Lab Tests For Mold Toxicity

bloodWhy Test?

The laboratory tests are often paid for by insurance companies.  Treating Mold illness can be expensive, but with the right testing you can be more specific in your treatment approach.  These tests are not standard tests used by doctors, but have highly beneficial to Environmental and Mold Literate Doctors. They can help pinpoint how mold has affected you.  Here is a list of labs with codes you can print and request a doctor to order: Shoemaker Labs.

 

VIP – Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide

Normal Range:  23-63 pg/mL

Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a neuroregulatory hormone with receptors in the hypothalamus.  This hormone/cytokine regulates peripheral cytokine responses, pulmonary artery pressures, and inflammatory responses throughout the body.

Low VIP levels are present in mold illness patients.  This leads to unusual shortness of breath, especially in exercise.  To date, every multiple chemical sensitivity patient Shoemaker has seen (over 500) have had low VIP.  VIP plays a role similar to MSH in regulating inflammatory responses.

With respect to the digestive system, VIP seems to induce smooth muscle relaxation (lower esophageal sphincter, stomach, gallbladder), stimulate secretion of water into pancreatic juice and bile, and cause inhibition of gastric acid secretion and absorption from the intestinal lumen, which can lead to chronic, watery diarrhea.

VIP replacement, when used according to a strictly administered protocol, has proven to be fabulously effective in returning chronically fatigued patients back to a normal life.  Do not use VIP if you are exposed to mold (with ERMI values greater than 2); if you fail a VCS test; or if you have a MARCoNS present in your nose.

 

MSH – Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone

Normal Range35-81 pg/mL

Alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) has multiple anti-inflammatory and neurohormonal regulatory functions, exerting regulatory control on peripheral cytokine release, as well as on both anterior and posterior pituitary function.

In mold illness, MSH will be too low in over 95% of patients.  This means increased susceptibility to mold illness, ongoing fatigue, pain, hormone abnormalities, mood swings, and much more.  MSH is a hormone, called a regulatory neuropeptide, and it controls many other hormones, inflammation pathways, and basic defenses against invading microbes.  Without MSH, bad things happen; chronic sleep disorders with non-restful sleep develop, and endorphin production is reduced, so chronic pain follows.

 

TGF Beta-1 – Transforming Growth Factor Beta-1

Normal Range:  <2380 pg/ml

TGF Beta-1 is a protein that has important regulatory effects throughout innate immune pathways.  This protein helps control the growth and division (proliferation) of cells, the process by which cells mature to carry out specific functions (differentiation), cell movement (motility), and the self-destruction of cells (apoptosis).  The TGF Beta-1 protein is found throughout the body and plays a role in development before birth, the formation of blood vessels, the regulation of muscle tissue and body fat development, wound healing, and immune system function (especially regulatory T-cells).

TGF Beta-1 can impair T-regulatory cell function, which in turn contributes to the activation of autoimmunity, yet TGF Beta-1 also plays a role in suppressing autoimmunity(!).  TGF Beta-1 has become important in the exploding incidences of childhood asthma, raising the tantalizing issue of remodeling due to biotoxin exposure.  The EPA says that 21% of all new cases of asthma are due to exposure to Water Damaged Buildings.  If an individual develops wheezing after exposure to a water damaged building, look for remodeling to be the cause.  Remodeling means “something” happens that the airway changes to be more reactive and in need of medications to reduce wheezing.  Neurologic, autoimmune and many other systemmic problems also are found with high TGF Beta-1.

 

 

C4a

Normal Range0-2830 ng/ml

C4a has become the inflammatory marker of greatest significance looking at innate immune responses in those with exposure to Water Damaged Buildings (WDB).

The complement system is a group of proteins that move freely through your bloodstream.  The proteins work with your immune system and play a role in the development of inflammation.

Each complement activates inflammatory responses, with spillover of effect from the innate immune response to acquired immune response and hematologic parameters.

These short-lived products are re-manufactured rapidly, such that an initial rise of plasma levels is seen within 12 hours of exposure to biotoxins, and sustained elevation is seen until definitive therapy is initiated.

 

 

Lab Tests for Mold Illness – Secrets of Survival

The laboratory tests that are ordered are blood tests done in labs around the world, and paid for by insurance companies.  These tests hold the secrets of surviving mold illness.  The names may be foreign to you, but since they are the things that hold the secrets to Surviving Mold, meet them today and perhaps know them as friends tomorrow.

You don’t need to be an expert to read further, but you should not turn away from learning more.  Take the time to learn the language of mold illness and this site will try to make things as understandable as possible.

No one says learning is easy, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the learning process when it’s your illness.  Knowledge is power.

