A study was released today entitled the "Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome".
The full study can be found here. This is important work.
Mycotoxins are one of those unheralded co-factors in ME/CFS -along with mercury, mold, and other environmental factors. Mycotoxins can be added to the list of "the usual suspects" that need to be considered, and treated - gut ecology, mitochondrial defects, diet, hormonal irregularities, viral activations, bacterial complications, mycoplasmas and so forth. It is a long list. Mycotoxins might be an important confounding factor in this illness.
Dr. Joseph Brewer has worked on this study. Dr. Brewer is one of the foremost clinicians/researchers in ME/CFS and Lyme disease. Dr. Brewer is an Infectious Disease doctor who practices in Kansas City, MO. Dr. Brewer has worked with both HIV and CFS patients for 25 years. He has also treated many Lyme patients. In my estimation Dr. Brewer is among the very best physicians dealing with this illness. Dr. Brewer has shown interest in identifying causes of or confounders associated with the immune dysfunction in ME/CFS. After his full day of treating patients, Dr. Brewer reads ME/CFS research late into the night.
In this study Dr. Brewer has teamed up with Dr. Dennis Hooper of Realtime labs. Dr. Hooper gave a talk at the recent Physicians Roundtable in Tampa, FL. Dr. Hooper has developed an important mycotoxin test that was used in this study. The test is a urine test and looks for three mycotoxins: aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, and macrocyclic trichothecenes. More about mycotoxins and Realtime labs mycotoxin testing can be found here.
My daughter has done this test twice. The first time she came back with elevated Ochratoxin A. As far as I can determine Ochratoxin A is associated with water damaged buildings. Several ERMI tests indicated mold associated with water. It appears that my daughter's apartment was in a building built on a stream bed. While there was no visible water damage or mold, I could never remediate the building and get a reasonable ERMI test result. I write about this experience here.
Eventually I helped my daughter move (for non-mold related reasons) to another apartment. I was expecting that a repeat Mycotoxin test would reveal that the Ochratoxin A had disappeared. This turned out not to be true as the Ochratoxin A was still elevated. (I have no idea about the relativity of this elevation). The suspicion has to be that she was moved into another water damaged building.
Treatment of mycotoxins is: Avoidance, FIR sauna, and cholestryamine. I would imagine that other detox regimes might be helpful.
This study highlights once again the complexity of ME/CFS and gives us a good chance to look in this direction to see if there are problems (confounders) that can be remedied.