Struggling With Unexplained Symptoms? Toxic Mold Exposure Could Be to Blame

toxic mold

*This article was updated on August 2nd, 2023.

Have you been experiencing any stubborn, persistent symptoms lately that are seemingly unexplained? Does it seem like you have tried every over-the-counter medicine available to you and yet still get no relief? 

You may be one of the many people unknowingly living with or working around mold that could be triggering your symptoms. 

Today we’re going to explore exactly what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms of toxic mold exposure, and most importantly – what steps you can take if you do determine that mold is the root of your symptoms. Let’s dive in.

What Is Toxic Mold? And How Does Mold Grow?

Mold is a natural part of our environment, serving an important role as nature’s “clean-up crew” by decomposing dead plants and animals. Molds spread by producing tiny reproductive cells known as spores that are released and wafted through the air. These mold spores, which tend to be harmless on their own, float in the air and occur naturally both indoors and outdoors – we are always breathing them in!

The mold spores we encounter each day outside can attach themselves to us by landing on our clothes, bags, and shoes, or even hitch a ride on our pet. This gives mold spores convenient access to our homes and workspaces when we go inside. Once inside our homes, these mold spores can attach to areas with moisture. Some of mold's favorite places to grow are:1

  • Carpet
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Walls
  • Wet cellulose products (such as paper, wood, and fiberboard)

Again, exposure to low levels of mold in and of itself isn’t necessarily a problem. But mold exposure becomes problematic when we encounter certain strains of mold that produce toxic compounds known as mycotoxins. These microscopic poisons are naturally produced by certain strains of mold and can make their way into our bodies via the food we eat and the air we breathe. 

And if left unchecked, these tiny toxins can wreak havoc on your health.

Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Mold Exposure

Many patients are unaware that their home or workplace could be the breeding ground to their symptoms. In fact, it’s estimated that indoor pollutants, including toxic mold, are at a concentration of 2 to 5 times higher than that of the pollutants found outdoors and contribute to more than 50% of patients’ illnesses!2

By far, the most common health issue caused by mold is allergy. Mold-related allergic reactions include:3

  • Coughing
  • Rash
  • Red, itchy, and watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing

If you’re someone who already has chronic or seasonal allergies, or suffers from a respiratory condition such as asthma or COPD, your allergic reaction to mold may be much more significant. These worsened allergic symptoms can cause symptoms such as:4

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Frequent chest cold
  • Headaches
  • Persistent coughing
  • Sinus inflammation

While these symptoms are certainly problematic enough, if exposure to mold and its toxic metabolites becomes chronic, it can spiral into more serious concerns.

Signs and Symptoms of Long-Term Mold Exposure

In cases of long-term exposure, the effects of toxic mold can begin extending their reach throughout your entire body – leading to more serious symptoms such as:5

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite swings and weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hair loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Joint pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Muscle cramps
  • Poor memory and confusion
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tingling and numbness in your hands and feet

But the trouble still doesn’t end there. Exposure to toxic mold for extended periods of time can have even more serious consequences.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Mold Exposure?

Mold and other fungi are able to mutate rapidly, affecting your immune system and even preventing it from working altogether. This can ultimately cause long-lasting health issues with serious complications. 

Some of the diseases that have been directly linked to long-term mold exposure include:6,7

  • Balkan nephropathy
  • Bronchitis
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Internal organ damage 
  • Kashin-Beck disease
  • Respiratory infections
  • Reye’s syndrome
  • Death, in some instances

With such serious and grave consequences, you’re probably curious if there’s a treatment for mold exposure.

Is There a Treatment for Mold Exposure?

The answer to that question is – yes, but it requires a long-term, big-picture approach. There isn’t a “cure” for mold exposure in the sense that you can simply take a medication or undergo a procedure and heal from exposure. Rather, treating mold exposure calls for a multi-pronged approach that includes:

  • Addressing your environment
  • Minimizing exposure
  • Enhancing detoxification 
  • Giving your body the support it needs to heal

Let’s dive deeper into each of these.

Addressing Your Environment: How to Remove Toxic Mold 

If you know you’ve been exposed to mold, priority number one is removing yourself from the environment where there is contamination. Attempts to detox and heal will be futile if you’re still in an environment that is flooding your system with toxic mold spores. Sometimes cleaning mold yourself makes sense, and sometimes it’s highly discouraged. 

First, let’s look at some cases when cleaning mold yourself would be appropriate:8

  • Only a small area is affected
  • The mold is growing on areas that are easy to clean – like glass or tile
  • There is growth on hard to clean areas, like carpet, that can be removed and replaced
  • You don’t have any current health issues that will be made worse with increased exposure to mold growth

Call in an expert to clean the mold growth if:

  • An area 3 feet by 3 feet or larger is affected
  • A flood occurred that may have been contaminated with sewage
  • There is mold in your HVAC system
  • The mold has grown on wood that cannot be removed
  • You are already experiencing symptoms of mold exposure
  • You have a medical condition, such as asthma, that will be worsened around the mold
  • There is a smell of mold but you cannot find it
  • You aren’t in possession of the correct tools
  • You have any concerns or doubts on how to remove the mold correctly

If you determine you need help from an expert, I highly encourage you to seek the assistance of an Indoor Environmental Professional (click here to learn exactly what an Indoor Environmental Professional is and how they can help). Now, let’s look at what you can do if you believe that your mold growth is suitable to be removed by yourself.

How Should You Clean Mold?

To tackle mold in your home without the help of a professional, you’ll first want to clean all surfaces with a mold-eliminating cleaner. Some solutions you can use to remove mold include:

  • SURFACE Guard: Surface Guard is an enzyme mold stain cleaner, which safely and effectively cleans mold stains on wood and other substrates – leaving behind a protective layer and slight citrus scent.
  • BioBalance: BioBalance has an entire lineup of natural, citrus-based mold remedy products ranging from surface wipes, to carpet and furniture treatments, and even a fog kit to safely treat mold in every nook and cranny of your home or office.
  • DIY: If you’d rather go the do-it-yourself route, you can also use either undiluted white vinegar or create a 50/50 mixture of water and ammonia. Spray and then rinse after three hours. Be sure to take proper safety precautions and wear a mask, gloves, and goggles.

You’ll also want to address some other, easy-to-overlook components such as:

  • Your laundry: Mold spores can weasel their way into your clothes, so you’ll want to thoroughly wash all clothing and bedding. I recommend using either EC3 Laundry Additive or MicroBalance Laundry to rinse away bacteria and mold spores that get trapped in your clothing and other fabrics that regular washing alone can’t eliminate.
  • Your indoor air quality: Mold spores can be floating around in your indoor air, so I strongly suggest investing high-quality air filters for your home and office. I personally recommend the Healthmate Plus model from Austin Air. Call Amy at (303) 993-7910 to order!

Once you’ve eliminated all signs of mold, it’s time to be proactive and take some steps to prevent mold growth from coming back.

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Mold Growth

As you read earlier, it’s nearly impossible to prevent all mold growth since spores are always floating in the air. However, there are some steps you can take to discourage future growths:9

  • Control the moisture by investing in a dehumidifier and keep humidity levels under 60%
  • Dry wet spots quickly
  • Improve air flow by opening doors and moving furniture away from walls
  • Keep your basement ventilated
  • Leave your bathroom fan on for 30 minutes after showering
  • Dry your bathtub or shower with a squeegee
  • Clean shower curtains, towels, rugs, and loofahs regularly
  • Open a window or turn on a fan while cooking
  • Use MicroBalance Laundry additive for each load of laundry
  • Keep areas prone to mold growth cleaned, disinfected, and dry
  • Drain and unclog HVAC units regularly
  • Fix leaks immediately

Although you can never guarantee that mold won’t return, these steps can go a long way in keeping your home mold free. Now that we’ve got addressing your environment out of the way, let’s dive into the rest of the steps.

Minimizing Exposure: The Low Mold Diet

Some foods are notorious for being contaminated with mycotoxins. A few of these mycotoxin-tainted foods include: 

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Barley
  • Black pepper
  • Bread
  • Chiles
  • Cocoa
  • Corn
  • Cottonseed
  • Dried fruit
  • Peanuts
  • Rye
  • Spices
  • Wheat

Your diet can actually be a pivotal piece of the puzzle when it comes to healing from mold exposure – which is why I almost always advise my mold patients to follow a low-mold diet. Click here to read more about exactly what a low-mold diet entails.

Up next is enhancing your detoxification.

Enhance Detoxification: Detoxing From Mold

Mold and other toxins can accumulate in your body – essentially clogging up your natural, built-in detoxification pathways. That’s why it’s important to incorporate some strategies that can boost your ability to mobilize and eliminate any mold that’s lurking within your tissues and cells. To tackle this accumulation of toxic compounds, I’ve created two powerful protocols to supercharge your body’s ability to detox. 

First up is my Detox Bundle:

Dr. Jill’s Detox Bundle:

My Detox Bundle is a more broad-spectrum detox protocol that follows a strategic 3-step process that goes like this:

Phase 1: Mobilize Toxins

Mold and other toxins can accumulate in your tissues, so it’s important to help your body package them up and mobilize them to get ready for removal. I recommend first taking Glutathione Essentials. You see, glutathione is a naturally-occurring antioxidant that also serves as a master detoxifier – drawing out, binding to, and transporting toxins across cell membranes so they can be properly flushed out of your body.

I also suggest pairing glutathione with Liver Essentials which contains all of the key ingredients needed to support your liver as it works to transform these mobilized toxins into water-soluble agents for excretion. 

Phase 2: Excrete Toxins

Once mycotoxins and other toxic compounds are mobilized, it’s time to get them out of your body. We do this primarily through the digestive tract via a substance known as bile. Bile is produced by your liver and carries freshly packaged and mobilized toxins from your liver and delivers them into your gut to be eliminated.

The best way to support this excretion process is with targeted binders that contain an electrostatic charge to attract the toxins and escort them or pull them out through the gut. It’s best to take a high quality, broad-spectrum binder like ZeoBind Plus which contains zeolite, activated charcoal, and humic and fulvic acids to ensure your maximizing toxin excretion.

Phase 3: Replenish the Body

As you are mobilizing and excreting the toxins, it’s important to replenish your body. Prolonged exposure to toxins can be dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of clean water and consider adding electrolytes or mixing up one of my tasty Pink Drinks. It can also be helpful to add in Mineral Essentials to replenish your essential minerals.

You can grab your own Detox Bundle through my online store. You can even get 15% off all orders of $400 or more! Up next is my Miracle Mold Detox Box.

Dr. Jill’s Miracle Mold Detox Box:

I teamed up with Dr. Christopher Shade and Quicksilver Scientific® to create a comprehensive detoxification kit designed to specifically target exposure to toxic mold. Each Miracle Mold Detox Box contains everything you need to complete a comprehensive 30-day mold detox which includes:

  • Liver Sauce
  • Liposomal Glutathione Complex
  • NAD+ Gold
  • Ultra Binder Sensitive Formula
  • Quinton Hypertonic
  • Quinton Isotonic
  • Step-by-step instructions that will guide you through every step of the 30-day protocol

This unique combination of nutrients is scientifically proven to support your body through mold detoxification by:

  • Upregulating your body's natural detoxification cycle
  • Boosting your cell’s ability to release stored mycotoxins
  • Magnetizing and binding to mycotoxins so they can be properly excreted
  • Supporting energy production
  • Reducing inflammation triggered by exposure to mycotoxins
  • Promoting cellular recovery and mitochondrial health
  • Assisting in remineralization to support healthy electrolyte balance

You can learn more and grab your own Miracle Mold Detox Kit by clicking right here.

Other Ways to Enhance Detoxification:

Some additional detox-boosting methods that can amplify your ability to eradicate mold include:

  • Other detox binders: Detox binders contain porous molecules that magnetize and trap internal mycotoxins so they can be excreted. I recommend the Ultra Binder, Activated Charcoal, Upgraded Coconut Charcoal, and the GI Detox.
  • Regular bowel movements: Detox binders can trap toxins, but your bowels are what shuttle them out of your body. Constipation or suboptimal bowel movements can prevent detoxification, so it can be helpful to incorporate things like gentle laxatives, magnesium citrate, or buffered C powder to keep your bowels functioning normally while on binders.
  • Infrared sauna: Infrared sauna therapy can optimize cellular function – allowing them to more readily shuttle mycotoxins out of your tissues to be excreted. Infrared saunas also stimulate a deep sweat which allows toxins to be removed via your sweat glands.
  • Take antifungal medications and herbs: Supplements like Dr. Jill Essential Oil and Caprylic Acid can promote microbial balance and to help protect the immune system from microbial stressors like toxic mold.

Amplifying your detoxification is key when it comes to healing from exposure to toxic mold.

Support Your Body in Healing: How to Heal From Toxic Mold

Mold is highly dysregulating and damaging. So it’s important to support your body in recovering by doing things like:

  • Addressing underlying infections:Test and be treated for hidden infections, bacterial colonizations and candida overgrowth.
  • Prioritize rest and relaxation: Sleep deprivation is like kryptonite to your immune system – which can make healing from mold an uphill battle. So be sure you’re making time for plenty of relaxation and logging a minimum of 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. 
  • Manage stress levels: Stress and negative emotions can put a serious damper on your immune system and your ability to heal, so it’s important to ensure you're managing stress and making time for fun and connection too.
  • Keep your gut happy and healthy: Your gut plays a pivotal role in detoxification, immunity, and just about every other facet of your health. Learn how you can keep your gut happy and healthy by clicking right here.

Because recovering from mold exposure requires such a comprehensive and detailed-oriented approach, it can be immensely helpful to seek out the guidance of an experienced Integrative and Functional Medicine Doctor. They can help guide you through every step of the process so you can begin your healing journey as quickly as possible.

Are You Concerned That You’ve Been Exposed to Toxic Mold?

Toxic mold can trigger a barrage of symptoms that can be difficult to pinpoint. For that reason I cannot overemphasize the importance of working with a Functional Medicine Doctor who is well versed dealing with mold cases. And I also cannot overemphasize the importance of being your own advocate by staying educated and informed.

I am passionate about helping to empower my patients and readers with the knowledge and resources they need to advocate for their own health and well-being. That’s why I’ve got hundreds of free resources on my blog and my YouTube channel to keep you up-to-date with science-backed and easy-to-understand information.

If you want to learn even more about healing from toxic mold, you’ve got to check out my new book Unexpected: Finding Resilience Through Functional Medicine, Science, and Faith.

In it, I detail my own battle with mold exposure along with a laundry list of other health and life challenges. While I definitely dive into the struggles, I also share how I healed, recovered, and came back stronger than before. I held nothing back in this book in the hopes that I can offer a sense of hope and direction in helping others create a life full of vibrant health, true connection, and deep fulfillment.

Now it’s time to hear from you. Were you surprised to learn the many different symptoms that can be triggered by mold exposure? If you’ve recovered from mold exposure, what strategies helped you the most? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below!

Resources:

  1. Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum | Mold | CDC
  2. Indoor Air Quality Explained – Welcome to Austin Air Systems. Clinically Proven Air Purifiers.
  3. Mold Exposure: Symptoms, Treatment, Tests, Food & Harmful (medicinenet.com)
  4. Black mold exposure: Symptoms, treatment, and prevention (medicalnewstoday.com)
  5. Black Mold: Exposure, Symptoms, Treatment, and More (healthline.com)
  6. Long Term Effects of Black Mold | Black Mold Symptoms (sanitred.com)
  7. Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotrys) (moldpedia.com)
  8. Do It Yourself Mold Removal ……..When is it safe to remove mold? (mold-advisor.com)
  9. How to Get Rid of Mold – The Home Depot

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.   The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician.  Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.

The views and opinions expressed on Dr. Jill LIVE! do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the host. Any content provided by guests is their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, organization, company, or individual nor do they necessarily reflect the views or positions by the host.

521 Comments

  1. Thank you for such a thorough explanation of the health effects of water damaged buildings. Our family was sickened by hidden water leaks, thankfully relocating to a safer home. Thanks for your work!

    • Hi Andrea,
      What a delight to get your comment on my article! I have read of the journey you and your family have been through with toxic mold and I admire your commitment to devoting yourself to learning all you can to heal your family from this exposure. What a wonderful ministry you have!
      God bless,
      Dr Jill

      • Hello my name is Angela. I think I have a mold problem going on in my house. Three weeks ago we noticed that our bedroom closet floor was soak and wet. We looked for leaks in the roof and could not find anything. I used my carpet cleaner to suck up the water and I thought it was going to be ok after that. Well a couple days later I noticed it was wet again. I even noticed that that in my kitchen where my dishwasher used to be, water was coming in from the bottom of the wall. Well I called my landlord and one of the guys came over and found it to be my hot water heater leaking. It was leaking for some time considering the damage that was done and they were asking me why my water bill was going up…. Anyway the only thing they have done is pull up the carpet in my closet. There was signs of mold all over the door they took off as well as an ungodly smell. I have been getting headaches and been nauseated, so has my boyfriend, my son has asthma and has been wheezing some but nothing major as of yet. My son has been complaining of bad stomach pain. Once we are all out of the house for a while we start to feel a little better… Please help what do I do!!!!

        • Hi Angela,
          You will need to work with your landlord and find a good remediator to clean up the place.
          warmly
          Dr Jill

          • Hi Dr.Jill
            I was just wondering if molds can grow from behind the walls? If so, how do we detect it?
            Please reply as soon as you can.
            Thanks!

          • Yes, mold is commonly hidden behind walls if there has been leaks. You can have professional inspector come or do ERMI testing
            warmly
            DR Jill

      • Hello,
        My name is Joel and I have been suffering from the very symptoms you are identifying in your website (light headed, chest pains, achiness in muscles/joints, etc.) I had blood testing done this week for mold toxins and I am not sure if they tested me for black toxic mold. All the blood testing shows that I have low levels of mold in the blood. I live in a home with mold present in my wall which is black in color, yet I have not had it remediated due to cost. I am on a Paleo diet to help with detox. It has helped but the symptoms continually occur throughout the day.

