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Tackling Mold Toxicity: Essential Information For a Safer Living Space

By: Alison Steinhice B.S., CHES

Reviewed by: Amar Kalidas, D.O.

Mold Toxicity is a common but often overlooked health concern that can have a serious impact on your well-being. While mold is naturally present in the environment, certain conditions can lead to excessive growth indoors, posing significant health risks. 

What is Mold Toxicity?

Mold toxicity occurs when individuals are exposed to mold spores or mycotoxins—toxic substances produced by certain types of mold. Mold thrives in damp, warm, and humid environments, making it common in places like bathrooms, basements, and buildings affected by water damage. Mold can also be found in foods such as nuts, grains, cheeses, processed and fermented foods, alcohol, condiments, and coffee. 

When mycotoxins enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption it can cause a toxic response in multiple systems throughout the human body. A large portion of the population lacks the ability to effectively bind mycotoxins in the body so they continue to replicate creating inflammation and swelling. Mold toxicity is not simply an allergy; it is the inability to effectively remove these toxins from the body. 

Common Molds Associated with Health Issues: 

  • Stachybotrys
  • Aspergillus
  • Penicillium
  • Cladosporium

How Mold Toxicity Affects Your Health

Mold exposure can have both acute and chronic effects on health. In the short term, individuals may experience allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Long-term exposure, however, can lead to more severe health problems, such as:

  • Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS): A condition characterized by chronic inflammation and a range of debilitating symptoms.
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): A condition that causes repeated episodes of allergy symptoms such as hives, swelling, low blood pressure, and difficulty breathing. 
  • Asthma and Bronchitis: Prolonged exposure to mold can trigger or worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • Neurological Issues: Some mycotoxins can affect the nervous system, leading to cognitive and psychological problems.
  • Autoimmune Disorders: Persistent mold exposure may contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases.

Symptoms of Mold Toxicity: 

  • Respiratory Issues: Chronic coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and sinus congestion.
  • Allergic Reactions: Sneezing, runny nose, red and itchy eyes, and skin rashes.
  • Neurological Symptoms: Headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.
  • Fatigue and Weakness: Persistent tiredness and muscle weakness.
  • Immune System Suppression: Increased susceptibility to infections and illnesses.

Integrative approach to mold exposure and mold toxicity: 

  • Mold exposure testing: Urine testing to assess different types of mold excreted in the urine
  • Testing your environment: Professional testing of home or workplace 
  • Dietary changes: Recommendations for an anti-inflammatory diet and avoiding moldy foods 
  • Supplement therapy: Certain herbs and nutrients can support detoxification like glutathione or NAC
  • Binders- agents like activated charcoal or chlorella can help bind and remove toxins
  • Ozone therapy or Glutathione IV therapy to assist with detoxing the body of toxins

To learn more about integrative medicine for mold toxicity, schedule an appointment at The Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine today!


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