Mold Wars | Part 4

Battleground 4 — Treating CIRS

Posted in

Dr. Aaron Hartman

July 11, 2023

MW Battleground 4

In this article, let’s dive into the next battleground in the mold wars, which involves the treatment of CIRS. The entire treatment process is typically referred to as the “Shoemaker Protocol.” I have outlined that twelve-step process in a separate article. In this article, I want to focus on two treatment strategies:

  • Binders
  • Lipid Therapy


Binders are a critical step in the addressing any biotoxin-based illness, like CIRS. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the daunting 12-step process that doctors like me typically recommend for treating CIRS. I get it—lots of confusing words. But the first two steps are straightforward:

  1. Remove yourself from ongoing exposure (mold and water-damaged buildings).
  2. Use a “binder” to remove any existing biotoxin in your body.

All of the other steps are intended to address the complex chain reaction in your body responding to the biotoxin. But the two primary steps are removing yourself from ongoing exposure and removing the existing biotoxin in your body. That’s what binders do. “Binders” are any substances (whether pharmaceutical or natural) that bind with the toxin so that it can be safely excreted from your body.

Pharmaceutical Binders

Cholestyramine is the binder with the most evidence and track record, according to Dr. Shoemaker’s protocol. Another similar medication is called WelChol (colesevelam). These are two medications that are made to bind bile, and are also used to treat high cholesterol. I’ve used them in my career to treat various conditions such as C. diff, colitis, and other gut-related and diarrhea issues, especially with people who struggle with diarrhea after having their gallbladder removed. These drugs have been used for mold toxicity since the late 90s.

Cholestyramine and WelChol are the most effective binders. However (and this is a big however) many pharmaceuticals include lots of other chemicals as ingredients. Some formulas of cholestyramine contain artificial sweeteners, sugar, and artificial colors. Since my patients with CIRS are typically very sensitive to additives and chemicals, these patients often don’t tolerate these drugs well. To make things worse, these drugs can also be incredibly constipating, which is a horrible side effect and counterproductive when the goal is detoxification.

If you cannot tolerate cholestyramine or WelChol, what can you do?

This is where we face the next controversy in the Mold Wars.

Other Binders

Many practitioners in the integrative world began using things like activated charcoal, clay, bentonite clay, alginate, silica, which are effective for environmental toxins. These substances are good for overall binding, and are useful for binding heavy metals, but aren’t specifically studied for mold-related toxins.

Okra and beet fiber, however, HAVE been researched and studied for mold-related toxins. Compared to the pharmaceuticals mentioned above, these are the next best binders for treating CIRS. So using a supplement that has those extracts is a better way to go if you’re specifically focusing on binding and detoxifying mold-related toxins in the treatment of CIRS.

This can get more complica????5mg
ted for many of my patients who don’t just have mold issues; many also have SIBO, gut issues, heavy metal problems, autoimmune disease, and more. For some of these patients, using a different kind of binder is more appropriate. Binders, in general, are a controversial topic, and opinions vary widely depending on the specialist with whom you’re working and their experience.

Lipid Therapy

Another effective and evidence-based strategy for treating CIRS involves consuming healthy fats, also known as lipid therapy.

How does lipid therapy help with detoxification? Toxins get stuck in fat tissue, which is the reason why increasing the production of bile and supporting the liver are important aspects of treating CIRS.

Unfortunately, many mold practitioners — particularly those who are in the “urine mycotoxin” camp — are not familiar with lipid therapy and do not utilize lipids for reducing detox reactions, lowering inflammation, detoxifying the liver, and making more bile. Lipids (clean, healthy fats) can act like soap in the cell membranes to help pull out toxins.

Lipids (clean, healthy fats) can act like soap in the cell membranes to help pull out toxins.

When using lipid therapy with my patients, I like to use phosphatidylcholine, balanced omega threes and omega sixes, TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid), and even butyrate. These powerful nutritional supplements support the body’s ability to detoxify the cells.

Supplements for Lipid Therapy

Note: If you think you may have CIRS, but have not yet been diagnosed, please reach out to your medical provider before implementing a treatment protocol. Always check with your physician when adding supplements or medications to your treatment plan.

Some of my go-to supplements for lipid therapy in treating CIRS include:

  • BodyBio PC (Liquid)-8 oz
  • PC by Body Bio

  • 1 Tbsp daily
  • BodyBio PC consists of pure phospholipids that naturally form liposomes in the body. It is a concentrated mixture of phospholipids, with the primary one being Phosphatidylcholine. Importantly, the levels of PC decrease as we age and experience illness. This supplement is typically used for rebuilding membranes and increasing fluidity, which is synonymous with saying that PC is life itself.
  • BodyBio Balance Oil- Liquid
  • Balance Oil by Body Bio

  • 1 Tbsp daily
  • Essential Oils (EFA’s) are vital for survival. The current food supply is imbalanced, as the oils on the shelf are not optimal for good health. They either lack or have excessive amounts of oils. Extensive research has determined that the correct ratio for the human body to function consistently and properly is 4:1 (4 parts omega-6, linoleic acid, to 1 part omega-3, linolenic acid).
  • Adavanced TUDCA
  • TUDCA by Cellcore

  • 250mg (2 capsules) twice daily
  • Advanced TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic acid) is Microbe Formula’s solution for optimizing liver and digestive health. It is a natural component of bile and offers a wide range of potential health benefits on its own. However, when combined with other synergistic compounds, its advantages are multiplied.
  • CholestePure
  • Cholestepure by Pure Encapsulations

  • 1 pill twice daily
  • CholestePure by Pure Encapsulations is a high-purity phytosterol complex that promotes healthy lipid metabolism. It offers the benefits of functional foods without saturated fat, trans fatty acids, or calories. The formula includes Betasitosterol, which further supports prostate health. CholestePure is a convenient source of phytosterols, supporting cardiovascular and prostate health, without the added calories and fat found in margarine, spreads, and other food sources containing phytosterols.
  • BodyBio Butyrate (Cal-Mag) - 100 caps
  • Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate by Body Bio

  • 500mg (2 capsules) twice daily
  • Butyrate scrubs cleans the liver, the gall bladder and the biliary tree. It also cleans the bowel, controls ammonia, removes “renegade” fats (the very long ones that accumulate with age) and lowers the expression of inflammatory immune markers called cytokines.

Conclusion: Treating CIRS in the Mold Wars

As you can see, there are varying opinions about how to treat patients with CIRS. Along with cleaning up the environment, it’s important to seek an experienced, qualified practitioner to help you navigate these options and decide whether binders, lipid therapy, or both may help your body to detoxify and heal.

Next week, we’ll wrap up our Mold Wars series and discuss the big picture when healing from CIRS. You won’t want to miss our next post to learn about the final battleground in the Mold Wars.


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