Symptoms of CIRS as described by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker
According to Dr. Shoemaker to be diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) patients need to have a multi-system, multi-symptom illness.
In research Dr. Shoemaker found that 35 health symptoms reached statistical significance in CIRS patients, compared to healthy controls, and these could be categorised into 13 clusters (Shoemaker et al., 2006). If a patient is confirmed to have 8 or more clusters of symptoms the likelihood of presence of CIRS exceeds 95%. A cluster is positive if you have one or more symptoms in each group. When combined with VCS deficits, symptom clusters can yield an accuracy of 98.5%, with false negatives < 2% (Shoemaker et al, 2017). [Note clusters and VCS cannot differentiate CIRS-WDB from other CIRS causes such as CIRS-PLS (Post Lyme Syndrome)].
Dr. Shoemaker says that it’s reasonable to do further testing if you are positive for 6+ symptom clusters (Berry, 2014).
Dr. McMahon says that in children < 11 years they’ll often have only 6+ symptom clusters while children 11+ years will have 8+ symptom clusters, as per adults. Very young children, < 5 years may present with only one symptom (e.g. chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, chronic abdominal pains, inability to potty train, ADHD) that will, if not treated, develop into the full CIRS multisystem, multi-symptom illness. (Mold Illness and Children Webinar, 2017).
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- Shoemaker, R.C., & House, D.E. (2006). Sick building syndrome (SBS) and exposure to water-damaged buildings: time series study, clinical trial and mechanisms. Neurotoxicology and teratology, 28(5), 573-88. PMID 17010568 | Full text
- Shoemaker, R.C., Johnson, K., Lysander, J., Berry, Y., Dooley, M., Ryan, J. & McMahon, S. (2018). Diagnostic process for chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS): A consensus statement report of the consensus committee of surviving mold. Internal medicine review, (6)5 May 2018. Full text.