Flooding from Hurricane Ian Will Lead to Biotoxin Epidemic

FORT MYERS, FL. –  The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic warns the community of an expected epidemic of illnesses caused by water damaged buildings from Hurricane Ian flooding and leaks. Toxic molds and bacteria are harmful to everyone, but especially to those who are genetically susceptible to complications from exposure to them.

“Biotoxin Illness, or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), is a life changing illness that is often brought on by extended exposure to toxic molds and bacteria. Twenty-four percent of the US population has a genetic factor that predisposes them to developing CIRS if they live or work in water damaged buildings,” said Alan Gruning, DO, Executive and Medical Director. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, approximately 50% of all buildings in the US are water damaged, and that was prior to Hurricane Ian ravaging much of Florida. “Based on the populations of Lee, Charlotte, and Collier Counties, and the number of structures that were damaged by winds and storm water, I expect 80,000 or more new cases of CIRS within the next three to twelve months,” Gruning continued.

Many insurance companies are telling homeowners that minimal remediation will remove all mold, but that is incorrect. Replacing a portion of drywall and spraying bleach up into the walls is a common corrective action, but it does not stop toxic molds and bacteria from continuing to grow. These lead to significant health issues. Please see the Biotoxin Illness Fact Sheet for more information. Some symptoms include:

• Fatigue or poor energy level
• Pain all over in your muscles
• Brain fog or difficulty thinking
• Gut problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or pain
• Headaches or strange neurological problems
• Excessive thirst or urination
• Sleep problems
• Mood disorder like anxiety, depression, lack of focus 

“We need to sound the alarm and educate the public about symptoms to watch for, how to properly remediate (if doing it themselves), or how to find a company who will thoroughly remediate properly,” said Gruning. “Living and working in water damaged buildings that are not correctly cleaned and restored will lead to a Biotoxin epidemic, negatively impacting our community for years to come.”

 According to the US Census Bureau, more than 15% of Floridians under the age of 65 are uninsured. Individuals without health insurance who develop a biotoxin illness from toxic molds and bacteria will have little to no resources for help. They are encouraged to call the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic at 239.308.7107.

The mission of the organization is to provide free holistic medical care to people suffering from injuries or painful conditions, and chronic illnesses like CIRS or Fibromyalgia, who are unable to afford treatment and do not have health insurance, all without the use of opioids or other drugs. The clinic treats this under-served demographic using a Functional Medicine model, addressing physical, spiritual, emotional, and social needs.  

To learn more about the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic, visit www.FreePainClinic.org.

About the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic

The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic is a 501(c)3 organization, founded in 2010 by Alan Gruning, DO, to provide high quality holistic medical care at no charge to those without the ability to pay.  It is a ministry of Christian Medical Ministries.   The clinic is funded solely through grants, contributions, and corporate sponsorships. For more information about the organization’s mission, sponsorship opportunities, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please go to freepainclinic.org.  For interviews and speaking engagements, contact Alan@FreePainClinic.org or call Jackie Kelley, RN (Clinic Director) at 239.308.7107. The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic is a United Way Partner Agency.