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  • Writer's pictureVivian Rowan

MOLD TOXICITY

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

Lets start simply. Mold is a fungi, its purpose in the world, as we know it, is to decompose, and that's what it does. It deteriorates and breaks down any living thing it comes into contact with. (Including humans).


Mold is natural and is found everywhere outdoors right? So what's the problem in that? The problem lies solely in the fact that it belongs OUTDOORS where there is plenty of other bacteria, pathogens, and other competition which keep it in check, it does NOT belong indoors!


The toxic effect of Mold has been around since the ancient times. In the Bible chapter 14, in the book of Leviticus, there lies specific directions for toxic mold remediation. It is written that if there is "a fungal infection in any house" that the "owner of the house shall come and report it to the priest." It then gives clear instructions how the priest shall handle it. "The priest shall then order the house to be cleared out before he goes in to examine the infection, lest everything in the house becomes unclean", and "If the priest, upon inspection, finds that the infection on the walls of the house consists of greenish or reddish spots which seem to go deeper than the surface of the wall,-he shall go out of the house to the doorway, and quarantine the house for seven days." This continues to cover how remediation should be conducted and where it should be disposed - "If, upon inspection, he finds that the infection has spread on the walls he shall order the infected stones to be pulled out and cast in an unclean place outside the city. The whole inside of the house shall then be scraped, and the mortar that has been scraped off shall be dumped in an unclean place outside the city." This clearly depicts the demolishing and remediation of mold after it has been removed and dumped outside of the city. This next sentence discusses reconstruction: "then other stones shall be brought and put in the place of the old stones, and new mortar obtained and plastered on the house." Lastly, this last sentence depicts, if remediation fails, the home should be demolished "if, upon inspection, he finds that the infection has spread in the house, it is a corrosive fungus in the house, and it is unclean. It shall be pulled down, and all its stones, beams, and mortar shall be hauled away to an unclean place outside the city."


I started this blog, and an E-book which goes much further in depth on this topic, after my own personal battle with Mold Toxicity. It robbed a year and a half from my family's life and mine, and I'm grateful for each moment I can enjoy now being on the other side of it, but feel a deep drive to inform others of the dangers.


If you or someone you know has a sudden mysterious illness occurring with multiple systemic inflammatory responses consider MOLD.


Some Common Symptoms can be:


1. Tingling hand and feet or paresthesia

2. Shortness of breath

3. Digestive issues, or reflux

4. Diarrhea or constipation

5. Bulging Veins

6. Hands changing color

7. Hair loss

8. Red eyes

9. Muscle pain

10. Fatigue

11. Joint Pain

12. Morning Stiffness

13. Confusion

14. Disorientation

15. Forgetfulness of words

16. Sinus Issues, or Infections, post nasal drip

17. Skin Sensitivity or Hives

18. Tremors

19. Night Sweats

20. Increased Urination

21. Temperature dysregulation

22. Mood Swings

23. Appetite Swings

24. Increased Anxiety


You see, what causes most of these symptoms is NOT an allergic reaction to Mold, but a Biotoxin reaction to mold. Certain black molds give off Mycotoxins which are a toxic metabolite from the mold spore. These mycotoxins can actually be so dangerous and harmful they were actually tested by the United States army as a form of biological chemical warfare weapon. If that does not get your mind wondering, mycotoxins are also used by major pharmaceutical companies as an immunosuppressant to prevent organ rejection in recipients. (so the person's immune system does not reject the organ). When these toxic metabolites, or mycotoxins, are ingested or inhaled they embed in our circulatory system, they can embed in our tissue and organs as well. What makes some even more susceptible to these illnesses, more than others, is their genetics.


Certain genes such as MTHR, or HLA-DR can enhance the effects of these toxins as they usually imply that the person is not a good detoxifier of toxins, or their immune system does not recognize these antigens as being a threat, which allows them to wreak havoc freely. Mold has also been proven to trigger Mast Cell Activation Response as well. MCAS is a newer term to Western Medicine which is a severe innate immune response which triggers multiple systemic complications including anaphylactic shock. MCAS is a type of Mast cell Activation Disorder, it causes mast cells to inappropriately react in hyperdrive with inflammation and can cause heart, skin, stomach, neurological and respiratory attacks. Similar diagnosis, or labels have also been associated to MCAS such as CIRS, or chronic inflammatory response syndrome. The overall idea is they are one or two degrees apart from one another, and it's still currently being studied. Also Mold toxicity has been highly correlated with Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemicals Sensitivities and reoccurrence of EBV, and shingles.


This Concept of course seems taboo to almost all Western Medical Physicians and professionals, but not for the Integrative, Holistic, and Functional Professionals. My philosophies have always been to keep both sides on board for your needs whatever they are, since the Western medical community has many holes that millions seem to fall through. For example, if you have heart issues typically a Western Physician is who you need to see. But, if you have an auto-immune disease which can have root causes stemming from something fairly simple to eradicate, I highly recommend you seeing an Integrative Doctor, who can look at your issue from two approaches. Other types of these controversial illnesses that are in Integrative, Functional or Holistic doctors' wheelhouse are leaky gut syndrome, heavy metal toxicity, mold toxicity, lyme, Hashimotos', thyroid issues, candida overgrowth and, or other autoimmune conditions.


