CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome)

This is a progressive, multisystem and multi-symptom illness caused by an abnormal immune response to certain biotoxins. The biotoxins enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, tick or spider bites and/or direct contact with contaminated water sources. Once in the body they begin circulating, they bind to receptors and start causing widespread inflammation. CIRS can often be misdiagnosed as something else, such as fibromyalgia, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), so it may take time to correctly identify as CIRS. The most common source of exposure is from water-damaged buildings, causing mould spores to develop in damp, decaying timber framing. In addition, some biotoxins produce certain bacteria, tick-borne microbes and fungi. For many people, biotoxins are recognised by the immune system correctly, broken down, and removed from the body. However, genetically susceptible people have immune systems that do not recognise the biotoxins and fail to remove them, leaving the biotoxins circulating in the body indefinitely, and causing inflammation throughout the body. 


Some common symptoms indicating CIRS are: fatigue, weakness, headaches, skin sensitivity, sinus, cough, shortness of breath, red eyes, light sensitivity, blurred vision, poor memory and word-finding ability, night sweats, appetite swings, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, metallic taste, vertigo, tingling, ice-pick pain, morning stiffness, generalised aches and static shocks. Our Adelaide Naturopath has 25 years of experience in treating people with mould toxins.

Initially, a CIRS & Biotoxin Questionnaire can be filled in to determine if a mould test is necessary. If a positive test result is obtained, a full mould detox would be undertaken with a specialised diet, lifestyle recommendations and nutritional support to help eliminate the toxins and repair the gut. Exposure must be determined by testing the patient’s home and/or workplace or school for mould. Experts are trained in this field and also in the remediation of the problem areas. 

Main causes

  • Genetic susceptibility: In healthy individuals, biotoxins are effectively recognised and are directed to the immune system for elimination. However, genetically susceptible individuals fail to mount an appropriate immune response, allowing them to recirculate and trigger an inflammatory process. 
  • Chronic infections: Exposure and recirculation of biotoxins produced by Borrelia species and other common tick-borne infections are associated with prolonged symptoms in Lyme disease, known as post-Lyme syndrome. Biotoxins produced by these pathogens can continue to circulate throughout the body, causing dysfunction and biotoxin illness long after the infection has cleared. 
  • Immune exhaustion: Chronic infection, whereby the immune system is incapable of mounting an effective immune response against pathogenic infection. This can lead to increased susceptibility and severity of infection.
  • Chronic stress: This can lead to an inflammatory response, which impacts the immune system causing increased susceptibility to infection. 
  • Inflammation: Chronic inflammation can cause oxidative stress and damage to our mitochondria, the powerhouses in our cells. This means we are less able to make energy and may suffer chronic fatigue. 

Diet and lifestyle recommendations

  •  Choose a gluten-free diet.
  •  Avoid starchy foods (such as potato & barley), sugars, refined carbohydrates and trans fats.
  •  An anti-inflammatory diet such as the Mediterranean diet is suitable.
  •  Maintain muscle mass and strength through adequate protein intake. Whey protein isolate stimulates muscle protein synthesis and is a highly absorbable form of protein that can supplement the diet.
  •  Avoid low calorie diets or high-energy foods, such as caffeinated drinks or chocolate bars, as they offer a temporary boost in energy only and may worsen CIRS-associated fatigue.
  •  Infrared light therapy has been shown to increase energy production in the mitochondria and help reduce fatigue.
  •  Ensure adequate sleep each night, aiming for 7-8 hours of restful sleep.
  •  Avoid alcohol and other stimulant substances (caffeine, nicotine), as they impact the regulation of the nervous system and may contribute to daytime fatigue or may disturb sleep patterns.
  •  Engage in regular physical activity to improve fitness, health and wellbeing, and reduce stress. The type and amount of exercise may depend on symptom severity and patients may require a tailored program to ensure the best recovery after exercise. 


1) Identifying and remediating the building(s) that have been waterdamaged, either in the workplace, school or home.

2) Treat the individual with natural binders that will attach to the toxins and help remove them via the gut.

3) Support immune system function.

4) Adopt a clean, appropriate anti-inflammatory, low starch diet to reduced the widespread inflammation that accompanies this condition.

5) Support gut repair and regeneration.

6) Support respiratory system function by eradicating MARCoNS, found deep in the sinuses and generally very difficult to remove.