By Dr. Glenn Wilcox, D.O.M.
We humans get many forms of fungal infections. Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin. Athletes foot, as well as fingernail and toenail fungal infections are also a common problem. In this article I’ll focus on more serious fungal infections and discuss home mold problems that can impact health. Fungi include microorganisms such as yeasts and molds.
Valley Fever is a fungal infection caused by Coccidioides, pronounced kok-sid-e-OY-deze. It can cause chest pain, coughing, fever, and other symptoms. The fungi are commonly found in soil in the southwestern U.S. The fungi’s spores can be stirred into the air by anything that disrupts the soil such as farming, construction and wind. The spores are extremely small and can be carried hundreds of miles by the wind. Then, if breathed into the lungs these fungal spores can cause Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, pronounced kok-sid-e-oy-doh-my-KOH-sis.
Although mild cases of valley fever often resolve on their own, more severe cases can result and require intense medical care. The initial or acute form of Valley Fever is often mild, with few or no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they appear one to three weeks after exposure and tend to resemble the flu, and include: fever, cough, chest pain, chills, night sweats, headache, fatigue, joint aches, red spotty rash. If symptoms do develop, it can take months to fully recover. Fatigue and joint aches can last longer.
A rash sometimes accompanies valley fever and is made up of painful red bumps that may later turn brown. The rash mainly appears on your lower legs, but sometimes on your chest, arms and back. Others may have a raised red rash with blisters or eruptions that look like pimples.
Valley Fever may progress to a chronic form of pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms may include low-grade fever, weight loss, cough, chest pain, blood-tinged sputum, and nodules in the lungs.
The most serious form of the disease is disseminated coccidioidomycosis that occurs when the infection spreads beyond the lungs to other parts of the body including the skin, bones, liver, brain, heart, and the membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord (meninges). The symptoms may include nodules, ulcers and skin lesions that are more serious than the rash; painful lesions in the skull, spine or other bones; painful, swollen joints, especially in the knees or ankles; and meningitis, an infection of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Medical professionals of every type are generally ignorant about the fairly common prevalence of Valley Fever in New Mexico. To help correct this, the New Mexico Department of Health teamed up with the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to create a documentary titled “The Zebra Among the Horses.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDA-QCxrRZA) You can find it on YouTube. It’s 43 minutes long and will provide you with a better understanding of this serious, underdiagnosed disease.
Valley Fever Case History
JR had been an athletic, healthy man in his 30s when he developed a lung problem. His M.D. lung specialist discovered a lesion in his lung. JR had been on antibiotics for a couple of years when he came to see me. The lung lesion was not resolved. He had a chronic cough, was exhausted, and normal activities of daily living were limited. I suspected Valley Fever. I sent a lung sputum specimen to Dr. Hammed Ibraheem’s lab in Africa. Dr. Ibraheem is the world class M.D. and microscopist to whom I regularly send specimens of all types for accurate diagnosis. I have not found equivalent diagnostic services available in America. Sure enough, JR had a Valley Fever infection that had been missed. I put him on a brief protocol of the amazing Plant Juices from Africa that I commonly use, performed a series of 10 oxidative IVs and 4 activated immune injections compounded from JR’s blood. All symptoms resolved. He felt great. He went back to his pulmonary specialist and imaging revealed the lung lesion was gone! That was several years ago. JR continues to feel fine. Sweet!!!
The most common fungal infection that humans get is Candidiasis caused by the yeast Candida albicans. This yeast is everywhere and has become more virulent since the inappropriate use of antibiotics became common. It thrives in our bodies when our immune system is weakened, or our microbiome is compromised by the presence of parasites, unhealthy bacteria, the use of antibiotics and other factors. Read my previous article on the microbiome in Truly Alive. Candidiasis can occur almost anywhere in the body – intestines, throat, urinary system, upper and lower respiratory systems, vagina, prostate, skin and the blood.
Be aware that in medical school conventional medical doctors are indoctrinated with an ill-informed belief system (BS) about Candida albicans. The belief is that humans cannot have a Candida albicans infection in their blood unless they are dying. This is nonsense based on ignorance. A well trained microscopist can identify this yeast in human blood and it does occur fairly frequently in folks even if they are not currently dying.
Candida infections can cause itching, burning, rash, digestive complaints, thrush, urinary tract irritation, vaginal discharge, enlarged prostate, fatigue, malaise, brain fog, and other mysterious complaints.
A candida albicans infection can be difficult to eradicate because it will reoccur quickly if an appropriate, holistic protocol is not impeccably followed. This involves first resolving any underlying pathogens such as parasites and unhealthy bacteria. Next a healthy bacterial microbiome must be reestablished, and the immune system invigorated if it has been compromised.
Mucor racemosus is a mold that has a worldwide distribution and colonizes vegetational products, soil and houses. It is considered an opportunistic pathogen, generally limited to immunocompromised individuals. It has also been associated with allergy and inflammation of facial sinuses. It is the most common mold found in the floor dust in houses and is largely considered as an indoor mold but is also in soil.
M. racemosus is considered a rare agent of human disease. Although I agree this infection indicates an immunocompromised person, it shows up quite frequently in the live blood specimens I send to Dr. Ibraheem for analysis.
It is an agent of Mucormycosis, a potentially life-threatening infection often involving the airways or the head. Pulmonary, cutaneous, and gastrointestinal infections can occur. Allergies to M. racemosus have been reported to affect immunologically normal individuals resulting in rhinitis and rhinosinusitis. Asthmatic patients have also shown elevated sensitization to M. racemosus.
Although conventional drug treatment of M. racemosus can be difficult, my clinical experience has been that it can be resolved quickly if an appropriate protocol is completed.
Mold that is harmful to health can grow in your home and you might never know it because it hides inside the walls and ceiling, or under the flooring. The bad molds are commonly called Black Mold. These are toxic. The main one is Stachybotrys. Another dangerous black mold is Chaetomium. Some strains of Aspergillus are problematic and can cause allergies.
Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee, created an excellent 29-minute documentary on home mold titled “Moldy.” You can watch it on YouTube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VI0_azQv6N8)
Home Mold Case History
SW was a healthy man in his mid 30s with no prior history of allergies or upper respiratory issues. He developed a chronic nasal/sinus infection. It did not respond to antibiotics from his conventional doc, and I was puzzled because it did not respond to what I did, which was unusual. Coincidentally, during this resistant problem he decided to remodel his master bathroom. During demolition of the existing walls and floor, a nasty black mold situation was discovered. He had the hidden water pipe drip repaired, had pros perform remediation on the black mold, and completed the remodel. His upper respiratory issues vanished and have not returned for the past several years.
Home Mold – Who Ya Gonna Call?
I refer my patients to MoldBusters. They do excellent work and their patented process is absolutely not toxic. Your whole house will be filled with a dry-fog agent called InstaPURE. This is the home version of Minncare that is used in hospitals. The dry-fog agent is a combination of hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid (very strong vinegar). The MoldBusters procedure will kill mold, bacteria and viruses anywhere in your entire home, even inside the walls, ceilings, floor and vents. Then, a second stage treatment is performed with EverPURE that prevents reoccurrence. They also perform Air Quality Tests to determine what strains and how much mold is present in your home.
Call Cassie Redd, the owner of MoldBusters, at 505-610-4821. Request a free inspection. Mention my name and get a 10% discount on their services.