Those of you who have read The Fungus Link, Volume 1 know that I coined the term “asthmaphobia” in the year 2000. I did so for two reasons: to vent my frustrations and to offer a glimpse into the future when, one day, doctors would
but knowing the cause, as they now do, doesn’t mean immediate change in medicine.
Recall that in 1999, one year before my book came out, The Mayo Clinic published that 96% of all chronic sinusitis was due to fungus. I first made that discovery when I was working in the office of G. Howard Gottschalk, MD in Los Angeles after returning home from Vietnam. I began asking the pharmacist if he would crush up 2 Nystatin anti-fungal pills to a fine pulp and mix them with salt water, thereby creating a nasal spray. For patients with allergies, this seemed to work great, although we were all confused as to why it was working. Surely fungus couldn’t be causing allergies… could it? A mere 28 years later, we had our answer! Just so you understand, there is no hurry to discovery “the cause” of anything in medicine when it is so profitable to hush the symptoms for 4-12 hours daily.
Now, I need you to put your thinking caps on tightly, because I’m going to teach you something that even our highest paid experts and most brilliant scientists have yet to learn. First, let’s examine an overview of what they do know.
The Human Respiratory System
The air we inhale from our noses is warmed and filtered and then passes through our nasal cavity. The air then passes through the pharynx, which prevents food from entering into our windpipe (trachea), the upper part of which contains the larynx. Crossing the opening of the larynx are two bands of tissue called the vocal cords. Once through the larynx, air moves into the bronchi, whose job it is to carry the air into and out of the lungs.
Depending upon your definition of the word pure, air is not. Thanks to the likes of air filtration companies, it is significantly cleaner indoors than it was, but when you consider the pollens, animal danders, bacteria and mold that we regularly inhale, it is no wonder many of us are having respiratory problems. Some have found comfort in using indoor air filtration systems, as my friend John Kerr of Healthy Perceptions explains:
According to the World Health Organization, asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. Over the years, Healthy Perceptions has had many customers or their loved ones who suffer from asthma. We have received many testimonials from these folks who have found benefit and relief in breathing better quality air. In some cases, these customers were able to reduce or totally eliminate medications they were taking.
One of the best examples is an 8-year-old little girl named Brooke. She suffers from Asthma and was on a list of medications including nasonex, singulair, proair and advair. Brooke’s home received damage when Hurricane Ike blew through Houston, TX in September of 2008. That following summer, a mold problem became very apparent in her home. We placed several products in the home with the hope of eradicating the mold problem. We were able to take care of the mold problem, but more importantly, Brooke was able to totally wean herself off the medication she was taking and has remained off of them for the last 3 years. We found that her best chance of beating her disease was to take back control of the environment she lives in.
As you see from our understanding of the human respiratory system, the inhalation process carries air and what doctors call antigens (anything capable of causing an immune response) from outside of our noses deep into our lungs. Note that these antigens do not stop at our sinuses or our voice boxes, but continue all the way into our lungs. How in the world could a scientist think that 96% of all sinus problems were due to fungus, yet believe that cockroaches cause asthma? Yet they do! Says medicinet.com, “Strong evidence suggests that exposure to cockroach allergens can cause asthma in children and adults.” I, for one, stopped inhaling cockroaches in college! The point is, when we inhale mold, we inhale it into our sinus spaces and deep into our lungs. Yet, The Mayo Clinic researched only the sinus spaces without even considering the lungs.
The anti-fungal drug that was easing asthma sufferers breathing problems was none other than Sporanox, the same drug that cures toenail fungus. Allow me to digress for a moment, because it is imperative that you understand this.
In 2007, cancer researchers at the prestigious John’s Hopkins Medical School discovered that this very same Anti-fungal drug, Sporanox, stopped cancer from metastasizing. Three years later, the medical journal Cancer Cell stated, “A common Anti-fungal drug can slow tumors in mice and should be investigated as a potentially cheap and easy way to fight cancer in people.” What was this common Anti-fungal drug? You guessed it, Sporanox! Got your thinking cap on? Ponder the next paragraph for the rest of your life… or until they “get it"!
If a common Anti-fungal drug that successfully cures toenail fungus also successfully treats cancer and prevents its spread, why do scientists believe that the cause of toenail fungus and cancer are totally different? Though it may seem off the subject, did you know that mold-sniffing dogs can also sniff out cancer in humans? Is there a difference between mold and cancer? I think not.