        • Hi Joel,
          I am not sure which test showed mold in your blood as that is highly unlikely, however, we can measure the immune response to mold. I agree that the paleo-grain-free diet is a good option as many grains are contaminated with mold and will make you feel worse. Wish you the best in healing!
          warmly
          Dr Jill

          • Dr Jill,
            Are you saying that the blood tests are not conclusive in determining the level of mold in the body? How is the immune response to mold measured? I appreciate your help in the search for improved health as I have been struggling with the symptoms you mentioned on your website.
            Thank you
            Joel

          • Dr Jill,
            Thank you for your reply. I will read all the information possible to learn how to improve my health.

          • I got really sick, fatigued, my hair is falling out and my nails are a mess. If it is from the mold what will my biopsy and blood work show that it is mold sickness.

      • Hi Dr.Jill
        I been dealing with toxic mold and fungi infestation over a year now.I have all the symptoms including vision problems and parasite. I dont know what to do I have loss myself and personality. This week blood as coming out my eyes,nose,and ears this week.The parasites are eating through my body and skin.I told my doc over and over again that he need to run tests.Last time I went my throat and nose was irritated. Ikn I’m going to die before my doc took me seriously. I really can’t get to detail atm but there’s a lot more problems I’m having due to this toxic mold problem. I need help and don’t know what else to do. Plz help me.

        • Pumpkin3839; I just read your story above – I too am suffering and knowner one seems to listen. Im sorry close to suicide because imy loading my mind. What did you end up doing? Please Help -Bryan

          • Are you on Facebook? There are several very helpful groups on there – Surviving Toxic Mold, Mold Avoiders, etc etc etc Thousands of people just like you – sharing information and knowledge. Most importantly – get away from the mold. Get you and your family and pets out! Sleep in a car if you have to…. Pitch a tent in your yard…. Just get out. You can’t begin to heal if you’re being poisoned every day.
            I’ve been in this battle since 2002 and have seen nearly 100 doctors – desperately looking for help. I never found this help (because I could not afford to travel and see a Shoemaker doctor). Unless you can afford all the Shoemaker labs and all that good stuff – don’t worry about doctors. They don’t understand mold for the most part and will just blame it on depression and try to give you drugs.

        • I am going through the exact same thing. I’ve even moved out of my paid off home because I became so ill that I could not even care for myself. Until a professional came to my home and told me I had toxic mold and needed to remove my children and I ASAP my whole family thought I had lost my mind This whole thing has caused me severe4 depression. My home is being burned to the ground next month .

      • Thank you, Dr. Carnahan, for the medical advice you have provided. I am just wondering if i start treating myself with the treatment options based on this site information without knowing the specific type of mold i have been exposed to will it be to no avail. Thus, should I seek to have the mold in the house tested or is there a medical test that a doctor can administor to me that will tell just that ( the type that I have in my system?) What is the specific title of the type of doctor that can help me(one that specializes in mold exposure?) If I cannot find the exact type i’ve been exposed to, can self over treatment for multiple types of mold be more harmful than benefical?

      • I moved to the East Coast September 2018 for a new job. I have had 3 upper respirator infections, which is unlike for me. The third one is the worst, seems more like the flu but I had a flu shot since living here. I work in a very old building. It was found to have L? In the water. I was tested but not infected. I live in the exposed basement of a very old house. I don’t smell dampness, but there appears to be an old sump pump in my storage room. Please help, what should I do and in what order. Carriemaxknight@gmail.com.

      • Doctor Jill, thanks for sharing all of this information. why does stachybotrys cause facial drooping on one side ??? I noticed mine droops more on the left around my mouth area and I and I seen online other people reporting this symptom, as well. all my hair fell out and my toenails came off after turn brown 3x also when I had Brown crystals coming out of my skin and hair follicles as my hair fell out. Also my liver enzymes were elevated and my breath and urine have an odor

      • I got sick after a pinch with a used needle! It states with flu like symptoms diarrhea and nausea that lasted a month! I loose almost 40 pounds at once looking like a skeleton. I thought I had aids but I took a hiv test and it came out negative. Whatever I have is inffeccious because my wife has the same symptoms! I have eye floaters inside my eyes and a throat phlegm that never stop coming out also my muscles are twitching hard and I have a lound ringing noise inside my ears andy nails are falling and a lot of pain on my stomach with noises on the inside ect ect!! Can it be a fungal systemic infection???? Please reply

        • Hi Mario,
          You may have some other infectious disease but fungal infection is less common unless you are immune compromised for another reason.
          warmly
          Dr Jill

      • Hello Dr. Carnahan. what doctor do I see that is covered by insurance for the tests done to see this exposure? I’m seeing a naturopathic doctor but he doesn’t accept my insurance so these tests could be VERY expensive…

        Also there is Great Plains MycoTOX Profile (mold exposure) test. But I’m not seeing the markers that are discussed on there so I’m at a lost of what to do buy that mycotox profile from them or the specific ones from your video “Mold Testing & Mold Toxins by Dr. Jill Carnahan” and also is there any one test for all these or are they all seperate?

        Or more importantly how do we convince the insurance companies to get these done ? is that even possible? or is this all going to have to be out of pocket for the gene testing etc?

        • Hi Nick,
          Conventional medicine is still 30 years behind the times in recognizing mold-related illness. While I am all for less expensive testing and treatment you will not find it easy to get insurance coverage for the most cutting edge diagnostic information.

          However, in my practice I find that a good clinical history and physical exam in addition to visual contrast testing has an accuracy of about 98% without any additional cost. You may have to choose what your health is worth to you as insurance should never be a measure to dictate the best testing or treatment for your optimal health.
          warmly
          Dr Jill

    • Did you have home owners insurance, and/or was there any insurance coverage that helped remove mold or did you have to move altogether from your home. Any oxygen therapy? I appreciate the feedback , I recently found this illness that I’ve had a hunch about since I moved a few years ago. I became a hypochondriac trying to figure what’s wrong with me, doctors checked everything but test for mold:-/

    • I was,exposed to stachybotris aspergillus cladosporium, and penicillium, on my job as a Federal Ranger with the Fish and Wildlife Agebcy, due to a faulty air conditioner installation. The condensation was pouring behind the walls instead of out doors. I suffered tachycardia arrhythmia heart attack, heart surgery, seizure symptoms, kidney stones, renal mass right kidney, kidney removal, anxiety, depression, IBSD, random vomiting, oh the gifts that keeps taking goes on and on. The air quality report clearly defined what I was exposed to. The report stated that no one,should enter the building workout an osha approved respirator and safety gear, that’s how poisoned my air quality was. Those vastness at workman comp doing all they can to deflect from responsibility. My medical bills are over $300,000.00 lost my job promotion prospects retirement benefits and I am more dead then alive

    • I am not sure what to do. I started a new job where the office is located in the bottom of an older home. My office is enclosed under the stairs and across from the bathroom. In December I caught a strange flu and have since recovered all except for my Eustachian tubes which became chronically plugged. I have been seen twice and each time they see no infection so I am given Sudafed, Flonase, natural sinus products etc. to no avail. I ended up talking to the lady I replaced (a friend) who told me that the same exact thing happened to her with her having to have tubes put in to fix her ears. She also mentioned that she suspected it might be from the septic overflowing twice and not being professionally cleaned. Is there a test I can take to prove to my boss that this may be the issue. Or some swab test? Any help would be appreciated.

      Thank you,

      Desiree

    • I moved into this apartment about a little over a month ago. I noticed a chemical cleaning smell coming out of the vents when moving in. I guess the final straw came when I was vomiting, couldn’t keep anything down, my kids sniffing and coughing at times. My daughter has had headaches and shes only 10. I checked behind the filter and noticed what looked like mold. It was so nasty behind there so I called the maintenance department. I was told nothing could be done to the following week. I got my kids out of there. I noticed I couldn’t get the smell out of my nose and even my skin smelled like it. My kids noticed the smell after being gone in the hotel and then returning home. They ended up putting me in a hotel for three nights while they cleaned out the ducts and supposed to check for mold but they didn’t check for it until I returned which I think was very irresponsible. I stay in low income housing and had the director come and tell me it could be the sewage smell in the kitchen getting into the vent. Theres a chemical smell that I can’t get rid of. I’m concerned all they did was cover the problem up and its harming me and my kids health. Every time the air comes on it’s the same chemical musty smell coming out. I opened my windows all weekend and the smell hasn’t went away. And I did some searching myself and found out no vents were cleaned properly, a pipe is leaking in the HVAC system and the bathroom vent was horrendous. I’m not sure what else to do because if I find out this smell has caused health issues that can’t be reversed I’m coming at them with everything I got. My throat hurts, chest feels tightened and still the same smell is in here. Please any advice is needed.

      • I am so sorry to hear of your living situation! It sounds quite toxic. I would leave if there is any way possible to find alternative housing for you and your family

  2. I’m grateful to see physicians writing about this illness. I was diagnosed by Dr. Brewer in KCMO at the end of 2014 and am approaching my third month of treatment.

    I’m interested in the foods you mention. I really need to pay more attention to what is going in my body.

    Thank you so much for writing, and being one of the wonderful docs dedicated to learning more and treating those of us who have been ill for so long. You’re appreciated!

    PS: I’ll add your name and site to this list of docs: http://toxicmoldillness.com/doctors-who-treat-toxic-mold-illness/

    • Hi Sher,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment on my article! I know how difficult it can be to heal from mold exposure and I sincerely wish you the best in your healing journey!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  3. Thank you so much for your article. It is one of the best explanations I’ve read and is spot on!

    Our family got sick from a house that had hidden moisture problems and toxic mold. We are thankful to be in a safe home and aware of the importance of fresh, clean air. (Andrea Fabry has been a help and a blessing!)

  4. I need advise… If you are moving from an unclean or mold inhabited environment into a clean one. Wont you bring the sppres with you in your boxed/bagged/binned belongings …? This is my biggest fear. As we are in the process of purchasing our first home. And am so concerned. I know my health and my family’s has been effected dramatically by molds and toxins from the two previous homes we have lived in (rented) in the last 5 years…. Any advice?

    • Hi Dora,
      If you were truly in an environment that had mold which was affecting your health, you need to leave all porous materials and not bring them to the new space – this would include books, clothing, paper etc. I know this is hard but if you were sick in that environment and bring these things with you, they can continue to affect your health. My advice is leave everything that is porous and start over.

  5. This is why it is extremely imoprtant to call in a professional drying company ASAP after any unusuall amount of water , washer, dish washer, sink overflow, broken water pipes, roof leaks, etc!

  6. Thanks for the article. It took me 25 years to find an accurate diagnosis for CIRS . Genetic testing was the key as the best doctors could not solve the edema question regardless how much my health improved. I did not give up working on my health as much as I could.
    God lead me in a providential way here in Alabama to discover Dr. Berndtson in Chicago!!!
    That is how I would encourage others who seem to have such a variety of symptons. Dont give up.
    Thanks for bringing more to light.

    • Hi Rachel,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I am glad you are on the path to healing… curious was edema the main symptom you noticed after mold exposure (CIRS)?
      Blessings
      Dr Jill

    • Hi Rachel,

      I’m also seeing Dr. B for the same issue! Is there any way I can get in touch with you to discuss what methods have helped you? I know each patient is unique, but just wanted to get your two cents. I live in Chicago and have been seeing Dr. B for a few months now.

      Thank you so much!

      James

  7. I noticed edema because my overall health would improve with exercise, nutrition and of course much water. But why would the water not seem to be the answer? Later, as I got the genetic testing and realized my liver does not get the message to more or less use the water correctly, I knew more and more water was not the answer.
    So for me the edema is from the genetic issue but not from the direct mold toxin exposure.

    I don’t react outwardly immediately to a biotoxin exposure. Usually if I have a fall I know that I was exposed maybe a couple days before. The cerebrum is affected by the toxin traveling through the blood brain barrier and so the imbalance. When I hear of someone who has had several falls, I don’t assume it is a bone problem. It could be mold exposure.

    Thanks for the question. I have needed a chat on this as I have no one in particular who inquires and I am trying to learn more about myself and encpurage anyone else. Thanks!

  8. I am in the beginning stages of diagnosis and confirming the source of mold toxicity (testing being done today at work.) Getting my doc, that admitted he knows nothing about mold toxicity, on board with my certainty about having CIRS is slow and difficult. I was referred to you and one other doc as “the closest mold toxicity specialists” to me. After reading the small excerpt about diet it yet again confirmed another piece of this puzzle for me. I seem to have what i call “episodes” (an attack that leaves me completely fatigued, tremors, short of breath, and like my body is having a panick attack leaving me feeling like i am going to pass out, and nauseas) after i eat foods made out of grains….wheat being the biggest one. It took me a bit to.put this together, but it makes perfect sense! So now i am on the difficult task of eliminating grains as much as possible. This article will be shared with my doc. Also, question…to check for the gene, which test is it? Would like to request my doc orders it. I may just ask for a referral to one of you two docs and have it taken care of by you all. Thank you for your time and most importantly BEING THERE for the many people that need specialists like you!

    • Hi Jessica
      This is a difficult and daunting journey to healing but I admire your courage and persistence! Taking charge of your health will really pay off in the end. You can get HLA typing through LabCorp to determine if you have the “dreaded” genotype and interpretation may be found in Dr. Ritchie Shoemakers book, Surviving Mold (and earlier, Mold Warriors) which I do recommend. You might also want to have him check c4a levels which if elevate, often correlate with mold exposure and will go down as your health improves. In addition, get on a grain-free, mold-free diet asap as that will help tremendously.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

    • Hi Jessica, My name is Kristina and I live in Western Pa. When I read what you wrote about the “episodes” and feeling of passing out and nausiousness, I can relate. I have been experiencing the same episodes. I have been living in a mold infested home for the last five years and I have become very weak achy and fatigued and have so many of the symptoms everyone has from biotoxins. I am curious to know what your outcome was and what you did to get better, being it is almost three years later now.
      Kristina, from Westmoreland County, Pa

  9. Hi Dr. Jill,

    Thank you so much for the article – I’m going to forward it to a few friends now. I reside in Chicago and a couple of my friends/family members have symptoms of fatigue, inflammation, brain fog, and constant headaches. I began seeing Dr. Keith Berndston in Chicago (a Shoemaker-approved doctor) for my condition.

    I’m a 25 year old male who has had chronic fatigue for 4-5 years now. I have unrefreshing sleep, muscle aches (back shoulder / neck), hot skin, brain fog, acne, digestion problems, forgetfulness, eye sensitivity, and so on. I tried EVERYTHING under the sun prior to finding Dr. B; acupuncture, Chinese herbal regimens, diets, etc – but saw no results. Finally, it occurred to me that I was spending most of my time at home (parent’s house) in the basement of my house which has yearly floods due to the rainwater. My family is positive that there is bad mold down there, you can just smell the mold infestation.

    Anyway, I went on Cholestryamine to bind the toxins for 2 straight months. Also used Dr. Shoemaker’s nasal spray to bust the biofilms residing in my sinus (coag neg staph). Unfortunately, I didn’t see much improvement with my symptoms, so that was a letdown. Note that I moved out of my house and settled into a new, clean apartment while I was on the regimen too – Dr. B said this was the most important step (and I agree). After seeing little results, Dr. B ordered more blood tests; the results showed very high IGG levels for EBV and Mycoplasma Pneumaue.

    However, both Dr. B and myself still think mold is the root cause of my issue, and perhaps it weakened my immune system to the point where these viruses/infections were activated. Do you think this is plausible?

    I wonder if Charcoal and a strict diet would help again? When I was on cholestryamine, I sometimes cheated (alcohol on weekends and occasional bread). I also read that Cholestryamine only works for certain strains of mold, while Charcoal is recommended by Dr. Joseph Brewer (along with his own nasal spray formula).

    What do you think? Dr. Joseph Brewer has done fascinating work with mold toxins residing in the sinus and gut; I also experience a constant runny nose and sinus problems.

    Again, thank you so much for the article. Please know that people like us appreciate your knowledge and attention to this condition!

    James

    • Hi James, I think worth to try either Upgraded Coconut Charcoal or GI Detox caps (which you can order direct from Emerson Ecologics and get my professional discount using code: DrJill and zip: 80303). I also think treating sinus colonization with antifungals and biofilm disruptors is essential if you continue to have positive urinary mycotoxin testing. You should certainly maintain a strict grain-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free diet at a very minimum (diet may be 80% of the cure 😉
      Best to you!
      Dr Jill

      • Thanks, Dr. Jill! I really appreciate your input.

        I haven’t done mycotoxin urinary testing – it costs about $700 cant I can’t afford that. But there isn’t really an answer behind my symptoms so my doctor and I are pretty sure it’s mold. I’m allergic to some mold toxins, lived in a moldy (moist / flooded) basement for years, failed Shoemaker’s visual text, have the susceptible genotype, etc. So everything points to mold. Wish I could afford a urinary test to confirm!

        What antifungal / biofilm distrputors are best for the sinuses?

        Again, thank you so much – I am recommending your site to friends and family!!

