How to Recover from Mold Exposure (And How Long Does it Take)

Are you wondering if it’s really possible to recover from 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 mold exposure and how long it took to get well.  Mold recovery takes time and patience and I’ll give you the tools to start.

Toxic Mold On Walls In A Home

Recovery from mold exposure can be a lengthy process but as a general rule it takes somewhere between six months to a year to fully recover for most people.  Removing yourself from a moldy environment is an essential step to recovery.  The body must also be given the proper requirements to heal such as clean air, clean food, and clean water while detoxing the mold out of your system.  

Supplements also play an important role in removing toxins from the body.   The sooner you identify mold as being the cause of your illness the quicker you can begin to recover.  In my case it took many decades to get well as I did not know mold was the source of all of my illnesses.

Read on and we will take a look at how one becomes exposed to mold, the diseases it mimics, and the symptoms of mold exposure.  I will also cover questions many people ask, such as, “How long does it take to get mold out of your system.”

Watch My Television Interview Below Discussing My Recovery from Mold Illness

In this video below on televisions Know The Cause we discuss how often Lyme Disease and mold illness often go hand in hand as well as the importance of detoxing.

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 How I Recovered From Severe Acid Reflux.   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.

Watch as I Discuss Years Of Chronic Illness Due to Mold Exposure On Televisions “Know the Cause”

Mold in Your Air

Mold is everywhere, including the air in your home, but the levels of mold are important.  We breathe in 2,904 gallons of air per day, unless you clean up the air you are breathing of excessive mold spores, you will not get well long term.  My physician, who specializes in mold sickness and cleans out fungal sinusitis from people’s sinuses all day, has drilled into my head.  He also recommenced I buy Hi Tech Air Solutions for my home which I did and they work.

I did my own experiment with inexpensive mold testing plates and below are the result of the air in our upstairs theatre room before and after adding Hi Tech Air.

Petri dish before and after photos

Foods That Are A Source of Mold 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. Below is my television interview on Know the Cause.  I share my story of mold illness and how I slowly recovered.

How to Recover from Mold and How Long Does it Take To Get Mold Out Of Your System?

A common question people ask is “how long does it take to get sick from mold exposure?”  Some people can tolerate heavy exposure and their bodies are able to cope.  Others start to feel sick upon immediate exposure.   Below are the steps I personally took to recover from mold.  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 and get mold out of your system 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.  The hardest part, which I will talk about later in this article, is the importance of starving mold out of your body.  I wrote an in depth article titled How Long Does It Take For Mold To Get Out of Your System.

One final thought about how long it takes to get sick from mold exposure.  My Ear, Nose, and Throat physician who specializes in mold says once you inhale toxic mold, it can take only minutes to get sick.

How to Remove Mold from Your Body

  1. Remove yourself from the toxic mold 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.  If moving is not an immediate option, using a mold solution in a mold fogger will help immensely.  I use a EC3 Mold solution in a mold fogger once or twice a month because I am now so highly sensitive to mold.My Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor who specializes in fungal sinus infections suggested it.  I spray my home once per week.  It is completely safe for your furniture and also safe for pets.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Treat your sinuses.  If you have chronic sinus infections like I did (I had four sinus surgeries) you need to keep the fungal load out of your nose.  My ENT had me rotate antifungals in my sinuses.  I used both prescription as well as this natural antifungl spray called CitriDrops nasal spray.
  5.  Visit a functional doctor.  I wrote an article about what tests you can ask your doctor to run.  The article is called Advice I would Give My Chronically Sick Teenage Self.

Starving Mold Out of Your Body

Starving mold out of your body is the second most important step after fixing the mold issue in your environmentLuckily, there is a way to starve pathogenic yeasts and fungi inside the body and that is by not feeding it the sugar and carbohydrates they need to survive!

The Kaufmann Diet by Doug Kaufmann is specifically designed for people with mold illness.  See my extensive list of foods taken straight from the Kaufmann diet that help starve out mold in your body.  I will also share a list of foods that surprisingly contribute to fungal overgrowth.

Additional Steps For Removing Mold From Your Body

  1. Invest in a quality air filter to remove mold spores in the air.
  2. Use quality antifungal products. There is a wonderful company called Microbalance which specializes in anti-fungal products for your home, clothes, and nose.  I spray my home with the EC3 Mold Solution concentrate about once per month which is an antifungal solution safe for people and pets.  Microbalance also has supplements specifically created to support the damage that can be done to the pituitary gland caused by mold.  This company was created by a physician (Dr. Donald Dennis) who specializes in mold toxicity.
  3. Stop eating sugar and foods high in carbohydrates It contributes to fungal overgrowth.  See my recipe section for alternatives to your favorite foods.
  4. Rinse your sinuses.  If your issue is in your sinuses, rinsing with an antifungal 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 because after four sinus surgeries I need to keep them clear as to not get reinfected.

Can Mold Exposure Be Reversed?

