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

Written by Erin Porter

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. Be sure to watch my television interviews throughout this article as I will share own my story of mold sickness.

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 recover, 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?” and “How long does it take to get sick from mold.”

Watch My Television Interview Below Discussing My Recovery from Mold Illness with Doug Kaufmann on Know the Cause.

In this tv interview below, we discuss how often Lyme Disease and mold illness often go hand in hand as well as the importance of detoxing mold out of your body.  This will help your body be able to fight other co-infections.

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.  Consuming a low mold diet and knowing what foods that kill mold in the body goes a long way in battling mold illness and I touch on this later on in this article.

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.

Below: Doug Kaufmann and I discuss my years of chronic illness due to mold exposure on Televisions “Know the Cause”.  We talk chronic sinusitis, Epstein Barr, chronic fatigue and more.


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?

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 recover 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 as conditions that inhibit proper detoxification, such as the MTHFR gene which I will talk more about later.

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 (I prefer Nama 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.

Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking at moldy room

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!  I have written an article titled Starving Mold Out of Your Body (Your Complete Guide.)

The Kaufmann Diet by Doug Kaufmann is specifically designed for people with mold illness.  It is a low mold diet.  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 and foods that kill mold in the body.

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.  For more information, check out my article on mold die-off symptoms.

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 such factor.  While some people may have a severe reaction 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.  Some people can tolerate heavy exposure and their bodies are able to cope.  

Another factor in how long it takes to get sick from mold exposure is a person’s ability to properly detox.  People who have mold sickness should test to see if they have the MTHFR gene mutation.  If you have a certain gene mutation, your body can become overwhelmed with toxins with the inability to detox them like people who do not have this mutation.  This is a simple blood test that many holistic doctors automatically check.  The fix for this problem is quite simple in that you can start taking methylfolate supplements.  Thorne Methyl-Guard Plus is a great supplement to support methylation and healthy levels of homocysteine.

One final note regarding how long it takes to get sick from mold exposure.  I asked this question to my Ear, Nose and Throat physician who specializes in mold toxicity.  He says it only takes minutes of mold exposure before fungal balls in the sinuses can start to form.  I myself have had four sinus surgeries to remove sinus fungal balls.  I know from experience that they will keep returning until your air is as clean as possible.

Mold Spray

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. Now also available on Kindle.  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.


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

Erin Porter
Erin Porter
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.

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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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