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. I will also cover questions many people ask, such as how long does it take to get mold out of your system, and how long does it take to get sick from mold.
Recovery from 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 removing toxins from the body and to help replenish what is deficient.
Watch My Interview on NBC Discussing My Exposure to Toxic Mold
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.
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. Below is my television interview on Know the Cause. I share my story of mold illness and how I slowly recovered.
Below: My TV Interview Discussing Years Of Chronic Illness Due to Mold Exposure
How to Recover from Toxic 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.” 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.
How to Get Rid Of Mold In Your Body
- 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. If you can’t move spray your home with a safe natural antifungal spray such as this antifungal from Microbalance.
- 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.
- 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 on CitriDrops nasal spray.
- 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.
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 environment. Luckily, 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!
See my extensive list of foods that help starve out mold in your body as well as foods that feed and contribute to fungal overgrowth.
- Invest in a quality air filter to remove mold spores in the air.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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 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.
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.
This article titled Why Should I be Concerned About Mold and Mycotoxins is another great reference.
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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