So, if you know or suspect you have Mold Toxicity what do you do?


This is a complicated question that has so many different avenues to take. Lets keep it simple. Mycotoxins (which we discussed are the toxins which are byproducts from Mold spores) can be ingested and inhaled, once they enter our circulatory system they end up in our liver and from there toxins which are in the bile enter enterohepatic circulation and can be recycled back into the body wreaking havoc on multiple systems the longer it stays in the body. So what is the fix? The fix is taking a binder that best binds to that specific mycotoxin.

For example, a group of Physicians who specialize in integrative medicine and environmentally acquired illnesses began an organization called ISEAI, or the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness. Here they provide some one the best doctors who specialize in Mold toxicity across the nation, they also provide some useful information including latest research as to a chart for which binders bind the most effectively to certain toxins. Amongst this organization of physicians, Dr. Nathan Neil is one the most knowledgable. His book "toxic" is a best seller and has a plethora of liquid Gold information to help people who are mold sick. I personally chose to use him when I was toxic and he helped place me on the right path to healing, as well as my Integrative Dr. here in Atlanta (Dr. Taz Bhatia).


Some other top doctors in this field are:


Dr. Andrew Heyman: who is the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at George Washington University and works directly with Dr Shoemaker.


Dr Jill Christa: who wrote "break the mold", another great Physician who takes more of a holistic approach as being a Naturopathic Dr.


Dr Jill Carnahan: she is an excellent functional physician based out of Colorado.


Dr. Keith Berndston: he is Integrative and functional MD who also serves on the ISEAI board.


Dr. Andrew Campbell: Dr. Andrew W. Campbell, of whom has many titles such as : Medical Clinician, Director, Officer, Advisor, and Medical Consultant, also Editor-in Chief of several journals and research studies. He also was recently selected as Top Medical Consultant of the Year for 2020 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for his outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to the healthcare profession. He has over 45 years of experience and specializes in testing mold, and mycotoxins as well as other immune dysfunction disorders and neurotoxicity.


Of course no doctor compares to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker whom is the original physician who put mold illness on the map, and discovered binding was the best way to reverse this illness. Many of the top doctors in the country have trained under Dr. Shoemakers protocol or they simple say "shoemaker trained". Personally, I think you would be in fine hands with either Shoemaker trained physicians or any physician from ISEAI, the key is someone who has studied in depth for a long period of time the multiple facets of mold toxicity and it's complications.


Note you should always see a physician for a proper medical protocol, but I will go over the common remedies for Mold Toxicity.


A brief summary of the multiple facets that go awry with Mold toxicity are:


Thyroid dysfunction

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Adh imbalance

Inflammation, and elevated inflammatory marker across multiple systems of body

Elevated VEGF and hyper coagulation issues

Candida overgrowth/Leaky Gut/ SIBO


Therefore each of these issues needs to be addressed individually to speed healing and help the body regain homeostasis.


Typical Protocol Most Often Includes:


Binders, such as Activated Charcoal, Bentonite Clay, Zeolite, Chlorella (as long as you don't have a heavy metals issue), Sachromyces Boullardi, and most the most powerful of them all Cholestyramine and Welchol.


Vitamins & Antioxidants:

Vitamin A

Vitamin C (liposomal is best)

Vitamin D

Iron

Zinc

Vitamin B complex AND Vitamin b-1 (separately)

CoQ10

Resverterol


Minerals:

Fulvic Acid

Humic Acid

Magnesium Glycinate


Antifungals: (if fungal infection or candida overgrowth suspected)

Nyastatin

Diflucan

Itraconozole

Amphoceritin B


Antibiotics: (If chronic Sinus infections or Marcons are suspected)

Ceftin

Doxycycline

Z-Pack

Cipro

BEG Nasal Spray or BEG + Silver (For Marcons)


SUPPLEMENTAL THERAPIES:


HBOT. (often recommended by Integrative/functional/Holistic Physicians)

INFRARED RED SAUNA

IV THERAPIES (Liposomal Glutathione IV)

REBOUND THERAPY (trampoline jumping)

MASSAGE

BINDERS


How Do I test myself to see if I have mold?


As listed above please reach out and find an experience mold literate Doctor who can help run all the necessary test which you would need. For example crucial tests for Mold are:

  1. Urine Mycotoxin Test- Either Great Plains Laboratories or Real Time Labs, these are simple urine tests which are analyzed for mycotoxin concentration in the urine.

  2. Lab work Inflammatory Markers: TGF-beta1, MMP9, C4a, Sedimentation Rate and CRP-It is also wise to check VEGF, and Adh and thyroid panel as these are almost always knocked off during mold toxicity as well.