        James

        • Hi James, For sinuses work with your doctor and a compounding pharmacist to combine an anti fungal solution (Ampho-B, nystatin, itraconazole or fluconazole) and a biofilm disruptor into a nasal spray or solution for rinse. For best results, the sinuses should be rinsed with Nettipot or saline sinus rinse prior to application and the biofilm product should be separate from the anti-fungal. Unfortunately I cannot give out specific prescription medical advice on the blog. Contact me privately if you’d like a medical consultation.
          Best wishes in healing!
          warmly
          Dr Jill

    • Hi James,
      My name is Rob and I have been very very sick with Toxic mold exposure. Your problem is very serious and you have the exact same issues my partner and I are having. I recommend you quickly get off the Cholestryamine, this product is incredibly dangerous and has been banned in Germany. This focuses on the gut, the mycotoxin are in your cells and this will never help solve this and actually gums up your ability to digest and heal your gut. My partner is now suffering from Neuropathy(severe pain) in his feet from being the Cholestryamine and driving his cholesterol to an alarming low rate, causing other issues like severe depression and anxiety. We have been on the PK Protocol now for 5 months and are recovering really really well. Night and day…we almost died in our environment and had no idea what what happening. Please also see this website, it has saved our lives: http://www.survivingtoxicmold.com/ Feel free to reach out with any other questions, I am happy to help you any way I can. This has been a painful and long journey. Best- Rob

  10. I just listened to your presentation on the anxiety summit and it was so helpful!! I live on an island that was hit hard by hurricane Sandy. Since that time I went from being able to run marathons before the storm to now not being able to run more than a few minutes without getting a migraine that lasts a few days. I’ve been to a neurologist, endocrinologist, and cardiologist- none of them have found a reason and just give me prescriptions for medications to treat symptoms. Have you ever had patients with exercise induced migraines from mold exposure? After experiencing anxiety/panic attacks, rosacea, new food allergies, and temperature intolerances I decided to move off the island that was hit to an area that wasn’t flooded- it’s only been a few weeks but I’m hoping it helps!

    thank you!!

    • Hi Katie,
      Glad you enjoyed the Anxiety Summit and my interview with Trudy Scott on Toxic Mold and how it can cause mood issues. I think your symptoms could certainly be related to mold exposure and hoping your move helps!
      warmly,
      Dr Jill

  11. Thank you so much for one becoming a functional medicine doctors and obtaining all of your knowledge well beyond the standard medical world! I thoroughly enjoyed your interview on the Anxiety Summit! I have listened several times. If a person was exposed to serious mold in their home for 10 years (this was 25 years ago for me). Would it still be in my body and an issue? I was also exposed and lived in a home with high raydon for 8 yrs (totally unaware until we sold the home in both cases) I moved from that home 4 1/2 yrs ago. I have been doing special diet and detoxing for 4 yrs. I have made remarkable progress but still struggle. After your interview I’m sure it is genic for me because out of 4 of us I was the only one with raydon poisoning. My question is where would a person go from here? Thank you.

    • Hi Terri,
      Thanks for your kind words. Yes, a person can become colonized (gut, sinuses, lungs, etc) with mold after extended exposure. And yes, you likely have HLA DR genetics that make it harder for your body to get rid of mycotoxins. Try binders and glutathione if you are not already doing them.
      best in health
      Dr Jill

  12. Hi Dr. Carnahan!

    I loved your talk on the Anxiety Summit! I’m a friend of Trudy’s as well. I have suffered from increased anxiety and panic for three years, and was just tested for mold by my new doctor (real time labs), so I’m now on a protocol for that. Our previous house had water damage, and I started getting a lot of hypochondria in that house, that progressed to having my first panic attack in years at our wedding rehearsal. I had panic and phobia as a child, and have always been someone who worries, but I didn’t have debilitating anxiety as an adult until we lived in that house. My husband also had colds frequently when we lived there.

    I usually avoid podcasts about issue’s that I’m working on because I don’t want to hear another professional say to do something different than my doctor says, because it just makes the anxiety worse for me. I was thrilled to hear you recommend everything that my doctor had/has me doing. It was such a relief!

    The interesting thing is that I really don’t have any other symptoms of mold toxicity beyond the severe anxiety. The symptoms I have are that of adrenal dysfunction/hormonal imbalance, panic, anxiety, inability to handle stress, etc. However our current home came up clean in testing thank goodness, so maybe that’s why just the mood issues stuck with me from exposure in the old house. I do have MTHFR (homo 677), but haven’t done the HLA testing, because I’ve been avoiding hearing one other thing is wrong with me. I had a major crash this year that took just the chronic anxiety I was experiencing to a whole new level. Thankfully I’ve recovered pretty quickly in just two months, but I still have ups and downs every day. Right now I’m supporting my adrenals, taking amino acids to balance my neurotransmitters (which were all low), on proper supplements, on binders for mold, and doing little things to help me detox like tongue scraping, dry brushing, chlorophyll, and lemon water first thing in the morning. We also invested in a High Tech Health sauna this year, but I haven’t been using it lately. Need to get back into that.

    Something that was really interesting that came out of our recent home testing in our current home was that we found out we had a slow gas leak (20-30 parts per million filling the whole house since we moved in). The inspector that we had come to check out house is a sick building specialist, and he said he sees this all the time. Someone in the home feels crazy (like PMS times 100), and they have a gas leak filling their home with a low level of natural gas that goes undetected by other inspectors or plumbers. When my husband called him for the mold testing and he heard my symptoms he said-you have a gas leak. He uses a combustible gas detector to find the leaks. We looked up the symptoms and a lot of them were what I have been experiencing. It likely was the icing on the cake for me. Very interesting.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for all of the work you are doing. I’m so happy that I got to listen to your talk. It was really inspiring, and made me wish that you were my doctor, although I have a really great one near me 🙂

    I did have one question for you: for someone treating mold, how important is it to avoid an unknown sick building? Meaning if you go into a building that you don’t know has water damage or a mold issue like a friend or family members house. We live in Pittsburgh, PA, and we have lots of really beautiful old homes and buildings here-and lots of rain and moisture. Will being there for a short amount of time do a lot of damage? Since anxiety/hormonal imbalance is really my only symptom of all of this (besides the physical symptoms of panic that I get), it’s hard for me to distinguish whether I’ve gotten exposure, or am just thinking something that is causing panic-I don’t get any respiratory symptoms, and I don’t feel worse on rainy days. I’ve been trying to be mindful about this process, because being extreme really triggers what I’m trying to heal-my mood, but I’m doing so many great things for myself that would probably look extreme to someone else, haha. It’s really easy to go down the “what if” rabbit hole. Especially when it took a year and a half of trial and error with other things I thought were the cause of my mood issues to find this out. My husband and I work from home (paleo cookbook authors and bloggers), so we were really exposed in the home.

    Anyway, thank you again, and I would LOVE to send you our cookbooks for your home and office!

    xo,
    Hayley

    • Hi Hayley,
      Thanks so much for your feedback from Trudy’s Anxiety Summit. I am so glad you found out the issues and have been doing better. Many patients who have been exposed or sensitized to mold develop some form of MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). It’s as if we each have a threshold to handle toxic exposures and when that threshold is overloaded, we develop sensitivities to chemicals of all sorts. I don’t think you have to be afraid of ever building you enter but if you notice unexplained fatigue, brain fog, anxiety or other unusual symptoms, it might be time to leave. I notice now when I travel and stay in hotels, most places are fine but there has been a time or two when I’ve had to change rooms or leave altogether if I experience symptoms.
      Best to you in health and healing!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

    • Can I ask who your doctor is in Pittsburgh, PA? I live near there and I’m trying to find a good one. Thanks!

  13. Have you found that your clients with mold have vision issues? My 6-year-old was recently diagnosed with Binocular Vision Disorder. This week we received our HERTSMI results from Mycometrics (score was 30). Wondering if it is possible for vision to improve with proper treatment and healing from the mold?

    • Yes, vision issues are quite common with mold exposure. I believe all symptoms may improve over time if you remove yourself from exposure and treat the mold toxicity.

  14. I am thrilled to finally see other physicians taking notice of mold exposure. I am a former teacher ( 52 at the time)who was in perfect health and loving life until 2003. Once I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. Had a heart carth which showed my heath to be in excellent condition. Then the other symptoms began. Horrible headaches by 10AM every day, muscle pain with twitches, severe joint pain, lightening bolt pains down my legs, dirt like taste in my mouth, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory loss. I could recall names of my students or how to spell 5th grade words, body temp changes and much more. I went to local doctors for a year who had no idea what was wrong. My family doctor finally said that it must be stress or a virus that would go away. I sat in his office feeling like I was dying!! I began my own research. To make a long story short I finally found Dr. Shoemaker in MD who saved my life. He was able to prove it was the school that was making me sick. I received nothing but a chronic illness and no job but at least I am alive. A few other teachers were sick but chose not to believe. One finall went to Dr. S after 3 trips to the ER & given last rites. Many kids with horrible rashes, lumps in lymph nodes, bloody noses, dizziness, stomach aches, headaches and more. School (private) is STILL open to this day! I keep hoping and praying that the medical community will begin to listen to their patients and start thinking outside their little box! The environment and indoor mold is slowly killing people. I am so much better but still have times that I go some place new that, unknown to me, makes me very sick for 1 to 3 days. Thank you for educating others. It is the only answer because there are still way too many naysayers!

    • Thanks, Susan! I agree… I am continually shocked at how many of my patients are affected by this nasty toxin. Hoping more physicians will become aware of the role it can play in illness as it’s becoming epidemic, sadly.

  15. Hi

    You’re article is very good. I was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. My doctor ran a lot of blood work and found that I do have this mycotoxin illness as well.

    My insurance company sent an environmental testing company out to look at my basement. They tested the air in basement, first floor and outside.

    The results of their testing shows higher levels of mold outside. The mold inside is same type as outside. How do you deal with that?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Ann,
      The insurance company has their own best interest in mind. I would get an independent air quality inspector to retest your home. You may also want to do Hertsmi-2 testing yourself which can be more accurate than air samples. Some of the most toxic molds do not readily release spores into the air and the air samples may be clean. If your health is suffering and you suspect mold exposure, you need to find the source.
      warmly
      Dr. Jill

  16. I have been suffering from chronic fatigue and numerous other neurological symptoms. I also have an autoimmune disease which was under control for about 12 years. If we have a mold issue, I understand it can cause inflammation and trigger the immune system. Have you had experience with this type of illness? I also have recently had genetic data interpreted revealing significant methylation issues. It just keeps getting worse. I have a guy coming next week to test for mold, etc.

    • Hi Michelle,
      Yes, this is not uncommon with mold exposure but there are many other causes of fatigue and neurological symptoms. Certainly worth checking for mold!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  17. I have been suffering for probably 20 years from sinus issues fatigue, upper back and neck pain. If I leave my home I feel better with in 24 hours. When I return I begin having symptoms within an hour. We have moved, taken up all carpet, no pets etc etc. we have also had our home tested for mold twice very expensive. Four of us live here, two teens and two adults, we all four suffer from sinus issues and back pain. Should I be tested? Try charcoal? To ️just rule out. The cost of moving was huge and it just followed us. We slowly got rid of stuff over the years.

    • Hi Christi,
      Based on what you are saying there very likely something in your home causing your symptoms. Sadly toxic mold may be hidden and difficult to find source unless you tear apart walls, look in air vent system, and under floors or hidden spaces. If there is truly an issue in your home, no amount of treatment or supplements will help you unless you follow rule #1, get out of the toxic environment. Trust your intuition on this and move your family before it is too late. If you want to prove you have been exposed, you can see a functional or CIRS trained doctor to get urinary mycotoxin and serum labs to see if there is a pattern of toxic exposure.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  18. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on your website! I have recovered from many chronic problems. I am still working on a few things. Because of my past history of chronic fatigue, pcos, elevated liver enzymes etc. I know that I need to be careful, and that detox is important for me. We have been having a problem with our roof leaking. Well, we think it is the roof leaking. We have had a repairman come in and he thinks that we may just need ventilation and that there is moisture building up between the roof and the ceiling. There is a place in the bathroom ceiling where you can sometimes tell it is damp after it rains. And recently it actually dripped onto the floor. The roof repairman thinks he might have found one spot where it may have been leaking. I am supposed to keep an eye on it, to see if it makes a difference. Because we probably still need the ventilation vents put in. There is some mold on our bathroom ceiling. It seems to be superficial over most of the ceiling and we have been cleaning it with tea tree oil periodically. However, now that that one spot actually dripped, I know we probably need to replace the sheetrock. We have all been feeling well, and like I mentioned I am still working on a few things like digestion, but am way better than I was 5 years ago (and we are in the same house). So, I don’t think we have a major mold issue, but I know that we need to be careful because I have been sensitive to lots of things in the past. My main question is this: Do we get the ventilation done first, or tear out the bathroom ceiling first? Who can we hire to do this in a safe fashion? Thank you so much for any insight you can offer!

    • Hi Kristie,
      Better to be safe and replace all the sheetrock if it has been water damaged at all. I would also put in the vents but do both at the same time.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  19. Hello Dr. Carnahan,

    My father has Parkinsons and Lyme, and I have Lyme. My Dad’s lyme doc is putting him on cholestyramine ,but my family refuses to take mold as a concept seriously. My mom had a front-loading washer that had black (appearing, dont’ know the species) mold in the rubber gasket for years, despite me begging her to remove it. I would come home for Christmas, walk into the washing room,

    I can’t get my Mom to figure out/tell me what mold testing Dad has, but it is safe to say we both have bad genetic detox profiles. I consisistenlty feel better when I go to an arid environment. I am visiting them and am far worse cognitively and had a sudden spike in PMS issues and anxiety . I also have been staying in a house in Seattle area that I had a bad mold exposure — someone busted open what was a badly molded flower box with windows open i nthe house, and spread the dirt on the back yard. A dog goes in and out of the yard and house. I have been far worse since that incident, and started improving a little when I put myself on clay and psyllium and charcoal. I am so iill and cognitively impaired that getting anywhere and doing anything alone is hard, and I have no one to help me (have lost all support from long term chronic illness, or almost all support–no one to help me in day to day life/figuring out what to do. And family in deep denial so, that’s an uphill swim to get/aask their help. Trying ot make a strategy, I am deeply hopeful you can offer an opinion on some questions. I can no longer afford treatment, and my parents doc is in my opinion rather useless on the mold front. She knows they live in a West Virgnia forest with mold off the hook right now–leaves everywhere just loaded with it. And she told them to just pour an enzyme solution in the washer, and that would take care of it. Clearly it did not, as as soon as I walked in the room, I got itchy eyes, glands started swelling. I hope I wrote all of that clearly enough as background for these questions. My Mom did finally remove that washing machine, but she failed to even wash my bedsheets before I returned. I assumed she would do it because i told her it was absolute minimal remediation. I have been worse here than even in Seattle now. I am trying to help them get their acts together for Dad’s care, but….it seems it is too dangerous for me to stay here.

    1. I have a swab on a paper towel I asked Mom to get of the mold from the washer. CAn I send it somwhere to test what it is?

    2. Given my illness profile, and the fact I know I do better in arid environments, plus the fact that I had an immediate reaction to walking in the laundry room (which ,btw, would subside an hour or two afte rbeing out of the room but still in the house–and no cognitive exacerbations back in december when I visited, but now I have had the 2nd nasty exposure this spring and I was worse when I arrived), and that for years she has washed sheets/clothes in it (I can feel my rage mounting as i write this! phew), is it at all safe for me to be in this environment? Oh yes, and the piles of moldy leaves outside. I am assuming teh flat answer is no.

    3. Is there any use whatsoever in having her wash everything in the house with 3 washes of vinegar, borax, baking soda? Would that level of remediation help them? Or truly would all their sheets and clothes need replacement. Of course carpets are all still here. If they refuse toleave, Mom is exhausted and if a bunch of washing or replacing things doesn’t buy them much ground in terms of spore elimination, then it is better I not antagonize her with it.

    4. They have a little hosue in Delaware. I am homeless now, and need ap lace to live. Would that house be safe, if for years also, its linens have been taken home and washed in that washing machine? Would it be safer if all linens/towels are replaced? done with the 3 washes of vinegar, borax, bakingsoda?

    5. I am also assuming the house I have been staying in in Seattle is now unsafe for me, even though the mold is outdoors in the lawn and “dead” with doggy running in and out? I assume doing any testing of anything in this case (exposure=I got way way worse) is simply unnecessary?

    6. Another fact on this house, they did have a huge water leak, and its issues made known when they saw a mushroom growing out of the dining room floor! They remediated and said no mold was found, but……I do not think they had a mold specific remediator. But they had to tear things up and open. The owner said no mold. So if you think I can live there with the outdoor mold in yard, do you think I should pay to have testing done? Or just get the hell out and live in my car or a tent in the desert? I get $900/month on disablity and can’t pay for rent, food, supplements on that. Thes eare all free places I can stay.

    7. The last place I have available to me is (LOL, my story is funny for all the friends I have who can put me up, and all the environmental issues in each place…if it weren’t tragic) a farm in Enumclaw, built on a rather swampy area. It has to have flooded at some point, but friend has no idea. No signs of mold outwardly, but…it’s WA state and it’s right by a creek, and the yard itself has standing water through lots of the year given its boggy nature. She also has tons of farm animals, and a doggie running in and out of the house. I assume this is no place likey good for me to heal either.

    God bless you if you can respond! I have such bad brain fog, that contemplating all of this has made me even nuttier. I feel afraid to go live in a van, but I don’t know what else to do.

    Thank you!
    elizabeth

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I am so sorry for all of your suffering. If you are really sick or your parents are sick, they you must get a professional air quality inspector to test for you, remediate if necessary, and get rid of all porous materials (clothing, books, paper) I know that is not the answer you may want to hear but it’s the safest if you want to get well. Then you must find a home or place to stay where you are not continually exposed. The core rule for healing is avoid exposure… which may be quite difficult.
      Regardless I wish you the best!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

    • Hi Elizabeth, my name is Jenell, I am reading your message and believe me when I say I don’t mean any respect towards your situation when I tell you that your story literally had me laughing so hard I was crying and laughing at the same time, our story is so similar, I had the same problems with washing everything and finding somewhere safe enough from mold exposure to live. I wish you the best of luck on your journey, hopefully both of us will be able to testify how we survived this moldy world one day.

  20. Hi Dr. Jill!

    Thank you so very much for your reply and kind wishes!

    If my parents refuse to move (I imagine I can talk them into an air filter), is there any point in my father doing cholestyramine/other binders with this lyme doc? Will that bring any degree of relief whatsoever?

    I have been in so many environments now in the Seattle area, how wil lI know what my clothes contain? Is there any way to test clothes and books, etc? That would be cheaper for me than testing the houses I have been in.

