Mold toxicity symptoms are life-changing and not in a good way. They can impact the health of you and your loved ones and create a wide-range of problems. Learning about the symptoms and best ways to deal with them is a must to get back to a normal baseline of living.
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Mold toxicity is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with by a knowledgeable doctor. Not all doctors have the proper training and background expertise in the area of mold, so take this into consideration when seeking one.
Our family is still dealing with treating our mold problems. Health and learning issues have impacted each family member and it can be a long and tiring battle. Getting the right guidance will alleviate a lot of the stress and get you on track to getting better.
There are steps to begin taking today that will help you begin the journey. This article concentrates on mold toxicity symptoms and steps to take if you think mold is a factor affecting your health.
You will discover all of the details behind mold toxicity symptoms and ways to start dealing with them right away.
What is mold toxicity?
Mold toxicity is when mycotoxins (harmful chemicals from mold) are not able to be detoxed properly from the body. Mold toxicity often results in CIRS, which is chronic inflammatory response syndrome. CIRS is caused by mold exposure from buildings damaged by water or excessive moisture build-up.
25-28% of the population is not able to detox properly from mold. This in turn causes problems with cytokines, proteins involved in managing the cell activity of the immune system. When these cytokines become out of balance, chronic and mass inflammation occurs.
Mold Toxicity Symptoms Overview
The symptoms below are experienced when there is an overload of mold that cannot be detoxed out of the body. However, some symptoms overlap with other issues. This is because autoimmune disorders will be exasperated by mold toxicity.
Therefore, below are the symptoms to be aware of. Checking your house for mold can be done with an ERMI Test. This test can be done by the home owner by taking dust samples from around the house. The test kit specifies where to take the samples. You then send it in, and the results will be back to you in a few weeks.
We used the test ourselves as well as did my parents. Both of our houses came back positive for mold just different types. The test thoroughly explains the types of mold found and to what extent.
It is important to know if the symptoms are triggered by mold exposure . If they are, you can begin to eradicate the situation as soon as possible.
This is another test I have used in the past for testing our church. I expected problems and wanted a test sample. Therefore, I bought this product I trust. It worked well and did show black mold to be a problem. This was triggering family members to have reactions when they were in the church for too long. It is a cheaper option to start with if you cannot afford the other right away. However, the ERMI is what you want to strive to use.
Mold Toxicity Symptoms
#1 Hormonal Imbalance
Mold toxicity interferes with hormonal balance. Mycotoxins from mold attribute to endocrine disruption, and can directly and indirectly interfere with hormone regulation.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), endocrine disruption links to problems with the nervous and immune systems. Also, reproduction problems are higher.
The signaling of hormones are also at increased risk for disruption. The body is on constant alert if the hormones signal improperly.
When hormones are not in balance, they will not message the brain correctly. This will cause symptoms such as mood swings, heavier menstruations, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and more.
The ADH hormone (antidiuretic hormone) allows the capillaries to hold in water. When this hormone is lower than the normal range due to mycotoxins, the water comes out causing constant urination or leaky gut.
Estrogen and Progesterone are also often found to be out of balance due to mold in the body.
Hormonal balance is important, especially for teenagers. When these hormones are thrown off, the symptoms are magnified. It is important to seek for deeper answers if hormones problems are extreme for your child.
#2 Extreme Fatigue or Low Energy
My youngest daughter experienced this for many years. The fatigue was so extreme that social functioning with friends was sometimes too much to handle.
The mold can trigger fatigue due to various reasons.
One reason fatigue can occur is because hemoglobin is impacted when there is an imbalance of nutrients. Anemia is a side effect of this nutritional imbalance causing low energy.
Also, fatigue occurs with depressed hemoglobin levels. The decreased levels occur with mycotoxin interference from mold.
Mycotoxins interfere with mitochondria health too. Mitochondria powers the body with energy. Zinc is lowered with mold exposure, and zinc is a necessary mineral for proper mitochondria functioning.
Another factor playing a role in fatigue is the hormone MSH (Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone). If this hormone is too low, an individual will experience a lack of energy.
Fatigue is your body's way of alerting you that there is a problem, and it is taking on more than it can handle.
