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What Is MARCoNS?

Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staph (MARCoNS) is a relatively newly understood bacteria that can play a role in cases of patients who have previously been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Lupus, MS, and other autoimmune conditions.¹ MARCoNS resides in the nasal cavity, surviving in biofilms and creating exotoxins.² These biofilms make it especially difficult to treat, but not impossible.

Diagnosing and treating MARCoNS is one piece of addressing Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). The Shoemaker CIRS treatment protocol lays out several steps before and after MARCoNS diagnosis and treatment, but we’ll focus specifically on MARCoNS diagnosis and treatment here.

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The Fully Functional® Approach to Healing MARCoNS

Diagnosing and treating MARCoNS follows our proprietary Fully Functional® path, which includes five pillars: Identify, Reduce, Optimize, Support, Personalize.

IDENTIFY: MARCoNS is closely tied to MSH, where low MSH makes the patient susceptible to MARCoNS and MARCoNS then further lowers MSH.³ This relationship is so strong that it is found in 80% of those with low MSH and less than 2% of those with normal MSH.³ Therefore, MSH is one of the key labs that are examined to determine whether nasal testing should be conducted.

At The Center for Fully Functional® Health, we use a nasal swab testing kit through MicrobiologyDX. This kit tests for “MARCoNS as well as other gram positive bacteria and gram negative bacteria. This includes identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing when warranted. The same swab can be cultured for fungi including mold and yeast with identification.”⁴ The patient is sent home with the kit and preliminary results are obtained within two weeks, with a final result within 30 days.

REDUCE: When a patient tests positive, the first step is to identify locations that they frequent where they may be exposed to mold. This can be their home, workplace, school, sports complex, and more. A good rule of thumb is to consider any place where thirty minutes or more are spent. Thirty minutes of exposure can lead to infection. MARCoNS-positive patients should aim to live and work in buildings with HERTSMI-2 score of < 11. For more on HERTSMI-2 testing see this post.

OPTIMIZE: Once exposure has been eliminated, we begin patients on binders like activated charcoal, Cholestyramine (CSM), or Welchol. These binders remove endotoxins through the digestive tract. Without assistance from binders, these endotoxins build up in the body, causing fever, flu-like symptoms, cough, headache, and respiratory distress.⁵ Starting with binders helps optimize the patient’s ability to address the toxin load that will result from beginning nasal spray treatment.

SUPPORT: Our patients have typically already begun eating a nutrient-dense diet that avoids their personalized allergies/sensitivities, but eating a low mold diet is also helpful. Foods like chocolate, coffee, dried fruit, cheese, and grains have the highest amounts of mycotoxins. Mycotoxin-tested coffee like the Bulletproof brand is ok. Continuing with detox regimens (like sauna, Biomat, magnesium baths, and more) is paramount.

PERSONALIZE: After being on binders for 10-30 days, our patients begin treatments like BEG spray, Colloidal Silver, and Xlear Nasal Spray. BEG spray is the lead option because of efficacy and is a combination of antibiotics Bactroban and Gentamicin, along with EDTA to break down biofilms.⁶ A personalized combination of nasal spray treatments is chosen to address the patient’s specific case and ability to tolerate the treatment options.

After 60 days on BEG spray, patients are re-tested using the MicobiologyDX kit. If they have cleared MARCoNS, we’ll progress to subsequent Shoemaker Protocol steps like raising lowered VIP.

Think you might have MARCoNS? Make an appointment to visit us at our office to become Fully Functional® for Life!

You can book an appointment at our functional medicine practice by clicking here. We are also happy to speak with you at (317) 989-8463, Monday-Thursday, from 8AM – 5PM Eastern time.

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The Center for Fully Functional Health® is led by a team of award-winning, internationally recognized physicians, committed to providing personalized, life-changing care.

40 North Rangeline Rd. Carmel, IN 46032

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