    Thank you so much, and best regards!
    elizabeth

    • H Elizabeth,
      Best to talk to his doctor about the binders. If you are suspicious that clothes/books have been in mold environment or making you sick, safest to get rid of them.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  21. thank you for all that you do! I have found a wonderful mold expert who is working with me. I have been sick for bout 18 Months and finally found mold in my system . The only issue is I cannot find the source. I have had my home and work which is a school tested and nothing is being found! I am beyond frustrated and ready to be well again. The only thing school hasnt done is drilling and taking wall samples . I am fighting for them to do so and fear I will have to have someone come out and take care of. Any suggestions on more testing or steps I should take ?

    • Hi Tara,
      This can be tricky as some of the most toxic molds, like stachybotrys are wet and sticky and do not readily release spores into the air so may be missed unless you take air samples every hour or so for days. That can be cost prohibitive. I suggest trying to do a DNA mold analysis through Mycometrics, called ERMI to see if you can come up with a culprit. Remember in water-damaged buildings, there can be more than just mold causing illness.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  22. Thank you JIll for your suggestion. I will give them a call today! I have been taking high levels of glutathione orally, nasal spray and through a nebulizer, charcoal plus a number of other supplements and I am not getting better. I have a feeling I am still being exposed weather it be at my work or home. Thank you again!
    Tara

  23. Dr Jill,
    Over the past few months I have had many of your symptoms appear including food allergies. I have almost all of the symptoms listed. My allergist has me on a gluten free and corn free diet along with pork, chocolate, yogurt, berries, melons and potatoes. I am so frustrated. I have fought at work to move offices which they agreed to but I am not showing much of a change. I feel somewhat better if I have been off for 5 days but I cannot take off more time then that to see if it is work. I did air samples and one was off the charts for fungi mold and the second was within regular limits. I am so upset that they cannot figure out what is wrong and my doctor cannot put me out. He has not done anymore tests. He has sent me to a infectious disease doctor to try to figure this out. My body feels hot at times and hot days are not good for me. Rainy days make my symptoms worse. I am constantly off balance and I want to find answers. My diet is already limited and I am on morning and evening probiotics and a daily vitamin. Any suggestions for my doctor so I can start to feel better. I feel as if I am not living life to the fullest anymore. I miss doing things with my family because I am having an off day.
    Please help!!

    • Hi Leigh Ann
      It certainly sounds like you may have mold exposure affecting your immune system – find a functional medicine doctor familiar with the Shoemaker protocol to treat you. More importantly if there is a real issue at work you will not get well until you avoid exposure. That could mean you have to change jobs but your health is most important.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  24. Hi Leigh Ann,
    Try going away for 7-10 days and seeing how you feel. That might give you some insight…
    warmly
    Dr Jill

  25. I want to get my daughter tested do you have a list of labs that should be taken? We had a must smell in our house then I found mold on a fabric chair witch led me to see a wall under one of our windows had water damage. She has been sick for a few months now and I finally figured it out, MOLD. Also I have been sick and the doctor said it was my thyroid, could also be MOLD. Thanks for your help

    • Hi Dixie
      Surviving Mold website has a list of CIRS labs that your doctor can order. You should start with getting someone to check air and dust samples in your home to find out what you are being expose to.
      Best in healing
      Dr Jill

  26. Hi Dr. Jill,

    I have many of the issues you bring up as symptoms. I have been working in a heavily mold infested building. I did several over the counter Indoor Air Quality tests all with the same results and all over the building. I feel like I am getting worse than better. I am being treated with antibiotics, but still working in this mold pit. I have asked to have the buildings tested and to locate a building without mold, but my employer is reluctant to do so. As it may show that my illness is being caused by their building, thus solidifying my Workers Comp claim. More important to me however is to get testing and treatment for it. If I have mycotoxins running rampant in my body, I would like to find out and then approach treatment, as right now I feel my doctors are shooting flies with a shot gun. Can you tell me what tests are needed and how to ask for them? There has to be some blood or urine test that most labs can perform to identify these.

    Thanks, Frank

  27. Hi Dr. Jill,

    I am suffering from side effects from black mold exposure. How often and for how long should I be taking the Upgraded Coconut Charcoal? On the Upgraded Coconut Charcoal bottle that you suggested, it said take intermittently. I just want to make sure I am going about detoxing the mold toxins the safest way possible!

    Thanks,
    Zander

    • Hi Zander,
      While charcoal may give you some relief, it is quite a bit more complicated to treat than simply adding charcoal. You may want to find a Shoemaker certified doctor to help you navigate the healing process. The most important thing is that you must get away from any mold exposure before you can heal.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  28. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always helpful to read content from other authors and use something from other websites.

  29. I was diagnosed by my Doctor about a month ago with toxic mold poisoning. I have been exposed for at least 7 years. I have had symptoms come on over the years but never realized they were related, until things became acute this past June. Just received results from mold testing and it isn’t good. I did however repeatedly tell my landlord that I thought there might be mold issues, I have consistently sneezed in my kitchen for years and do not have allergies. He never did a thing even after I told him about Doctors diagnosis. I am on a fixed income & packing up and moving is not something I can afford. What if any responsibility does my landlord have in getting me into a safe environment & assisting me in getting the medical care I need at this point? I am scared.

    • HI Marguerite,
      Your landlord will likely not be of assistance but you can always ask. If you are sick you need to take the responsibility and find a safe place to live. These things are never easy
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  30. Hi Dr. Jill,
    I have been sixk for over a year, exposed for two years. Muscle twitch, tingling, joint pain, headaches, brain fog, stomach pains the list can keep going.on. I have seen plenty of docs and the can find nothing wrong. Started following bulletproof diet and symptoms decreased, not gone by a long shot. Got the hertsmi 2 test and aspergllus pericillium showed up at a 19! Needless to say I am in the process of moving and have appointment to see someone at the Cleveland Clinic under Mark Hymens training. My question is how important is it to follow Dr Ritchies protocal I know he is the best, and is the gene testing necessary if you you are getting the urine analysis? What is the average amount of time you see for most symptoms to disappear if someone is 100 percent dedicated to the program? Thank you.

    • Hi Frank,
      I think the CIRS (Shoemaker) labs are the most important labs to get done. His protocol works to get patients well and it is what I use primarily to help patients heal. I would not recommend urinary mycotoxins. For poor excretors than can be falsely negative or falsely positive from food. Someone who has HLA mold susceptibility will be subject to illness from mold exposure for LIFE, sadly. But getting out of the current exposure and using binders and protocol may help patients get well and be less reactive and live a relatively normal life. I would tell patients time to heal could be 6 months to 2 years or more…
      best
      Dr Jill

  31. I moved in June 2015. I am a Mother to three children( one is grown and out the house).
    I am starting to become concerned. I am 36 yrs, and an asthma & plurisey suffer. Prior to moving in this house. A ten year old, asthma also. And my 5 year old.
    I recently found out the house that I rented, had sat for almost two years vacant, before I moved in. The house did need work, and two offers were made. 1.) I could pay less rent, and fix theses things myself, or 2.) I could pay more rent, and the Landlord would take my money and put it back into the house. I am a single Mother and thought option 2.) would be better since I’d have to hire people and I knew it was quite a bit of work. The house was built in 1951 and sold in 1997 to my Landlord.
    The first thing that comes to mind was a stopped tub. And I mean stopped, you had to scoop the water into the bathroom sink! I was told by my Landlord it was just a clog and he would get someone over. I tried all things possible to unplug it, with no luck. Four months go by! Finally the Plumbers show up, and I hear him tell them that he had a bigger tub put in, but did not change out the pipes under the house( so they were too small)! And I’d say after a month of a slow drain it became stopped. He lied to me. He knew it was a couple of thousand to fix, so after I had paide 6,000 he decided to fix it. I also have three windows out. My child has been bitten three noted times with spider bites of 5 to 15 bites per time! He missed school twice, and there are other outside bug all the time. There is also a fireplace and it collects alot of lint, an spiderwebs and I can feel the draft, its not closed and I have been told not to use it. I was promised new windows when I moved in, I have had climate control issues, the themostat was broken and the coil for the emergency heat is also gone. Needless to say my electric bill doubled. I had to keep it set at 75 and it ran non stop. He has yet to put a filter in it period.
    I know there was an issue with leaking, due to seeing a DIY job in the kitchen,( from a leak in the roof) and also my Landlord ask me several times when I first moved in ” are there any leaks when it rains’? I did not think much about it. However I am having most of these signs, I cant get well. Its been raining the last week and we wake up on the same days with the same signs. I thought something was going on with my back. I woke up alot from bad joint pain, my knees, hips, back. I have even fallen due to my entire leg being asleep and when I stepped it gave out, more then once, too. I am of normal weight, and overall healthy. Except I have been sick for months, as has my child with asthma, the other one too just not as bad. Headaches, back aches, barking cough, sore throat, chest pain, stuffy noses, all over body aches flu like pain. And since moving in I did not have these back issues. I have a brand new and nice mattress, and have to sleep with a pillow in between my legs to help with my back. I am all of a sudden having bad joint pain. It takes me several minutes to just straighten my knee in the middle of the night, its a intense throb and pain.. As soon as it feels like its time for the cold to pass we wake up sick all over again! Its been raining for over a week here and this is by far the worst. We woke up on the same day, chest pain, short of breath, wheezing both ways (inhale and exhale) I sound like a cat purring, dizzy, sore throat, and feeling crummy all over. Tired is not even the word to explain. I am sleeping 12 hours a night and need a nap! Sometime I fight it and end up in bed by 7:00 pm. I have a lot on my plate but I have never been this tired, an awoken by pain with no explanation.
    Should we visit the ER? Is there a test to help confirm mold? And also is there a test I should demand for the house to be inspected? I am not rich, I am not even middle class, and I simply cannot afford to move at my cost. I am in need of good advice.. Thank you for your time on this matter.

    • Hi Jamie
      I am sorry to hear about your troubles! You may want to visit the ER if you have acute shortness of breath or pain issues but they will not have any idea about the mold testing. Many physicians don’t understand environmental toxicity, especially mold toxicity and believe that mold is “harmless” or may cause allergies but that is it. For the 24 % of the population that is genetically susceptible, there is a chronic inflammatory immune response that occurs with mold exposure, becoming worse and worse with each subsequent exposure causing breathing difficulties, lung inflammation, weakened immune system, joint pain and other inflammatory issues. You may try getting an ERMI and HERTSMI II test through Mycometrics.com but no test (air sampling or dust sampling) is perfect so if you continue to be sick in this house, that in and of itself is enough reason to be suspicious. So many cases of mold toxicity are incredible tragic as similar to you, patients do not have the resources to move or fix the problem. If this house is as old and problematic as you describe, it may be impossible to fix it to a place where you are not reactive. Even dust from dead mold can trigger immune responses in a susceptible individual. And it sounds like your landlord has a history of doing shoddy work so I would not count on him to fix the problem in a reliable manner. You may get to the point where you have to decide how much your health is worth to you… in my mind health is priceless and all other material things can be replaced. I wish you the best on figuring out a solution!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  32. I’m gonna keep this short- I have been sick the past 18 months+ Dr,’s come up with nothing yet I have lesions on my face and my ears my ears are the worst as the cartilage of a year is visible through the lesions nose running spitting up phlegm I have nosebleeds the headaches the brain fog and bring it would seem to work and everything it level to exposure I have it all ofit!
    Women supplementing with crazy I honestly my only where my body’s been fighting this has little Regis in my own immune system but it’s tired I’m going to sleep for 24 and 36 hours straight!
    And become a recluse because of the lesions in my apartment is where the mold is my test package that was bought was from Home Depot and although the maintenance man said there is no mold the petri dish shows it and he was here up until I removed it as he was talking my sink at this time but had to wait until we removed the petri dish to check underneath the sink!
    I need help I’m seriously sick!
    I’ve got nothing left to fight this with you ain’t so good medically and I wasn’t nearly fatal accident then I brought myself back from not being able to walk talk or right twice!
    Could I guess for any help the doctors look at me like I’m crazy because I hope my emotions and and they wait as long as possible before going United panic disorder agrophobia in major depressive disorder and obviously my hydrophobia has turned me into a full one close to to lesions!
    PLEASE! I AM DESPERATELY ASKING FIR YIUR HELP! I HAVE PROBLEMS SWALLOWING – PARTLY DUE TO MEDICATION CAUSING DRY MOUTH BUT THIS IS BEYOND THAT!
    I HAVE MISSED SO MANY THINGS WITH MY KIDS! MY DAUGHTER WON’T TALK TO ME!
    I NEED A DR, THAT DOESN’T DISMISS ME!

    • Hi Patricia
      You are not crazy and the 24% of the population who is genetically susceptible to biotoxin illness may get extremely sick and have systemic immune dysfunction due to toxic mold exposure. The one thing that no doctor can help you with is to find a safe place to live and work with no mold exposure. Get a good quality air filter like Austin Air Healthmate Plus (I love them so much I became a dealer so if you want to order with my discount, call Amy at #303-993-7910) Then find a doctor who understands Ritchie Shoemaker’s protocol to help you heal (surviving mold.com) You can have a healthy life again!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

    • Hi Patricia,
      Unfortunately the blog isn’t an appropriate place to get medical advice. Just know there are ways to get well – find a mold expert (www.survivingmold.com) to help you navigate and get your health back!
      I sincerely wish you the very best
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  33. I’m a teenager and I have had the weirdest health issues of late and then recently we found mold in my bathroom! Totally explains everything.

  34. Thank you for this information, Dr. Jill!

    I have dealt with some of these symptoms for a couple years and it has impacted my life in a way that has cost me much.

    I didn’t know who to go to who would understood why I reacted to miniscule levels of mold. (Others can’t smell it nor do they react. This information is very useful).

    I was thinking of going to an allergist to confirm what is already apparent, I have a mold allergy, and seemingly high sensitization to it.

    Is it worth it to go to an allergist to get a bonafide diagnosis, or will asking my primary doctor (who doesn’t seem to understand the situation; just like most people) to run the tests you referenced yield the same result of confirming mold allergy/sensitization? It would be nice to not have to go to another doctor if I don’t have to go.

    • Dear Kasey,
      These symptoms are not a “mold allergy” and an allergist will not be able to help you. Rather, they are an innate immune responses to a toxin in someone who is genetically susceptible. If you are concerned you should find a doctor who specializes in mold-related illness.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  35. Dear Dr. Carnahan
    What a revelation to discover you online – much renewed optimism after reading/viewing the info on your/Dr Berndtson’s videos re Mold Toxicity. Our symptoms have a probable cause!

    We’ve been battling a huge black mold issue in our historic house since early November. We’ve moved out, put most possessions into storage, & are trying to sift thru all the often-contradictory info available. (The high price-tag so far: huge financial debt, life disruption, & tremendous stress… Totally agree with you re wish to avoid the enormous changes & losses!)

    Some questions we can’t answer so far:
    1) How do we locate a qualified local physician specializing in mold issues, like yourself?
    2) Can you explain the discrepancy in DNA susceptibility listed as 1% by you & 25% by Dr Berndtson?
    3) What constitutes “porous” or “non-porous” material? Plastics, wood furniture?
    4) Is it true that clothing cannot be decontaminated by drycleaning or “mold-killing detergents” like Oxiclean? We thought we’d been successful in saving clothes & dishes, at least…
    5) As booklovers & professional musicians, the possible loss of our book & music libraries is devastating. Any hope for salvaging them?
    6) My instruments are harps – made of wood & metal (2,000 moving parts in the mechanisms). Can they be decontaminated?
    7) Can our cars be decontaminated? Or must they be sold as well?

    Any help would be a godsend. Thanks so much for the work you do & share!

    • Hi Connie,
      You might try searching at survivingmold.com or http://www.functionalmedicine.org for a physician who can help you. Be sure to ask if they have experience successfully treating mold-related illness and environmental toxicity. 1% of patients have the “dreaded” HLA DR types but up to 24% may be mold-susceptible in some form or another. Clothing may be cleaned but there are some patients that are so chemically sensitive and mold-sensitized that no amount of cleaning will work for them. Books are an issue and to date I have not found a safe way to clean paper products for the most sensitive individuals. (I share your love for books so I understand the sadness in parting with old friends 🙂 The instruments and cars may be decontaminated but I don’t have all the answers to that. I suggest speaking with a restoration specialist who deals with historic or valuable objects. Remember the dust from dead mold can be just as harmful to the sensitive individual as live mold spores and sometimes more so.
      Best to you
      Dr Jill

      • You never mention a specific formula for washing clothes or when performing the hepa sandwich. What specific formula would you use for washing clothes and again for a spray to be used in between heap vacuum? Any validity to grape seed extract?

        Thank you so much,
        Robert

        • Any non-toxic detergent will work. For extremely sensitive individuals, they may use dilute borax. For cleaning, quaternary ammonium compounds are best.

      • A blogger commented elsewhere that he had rescued books by storing them with sodium bicarb or activated charcoal for a few months. Sounds interesting , and I would like to research this further , somehow . Could work for clothes that have been triple washed with the recommended ingredients , also ., and shoes, hopefully ! At least for some people . I realise ditching everything is recommended , but when one is short of cash , on a pension , it is not easy .

