Barwon Mould Remediation Help Save our Build. Twice. Part I

So far, the Eco-friendly, Allergy-free House project has been through 2 winters; the first winter, in 2016, before full external lock-up, almost completely disabled, laid flat with exhaustion and headaches, I was living/existing in one of those mouldy rentals from hell; we were behind time with the build; so many things haven’t gone as planned; however, disasters have been averted, and for that I’m grateful. Over the last year, to be almost exact, I’ve been onsite, pottering away in the eco-friendly, allergy free house, without mould symptoms. Soaking up the sun’s rays while indoors; often thinking about one thing: mould. The house has been at a standstill while the outside is prepared: concrete etc. to keep the build clean while indoor work happens. This is what happened leading up to stage 3, where we’re at now:

Keeping my eye on the weather:  we wrapped the top floor of our house in plastic to stop water coming in. We had wrapped the house in Kingspan, a breathable wrap that also acts as a light thermal break.

Plastic used was the water barrier type

Plastic used was the water barrier type

The plastic worked for two storms that pelted the house with relentless rain until, along with strong winds, water came pouring in off the whole western side of plastic wrap as it flapped its way in and out on stormy winds, wetting the concrete and the adjoining floor-level hardwood house frame. It had to be dried and cleaned up, pronto. I thought that would be it, because I aired religiously, had heaters and fans running but when I saw grey fur growing up the wall in the bathroom, which was confirmed by our remediater, Darin, from Barwon Restoration Services.  It gave me such a fright to see mould in the build like that. I pictured myself living in my car… Then took immediate action:

When Barwon Restoration Services came over to give us a free quote, Darin, said our house was by far one of the least damaged buildings he’d seen that winter and one of the cleanest, and that:

“Buildings that sit unfinished over winter can have huge mould problems.”

Darin explained that as the weather turned to August, and mould grew on hardwood of the bathroom, it, being as thin as plywood, and on the north side, the moisture within the building must have been absorbed, and unable to dry, and then, once the weather reached 22c plus, mould grew.

Mouldy

Mould grew fast, and under perfect conditions

It happened so fast, it seemed. (Approximately ten days after water entry. And that mould grew over just 3 days, turning black before we even managed to change it! (I was checking and airing the house on most days, what, with all that rain.) With Darin’s advice, Dan replaced the materials that had mould on them, leaving the bathroom looking clean once again. But was it?

HouseUSBathroom2016-08-14 12.02.04 HDR

The bathroom with hardwood materials removed and replaced, rather than an attempt at cleaning them

In my view, it would have been impossible to clean mould that was half way into the wood.

Each area of the house, a biological reading was taken: it was cheaper than a mould test.

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Moisture reader. This is the reading of the corner-but window’s reveal (not water-damaged) that looked the worst, yet it was still low compared to water-damaged areas.

Any area that was black and gave a reading was replaced. Areas that appeared clean but gave a reading were cleaned. Areas of moisture concern were dried out using fans and heaters. We replaced around 12 pieces of wood. And went through so many cleaning rags, 3 vacuums (1 was stolen) 4 bottles of dishwashing liquid and some peroxide in particular areas.

The Clean Up

The mould clean up began. Even Darin said that if I didn’t have such a sensitivity to mould, it would be overkill for most people. More importantly, to me though, what if it wasn’t? Lol, and I thought I was losing my mind over mould then. (It felt like impending disaster.) Oh, and then Dan bought a bottle of Concrobium from Bunnings, cause you know, we all want a product that will just magically make it disappear; it was recommended not to use it based on the idea that the remediation company never used biocides with occupants who have compromised immune systems. The Concrobium went in the bin. Close call, there!