 

HLA DR – Your Genes

(AKA “The Dreaded Gene”)

Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLAs), are found on the surface of nearly every cell in the human body.  They help the immune system tell the difference between body tissue and foreign substances.

The immune response genes are found on chromosome six.  Patients could have two alleles, copies of genes (for each gene, one allele is inherited from a person’s father, and the other is inherited from a person’s mother), out of approximately 10 possible, as part of their genotype.  Based on Dr. Shoemaker’s data, in normal populations compared to international registries of gene frequencies of HLA DR, we know the frequency of mold illness-susceptible patients approximates 24% of the normally distributed population.  Almost a quarter of the normal population is genetically susceptible to chronic mold illness.  Three quarters isn’t.

 DRB1  DQ  DRB3  DRB4  DRB5
 Multisusceptible  4  3  53
 11/12  3  52B
 14  5  53B
 Mold Susceptible  7  2/3  53
 13  6  52A, B, C
 17  2  52A
 18*  4  52A
 Borrelia, post Lyme Syndrome  15  6  51
 16  5  51
 Dinoflagellates  4  7/8  53
 Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Staph Epidermis (MARCoNS)  11  7  52B
 No recognized significance  8  3, 4, 6
 Low-risk Mold  7  9  53
 12  7  52B
 9  9  53

 

AGA IgA/IgG

Normal Range:  0-19

Antigliadin (AGA) antibodies are produced in response to gliadin, a small protein that is part of gluten, biologically active of wheat, barley and rye.  These antibodies were thought at one time to be specific for Celiac Disease.

Within 30 minutes of ingestion of gliadin, for those with antigliadin antibodies, there will be an inflammatory response.  This inflammatory response can provide many symptoms, including some that mimic attention deficit disorder.    We all know that some kids are labeled as having ADHD because of their abnormal behavior seen within 30 minutes of eating a cupcake.  It is not the sugar in the icing, it is the gluten in the cake.  Antigliadin antibodies are found in over 58% of children with biotoxin-associated illness.

 

ACTH/Cortisol

Normal Range:  ACTH – 8-37 pg/mL; Cortisol – a.m. 4.3-22.4 / p.m. 3.1-16.7 ug/dL

ACTH is a hormone released from the anterior pituitary gland in the brain.  Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex, which is the outer part of the adrenal gland.  The adrenal glands are located on top of both kidneys.

Early in the illness, as MSH begins to fall, high ACTH is associated with few symptoms; a marked increase in symptoms is associated with a fall in ACTH.  Finding simultaneous high cortisol and high ACTH may prompt consideration of screening tumors, but the reality is that the dysregulation usually corrects with therapy.

 

VEGF

Normal Range:  31-86 pg/mL

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation and increases blood flow in the capillary beds.   VEGF is a polypeptide.  Deficiency of VEGF is quite common and is a serious problem in biotoxin illness patients that must be corrected.  If you don’t have blood flow, cells begin starve and don’t work properly.

 

ACLA IgA/IgG/IgM

Normal Range:  IgA – 0-12; IgG 0-10; IgM 0-9

Anticardiolipins (ACLA) are autoantibodies.  Antibodies are proteins in the blood that the body produces to fight off foreign agents.  Antibodies do this by creating an immunity against unfamiliar microorganisms.  Autoantibodies are antibodies that are directed against one’s self.  They interfere with the normal function of blood vessels and react with proteins in the blood that are bound to phospholipid, a type of fat molecule that is a part of the normal cell membrane.

IgA, IgM, and IgG are autoantibodies often identified in collagen vascular diseases such a lupus and scleroderma, and are often called anti-phospholipids.

An increased risk of spontaneous fetal loss in the first trimester of pregnancy is not uncommonly seen in women with the presence of these autoantibodies.  They are found in over 33% of children with biotoxin-associated illnesses.

 

ADH/Osmolality

Normal Range: ADH – 1.0-13.3 pg/ml; Osmolality – 280-300 mosmol

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), or vasopressin, is a substance produced naturally by the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland. The hormone controls the amount of water your body removes.

Osmolality is a test that measures the concentration of all chemical particles found in the fluid part of the blood.

Symptoms associated with dysregulation of ADH include dehydration, frequent urination, with urine showing low specific gravity; excessive thirst and sensitivity to static electrical shocks; as well as edema and rapid weight gain due to fluid retention during initial correction of ADH deficits.

 

MMP-9

Normal Range85-332 ng/mL

Matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) is an enzyme that in humans, is encoded by the MMP9 gene.  Proteins of the MMP9 family are involved in the breakdown of extracellular matrix in normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development, reproduction, and tissue remodeling, as well as in disease processes.

