It might be mold toxicity. Here are clues…
By Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner, Omnia Health
By the time some patients come to Omnia Health, they’re at their wit’s end. They’ve been struggling with a variety of symptoms. They’ve seen doctors and specialists. Their lab tests come back normal. They’re told “it’s all in your head,” and offered a psychiatric referral or antidepressants. Still, the symptoms persist.
Turns out, some of these patients have mold toxicity. Why is it so hard to pin down? Here are 3 reasons:
- There are a LOT of different, random symptoms.
- Traditionally trained practitioners don’t routinely ask about mold exposure.
- Most standard lab tests cannot reveal mold toxicity.
Are you struggling with mysterious symptoms? If so, this article can help you gather clues, begin to solve the mystery, and help you determine if you may have mold toxicity.
First, let’s talk about mold exposure
On rare occasions, patients can readily pinpoint their exposure to mold, perhaps they recently cleaned out a water-damaged shed. In many cases, patients aren’t sure if they were exposed. Also, since Colorado is so dry, many people assume we don’t have mold. However, a sudden pipe burst or a slow leak that goes unnoticed can cause water damage. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to start growing, and certain molds release biotoxins.
Not all molds produce biotoxins, and not everyone who is exposed is sensitive or allergic to mold biotoxins. Some people might suffer with a runny nose for a short time. Others are unable to clear the biotoxin, which keeps recycling in their body. Their immune system doesn’t know how to get rid of it, and symptoms persist.
Here’s something to consider: Mold toxicity can linger in your system, even if you were exposed many years ago. Think through your history. Did you work in a damp building? Did your home’s basement smell of mildew? Meanwhile, make sure you’re not currently being exposed. If you suspect mold, find and eliminate the source.
Symptoms of mold toxicity
Let’s look at the symptoms. As you can see, they’re all over the board! Our patients can present with a mixed bag of these issues:
- Common symptoms: Coughing, wheezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, red eyes, itchy skin or eyes, sore or itchy throat, nosebleeds
- Less-common symptoms: “Brain fog” or nerve issues such as numbness or a zapping feeling
How can you screen for mold toxicity RIGHT NOW?
You can take a FREE test! Click this link – www.VCStest.com – to test your visual contrast sensitivity. This eye test measures your ability to see details at low contrast levels, and mold toxicity is one of the health conditions that can affect contrast sensitivity. If your test is positive, it may indicate current or past exposure. If you suffer from some of the described symptoms, it’s time to seek out a functional medical provider who is familiar with biotoxins.
How does Omnia Health test if you have mold toxicity?
- First, we order a lab test for specific immune markers. These markers may be elevated or depleted, signaling an immune system on “high alert.”
- Next, we conduct a biotoxin urine test to look for specific biotoxins in your body.
- Sometimes we ask patients to undergo genetic testing, because some people have certain genetic variances with a decreased ability to detoxify biotoxins.
If tests are positive for mold toxicity, what are the next steps?
The first step is to identify whether you are currently being exposed to mold toxins. If so, eliminate the source – if that’s possible – or move yourself away from or out of the exposure.
A foundational step is looking at your body’s ability to detoxify. At Omnia Health, our approach is to:
- Heal the gut – The gastrointestinal (GI) system is the body’s major source of detoxification. As functional medicine providers, we’ll guide you to heal your gut via testing (if necessary), identifying dietary requirements, and determining a treatment protocol.
- Provide essential nutrients – It’s important to replace key nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your system. These are necessary for the body to detoxify itself.
Next, we start the actual detoxification program. This is an extremely individualized program that may take 6 months to 2 years, depending on your exposure. If you were exposed over the period of several years, the biotoxins will have settled into your cells, and it takes time for the cells throughout your body to replenish. The good news is, you’ll start feeling better within the first few months of your detox program. Of course, we’re here to guide you every step of the way!
If you think you may have mold toxicity, give us a call. Let’s get started on your path to good health.