Life after mold and the
International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI)
Today’s guest on IAQradio was Dr. Lauren Tessier, a Naturopathic Physician licensed by the state of Vermont. Her practice, Life After Mold, uses a patient centered approach to help recover those suffering from mold related illness. Her approach is informed by her Naturopathic Medical education, in combination with Functional and Integrative Medicine. These tools allow her to truly address the entire person who establishes care with me. She is a Shoemaker Certified Physician who specializes in the treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome CIRS as a result of exposure to mold and water damaged buildings. She also specializes in the treatment of non-CIRS mold related illness: mycotoxicosis, mold allergy, fungal infection etc.
Nuggets Mined from Today’s Interview:
Waterbury, VT flooded in the 1920’s and again in 2011 Hurricane Irene. Parts of Main street was flooded. May flood again due to the environmental impact of not dredging the river.
Undergraduate occurred at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences. Went on to train at Bastyr University, received doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 2012. She moved to Vermont in 2013.
Has personal history of experiencing mold illness- common neuro symptoms of mold exposure: headache, dizziness, brain fog, her home currently undergoing mold remediation.
When she was a teen, her uncle succumbed to Wegener’s Granulomatosis, a very rare disease that affects many organs and body systems. As fungal growth was visible in the apartment, she now feels her Uncle’s disease may have been fungal related.
Once removed from inflammagens most sensitized people get better.
Not all Naturopaths are equal. The real deal; currently 23 states license Naturopathic Physicians for which a 4 year doctorate level degree is required. In some of these licensed states ND’s have full prescriptive rights- including Arizona, Vermont, Washington, Oregon and potentially others. While medical residency is available, it isn’t required as NDs don’t perform surgery and other invasive procedures, so extended training in these specialties is not necessary. In the states with the largest scopes of practice (VT, WA, AZ and some other states) Naturopathic Medicine, as practice by a LICENSED Naturopathic Physician may be covered by some health insurance policies. The imposters; if there is no licensure in place, nearly anyone can call themselves a “Naturopath”. Most of these “Naturopaths” complete a 6-week correspondence course so that they can claim Naturopathic training. Prospective patients need to inquire as to how their Naturopathic Physician was trained.
She understands differing approaches and interventions and uses both traditional (western medicine) and nontraditional treatments in her practice. Although many drugs are isolated from natural sources, it may be of benefit to use the natural source (i.e. herb) as there is often a synergy in using the entire plant, rather than just part of it (ex. active medicinal chemical enhanced by additional antioxidants).
She greatly appreciates the pioneering work of Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, MD on CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). She opines that people get stuck in inflammatory response and that this is the biggest health issue of the 21st century- with causes of CIRS reaching far beyond mold and into various infections and other exposures. CIRS diagnosis involves expensive lab tests. CIRS overlaps with other mold related illness which are low hanging fruit such as: mycotoxicosis, allergy, or infection. Mycotoxicosis is when the body builds up mold related toxins and hits a maximum amount tolerable, after that the body expresses disease, spitting out symptoms. Neuro symptoms often manifest first: headache, dizziness, brain fog, light sensitivity, etc.