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If you or someone in your family is sick, and you know or suspect that one cause of the illness is exposure to mold or other biotoxins present in water-damaged buildings or exposure to other toxins in the environment, you need to learn about the causes of this illness and how to treat it. The learning process can be overwhelming, especially because so many people suffering from environmentally acquired illnesses (EAIs) have severe cognitive problems as a result of the toxic exposure. Here we list some of the resources that can help you to learn some of the strategies that other EAI patients have used to improve their health. The primary focus of this page is on illness caused by toxins in water-damaged buildings. A wide array of resources also are available on Lyme disease and associated infections, multiple chemical sensitivity and other EAIs.
The listing of resources on this page is to share information that may be useful and does not reflect ISEAI endorsement of the content of websites, articles, etc.
Positive Daily Practices for Health
Below are some ideas which may help calm your mind an body. Get creative and see what works best for you.
- Disconnect at least for short periods during your day with sources of information which your body, brain, and limbic system may receive as threatening (news, social media).
- Connect with your breath. (As basic endeavor try sitting or laying in a comfortable position and breathing fully down into your belly. You can place one hand over your abdomen to aid your focus, if helpful). A structured breathing exercise can be helpful:
- Find a pocket of fresh air each day, and when possible, sunshine.
- Engage in one form of movement that works for you body, every day. While we have all seen folks undertaking new at-home fitness initiatives (and kudos for those who are able), for those with chronic illness, gentle stretching, gentle movements to support joints and lymphatic flow, a couple of minutes in a restorative yoga pose, or even a body scan (which is not about movement but connects body with mind) may be most possible. These are important and valid.
- Qi Gong for Lungs and Immune System
- Escape into positive meditations, prayer, guided imagery, or media which you know to support your wellbeing.
- Listen to expansive music or sound healing.
- Find forms of positive touch and sensation even during a time of distance, which might include sensory experiences like a warm bath (epsom salts may help), or snuggling with a pet.
- Any activity where you know you personally can find a “flow state” such as playing music, singing, knitting, reading, various forms of art, crafting, and for those who are able, working out or running.
- Look for ways to cultivate play or imagination (the playground of the mind), even during a restricted time.
- Look for ways to find laughter, even during a dark time (perhaps a tele-game with family or friends, a comedy that makes you laugh).
- Connect with someone about a topic you care about.
- Find an authentic way to focus your mind, heart, or body on gratitude for a couple of minutes a day.
- Yoga Nidra (sleep/relaxation)
- Consider your own wisdom, and find a way to share a skill or resources that you have with others. Write a blog about what you know, or post on social media with an offer to help people in your network in a specific way.
The Better Health Guy This site, maintained by EAI expert and patient Scott Forsgren, offers high-quality information about biotoxin illness, including blog posts and interviews with experts.
Biotoxin Journey This site includes articles by one CIRS patient who shares his own experience, offers practical guidance to other patients and synthesizes information about treatment of biotoxin illness.
Dr. Jill Carnahan, Flatiron Functional Medicine One of a growing cadre of doctors who have gained expertise in treatment of biotoxin illness, ISEAI Board Member Dr Carnahan, MD offers videos and blog posts that provide exceptionally clear guidance for patients. See the excellent blog post, Your Definitive Mold Clean Up Guide.
Mold Illness Made Simple 2 This self-paced online course for patients and practitioners is offered by ISEAI Diplomate Member Dr. Sandeep Gupta, MD. Dr Gupta treats patients suffering from biotoxin illness. The website includes free content such as blog posts and interviews with experts and thought leaders in the field.
Paradigm Change This site, maintained by Lisa Petrison, offers thoughtful blog posts and a rich collection of resources for people seeking to learn about mold illness, including a long list of doctors who treat biotoxin illness.
Toxic Mould Support Australia Resources and FAQs for Australians and New Zealanders dealing with biotoxin illnesses including mold illness/CIRS.
Support and information groups on biotoxin illness
Because biotoxin illness, also called toxic mold illness, acquired environmental illness, or chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) is a complex, chronic condition, it is incredibly useful for patients to participate in discussion groups with others who have similar health problems. Patients who suffer from biotoxin illness encounter new questions every single day.
