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Is Your Home or Office The Cause Your Illness?

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome (also known as SBS) or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome is a combination of illnesses or aliments that are in direct relation with an individual’s place of work or home environment.

A 1984 World Health Organization report indicated up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be related to these symptoms.  Oftentimes the sick building syndrome is related to poor indoor air quality resulting from water damage inside a building.

Water damaged buildings produce microbial contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and microbial volatile organic compounds to name a few. It is difficult to tell which of these contaminants are the sole cause of Sick Building Syndrome and it is sometimes referred to as “Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome” acquired following exposure to a water damaged building where am

plification of microbial growth is evident.

People within contaminated buildings that exhibit signs of Sick Building Syndrome or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome experience a wide variety of symptoms such as irritated eyes, nose and throat.  Some even experience damage to or impaired functions of nerve tissue along with general health problems including skin irritations, nonspecific hypersensitivity reactions, and odor and taste sensations.

Many patients suffering from the unexplained symptoms of an illness that causes them to lose their quality of life have found relief.  Ritchie Shoemaker, M.D. Dr. Shoemaker has found that these symptoms are often caused by “Mold Illness,” which may be a result of exposure to airborne mold present in the environment of a water-damaged building.

Mold illness is not an allergy; it is believed to be an inflammation within the body caused by the immune system’s response to these foreign substances. But, it is a vicious cycle – causing the immune system to constantly fight back. In turn, this causes so much inflammation in the body that it leads to chronic illness, which insidiously takes away energy, cognition, and easy breathing. It leaves behind pain, fatigue, and often, weight gain.

Main symptoms:



♦Aches, Muscle Cramps, Unusual Pain


♦Light Sensitivity, Red Eyes, Blurred Vision, Tearing

♦Sinus Problems, Cough, Shortness of Breath

♦Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea

♦Memory Issues, Focus/Concentration Issues, Word Recollection Issues

♦Skin Sensitivity

♦Mood Swings

♦Appetite Swings

♦Sweats (especially night sweats)

♦Numbness, Tingling


Linking the symptoms to the work place or home environment can often be difficult.  Routine testing of the blood for thyroid, white or red blood cell count, lipid profiles, metabolic profiles often appear normal.

It has been noted that patients with symptoms resulting from Sick Building Syndrome  or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome can be misdiagnosed with things like depression, stress, allergy, fibromyalgia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or even somatization; which is a psychiatric disorder in which a person complains about various symptoms that has no identifiable physical origin.

Some causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by out gassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC), molds, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone (byproduct of some office machinery), light industrial chemicals used within the building, or fresh-air intake location / lack of adequate air filtration.  The most common biotoxin are those released by indoor mold and bacteria.  When wood or drywall is exposed to a relative humidity of 60% or higher such as from a water leak or being in a humid basement or crawl space, that’s enough to start feeding the growth of mold and bacteria. The only way to solve this problem is to destroy the harmful molecules.

Functional Medicine Testing & Natural Remedies

We typically utilize herbals and whole food vitamins and minerals for bacteria and mold overgrowth after identifying the offending culprit through Functional Medicine and blood testing.

The course of recommended remedies is usually 3 to 6+ months depending on the severity of biotoxin levels.

If you suspect that you may suffering from Sick Building Syndrome, contact us today.

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