Early on, Darin had been most receptive of the Shoemaker research, doctor’s letters and my explanation of what mould had done to my life and the lengths I now had to go to avoid it. Thankfully, he understood that I wouldn’t be able to live there if mould took over the house. Dan would have an investment but I’d have no home! Between the three of us, we worked out a remediation clean up that wouldn’t make me sick:

Dan and I suited up and did the clean up ourselves. Our only mistake was not taping around the edge of the cuffs of the tyvek suits and Hunter boots, and double set of nitrile gloves, but other than that, we masked up and did alright!:

HouseBreakingBad

Breaking Mould

We didn’t even use Barwon Restoration Service‘s products, instead, based on their advice, using our dishwashing liquid; a particular percentage of peroxide; a huge bag of white throw away rags from Costco; and more dishwashing liquid for the wipe up of the whole upstairs, instead, paying attention to the bathroom and other immediate areas.

It’s a dangerous thing, dead mould.

Peroxide is dangerous too, because dead spores break up into fragments, can become embedded in your belongings, and, given the right, moist environment, can possibly desecrate your life. We then used sabco cloths and a HEPA vacuum to clean up any remaining spores.

(This is a true story; it’s happened to myself and many others who either have faulty HLA’s (human leukocyte antigens) and/or have lived in a water damaged building (WDB).

For education’s sake, my HLA’s are 4, 7, 2 and 8, which, using the Australian version of  ‘My House Makes me Sick HLA calculator‘ and the results of my blood test, computes to this:

4-3-53 – Multisusceptible/Chronic Fatigue

7-2-53 – Mold Susceptible

7-3-53 – Mold Susceptible). 

Had I have known that this was only the first of many clean ups to come, I’d have thrown myself on the floor, curling up into foetal position, hands over my eyes so I couldn’t see the HEPA vacuum looking back at me. This was the 2nd and the last mould clean up I took part in. Spraying peroxide and wiping each area with only one wipe of a clean cloth, then another one with straight up detergent was a royal pain in the backside. However, we were able to save money doing this part ourselves. The reason I refuse to do it again is I now know how sick mould can make me.

We used air washing, using cross-ventilation and sea winds to clear the house in the coming weeks.

Feeling a bit like a superhero with a biology degree in mould, through the build, I was able to purchase a water reader for around $80, very basic; and a thermal imaging camera. I spent many hours at the house, checking for air leaks where water vapour could get through, or worse, water… I lost sleep over the build everytime it rained, unless I was there. So I went and stayed there, spending many nights checking for water entry when it was raining, I thought I was going nuts, so it was good to get biological readings on any suspect timber over the next few months. Finally, it was at lock up and all windows and doors were flashed, keyed and securely in.

A clean build is a safe build

A clean build is a safe build. So is one that’s at lock up!

Mould Entry no.2

It was September 2016, nearly a year ago.

Come November, one morning, after sleeping there during wet weather—yet again—I did my usual rounds, clattering ladder  behind me, moisture reader and thermal imager in the front pocket of my overalls. To my horror, one of the hardwood window ledges had a pool of water on it. No moisture reader needed! I couldn’t believe my eyes. This area faced south; where the heavy rain and south westerlies come in.

window leak

(Our UPVC (the ‘u’ stands for ‘un-plasticised’) windows were made in Germany but when they arrived, one window didn’t quite fit, so we had one from an Australian company placed into that space. It looked the same. Until it leaked.) It took a few weeks to get the window removed so the area could be remediated. I think I counted the minutes of those few weeks.

We had to prove where the water was coming in so they could take responsibility. That’s the thing when working on a house yourself, if something goes wrong, you need to trace it back to the person responsible and everyone says it’s everyone else’s fault. We didn’t know if it was the flashing, the structure of the timber or the window itself. The thermal imaging camera gave the answer to that question: the thermally-broken chamber was taking in and holding water, which then leaked out slowly into the building via the window reveal:

MouldWindowLeak2016-10-13-14.53.28-2

Once again on advice from our remediatior, we waited until just before sundown, when the temperature drops outside, leaving any trapped water within the building envlope at a higher temperature.

2016-10-22 23.16.06-1

Image taken after another rainy night. This time the chamber is full on the left. It would leak out slowly onto the wooden reveal

The inside of a window’s thermally broken chamber looks like this:

A piece of thermally broken window frame used for testing

A piece of thermally-broken UPVC window frame, used to test for suitability

(Image is not the brand that leaked, rather the one I’d tested for suitability early on in the planning stages.)

