CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) and Biotoxin Illness

I met with my functional medicine doctor yesterday, and we went over all my symptoms and the fact that I really haven’t made any healing progress since I started seeing her in October. In fact, I feel like my health has actually declined. She said my symptoms- fatigue, thyroid and adrenal problems, memory loss, anxiety, plus the fact that I failed the Shoemaker vision test indicated that I have CIRS, or biotoxin illness, most likely from mold exposure at some point in my life.

While I am relieved to have a guess as to what’s going on with my body, I am also completely overwhelmed as to how we are going to move forward with treating my body and possibly our house. Our first step in healing my body is to actually take a medicine called cholestyramine, which will help bind to the toxins and remove them from my body. I’m nervous because I don’t want to suffer from detox effects, but I also am really tired of feeling like I’m dying. I need to keep working on eating healthy and supporting my body naturally to help it detox.

We also need to have our house inspected to see if there is any hidden mold. This completely overwhelms me because I feel like it’s a silent killer, and could possibly be lurking all in our house and all over our possessions. Thankfully we have been living minimally for years, and this is actually propelling us to live with even less. I have heard stories of some people who actually lock the doors and leave their houses with everything in it and move. I really hope it doesn’t come down to that for us! It makes me so sad to think about that. My daughter was born in our bathroom seven years ago, my sister lives next door, and we can picture ourselves living here for a long time and being happy.

I’ve called a few local companies but I don’t feel like they have given me the answers that I would like. My doctor’s office is going to be calling around to see if they can find a good company for us to have come out. In the meantime, I’m doing everything I can to keep the air in our house healthy- diffusing a thieves type blend essential oil, opening windows when it’s nice out, and I’m looking into purchasing an air purifier for our house.

It’s completely overwhelming to me. I feel like the treatment for myself and possibly the house are going to cost so much money it scares me. However, I have felt so bad for so long that at this point I would do pretty much whatever is necessary to heal my body and feel better! I can’t wait until the day that I feel good like I used to.

The good news is that if this is truly what we are dealing with, with the medicine I’m going to be taking, I should notice a difference within a few weeks. I surely hope so!

I will be sure to update on the progress of everything. I feel hopeful that we have a plan, and I am praying that healing will come quickly!

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4 Point Saliva Cortisol Test for Adrenal Fatigue

In my quest to treat adrenal fatigue naturally, I have found some lab testing to be very helpful. First off, a complete thyroid panel with Free T3, Free T4, total T4, Reverse T3, TSH, and the two types of thyroid antibodies. I actually recently pulled this myself as I was curious what my levels were. The other test that I think is extremely helpful is the four point saliva cortisol test. I recently completed this and received my results.

Cortisol is highest in the morning and then drops as the day progresses. Optimal cortisol follows that curve. My cortisol test came back low, low, high, high. The only one that was way out of range was the “evening” one. I am now taking PS 100 about an hour before each high was recorded- around 4pm and then 9pm. That will hopefully help get my cortisol back on track and the theory is that if you bring down the highs, the lows will come up. If I don’t feel like it’s helping bring the lows up, I will use Thorne Adrenal Cortex to bring up the lows. My thinking is that the lows really aren’t that low, so hopefully they will start to rise as my cortisol falls.

I’m also trying to make sure that my blood sugar is balanced. It seems as though people with adrenal fatigue experience reactive hypoglycemia symptoms and I am really bad about making sure that I’m eating on time. Sometimes I wait until I’m starting to get shaky and that’s terrible. I also have been making sure to eat protein, fat, and carbs together. Before bed, I make sure I have a snack. When I don’t, I’ve been waking up with my heart pounding in the middle of the night! It’s a terrible feeling!

My functional medicine doctor is also exploring the possibility of mold toxicity. I am hoping and praying that is not the root cause of all of this. I’m hoping it is just adrenal and thyroid problems. I think personally my case is more adrenal than thyroid, as I tried thyroid hormones but couldn’t tolerate them. I could be wrong, but that’s my gut feeling. It also seems like my body produces adequate t4 according to labs, but it’s not converting it properly. So frustrating.

A lot of the days I feel overwhelmed by anxiety. I have always had anxiety, but this is different. It’s like I’m a stranger in my body. I feel like I can’t control the anxiety or completely relax no matter what I do. I have never felt so bad in my life. I’m really hopeful that sharing my experience can help someone else, and in a few months I hope to be able to come back and share that I am feeling completely better! Healing is a journey. I think that’s probably what is so hard is not being able to do something and wake up completely better. I’m going to keep fighting and praying and will make it through this!

If you are struggling from chronic fatigue, anxiety, or overwhelm, please seek out a full thyroid panel at least. I’ve found the four point saliva cortisol test to be very helpful too. The best bet is to look for a functional or alternative medicine doctor.

I am not a doctor, and this is just my personal experience. Please visit a medical professional for any medical questions you may have.

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NDT Didn’t Work for Me

A few months ago, I was diagnosed hypothyroid and also with HPA Axis dysfunction. In an effort to try to heal my body, I am working with a functional medicine doctor to come up with a plan of action. My doctor started me on 60mg (1 grain) of natural desiccated thyroid to help with the hypothyroidism. After a few days of being on it, I was feeling worse. I had increased anxiety, fatigue, couldn’t keep my eyes open, and just felt like garbage. I felt much worse than before I started it! I called, and they said there are a couple reasons that NDT doesn’t work for someone.

Adrenal problems. Unfortunately, if you have adrenal issues, taking NDT can make your symptoms worse. In an effort to hopefully help my adrenals, I have ordered and am going to be doing a cortisol saliva test. This will give me a better idea of when I am high or low in cortisol and I can take adaptogens or other supplements to help. I wasn’t sure if the test was necessary, as my doctor said it really doesn’t matter if you are high or low- you treat it with adaptogens either way, but the more I read, the more I see that can be not true. Sometimes people can have really low cortisol and if you take certain adaptogens it can lower it even more, which is not good. I figure I’ll do this test and be able to come up with more of a treatment plan.

Iron problems. If your iron levels are off, you can also have problems with thyroid hormone replacement medicine. My doctor told me iron was fine- she actually said that my ferritin is high, which can be a marker of inflammation actually. I think I’m going to ask her to run a panel of four tests to check all the iron markers.

I’m unsure of the next steps after I work on healing my adrenals, but hopefully it won’t be too long and I’ll be able to try the NDT again if I need it. Such a confusing process! The hard thing is that adrenals and thyroid are so closely linked that you really can’t work on one without working on the other. One of the biggest things to help the adrenals is how you deal with stress, and in this day and age that’s not an easy feat! I’m thinking that in a few months I’ll be feeling a lot better and will be able to help others heal as well.

I am not a doctor, and this is just my personal experience. Please visit a medical professional for any medical questions you may have.

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