A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story
March, 2013, Kelsey Best, was diagnosed with Sick Building Syndrome, also referred to as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. In Kelsey’s case, because of her prolonged exposure to mold, from the age of five until her diagnosis, she suffered from Mycotoxicosis which is the term used for poisoning associated with prolonged exposure to mycotoxins.
In the simplest term possible, mycotoxins are produced by some molds. Unseen by the naked eye, these toxins then enter the body through the skin, mucous, and airways. The entry of these mycotoxins could then compromise the hosts immune system, particularly if there is long term exposure.
Some research theorizes that 25% of the human population has a genetic pre-disposition to mold illness. It is also suspected that prolonged exposure to T-2 mycotoxins found in many molds will have an impact on anyone’s health. As Susan Lillard-Roberts of Mold-Survivor points out:
Exposure to the T-2 mycotoxins found in many types of current indoor molds will poison anyone in time; no one is immune.
SYMPTOMS OF MYCOTOXICOSIS
These are the symptoms of Mycotoxicosis identified by Lillard-Roberts:
-Fibromyalgia/mps (and several correlated symptoms)
-Respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, sinusitis
-Difficulty swallowing, choking, spitting up (vomiting) mucous
-Burning in the throat and lungs (similar to acid reflux and often misdiagnosed as such)
–Asthmatic signs; wheezing, shortness in breath, coughing, burning in lungs, etc.
-Irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, diarrhea, sharp abdominal pains, stomach lesions
-Bladder, liver, spleen, or kidney pain
-Dark or painful urine
-Dirt-like taste in mouth, coated tongue
-Food allergies/leaky gut syndrome/altered immunity
–Memory loss; brain fog, slurred speech, occasionally leading to dementia
-Swollen lymph nodes
-Large boils on neck (often a sign of anaphylaxis)
-Yellowing of nails, ridges, or white marks under nail
-Thyroid irregularities, sometimes leading to complete dysfunction; adrenal problems
-Anxiety/depression, heart palpitations – confusion, PTSD
-Extreme blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides irregularities
-Ringing in ears, balance problems (very common), dizziness, loss of hearing (aspergillus niger)
–Chronic fatigue (also included under this classification directional confusion)
-Intermittent face flushing; almost always systemic, Called the Mylar Flush (neurological)
-Night head sweats, and drooling while sleeping, profuse sweating
-Multiple chemical sensitivity; only upon exposure to Stachybotrys and Chaetomium
-Nose bleeds (stachybotrys)
-Bruising/scarring easily; rash or hives, bloody lesions all over the skin (Often systemic, see images; skin)
-Reproductive system complications; infertility, changes in menstrual cycles, miscarriage
-Sudden weight changes (Detoxifier genotypes tend to gain weight, non-detoxifier genotypes tend to lose weight)
-Hair loss, very brittle nails, temporary loss of fingerprints (in rare cases)
-Joint/muscle stiffness and pain
-Irregular heart beat/heart attack
-Seizures, inadvertent body jerking, twitching, inadvertent facial movements or numbness in face
-Hypersensitivity when re-exposed to molds, which can lead to anaphylaxis
-Anaphylaxis upon re-exposure to mycotoxin producing molds
THE KELSEY BEST STORY
Earlier this year, I had an opportunity to speak with Kelsey Best, who read and commented on the first Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor article we published. Kelsey advised me that she has suffered from mold illness for most of her life.
Kelsey’s story is particularly interesting because she was a very accomplished athlete. In 2005, she placed second at the Junior Canadian Nationals for Track and Field in Javelin and won herself a spot on the Junior Canadian Pan American Track and Field Team. That same year, she also represented the province of Nova Scotia at the Canada Games. In addition to being an accomplished athlete, she was also a leader, a flag bearer at the Pan Am games and captain of the Nova Scotia team for the field events.
You would think that such an accomplished athlete, would be the picture of health. Yet, this is not the case.
Kelsey believes that she has a genetic pre-disposition to mold sickness and that this is one of the primary reasons that she has been suffering for most of her life. In her view, she has been chronically exposed to mold at her primary school, highschool, and the government of Nova Scotia buildings she worked at.
Kelsey believes that this chronic exposure to mold has resulted in her downward health spiral: 20 years of being exposed to mold would have an effect on anybody.
Throughout her childhood and adult years, Kelsey has suffered from the following symptoms which progressively worsened over time: ear and throat infections, asthma, skin rashes, unexplained headaches, swollen tongue with sores and white coating, severe depression leading to suicidal thoughts and attempts, extreme abdominal pain and bloating, back pain, joint pain, severe diarrhea, severe weight loss, extreme fatigue, very pale, no concentration or focus (ADHD), no appetite, nausea and vomiting, mood swings, unstable emotions, foggy head, hard of hearing, uncontrollable acid reflux, digestive problems, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, weakened immune system, psoriasis/eczema, restless leg syndrome, dry skin/brittle nails and hair, painful PMS, menopause, constant allergic reactions, body temperature fluctuations, and anaphylactic shock.
Perhaps, the most frustrating and heart breaking aspect of this case is that Kelsey has sought medical assistance throughout her life. She has consulted with numerous physicians who have performed a battery of tests and prescribed many different medications. Yet, despite the fact that Kelsey continued to get sicker, not one doctor even considered that maybe environmental factors, like mold, was the root cause of the problem.
The main issue with main stream medicine is ignorance of the health issues caused by mold. This systemic ignorance is the reason that people that suffer from mold sickness never get the help they need.
Like most cases of mold sickness, it is the victim who must determine the cause of the sickness.
January 2013, after numerous tests, her Doctor told her that nothing was wrong with her. Frustrated, Kelsey, asked if mold could be the issue. According to Kelsey, the doctor laughed and stated: it does not appear that you have lung disease!
Rather than giving up on the possibility that mold could be the cause, Kelsey began researching the topic on the Internet. During her research she learned about Mycotoxicosis and realized that she had been suffering from about 30 of the symptoms listed. Armed with her research, she again presented this information to her Doctor, who finally referred her to a specialist in environmental medicine who diagnosed her with Sick Building Syndrome.
Since her diagnosis in March, 2013, and armed with the knowledge that chronic exposure to mold has caused her sickness, she is focused on healing and detoxing her body. She has consulted with a Doctor of traditional Chinese medicine for assistance. In addition, she has been utilizing the services of a local business, Atlantic Healing Hemp, to fully detoxify. Kelsey explains her detoxing story in much greater detail in the video below
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— #GotMold?™ (@gotmoldglobal) April 29, 2014