One wrong product or chemical used in the build could make it unlivable. Mould, impossibly so.

Once it was established how the water was getting in and who was responsible, the window was removed. By then it looked like this:

WindowFail2016-10-26 19.45.24

The mould that was visible was not half as worrysome as the mould that couldn’t be seen

During remediation, the above area was sanded back. To replace the materials, it was a matter of pulling apart the outside wall of the house. Darin came over and promptly sealed off the area using Grunt plastic. But not before he generously assisted Dan in boarding up the hole in the south facing wall: the area needed to be as air tight as possible for the pressurised room where the window had leaked. It was only a little mould. Should be fine being only small amount, right? We all thought so.

HouseMouldRemediation2016-10-28 20.44.05

This room has been wrapped, pressurised and set up with a HEPA air scrubber, ready for cleaning

Also of concern: The hardwood reveal in the corner-but window (next to the above window) had black dots all over it. Due to my recent CIRS diagnosis, we needed to know if it was mould: it gave a reading of 180. Anything over 60-80 wasn’t good. Rather than clean that area, we opted to replace that piece of hardwood also. This way, it was a sure thing! Better to be safe than sorry, and we were on a budget: a mould test wasn’t out of budget but we did have to chose where to spend money: materials and HEPA scrubbers or testing and remediation of materials and HEPA scrubbers?

After the room was remediated, cleaned and I’d stayed away for a few weeks, I returned and all was fine. I was symptom free. The window reveal had been painted in clear Safecoat. (I did, however, return the night the air scrubbers were cleaning the house. I would have to say that was the most intense mould reaction I’ve ever had. And I got it walking into the property, from the front yard. The air being expelled from the house was blown in my face by the wind. My face and hands felt like they were on fire. I actually thought the house was sure to be ruined considering the reaction of my skin!)

However, a few months later, I noticed the paint was bubbling up. This meant there was moisture, possibly mould, in the wood. Still! All other reveals were fine. Our indoor remediation had not been for nothing: it was an important learning experience: it’s better to the replace mouldy materials than remediate them, where possible.

Darin: 0498 777 131
John: 0412 777 193

Next, in Part II: Our back deck, shockingly, needs remediation: we have to replace our whole back deck after the hardwood supporting beams are now black with mould—as is the MgO board, which was yet to be sealed or waterproofed.

2016-09-24 09.52.44

Note how the back of the house is sealed with plastic. It’s called ‘containment’

More

Toxic Mould Support Australia: Remove, Don’t Kill Mould – Part 1 – Building Materials

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

The Way Out: Supps, More Testing and Diagnostic Proof of CIRS (Mould Illness)

The potential harmful effects of exposure to molds in inhabited buildings were recognized in early Biblical times. In the Old Testament ~ King James Version, Oxford 1888 Edition, Chapter XIV: Verses through to 34 to 37

Dr Mark Donohoe

I recently saw one of the most famous MCS Doctors in Australia, Dr Mark Donohoe, expecting to get a diagnosis of MCS. But, low and behold, to my surprise I was given one of CIRS almost on the spot, instead. Also of note about this doctor, he’s very ‘conventional-medicine like’ when it comes to my diagnosis and treatments: Plenty of pharmaceuticals, the NeuroQuant MRI plus research to back it all up was provided. On the flip side he lived up to the ACNEM reputation and has me on such high does of probiotics, that, thankfully, are working out quite well and I’m very grateful for.

However, I had to stop the probiotics for 4 weeks before this last Bioscreen test, which caused all my digestive symptoms to come back. The good thing about that painful situation is that it proves the probiotics are working. I can even get away with Kettle Salt and Vinegar chips; I find this amazing! Gluten containing foods, no.

One test I’m waiting on is the non Celiac gluten sensitivity gene test, HLA DRB1 and HLA-DQ (“coeliac”) genotyping, which goes with the CIRS. I used to be able to eat gluten until 2012 when I live in 1st WDB.

