If chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) is suspected, we would conduct a blood test to check for the genes HLA-DR and HLA-DQ which indicate CIRS susceptibility. We also test for high amounts of cytokine in your blood and marked differences in levels of the following hormones and antibodies:
- Vasoactive intestinal peptide – Responsible for regulating the absorption of water and electrolytes in your gut. Also responsible for some heart and vascular functions. Low levels can cause watery diarrhea and indicate CIRS.
- Transforming growth factor Beta 1 – A specific type of cytokine, responsible for cell division and death. Large numbers indicate CIRS, and may be linked to your symptom of shortness of breath.
- Melanocyte stimulating hormone – Otherwise known as MSH, this hormone controls the pigment of your skin but it also regulates how much cytokine your body makes. Low levels indicate CIRS, as your body is unable to shut down production of cytokine.
- C4A – Part of the complement group, these are a group of proteins that work with your immune system. They are responsible for activating your neutrophil cells, which can worsen inflammation. Large numbers can indicate CIRS.
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) – This hormone normally regulates your cortisol levels. Your ACTH levels may initially be high and then can drop when symptoms are more prevalent.
- Cortisol – This hormone has many different functions in the body but is released in great quantities when you are stressed or your immune system requires back-up. Cortisol levels may be high initially but then drop over time.
- Anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) IgA/IgE – These antibodies are produced in response to gliadin. Often triggered if you have a gluten sensitivity, but they are also affected by mold biotoxins.
- VEGF – Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor stimulates blood vessel formulation. CIRS patients usually show a deficiency in VEGF.
- Leptin – This hormone helps regulate fat storage in the body. High levels of leptin result in quick, easy weight gain, another signifier of chronic inflammatory response syndrome.
- Anti-cardiolipin antibodies (ACLA) IgA/IgG/IgM – These antibodies are often seen in patients with autoimmune disorders. Heightened numbers usually indicate that your body is dealing with high levels of inflammation. In fact, your antibodies are often attacking your healthy tissues instead of the biotoxins.
- Antidiuretic hormone – This hormone is responsible for the regulation and balance of water in your body, your blood pressure, and concentration of urine being made in your kidneys. Reduced levels of ADH for a CIRS patient means that you suffer from dehydration, increased thirst, and frequent urination.
- MMP-9 – This enzyme is responsible for many different bodily processes from memory and wound healing, to blood vessel formation. Increased levels are a sign of chronic inflammatory response syndrome.
We also take a full history – not only of your health, but also of your environment. We need to establish if the mold exposure is ongoing, due to an infestation in your living or working environment, or whether your symptoms were triggered in the past. Only by establishing these facts can we then treat you effectively.