Irene H. Grant, MD, CAC Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease – Fungal Infection Fighter

Air Date: 4-5-2013| Episode: 279

Irene Grant, MD, CAC is an Internist and Infectious Disease Specialist, which equips her to recognize and manage challenging medical conditions, especially in those with different types and degrees of weakened immunity…

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Irene Grant, MD, CAC is an Internist and Infectious Disease Specialist, which equips her to recognize and manage challenging medical conditions, especially in those with different types and degrees of weakened immunity.  As an Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Grant has treated a wide range of pediatric and adult patients with different immune deficiencies, medical conditions and infectious complications. Her premedical work experience and research in bacterial microbiology has equipped her to understand the processing of specimens in the microbiology laboratory, interpret results and reports and communicate effectively with microbiologists and industrial hygienists. As an Infectious Disease Specialist she has encountered and treated countless patients with fungal complications.  She has extensive experience with diagnosing and managing fungal infections in patients with documented heavy exposure to environmental molds and persistent mold related illness.  A significant portion of Dr. Grant’s current practice is dedicated to monitoring and treating patients with environmental mold exposure and persistent mold-related illness, including allergic, toxic and invasive infectious complications requiring treatment with anti-fungal medications. Through collaboration with industrial hygienists and mold-remediation specialists, she has helped patients identify sources of their illnesses and eliminate continued external mold exposure.   Her antifungal treatments for the persistently ill mold-exposed have been strikingly successful.


Z-Man’s Blog:

Fungal Infection Fighter

Dr. Irene Grant, MD, CAC, an Internist and Infectious Disease Specialist, who freely confesses to being “fascinated by the invisible”, certainly gave the IAQradio listening audience plenty to think about during today’s episode. Prior to studying medicine, she herself became ill from exposure to dusts encountered during the renovation of a century old home. A major portion of her practice is concentrated on diagnosing, treating and monitoring patients with environmental mold exposure and persistent mold-related illness. Notably, her treatment of persistently ill mold-exposed patients with novel application of FDA approved antifungal medications have been remarkably successful.

Nuggets mined from today’s broadcast:
• Infectious disease specialty is a subspecialty of internal medicine.
• Not all fungi are bad, many are beneficial and are used in both mainstream and alternative medicine.
• Few fungi cause infection in humans: notably Aspergillus fumigatus which has the highest fatality rate, Cryptococcus & Histoplasma found in bird and bat droppings.
• While bacteria are “diagnostically compliant”, rapidly multiply and are easy to culture, fungi are commonly overlooked by physicians. Fungi commonly test as false negatives because they grow into and around tissue.
• Biofilms are a layer of microorganisms and their secretions adhering to a surface. Biofilm can be comprised of both bacteria and fungi. Biofilms may form because hyphae are too large for the immune system to remove.
• Biofilms are known to form on catheters and other medical hardware implanted into humans and may also form in soft palate, nasal passages, sinuses, throat, ears, vaginal cavity and GI tract.
• Host parasite paradigm: how weak is the host versus how virulent is the parasite?
• Molds make toxins, carcinogens and immune suppressants. Patients with fungal infections may excrete mycotoxins. Research is needed. Mycotoxins are products made by molds, thus excretion of mycotoxins may indicate an ongoing nidus of viable mold in the body.
• Pathogenic fungi and bacteria can produce poisons (gases, aldehydes and mycotoxins), which percolate through the body.
• Most physicians lack education about the health risks posed by molds & dust. Most doctors don’t request fungal culturing and staining. Dr. G is a proponent of mycotoxin testing. Positive reaction to Stachybotrys or high Aspergillus fumigatus IGG parallels symptoms and help treatment decisions.
• Routes of exposure can be inhalation, ingestion, skin, contamination of medication, etc.
• In order for patients to get better they must move to a cleaner and better environment. People with poor metabolic function appear unable to breakdown pollutants.
• Dr. G has used Amphotericin B topically as a sinus lavage (rinse) and throat wash to alleviate a diverse range of symptoms including but not limited to: reflux, chronic fatigue, IBS, post nasal drip, chemical sensitivity, etc. Doctors in the UK have access to aerosol Amphotericin B and use it to treat fungal lung infections including nodules.
• Since patients in cancer hospitals often have no immune systems, doctors treat fevers by medicating and monitoring results for beneficial results. The treatment itself is used as an indirect diagnostic tool.
• Saline solution is antifungal.
• Nail fungus may indicate immune deficiency.
•“Fungal infections smolder” and develop slowly over time.
• Mast cells are known to release histamine on contact with fungal hyphae.
• Skin redness or irritation appear over areas of suspected biofilm -correlating with the patient’s symptoms. parallel internal fungal biofilm infection.
• Aspergillus and Pseudomonas have been found to cohabitate in vitro.
• Dusts pose an occupational risk to remediation workers.
•“Severe persistent illness, including Chronic Fatigue, neurological and psychological symptoms, is associated with past mold exposure and parallels intensity or chronicity of mold exposure, impaired cell-mediated immunity, and continued mycotoxin excretion. The striking 90% response to oro-nasopharyngeal-GI biofilm focused antifungal therapy supports the pathogenic model that toxin producing molds can colonize airways causing significant disease.”
•Proponent of pragmatic preventative education. “The medical community needs to be educated to recognize mold-afflicted patients and treat them accordingly.”

Today’s music: The Disease Song by PGABAND
Z-Man signing off