I already know I have the HLA-DQA2 in my MTHFR.net results (from 23andMe) and two other HLAs but in case you haven’t realised it, you need a science degree to work this stuff out. The following makes a great read if you feel like getting off to sleep. HLA DQ is not necessarily good if you have breast implants and that gene. Makes me wonder if CIRS. Mould illness, can’t impact on those. I also have HLA B27, also not good with breast implants for those with an auto-immune disease, which I don’t have.

Ankylosing spondylitis is another auto-immune disease related to HLA-B27. 9 out of 10 people who have it have HLA-B27, which still doesn’t mean you’ll get that just because you have that gene, however, related family have a much higher likelihood of developing ankylosing spondylitis. More from Breast Implant Support.com:

“Some notable autoimmune diseases that have a strong association with HLA antigens include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disorder involving underproduction by the thyroid gland) associated with HLA-DR5; Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disorder associated with overproduction by the thyroid gland), associated with HLA-B8 and Dw3; and hereditary hemochromatosis (excess iron stores), associated with HLA-A3, B7, and B14.”

There goes the booby operation I was getting done next week :)

Plus I have nasal swab tests in for MaCRONS, and a sinus cavity test for MaCRONS to perform (myself) on Monday. Hope to film that and share it here, providing all goes well. Doing this test: a swab on a wire is placed into my sinus cavity for more, deeper samples.

Other Testing that’s Now In

  • FBE + CRP

General pathology

  • Lyme serology and Western Blot if positive
  • Babesia on blood film
  • Bartonella serology

Infection

  • Erlichia and Rickettsia serology and PCR
  • Anaplasma serology

Hormones

  • VIP (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide)
  • This may only be available from certain specialist pathologists, such as Nutripath in Melbourne
  • AM Cortisol + ACTH
  • Aldosterone

Waiting excitedly to get these back!

Also doing the prebiotics based of veggies each day.

Plus, still going strong the Micheal Ash protocol, more prebiotics, where green apples are cooked up (I skip the cinnamon) and raisins are supposed to be added; I’ve finally been able to find a brand with no or little yeast on them (either that or I tolerate them now); this makes them non-reactive once cooked. No prickling rashes on my face after eating them. For the second part I have to add in blueberries and almonds.

This will get my gut ready for the onslaught of medicines needed to rid my body of CIRS, pray.

I’m still doing the low-amylose diet, however, until I’m out of a mouldy house, 2, sometimes 3 of the foods on the list are in my diet: I eat a vegan whole foods diet and rice and sweet potato have been sustaining me for a while. It just wasn’t doable hence the binging on chips!

Besides zinc and b12 shots, I take only one supplement from Dr. Donohoe: NAC (This supports the Glutathione Nasal spray I’ve been making myself–at $45 a month, it’s just too much to pay out (it’s just buffered glutathione mixed with saline water in a sterilised Fess bottle).

Although, I’m thinking of doing liposomal vitamin C in high doses once I can get the ingredients together.

DSC04125 copy

My original source came from Custom Medicine at $45 a pop

“Do I have MCS?”

A question I was asking myself a few months back when it was first suggested, then later confirmed via the MRI that I have CIRS. Obviously, in Australia, I don’t have MCS unless I am using DDLS (Disability Discrimination Legal Service), which, at times, seems like a never ending pastime.

I don’t have MCS unless I am reminding people of my right to Access to Goods and Services under the Australian Human Rights act (Often this is to a pathology laboratory, or medical service of some kind: Allopathic and natural.) None of my medical documentation states that I have MCS.

I don’t use the term MCS at Victoria University when accessing Victoria University Disability Services (VUDS); nor does the label appear on my documentation of the awesome ‘Access Plan’ that gets drawn up by VUDS.

I don’t call it that with my General Practitioner; yet, I’ve had one ENT specialist say that people who are sensitive to chemicals and believe they have MCS actually have a Psychogenic Illness—like that myth needs to be perpetuated by the Australian medical community (And, I didn’t even mention MCS because my medical documentation and I don’t say it? Gee, it will be great if I actually do only have CIRS cause I’ll recover and can get on with my life, away from such nonsense in a very small-minded part of mainstream medicine, in Australia (while remaining an MCS advocate, of course).