  36. Greetings the information in which you provided and feedback to questions regarding mold has been very informative. After what appeared to be a common cold but a cough that made it feel as though my chest was about to cave in did not go away after almost 2 weeks, I visited a natural therapy health center and was given the scan that detected some internal issues. The recommendation was thyroid, iodine was at 16%, liquid herbs for respiratory repair, and a powder to help remove toxins and metals. As of today I believe I am getting better some of the pain that I experienced has subsided. The cough however continued. December 24, 2015 I was googling and thought mold…? My home work area had been exposed to a leak that went under the carpet and flooring which was immediately removed. Only a small area behind a bookshelf had black mold. However as I reflect from the time of illness to the time of mold knowledge my body was exposed daily. Currently I take goldenseal 7 days on and 7 off, salt tablets, the powder to remove toxins, cell power to rebuild, LD-M?, vitamin c Ester-energy 1000, iron,vitamin D, fish or cod liver oil and lots of detox tea. What helps the cough honey, lemon and cayenne pepper, laxatives to insure regularity, diet changes has caused a lost in weight and Epson salt baths to sweat I also take alka seltzer plus cold for night and day. I try not to rely on the alka seltzer but in conjunction with everything im taking its the only way I can get some sleep and work. Please share your concerns about the alka seltzer. I don’t like the salt pills I cough up blood but I have taken for 2 weeks at 5 pills a day per suggestion and I am trying to ween off. I believe my immune system which has always in my opinion been sensitive has been compromised and I took as much as I could to repair damage. Other that the cough I really pray I am better. Of course my method doesn’t allow insurance pay and my husband is very concerned that I been sick so long in spite of mold explanation. I plan on going to get blood work and a doctor visit which of course I fear this route. Again the fact that you respond so helpfully to our desperation is a blessing. I pray God blesses you as you help us.
    Thank you,
    Cassandra

    • Hi Cassandra,
      It doesn’t take a large amount of mold to make you very ill if you are genetically susceptible. I hope you can find a doctor to get your labs done and get on the path to healing!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  37. Hi, Dr Jill –
    Connie here – thanks SOOO much for replying – feeling less discouraged, but more aware of the enormity of this problem. Having difficulty locating a suitably qualified doc in our state, but will persevere.

    The worst times are when I allow the ever-present nightmare fear of NEVER getting everything decontaminated or regaining my health to loom too large. I worry that my dear husband will never think with sufficient detail or imagination to stop accidentally bringing mold-spore-laden objects into our “new”, clean apartment., & turning it into the environment that we fled!

    What’s your opinion on frequent HEPA vacuuming? Would wiping down suspicious things with an antimicrobial be helpful, or just create more dead spores, just as problematic?

    Thanks again so much for your time, thoughts, & expertise! We need a Dr Jill clone here in the humid, tropical Gulf Coast of TX!

    • Hi Connie,
      Yes, many things can be “hepa sandwiched” Hepa vacuum, wipe down and then hepa vacuum again. Be very cautious of porous items and paper until you are feeling better. Best to store them away form your home until you are well and can see if they cause reactivity
      warmly
      Dr Jill

      • I don’t have the storage space , so was thinking of using plastic tubs and sellotape . to store them in the dwelling , with aluminium free bicarb in with them . Metal containers would be better , but are pricier .

  38. Hi, I’d like to know if you know how long it takes a person to show symptoms of mold exposure. My step fathers grandmother died a year ago and lived in a mold infested house. My family and I now live in a house with mold growing from our bathroom window and underneath our kitchen sink. Its been growing for about three + months now. I fear for my grandmother because she has always been told she is as healthy as a horse. She is 69 and never gets sick. About a week ago she walked into the kitchen and started coughing or choking for a solid 3 minutes.

    • Hi Lina
      Mold allergy, respiratory symptoms and eye irritation can be immediate. The innate immune dysfunction in genetically susceptible individuals may manifest after weeks to months of exposure.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  39. Hi. My name is Shanekqua Jackson and the house that i’ve been living in has mold, wetness and lots of moisture. My owner has completely neglected to correct this issue. I have assisted housing and have also contacted them to see if they would at least ensure that she is responsible for relocating me and my family. I have seven children here and four of us have asthma. I have contacted the health department, no help. All they did was allow the owner extra time to “fix” the issue. I have contacted building and safety who has told me to clean the mold. With help getting out it seems as if im getting the run around. I have had to get rid of my childrens beds and clothes and shoes have been damaged from the mold. The walls of the bedrooms in my home are wet and very cold, so are the floors. I keep constantly going to the doctor myself, for headaches, sinus congestion, and my asthma acts up as well. I have also taken my children. I had both doctors write letters stating that the mold is detrimental to me and my children and that we should not be in this environment. I cant get ANY help. Its like a conspiracy. As im typing im in my room and my head feels so full. Im terrified. I have no idea with this is doing to me and my family. I have had a mold inspector come to the home and take samples. I dont know what to do…. Sooo frustrated. I have to get me and my kids out of here.

    • Hi Shanekqua,
      I am terribly sorry to hear of your predicament… Sadly whether you are in government-assisted housing or a million dollar high rise in Florida, most landlords and government officials deny the seriousness of mold toxicity and its effects on human health. From your description of health symptoms and visible mold and dampness it seems clear this is a real issue for you and your children. Many patients are so desperate they move into a tent or camper in their yard. I know these decisions can be fraught with financial difficulty with no one to help you but if your health continues to decline, you should consider moving out.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  40. Hi Dr. Jill,

    Thank you for your article. I just moved into an apartment about a month ago and I’ve been experiencing many of the symptoms listed above such as sore throat, joint pain, headaches, eye irritation, metallic taste in my mouth, etc. When i tell other people about my concerns they think it is in my head. I don’t visibly see any mold in my room but I certainly feel the effects of it.

    If you could help answer a few questions I would greatly appreciate it.
    Are there any home tests you can recommend that will prove that mold does in fact exist in my apartment?
    Should i go see a doctor?
    Do you think I should move out? (I still have 10 months on this lease).

    • You can use mycometrics ERMI dust testing as a preliminary test to see if there are potential issues. If you see a doctor you will need to see one that understands the effects of mold on health and the immune system, many do not. Unfortunately, I cannot advise you on whether or not you should move…

  41. Hi Dr. Jill.
    Big thanks for your website.
    I’ve had RA for almost 20 years. I had lived in a lake house with slight mildew and had a severe reaction to a mildewy sofa years before I developed the RA. I live now in a home we built and I am a freak about any sort of moisture or moldy smell. Highly sensitive to it. Recently I went into a home with a history of water damage and developed a bad sinus infection, which is rare for me. My question is: is the RA related to my mildew/mold sensitivity or perhaps triggered by it? I follow the strictest version of the Wahl Protocol, exercise and take good care of myself but cannot seem to heal this RA completely. Can you recommend a functional doc in Michigan or Tucson. (I’ll be in AZ in February.)

  42. Hello Dr. Jill, I was diagnosed with mold illness 9 months ago, have been removed from offending work building and working from home, C4a went from 15,000 to 2,000 so I know my home is clean. Still have inflammation, joint pain, fatigue and cystic acne that seems to come and go in waves. My question is will it ever stop? I thought I would feel better by now. I’m resigned to always having the inflammation and accompanying pain but I am 55 years old and the acne is more than I can take. My face itches with these cysts, then then break, drain, ooze and are leaving horrible red scars for more than a year now besides being embarrassing. I do have a wonderful LLMD and biotoxin expert but is expensive. Any info will be so appreciated. Feeling very defeated, Kate

    • Hi Kate,
      Cystic acne can be caused by elevations of C4a in response to mold exposure. Usually this means you are still being exposed to mold. I would start with finding out if your current environment is safe or not and find alternate place to live if it is not. You should find a Shoemaker certified doctor to help you with CIRS protocol to get well. Nothing will help if you continue to have exposure to mold and your immune system is activated so first step is finding a place with ERMI score < 2. warmly Dr Jill

  43. I have had a terrible pain right inside of my shoulder blade on one side or the other that comes and goes every fall. It is a constant pain with knotted muscles and sometimes numbness and tingling down the arm on the affected side. I have been to chiropractors, massage therapists, had steroid injections, physical therapy, etc. and nothing helped. I read the other day that inhaling some types of mold spores can cause muscle aches and cramps and then it dawned on me. My pain would come on every fall and eventually go away before spring on its own. Well, in the back of my closet, where my hunting clothes are–that I put on every fall for hunting season–there has been some mold in the corner for several years. (It wasn’t getting any worse and I have been too lazy to figure out where it was coming from and do something about it). So I believe that every fall when I get back in the corner where the mold is and get my clothes out I breathe in the mold spores that have built up on them since last fall and here comes the muscle pain. Usually I bow hunt which starts in August and that’s about the time my pain starts and I always thought maybe it was from pulling my bow back, but this year I didn’t bow hunt but hunted later and the pain didn’t start until later this year so I’m pretty sure it is the mold. So if you have muscle pain in your shoulders, check for mold in your house.

  44. Good afternoon-

    My parents lived in their home, post-Katrina, while working to salvage what they could. I did not realize until reading a 2005 “Christmas Yearly Recap” letter that they didn’t tear anything out of the house for nearly 4 months. My mom’s letter mentions all the mold & then their reluctance to tear out things that “looked ok”. It took months of convincing to get my dad to agree.

    Currently, my parents both have dementia, but my mom is 18 years younger than my dad, so we really didn’t expect her to decline at such a relatively young age. (Under 70)

    I lived in Los Angeles from Jan 2005 until Feb 2011 (I realized in Nov 2010 that my dad really was having serious memory issues). I’ve been “on the scene” ever since & am witness to they’re steady decline.

    I’m sure it’s “possible” that mold had something to do with their issues, but is it too late to find out definitively?

    If their issues ARE related to mold exposure, is it too late to reverse anything?

    MRIs don’t indicate Alzheimers. Neuro-psych testing can only say “mild-to-moderate cognitive decline” (for my mom) and categorize as dementia…. But not alzheimers.

    Any hope for them if this was due to their living with mold after Hurricane Katrina?

    Please advise.

    • It is quite possible to find out if the brain has been affected by mold by finding a doctor who understands the Shoemaker protocol to order her NeuroQuant non-contrast brain MRI to see if there are classic changes in morphology…

  45. Dr. Jill,

    I am so happy to have found this site, I just wish I would have had this kind of information 7 years ago. I self diagnosed after seeing 15 different Dr’s who didn’t know what was wrong with me even though I kept telling them, I think it’s black mold. I had so many symptoms, I won’t list them all here, but I had extreme reactions that left me neurologically and physically off the charts. I was told, once I made someone listen to what I thought was wrong with me and the physician ordered tests, that it was amazing I didn’t die. I had gotten to the point that I couldn’t get up and walk across the room. I gained 50 lbs despite never eating, I literally wanted to die. Had it not been for my kids, I probably would have taken my own life because I was living this nightmare for 6 years. I finally left the house and moved to where it was “safe.” Safe meant another state and leaving my husband-my emotional upheaval was part of my suffering. Anyway, here I am, back together with my ex husband. Unfortunately, I am so sensitive to black mold that I am miserable most of the time, here in Florida, when it comes to the symptoms. I obviously couldn’t stay at our old house, but he and I now have a place that I CAN live in, but currently he still has his old place. He brings clothes over and I tell him he’s GOT to stop, because I start feeling worse whenever he brings them. I threw my entire wardrobe out when I first left the mold house. Now I’m very concerned that he’s brought spores over and that I may have to start all over. My question is this-is there a way to remove the mold spores from clothing to the point that it won’t literally kill me to be around such things? Thank you so much for your help. The past 2 weeks, it’s gotten worse and worse and my body is starting to shut down again.

    • Hi Christy, I am sorry to hear about your troubles… unfortunately it’s quite common with those who are sensitive genetically to mold and toxins from WDBs. Many times washing clothing in dilute borax solution is helpful. Paper items and books are the hardest to clean and must often be gotten rid of. If you are reacting, trust your instinct and do what you can to avoid exposure.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  46. I am 55, diagnosed with fibromyalgia 30 years ago, rheumatoid arthritis 15 years ago. No known exposure to mold, but many of the symptoms described in these articles. A year ago I saw an integrative medical doctor who started some testing but then she moved away. She said I had yeast overgrowth in my body and metabolic syndrome and she said she could help me reverse RA. I understand what metabolic syndrome is and work on diet and exercise to help, but extremely difficult with chronic fatigue and pain. I am wondering if you would advise the mycotoxin testing from my brief history here? I live in rural Kentucky and it is difficult to find a doctor to take me seriously. Even my rheumatologist thinks I’m just looking for a wonder cure for fibro and RA and I should accept my diagnoses and do the best I can. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    • Hi Violet,
      All autoimmune disease is caused by a genetic predisposition, environmental trigger and intestinal dysbiosis/permeability. If you find triggers and treat the gut it is possible to reverse disease. Find a functional medicine doctor to help you search for underlying causes.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  47. I am a 54 year old woman who was just diagnosed with MS. I am having a very difficult time believing that is what is wrong with me. I was completely healthy until last summer when my son and I started gutting the house my husband and I had bought several months earlier. I know for a fact that there was and is a ton of mold in this house. It was all over the walls in every color imaginable. There was also a water problem in the finished basement that was never addressed so everything was moldy and mildewed down there as well. As soon as we started the demolition I became ill with pneumonia, had skin rashes, lost my memory, had terrible night sweats, fever, muscle pain, etc. I had every test known to man, but no one would listen to me about the mold in our house. So, now I have had an MRI and it shows brain and spinal cord damage, which they attribute to MS. I know my MS doctor will never agree to have me tested for mold, so I need to find a doctor who will. Does anyone know of a doctor in the NYC-BOS corridor who is an expert in mold illnesses? I am desperate, not only for myself, but also for my son who seems to be exhibiting mold illness as well. I would appreciate any information that is available. Many thanks!

    • Hi Kelly
      Wow – I am sorry for what you have had to go through… try finding a Shoemaker trained doctor to help you at survivingmold.com. There have been cases of “MS” that resolved with treatment of toxic mold exposure.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  48. I have been living in an apartment for over 18 years and have become very ill. I have been tested for the gene that makes me vulnerable to mold and fungus, I was told it was the worst gene one could have.
    my husband was not Iill with sinus problems until recently. He now realizes we have to move but I. Have so little
    energy to downsize my books,etc.. I will contact you for medical advice.
    Thank you so much for this blog.
    BLESSINGS,
    Anna

    • Dear Anna
      This is so difficult and my heart goes out to you. If you are ill from your home, you likely need to remediate or move in order to get well. Many patients find getting rid of belongings helps, especially paper or porous items.
      warmly
      Dr. Jill

  49. Dr. Jill, I need your help understanding my labs. I went into Urgent Care Specifically Asking for Fungal Tests and Mico M7 test they listed CBC and proteins as well.
    As these are specialized tests they could give me no analysis of them. I used to have perfect labs….now my kidneys are struggling(supporting my thoughts on body storing toxins trying to protect organs)
    I show positive for Aspergillus antibody. Blastomyces : positive for anti-body. Coccidiioides- positive antibody detected. Histtoplasma _Positive for antibody.
    CBC_Urea Nitrogen 27
    Bun Creatinine Level 38
    as for proteins…results effected by Carboxypenicillins in system. I discontinued oral antibiotics months ago. Would topical ointments register? As that’s only possible way a read could show.
    All of your symptoms for mold poisoning, I have had or do have to one degree or another!
    My apartment has moved me out and COMPLETELY LOCKED ME OUT!! Put me in Hotel Residence Inn since Jan 27 thru Feb 10 2016 , while work done on apt.
    Now just hotel bill alone $1995.00 they cannot collect rent when i’m not living there….$1535/month plus whatever costs involved on work that is being done!
    Please help with your interpretation…as i have been fighting EVERYBODY TRYING TO GET TESTS DONE AND I STRUGGLE TO BREATHE…I AM NOT ASTHMA YET I HAVE & HAVE HAD TO USE INHALER AS I FEEL I’M SUFFOCATING!!!
    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, FOR YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION IN THIS MATTER!
    P.S. My car was broken into at Hotel…Police Officer asked if my apt was in one of the buildings they’ve torn down? I said, “No, I’m not that lucky!”

    • Hi Patricia – these tests are for mold allergy not for CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) the immune dysfunction in response to mold. I cannot give you medical advice here but you are right to get out of the place that is making you ill. You can get CIRS labs like these (http://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis/lab-tests) at LabCorp and Quest.

  50. Hi Jara,
    I suggest you take matters into your own hands and move if you are concerned. Your health is a priceless commodity
    Warmly
    Dr Jill

  51. Back in May 2015 my daughter moved into a home that was built in 70’s . We did some painting and removed some old carpet. After working there my daughter had so many of these symptoms. hardly could get out of bed… I too came down with same symptoms. We have been diagnosed with auto immune.. . My question is.. although I don’t reside in the home,, could we have been exposed to mold spores in the old carpet..? and would these symptoms still be affecting me although I do not live in the home. I have days that are almost unbarable.

    • Hi Kathy,
      Absolutely! If one is genetically susceptible to mold-illness from water damaged buildings, an exposure to mold will set off an immune cascade that may continue unhindered even when you are away from exposure, like lighting a match to a fire in the immune system. Commonly TGF beta 1 will rise and this is a potent trigger to autoimmune disease. You will also be more reactive to small subsequent exposures
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  52. I have the “dreaded” gene 11 3 52B. I got Lyme and co infections from a tick last June. My mmp9 is 943, my c4a is over 13,000, my tgf b1 is 9520. I’m getting an ermi test but already know I will need to move somewhere else because mold really is everywhere, especially in homes like mine with carpet and animals. Who do you recommend that specializes in homes for people like me. I live in Colorado so that’s good in terms of humidity. The fact of battling Lyme is hard enough. the fact of battling cirs is hard enough. The fact I have both seems impossible. Everyone says stall positive but how when it takes so much money and energy to do both, both of which I’m running out of very quickly?

  53. I have been researching all night on mold sickness as I think I have it. Me, my wife and two children live in a small apartment with a shower leaking the 2 years we have been here. Landlord knows but does nothing. I see mold all the time in the bathroom and clean it constantly. Also it’s winter and the vinyl windows build mold. Clean, clean. Clean and won’t stop coming back. My work is seasonal and since I have been home a lot more I have been feeling sicker and sicker. My son is in school and wife works so they are not here as much as me and my daughter and mostly seem ok. My daughter is more like me. She is only 2 so hard to say exactly what she is feeling but sick all the time. As for me I have every symptom in your list above. I have thought that’s it’s just colds, sinus infection, flu but I am 35 and have never been sick so much and had flu shot as has my kids. Taking medications do nothing for my symptoms even prescription meds like steroids, antibiotics and done other stuff for nothing. What can I do for are symptoms? I know moving would be first but living paycheck to paycheck that’s really hard to do this time of year. Any suggestions?? Please!

