How to Cure Mold and Mycotoxin Problems
Look for mold mycotoxins in addition to heavy metals and pesticides.
I believe toxins are the most significant and ignored public health issue of our lifetime. The animal husbandry industry spends billions – yes with a b – of dollars on reducing mycotoxins in livestock because of the impact it has on morbidity, fertility, and mortality. The same is true in humans! It is estimated that 9 out of 10 people with chronic fatigue syndrome have toxicity as a root cause. When toxins are eliminated, fatigue resolves and patients get their energy back! Rain brings mold, mold brings mycotoxins
Here in San Diego, we are experiencing more rain than we’ve had in decades. I feel like I’ve moved back to Seattle! Lots of rain for a city that doesn’t get much means we likely aren’t well prepared. Leaks and flooding can wreak havoc on our homes but they can also lead to mold that can wreak havoc on our health.
Mold, mycotoxins and decomposing building materials can cause changes in multiple body systems including the nervous system, gastrointestinal system, endocrine system and more. Preventing mold exposure is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Symptoms of mold exposure
If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms it may be explained by a mold exposure:
- Muscle aches and cramping
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Unusual pains
- Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea
- Chronic sinus congestion
- Coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath
- Joint pain with morning stiffness
- Cognitive impairment
- Skin sensitivity to light touch
- Numbness and tingling
- Frequent electrical shocks
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Excessive thirst
- Painful periods
- Disequilibrium & dizziness
- Anxiety and depression
- Night sweats
- Seizure-like events
- Body temperature dysregulation
Mycotoxins are fat-soluble and long-lasting
These symptoms are common and non-specific. The toxins associated with mold are fat soluble and bind in the brain, nerves, and glands, so they can cause symptoms you feel throughout the body. Unfortunately, we do not understand why some people have symptoms and another person with similar exposure may not experience any symptoms at all. It may be genetic differences or overall toxic body burden that leads to differences in susceptibility.
Mold testing and remediation recommendations
If there is any chance your home or workplace may be moldy the first thing I recommend is to have the building tested by a great environmental testing company. They are not all created equal and I recommend ET&Tor The Mold Guys. The primary factor in treating any environmental illness is to identify the toxin and eliminate it. In my clinical experience, patients who are still exposed to the offending mycotoxins will not fully recover until they either move or fully remediate their homes.
Moving and remediating moldy homes can feel very overwhelming, especially when you aren’t feeling well because of the mold! I recommending talking to John Bantaor Mary Cordaroabout which of your belongings can be cleaned versus which ones need to be thrown out.
Systemic mycotoxin testing
If you are struggling, I advise testing to see if you have mycotoxins contributing to your symptoms. The best tests are through Great Plains Laboratory or Real Time Laboratory. They are slightly different tests that both give us good information about the amount of mycotoxins eliminated in your urine.
Strategies to detox from mold
Eliminating mycotoxins from your body, once you have eliminated them from your environment is individualized. It typically involves optimizing organs of elimination including bowels, liver, kidneys, skin/lymph and lungs. Depending on the mycotoxins present and your body’s ability to tolerate treatment, I will recommend a combination of binders like clay, charcoal, chlorella, zeolite, cilantro, citrus pectin and cholesteramine or welchol. I also recommend liver detox support like glutathione, NAC, milk thistle, minerals, vitamin C and the B vitamins. Sweating via exercise or a sauna is another great way to reduce mycotoxin levels in the body.
Although air filters in the home can drastically reduce the level of mycotoxins, they are not a permanent fix. I recommend the IQ Air GC MultiGas.
Further reading on mold and mold detox
I highly recommend Dr. Neil Nathan’s book Toxic Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness. There is a wealth of information in his book that will guide you through the process of identifying the causes of your illness. Dr. Nathan is a mentor of mine and I am so grateful to him for putting together this guidebook. It is helpful for patients and practitioners.
Learn more about mycotoxins on Wikipedia.
Let us help you
If you have more questions about how mycotoxins may be affecting you, don’t hesitate to contact our office and schedule an appointment to speak with one of our providers. We look forward to serving you!
Written by Dr. Heather Sandison, ND
*Dr. Sandison & North County Natural Medicine have no financial relationship with any of the recommended products or services.