Once you have determined you have:
1. Many of the symptoms of toxic mold syndrome
2. And you have done air quality testing on your home and office and they show high levels of toxic mold spores
3. Then you should get a toxic mold syndrome diagnosis from your doctor or healthcare worker.
Blood and/or urine testing is thus, the third step in the diagnosis of toxic black mold syndrome.
One way of determining if exposure to toxic mold is likely, involves testing of certain blood parameters. These blood parameters indicate exposure to a biotoxin if positive.
The Biotoxin Mold Illness Panel is designed to look at these blood parameters which test 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
Also, these blood parameters can be used to monitor progress in detoxification of mold toxins.
The problem is that it is very hard to find a doctor that is familiar with this syndrome to order the diagnostic testing.
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.
It is often hard to find a doctor that will do these tests and then it is sometimes difficult to get your insurance to cover them.
But, testing does have its advantages, one being a sense of closure. Testing gives you confidence 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.
Another benefit is getting a baseline level for the testing so you can see how you are progressing with the detox.
The panel above offered by Life Extension Foundation is able to be ordered by a patient through physicians at Life Extension Foundation. This is similar to a lot of the direct labs out there that use a physician on staff at their lab to order the test. This panel at Life Extension is great because it offers a discount off the retail price which is what you would be charged if your insurance did not cover it. This is a must for people without insurance, for those with insurance you might want to consider getting your doctor to order the tests, but you do run the risk of the higher cost if your insurance does not cover it.
I would recommend testing your urine for mycotoxins by clicking on the link below to Realtime Laboratories that offers the urine mycotoxin testing and have them send you a kit to bring to your doctors so your doctor can fill out the order form.
This test checks for 4 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
More insurances are partially paying for this test including some medicare plans.
According to several sources, I have heard that urine mycotoxin levels do hold up in a court of law.
Stachybotrys IgA is one test for determining exposure to toxic mold however there is a high false negative rate. It is easy to obtain but I have found that in too many cases it come back negative.
I 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. It also helped her with her relationship, as her condition being caused by toxic mold, now had more credibility in her boyfriend's eyes.
Keep in mind that according to studies, IgA levels are not usually 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.
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:
(For doctors that use the PK protocol)
For doctors that are certified in the Shoemaker Protocol