  54. Dr. Jill,

    Thank you for all the invaluable information that you share! I have signed up for your emails and always learn something new. I listened to your talk in The Gut Summit and ended up buying the whole set as all the information you gave was a keeper.
    I have been looking for the root cause of all my symptoms for years. I have always had gut issues but about 25 years ago is when I first started having symptoms that affected my life…..panic attacks, anxiety, angina and depression to name a few. I had an abnormal ekg that kept me in the hospital for 4 days for all sorts of testing. The cardiologist put me on a calcium channel blocker and a nitroglycerin patch. I have now stooped the calcium channel blocker and have nitro quick as needed.
    My husband and I were living with my parents in a separate lower until that had some mold coming from some corners of the walls. I didn’t know better at that time. We had our two children there and finally moved to our own house 11 years later. I still felt off when we moved into our new home but after about 5 years we had a pipe leak in our bedroom bathroom. We had a restoration company come out and clean up. They mentioned at the time that our shower had a leak under our tile and we do have some splotches of mold on the grout. Could this me the cause of all my symptoms? I am seeing a Functional Doctor right now and getting coached by Dr. Lam for my adrenals as my body is in such a date of survival. I have had a genetic test years ago that showed I don’t detoxify well and my gut/liver is a concern for me. I have extremely slow motility, SIBO, “Leaky Gut”, adrenal fatigue, histamine intolerance, glutamine intolerance, thyroid issues, depression/anxiety etc….
    My diet and lifestyle have left me so limited. I have done and am doing endless research to get at the root cause as I seem to be the one with all the paradoxical reactions to things that are supposed to heal my body.
    Your thoughts would be very much appreciated and I so wish I lived closer to you! Although I hear you have a long waiting list…..which is a good sign?!

    • Dear Teresa,
      Short answer…YES! Sadly mold exposure in a genetically susceptible individual is extremely damaging to the gut so many patients first present with dysbiosis, GI conditions, mood disorders or chronic fatigue… find a Shoemaker certified doctor to help you determine if mold is making you ill.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  55. Hi, me and my wife just moved aboard a wooden and fiberglass boat about 6 months ago, it has many leaks from the top, when it rains there are streams of water pouring in places. The curtains have green and black mold growing on them in the bedroom as well as the wood, our cloths also get mold on them if we leave them in the wrong places. We live in the north west and it rains non stop so I’ve been waiting till summer so I can dry it out and fix the leaks…..anyway about 2 months ago I started having weird health problems, bad chest pain light headedness and bad anxiety and panick attacks I am 24 and have never had issues with these things before, my doctor says I’m fine, but I feel like something has to be causeing this….it can be very debilitating……could this be mold?
    Thanks

    • Biotoxins, like mold, can raise MMP-9 (Matrix metallopeptidase 9). Proteins of the MMP9 family are involved in the breakdown of extracellular matrix in normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development, reproduction, and tissue remodeling, as well as in disease processes.

      It has been implicated in pathogenesis COPD by destruction of lung elastin, in rheumatoid arthritis, astherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

      MMP-9 delivers inflammatory elements of of blood into subintimal spaces, where further delivery into solid organs (brain, lung, muscle, peripheral nerve and joint) is initiated. Read more here

  56. Hi, Dr Jill-
    Connie again, w/ more hope – finally found local functional med doc w/ mold experience – testing/treatment soon, although we keep making typical rookie mistakes that re-contaminate stuff…

    Two questions re continued research (gen’l answers ok if specific not ethical)
    Your opinion on “air purifiers” (AirOasis, if you can comment specifically) – Do they REALLY take apart molecules, render them harmless/inert?

    And your opinion of cleaners claiming to “eat” not kill spores, thus provoking no toxic response (Bulletproof’s new one, again if you can comment on specific products). Too good to be true?
    Thanks for any sage words –
    MoldyTexan

  57. For over a year I have had skin rashes/dermatitis w/o explanation. After spending thousands of dollars I found an allergist who diagnosed me w a mold allergy and suggested I do Real time labs dust testing. It revealed Stachy- above normal levels in my condo. Thank heavens I found my Dr and that he is very knowlegeable about enviro illness. Water intrusion from roof leaks in my condo caused this. For over a year the only symptom I have had was the skin rash. I work out, juice and am what you call a health nut. Always been super healthy! In the last few months I had a bladder infection which resolved. Now a yeast infection. As I read the Fungus creates imbalance in the gut and then moves on. We did remediate my condo since it was a small area but we are financially tapped due to remediation and law suit w my condo. I cannot afford seeing a functional medicine Dr. Used Oregano, clay, vit C, zinc, Yeast cleanse, probiotics, iodine, aloe, sulfur,milk thistle, enzymes, chlorella etc etc. In your utube video you spoke of charcoal. How much do you personally take? How long did u take?Thanks for you help. As you know dealing w this is consuming and draining in every way.

    • Hi Elizabeth, Prescription binders like cholestyramine or Welchol are the best way to decrease toxic load. I think charcoal and clay may be helpful for the GI toxins.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  58. Hello Dr Jill… SO GLAD YOU ARE DOING THIS, AND TAKING AWARENESS TO HELP US WHO HAVE NO ONE!! So… i was exposed to mold two times, once in apt, for a year& half and the other a year due to flood down stairs on a shared wall in condo building so the mold grew and i was stuck for 9 months of hell. Started getting infections in lungs constantly, dark green, etc… thick… then on steroids all the time until i could leave but always had the mucus there, now it’s always here!! HOW DO I GET RID OF THIS IN MY LUNGS/SINUSES??? I am sick with cough / snorts and mucus so deep and hard to get out if i can at all. Using the acapella to help but have to always take some prednisone to help me with that tight feeling, with bunch of deep lung mucus. I had light copd before this but never a sinus problem ever until all this… now my sinuses are screwed up… I do alot of tumeric, oregano oil, oil difussers with teatree etc… and garlic lightly cooked. I don’t do any diets just cut down on some sugar … I also do vitamins with olive leaf and other stuff… but my lungs are just not doing good…. CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY LUNGS, I”M SO MISERABLE…. AND HAVE MOON FACE NOW. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! LAURA

  59. Hi Dr. Jill,

    I’m 26 and have asthma (reactive airway disease) and occasionally use a twist-haler. When I took my twist-haler last week after having not used it for a while, I noticed mold growth around the tip and into the middle of the twist-haler after taking a dose.

    I immediately threw it out after noticing the mold. The last three days I have noticed myself having a high level of fatigue. I normally work out five times per week and just didn’t have the energy to go to the gym the last two days. Would mold exposure like this present as fatigue symptoms over a series of days? Would the Coconut Charcoal help at this point?

  60. Hi Dr. Carnahan,
    Upon my daughter having sudden symptoms of a stuffy nose, wheezing, allergy issues, We discovered my daughter’s room had stachy and had it immediately remediated. Those symptoms went right away, but she is having some other milder issues and started wondering if what due to the mold exposure. We just got her labcorp and quest testing back and she does have a multi susceptible HLA gene, low MSH, high c4a, high cortisol, etc. We have an appt. scheduled next month with a Shoemaker trained dr. I know that Cholestyramine is part of the protocol but am wondering if that will be safe for a 10 year old? I have read that Cholestepure is a similar, plant based product. Do you think that would be a safer option for a child?

    • Yes, you will need to discuss with your doctor but CSM powder can be used in older children like your daughter…

  61. I was exposed to black mold behind my washer and after trying to clean it I had such a bad breathing problem I had to go to the emergency room and they couldn’t find anything in my blood so they thought I was crazy and they gave me an inhaler and anxiety medication. I was extremely sensitive to the medicine. I went back again for hallucinations, tingling all over and pressure in my head, ringing in my ears, dark yellow and smelly urine and feeling dehydrated. Also I was confused and stuttering and my feet and hands kept breaking out in bad sweets and I felt intoxicated on something. My wife didn’t believe it could have been the mold and thought i may have been experimenting with drugs because my eyes were also bloodshot and foggy. I started taking activated charcoal to try to detox and the drs won’t help me and I need to know what else to do. I can’t even get my Dr to refer me to the poison center because they think I just have a neurological problem but I told them its from the mold and they keep saying mold can’t do that to the human body and that I’m crazy and they keep wanting to give me anxiety medicine. I’m getting frustrated with them its been two months since this began. Please help me, what do I do.

    • HI Ronald, mycotoxins from mold can cause systemic neurological and immune symptoms. It is quite different from a “mold allergy”. First you should never try to clean mold yourself. It is likely there is still fragments and dead mold particles in your home from the mold that are making you ill. You need to have a professional come and take out any material (dry-wall/wood,etc) that was infested with mold. There may be additional mold that is not even visible. That is the first step. After that you need to find a physician willing to work with you who understands mycotoxicosis and mold toxicity. Try searching on http://www.survivingmold.com.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  62. Hi Dr. Carnahan,

    My situation is complex. I have Lyme disease (thought recovered from 2006). In July of 2015 I started getting weird symptoms that ate completely different than my Lyme. Neck, back pain, diarrhea, stomach pain, headaches, neck crackling, forehead and face feels flush but looks normal and no fever, internal tremors, tingling in hands, hair loss (since 2010), adrenal fatigue, anxiety, etc. Symptoms always seem to get worse after eating and at night. I tested slightly positive for SIBO. I’ve been on flagyl and tindamax and both seemed to help slightly, but I get off and symptoms creep back up. A short course of levo and bactrim did nothing. My GI doc now wants me on Cipro for the SIBO. I’ve had every test thinkable done and all come back negative except SIBO. I’m starting to suspect mold toxicity. I’m working with a functional medicine doctor who has ordered nutra eval and c4a c3a testing. Results are still 5 weeks away. I’ve been taking charcoal and am on a STRICT paleo diet because I can barely eat. Oh yeah, I also stopped taking my enpresse bc pills a month before I got sick (taken them for 22yrs). I’ve never felt so sick before. I’ve had an ermi test done and it came back with moderate molds, the highest being cladsporium and aspergillus/penicillum (no stachybotrus). I’ve also had personal air quality testing done with the same results. We then had the area remediated (even tho we didn’t see any mold). Follow up air quality testing showed good numbers, but still had very low level of asper/penn. Should I be concerned with this still? 3 weeks back in the house and I feel like symptoms are getting worse again, but I can’t really tell. I’m also going to do a follow up ermi test. My husband seems ok mostly in the environment. He has been getting more frequent headaches and stomach aches, but nothing like me. Also, my older cat stopped tolerating grains about a year ago, and is constantly scratching at his head. Are all these things possible mold exposure? Can the asper/penn or cladsporium cause this kind symptoms? No visual or air testing positive for stachy. My husband thinks I’m crazy. Thoughts?

  63. Dr Jill I lived.in an apartment building.that is infested with stachybotrys toxic black mold I have been in the hospital for.a couple.weeks.now they say.my diagnosis is cardiomyopathy exertional dyspnea could this be the cause.of my breathing issues chest.pains headaches any help would be.much appreciated

  64. Dear doctor,

    we want to come see you… I was taken in ambulance to ER after passing out with months of the symptoms described as well as my husband. We found black mold in the shower and I got an acute puss filled bleeding infection in my toe, could that allow the mold in my blood? I’ve had severe tingling chills hand and leg tingling and pain and vomiting and diareha with blood pressure 86/45 in hospital and temp of 96, the doctors are all stumped.

    We are going for testing today to an infectious disease specialist after my white blood cell count came back normal in ER and they refered us to ID.

    How could this mold affect our baby? Could it contribute to her coughing and being underweight despite being breastfed more than normally recommended? We are moving but want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other babies and families and greatly appreciate your insights.

  65. I have worked in a building with mold issues for over 12 years. We have complained so many times about the building & our concern with mold. My breathing has changed since I have been working in this building. I have frequent headaches, shortness of breath, vision problems, light headiness, fatigue, burning,red eyes, dizziness,sensitivity to light, & nausea.
    We are FINALLY leaving the building because the conditions have become more visible.
    May concern is because I have worked in this building for 12 years breathing in these toxins, will may health improve after we leave or will it be long term damage to my health.

  66. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for this great information.

    I have been living in a rental studio for over 3 years now. When my finace and I moved in we saw there was water damage along the wall by a window. The clothes in our bedroom smell mildewy and we can see visible mold on them. Then, over the course of the last three years there has been a chronic leak around that window and our downstairs bathroom was flooded twice from the upstairs. The landlords have done nothing to take care of the water damage and leak problems.

    My concern is that when we did a recent clean of the mold recently and overturned a lot of mildewy clothes, I became very dizzy, lightheaded and so tired. I feel like my brain is “swimming” around or like I just woke up after sleeping too long.

    Do you think that these symptoms could be caused by my recent exposure even though I haven’t had these symptoms for the last three years? Odd that the mold suddenly bother me when for so long I have felt fine here.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Megan,
      If you are suspicious, don’t mess around! If you are one of the 24% with genetics that make you susceptible to illness from mold exposure you will not get well until you eliminate the exposure. If you continue to feel ill and can’t get the landlord to help you, get out!

  67. Is it safe to still breastfeed with fungal sepsis and blood pressure 86/45 and temp 96? The doctors are not sure what’s wrong but we found hoards of mold in home and all have had diarrhea fainting vomiting and low blood pressure and temp and chills including baby and no one knows how to help us, can you refer us? Thank you God bless

  68. My name is Theresa Richardson, I would like to thank you for providing this information and for keeping people informed about the dangers of Mold Exposure. I have Allergic Bronchial Pulmonary Aspergilliosis and education is key to living a long life with this disease.

  69. Dr Jill,
    Just had many lab tests done, but lab goofed & omitted to do the “mycotoxins in the urine” test. Blood tests for antibodies showed almost nothing. Is it possible to have mold toxins in one’s system if no antibodies are being made? (FYI, it’s looking like most symptoms are actually moderate mold response on top of adrenal fatigue & super-high cortisol from many stressful life events.) Would very much appreciate your experienced opinion.

    • IgE to molds will not tell you anything except if you have a mold allergy, which is not the same as mold toxicity. Urine mycotoxin testing is also inaccurate and people don’t normally have “mold in their body” What makes one sick is an abnormal immune response to mold, not mold in the body.

  70. So I get that mold allergies aren’t same as mold toxicity, & that it’s abnormal/nonfunctional immune response that’s likely making me sick.

    (Sadly, turns out that the functional med doc I found locally isn’t really experienced with mold toxicity. Sigh.)

    If I’m not making antibodies to specific molds, despite heavy exposure, doesn’t that confirm that I’m among the 25%? Kinda the definition of, right?

    And couldn’t high cortisol levels be due to dysfunctional reaction to mold vs life stress?
    Grateful for your thoughts!

    • Hi Connie, unfortunately as few functional medicine docs as there are, there are even fewer who have experience with mold toxicity and CIRS. The antibodies to mold confirm nothing and are not related to CIRS. The only thing that confirms if you are part of the 25% sensitive if testing HLA DR typing through LabCorp. High cortisol has many causes… toxin, stress, infection, etc.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  71. Dr jill I have asthma now im 33 years.old.never had.it before I lived in a building that was infested with toxic black.mold what test can be ran on me.to.be able to show it in my system im worried.that.this.will get worse please help

  72. Dr. Jill,
    In October 2015 I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and found out in March of 2015 that I have Lymes Disease as well. I am currently seeing a functional medicine doctor in Spartenburg, NC who has tested me for mold. My husband is a upper cervical chiropractor and just recently has be certified as a functional medicine doctor. I haven chosen to take the antimicrobial approach to the lymes and unfortunately I had to go on the medication for the graves. I am taking many supplements to rebuild my immune system. Recently I was re-tested for the mold through LabCorp and unfortunately my IgG levels were still high. The first test was done in July 2015. Very little change.

    What am I missing. I want to lower my antibody count. I am thinking about getting my home tested. As it is I am on a gluten, soy, corn, bean, free diet. I could do a whole lot better on my sugar intake and stop drinking decaf. coffee.( i drink 3 cups a week). Any information you can give me is much appreciated.

    • Hi Lisa
      Start by testing your home and making sure you are not being exposed to mold. It will be difficult to get well with ongoing exposure.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  73. I lived in a condo that had black mold, but I did not know it at the time. I have COPD and when I moved into the condo (2012) I did not have profound symptoms (was not on O2 24/7, coughing was under control, sats were normal). Six months after moving in, every item on your checklist was present, plus those I just mentioned. I moved out in July of 2015, and am wondering if/when the symptoms will subside or disappear or if permanent damage has been done. Thank you.

  74. Hi…I was living in a home that flooded underneath at least 5 times a year. The house was musky and when we were finally able to move….I found all the green mold on shoes in the backs of closets that were not worn, low baseboards that were hidden by furniture etc. I definitely had the mood swings, couldnt sleep, sinus issues, fatigue, and overall “I don’t feel that great” I went you an allergist to learn I was allergic tof mold (level 3). Stated shots, things were better. I tell you all this is desperate hope you can offer some answers to my next question….my scalp began to hurt…subtle at first. Then my scalp turned fire red on the top. We to dermatologist, they thought it was sinus, maybe environmental. Gave me steroids. Nothing helped. Then. My hair began to fall out….and it hasn’t stopped. And the inflamation continues…better at times but never healed. I’ve now moved and been out of that environment for a month. But the issue continues. The dermatologist have no answers other than alopecia…but that doesn’t explain the inflammation or tenderness. Help….please. this is the only common factor in can link it to.
    Sincerely,
    Casey

  75. Dear Dr Jill,

    In August 2015 I became sensitised to mould after cleaning an air con filter that was thick with black, grey and white mould. Without thinking, I didn’t cover my face, just my hands.

    I was living in a developing country with no access to professional cleaners.

