Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Dr Ritchie Shoemaker MD, USA


We welcome Dr Ritchie Shoemaker M.D. to Australia to present his research findings, diagnosis, treatment and study into Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) illness as a result of exposure to water damage buildings.

Well that was three years ago and so much has happened, bringing Dr Shoemaker to Australia has certainly increased the number of medical professionals who are now more aware of the need to look closely at their patients but there is still a long way to go.

Unfortunately we lost one of the driving forces in this industry last year and that was someone I would like to call a colleague Dr Jack Thrasher sadly missed and I am sure if he is watching from up there he would be cheering on the works that Dr Jimmy Ryan and Dr Shoemaker are doing with transcriptomics- Dr Scott McMahon also fits in there with work on Pandas (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder) Dr McMahon is looking at the gene expression in those individuals and I am pleased to announce Dr McMahon will be joining us along with other medical doctors here in Australia to look at whether we can change the gene expression in children on the autistic spectrum.

None of the group involved will be making money out of these investigations but we are hoping we can prize open the door just a little.

Tagged Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, CIRS, Dr Richie Shoemaker, Water Damaged Buildings, WDB

Treating the Cause is So Important

Earlier this year our company was contacted by Scott Baker an individual who has numerous health issues, asking for advice on whether his current home could have a bearing on his brain fog, fatigue, constant coughing, night sweats, recurring flu-like symptoms and general malaise.

These symptoms we were informed started in a previous home, after discussions, the realisation was made that there were high levels of visible microbial contamination in two previous homes.

No medical physician has undertaken testing to determine whether our client is indeed CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).

Our client was on medications but had removed himself from most of the treatments a month before we attended the site. He did inform us that he was still on anti-depressants and sleeping medication.

Indoor microbial invasive testing showed the house to be heavily contaminated with extremely high bacterial levels in the actual particle board flooring due to moisture issues in the floor cavity, the result of poor perimeter drainage on the topside of the block. Our client had intuitively possibly recognised this area as a problem and installed a vapour barrier over the damp earth, we had also suggested the installation of a moisture vapour barrier attached to the underside of the timber joists.

Our testing revealed that the particle board was producing high levels of microbial volatile organic compounds and needed to be removed to reduce the exposure level.

It took months for our client to realise that even though this was a huge job and costly, the removal of the bacterially contaminated flooring had to be undertaken.

Scott, along with a builder, removed the particleboard floor throughout the whole house – naturally Scott used a respirator. When the flooring had been removed, it was replaced with tongue and groove hardwood flooring ready for sanding. Our suggestion to install a moisture barrier on the timber joists was also carried out along with the installation of ecofans, to aid in the circulation of air beneath the home.

Scott’s health started to improve with the persistent coughing disappearing- night sweats also were reduced but severe brain fog continued, Scott will be contacting his medical practitioner for advice on whether the brain fog may be associated with his anti-depression medication.  General feelings of unwellness reduced considerably since the removal of the flooring.

We re-attended to treat the home with a gas to further reduce any microbial residue, this process not only has a high mould and bacterial kill but reduces the microbial DNA along with the resultant toxins.

It was during this time on site, that we were asked to inspect the home where Scott’s mum was staying while the flooring works were being undertaken, where she continued to cough. We found that there was a problem in a second-hand kitchen which had been installed, after our inspection, Scott stayed at his mums for dinner and that exposure resulted in him relapsing and being affected for just under a week.

When Scott and his mum moved back into their finished home, Scott had some initial issues which were narrowed down to his contents not being completely remediated; the removal of two bedside tables from his room improved his sleeping.  All of the furniture that could not be successfully treated was stored in the garage and the door to the garage was sealed from the house.

To address the cross-contamination from his contents we installed a catalytic air purifier which within 36 hours reduced the airborne contamination to a level that saw his coughing disappear.

Just recently Scott’s health problems reappeared, we discussed why but after a 60-minute phone discussion, no cause could be identified, then Scott mentioned that he had a garage sale to get rid of the furniture which he was reacting to.

I asked him who did all of the work in the garage, and Scott said he had, i.e. he exposed himself to the materials he was reacting to, for the day of the garage sale and then was sick the following day, to us not unexpected.

This simply confirms he has developed sensitivities to these microbial contaminants and in the future cannot put himself in a position where the exposure will affect his health, it’s something he is now starting to understand.

Tagged Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, CIRS, microbial contamination

Water Damaged Buildings and Occupant Health

Depressed, Mental Issues – If You Think You’re a Nutcase, Just Maybe You’re Not

Studies on occupants from WDB have identified innate immune inflammatory abnormalities to include complement activation (C4a) as well as lower levels of a critical inflammatory regulator MSH (Melanocyte stimulating hormone).

This inflammatory basis of illness has been termed Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS-WDB).

Clinical studies have shown those with CIRS once removed from the site and treated, their abnormalities reappear rapidly within three days of re-exposure to a microbial-contaminated environment. (Ref 1)

VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor) can increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to biological toxins, research has shown that bacteria found in WDB like Streptomyces also produce toxins which alter the blood-brain barrier permeability, allowing possible penetration of fungal mycotoxins like Glicotoxins from some Aspergillus species (mould). Inflammatory markers like TGF-beta 1 also can increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

The above suggests that when there is an increase in permeability of the blood-brain barrier due to bacterial exposure, the impact of the fungal toxins may be far greater than has been previously documented. In turn when there are both bacteria and fungi-in an attempt to survive fungi may produce far greater amounts of fungal mycotoxins to combat the bacteria.

