Mold is everywhere! So you may ask how could it be causing me bloating, gas, food sensitivities, rashes, fatigue. Well, let’s dive in!
Why are our gut bacteria so important?
Our gut bacteria protect us! Our gut bacteria regulate our immune system. When our bacteria are in balance, they help to maintain an adequate intestinal lining, preventing seepage of bacteria and toxins into our blood streams.
Commensal or “good” bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus help to control the function, development, and differentiation of T cells (a type of lymphocyte or immune cell). T cells help the host to maintain immune homeostasis and prevention of autoimmune disease7.
Our healthy bacteria also help to control fungal overgrowth in the intestines. Have you heard of the pathogen Candida Albicans? These fungi can wreak havoc in the GI tract, but when our “good” bugs are present, they are capable of disrupting fungal growth 5.
How does Mold play a role in our gut health?
Mold toxicity comes from exposure to mold spores, mycotoxins and mold fragments that 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
Mold and the gut
Mycotoxins wreak havoc in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Let’s discuss how they do this…
- Mycotoxins have antibiotic properties that decrease the diversity of the gut 2,6.
- Mycotoxins cause damage to the intestinal lining and microvilli, leading to leaky gut 1,4.
- Mycotoxins decrease glutathione production and increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production2,6.
- Mycotoxins weaken the gut-immune response, translocating gut pathogens into the intestinal lumen possible, leading to inflammatory bowel disease 1, 3.
How do you treat mold in the gut?
This is an area where functional medicine shines! Functional medicine practitioners first recognize mold illness as a cause for GI symptoms, prompting them to question it as a cause and, second, they look for it in testing. Once it is found, then treatment can begin!
Treating mold illness is a complicated process as all body systems are affected. It is not recommended to go through this treatment alone. Schedule a FREE consult today!
We are located in beautiful, sunny Melbourne Beach, FL. We can also set up Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet via telemedicine consultations.
- Akbari P, et al. Arch Toxicol. 2017, 91, 1007–1029
- Broom L. Animal Nutrition. 2015, 1(4), 262-65
- Grenier B, Applegate TJ. Toxins. 2013, 5, 396-430
- Liew W, Mohd-Redzwan S. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2018, 8, 60
- Richard M, Sokol H. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2019, 16, 331–345
- Sondergaard TE, et al. Toxins (Basel). 2016, 8(12), 355 Liew W, Mohd-Redzwan S. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2018, 8, 60
- Shim JA, Ryu JH, Jo Y, Hong C. The role of gut microbiota in T cell immunity and immune mediated disorders. Int J Biol Sci. 2023 Feb 13;19(4):1178-1191. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.79430. PMID: 36923929; PMCID: PMC10008692.