Once correctly diagnosed many will heal under the care of a mold savvy practitioner.  Removing oneself from the mold and/or fixing leaks is the first step.  The use of binders, antifungals, and treating co-infections is important as is avoiding notoriously moldy foods such as corn, wheat and peanuts.  Note you may experience mold die off symptoms also known as herxheimer reaction during this process.  As the body detoxifies, symptoms such as headaches, joint pain and fatigue are experienced by many.

Below, in my television interview on NBC, I discuss how fungal infections have been mistaken for cancer for decades!  The CDC has even said if you have any disease that is not responding to conventional treatment to “think fungus.”  Trying to reverse the damage of mold exposure is important as fungal infections can grow and as we discuss in my NBC interview below, become even more devastating to our health.

Symptoms of Mold Exposure And Mold Illness

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 mycotoxin damage wreak havoc in the human body.

MutagenicChanges genetic material
TremorgenicCapable of causing tremors and seizures
CarcinogenicCauses cancer
GenotoxicDamages DNA
Teratogenic & EmbryotoxicCauses defects to a developing embryo
NeurotoxicPoisonous to the nerves
NephrotoxicPoisonous to kidneys
HepatotoxicPoisonous to the liver
HemotoxicVenomous bites, poisonous to the bloodstream
CardiotoxicPoisonous to the heart and blood vessels
LymphotoxicPoisonous to the lymphatic system
DermatoPoisonous to the skin
ImmunosuppressiveBreaks down the immune system
Endocrine DisruptingAlters hormones

How Long Does It Take To Get Sick From Mold Exposure

There are many factors that determine how long it takes to get sick from mold exposure.  Your immune system is one of them.  While some people may have severe reactions to mold in a home or building, others may have no reaction at all.  The amount of mold as well as the type of mold present also play a role.  It also depends on how long you were exposed to the toxic mold.  The longer you are exposed the more severe the reaction typically will be.

Below is the fogger and antifungal I use to spray my home once per month.  It is a natural botanical so it’s perfectly safe for people and pets.  Even though my home does not have mold issues, mold spores are everywhere so this helps keep the counts down.  I am also very allergic to mold as many people with chronic sinus infections or mold illness.
ec3 sanitizer fogger and mold solution

I hope this article helps you and brings you hope in your own recovery.   My second edition book Eat Pray Get Well – A Journey from Chronic Illness & Brokenness to Wholeness & Healing is now on sale through my website and Amazon.  Includes exclusive interviews with Doug Kaufmann – Host of televisions Know the Cause, Joe Cross of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, renowned cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, and so much more.

Below: My Television Interview on PBS American Health Journal Discussing Health Issues Due To Mold Exposure

Here you can find the Microbalance antifungal protocol I use and talk about on PBS.

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Disclosure – there are some affiliate links in this post.  I only discuss products I use myself.

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Comments (14)

  • Thank you so much for that information. I live in the UK and since seeing you on Know the Cause I have been trying to get your book but cannot find any way of buying it for the UK.

  • Thank you! We are still looking for root cause of my daughter’ seizures, hormonal imbalance, adenoma on pituitary gland, allergy,sinuses and gut disbioses? I guess is mold because she’s got mycotoxins in her urine test!

  • I discovered I have been sleeping in a room that has black mold in the walls for years. I smell it very well now and I’m so afraid that my brain is damaged by it. I’m 23 years old now and think that the first water damage began when I was 13. During the past years I developed tinnitus and my eye sight worsened. It can be coincidental but it worries me a lot. I don’t know if this is the right place to ask this, but is it possible to fully reverse the damage that mold makes in the body? If only I know it is possible, my stress about it will reduce drastically.
    Great articles you have by the way.
    Kind regards, Bram from the Netherlands.

  • In your story, you mentioned an ENT in NY(formally from the Mayo clinic) who specialized in fungal sinusitis. Could you tell me the name of the Dr since I live in NJ. It will be closer to drive to NY than Atlanta. Thanks.

  • Hi! I came across your website by accident but everything you described I have experienced. I actually was diagnosed with Hodgkinson lymphoma when I was 27 and I believe it’s due to the mold exposure I had from when I was eight years old until age 20. Having Covid in December seem to kick a lot of things up. I’ve put on weight and I feel so bloated. Can you please guide me to where I can access your e-book? Thank you so very much have a blessed day!

  • Hi Erin

    I’m just over another sinus infection. I have nasal polyps too but as long as I don’t have a cold or a sinus infection the polyps and nasal symptoms are manageable. I Neilmed rinse daily. I’m told I have CIRS and have been detoxing from that for something like 6 months.

    Can I ask you what your thoughts are on a good nasal routine is? I mean keeping the sinus infections at bay…


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About Erin
About Erin

I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed. My book Eat Pray Get Well is about overcoming a tumultuous childhood, decades of chronic illness, and finding God in the process. Includes exclusive interviews with renowned Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Supermodel Carol Alt, Doug Kaufmann, and many more. Plus 55 gluten free recipes woven throughout. 

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