Mold & Mycotoxin Toxicity

By Diana Drake - June 28, 2022

Mold and mycotoxins can cause illnesses and diseases, even leading up to death in some extreme cases. You may be experiencing these symptoms of short term mold toxicity:

  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Red or itchy eyes, or skin

Severe reactions may include:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

Long term exposure can lead to many chronic symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Respiratory issues
  • Sleep issues
  • Lyme-mimicking sickness 
  • Gut issues

Many types of mold can be found in your home, if it has not been properly inspected. The most common type of molds found in homes are aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra.

Aspergillus is an allergenic mold that is typically found on foods and in air conditioning systems.

Cladosporium can typically be found on the back of toilets, painted surfaces, and is known for forming on living and dead plants. While this type of mold is non-toxic, it can trigger allergy symptoms. It is also widespread and difficult to get rid of.

Stachybotrys atra, also known as black mold, can cause hay fever-like symptoms like headache, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash in a single exposure.

Stachybotrys chartarum is a fungus that has become notorious as a mycotoxin producer that can cause animal and human mycotoxicosis. This type of mold can be found on soil and hay, and is often found on cellulose-rich surfaces.

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by mold. Mycotoxins, which are fungal metabolites, can be found in a variety of foods and alcoholic beverages, typically a result of contamination.

Poisoning by mycotoxins is called mycotoxicosis. They are known to play a significant role in gut health and gut microbiota. Mycotoxins may modulate the gut microbiota with potential consequences for gut and host health.

On the other hand, the gut microbiota may metabolize the mycotoxins thereby converting them to a form with different activity.  

Mycotoxins can be eaten, absorbed into the skin, and inhaled, and have the ability to effect both animals and humans. The acute symptoms in animals include liver, spleen and kidney damage and toxicity to the immune system. For humans, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances and vomiting have been reported.

Ways to avoid mycotoxicosis would be to buy fresh grains and nuts. If you can buy locally produced foods or have access to organic food choices, these would help to avoid mycotoxins.
  • Be sure to store your food properly and not keep food for an extended period of time. Try to diversify your diet, regularly rotating different foods, and listening to your body. 

Detoxing every spring and fall may help avoid an accumulation of mycotoxins in the body. A full body detox that includes the lungs, kidneys, liver and bowels with anti-fungal herbs is recommended. Some anti-fungal herbs that would be beneficial to mold and mycotoxin sickness include:
  • Pau D’ Arco
  • Garlic 
  • Turmeric
  • Olive leaf
  • Tea tree oil 

It is also easy to find great combination herbal blends for fungal infections. Generally speaking, any anti-fungal or candida clearing formulas will be beneficial to clear molds and mycotoxins from the body. 

Blood and urine tests can help determine if you have an overburden in the body that is affecting your health. If you are suffering from long term exposure and toxicity, it will take more than just doing a twice a year cleanse to clear it.

It’s important to work with a natural practitioner that understands how to assess and clear fungal infections as it can be in depth and take time. Typically a combination of diet and lifestyle changes is needed along with a heavy detox protocol that may stem over several months. 

The most important thing when dealing with molds and mycotoxins is that the exposure needs to be stopped. Therefore, if there is a leak in your home or office or a moldy drain for example - these will need to be fixed and remediated to prevent further mold growth.

Air filtration systems can also be helpful in the home and office while figuring out where the source of the problem is and are good to keep ongoing to purify the air, especially if you are more sensitive. 
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