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Is Mold Making Me Sick?

Aug 26, 2022 | Mold

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Mold Toxicity

 MOLD-related health problems are very real and affect countless people every year. If you have chronic health challenges, then MOLD TOXICITY may be making you sick. The good news is that TOXIC MOLD exposure can be helped if you know what symptoms to look for, what laboratory tests are useful and what natural solutions are proven to work, even when all else has failed.

 Unfortunately, mold issues are often undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and left untreated in conventional medicine. Why do most doctors miss this HIDDEN CULPRIT? The main reason is that mold toxicity causes a wide range of symptoms that can be difficult to identify and even more difficult to solve for doctors unfamiliar with it.

Fortunately, you CAN combat this common, overlooked obstacle to good health. So, let’s break down mold toxicity, what it really means and how a safe, natural and science-based approach to detecting and correcting mold exposure can restore your health from this persistent problem that many doctors are not trained to suspect or treat.


 What The Heck Is MOLD TOXICITY?


MOLD TOXICITY is a potentially hazardous condition from MOLD, a common fungus that grows in both outdoor and indoor places with a lot of moisture. These include basements, roofs and under wood and tile floors and ceilings. Up to 50% of buildings in North America and Europe have water damage. So, do not automatically assume a building is safe. If you have mysterious or unresolved symptoms, then ask yourself: Is Mold Making Me Sick?

Most of us are surrounded by different types of molds in the home and workplace. Normal, daily activities like showering without good ventilation is a risk, too.

Some types are more destructive than others.

Molds produce a certain type of naturally-occurring TOXIN, called MYCOTOXINS. When you’re exposed to too much mold, or specific molds known to cause health issues, it can lead to a condition called MOLD TOXICITY

The symptoms of MOLD TOXICITY can be vague — like memory problems, fatigue, muscle or joint pain and gut issues. These common symptoms are often confused with other causes. To make matters worse, most people don’t always know when they are exposed to toxic mold, which is often HIDDEN from sight.

So, Mold Toxicity often goes unrecognized. Unfortunately, mold can be a barrier to overcoming complex, chronic health issues.

Mold toxicity (also called chronic MOLD ILLNESS) differs from MOLD ALLERGIES.

Mold allergy symptoms tend to be limited to specific areas of your body. These include your skin, respiratory tract, and eyes. — such as itchy, red eyes and a runny nose. Allergies are basically an overreaction by your immune system to mold spores, which travel unnoticed through the air.

In contrast, MOLD TOXICITY/ILLNESS can cause WIDESPREAD symptoms all throughout your body.


Are ALL Molds Unsafe?


“BLACK MOLD” or Stachybotrys chartarum is greenish-black in color and notorious for mold toxicity.

But Stachybotrys is not the only mold that can appear black. And it’s not the only mold that can harm your health. All molds are not unsafe, but MANY are.

Molds Produce TOXINS!

The two main types of toxins that molds produce are MYCOTOXINS and microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs).

People are exposed to these mold toxins by breathing, swallowing, or touching them. Plus, mold may produce mycotoxins while inside your body since they are live organisms that continue to grow once inside!


Mycotoxins are poisonous chemicals produced by mold to defend its territory from other microbes. They can be very harmful — even in low concentrations.

In fact, scientists say that mycotoxins are more harmful than pesticides!

(They are even thought to have been used in biological warfare)

Some common mycotoxins include:

  • Ochratoxin A:  Suppresses your immune system. It can also damage your nerves and impair brain function.
  • Aflatoxins:  Linked with an increased risk of liver cancer.
  • Trichothecenes: These are produced by Stachybotrys, as well as other molds. They interfere with your cell’s ability to make proteins your body must have. They can also damage nerves and impair your immune system.

There are hundreds of different mycotoxins!

In addition, they can also harm your kidneys, lungs and your mitochondria, the battery packs or ‘energy producing’ part of your cells.

mVOCs – ‘It Smells Like Mold In Here’

mVOCs cause those musty odors usually associated with mold. In contrast, mycotoxins are generally odorless.