All, apart from the new documents that say CIRS, most of my medical documentation says I have “Inhalant Allergies to chemicals including mould, fragrance, diesel, car exhaust, hydrocarbons, terpenes and woodsmoke”, at levels not normally associated with illness within the general population. However, recently, I have been living in a water damaged building (WDB) and have suffered headaches, breathing pain and lethargy that have left me bedridden. Because my treating specialist has been away, I went for help the only place I could find it (besides my GP who could only give me pharmaceuticals), Dr. Mark Donohoe, who said my symptoms where indicative of CIRS. I’m so glad he was right.

So, I won’t know if I have MCS, sorry, Inhalant Allergies, until after the treatment, which just happens to be the Shoemaker protocol (links at the end). What I do know, however, and it cannot be disputed within the medical and science community is that solvents cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), making it easier for the mould to impact my brain, hence the swelling areas.

More on this from this group teaching session on CIRS:

“CIRS Diagnosis – Recent Developments : NeuroQuant  Inflammation can affect blood brain barrier  NeuroQuant takes particular images from non- contrast brain MRI and measures volumes of 11 different paired structures in the brain  Effects seen on NeuroQuant can point to mole (aka WDB) and/or Lyme effects on specific brain tissue  Interstitial edema (swelling) in some areas  Atrophy (shrinking) of other areas”

My headaches are called: “brain swelling/ microvascular cerebral edema in CIRS“. They often last for two weeks. It used to be a 3-4 day thing after going to uni or a doctor’s appointment. Always caused by a long car trip and/or busy traffic. Now, I know my car has mould because I rarely go in there, yet when I do, mildew is all I can smell but it’s the petrol that hits me. Never did I think mould could be the precursor to that. This car is also from the last WDB I lived in. Now, a car trip can have me laid up for two weeks. Beyond comprehension when I’m going through that pain.

And the mould highest of the water damaged building (WDB) moulds in my rental right now: Wallemia, which scored a 30. I don’t have permission as yet from Mould Lab to share my report so won’t be including this for now.

After the MRI with a NeuroQuant assessment that had to be sent to the the US at Cortech Labs, which you can see on this page, the numbers had to be punched in to get the diagnostic cause: Mould, Lyme-like Illness (in Australia) and PTSD showed up on my brain via atrophy and edema (shrinkage and swelling).

Dr. Turtle in Mosmon, NSW, was kind enough to do this as I could not access a doctor’s surgery where they did this type of thing at that time due to the nature of my chemical sensitivities. (I’ve since found out where you can go and who you can see to access CIRS trained doctors in Australia. However, I feel blessed with the doctors I have as they are familiar with the Shoemaker Protocol and CIRS testing and the challenges faced by people with MCS or MCS-like symptoms.)

Below is the documentation that proves my diagnosis. As a blogger and writer sharing my story, I feel the need to share as proof and as public education for a few reasons:

The least: In light of the Belle Gibson/Irresponsible-non-fact-checking media scandal, which goes to show that not all health stories shared on the internet are factual, ergo, I can prove mine is. (For those who don’t know, Gibson is/was an Australian App designer, a one-time author (of a cookbook), and someone who faked her brain cancer for reasons unknown; meanwhile, the media ran with the judicious story that eating vegetables cured her of cancer. So simplistic; so stupid. Completely. Lol, not really lol but we all love a good story right? Even at the expense of other cancer patients’ health and lives? Surely not!)

The most: To help others who are struggling with complex symptoms and unable to find help

And to share my own story about my travels out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and now, CIRS as way of giving back to all who help me, even in the smallest way.