    About a month after my exposure I got a severe rash that took some weeks for me to trace back to the mould exposure. First my nose began to swell, then my lips. I got a rash around my lips, nose and eyes and behind and inside my ears roo.

    There was no treatment available although I used dettol and antiseptic creams and the rash cleaned up. The local Dr told me I had become sensitised and to be careful in the future.

    I am now back in Australia. A week ago I went bush walking in a beautiful rainforest, it was stunning and even rained while I was walking. However, not long after leaving I started to complain of a back ache which got worse that night. Next morning I could barely move. All my joints were stiff and sore and I felt like a drained battery. My head has been in a fog all week, and I forget what you told me a second ago.

    Could the rainforest have triggered my mould allergy?

    My Dr has just ordered a heap of blood and other tests and I am waiting on the results. I have only just thought about the possible connection and not mentioned it to the Dr yet.

    If you think there could be a link, what possible tests should I be looking at?

    With thanks,
    Robin

  76. I think that there might be some sort of buildup of mold or something in my apartment that I am currently living in. I feel like crap when I am in the apartment but when I leave the apartment I feel better, especially after lifting weights. Was wondering if Mold could be the reason and if so I know that I should leave as soon as possible.

    • yes, it could be… if you are suspicious, ask your landlord to test or just move. Health is too important to risk

  77. Hi Jill..I am having severe problems with digesting food and bowel function and I know this is why I feel so sick too..recently moved from a house with very high levels of asper/ pen! And laxatives really hurt my stomack..Im positive I have a leaky gut..so where do I start..I have cholestrimine but am afraid to take since my bowel function is once a week and can cause constipation!! You help is greatly apprciated!!:) Thank you

    • Hi Araceli, The tight junctions in the gut are dramatically affected by mold and other toxins, like glyphosate. Best place to start is by getting out of the exposure. Then you need to treat any infections or dysbiosis and restore health to the gut. You can search for functional medicine doctors to help you at http://www.functionalmedicine.org. You should also follow the low-mold diet.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  78. Dr. Carnahan, thank you for a great article! My husband and I just experienced a major leak in our home. We immediately called a good remediation company and they began working within 24 hours. However, risk of mold and mildew make me incredibly nervous. Our living room furniture was completely saturated during the leak.
    The company we are relying on used the product microban (an industrial cleaner) on our furniture. I have read about health risks with this product and am concerned that it may contain Triclosan. Should I insist that our furniture be replaced and not attempt to salvage it?

    • Hi Ashley, if you want to be cautious, replace anything that was water damaged and porous.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  79. I work at a hotel & had to live there for some time. The rm they put me in I noticed I started having bad allergies, my asthma started getting worse & Ive been using my inhaler daily. Ive had numbness in my hands & feet, daily diarrhea with severe stomach pain & daily headaches. I have never had stomach issues like this & ended up being rushed to the ER & my gallbladder was removed followed my 6days in the hospital. I started to notice some pinkish spots on the top of the wall that gradually started spreading down the wall. When I brought this up to my manager it was just dismissed. I was not allowed to be in any other rm even when I was paying out of my pocket to stay there. My hair has been falling out bad & now I dont know what to do. I hv since been kicked out of the hotel & taken off the schdl until further notice with no explanation. I need desperately to prove that is mold, that I hv been affected by it, but I hv no money & I just feel lost & deeply depressed. I hv no energy to do what used to be so simple before. Please help

    • If you are out of the room, why do you need to prove anything? I would suggest getting a place that is safe, start to heal your body and don’t waste any energy on that hotel… Focus on getting well instead 😉

  80. Hi Jill,

    What would be the cause of crepe like skin after toxic mold exposure? I was found to have all mycotoxins. Any tips on how to fix this?

    • Hi Shelly,
      It could be changes is estrogen or cortisol or other hormones…. I suggest getting your levels checked.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  81. Hi Jill,

    This has been a very interesting article to read. A lot of the symptoms you have listed, I myself have experienced. Most of my symptoms are neurological and affect me to the point where I can’t function. I also experience a lot of vertigo and ringing in my ears. My neurologist diagnosed me with somatization disorder and anxiety. I don’t dispute his diagnosis, my anxiety is at an all time high, but these problems did not exist until I moved into my first apartment last August.

    I started to get sicker and sicker over time which landed me with a trip to the ER. We had a flooding incident and discovered that black mold was growing in our home, however it looked as though it had been there long before we moved in. I pleaded with the apartment complex management to send someone over to check for any other mold in my home as a precaution. They did, however I explained to them I was getting sick and I would like to see paperwork on their findings so I could show it to my doctor. Somewhere along the way that paperwork got lost and they claimed they did not see anymore mold.

    I asked my ENT, which is the doctor I was recommended to see first, if black mold could have made these symptoms occur. He said no and was more convinced it was stress, however I had no stress in my life at the time. I noticed that I would feel a lot better just stepping outside, and would feel much worse if I approached the area with the black mold.

    I began to stay with my parents a few days a week to test my theory, and felt slightly better, but the symptoms would come and go. Much like if I went to work. I moved out in August when the lease was up and I still experience these symptoms. Not as frequent, but still as severe.

    Is it possible that I could have any toxins from the mold left in my body? If so, should I approach my other doctors about it?

  82. Hi,

    Myself and my girlfriend have lived in flats with mold for the past 4 years now.
    Our first home was a basement flat, everything smelt musty and damp and my leather shoes grew green mold. My girlfriend has had persistent cough on and off since we moved there’. As you can imagine we got out of there. Sadly we are now in a place with even worse mold.
    When we first moved in I suffered with terrible moods and memory loss, I brushed this off as work stress related. But after the first month I went to get my expensive suede gloves to find them growing furry mold. I investigated the rest of the building and all the residents are dealing with the same issue. The only time we hear our neighbour up stairs is when she’s sneezing, which is all the time!!!!! This past xmas I developed a dry mouth at night, shortness of breath, dizziness, numb hands during sleep and now oral thrush. The doctor tried to treat it but it just won’t respond. I’ve been for every blood test going and all has come back fine. I’m vit d deficient which I’ve now begun to supplement. I do believe that I have had a yeast overgrowth for some years but this mold seems to have kicked it into a whole other gear and I’m really suffering. I’ve started the candida diet and a course of antifungals along with the vit d but I’m not really seeing any improvement. My hands are even smelling moldy. We are leaving here in July but I feel like I’m going crazy and making this all up in my head.
    Any thoughts would be most welcome.

    • Hi Rick,
      This is a very real phenomenon and could indeed be related to mold exposure. I suggest the first step is finding a safe place to live and not taking anything that is contaminated with you. Nothing you will do in the meantime will help all that much until you eliminate exposure.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  83. Hi Dr Jill!

    I’m trying to heal my gut after toxic mold exposure. I have been on antifungals for about 2 months now, low amylose diet, probiotics.. And still bloat. I’ve tested negative for sibo but had high amounts of a bacterial componend called hydroxybenzoate. I’ve noticed my bloating improves on CSM.

    1. Why does my bloating improve on CSM?
    2. How can I heal my gut?
    3. Would adding resistant starch be beneficial or not?

    Thank you dr Jill!
    Brittney

    • Hi Brittney,
      Best to test but if bloating improves with CSM, you may have steatorrhea and need pancreatic enzymes. Your doctor can check stool pancreatic elastase to determine if you have pancreatic insufficiency. You could also start Restore 1 tsp 3X daily- call our office to order 303-993-7910 as this will heal the leaky gut caused by the mold exposure.
      warmly
      dr Jill

  84. It has been several years (8-10) since I left the house I was living in with severe black mold. But, I lived there exposed to this for 15 years. I honestly can not describe how bad the mold was by the time I left. My question is, even though it has been so long since exposure, can I still have lasting affects from it? Or is it not something that would still be affecting my health? I have many health problems that fit with black mold exposure, and no doctor seems to know what is wrong. This really feels like the problem, after reading many articles on the subject.

    • Yes, once the immune system is activated you may have effects until you are treated for CIRS, even after leaving the mold exposure

  85. Great article! I was wondering, could mold cause paranoia? My sister has numbness, hearing loss in one ear, asthma, and now she has developed some paranoia. In fact she was admitted to the hospital last night due to her paranoia that people are trying to kill her. She has shown me pictures of mold in her home and has been worried about it. They want to admit her to a psychiatric unit but I wanted to know if mold could cause such a severe reaction so I can have the doctors test her for it as well first.

  86. Is there a specific test I need to ask them to administer on her? I appreciate your response so much, puts my mind at a little more ease.

  87. Hi Jill,
    First I’m 32 very healthy no medicine .

    I washed clothes and left them in the dryer forgetting about them for a couple of months and they developed a lot of mold some black and white-ish. I started using the washer up stairs so never noticed. One day I decided to use both. I mixed the clean clothes together with the moldy ones not realizing it.

    That night I wore a top and my body started jumping and i couldn’t breath in my sleep. The next morning I took the top off. Then I grabbed another shirt and wore it to work, smelled something weird and felt sick, my body was shaking I started having a severe allergic reaction took off the shirt and it went away but I still felt sick. I mixed up so many clothes I didn’t know which ones were moldy and didn’t have time to re-wash everything in my closet. I left the clothes on the bed also. I started feeling very sick everyday shaking , mental confusion extreme headache etc… So i started washing but there were so many. So that same week I took some to the dry cleaners and I wore it and it still has mold I almost went into an anphaptic shock again. But this time the spores spread to my other clean clothes and I couldn’t leave work to change so I sat it in it all day for 8 hours I started feeling even worse tremors dizziness like someone was stomping on my head and felt like vomiting .

    Next day I decided to take off from work I bought new clothes and slept in another house. After taking a shower and wearing new clothes that night at my friends house I could barely move my mouth to talk and was shaking .And even pain killers Barely worked.

    My family has come up here in an emergency to help me clean everything but now that everything is clean I still have an extreme headache , extremely puffy eyes, gray around them , and little confusion . Something doesn’t feel right and I’m nervous .

    I went to a walk in clinic they took no blood looked At me like I was crazy. And gave me antibiotics. Nothing has changed but it’s getting a TINY bit better . Today my dad is taking me to a natural specialist to see if there are natural agents to rid of toxins.
    I may also do a foot detox. I don’t know what else to do Pleaseeeee advice my health insurance has not kicked in yet either I’m running out of money.

  88. Hi Dr. Jill,

    I have a very close friend who has been exposed to black mold for about eight years. She has all the typical symptoms of mold exposure and she has been addressing the symptoms with Cholestyramine with no improvement. She has been taking the medication and the recommended supplementation for a couple of months and the pain, muscle spasms and her neurological symptoms have been worsening and it is very concerning to me. Is there possible another approach that might help her to detox from the mold faster? I am very concerned and nothing seems to be helping. I am hoping you will have some ideas about how we can approach this situation and if these symptoms are normal when a person is detoxing from the mold. Should they feel considerably worse or should they experience gradual improvement? I am looking forward to hearing from you………

    • Hi Athena
      The most important thing is that she will not improve on cholestyramine if there is ongoing mold exposure… I suggest starting there.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  89. Is there a resource to find a knowledgable practitioner in my area (Houston, TX)? I checked the survivingmold.com website and the closest one was over 500 miles away. ? Have been trying to do web searches, but have not come up with any one yet. Thank you for your time and help!

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  91. Dear Dr. Jill, thank you so much for this information. I have seen many doctors, but nobody talked about mold, now it all makes sence ( I have been allergic to penicilin since my childhood) and I live in a water damaged house. I did not do the testing yet, but would like to start the detox . I have been eating just like you are suggesting for a couple of years now. I have pain and itching on my right side, bloated belly for about 3-4 years . I still have a lot of belly fat, that I can not lose!!! So far, nothing helped. As you say, the mold/fungi can live in the gallbladder! Sould I try cholestyramine, and where can I find it? Also, I like to have protein shakes . Would you recommend whey (like Calton nutrition In Power) or Pea protein (like Apex Energetics)? Thank you for your time, and I am calling your office tomorrow to order Austin Air filers. I am looking forward to hear back from you.
    Sincerely,
    Suzanna

  92. Thank you Dr Jill,
    How about the cholestyromine? Where can I find it and would you recommend it for gallbladder detox?
    Suzanna

  93. my brother does not want to return to work-he is a pharmacist, he has had a personality change. all he wants to do is stay home, he is unable to sleep, varies from 4 to 5 hours a day. He does not go to his children s events anymore. he is married with two children teen and preteen. He does not want to see a doctor and it has taken hours to convince him to get in the car and walk to the doctor office.
    i think he has had a nervous breakdown could this possibly affects of mold. I know they had a leak for like ten yers in the garage.

    • Dear Lynell,
      yes, mold can affect many areas of the brain, causing personality changes or unreasonable anxiety or insomnia. Often symptoms like OCD or social anxiety appear.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  94. Dr. Carrigan:
    I was exposed to mold during 2009-2012 when running an office that was located in a moldy factory. I had symptoms of asthma/wheezing, upper repertory illness and mental confusion and fogginess. I quit this job in order to save my life.
    I was able to use a Rife Machine (ionic) regularly to detox which helped pull many toxins from my body. I was sick for approximately three years and then began to feel better. However In late 2015 I was diagnosed with Hashimotoes’ Thyroiditis, depleted adrenals and chronic fatigue. I suspect that the mold was my Root Cause and that my years of endometriosis in my 20’through 40’s contributed to my detiorating health situation.
    Fast forward three years to 2016. I now have a Functional Medicine Physician and am I am being treated now for my thyroid and adrenal conditions. I have been on the AIP auto-immune Protocol now for 6 months, on Nature-Thryoid for my thyroid and I am beginning to feel a lot better again. My clear mind has returned and my energy level is coming back. My remaining symptom is vaginal itchiness which I read is a mold biomarker.
    My questions are these:
    1) Should I partner with a mold expert and have mold testing and treatment at this point? I did have a Candida and food sensitivity tests to try to determine if I had a fungal issue, which according to the tests, I do not.
    Any other suggestions or direction would be greatly appreciated. I am 65 year old and had a total hystrectomy at age 36 due to the endometriosis. Thank you.

  95. Hi Dr. Jill!!!! Thanks for your insight! I had high levels of antibodies to about 8 molds! My natural doctor went threw every test and finally we found the answer! Can mold antibodies cause hairloss? Everything else was fine in my tests. I have diffuse hair loss like crazy and I am 25 :/ it gets much worse in heat ( I am from Orlando). We will be starting detox protocols but I find it strange my symptoms are shortness of breathe, chest tightness, fatigue, and hair loss??? Curious is this is normal! Maybe from inflammation? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Faith,
      Antibodies to mold are not related to CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) Mold antibodies will show allergy to mold but not systemic inflammatory reactions. All of the symptoms you describe could be related to mold exposure…
      warmly
      Dr Jill

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  97. Hi Dr Carnahan.

    I have been feeling Ill since Novemeber of last year. I had been getting dizzy spells and was always very fatigued before Novemeber. On November 8th after Church I had a major dizzy spell and began to have heart palpitations, shortness of breath and felt like my blood pressure fell. I went to the hospital and the told me all mys SATS were fine and that i had vertigo. They sent me home and front there on I began experience constant dizziness, lightheadedness, my left eye felt like it was less focused like my right eye was. I had at heart palpitations I ran out of breath easily. I did experience tingling in my legs etc. I also started feeling sharp pains in the my upper back and side pain and at times chest pain. My allergies began getting worse and I felt like I was getting s cold because it seemed like it hurt a bit to breathe and felt like I was getting sick. This has happened here and there never getting better and I began to experience panic attacks, anxiety and then my Testosteone dropped to 258 which led to depression and I became very emotional. I went hospital to hospital and Doctor to doctor and they all said I was fine. Then I began getting major headaches accompanied by dizziness and all the symptoms mentioned already. I finally went to go see a naturo path Doctor. She believed it was my adrenals since my adrenal saliva test depleted cortisol levels. She began treating me for adrenal fatigue stage 3. I had and have been feeling better since but I still at times struggle with anxious nous dizziness, and headaches not as often but still debilitating. The doc also tried to raise my T levels naturally at first but failed. She then tried HCG and that went up at first then dropped to the 258 level I mentioned. She finally put me on T shots for 6 weeks and seems to help out but in still feeling dizziness, headaches, lightheadedness moments of anxious and panic and recently I have began feeling bloated as well. Oh I forgot to mention that I have nights that seems like I get woken up every ten min and I feel nervous feelings when that happens. My hospital doctors told me waking up like that meant it was hormonal. I have explained this to my naturopath and she has been doing her best to find out what else is causing my symptoms. The last visit she asked if I had been exposed to mold. I told her that the building I was moved to work in 2 years ago had water damage from a busted water pipe and also the ceiling tiles were old and made of asbestos. She order a lane test and I have received the results. My MSH hormone came back at level 8, VEGG 50, my tgf beta 1 at 3840 higher than normal range. When I read about tgf beta and high levels linked to mold I thought of my workplace. I know they don’t seem really high but I have been out of that environment since November of 15′ Is it possible for my levels tgf levels to go down just by being away from the building I was working and taking the natural supplements like Adrenal Health, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Fish oil? My tgf levels are still high according to the lab range. I have a feeling I had major mold toxicity and I am slowly getting better without the exact treatment for mold. My Doctor also did a random test of aldosterone and it came back at level 10. Do you believe I was exposed to mold? And what do you believe my levels mean? Thank you in advance. Oh forgot to mention that I sometimes get ringing in my left ear when I get dizziness and headaches.

    • Dear Guillermo, If you have HLA DR genetics that are susceptible for mold-related illness, it is quite likely. More information here…www.survivingmold.com.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  98. Thank you Dr Carnahan for your response.

    If indeed it turns out that I have the HLA DR genetics, will I be able to make a full recovery?