However, just because there isn’t a musty smell doesn’t mean that a building doesn’t have toxic mold. Mold may be lurking even without a noticeable odor.


Is Mold Making Me Sick – Could This Be What My Doctor Is Missing?


Mold may be the cause of you being sick, even though your doctor is missing the evidence of it. That’s because the symptoms of mold toxicity vary greatly from person to person.

Some factors that may affect susceptibility to mold include length of exposure, toxin load and overall health status.

Genetics can also make a difference.

Specific genes make you more susceptible to mold toxicity. If your immune system doesn’t easily identify mold toxins and get rid of them, they build up and make you sick.

However, a severe mold problem can also impact healthy people, even without the gene.

So, how do you know if mold is a culprit of your poor or unresolved health issues?


What are the SYMPTOMS of Mold Toxicity?


The symptoms of mold are often missed by doctors as being mold-related.

But there are some clues.

For example, mold can trigger an inflammatory response in the body.

INFLAMMATION can create varied symptoms:

  • Pain (especially muscle pain similar to fibromyalgia, especially around your abdomen)
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Cognitive difficulties (brain fog, poor memory, anxiety)
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Numbness and tingling in extremities or other areas of your body
  • Digestive issues (especially intolerance to food, persistent bloating)
  • Significant fatigue
  • Changes in mood
  • Excessive thirst and dehydration, bed-wetting in children
  • Hormone imbalances

These mycotoxin-induced symptoms can easily be mistaken for something else.


Follow The Signs – Clues of Mold Toxicity


There’s no “clear-cut” list of signs and symptoms that specifically point to mold illness. But one possible clue is a sudden, mysterious and unexplainable decline in your health.

Have you been given a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, or IBS?

For example, in a study of people with CFS, about 90% had spent significant time in a water-damaged building. Even more had at least one type of mycotoxin in their urine.

(Healthy people had no detectable urine mycotoxins!)

The researchers surmised that mitochondrial damage from mold toxicity was causing reduced energy production and therefore, extreme fatigue.

One study found that people working in warm, humid buildings produced up to 1,000 times more inflammatory messengers in their body!

INFLAMMATION causes a cascade of problems.

Brain scans of people with mold toxicity show inflammation can lead to structural changes in brain tissue. This may contribute to being super sensitive to chemicals, foods, and other items that were not problematic just weeks before mold exposure.

Is this you? – Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

A constant inflammatory response to mold can lead to chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). In this condition, inflammation affects multiple systems of the body.

Long-term exposure to a water-damaged building is the most common trigger of CIRS. Chronic Lyme is another (HIDDEN) cause. Some people have both. That’s double trouble to your body’s immune system.

The following are often seen in CIRS due to mold toxicity:

  • Brain function: Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, trouble finding words, problems taking in new information
  • Digestive system: Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, food sensitivities, leaky gut, nausea, vomiting
  • Eyes: Blurred vision, eye irritation, itchy eyes, sensitivity to bright light
  • Energy: Excessive fatigue, thyroid dysfunction
  • Immune system: Autoimmune conditions, flu-like symptoms, over-reactivity to foods and chemicals, poor immunity
  • Mental state: Anxiety, depression irritability, mood swings
  • Muscles and skeleton: Muscle pain, joint pain, morning stiffness
  • Nervous system: Dizziness, headaches, numbness, poor balance and coordination, seizure-like events, skin sensitivity to light touch, static shocks, tingling, tremors
  • Respiratory system: Chest tightness, chronic sinus congestion, cough, new-onset or worsening asthma, runny nose, shortness of breath, sneezing, sore throat
  • Scent sensitivity: Unpleasant symptoms upon exposure to chemicals, fragrances, and other odors (multiple chemical sensitivity)
  • Sleep: Frequent waking during sleep, insomnia, night sweats
  • Weight: Appetite swings, weight gain or weight loss resistance

Many of these symptoms could be due to reasons other than mold toxicity and CIRS.

That’s why mold illness is often missed or misdiagnosed.


