“Research has increasingly shown that toxic mold is much more dangerous than was previously recognized.” This quote from the study article out of The University of Texas health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) is like a breath of fresh air for those of us in the mold detox world. While their research arises from a survey looking at the potential triggers for chemical intolerance prevents a proof of causation, at least this may trigger further research. This further recognition of the likely presence of the “two-stage” process for inducing Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) hold further promise for real research that acknowledges the contribution of environmental toxins to the growing epidemic of chronic unexplained illnesses.
Researchers conducted a QUEESI (Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory” survey of over 10,000 US adults regarding potential triggers for Chemical Intolerance. This condition includes patients having a variety of symptoms when exposed to “previously tolerated, structurally diverse chemical inhalants, foods/food additives and drugs.” These symptoms often get lumped into “Medically Unexplained Symptoms” by a variety of specialists and primary care providers. They looked at these symptoms: “fatigue, headaches, weakness, rash, mood changes, musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, as well as difficulties with attention and concentration often described as “brain fog”. They noted estimates of this condition at anywhere from 8% to 33% in other surveys and some longitudinal surveys indicated a growing prevalence.
Of the over 10,000 respondents to the survey, they found 20% who met QEESI criteria for TILT, with about half identifying more than one initial exposure. Their top correlating exposures included: mold, pesticides, remodeling/new construction, medical procedures, combustion products, and implants. Prolonged use of antibiotics were also noted as a correlation. They then discussed the link of mast cells to these conditions and how unavoidable exposures to “fragranced personal care, cleaning, and laundry products in multi-occupant housing, workplaces, medical settings, schools, places of worship, and all public buildings” could exacerbate the symptoms.
We in functional medicine have been dealing with these conditions, symptoms, and triggers for years while being dismissed by the broader medical community. With the growing epidemic and research like this coming out of a major medical institution, hopefully someone will begin to take us and the patients with “MUS” and “TILT” seriously. Until then, we continue to help our patients restore healthier more abundant lives.
Claudia S. Miller, Raymond F. Palmer, David Kattari, Shahir Masri, Nicholas A. Ashford, Rodolfo Rincon, Roger B. Perales, Carl Grimes, Dana R. Sundblad. What initiates chemical intolerance? Findings from a large population-based survey of U.S. adults. Environmental Sciences Europe, 2023; 35 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12302-023-00772-x
Thanks to Science Daily:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Toxic molds, fossil fuels, antibiotics linked to chemical intolerance.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/09/230901124048.htm>.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.