Mold is a fungus that grows in damp environments. It can be found indoors and outdoors. When certain types of mold begin to grow inside your home, you may develop mold related illness. Most people have heard of black mold; however, there are many other types of toxic molds found indoors, including Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Wallemia. Molds produce two different types of toxins – mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds. Both of these types of mold toxins can be inhaled or swallowed. When this occurs, mold can begin to form colonies inside the body. Mold induced toxicity is very misunderstood. Mold produces poisons that can cause long-term problems. CIRS or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome is caused by exposure to mold and other biotoxin producers. You are at increased risk if you are suffering with allergies, asthma, respiratory issues or with a weakened immune system. It is essential to detox mold from the body to start feeling better.
Symptoms of Mold Toxicity
Mold illness is a serious medical condition that is often misdiagnosed due to the plethora of symptoms that it can cause. Toxic mold stores can cause the body to experience an inflammatory cascade that can cause a number of symptoms including-
- Joint Pain or Inflammation
- Skin irritations – rashes, itchy skin and redness
- Eye irritations – itchy eyes, watery eyes and red eyes
- Respiratory Disturbances – coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks and difficulty breathing
- Mood swings
- Concentration difficulties or memory loss
- Fatigue or unexplained weakness
- Sinus issues
- Hay fever symptoms- sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion
- Hoarseness and Sore throat
Once you have been diagnosed with mold toxicity or biotoxin illness, you should take an integrative approach to eliminate the toxins in your body. Treating mold toxicity is sometimes quite challenging. Contact a functional medicine doctor for help.
Eliminate the Source of Mold
Studies have shown that approximately 50 percent of homes and places of business have water damage. Those suffering from chronic respiratory issues, including asthma and recurrent bronchitis may be experiencing the symptoms of mold toxicity.
Once you have been diagnosed with biotoxin illness, you will need to ensure your home is free of mold. Inspect your home, looking for signs of dampness. Look at your roof. Are there any missing or loose shingles? Look at your plumbing pipes for any dampness or leaks. Look in your basement or crawlspace for any standing water or dampness.
If you find traces of mold or dampness, you need to scrub the area with a mixture of bleach and water. Then, place fans in the area to dry the dampness. It can take 24 to 48 hours to properly ventilate and dry the area. If you suspect mold in your HVAC system, turn off your heating and cooling system and contact an HVAC professional immediately.
Detoxify to Remove Mold Toxins
Mold doctors can help you detoxify by using a combination of binders to help remove toxins from your body. Some of the common binders used to help remove mold are:
- Activated Charcoal – Activated charcoal must be carefully administered because it will bind to everything, including toxins, vitamins, minerals, and other medications. If activated charcoal is used, your integrative physician will need to carefully monitor your nutrition, and supplementation may be required. Because of the mechanisms of activated charcoal, it is best used for an acute situation.
- Bentonite Clay – Bentonite clay comes from volcano ash and has been used around the world for many years to help detoxify the body. Bentonite clay absorbs heavy metals, toxins, and other harmful materials. It also provides the body with a variety of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and sodium. Bentonite clay provides the body with some antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Chlorella – Chlorella is an alga that does a great job of detoxifying the body. Chlorella binds to toxins and heavy metals in the digestive tract and helps transport it out of the body. Unlike other types of binders (activated charcoal, bentonite clay, etc.), chlorella does not remove minerals and nutrients from the body. In fact, chlorella can help boost immunity naturally. Because there is no risk of nutritional deficiencies with long term use, it is a popular binder used by integrative practitioners.
- Pectin – Pectin is found in a variety of fruits, including citrus, apples, and plums. Pectin is dehydrated and used as a fiber supplement. Pectin sweeps biotoxins that are found in the gastrointestinal tract and bind with heavy metals. Pectin works well with other binders and is inexpensive. However, pectin can cause gastrointestinal issues like gas, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
- Zeolite – Zeolite is a powder comprised of several natural minerals. This popular detoxification powder binds with heavy metals and toxins and draws them from the body. Functional medicine often combines zeolite with other binders to provide a balanced detoxification plan. There are 49 forms of Zeolite; therefore, you should seek out the help of a knowledgeable integrative practitioner who is familiar with detoxification and binders.
In addition to the binders listed above that help to detoxify the body, your integrative mold specialists may recommend a nasal spray such as Cholagogues to decrease inflammation in the sinuses. Cholagogues help promote the discharge of bile and help pull toxins from the body and send them into the digestive tract where they would be eliminated. Finally, antifungals, antioxidants, colloidal silver, and essential oils can be used to improve your health and relieve mold toxicity.
The Toxicity Screening Questionnaire helps identify symptoms that are useful to detect underlying causes of illnesses.
How Can We Help?
Our team of integrative doctors specializing in treatment of CIRS and Biotoxin illnesses use the latest proven therapies in functional medicine to help repair the damage caused by mold toxicity. Through nutritional supplementation, lifestyle modifications, acupuncture, and detoxification, our practitioners can help you get your life back.