 How Do I Know For Sure That I Have Mold Toxicity?


It is difficult to know with certainty that you have MOLD TOXICITY. That’s because it is difficult to diagnose since conventional medicine does not emphasize that mycotoxins and mold illness are a problem. Why?

  • There is no gold standard in mold testing
  • There is no standardized drug protocol/treatment
  • Clear symptomatology is so different among patients
  • Not everyone exposed to mold mycotoxins gets sick

No wonder mold illness can be hard to diagnose!

Fortunately, Functional Medicine providers consider environmental factors that affect health and may have ADVANCED TESTING and training in addressing mold toxicity.


Testing for Toxic Mold Exposure


 A home/office inspection by a certified mold inspector should only be ordered since it makes sense for the environment to be evaluated for the source of mold.

But your exposure could have happened years ago, in another location.

The most direct way to test for mold toxicity is a urine test that measures for mold and mycotoxins as well as glutathione levels.

Glutathione is a major antioxidant in your body is depleted when you’re exposed to mold.

If you would like to KNOW if you have mold toxicity, a common and simple test is a Urine Mycotoxin Test. Excreting an elevated level of mycotoxins is a sure sign of mold illness.

Positive urine mycotoxin and inflammatory markers are best used in the context of OTHER SIGNS and symptoms of mold illness. These include:

  • Recurring infections — Do you have frequent infections, such as sinusitis or tonsillitis, or a weakened immune system? These can be EARLY signs of mold illness.
  • Chemical sensitivity —Do you have headache, cough or nausea when exposed to chemicals like cleaning products, perfumes, detergents, exhaust fumes, hair products, paints, dust, tobacco smoke, and varnishes?
  • History of mold exposure — Have you spent significant time in a water-damaged building? Did your symptoms start after you moved into a different home/apartment or workplace?
  • Odor sensitivity — Are you SUPER sensitive to smells, particularly mold? For example, can you smell mold on clothes or in buildings?
  • Sick-building syndrome — Do you feel worse in certain buildings, such as your home, office, or school? Do you feel better when you spend a few days away from them?

If you meet all five criteria, it’s likely your mold illness is advanced and long-standing.

The best, most advanced lab that offers urine mycotoxin tests is Vibrant America.


How Do You Treat Mold Toxicity?


Treating MOLD TOXICITY starts with simple lifestyle steps to achieve better IMMUNE health:

Eliminate exposure

Eliminate the sources of mold from the home/work place. Also eliminate common DIETARY SOURCES of mold, including grains, coffee, and nuts, especially peanut butter. You need to greatly LOWER the overall mold burden on your body.

Sinus health

Since molds collect in sinuses, you can also take steps to improve sinus health, including using a Neti pot to irrigate your sinuses.

Lower inflammation

Taking steps to lower inflammation can help bring balance back to an hyperactive immune response. This means following an anti-inflammatory diet and committing to daily stress management.

The Ultimate KEY to SOLVING MOLD – Optimize detoxification

Supporting the body’s ability to bind to and eliminate toxins is a key part of healing from mycotoxin exposure. This is where supplements can be helpful. It’s important to work with a practitioner experienced in mold illness who can recommend the right supplements designed to remove these toxins directly.

To recover from mold toxicity, you need to support your body’s natural detoxification and drainage systems. You must also support your immune system, mitochondria, oxygen status, and thyroid gland.

New, emerging technology, designed to help combat mycotoxins by BINDING toxins, increasing oxygen, enhancing your liver and thyroid, and supporting drainage systems (your body’s natural ability to eliminate poisons from itself) are necessary to successfully recover from mold toxicity.

Let’s examine this more closely…

How do I get rid of mold in my body?

If you have mold illness, your body needs help getting rid of mycotoxins. Special agents are required for this. They BIND mold toxins in the gut so they can be more easily excreted.

Some doctors use a drug called cholestyramine. But it can damage the mitochondria.