And, to prove I have MCS! Just kidding… (Hey, Australian Government: Hurry up with some support from the findings of the 2010 review into MCS, you did, like 7 years ago. People are suffering, like, right now… You can’t just publish a fact sheet stating that Australian people have MCS while those same people who have MCS and other illness related to chemical illness (that have actual disease codes!) are unable to access care due to fragrances and a lack of education among the community and medical community, some of whom even laugh in our faces… Case in point: Look at me; I’ve been suffering with medically-tested for and medically-proven inhalant allergies to chemicals for 14 years. 10 of those years were productive enough to leave the house and go to Uni. The last year or so, I’ve been completely housebound. Luckily, I’ve had great medical care all the way through; and only ever saw 2 doctors who proved to be misguided in their opinions, they bandied ‘Psychogenic, and Depressive theories’  about without even checking their facts or any patient documentation.

While on that topic, another fantastic specialist said to me: “You just can’t make that claim about a collective group of people; it could be made on a case by case basis only. I’m already 12-cat-lady crazy so this claim means nothing to me! It really bothers me that someone suffering could be told this, to their detriment!

This is my latest diagnostic documentation:

GDE Error: Unsupported File Type (jpg)

Whether I have CIRS only, or MCS and CIRS is besides the point: I am sensitive to chemicals. I have a part-time carer. I need access to medical care. I want to go back to school. And there are no commonly known guidelines nor education around this issue when it comes to public education, or medical for that matter, which means we are left like sitting ducks but instead of being shot at we are often excluded from life, safe homes and even Government assistance, in many cases unless we do the educating ourselves. In my case, I’ve been lucky enough to attend school as some of you know. Other elements can be really crappy though:

Family members often think it’s about the ‘smell’ of chemicals, rather than the chemical-irritants proven to be allergenic to some, that is the problem here. I believe in taking showers but using a mass amount of chemicals to ‘smell clean’ baffles me.

And, as far as MCS goes, myths are perpetuated, which leads to assisting anti-vaxers and purveyors of snake-oil like ‘cures’ to use us as examples; while some of us cannot even get vaccinated and cannot afford the snake oil.

You, Australian Government, leave us vulnerable at every turn, while the unscrupulous try to sell us this cure and that cure.

People in the science community argue about us like we don’t exist.

You also leave us vulnerable to certain behaviours of ‘doctors’ and bloggers to make fun of us and our doctors; yet, you have the MCS fact sheet for us. For what? So members of my community can suffer, sometimes even reaching the point of suicide? No safe housing options. People living in their cars, on balconies and in their bathrooms. Vulnerable. Disabled. No policies in place to protect us.

While the same myths are regurgitated and vomited into the blogosphere and the collective minds of family, friends and people who have the power to help us. Myths that cause genuine harm:

The Australian Government leave patients sensitive to chemicals open to ridicule on the internet and in real life

By not recognising MCS, the Australian Government leave patients sensitive to chemicals open to ridicule on the internet and in real life

Kozlovich then goes on to list the same set of links used since 1980 to debunk an illness many people experience:

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Spurious Diagnosis
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, American Family Physician, September 1, 1998
Smearing Cosmetics
Senseless Scent Patrol
Scents and Senselessness 
Sick of It All 
Nocebo Effect: Think Sick and You’ll Be Sick
NEW SYNDROME? OR MORE SILLINESS?

Yawn…

But the people who are sick from MCS, they don’t matter do they? Do they NICNAS? Dear, Australian Government? Well, we do have Tammy Franks from The Greens on our side. She has our back!

'Science Based Medicine' blog: People who make fun of us

The above is from “‘Science” Based Medicine‘ blog: More people who make fun of us

Maybe I don’t have MCS or maybe I do; but however this turns out for me I will always be an MCS (and related conditions) advocate and news service, here at The Labyrinth and finding our way out! How about you? Do you advocate for people with MCS, CIRS or other illness related to chemical sensitivity as a symptom?