#3 Neck Stiffness
Neck stiffness is a result of various factors. Mold toxicity is one of these factors. the neck becomes unusually stiff and bothersome. It feels as if there is a lot of stress in the neck and the range of motion in the neck is lessened.
#4 Visual Problems (related to mold toxicity symptoms)
The eyes are often affected by mold as well. This mold test will indicate whether mold has effected your vision or not. It is a VCS Visual Contrast Sensitivity test) and can be done at the link provided.
The test is an indication that further testing should be done for mold toxicity. However, it is important to do the vision test on this site only. Some test are not valid and this will give you the right testing option.
My son was able to do the test without any problem. However, extensive testing still diagnoses him with mycotoxin illness. Therefore, the visual test is an indication, but a mold problem in the body can still exist even if the eye test is passed.
#5 Decreased Focus and Concentration / Brain Fog
Another one of the mold toxicity symptoms involves one's ability to concentrate and focus on a task. Mycotoxins can cross the blood brain barrier lowering concentration levels.
Also, many disorders and illnesses including gut health are triggered through mold exposure. This overloads the body causing problems with brain fog.
This study shows focus and concentration improving in mold exposed patients with ADD (attention deficit disorder) after using hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is used to heal the body from invading bacteria and infections. Oxygen is increased into the lungs using a pressurized oxygen chamber. The individual breathes in increased oxygen which stimulates stem cell functioning. These cells help heal the body.
This technique is one that is sought out by some patients. However, this is not something I have personally used myself.
#6 Memory and Word Problems
Cheryl F. Harding from Rutgers University studies how mold effects neuroplasticity, the immune system, and behavior.
- She states, "In other studies, mold-exposed patients demonstrated neurological deficits that correlated with their cognitive problems."
- She also states, " Prolonged immune activation is known to cause adverse neurological consequences."
This can be an area of real concern. My Dad was diagnosed with progressive aphasia which is now showing itself as Dementia. This is a result of living a house with black mold for an extended period of time. He was a very fit and active, intelligent individual. However, his gene profile made him susceptible to mold exposure which took its toll.
The extent to which symptoms with memory and brain fog vary, however, it can become a life-altering problem that is difficult to see a loved one go through.
It is important to address any concern with memory and word retrieval problems as soon as possible to implement appropriate measures and help the situation.
#7 Mental Health
Mold affects the mental health of people as well. Depression and anxiety are triggered or worsened by mold exposure. Anxiety and depression come about from digestive problems, lack of vitamins and minerals, and autoimmune disorders and illnesses, which are all worsened or triggered if mold is not detoxed from the body.
An epidemiologist from Brown University, Edmund Shenassa, found that people living in mold and damp living conditions were at a 34-44% higher risk to have depression than those living in homes free of mold and mildew.
Some Mycotoxins cross the blood brain barrier and effect neurotransmitter levels. Neurotransmitters regulate levels associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Although mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and fear are found to be associated with mold in some studies, the direct link is debated. This is most likely due to the fact that the liver is affected by mold toxicity.
Health problems occur when the liver is impaired. Liver problems will bring an onset of mood and mental health difficulties. These health problems are known to produce symptoms of fear, anxiety, and depression.
No matter which way this topic is viewed, mold has the ability to worsen mental health directly or indirectly.
#8 Headaches (related to mold toxicity symptoms)
Headaches that are of migraine status or headaches that are not affected by normal treatment are especially to be the culprit of mold exposure.
The headaches are a result of the body responding to an allergic reaction to the mold. If they are chronic and will not go away, assess for mold in the home or in the body right away.
#9 Dizziness & Coordination
Mycotoxins (the chemicals given off by mold overgrowth) reek havoc on the central nervous system. Therefore, dizziness and coordination are often side effects.
Dizziness can trigger vertigo, and vertigo in itself can result as a mold toxicity symptom.
These symptoms are caused by many factors, however, if this symptom occurs with several of the others on the list, then mold should be investigated.
#10 Breathing and Respiratory Issues
Mold can trigger respiratory attacks for people suffering with asthma.
There have been cases in which school children have shown respiratory improvement away from school for an extended period of time Mold was found in the schools. However, controlled studies have not been done for scientific verification.
