
Each of these approaches is very individual to the patient and detailing the possibilities of different naturopathic treatments is outside the scope of this article.
Naturopathic treatment options such as herbal medicine, specific nutritional interventions, dietary improvements and detoxification strategies are very effective at treating CIRS and can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with pharmaceutical approaches depending on your needs and the medical support that you are receiving.
Due to the complexity of CIRS it is best to work with a medical professional trained and experienced in treating biotoxin illnesses, so that you achieve the best outcomes.
Nathan, N. (2018). Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness. Victory Belt Publishing.