An excellent, natural alternative for BINDING mold toxins is Carbon Technology

Made of specially-selected and precisely-formulated extracts of fulvic and humic acids, Carbon Technology uses these natural substances to tightly BIND toxins to help remove them from your body via stools.

The fulvic and humic acids in Carbon Technology have advantages to binders like charcoal and clay. One big advantage is that Carbon Technology can travel beyond the gut.

This is key to combat mold toxicity because mold and mycotoxins can affect all organ systems, not just the intestines.

Also, fulvic and humic acid extracts are a good source of nutrition. This is good since cells damaged by mold need to repair themselves. This includes the healing molecules of plants such as amino acids, phytochemicals and minerals.

BOOST energy, oxygen levels, and thyroid function

As you know, mycotoxins can GREATLY DAMAGE mitochondria. BROKEN mitochondria result in LESS cellular ENERGY and that definitely hampers your ability to fight mold illness.

Mold can also crush OXYGEN levels. Mitochondria need oxygen to generate energy efficiently.

Supplements formulated with fulvic acid extracts designed to restore mitochondrial function and enhance ATP production (your body’s ENERGY source) do wonders.

Additionally, mold toxicity can hamper thyroid gland function. Supporting it with supplemental IODINE may be helpful.

Support the LIVER

Even though the liver is the body’s main detox organ, mycotoxins often cause damage to liver cells.

Fortunately, a substance called TUDCA— a naturally present bile acid — helps support the liver. Available in supplement form, it helps:

  • Enhance liver function and bile flow
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase mitochondrial function
  • Provide antioxidant protection


So, your liver helps get mycotoxins out of the blood and into the bile.

The next step is excreting the toxin-laden bile via stools.

So, your bowels must be moving at least two to three times a day, especially when detoxing. This helps prevent mold toxins from getting REABSORBED into your body.

Bowel-moving herbs, in small but effective amounts can help keep you regular and avoid constipation.

Ginger root is an effective one.

Also, kidney and liver-supporting herbs also support drainage and detox.

Additionally, it’s important to keep your LYMPHATIC SYSTEM draining to get rid of mycotoxins.

Herbs like burdock root and slippery elm help get your lymph flowing.

You can see, the correct supplements and botanicals are KEY to solving the MOLD problem.

Don’t SWEAT it. Correction: SWEAT it out!

Another way to get rid of mold toxins is by SWEATING. This can be accomplished with an INFRARED SAUNA or with regular physical activity.

You will reduce overall toxin burden if you sweat. TOXIC CHEMICALS and TOXIC HEAVY METALS have also been found in sweat.

Sweating sounds simple, but take it slow before gradually increasing the length of your sauna session. If you release toxins too quickly, you may end up feeling miserable. Also, it is crucial to keep up your water intake as well.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Clear out other pathogens

Because mold illness can inhibit the immune system, OTHER chronic infections — such as Lyme Disease or viruses — may rear their ugly heads.

Plus, PARASITES may also be an issue. Parasites and other infections can weaken the immune system and make the body more vulnerable to mold toxicity.

Either way, removing unwanted PARASITES from the body helps reduce the STRESS on the immune system.

What’s more, mold may hide inside parasites!

And, some parasitic WORMS can block the bile ducts, interfering with your ability to eliminate toxins. This means you may not be able to fully recover from mold illness until you detox the parasites as well.

Once again, cutting edge, parasite-killing supplements could support your recovery from mold toxicity.

Talk to your Functional Medicine Doctor about Mimosa Pudica seed which PULLS PARASITES OUT.


There Is Hope


We are still in the infancy stage of fully understanding about toxic mold exposure and mold toxicity symptoms. More research is needed on this common, HIDDEN culprit of many unresolved chronic health issues.

If you’ve ever asked “What is my doctor missing?” and suspect that MOLD TOXICITY may be a part of YOUR persistent, unresolved health challenges, do NOT give up.

The good news is that there are doctors with specialized knowledge who are ready with a science-backed action plan to DETECT AND CORRECT MOLD TOXICITY and get you back to looking, feeling and functioning at your best.