Because so many of us are struggling health-wise, the easiest mode of communication with other patients is through online discussion groups. Many of these groups are on Facebook. There are numerous groups that are relevant, some for people with CIRS/toxic mold illness, and others for related illnesses, including Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr virus, chemical sensitivity, and others. Below are listed some of the biotoxin illness groups.
Biotoxin CIRS Support Group
Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS: Biotoxin Illness, Lyme, Mold)
Divinely Toxic: Mold, Mycotoxins and You
Healing Mold, Lyme, CIRS, MCS and Biotoxin Illness Support
Mold Recovery for Families and Kids
Mold Support: Health Advocates Unite
Surviving Toxic Mold
Toxic Mold, CIRS and Lyme Disease Support Group
Toxic Mold: Rediscovering Health and Wellness
Toxic Mold Support Group
Local and regional groups
It is extremely helpful to find others who live in your area who are dealing with similar health issues. There are a growing number of local or regional online support groups, where you can help to find local resources and make friends with other EAI patients who are nearby. These groups help people to overcome the isolation that burdens so many of us. Here are some of these groups.
Arizona Mold Group
Denver Area Mold Illness Information and Support Group
EI Canada: MCS, Mould, EHS & Environmental Sensitivities
Mid-Atlantic Mold Illness Support (CT, DC, MD, PA, DE, NC, NJ, NY, VA, and WV)
Mold Avoiders Europe
Toxic Mold Avoidance in New England
Toxic Mold Avoidance Southeast
Toxic Mould Support Australia
Tucson Mold Warriers
Articles, books and films
Here is a short list of articles, books, and films that are helpful to patients seeking to learn about EAIs.
Jill Crista, ND, Break The Mold: 5 Tools to Conquer Mold and Take Back Your Health (Wellness Ink Publishing, 2018). Dr. Jill Crista is a nationally recognized educator on illnesses associated with mold and mycotoxin exposure. Break the Mold offers concise yet comprehensive information and practical solutions for those potentially affected by mold exposure. Also see “Are You Missing Mold Illness In Your Patients? Mold Training Course For Medical Practitioners with Dr. Jill Crista”
Neil Nathan, MD, Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness (Victory Belt Publishing, 2018). The goal of this book is to shed light on complex illnesses such as mold, Bartonella (a co-infection of Lyme disease), mast cell activation, and porphyria and carbon monoxide poisoning, so that suffering patients and their families can get the help they so desperately need.
Scott Forsgren with Neil Nathan, MD, and Wayne Anderson, ND, Mold and Mycotoxins: Often Overlooked Factors in Chronic Lyme Disease, Townsend Letter 2014. This article provides a helpful introduction to biotoxin illness and its relationship to Lyme disease.
James Hamblin, The Looming Consequences of Breathing Mold, The Atlantic, August 30, 2017. This article focuses on the terrible health consequences of water damage to buildings caused by floods.
Moldy, a documentary film by Bulletproof Films (2015). Moldy is a gripping documentary that explores toxic mold and how it has become a modern-day health problem of monumental proportions that affects us all. Moldy includes interviews with some medical experts on the health consequences of biotoxin exposure, and interviews with mold survivors, sharing their stories of illness, treatment and recovery.
Julie Rehmeyer, Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer’s Journey into an Illness that Science Doesn’t Understand (Rodale Press 2017). This is a wonderful memoir by a writer who was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and was so ill that she often could not walk, discovered that mold exposure was a central cause of her illness and then was able to heal.
Unrest, a documentary film by Jen Brea (2017). This award-winning documentary chronicles the filmmaker’s quest to overcome disabling myalgic encephalomyelitis, shares the stories of several other profoundly ill patients, and documents how mainstream medicine has turned a blind eye to the growing epidemic of a chronic illness that afflicts mostly women. Jen discovers that avoiding exposure to mold improves her health. Jen is a co-founder of #MEAction, a global health network for people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Paula Vetter with Lori Rossi, and Cindy Edwards, Mold Illness: Surviving and Thriving – A Recovery Manual for Patients and Families Impacted by CIRS (2017)