OK, let’s get back to the subject. If Sporanox, an Anti-fungal drug, reverses asthma, what then can we logically deduce is the cause of asthma? FUNGUS! Is that terribly difficult to understand?
HEADLINE, December 30, 2008 - "Anti-fungal Drug May Help Ease Asthma"
“An Anti-fungal drug may offer hope for severe asthma patients who also suffer from a sensitivity to certain fungi, a new British study says.”
In 2000, eight years after introducing “asthmaphobia” to my readers, the medical community was starting to think the same way I do. That alone should frighten them! Rather than running from me, they are very close to confirming my hypothesis that links fungus to asthma. In the article above, The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine recommended a twice-daily dose of the Anti-fungal drug Sporanox to improve the “runny noses and morning lung function” of mold allergic patients who also have asthma. Never once do these researchers state the obvious, that mold is causing their allergic conditions and probably their asthma, also. Although I believe that it is condescending to refer to any asthma sufferer as having a runny nose or morning breathing problem, I give them credit for beginning to see a light that they never saw in their educational years and probably would never see if their educators didn’t see two drugs being prescribed for asthma patients (asthma and now allergy drugs) instead of one. I still do not understand why dedicated researchers try so hard to minimize the effect that mold has on any health problem, but at very least they are able to acknowledge that it is causing sniffles and fungus allergies. Wait 100 years until they discover that the heart disease and cancer, two diseases that are killing over 1,000,000 Americans annually, have intimate ties to fungus! It could happen! Do you remember when 4 out of 5 doctors smoked Camels? Now they don’t.
Unfortunately, even today, researchers contend that deadly systemic fungal disorders are extremely rare and are suffered by only the sickest of immunocompromised people. So AIDS patients and cancer patients receiving radiation and chemical therapies are the only ones who are vulnerable to fungal infections? Trust me when I tell you this is highly inaccurate information. If you live in a moldy house, the longer you inhabit that house, the sicker you’ll become in or out of it as the inhaled mold sticks to the inside of your lungs.
Inhaling fungus causes severe health consequences, not the least of which, in my opinion, is asthma. Unfortunately, it will probably be many, many more years before the experts agree with me. But why wait for these experts to make the final call when you have another choice that you may have never considered. A round of Sporanox, according to this 2007 study, might have you knowing the cause of your breathing disorder! How great is that? If you are breathing much better after a 14 days stint on Sporanox, you might have a localized (lung) fungal infection. If you’re interested in investigating this aspect of your asthma, tell your doctor about this research study, and then ask him/her if they would have any objection to your following our Phase One Diet (See our website, Getting Started) and simultaneously begin taking the Anti-fungal drug, Sporanox.
While I was writing this newsletter article, a physician friend sent me an article published in his medical journal, Family Practice News. It seems that physicians at The Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York have discovered that 17 of 41 asthmatic children studied have elevated blood serum levels of a protein called IgE (the allergy antibody), directed toward several different species of mold. They label the condition of the 17 children as “severe asthma with fungal sensitization” (SAFS), and use breathing tests to assess the severity of SAFS. For these, the chief researcher is using a controversial therapy that you have read about before in this newsletter. As a matter of fact, you read about it in this newsletter. Yes, the Anti-fungal drug Sporanox worked to relieve about 50% of children with SAFS.
I know what you’re thinking. Could Doug be wrong? Only 50% of asthma is reversed with Anti-fungal drugs? Why not 100%? I’ve got to wonder how many of these children sit in the back of a cigarette smoke filed car while traveling to school or vacation. I still wonder what role genetics plays in illness, although I believe I’m more correct than many traditional researchers are; I say little, they say big. And then, there is diet.
I remain totally convinced that the doctors who discovered this fungus-mold link have yet to discover that diet plays a big (they say little) role in either perpetuating asthma symptoms or reversing them. Unfortunately, these researchers still don’t understand that fungi (mold) parasitize us, and as human parasites, they must get their daily sugar fix; they get it from our diet. As long as we eat it, they thrive. And yet despite the void of knowledge by researchers, 50% of the SAFS children remiss while on a strong Anti-fungal medicine called Sporanox. Imagine, if you will, the success that could be achieved if researchers would only recommend that all of their allergic and asthmatic patients follow our Phase One Diet AND use Sporanox! Their peers would probably mock them for dietary recommendations, but who cares? Their patients would love them!
Until next month, be fungal free!