Toxic Mold Syndrome Diagnosis
You need to get a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis from your doctor or healthcare worker once you have determined you have many of the toxic mold symptoms.
You have done air quality testing on your home and office and they show high levels of toxic mold spores which further makes a case for toxic mold syndrome being your problem.
Blood or urine testing is the third step in diagnosis of toxic black mold syndrome.
Many times, in the past, I have just made a diagnosis of toxic mold syndrome based on a patient's symptoms and demonstration of toxic mold in the patient's environment. And I still do this clinical diagnosis quite a bit, mostly due to the costliness of diagnostic testing.
But, I now feel that diagnostic testing might be worth the extra cost.
I used to believe this step of diagnostic testing to be not really essential, mainly because the diagnostic testing was new and many were not really sure of it's accuracy.
I now feel that the tests out there are accurate enough to be used with confidence.
On the down side, it is often hard to find a doctor that will do these tests and then it is even harder to get your insurance to cover them.
But, on the plus side, testing does have its advantages, one being a sense of closure, that this is really what you are dealing with and psychologically this can be a huge help for the patient as well as family members struggling to believe that their loved one is not crazy.
If you do get a doctor that will work with you in trying to obtain the blood samples then, possibly the easiest test to try first for determining black mold exposure is the Stachybotrys IgA level (blood test).
The stachybotrys IgA blood test may be the most sensible test to start off with. Most doctors can order it from local labs and I believe it is less expensive than the urine mycotoxin test. Since it is a local lab test it is more likely to be possibly covered by insurance.
I recently had a patient come back with a positive stachybotrys IgA level. My patient was greatly relieved to have these results as they helped her grasp that mold toxicity was the cause of her symptoms and not some other dread disease. It also helped her with her relationship, as her condition being caused by toxic mold, now had more credibility in her partner's eyes.
Keep in mind that according to studies, IgA levels are not always a reliable method of determining toxic mold exposure and they do not hold up in a court of law. So do not be disheartened if your level comes back normal even though you think you were exposed to toxic mold. It could have been another toxic mold besides stachybotrys or it could just be that you are one of the negative responders. In this case I would recommend testing your urine for mycotoxins by contacting either of the two labs that offer the urine mycotoxin test and have them send you a kit to bring to your doctor. This test checks for 3 mycotoxins in the urine: Tricothecenes -which most often is produced by stachybotrys aflatoxin - which is most often produced by penicillium/aspergillus group Ochratoxin - most often produced by pen/asp group
So, first try the stachybotrys IgA blood test, then if it does not come back positive try the urine mycotoxin test.
According to several sources, I have heard that urine mycotoxin levels do hold up in a court of law.
URINE MYCOTOXIN TEST
The other test that is easy and probably more accurate than the stachbotrys IgA is the urine mycotoxin test.
The drawbacks of the urine mycotoxin test is that it is very expensive and it is not covered by most insurances.
Also, this test is only offered by a few laboratories that I know of which are
I have used realtimelab.com for my patients. All of my patients exposed to toxic mold had elevated levels of mycotoxins in their urine.
BIOTOXIC MOLD ILLNESS PANEL COMPREHENSIVE
Another way of determining if exposure to toxic mold is likely,involves testing of certain blood parameters. Also, these blood parameters can be used to monitor progress in detoxification of the mold toxins. Biotoxins in the body activate the cytokine system which sets off a cascade of inflammatory responses. They basically show the body's response to a biotoxin such as mold.
I have found these tests to be difficult to use in that they have to be done by certain labs, and many are unavailable in most labs and they are very expensive.
But I recently discovered that Life Extension offers this same panel of blood tests at a discount rate if you purchase a year membership in the Life Extension Foundation for 75 dollars a year. This blood test panel also takes out the hassle of trying to get the tests done right. The panel includes:
and you don't need a doctor to order it. But you will need a doctor to interpret it.
The cause of chronic illness is often very elusive since symptoms can be vague and involve multiple body systems. Do you feel like you’re still missing pieces of a puzzle after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinus Infections or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Or maybe you just feel sick and tired and are experiencing headaches, GI problems, muscle aches and pains or depression and anxiety and there is simply no diagnosis! Unfortunately, mold exposure is often misdiagnosed and some doctors will even tell you mold illness cannot be diagnosed, or there is no such thing!
But the truth is…Mold is a key element of indoor air contamination that few people understand. What many people don't realize is that mold can make you extremely sick, or even kill you. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all molds have the potential to cause ill health.1
The Comprehensive Biotoxic Mold Illness Panel is designed to look at the chronic inflammatory response set in motion when a person is exposed to toxic mold.
Biotoxic illness refers to the cause of a person’s illness. All biotoxic illnesses have one common denominator…toxins produced by living things. The tests contained in this panel look at the complex cascade of events throughout multiple inflammatory pathways produced by biotoxic mold exposure.2 Let's take a look:
Stage 1: The Biotoxic Effect
You are exposed to biotoxic mold and your immune system does not respond appropriately to remove the foreign invader. (See LC167120 HLA typing for more information)
Stage 2: Cytokine Effects
Cytokines are cell signaling molecules that aid in communication during immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells toward sites of inflammation. Symptoms in this stage might include– headaches muscle aches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, unstable temperature and difficulty concentrating. Tests included for stage two include: Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFα) Stage 3: Reduced VEGF
Reduction in VEGF may lead to fatigue, muscle cramps and shortness of breath. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Stage 4: Immune Effects
This stage triggers autoimmunity and activation of the complement pathway. Complement C4a is an inflammatory marker of great significance. Since these short lived products are re-manufactured rapidly, an initial rise can be seen in the blood within 12 hours of exposure to biotoxins. Levels remain elevated until effective therapy is initiated. Complement C4a Stage 5: Low MSH
MSH is a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Reduced MSH is at the heart of the “Biotoxic pathway” with many negative downstream effects. VIP plays a similar role to MSH in regulating inflammatory response. Symptoms may include sleep disturbances, chronic pain, leaky gut syndrome, shortness of breath during exercise, hormone abnormalities and mood swings. Melanocyte-Stimulating hormone (MSH) Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) Stage 6: Antibiotic Resistant Staph bacteria
People exposed to biotoxins frequently come down with staph colonization, caused by biofilm-forming microorganisms that live deep in the nose without causing nasal symptoms. This step would require a nasal culture to be performed by your doctor and is not included in the panel.
Stage 7: Pituitary hormone effects
Symptoms may include frequent thirst, susceptibility to shocks from static electricity, lower production of sex hormones loss of libido, and abnormal cortisol production. This panel looks at the following test for stage 7 effects.
Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) Fasting is not required. Take all medications as prescribed.
ALLERGEN MOLD PROFILE BLOOD TEST
BIOTOXIN MOLD ILLNESS PANEL BASIC
VISUAL CONTRAST SENSITIVITY TEST
Another diagnostic test used for toxic mold syndrome is called the Visual Contrast Sensitivity test (VCS). This test can be done online for a minimal fee of 8 dollars per test and I highly recommend it. Follow the link below:
You may find a doctor in your area that treats this syndrome by clicking on the following links: