What you need to know about mold toxicity
By Terri Fox, MD
Did you know?
That the common symptoms of mold toxicity are headaches and migraines?
Mold is often not visible. It thrives in porous materials with high cellulose content, such as dry wall, paper and wood. Mold is often found in places one doesn’t usually look—under rugs, behind dry wall, attics, basements, crawl spaces and behind large appliances. All it needs to live is moisture.
Other common symtoms:
Fatigue (Chronic Fatigue syndrome)
Neurologic symptoms (or Fibromyalgia)
Chronic sinus congestion
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Is all mold pathogenic (disease causing)?
No! There are many outdoor molds that do not produce health risks unless one is allergic to them. The molds that cause CIRS are most often from water damaged buildings.
What’s a mycotoxin?
Mycotoxins are a type of biotoxin secreted by mold and other fungi. They are toxins that are pathogenic (disease causing) in humans. They can be neurotoxins, nephrotoxins, hepatotoxins, immunotoxins and so on.For example, tricothecenes, a mycotoxin secreted from stachybotrys, (known as black mold) is particularly poisonous and has been implicated as a chemical warfare agent. Some other common mycotoxins are ochratoxin A, aflatoxin, gliotoxin.
How do you test for mold toxicity?
- Real time Labs does a urine mycotoxin test. I prefer to do this test with IV provocation with IV Phosphatidyl Choline and Glutathione. I find that most people that get sick from mold, do not detox it well.The IV helps to detox, or pull out, the mycotoxins into the urine.
- Great Plains Labs also does a urine mycotoxin test.
- Thanks to the work of Dr. Shoemaker, you can get biomarkers done at Labcorp that can paint an inflammatory picture of potential mold exposure. These are often covered by insurance companies and can be helpful in raising suspicion, however, they are not diagnostic. I will often draw these first to see if it’s worth doing the more specific mold tests.
If you have biotoxin illness from mold, why isn’t everyone else in the house sick?
It is very common for one person in a household with mold to get very ill, while another person remains aymptomatic. There appears to be a genetic susceptibility to mold, known as the HLA DR genotype. Some other factors as to why someone may get more ill from mold are their ability to detox, their MTHFR status, Marcons sinusitis, Lyme exposure and overall toxic burden.
How do you treat for mycotoxicosis?
It’s fairly easy once the exposure is removed!
Check out this recent article:
Other resources about mold:
There’s an excellent new book by Nail Nathan, MD that integrates the latest research in mold called “Toxic”.