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Post COVID Syndrome (PCS) It’s Not What You Think

COVID continues to be a major source of concern. The acute symptoms of the virus are very frequently minor, if you have a healthy immune system. We are now seeing problems in patients that recovered from COVID in the form of Post Covid Syndrome (PCS). If you have PCS you may end up with all sorts of chronic inflammatory symptoms that can effect a multitude of systems in your body. 

Many in the health care community are searching for answers as to what causes PCS and how can it be effectively treated. We may have some answers from the work of Dr. Shoemaker’s Surviving Mold group. 

In the research article released July 2021, authors Shoemaker R[i], McMahon S[ii], Heyman A[iii], Lark D[iv], van der Westhuizen M[v], Ryan J[vi] published findings that patients treated with acute SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infections whom are having new and/or persistent symptoms are having symptoms that are profoundly similar to a condition called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). 

Dr Shoemaker et al write;

“Within three months of the onset of acute SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infections, new and persistent symptoms were noted in survivors. While the world’s medical and research communities focus on saving lives following COVID-19 infection, a relentless march of new cases of Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS) continues to spread around the globe as a second COVID-related pandemic. Efforts to define the physiology of PCS, a multisystem, multi- symptom illness, continue without success, in part due to the markedly different case presentations. The data reported here supports the concept that PCS occurs in patients with additional environmental exposures and enhanced TGF signaling. In a strikingly similar condition called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), named in 2010, the transcriptomic abnormalities were identified to respond to treatment with FDA-cleared medications, with salutary benefits for affected cases. Though sparsely reported, PCS cases share proteomic findings with CIRS. While additional studies are indicated, a new approach to the treatment of PCS is suggested. ” [vii]

What is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)?

Chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) is a chronic condition of inflammation related to an immune system response to a biological toxin. Common biological toxins causing/contributing to CIRS include exposure to the contents of a water damaged building (WDB) like mold, fungus, bacteria and other organisms as well as metabolic byproducts of the metabolism of these organisms (proteinases, hemolysins, volatile organic compounds, endotoxins, beta glucans mannans, spirocyclic drimanes). Other CIRS producing biological toxins include Lyme disease, exposure to toxic blue – green algae, brown recluse spider bites and poisoned fish.

Many people with CIRS are initially misdiagnosed as other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), leaky gut syndrome, depression, multiple sclerosis, dementia, paroxysmal orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) to name a few. 

And many people suffering from CIRS will eventually experience secondary symptoms related to immune dysfunction, hormonal imbalances and autonomic nervous system failure.

What is the Relationship with Post COVID Syndrome (PCS) and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)?

Dr. Shoemaker’s group has pioneered the use of “transcriptonics” to evaluate gene activation in chronically ill patients. Transcriptponics measure various transcription factors which then direct your genes to become more or less active. Patients that are chronically ill from CIRS reveal certain patterns with transcriptonic evaluation. 

Dr. Shoemake et al write;

 “Using a transcriptomic assessment of persistently ill cases of PCS, we show the presence of (i) molecular hypometabolism (MHM) and proliferative physiology; (ii) elevated levels of ribosomal stress responses and a concomitant increase in gene activation of TGFBR; and (iii) common co-expression of CD14 and Toll Receptor 4, correlated to exposure of amplified microbial growth in a water-damaged environment, specifically Actinobacteria and endotoxin, respectively, compared to recovered PCS cases. Total symptom scores and visual contrast sensitivity (VCS) results showed statistically significant differences.” 8

In this research, it was concluded that after running additional tests on Post COVID Syndrome (PCS) patients in the study, these individuals showed findings of environmental exposure, thus indicated these patients are indeed suffering from Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). 

What About the Patients Who Were Healthy Before COVID?

In The Surviving Mold Protocol, researcher Dr. Richie Shoemaker, found that individuals can be genetically predisposed to biotoxin illness . In fact, in those genetically predisposed, your chances of having a mold illness (or other biotoxin illness) goes up enormously. In fact, Dr. Shoemaker has found that 95% of his biotoxin illness patients have one or more of these defective genes. 

But if these patients had these genes their whole life, why were they well for so many years, yet so sick now?  The key concept to explain this phenomenon is gene activation. Their genes coding for these inflammatory responses were relatively dormant for their entire life, but were triggered by some immunologically stressful event. These triggering events could be high levels of mold exposure, a tick bite, a viral illness, infection, or in this case Coronavirus. 

So What Is the Treatment Plan For Post COVID Syndrome (PCS)?

The treatment for PCS requires an intelligent, systematic approach that includes the following:

  • First, let’s identify that you have a case of CIRS – through a battery of tests
  • Avoid/remove the offending biological toxin from your internal and external environment
  • Use special products to enhance excretion of biotoxins from your body
  • Remove/improve those factors are contributing to your chronic inflammation. 
  • Restore homeostatic control mechanisms that have been perturbed from chronic stress.  

All illness and symptoms result from chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation contributes to chronic stress, chronic stress distorts how you body’s systems are working. It appears that Post Covid Syndrome (PCS) represents a state of chronic inflammation as a consequence of many factors and suffering from COVID is like the “straw that broke the camels back”. 

At MD Wellness, we will not treat your Post Covid Syndrome symptoms; instead Michael Rothman MD, who is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine and has over 20 years of experience as a holistic doctor will find the cause of your symptoms via his Metabolically Directed Functional Medicine approach. His individually prescribed holistic treatments will uncover and treat the underlying metabolic abnormalities that are the true source of your problems.

[i] Shoemaker R, McMahon S, Heyman A, Lark D, van der Westhuizen M, Ryan J. Treatable metabolic and inflammatory abnormalities in Post COVID Syndrome (PCS) define the transcriptomic basis for persistent symptoms: Lessons from CIRS. Medical Research Archives. 2021; vol 9 issue 7. July 2021. Page 1.  

2 Center for Research on Biotoxin Associated Illnesses, Pocomoke, MD 
3 Whole World Health Care, Roswell, NM
4 School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University 
5 NSJ EnviroSciences Pty Ltd, Newcastle, NSW, Australia 
6 Lynne Murfin, MD, Calgary, AB, Canada 
7 ProgeneDx LLC, Bedford, MA 

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