More on Getting Help for CIRS

NeuroQuant Cortech Labs

Toxic Mould Support Australia

Surviving Mould Down Under

Surviving Mould Website

Access CIRS trained doctors in Australia

Getting Help for MCS

Human Rights: Access to Goods and Services

AESSRA

ANRES

Amelia Hill EI/MCS Resources and Support Page

Australian Doctor’s List

Interviews, and MaCRONS Testing

Self Hacked: CIRS

Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker: Pioneer in CIRS, Mold & Biotoxins; with Guest Host Dana Howell

Test for MaCRONS (Biotoxins living in Sinus and Nasal Cavity)

Media! and Blogger Scandal in Australia

One side: Mad as Belle: the media’s lost accountability

Other side: Belle Gibson, Amanda Rootsey, Jess Ainscough and others fight cancer with ‘wellness’

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Ready for Curing CIRS: The No-Amylose Diet

This is the diet that was recommended by Shoemaker trained, Integrative Doctor and Mould Specialist, Dr Tania Ash, at Vitality Hub, whom I’ll be seeing for the 11 step treatment protocol. This diet is just while I’m recovering from and treating mould illness aka CIRS. It’s pretty easy for someone already living a vegan whole-food lifestyle; but at the same time, it’s unyielding in its approach to carb cutting. It’s similar to the Ketogenic Diet used to control Epilepsy in children; and it’s also reminiscent of the Atkins Diet.

They call it a low-carb diet but it includes all the types of foods usually on my plate: unlimited fruit (except bananas, which give me an LSD like reaction anyway, which, after making a 4 Banana and date smoothie one day and freaking out: holding onto the edges of my chair while suffering vertigo, actual spinning and nausea (I know! such a small quantity of bananas, right!?).

Low amylose diet: forbidden foods: bananas, cake, breads, gluten

Low amylose diet: forbidden foods: bananas, cake, breads, gluten

I nearly hit speed dial, asking FreeLee the Banana girl how the hell this could possibly happen? Ergo, I decided to check in with my Allergist and Immunologist, Dr Colin Little, about it instead. He said: “Bananas are a food just like any other. The body can develop an intolerance to just about anything.” I also temporarily (I hope) lose my sweet potato (bye bye chips!) and carrots—basically any vegetable that grows under the soil is gone—which takes me down to around 19 safe foods including heaps of vegetables and a few seeds. All grains and bread are gone, which means I lose my rice, which I had just become okay with. I’ve not been alright with cakes, biscuits or bread for years now. But we won’t go into that.

Not sure about Quinoa, will have to check this out.

If I wasn’t vegan I could have a heap of animal products like someone’s liver; but I’m not going there. I have started taking a protein powder suggested to me by the lovely Naturapath, Adrien at Vitality Hub. It’s called Amazonia. So surprised I’m okay with it because I’ve tried many protein powders from places like iHerb over the last 4 years of chronic illness and they were all a no go. I wouldn’t normally take a powdered food but since my choices are limited and cooking for myself is not always possible. I’m making this powder my friend! (I’d still rather some sweet potato chips.

Yes, I know! Deal with it. Be grateful for what is.

I’m also off all probiotics until I do the rest of my testing, which is next week. To keep this blog post shorter, I’ll leave this information about the minutea of navigating this part of the Labyrinth for another post.

This collection of foods and tips to do with the No-Amylose diet are from the Surviving Mould Illness website:

The No-Amylose Diet

If you have an elevated MMP9 level, it may be recommended that you follow a no-amylose diet to help bring this level down as part of your treatment program.  Many of us are familiar with the low-carbohydrate diets that are so popular today including Atkins and South Beach. While it might seem on the surface to be similar, the amylose-free diet is slightly different from this mainstream approach. Fresh fruit is actually encouraged, and the only fruit that is restricted is bananas. The goal of this diet is to avoid foods that contain amylose and glucose which in turn cause a rapid rise in blood sugar when ingested.  The diet is really fairly easy to follow and does not require you to count calories or measure portion sizes. You might even be surprised at the foods that are on the list of allowed foods for you to enjoy. While lima beans and butternut squash are full of starch, amylose isn’t one of them, and you are free to enjoy these starchy vegetables as often as you like.  For more detailed information on the diet including using it for weight loss, please see Lose the Weight You Hate by Dr. Shoemaker.

No-Amylilose Diet: Forbidden foods

  • Roots and tubers including white and sweet potatoes, beets, peanuts, carrots, and other vegetables that grow underground. The exception here is onions and garlic.
  • Bananas (the only forbidden fruit).
  • Wheat and wheat-based products including bread, pasta, cakes, and cookies.
  • Rice.
  • Oats.
  • Barley.
  • Rye.
  • Foods with added sugar, sucrose, corn syrup, or maltodextrin.