It has been implicated in pathogenesis COPD by destruction of lung elastin, in rheumatoid arthritis, astherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

MMP-9 delivers inflammatory elements of of blood into subintimal spaces, where further delivery into solid organs (brain, lung, muscle, peripheral nerve and joint) is initiated.

 

Leptin

Normal RangeMale: 0.5-13.8 ng/mL; Female: 1.1-27.5 ng/mL

Leptin turns on how tightly the body holds onto fatty acids.  When Leptin is high, one holds onto fatty acids and stores them in fat.  This leads to rapid weight gain, and because of the high Leptin, standard approches to weight loss like eating less and exercising more will fail.  The inflammatory responses that causes Leptin levels to rise lead to patients who are chronically tired, in chronic pain, and forever overweight.

Courtesy of http://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis/lab-tests

The Following Urine Test can be ordered through Real Time Labs.

Courtesy of  http://www.realtimelab.com/environmental/mycotoxin-testing

Mycotoxin Testing 

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Mycotoxin Studies: Specimens from the environment (ie. homes, work spaces, schools,  and other areas) are accepted and evaluated for the presence of Mycotoxins (trichothecenes, aflatoxins, ochratoxins).

Trichothecenes are evaluated by using Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay (ELISA).  The test at RTL has been validated as a qualitative test.  Thus, RTL reports whether tricothecenes are PRESENT or NOT PRESENT.

Aflatoxins are evaluated using ImmunoSorbant Columns containing antibodies to the group of aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, and G2).  Results are reported as PRESENT or NOT PRESENT.

Ochratoxin A is evaluated using ImmunoSorbant Columns containing antibodies to the Ochratoxin A.  Results are reported as PRESENT or NOT PRESENT.

This Urine Test can be ordered through Real Time Labs.

Courtesy of  http://www.realtimelab.com/environmental/mycotoxin-testing

 

Mycotoxin Lab Tests: RealTime Lab

This information has been provided to me by RealTime Lab. I’m grateful to them and appreciate that they were willing to share what they can with each of you.

I have no financial interest in RealTime Lab. It just happens that they were the lab I used because my Doc has vetted them and used them for years in his research into mold poisoning. You may prefer to find a different lab. In any case, I encourage you to go to your doctor or find a doc that can help you make those decisions.

The information below is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Do I need to get the testing done through RealTime Lab?  RealTime Lab does not prescribe to, diagnose or treat patients.  Patients must discuss any lab testing with a health care provider.

 How much does the test cost? The cost for the urine mycotoxin panel is $699.

Will insurance cover these tests?  Each insurance company reimburses a different amount based on your explanation of benefits.  The test will be paid for up-front and then either RTL can bill your insurance company or we will provide you with a paid invoice so that you can bill your insurance company.  Please call the Patient Navigation department at RTL at 855-MYCO-SOS (855-692-6767) with further insurance questions or to get the CPT codes for this testing.

I have been sick for a very long time and am on disability.  I barely have the money for any of my medical bills.  This is common with any chronic illness where a patient is no longer able to work.  There are organizations available to help patients with medical bills.  Please call the Patient Navigation department at RTL at 855-MYCO-SOS (855-692-6767) to discuss charitable organizations that are available to help pay for medical bills. 

 Do I have to have a physician to order the testing and/or treatment?  Yes.  Please call the Patient Navigation department at RTL at 855-MYCO-SOS (855-692-6767)  to get a list of physicians in your area who order testing through RealTime Lab, OR have your physician call 972-492-0419 to order test kits.

How can I find a physician in my area?  Please call the Patient Navigation department at RTL at 855-MYCO-SOS (855-692-6767)  to get a list of physicians in your area who order testing through RealTime Lab

 How can I get my physician to order the testing? Please have your physician call 972-492-0419 to order test kits. (Note from Sher: please click here for a free printable I put together that can help you talk to your doc about getting tested.

 How do I get my home tested?  Please call the Patient Navigation department at RTL at 855-MYCO-SOS (855-692-6767)  to get a list of ENV inspectors in your area who already use environmental mycotoxin testing through RTL.  OR have your environmental inspector contact RTL to order test kits.

How do I get my home remediated?  You will discuss this with an environmental inspector

What type of treatment is available for patients with mold/mycotoxin related illness?  RealTime Lab does not prescribe to, diagnose or treat patients, but the Patient Navigation department is able to provide the latest research on mycotoxins and their link to human illness.  Some research articles provide information on treatment.  Please call the Patient Navigation department at RTL at 855-MYCO-SOS (855-692-6767) to have this peer-reviewed, published research emailed to you.

The information above is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.