Most people think of mold as something that grows on your expired cottage cheese in the refrigerator or even something that has beneficial effects such as in the creation of penicillin. In fact, mold illnesses are incredibly common and even more sadly, they have significant detrimental impacts on the lives of those that are susceptible.

I had been working for years to recover from my own chronic illness and yet had never really considered much about genetic susceptibility and its relationship to ones condition. I was aware that many suggest that there are genetic components involved, but I did not understand much beyond that. I had never thought much about HLA (human leukocyte antigen).

HLA genes code various proteins on the outer portion of cells. The immune system uses HLA to determine the difference between “self” and “non-self”. HLA is involved in the steps responsible for antibody formation. These genes have been associated with an inability of the body to recover from illnesses resulting from Lyme disease, molds, and other sources. In the event that a person has a susceptible genotype, the body does not recognize the toxins as a foreign invader and this, they are allowed to remain in the body. This causes long-term and perpetual ill-health. It has been asserted that nearly 100% of people that become ill after exposure to a biotoxin can be shown to have a predisposition to that biotoxin through the HLA-DR genotype. Many of us have bodies that simply do not recognize the presence of these toxic substances and thus do nothing to eliminate them. Dr. Shoemaker uses the terms “Lyme susceptible” or “mold susceptible” or “multi-susceptible” to categorize one’s HLA genotype.

HLA testing is done through LabCorp and can provide some interesting explanations for why we often remain ill. In my case, I presented with a 4-3-53 genotype which is multi-susceptible and is also termed the “dreaded genotype” by some. It means that your body is not capable of dealing with toxins from many origins including Lyme disease and mold exposure. It is not my belief that the genetic results imply that you cannot or will not recover. However, I do think that they provide another piece of information to help us understand and adapt treatment protocols to provide us with the best possible chances of recovering.

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