Studies also have linked Aspergillus to asthma. Aspergillus is common type of mold problem that is detrimental to health. This is the type of mold problem we battled with.
#11 Rashes on the hands and feet
According to the EPA, skin rashes are an allergic reaction to mold spores. Of course, rashes vary and appear for a variety of health conditions.
The presence of aspergillus (a type of mold) being found in a girl's living conditions has been linked with her dermatitis infection according to one study. The skin rash cleared up for the first time in 15 years after she was removed from the mold-infested living conditions.
We personally experienced this with my daughter whom had a chronic rash on her hands for years. We tried all different avenues until she finally found a doctor who had expertise at clearing mold from her system.
- Her rash was painful and was highly prevalent on the palms of the hands and in between the fingers.
#12 Bed Wetting
This symptom is a problem to address gently. Most of the time bed wetting related to mold occurs in children at an age where they should be beyond accidents.
This is embarrassing and upsetting for the child. Bed wetting is an incontrollable action due to the mold toxicity. Please be aware of this symptom and proceed with appropriate treatment.
#13 Candida or Yeast Infection that won't go away
Mold exasperates a yeast infection and causes it to become difficult to treat or get rid of.
Candida or other types of yeast infections are fungal infections caused by yeast overgrowth. Mold is also a fungi and will worsen a yeast infection or interfere with treatment.
It is important to note not that fluconazole makes a yeast infection worse if a person is dealing with a mold problem too. Fluconazole is frequently given by doctors to treat a yeast infection.
Yeast infections will the far majority of the time clear up easier if mold is treated in the body and living environment.
#14 Tingling in hands and feet
Another on the mold toxicity symptoms list is tingling in the hands and feet or hand tremors.
Mold causes peripheral neuropathy. The tingling sensation is the central nervous system alerting the body that there is a disruption within the body. Communication in the pathways are affected by the mold triggering tingling sensations, hand tremors, muscle weakness, among other symptoms.
Where to Begin
with Mold Toxicity Symptoms?
Get an air purifier like the ones linked. These specifically deal with mold. There are others on the market, however, make sure they are designed to purify the air of mold. These are the one that we specifically use in our home and love.
This is a spray designed to keep mold spores down. We personally have used this and could tell a difference.
EC3 Sanitizer Fogger and Solution- This is pricey, but it is helpful for reducing mold spores temporarily. It will not permanently fix the problem. The fogger allows the solution to mist over items lightly enough for the solution to be effective but not ruin the items.
Do this test if you suspect mold in your home or if you want to find if mold is in a building.
MARCoNS is an Staph infection in the nasal cavity that is found in many patients with mold symptoms.
Cleaning out your sinuses regularly with a solution is a great practice for clearing out bacteria.
This is a regular nasal spray to use that is NOT designed specifically to get rid of MARCoNS. It is a nasal spray to help rid the nose of allergic reactions.
Find a Certified Mold doctor
If you need to be treated for mold toxicity, it is important that you seek a knowledgeable doctor that is certified in the Shoemaker Protocol. The link below provides you with a list.
This post covered all of the details behind mold toxicity symptoms and ways to start dealing with them right away.
- W.J. Rockwell, J. Santilli, Dermatitis caused by indoor mold exposure, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 115, Issue 2, Supplement, 2005,Page S26,ISSN 0091-6749, ( )
- Potera C. (2007). Molding a link to depression. Environmental health perspectives, 115(11), A536.
- Cheryl F. Harding, Carolyn L. Pytte, Kimberly G. Page, Kelly J. Ryberg, Edna Normand, Gregory J. Remigio, Richard A. DeStefano, David B. Morris, Julia Voronina, Ariel Lopez, Lauren A. Stalbow, Erin P. Williams, Nohely Abreu, Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive and emotional dysfunction,
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 87, 2020, Pages 218-228, ISSN 0889-1591, .
- Greenberger, P. A., Bush, R. K., Demain, J. G., Luong, A., Slavin, R. G., & Knutsen, A. P. (2014). Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice, 2(6), 703–708.
- Ezra, N., Dang, K., & Heuser, G. (2011). Improvement of attention span and reaction time with hyperbaric oxygen treatment in patients with toxic injury due to mold exposure. European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 30(1), 1–6.