Are you wondering if it’s really possible to recover from toxic mold exposure? I believe you can and I am also proof that you can! In this article I will lay out the steps I took to recover from toxic mold exposure and how long it took to get well. Read on and we will take a look at how one becomes exposed, the diseases mold mimics, and the symptoms of toxic mold exposure.
Recovery from toxic mold exposure can be a lengthy process but our bodies are designed to heal when given the proper requirements such as clean air, clean food and clean water. Supplements are also key to aid us in detoxing toxics and to help replenish what is deficient.
Below is my interview this week on the NBC show Bloom discussing toxic mold and the different health issues it can cause.
How do we become exposed to toxic mold?
Toxic mold enters our body through the air we breathe and the food and medications we ingest. Did you know that antibiotics are fungal metabolites? Yes, they save lives, but take enough of them and you increase your odds of fungal infections and even cancer! To learn more about the havoc antibiotic overuse can cause specifically in the gut, read my post called Can you Trust your Gut. Once the good bacteria is depleted in the intestines, yeast and fungus which are normally kept in check, can gain a foothold and cause an avalanche of health problems.
When we breathe in toxic mold in the air, the mold spores attach to the sinus membranes and spew mycotoxins (mold poisons) and sometimes even volatile organic compounds which can then pass to the brain. Breathing in mold can also cause fungal infections of the lungs which are sometimes mistaken for cancer. Watch my interview this week on NBC’s “Bloom” (above in this article) as I talk about a study which misdiagnosed almost half of patients that were clinically and radiologically diagnosed with cancer when what they really had were aspergillomas (fungal balls) in their lungs.
Certain foods are also a source of exposure
Certain foods that are a staple in our American diet are notoriously moldy such as wheat, corn, and peanuts. Consuming a diet high in these foods can expose one to mycotoxins such as Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is considered one of the most cancer causing substances known to man. A substance that in my case, was present in my sinuses for almost two decades. I continued to be diagnosed with only stubborn bacterial infections (pseudomonas and staph) but the aspergillomas were somehow repeatedly missed. My health issues began after starting an exciting new job in Manhattan at the age of 18. I rented the only apartment I could afford which unbeknownst to me contained toxic mold. Right away I began to get sinus infections and then almost twenty years of constant antibiotics trying to rid myself of this infection. All the while I was only fueling the fungal component of my infection with the antibiotics. You can read my full health history here.
How to recover from Toxic mold and how long does it take
Below are the steps I took to recover. Of course it took almost two decades of head to toe symptoms before I knew that mold toxicity was the “cause” of my illness. Therefore healing took longer for me. How long it takes to heal is different for everyone. One has to take into consideration how long they were exposed, their degree of sensitivity to mold, and other factors such is there any conditions that inhibit proper detoxification such as the MTHFR gene as well as the type of mold.
In my case it took a couple of years to start feeling better but some of the experts in this field agree it can generally take about one year. This is of course assuming you have removed yourself from the moldy environment and purposely work toward building up your immune system and detox the offending toxins out of the body.
Steps to aid in recovery
- Remove yourself from the toxic environment. The most important first step and probably the hardest. It will be almost impossible to improve if you continue to expose yourself to the toxic chemicals.
- Detox. This specific detox plan posted by Mold Free Living was written by Dr. Donald Dennis, an ENT who specializes in mold related illness. Speak to your doctor before starting any detox plan.
- Juice greens! Greens are extremely anti-fungal and so is ginger, lime, and carrots to name a few. Juicing is an easy way to get larger quantities in you fast! There are two ways to get all of these amazing nutrients into your body. I have both a Vitamix and a juicer. I will do a post on the difference between the two. A quick simplified explanation is that a juicer will remove the fiber where a blender such as a Vitamix retains the fiber. Both are good and serve different purposes which I will explain in a future post, but the important thing is to start getting these powerful anti-fungal nutrients into your body.
- Visit a functional doctor. I wrote an article about what tests you can ask your doctor to run, click here if you would like to read it.
- Invest in a quality air filter to remove mold spores in the air.
- Use quality anti-fungal products. There is a wonderful company called Microbalance which specializes in anti-fungal products for your home, clothes, and nose. I personally spray my home with the EC3 Mold Solution concentrate about once per month. They also have supplements specifically created to support the damage that can be done to the pituitary gland caused by mold.
- Stop eating sugar and foods high in carbohydrates It contributes to fungal overgrowth. See my recipe section for alternatives to your favorite foods.
- Rinse your sinuses. If your issue is in your sinuses, rinsing them with an anti-fungal solution such as CitriDrops can be helpful. Rinsing the nose can help clear out pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungus. I still irrigate my sinuses most days.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Symptoms range anywhere from asthma and chronic sinus infections to neurological problems. I interviewed Doug Kaufmann, host of televisions Know the Cause for the second edition of my book, Eat Pray Get Well. Doug is an expert in mycology and his television show is all about mold and fungus and its links to disease. This is how Doug describes the 14 ways in which fungal mycotoxins damage wreak havoc in the human body.
1. Mutagenic-changes genetic material
2. Tremorgenic-capable of causing tremors and seizures
3. Carcinogenic-causes cancer
4. Genotoxic-damages DNA
5. Teratogenic & Embryotoxic-causes defects to a developing embryo
6. Neurotoxic-poisonous to the nerves
7. Nephrotoxic-poisonous to kidneys
8. Hepatotoxic-poisonous to the liver
9. Hemotoxic-like venomous bites, poisonous to the bloodstream
10. Cardiotoxic-poisonous to the heart and blood vessels
11. Lymphotoxic-poisonous to the lymphatic system
12. Dermato Toxic-poisonous to the skin
13.Immunosuppressive-breaks down the immune system
14. Endocrine disrupting-alters hormones.
Scientists use certain mycotoxins to cause diabetes in study animals and others to cause cancer in lab animals. In tiny doses these cause injury, but exposure over extended periods of time or in large doses, they kill.”
I hope this article helps you and brings you hope in your own recovery. In honor of September being mold awareness month (recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency) My second edition book Eat Pray Get Well – A Journey from Chronic Illness & Brokenness to Wholeness & Healing will be on sale for 19.99 for the entire month of September. Amazon orders excluded.
Coming up next week…..an excerpt of my interview with Supermodel Carol Alt
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