- Cassandra has been dealing with brain fog and fatigue.
- She’s checked her thyroid, takes B-12 & iron and even tried a low-histamine diet
- More research tied her symptoms to possible mold toxicity and that’s when it clicked.
When Cassandra came to me she explained her symptoms and told me that she’d had her home tested for mold (after recalling several large leaks in the past). These tests came back positive. With the mold issue confirmed, it was time to solve her health mysteries and find out if mycotoxins are at play and what damage they’d done.
How Does Mold Threaten Health?
Mold can accumulate in the home, office, or schools and it produces mycotoxins that you breath in. Even if your exposure is limited or you can’t see or smell the mold, the mycotoxins can still impact your health. There are 3 main ways it does this:
- Immune Suppression
Your natural killer cells, T-cells or B-cells become suppressed and fail to fight off infections creating chronic conditions.
- Decreased Blood Flow to the Brain
The frontal lobe is particularly impacted by this decreased blood flow. In fact, brain scans of people with mononeuritis multiplex (decreased blood flow to the brain) and brain scans of people with MS are very similar.
- Interference with the Nrf2 Pathway
This is the pathway where a lot of detoxification enzymes and antioxidant enzymes are created so when mycotoxins block it, it caused issues with mitochondrial production (for more on mitochondrial issues listen to Episode 22)
Does Mold Always Cause Health Issues?
When mold is found in a home, office, or school, it is usually because someone in that environment is experiencing health issues. But, not everyone sharing that space will be affected.
Genetics play a role in how each individual will be affected, but it also has to do with the total allostatic load. The allostatic load has to do with the stress a body is under and how well it is handling that stress. If there are other factors adding to the load (like stress, dysbiosis, chronic infections, blood sugar fluctuations), the exposure to mold can be the tipping point that generates symptoms.
But, even if someone is not symptomatic, it can still be an issue. Individuals may be pre-symptomatic or they may not recognize symptoms. The mold may still be affecting their brain health, energy levels, and organ performance which may not be as noticeable. Everyone is going to experience symptoms in their own way and at different levels.
Symptoms of Mold and Mycotoxins
Many people think that mold issues are going to show up like allergies and cause respiratory problems. That can happen but mold can also impact sleep, energy, muscle strength, memory, concentration, and trigger a variety of other symptoms related to the body’s inability to process toxins.
Testing for Mold Toxicity and Mycotoxins
People can be exposed to mold in their office or there could be mold in their home. These may not be causing a problem but to be sure, there is a urine test that will measure the mycotoxins in the body. In order to get an accurate assessment of the mycotoxins level, the test should be preceded by a far infrared sauna, use of a BioMat, or taking glutathione to provoke the mycotoxins. Provocation is important because mycotoxins aren’t always visible (even when they’re present) so it’s necessary to ‘stir them up’ a bit. This does not increase the amount, it simply reveals it. If it is not provoked, the test may show low levels and give a false sense of security.
Analyzing Test Results
The results of your urine test will reveal the levels of different types of mycotoxins caused by mold. Some of the most common ones are:
This type of mycotoxin tends to hang out in the brain and the central nervous system. So, the presence of this toxin can be linked to brain issues like, concentration and memory issues (both short and long-term), behavior changes, and in some cases substance abuse disorders.
This mycotoxin is fairly common (Dr. Jackson sees these the most). It can be carcinogenic and can target the kidneys. Ochratoxin tends to come from aspergillus, which is a mold species that is often odorless and invisible. It might be at home, school, or work but it can also be found in certain foods like nut butters.
- Aflatoxin M1
This is another mycotoxin caused by aspergillus which tends to impact the respiratory tract. It may also cause liver damage, abdominal pain, coma, gastrointestinal dysfunction and it has also been shown to inhibit certain immune cells called leukocytes.
- Verrucarin A and Trichothecenes
These are mycotoxins that come from stachybotrys and fusarium which are very common molds found in buildings with water damage – which is up to 50% of the buildings in America.
You Don’t Have to See Mold or Smell it for it to be Problematic
Testing the Home for Toxic Mold – Locating Mold in the House or Office
It can be difficult to identify the source of the mold. There are several ways to test the home or office for mold. Air sample testing is popular but will only show results if there is a very high concentration of mold in the air. More effective testing uses specialized cameras that can look behind the walls. Common breeding grounds for mold include the HVAC system, the bathroom, and the duct work.
Getting Rid of Mold Toxins
There are chemical cleaners available for mold abatement but these also have dangerous chemicals. Instead, Dr. Jackson suggests using biodegradable enzymes which act like a molecular PacMan. However, it’s important to look at what caused the mold to make sure it won’t come back. You might want to talk to a healthy home architect or a building biologist.
Treating Elevated Mycotoxin Levels in the Body
There are several ways to detoxify and reduce elevated levels of mycotoxins. Binders are commonly used including bio active carbon, PectaSol, Takesumi Supreme (created from bamboo). Sometimes people use a combination. Dr. Jackson suggests taking binders on an empty stomach, away from food, supplements, and medications. It should help excrete the mycotoxins assuming you are moving your bowels twice a day. It is also essential that you avoid further exposure to mold.
Dr. Jackson also suggests a rebounder or dry brushing to stimulate lymphatic drainage. Healthy bile production is also important. Finally, it’s important to make sure there isn’t an limbic loop happening so he recommends the Dynamic Neural Retraining Systems (endorsed by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine) which reprograms the nervous system.
Cassandra’s mycotoxin urine test showed that she did in fact have mycotoxins and an organic acid test revealed a decreased mitochondrial function was decreased and elevated levels of free radicals, as well as yeast. This makes total sense as mold is a type of fungus and it can often damage the mitochondria and create free radicals.
Cassandra’s first step was to identify the source of the mold and remediate it from her house through a local expert. To help remove the mycotoxins from her body, she started on Ultra Binder by Quicksilver Scientific along with the Biotox Binder by CellCore. Two weeks later, she added BitterX by Quicksilver Scientific to help move her bile so that she doesn’t reabsorb things and then 2 weeks after that, she started an anti-fungal protocol with FC Cidal, Oil of Oregano, Garlic and MicroGone in a rotational order.
Cassandra struggled through this process, feeling up and down, but I assured her that this is part of the detoxification process. She had the option to slow down the process but she stuck with it and 8 weeks later, she was feeling 50% better so I knew it was time for the rebuilding stage. I gave Cassandra a product called Mitochondrial NRG (one of my favorites for supporting the mitochondria), a high dose Vitamin C and Molecular Hydrogen to help repair and increase her free radical fighting antioxidants.
After one month on this protocol, Cassandra’s energy was up and her brain fog was hardly noticeable. Six months later, Cassandra was symptom free and feeling better than ever.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
For Cassandra we were able to find that missing piece of the health puzzle and help her regain her health. Could mold (seen or unseen) be the missing clue for you or someone in your life?
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