Mould illness or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) is a common but poorly recognized condition because of many debilitating (but not obvious) symptoms including chronic fatigue, generalised pain, headaches, depression, sinusitis, rashes and anxiety. Many of these conditions are caused by exposure to the interior environment of water damaged buildings (WDBs). These organisms grow on household surfaces that have high cellulose content, such as wood, fibreboard, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint. The most common types of mould that are found indoors include: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus and Stachybotrys (black mould).
Mould Biotoxins are shed into the environment of WDBs and are acquired into the body via foods, water, air, or insect bites. They cause inflammatory responses via influencing/affecting signalling pathways in the body, releasing inflammatory cytokines. They aggravate existing lung diseases, and can cause inflammation of the lungs.
In the general population, biotoxins are removed from the body via the bloodstream through the liver or alternatively broken down by the body’s immune system and excreted out of the body.
However, in patients with a compromised immune system (either genetically or environmentally), biotoxins can remain within the body for lengthy periods of time and exacerbate the above conditions. This susceptible group seem to be unable to clear mould toxins easily and efficiently. Their symptoms though are often vague, since toxins can affect any body organ.
Since mould toxins cause inflammation through activation of cytokines, there are a number of lab tests which can show the effects of inflammation.