COEM specializes in Environmental, Functional, and Integrative Medicine – which are all board-certified and evidence-based fields of medicine. Our center is one of the few resources for the practice of Environmental Medicine in the entire Southeast. Our physicians treat patients using a combination of conventional allopathic medicine with holistic medicine treatments using some of the best, scientifically validated therapies available. We take the time to develop and monitor individualized treatment plans designed to heal the whole body, not just relieve symptoms.
We look for biomarkers of exposure through blood and allergy testing to determine sensitivity and the type of mold you have been exposed to. Indicators of mold poisoning include, but are not limited to, a low white blood cell count, poor lung function, and neurological damage associated with exposure to biotoxins. Knowing the type of mold and its affects can help the doctor pinpoint the treatment.
NEW PATIENT INFORMATION
The initial appointment is an entire day, starting with a lengthy consultation reviewing your life and health history. We evaluate several factors throughout your history including, allergies, toxins, infections, stress, genetics, lifestyle, and nutrition. At the end of your appointment, the doctor will go over treatment recommendations. To learn more about our new patient appointments, please contact our New Patient Coordinator, Gabrielle at 843-572-1600 or complete the form found on our ‘Schedule Appointment’ page.
Dr. Bettina Herbert discusses Mold Toxicity on ABC 4’s Lowcountry Live.
MOLD AND HUMAN HEALTH
Exposure to toxic mold can cause numerous health problems. After pollen, mold is the leading cause of outdoor airborne allergies. Mold produces several harmful substances like allergens, irritants, and the most harmful of all, mycotoxins – a potentially toxic substance. Mold and the toxins they secrete (i.e. mycotoxins) are increasingly being recognized as a source of illness and wide a range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, including:
- Muscle and joint aches and pains (including cramping)
- Coughing & Wheezing
- Sinus pain
- Sleep disorders
- Night Sweats
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulties losing weight
- Skin rashes
- Abdominal Pain
- Immune suppression
- Kidney and lung disease
- Anxiety & Depression
- Difficulty focusing or finishing a task
- Feeling disconnected, confused, or losing parts of your personality
- Nerve Pain
- Numbness & tingling
Dr Allan Lieberman, in his paper Explosion of Mold Cases in Homes, Workplaces and Occupational Medicine Practice, examined 48 patients who were heavily exposed to mold and stated that the following problems are caused by mold:
- Muscle and joint pain (71%)
- Fatigue and weakness (70%)
- Neurocognitive dysfunction (67%)
- Sinusitis (65%)
- Headache (65%)
- Gastrointestinal problems (58%)
- Shortness of breath (54%)
- Anxiety/depression/irritability (54%)
- Chest tightness (42%)
- Insomnia (40%)
- Dizziness (38%)
- Numbness/tingling (35%)
- Laryngitis (35%)
- Tremors (25%)
- Heart palpitations (21%)
BEYOND MOLD: OTHER DANGERS FROM WATER DAMAGED BUILDINGS
Nearly 50% of buildings are water damaged and can be a host to many other dangers like bacteria and inflammatory toxins (know as biotoxins).
These organisms can metabolize materials and chemicals that are used in the construction of buildings and change them into new chemicals called inflammogens.
When someone who is genetically susceptible becomes exposed to these toxins, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) can occur. This is the body’s uncontrollable inflammatory response to a toxin it can’t get rid of, causing a flood of inflammatory and hormonal changes.
This condition most frequently happens in the 24% of the population who have the genetic susceptibility (HLA DR/DQ genotype) who can’t detoxify mold well (source: Jill Carnahan, MD).
The physicians at COEM are experts in treating mold related illnesses, including CIRS. If you suspect CIRS or toxic mold exposure as the cause of your health problems, call our doctors today at 843-572-1600.