Mold - Our Sneaky Enemy

Could mold be the cause of your symptoms?

When we think of air pollution, we often think of things like smoke and smog, but did you know that indoor air pollution is a bigger problem than you may think? You could be living or working in a water-damaged building that is having detrimental effects on your health. In humid areas like Florida, indoor mold is a serious air quality concern.

When do we suspect mold toxicity?

The most common symptoms of what we call mold or mycotoxin illness include:

  • brain fog

  • chronic fatigue

  • frequent sinus/respiratory infections

  • joint pain

  • headache

  • gut issues (abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea)

These are the most common but click here for a more extensive list and for other good information.

If these symptoms start soon after living or working in an area that has a known or suspected mold issue, then we begin to think mold/mycotoxin illness.  And just because you no longer live in that environment, this is still a consideration, as some people are unable to clear the toxins. Sometimes we will consider mold illness in patients who have chronic symptoms that have no other explanation.

How is it diagnosed?

At Foundations, we diagnose the issue by doing some or all the following tests:

  • Urine mycotoxin testing 

  • Culture of the nasal passages

  • Bloodwork that includes compliment antigen C4a, matrix metalloproteinase-9, melanocyte stimulating hormone, ACTH, cortisol, vasopressin, blood osmolality, TGF-B1, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and vascular endothelial growth factor, among others.

Why do some people have symptoms and others do not?

Because of their genetic make-up, some individuals cannot clear biotoxins easily. Those with this condition usually have a higher “toxic burden,” as their bodies retain toxins that those without the genetic mutation would clear. This is why you could be sick from the mold in your home or office when your family members or colleagues are not.

How is it treated?

It is important to note that avoidance of a moldy environment is the most important part of treatment. If at all possible, you should leave the place where the mold exposure is occurring until it is inspected by an Environmental Inspector and remediated. There are many protocols for treatment and it is tailored to your individual symptoms and needs and depends on results of lab your testing. It could include infrared sauna, IV or oral Glutathione, use of sequestering agents (binders) such as Cholestyramine or charcoal, antioxidants, probiotics and intra-nasal or oral anti-fungal treatments. It is important to do the steps in the right order and at the right time or you could get worse rather than better. 

If you think mold may be the cause of your symptoms, call our office at 850-269-9000 for more information and to set up a consultation.