Have you been sick for a long time without any specific diagnosis given by your physician? Have you seen multiple physicians and had a lot of tests done, but not really gotten any answers? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
If you have a wide variety of symptoms but no one has given you a specific diagnosis, you could have CIRS. This is a chronic illness that affects multiple systems in the body. Many people are diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or depression. Most physicians simply treat the symptoms without having any clue what is causing all the inflammation.
We now know that CIRS has a cause: exposure to a biotoxin. This is a biological agent that triggers high inflammation in your system, which can persist for years even after it goes away.
The most common reasons for CIRS are mold exposure and Lyme disease. It turns out that about 25% of us have a genetic defect in our immune system that affects our ability to clear biotoxins, so we are susceptible, where 75% of us are not. This explains why most people exposed to mold are just fine, but some people are significantly affected.
CIRS causes symptoms in pretty much every body system. The most common is fatigue that has no obvious cause. Most CIRS patients have cognitive symptoms also. This includes general brain fog, trouble with memory, poor concentration and mood swings. Also common is stiffness, joint pain, and headaches. Many CIRS patients have GI issues, blurry vision, dizziness, shortness of breath, sinus congestion and difficulty losing weight.
What happens in CIRS is that your immune system reaction is dysfunctional. Normally, your innate immune system initially identifies a trigger. You get a rapid rise in cytokines, which cause inflammation. For example, when you have the flu, you are exhausted, everything hurts, you can’t think straight and you just have to lay in bed. Your innate immune system is flooding your body with cytokines which make you feel terrible. But then you recover, and your white blood cells produce antibodies to that strain of flu. So if you are exposed to it again a month later, you are immune! That is your acquired immune system. Your body learns what that toxin is and develops a specific, targeted defense so it can’t hurt you again.
In CIRS, though, you have a genetic defect in what’s called antigen presentation. Your immune cells are unable to present the antigens (toxins) to the white blood cells that make antibodies, so you simply cannot turn on your acquired immune system. You stay sick! Your innate immune system stays turned on all the time, making inflammatory cytokines. It’s like having a mild degree of flu symptoms all the time and never getting better.
If you think you may have CIRS, there are two tests you need to do:
If you fail the symptom analysis and the VCS, there is a very high chance you have CIRS.
Contact us at 704-220-1770 extension 4 (not extension 1) and we will schedule you for your initial consultation. We will ask you to fax (336-419-4546) or email (email@example.com) us both the symptom survey and the VCS results We will also send you the intake forms to fill out and return prior to your visit. Please resist the temptation to read online information about CIRS other than on the www.survivingmold.com website. This website has reliable information but much disinformation is out there about mold illness and it will only increase your anxiety. If you want to learn about CIRS, buy the book “Surviving and Thriving” by Paula Vetter (available on Amazon). We promise to educate you with good information and will walk with you through the entire process.
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