  3. VCS Test- this test tests your eye sight and determines if you are being affected by CIRS. You can find this test on Dr. Ritchie Shoemakers website.

  4. HLA-DR and MTHFR genetics tests...although Dr. Nathan Neil has repetitively said he's seen patients with AND without these genes to have CIRS.

  5. MyMycolab.com Blood Test by MyMycolab.com. Ran by Dr. Andrew Campbell, this lab tests your antigen markers to mycotoxins and mold.


How do I Test my home?


Mold is becoming an increasing problem in our modern era. This is due to many factors including the mass use of drywall (gypsum board) which is a safe haven for mold and provides endless breeding grounds for mold because it holds water easily and dries slowly. Another contributing factor is mold has become resistant to mildew resistant paints and fungicides over the years leaving the ones who do survive to be the stronger strains. Another contributing factor is homes are being built more "air tight" leaving no fresh air flow exchange which means if there is some mold growth occurring the rate in which it infects the home will be vast.


Speaking from personal experience there are multiple ways to test and most likely you will need insight from many perspectives OR hire a professional mold inspection company who is NOT affiliated with a remediation company so there is NO conflict of interest.

I personally like the idea of starting with a broad picture and then zooming into the problem areas, otherwise if you do a smaller sample size first your looking for a needle in a haystack and could miss a much larger issue. Let me explain in depth a bit further.

You have the choices of an ERMI (tests for 36 molds allergenic/toxic) , HERTSMI-2 (tests for only black toxic strains) , EMMA (tests for mycotoxins and mold), AIR TEST, or SWAB test by a remediation company who can collect multiple samples and send them off to a lab.

If you begin your search by sampling with one of the more hyper-focused tests that take a small sample of an area and send if off to a lab, well you better hope you hit your mark because if you did not then you are basing your whole analysis of the home on a very small sample size. Another flaw with an ERMI/HERTSMI-2, EMMA, is the sampling method of swiping different areas of one floor where dust collects, well after you send this cloth off to a lab, and lets say its a bad score, this leave you with no clue of where to focus on your mold issue on that entire floor.

I like to begin with a broader scope and zoom in. Air tests are a great first step. Are they flawless? No, they can miss heavier molds sometimes such as Stachyboytrs and Chaetomium, however if you go with a company who has modern air sampling equipment it can pick it all up. After, or simultaneously to an air test is plate tests. Plate tests aren't enough to go off alone, but when you're hunting for a small or hidden mold growth issue, these plate tests can be a good addition in helping you pinpoint the problematic area if the home. Lastly, and my favorite choice is hiring a mold inspection company (who is separate from a remediation company so there is no conflict of interest). A good mold inspection company will come to your home with a humidity reader and a ` thermal camera which can pick up any leaks or humidity issues behind the walls. They can also take multiple swabs of the home that are suspect areas and send it off to the labs and get many more answers then sending 1 cloth per floor like a emma/hertsmi/ or ermi- which leaves you with no pinpointed location.


If you are interested in these TESTS links are attached below:



TOXIC MOLDS

  1. Stachybotrys chartarum

  2. Chaetomium globosum

  3. Aspergillus penicillioides

  4. Aspergillus versicolor

  5. Wallemia sebi


MOLD SNIFFING DOG: (If you live in the south or southeast)


BILL WHITSTINE: His dogs are trained to sniff out hidden mold in your home. I have used this service and can personally vouch for it.

(727) 798-1950



How do I Remediate my home?


I highly recommend hiring a remediation company to come and thoroughly clean your home. This will ensure they do it the proper way cutting drywall, wood beams, and applying negative air pressure and using air scrubbers.


If you cannot afford professional remediators you can attempt at home.

Here are a few GUIDELINES:

Mold Killing Solutions:

  1. Benefect® Disinfectant is a Botanical Hospital Disinfectant & Fungicide registered with the E.P.A. for control against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.... So basically this will kill everything in a NON-Toxic way.

  2. EC3- This company is great and founded by an ENT, Dr. Donald Dennis who specializes in treating CIRS or Mold Toxic patients. Also a Non-toxic product.

  3. Hydrogen peroxide 12% (DO NOT USE CLOROX)

Other Tips:

  1. Buy a HEPA VAC

  2. Dispose of ALL rugs/carpet in affected area.

  3. If you can cut the infected area out of the dry wall or wood cut an extra 2 feet past beyond visible growth

  4. Treating the effected area: spray solution, let dry, hepa vac and repeat multiple times.

  5. Invest in an a great air purifier like IQ Air



However if there is evidence of mold in your air ducts or HVAC system, you really need to wait till you have the funds and do it the right way, as doing incorrectly could wake up a sleeping lion and make problems worse.


I hope this blog has helped open your eyes to Mold Toxicity and what you can do to identify the illness, get treatment, and safe guard your home.



If you would like further information I am working an an E-book that will be ready soon.


Thanks, and stay safe,


Vivian Rowan.

















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