Have you been more tired than normal? Do you have problems thinking, word recall or remembering things? Are you unmotivated, anxious or depressed? Have you been in a water damaged or environmentally sick building?
If you have been experiencing these symptoms or exposed to the risks above, you may be suffering from Biotoxin Illness. In this week’s installment, we will discuss the basics of Biotoxin Illness and answer the fundamental questions behind this topic including what is Biotoxin Illness, how we can test for it, and how this can be treated.
What is Biotoxin Illness?
Many organisms produce a variety of different chemicals that we call Biotoxins that can cause a toxic response in humans if ingested, inhaled, or if contact is made with the skin. These may include heavy metals, Lyme (Borrelia), molds and fungus, viral and bacterial infections, parasites, certain spiders (e.g. recluse), Botox, food preservatives, dental compounds, and even toxins from significant stress. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to react adversely to these Biotoxins and develop a multitude of symptoms, as listed above.
To truly understand this topic, it comes down to some basic science.
Biotoxins are capable of disrupting vital bodily functions of the nervous system/nerve cells, including DNA transcription, nutrient transport, and mitochondrial respiration (i.e. degeneration of energy/pervasive fatigue). They are able to dissolve into fatty tissue and move through cell membranes, since membranes are 50% lipid (fat). They have the ability to disrupt the sodium and calcium channel receptors as well as disrupting the electrostatic function of the cell and cell signaling throughout the body.
In order to determine if a patient has Biotoxin Illness, the most imperative thing the physician must do is to complete a thorough history. A physician familiar with Biotoxin Illness must understand the patient’s past illnesses, current symptoms, environmental exposure, medications and supplements, family history and surgical history fully and completely. Once a full history is obtained, the physician can then begin to synthesize this information and search for possible exposure risk. A quick, non-invasive screening test called the Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test can also screen for the disease. This test addresses the neurological function of visual contrast.
After possible risks are identified and the initial screening test is completed, the physician can recommend several blood tests, which may aid in understanding the body’s response to inflammation and help determine if Biotoxin Illness is the culprit.
The road to treating Biotoxin Illness is one with many steps, which must be tailored specifically for each case and patient. The most important of these steps is dentifying the exposure and ensuring that this is avoided in the future. If Biotoxin Illness is identified, there are several agents the physician can use to eliminate the Biotoxin and regulate hormones, osmolality and androgens that are affected by Biotoxin exposure.
The topic of Biotoxin Illness has many facets and requires the expertise of a physician trained in the topic. If you are suffering from Biotoxin Illness, let the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine guide you on the path to a happier, healthier life.