All these foods make be sick as a dog eating avocados and cannabis! (That stuff can made dogs extensively sick. Can even kill the spoilt pooches.) Except for the sweet potato which is making me so fukcen sad: my favourite meal, my go-to snack when I want to celebrate, self-soothe using food or just have a banging good lunch such as a huge bowl of sweet potato chips. Oh, well, will have to try and make them out of pumpkin or spaghetti squash!

One thing I’ve learnt about having this illness (whether it’s just CIRS or MCS as well (Which I’m thinking it’s not. Hey, LMFAO here, if people can self-diagnose themselves with MCS (which is not the way it should be Mr and Mrs Australian Government!), then I can undiagnose myself with it also (Hurry up an give us a code for MCS Australian Government!). So. I no longer have MCS. I just need to have the same accomodations and live the only prescribed and science-based treatment that actually works: Avoidance of Chemicals!

Allowed Foods

Allowed foods include basically anything that is not on the list of forbidden foods including:

  • Corn.
  • Onions.
  • Garlic.
  • All vegetables that grow above the ground including lettuce, tomatoes, beans of all types, peas, cucumbers, and celery.
  • All fruits except bananas.
  • Meat, fish, and poultry.
  • Condiments (avoid low-fat varieties as they usually contain added sugar).
  • Spices.
  • Eggs.
  • Dairy (avoid sugar-laden products).
  • Nuts.
  • Sunflower, pumpkin, and squash seeds.

This diet is based on the 00-2-3 rule and is an easy way for you to remember what should or should not be included in your diet each day. You should have 0 sugars (glucose or sucrose, including corn syrup), 0 amylose, 2 servings of protein that total at least 6 to 8 ounces, and 3 servings each of vegetables that grow above the ground and fruit (except bananas) per day. This diet allows for sufficient quantities of food so that you won’t be hungry and can actually enjoy good-tasting, high-quality meals. It just involves adjusting some of our habits and thought patterns when it comes to food. For instance, you can still eat a hamburger, just not the bun. Why not try some melted cheese and a hearty slice of tomato on top instead? Soups can be a nutritious and filling meal or snack but not when they are loaded with pasta, potatoes, or rice. Why not try some delicious black bean soup or maybe a homemade cream-based tomato soup without the added sugar so often found in canned varieties?

The other benefit of this diet is that it is also a gluten-free diet. The avoidance of wheat, oats, rye, and barley is the same for both diets. If you have also been advised to be on a gluten-free diet, no adjustments need to be made in order for you to eat gluten-free. Just follow the 0 amylose rule and you will automatically be avoiding gluten-containing products. One key difference to note is that this diet does not allow rice while gluten-free products often use rice as a substitute for wheat. This makes the no-amylose diet slightly more restrictive than a no-gluten diet.  For information on how to eat gluten-free, please visit this page.

More information on the No-Amylose diet, including recipes, can be found at the Surviving Mould Illness website.

My morning drink of wonder: Amazonia Protein Powder (I had the Raw Protein Isolate in vanilla flavour but was told to get plain; I just felt like living a tad hedonistic, living on the wild side like I often do feel.) and after buying a 500 gm

I also use Xylitol. (I haven’t checked with Dr Tania Ash or her Nutritionist if this is okay but I’ve used it for years; I find it doesn’t make my skin itch the same way sugar does, if at all. It’s so easy to eat a clean diet when store bought junk-food and all sugar-based products impact on your health. (Pity it took such a disaster of mass-proportions to stomp my health into dust for me to embrace this lifestyle.) This brand here, as I find it the cheapest.

I’m thinking of opening a shop on The Labyrinth and selling things like Foil Flooring, Zeolite and Xylitol. Let me know down in comments below if you think this might be of benefit to you.

Would you like a tour of the ‘Build an Eco-Friendly, Building Biology-ed, Allergy-Free House‘ project

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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