Over the past 20 years, exposure to mycotoxin producing mold has been recognized as a significant health risk. Scientific literature has demonstrated mycotoxins as possible causes of human disease in water-damaged buildings (WDB).
In a study of 112 patients who were diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, 93% of those patients had at least one mycotoxin detected in the urine.
Mycotoxins are produced from mold spores and are typically the result of exposure to water-damaged buildings (WDB) (homes, schools, and places of business). Molds are ALWAYS present in homes or workplaces that are water damaged and they are ALWAYS producing mycotoxins. Water-damaged environments contain a complex mixture of contaminants produced by both molds, including Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. These secondary metabolites of molds and bacteria have been identified in the dust, carpeting, wallpaper, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and respirable airborne particulates. Molds can also produce something called volatile organic compounds that give the familiar "musty odor" smell… These compounds are also very hazardous to health. However, keep in mind that toxic mycotoxins produce from mold have no odor.
Not everyone who is exposed to mold her mycotoxins will have an allergic reaction or become symptomatic. This is due to individual differences in genetics and biochemistry. For example, it is known that about 20 to 25% of the population is not able to detox mycotoxins very well. These susceptible individuals may experience symptoms of mold exposure were as loved ones were family members may not. This is due to the differences in how someone processes the mycotoxins through the biotoxin pathway as proposed by Dr. Ricky Shoemaker MD.
Unfortunately, mycotoxins are linked to many chronic diseases including:
- Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease
- chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
- Fungal Sinusitis
- Multiple sclerosis
- immune suppression
Keep in mind that there are overlaps between mycotoxin illness and some of the chronic illnesses such as Lyme and Autism. In fact, in some cases, diseases like Lyme, Autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, maybe misdiagnosed; and, in reality, are due to mycotoxins. In this way, mold can be thought of as the great masquerader of other illnesses.
It is important to note that one's health cannot be improved if one is continually exposed to mold and mycotoxins.
Therefore a thorough evaluation of one's home is prudent if one suspects exposure to water-damaged buildings.
It is also important to note that one can become 'colonized' in the gut and sinuses especially, with mycotoxins long after exposure to a water-damaged building. Therefore one may not be living in a multi-environment however still be positive for mycotoxins with all the signs and symptoms of mycotoxin toxicity.
Some of the signs and symptoms of chronic mold exposure include:
♦Fatigue ♦Weakness ♦Aches ♦Muscle Cramps ♦Unusual Pain ♦Ice Pick Pain ♦Headache ♦Light Sensitivity ♦Red Eyes ♦Blurred Vision ♦Tearing ♦Sinus Problems ♦Cough ♦Shortness of Breath ♦Abdominal Pain ♦Diarrhea ♦Joint Pain ♦Morning Stiffness ♦Memory Issues ♦Focus/Concentration Issues ♦Word Recollection Issues ♦Decreased Learning of New Knowledge ♦Confusion ♦Disorientation ♦Skin Sensitivity ♦Mood Swings ♦Appetite Swings ♦Sweats (especially night sweats) ♦Temperature Regulation or Dysregulation Problems ♦Excessive Thirst ♦Increased Urination ♦Static Shocks ♦Numbness ♦Tingling ♦Vertigo ♦Metallic Taste ♦Tremors
If one suspects exposure to mold or mycotoxin, we suggest performing a visual contrast test at https://www.survivingmold.com/store1/online-screening-test or https://www.survivingmold.com/store1/online-screening-test. Keep in mind that this testing is not diagnostic and is only a screening tool.
In addition, there are several labs performing mycotoxin testing. We prefer serum testing or immunoglobulins, as we find this to be more accurate.
Also, there are extensive laboratory testing to look for inflammatory markers and other markers of inflammation caused by mold. Please contact our office for more info.
Testing for mold and water-damaged buildings is a bit of a tricky process and unfortunately can be expensive. As always if one suspects mold or water damage it is good to hire a professional for further evaluation. We have a network of professionals that we can refer you to. In addition, there are home testing such as Suggest testing, such as ERMIE (https://www.emlab.com/services/ermi-testing/). Please contact our office for more information.
One particular feature of mold toxicity is a certain type of bacteria called MARCONS, which can have multiple downstream effects, including sleep disruption, mood swings, fatigue, etc. MARCONS, or Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci), is an antibiotic-resistant staph that resides deep in the nasal passage of 80% of people with low MSH (Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone), those suffering from Biotoxin Illness and other chronic inflammatory illnesses like CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. A good blog article that summarizes this is found at http://biotoxinjourney.com/marcons/. Also, see https://www.survivingmold.com/faq/marcons .
We have developed specialized testing and treatment for this problem. Please contact our office for further evaluation and testing.
Types of Mycotoxins
While it is known that there could literally be hundreds of different types of mycotoxins, these are the mycotoxins that typically cause symptoms.
- Verrucarin and Verrucarol
- Ochratoxin (A and B)
- T2 Toxin
- Vomitoxin aka Deoxynivalenol
- Cladosporium toxin (Cladosporium HSP 70)
- Alternaria toxin (Alternariol)
- Aspergillus Toxin (Aspergillus hemolysin)
- Aspergillus Auto-Toxin (Sterigmatocystin)
- Penicillium Toxin (Mycophenolic acid)
- Asp/Pen Neuro Auto-Toxin (Gliotoxin)
- Stachybotrys Toxin (Trichothecene)
Again we would like to emphasize that if mold is detected in the environment, one must engage in comprehensive mold remediation in order to get better.
The Dr.Ricky Shoemaker mold protocol is an extensive protocol that we have found helpful in treating mold and mycotoxin illness. For more information, see www.survivivingmold.com.
We use a combination of mycotoxin binders, antifungals, immune supports, detoxification supports, emotional support, and various organ supports. We find that frequency specific microcurrent to be a helpful adjunctive treatment. There are also various ways to reduce multiple accounts in the home.
Overall mold and mycotoxin stress is a very complex problem that takes enormous patience, skill, and perseverance to navigate. If you suspect you could have a mold or mycotoxin problem, please contact our office for further evaluation.
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