Symptoms of Mould Illness

To be diagnosed with CIRS/Mould Illness you need to have a multisystem, multi-symptom illness.

In research Dr. Shoemaker found that 35 health symptoms could be categorised into 13 clusters. If a patient is confirmed to have 8 or more clusters of symptoms the likelihood of presence of CIRS exceeds 95%. A cluster is positive if you have one or more symptoms in each group. When combined with VCS deficits, symptom clusters can yield an accuracy of 98.5%, with false negatives < 2%. (Shoemaker et al, 2017). [Note clusters and VCS cannot differentiate  CIRS-WDB from other CIRS causes such as CIRS Lyme].

Dr. Shoemaker says that it’s reasonable to do further testing if you are positive for 6+ symptom clusters  (Berry, 2014).


Dr. McMahon says that in children < 11 years they’ll often have only 6+ symptom clusters while children 11+ years will have 8+ symptom clusters, as per adults. Very young children, < 5 years may present with only one symptom (e.g. chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, chronic abdominal pains, inability to potty train, ADHD) that will, if not treated, develop into the full CIRS multisystem, multi-symptom illness. (Mold Illness and Children Webinar, 2017).

CIRS Symptom Clusters

Cluster 1: Fatigue Related
Chronic fatigue
Cluster 2: Muscle & Cognitive
Decreased assimilation of knowledge
Body aches
Light sensitivity
Cluster 3: Cognitive
Memory impairment
Word recall
Cluster 4: Concentration
Difficulty concentrating
Cluster 5: Pain
Joint Pain
AM Stiffness
Cluster 6: Nerve/Skin
Unusual skin sensations
Cluster 7: Respiratory
Shortness of Breath
Sinus congestion
Cluster 8: Various
Excessive Thirst
Cluster 9: Various
Appetite swings
Difficulty regulating temperature
Frequent urination
Cluster 10: Various
Red eyes
Blurred vision
Mood swings
Ice pick pain
Night sweats
Cluster 11: GI & Nerve
Abdominal pain
Cluster 12: Various
Metallic taste
Cluster 13: Various
Static Shocks

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  • Shoemaker, R.C., Heyman, A., Mancia, A. & Ryan, J.C. (2017). Inflammation Induced Chronic Fatiguing Illnesses: A steady march towards understanding mechanisms and identifying new biomarkers and therapies. Internal Medicine Review, (3)10. doi: 10.18103/imr.v3i10.585 | Full text