Do you have multiple, chronic symptoms that you can’t seem to figure out cause for? Maybe you struggle from chronic fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, autoimmune disease, chronic pain, allergies or chronic sinusitis, abdominal bloating, IBS or multiple food sensitivities, anxiety or “weird” symptoms like pin-prick sensations, or electrical shock like feelings. Is mold toxicity to blame??
Mold is everywhere and we have not even identified all molds present in our environment, but we have identified some mold toxins, or otherwise known as mycotoxins, that can contribute to a wide variety of symptoms in humans.
IS MOLD ILLNESS REAL?
The conventional medical model has not recognized these mycotoxins as problematic which makes diagnosis and treatment a problem, and leaves many people with continued suffering. 1
A 10 year study looked at associations between dampness and indoor moulds in workplace buildings and selected biomarkers as well as incidence and remission of sick building syndrome. The study found increased inflammatory markers with continued exposure as well as increased general and skin symptoms. 8
The authors in this study concluded that exposure to molds and their associated mycotoxins in water-damaged buildings leads to multiple health problems involving the central nervous system and the immune system, in addition to pulmonary effects and allergies, and increases inflammation. 2
WHAT IS MOLD TOXICITY?
Mold toxicity comes from exposure to mold spores and mycotoxins that some molds produce. These mycotoxins, in some individuals, cannot be eliminated from the body and therefore set up residence and lead to a confused host immune system as these molds try to survive in the host by releasing their volatile toxins.
These toxins disrupt the host immune system and cause a wide variety of symptoms…
- RESPIRATORY: chronic sinusitis, allergies, shortness of breath, cough, swollen nasal passages, post nasal drip
- NEUROLOGICAL: brain fog, disorders of executive function (the ability to plan, focus, multitask, and remember instructions), dementia, memory issues, change in vision, attention deficit disorders and autism spectrum disorders7
- DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS: bloat, constipation, diarrhea, food intolerance, food sensitivities, nausea
- CHRONIC FATIGUE
- HORMONE DISRUPTION: menstrual cycle changes, infertility
- CHRONIC PAIN: joint pains, fibromyalgia like pain, muscle tightness
IF MOLDS ARE IN OUR ENVIRONMENT NATURALLY, THEN HOW CAN THEY BE HARMFUL?
Molds exist naturally in our environment and for most of us they do not cause any issues, but for about 25% of the population they can wreak havoc in the body.
It all boils down to the bodies ability to detoxify from the mycotoxins which happens mainly in the liver with the CYP450 enzymes. Genetic variations can make detoxification very difficult for some leading to colonization of molds in the body.
Individual responses to exposure vary based on genetic makeup, duration and severity of exposure, and underlying health and nutritional status.3
HEALTH EFFECTS OF MYCOTOXINS:
Molds in our environment can cause irritating symptoms, but it is the mycotoxins that some molds produce that are the bigger problem…
- Aflatoxins are produced by Aspergillus parasiticus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus nomius, and various species of Penicillium, Rhizopus, Mucor, and Streptomyces and are genotoxic, immunotoxic, hepatotoxic, mutagenic and the leading cause of liver cancer.3
- Ochratoxin A is produced by Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus, and species of Penicillium, Petromyces, and Neopetromyces and are nephrotoxic, genotoxic, immunotoxic, and neurotoxic as well as known carcinogen.3
- Trichothecenes are produced by Stachybotrys, Fusarium, and Myrothecium. These mold species have been used in biological warfare and are known to cause diarrhea, weight loss, nervous disorders, cardiovascular alterations, immunodepression, hemostatic derangements, skin toxicity, decreased reproductive capacity, and bone marrow damage.3
Also consider these effects:
- Mycotoxins have been shown to alter digestive function and lead to elimination of beneficial bacteria and overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria which leads to decreased ability to detoxify, immune system confusion, and hormone disruption.6
- Mold exposed and toxic individuals have decreased cognitive function as illustrated in this study which showed those who were exposed to molds had decreased balance, grip strength, reaction time, memory, delayed verbal recall, and mood state scores. 4
- In this study, a toxin called Trichothecenes, was implicated in the growth suppression, immune dysregulation, disrupted hormone production and energy synthesis. 5
WHAT DO I DO IF I SUSPECT MOLD IS A PROBLEM FOR ME?
As mentioned earlier, it is about 25% of the population that are negatively affected by mold and mycotoxins.
It is important to get with a practitioner who uses appropriate testing when looking for mold toxicity as well as dives deep into your specific situation looking for other root causes.
If you have tried many different modalities to improve your health and still seem stuck, then maybe it is time to look for mold?
- You have already changed your diet and lifestyle with the help of an experienced professional but are still having symptoms.
- You have symptoms consistent with mold toxicity.
- You have access to an experienced practitioner to help you navigate this complex, chronic condition. Mold detoxification is not something you want to go at alone…
THE BOTTOM LINE…
Mold toxicity is a realitivly new area of study with limited research and a lot of disbelief from the conventional medical community. Although there is a plethora of substantial evidence suggesting mold toxicity is real.
As a practitioner who has been treating mold toxicity I can say it is REAL. And it is sincerely gratifying to be able to give people who have been struggling for years 1. an answer to their symptoms and 2. relief of the symptoms giving them a chance to live the live they have dreamed of.
If you have symptoms of mold toxicity getting treatment and supporting your body’s ability to detox will help you to regain your health and your life.
Call today to set up a FREE consultation!
1. Chang C, Gershwin ME. The Myth of Mycotoxins and Mold Injury. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2019 Dec;57(3):449-455. doi: 10.1007/s12016-019-08767-4. PMID: 31608429.
2. Gray MR, Thrasher JD, Crago R, Madison RA, Arnold L, Campbell AW, Vojdani A. Mixed mold mycotoxicosis: immunological changes in humans following exposure in water-damaged buildings. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):410-20. doi: 10.1080/00039896.2003.11879142. PMID: 15143854.
3. Hope J. A review of the mechanism of injury and treatment approaches for illness resulting from exposure to water-damaged buildings, mold, and mycotoxins. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Apr 18;2013:767482. doi: 10.1155/2013/767482. PMID: 23710148; PMCID: PMC3654247.
4. Kilburn KH. Neurobehavioral and pulmonary impairment in 105 adults with indoor exposure to molds compared to 100 exposed to chemicals. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009 Oct-Nov;25(9-10):681-92. doi: 10.1177/0748233709348390. Epub 2009 Sep 30. PMID: 19793776.
5.Lebrun B, Tardivel C, Félix B, Abysique A, Troadec JD, Gaigé S, Dallaporta M. Dysregulation of energy balance by trichothecene mycotoxins: Mechanisms and prospects. Neurotoxicology. 2015 Jul;49:15-27. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2015.04.009. Epub 2015 May 6. PMID: 25956358.
6. Liew WP, Mohd-Redzwan S. Mycotoxin: Its Impact on Gut Health and Microbiota. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2018 Feb 26;8:60. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00060. PMID: 29535978; PMCID: PMC5834427.
7. Ratnaseelan AM, Tsilioni I, Theoharides TC. Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes. Clin Ther. 2018 Jun;40(6):903-917. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 Jun 5. PMID: 29880330.
8. Zhang X, Sahlberg B, Wieslander G, Janson C, Gislason T, Norback D. Dampness and moulds in workplace buildings: associations with incidence and remission of sick building syndrome (SBS) and biomarkers of inflammation in a 10 year follow-up study. Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jul 15;430:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.04.040. Epub 2012 May 24. PMID: 22634552.