A paper about to be published by Ritchie C. Shoemaker, Dennis House and James C. Ryan outlines the abnormalities of those with CIRS and confirms structural changes in the CNS (central nervous system) do occur in those with CIRS and that the above researchers have current studies underway, looking to expand on the significant structural abnormalities in brains of CIRS patients.

In layman’s terms what is being shown in the above, is that the rubbish produced by mould and bacteria in WDB can impact indirectly on the central nervous system and with the proper blood testing can be shown in the inflammatory markers.

In the world of those affected by mould and bacteria and where they have been informed that it’s all in their head, these findings suggest that perhaps there are other pathways which may be explored to the benefit of the affected individual.


  1. A Time Series Study of Sick Building Syndrome: Chronic, Biotoxin – Associated Illness From Exposure to Water-Damaged Buildings – Neurotoxicology and Teratology 27 (2005) pages 29-46.
  2. VEGF Increases Blood Brain Barrier Permeability to Evans Blue Dye and Tetanus Toxin fragment C – Brain Research 1234(2008) 198-205.

Tagged CIRS, MSH, Sick Building Syndrome, VEGF

At Last The Blood Tests Developed For Dr Ritchie Shoemaker Are Here in Australia

The following are blood tests developed for Dr Ritchie Shoemaker in looking at CIRS – Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome these tests would be looking for elevated TGF?-1, C4-a, C3-a, and low levels of MSH and VIP, which may provide your physician with results which can be used to assist to determine CIRS.

CIRS may not just be associated with your home but your work environment and all too often people do not recognise there is an issue until they have run out of medical opinions, so please understand microbial exposures can be hidden and bacterial contamination cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Affected individuals with CIRS patients lose control of inflammatory pathways as levels of regulatory neuropeptides VIP and MSH decline, further adding to the inflammatory burden. Abnormal activation of MBL pathway of complement (Wallis, 2008) and elevated TGF beta-1 (Vignali, 2008) add to systemic inflammation and loss of normal regulatory T-cell function, 4 respectively.

VEGF – Vascular endothelial growth factor suggested greater than 31 or less than 86- Astrocyte-derived VEGF-A drives blood brain barrier disruption in CNS inflammatory disease (Journal of Clinical investigation 122 (2012) 2454-68)

MSH – Melanocyte stimulating hormone- suggested threshole is greater than 36-MSH below 36 pg/ml has been associated with those suffering from Chronic fatigue Syndrome pg/ml. This important molecule helps regulate the immune system

C4a – can alter the blood brain barrier

VIP – Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide

MMP – Matrix metalloproteinase 9 – it’s an inflammatory marker involved in many degenerative processes- any levels above 332 ng/mL is considered to be elevated

ADH -ADH determines how often we pee and how concentrated our urine is.

Naturally the above information is simply to provide some understanding which up until now has not really being available here in Australia, this in no way promotes a medical opinion and should be used in conjunction with your treating medical doctor.

For those who like to understand more you might like to search a current paper written by Dr Ritchie Shoemaker “Innate immunity, MR spectroscopy, HLA DR, TGF beta-1, VIP and capillary hypoperfusion define acute and chronic human illness acquired following exposure to water-damaged buildings.”

A copy of that paper’s summary is below.

Progress in understanding host innate immune inflammatory responses has led to advances in diagnosis and treatment of patients with illness acquired following exposure to the interior environment of water-damaged buildings (WDB). Profiling cases compared to controls based on innate immunity abnormalities that are correlated with measures of capillary hypoperfusion resulted in accurate classification. WDB-illness is a complex syndrome of absent or deficient regulatory neuropeptides MSH and VIP, elevated C4a, TGF beta-1 cytokines and hormonal dysregulation. Use of symptom rosters, visual contrast sensitivity testing and genetic markers adds to diagnostic certainty. Treatment modalities that correct these abnormalities lead to symptom reduction and clinical improvement.

Cheers and Good Health
Vince Neil


Soothing and Delicious Slow-Cooked Broth for Stomach Problems

Chicken or Beef Broth

It’s so simple a broth which assists in providing beta-glucans in high dose levels at a very very low cost. For years our mothers knew about chicken broth but perhaps didn’t know or understand its high levels of Beta glucans produce the wondrous results. Nicholas DiLuzio of Tulane University, stated “The broad spectrum of immunopharmacological activities of glucan includes not only the modification of certain bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections but also inhibition of tumour growth.”

This in layman’s terms means it assists in fighting disease of the immune system and 3 chicken carcasses cost about $3.00 and last for the week.


  • You need a slow cooker so that you don’t break down the Glucans then add:
  • 3 chicken carcasses (free range at least)
  • Fill the slow cooker with water
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Add fresh herbs whatever rows your boat
  • Garlic if you have no allergies
  • Chillies if your diet allows
  • We throw in a carrot and some shallots

Cook the pot for at least 3 days, then strain the contents into a stainless steel bowel, sit in the fridge to allow separation of the fat which will settle to the top, restrain with muslin and start sipping the idea is not ours but we thought it worthwhile sharing. Of course you can buy these additives of the shelf but fresh is best.

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