  99. Hello Dr, thank you for this article. My friend and I have been doing some remodeling of his moms house. Ever since we were kids, it has smelled very strongly of mold/mildew. At any rate, we tore out the walls in the garage and found serious black mold damage and infestation. Through the course of demolition, I’m quite certain I inhaled a fair amount of this stuff. There really wasn’t any way around it. Only later did I consider the consequences of doing so. Maybe I’m reading this wrong but it seems as if you’re addressing long term exposure and I guess I’m wondering about short term exposure like I mentioned. I do feel I’ve had many of the symptoms but then maybe it’s just in my head, I don’t know. Should I be worried and should I take measures to detox? I actually freaked out a bit and already purchased the coconut charcoal, GI detox and Glutathione Force. I was planning to do all three but just wanted your insight on the matter. Thanks so much!

    • Dear Nathan,
      Yes, any exposure in a susceptible individual can cause illness… if you are having symptoms, best to treat!
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  100. Hi Dr. Jill

    I have been recovering from mold illness for about a year now. My progress has been pretty good – I am working with an ND who knows a lot about mold illness and utilizes many of the techniques you have listed here as well FIR sauna to aid in my recovery and I have been seeing good progress :). My question/concern right now is this:

    About 3 months ago I finally felt well enough to go back to work. I got a part time job at our church so I would come to the church now 3+ times a week (instead of just the weekend). As the weeks went on, I began feeling sick again – fatigue, irritable, loss in creativity (I’m a designer), stomach problems, nausea, skin break outs. I noticed that there were smallish leaks in the church HVAC from condensation while I worked there (discoloring some ceiling tiles and making carpet stains) On a few occasions I saw buckets or trash cans used to collect the water from these leaks. They have not been fixed for years – I know because I asked friends who work in operations and janitorial. I am coming to you right now because I sense this may be the true source of the recurrence of my “sickness”. I have that bad feeling in my gut that I am right. At first I thought it might just be stress from having the new job – and sure it’s stressful at times and I know stress can compound these symptoms, but something just doesn’t feel right about it just being stress related. Dr. Jill, I am afraid to tell my husband that our church may be yet another place I cannot return to, as we have made many friends there and are involved in lots of activities, because I am afraid it will make him sad or upset.

    On the other hand, I know that I HAVE to do what I need to do to get better. And if I suspect mold, I feel strongly that I need to speak up, not just to my husband, but to the elders of the church – or else there may be others like me who may not even know why they are mysteriously getting sick the more frequent they volunteer at the church. What should I do? Do you have any advice? Thank you for listening.

  101. Dr. Jill,
    I suspect mold in my room because I have a bad out of control Candida infection, extreme debilitating fatigue, and really bad bloating that looks like I’m 6 months pregnant. I wake up at 4-5pm still bloated even though I haven’t eaten since midnight the night before. I also have weakness in my arms and legs. I have Hashimoto’s, iron deficiency anemia, B12 deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency, and adrenal fatigue so I don’t know if all of this together can cause extreme debilitating fatigue or not? Is this looking like mold exposure?

    • Hi Rachel,
      Mold can certainly cause severe fatigue in genetically susceptible individuals. Especially those with 4-3-53 HLA type
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  102. I have tried LDN in an adult case of Autism,31 y.o,with good response,her father suffered from Tieze sy,gat cured,one case with Lymphoma in the orbit,she didn’t tolerated the chemotherapy and responded very well to LDN as only treatment,I tried LDN with my wife that on 2004 was diagnose with MCS at a Clinic in Dallas,but on her didn’t show any difference,she has been my biggest challenge,but this year I performed the gene exam,it showed 11 mutations-

  103. Yikes! I have been living in a house for 2 years that has mold issues and I am experiencing so many of these symptoms. I’m post menopausal so thought the night sweats and constant hot flashes were just talking me longer to get over, I’ve dealt with migraines most of my life but they have been daily now, and the newest symptom is a burning sensation in my chest and occasional cough.
    I’ve also noticed when I leave the house for a few hours or go on vacation and come back into the house the musty smell hits me hard. When I go on vacation I noticed all of my clothes smell musty including my suitcase so I wash all of my clothes.

    So you are saying that we should get rid of all of our furniture and clothing when we move out? I’m stuck here for a few more months unfortunately.

    • Hi Kris
      Best to consult with an expert to help you. If your home is truly making you sick, you need to find the problem and remediate or move. There are some very sensitive individuals that continue to get sick if exposed to porous belongings.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  104. Hello Dr.Jill, my doctor is treating me for CIRS with Welchol (CSM created too much constipation). I have been using Dr Shoemakers VCS testing and noticed a considerable improvement in my scores. But my C4a was in the 15000 range which I believe is really high. So I’m wondering if the Welchol could really be working so fast as to lower to my toxic load? I am noticing a slight herxing effect since I started it 2 weeks ago. (mainly aches and fatigue, flu like feelings). Thank you for being so great at helping others here.

  105. Thank you. I will be very interested to see what my C4a level comes in at when I retake the blood test in four weeks. I hope that the inflammation goes down as well. I am not clear on whether or not I should be adding supplements like Omega 3 fish oil or to just let the Welchol do its thing. I’ve gone the route of just eating as healthy as I can and no-amylose but I’ll take any supplements that will aid my body rid the toxins.

    Cheers

  106. Hi Dr. Jill! Thanks for the great article and list of resources! I was curious if you had MARCONS and if so, were you able to sucessfully treat with BEG spray? Thanks!

    • I have successfully treated many patients with MARCoNS with BEG spray. My own medical history is not relevant.

  107. Dr.Jill, after making progress using Welchol for a short time, I am stopping it due to not being able to tolerate it. I recently retested the VCS test and actually passed this time. My dr is going to try me on a herbal protocol next week. I am wondering if the natural herbal protocol will help me or if I should tough out the bad side effects of the prescription binder Welchol.

    • The prescription binders are stronger but you may need to start with very low dose and work up slowly…

      • Sorry for another question, but my doctor is suggesting I switch from Welchol to Mycoregen and ENL-BT-1 and do something called ‘pulsing’ where I alternate each one weekly. There is very little, if any, information online about this sort of treatment. Have you ever treated or heard of treatment with these remedies?

  108. Thank you. And should I be taking something to help my system detox like Dual-Tox DPO? I had a pain under my left rib area and not sure if it is due to the Welchol or because I’m not taking any kind of detox support.

  109. Dr. Jill, this is an amazingly in-depth look at such a REAL problem. I’m thankful that this is finally coming to light as a serious health issue in our society. I love the resources you have cited for even more information. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and research with the rest of us so freely!

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  113. Hi Dr. Jill,

    I’ve been having a big acne flare up since about April of this year. I also have fine bumps all over my face. I’ve been to the dermatologist and tried all kinds of medications, yet the problem persists. I’ve tried using process of elimination to determine if I’m allergic to food or detergents, soaps, etc. The acne/bumps are just getting worse. Around the time I started breaking out I also noticed mold growing in the shower. I bought a mold cleaner and it removes the mold once applied. The mold starts coming back after about one week. I live in an apartment with no window so there is little ventilation. There is a vent but since I moved there, I haven’t heard the fan blowing. I’m not sure if its broken or if there is an actual fan in the vent. Do you think mold can be a contributing factor to the skin issues I’m having? What do you recommend? Thank you.

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  115. Hi Jill
    I am glad to stumble over your website because recently moved to a new rental and they had roof leak outside and black mold,so few months in we start having most strong symptoms ,what I believe are from the A/C and do not have a choice to move out but we try to find a healthy way to pass the time to move out but hard to find clean house ,mold free here in Florida .
    What will you recommend to us,special my wife continue headaches ,cough,light head,me and kids mostly headache,stiffness,muscle pain and recently my daughter skin allergy.Do you think we have to worry?
    Appreciate your time and help.

    Marin

  116. Hi Jill

    Great article! I think I may have found what’s causing my issues.

    So I’m having ongoing health issues for the past 6 years (I’m 24) which has left me unable to work or go to school. Brain fog (The worst symptom!!), fatigue, chronic sinus congestion/head pressure, tinnitus, visual snow, blurry vision, chest pressure, dry mouth, dry eyes, host of food intolerances, histamine intolerance, SIBO, constipation and low libido are just some of my issues.

    All these symptoms started about a year after I took Accutane. At the same time my family moved to a rental house that had mold growing behind the walls (it was a former grow-op that we had no idea about). We moved out of that house which we lived in only for a few months to a house we built. Shortly moving into the new house the car I was driving had a leakage into a compartment under my trunk where the spare tire was and mold started to grow. I drove that car for 2 years before I noticed the issue (at 21). I got rid of the car right away however my symptoms still remained. 3 years later and after seeing many doctors, “specialist”, natropaths and functional medicine doctors I’m still suffering.

    I did get my 23 and me testing done a few years ago and I do have a copy of the HLA-DQ2.5 gene which leaves my suspectbile for celiac disease.

    Now I’ve started this detox protocol which has me eating a very strict diet which doesn’t contain any of the foods to stay away from on the posted diet, I’m also taking herbs to detox every organ and a gut binding supplement which contains activated charcoal and bentonite clay. Is there any other supplements that you would recommend?

    I’d love to have a consultation with you or run the recommended test but I just don’t have the money right now due to my situation. Any recommendations would be awesome. Thanks!

    • Hi JJ,
      You may send contact form through the website it you are interested in scheduling. We take new patients by referral only
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  117. Hello,
    My dog has been diagnosed and is under treatment for blastomycosis. She apparently inhaled mold spores somewhere outside our home, when she dug and chased after a mole or other animal. I have been told blastomycosis cannot be transmitted from dog to humans. My concern is I have been giving her meds prior to her diagnosis of blastomycosis and putting my hand in her mouth. Also, I was wondering if she could have carried the spores indoors. I have been having consistent chest tightness and had to go to the ER to rule out heart issues this week. The physicians seem to think my symptoms are unrelated to my dog’s illness, and they have not suggested me being tested for blastomycosis. I do not have any coughing or breathing issues currently, but had a cold with flu like symptoms in March. My dog was showing symptoms of blastomycosis in July. I am wondering if I should ask to be tested for blastomycosis and where do I get the test? Also, what is the most effective test? Thank you

    • Hi Donna,
      Humans can have blastocystis hominis. Best to check a comprehensive stool profile and ova and parasite stool to make sure you do not have it.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  118. Dr. Jill,

    Don’t know where to start, but I’ll try to be brief. The apartment we live in is suspected of having black mold, we haven’t tested for it yet; however, since management put a new roof on the complex, we’ve had leakage problems. They came to fix it but we still believe there’s a moisture problem. In addition, the air quality is poor, for example, with the A/C running the master bdrm may be slightly warm while the rest of the home feels like an arctic blast. There’s also a problem with the ventilation for the dryer, which was supposedly fixed due to a fire marshall inspection, but we have no idea if they inspected the mess that’s in the attic.
    With that said, I hadn’t had any respiratory problems until I had my tonsils and adenoids removed. Since that surgery I fought at least three infections and had to be on at least 3 to 4 different antibiotics to also include steroids. After I finally healed, the respiratory problems started. First it was tightness in my chest. I finally sought medical attention and was found to have pneumonia. I thought everything was fine, but I continued to have tightness in my chest, shortness of breathe, dry cough, and fatigue. I’ve been diagnosed with bronchial spasm and pleurisy and was referred to a pulmonary doctor. Upon the first breathing test at the office, it was shown normal and the doctor said he would diagnose me as having asthma, but it still didn’t explain why I had fluid on my lungs and the other symptoms I described. So I’ve had a pulmonary test done, but won’t know the results until about two weeks away.
    I’m posting all this to ask is it possible I’ve been exposed to black mold and what should I ask my pulmonary doctor regarding this? My symptoms include: tightness in chest, especially after exertion over doing normal things like cleaning, shortness of breathe (I’m not taking a maintenance pump and rescue inhaler), coughing (usually it’s dry and nonproductive, though I do feel some phlegm), joint pain, my body feels like I have flu-like symptoms, and migraines (I’ve always had this, but it’s increased mainly around my eye). Your help is greatly appreciated.

  119. Thank you so much for this article. It’s so accurate. I was wondering if you could address how mold toxins affect egg quality and pregnancy? I’m so worried about having healthy children in the future, I’m afraid that maybe the mold has damaged my eggs so I won’t be able to? I haven’t found anything on the internet talking about mold’s effect on the female reproductive system. I really need answers. Again, I really appreciate your work.

    • Hi Tina,
      I don’t know of any data that talks about mycotoxins damaging the eggs, however, many patients may have upregulation of aromatase and estrogen problems.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  120. Hi Dr. Jill

    This article is very helpful! It is so sad that most doctors are clueless on the topic.

    What do you know about homeopathic treatments for mold detox? And herbs? I am very nervous to take CMS since it’s an off-label drug. I try to be as natural as possible.

    Is there anything I can do to help my 10 month baby who was exposed? We have moved out as of last week but I still am worried about the long-term effects.

    Thanks!

  121. Pingback: 21 Signs Of Mold Illness (And How To Tell If You’re At Risk) – Natural Healing
  122. Pingback: My House Made Me Sick: Mold Illness Diary – Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment | well~belly
  123. I left a towel in washing machine and forgot about it and through it out as it was full of mold. Will this have infected my environment …and is cleaning the washing with borax enough, will the sphores be on the cupboars etc …also i can smell musty smells in my bedroom from a little damp behind the radiators which only becomes noticeable when its humid or damp outside..

  124. I have most of the symptoms listed on this page for mold exposure due to the environment where I work; however, I went to my doctor who shrugged off the mold exposure. He sent me to an allergist, but all the allergy tests were negative. I have been working in this environment for 9 years and need to get something done or get out. What can I do to get my doctor to take this seriously? What tests can he do? Please help.

    • Hi Jill,
      I have been living in a water damaged environment caused by multiple leaks never repaired or replaced along with holes in the roof, our attick has visible black soot all over the insallation, which then lead to mold infestation for almost 5 yrs. I was diagnosed with mold exposure back in October 2017. My mother and I didn’t know about the water damage or the mold until she was rushed to the ER for coughing up blood and confusion with major sweating, later diagnosed with pneumonia in August 2017. There are visible cracks, water stains and very musty odors. My doctors for years could never pinpoint the real issues at all with my health till Oct 2017. The violent vomiting, horrible migraines that are so unbearable, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rashes, hair loss, bronchitis, sinus infections, extreme fatigue, chest tightness along with heart palpitations, runny nose even nose bleeds to where i now get treated for postnal drip using a steroid, shortness of breath and even memory loss along with ear infections, rhinnorea as well as fainting in certain rooms, the raccoon dark circles just all of it. I finally hired a mold investigation for my landlords were in complete denial and even laughed when it was addressed to them, the test results showed high counts of mold asp/pen group and cladosporium as I suspected along with 6 other fungi’s throughout our unit. I’ve been informed it’s a very long journey to the road to recovery. This has already stolen the quality of life for the past 5 yrs now I might need immunotherapy Injections along with other treatment that could take an additional 3-5 more years of my life. This has taken a toll on my health and emotionally. I currently see a neurologist for the migraines and vomiting. I’ve been told I’ll need to see a GI doctor for my stomach. My main concern is the cancer it could cause. My mother and I are working on getting into another place asap for my symptoms feel like they are getting worse. Do you have any suggestions to the type of doctors to see going forward, what to take and what not to take when we move? I’m really scared for my health for I just turned 40 and my mother is 66. Any suggestions on what type of lab results to request for it seems my primary has zero clue. Thank you for listening.

  125. I live in the west of Ireland near Galway. I have symptoms which sound as if they may be due to mold – or maybe something else. My symptoms are – regular warmth across the collar bones with mild to moderate aches (maybe inflammation), occasional ache in the outer muscle of the upper arm, a sometimes prickly feeling across the chest which is not sore to touch, heavy eyes sometimes with a feeling of mild infection or light pressure behind them and a stuffy nose. I have a small polyp in the nasal passage. I have had what I feel is sinus problems for years, going back to hayfever in my mid teens, but it seems worse, almost daily, since I retired from working at sea two and a half years ago. I thought that my problem might be related to various pollen from March through to October but have noticed that black mold collects on the double glazed bedroom window which has only been opened occasionally during the summer when we might have a warm day, I was in London for the last 3 days where it was the warmest day since 1911 and my symptoms seemed to improve but now that I am back in the west of Ireland my symptoms have returned. Do you know if mold testing is done in Ireland and if so have you any recommendations please ? Thankyou

      • Thank you SO MUCH FOR YOUR FURTHER ADVICE SUFFERING A MALICIOUS LANDLORD (NOAlegel advice forthcoming) lazy covid time.I think are they up or guilty of depositry Arthritus? For arthritus.Discriminated against for minority groups also.I have suffered CHRONIC PAIN DAILY UNRELENTING.AGAIN THANK YOU .I’m a new reader I can’t find a place to reply my THANKS.SADLY IM TO LATE DUE TO SYMPTOMS .I’ve suffered 10;years sudden onset.suffering also property compliant wierdvsymptomatic stalking landlord.I couldn’t and didn’t know who I could get help from Shunned by also at risk tenants of same but better designed housing at same address. But not my hell of a flat Covid didn’t help +3years.This happened months after arrival I lived?their for 9 years until landlord maliciously has evicted me PUTTING THE BLAME ON ME.FURIOUS I AM PAIN DAILY IS MY MIDDLE NAME ALL DUE TO AN OLD HOUSE LEAKING WALKS FROM PARDON ME SHITTY MAINTAINED …OLD DRAINS .YOU CANT TELL PEOLP .it’s all the fault of THIS TENNANT.AI ASK YOU WHY ME.ITS DO BAD I NEED A MOBILITY SCOOTER I DONT KNOE EHAT A PAIN FREE DAY IS AGAIN MANY THANK YOUS FROM LINDSEY FECHENNEL lfechenne@gmail.com

  126. Hi Dr. Jill,

    I am recovering after toxic mold exposure. I have the mold genes, high c4a, high cortisol, low msh. I did shoemakers protocol all the way to treating marcons with BEG.

    My question is about weight gain. I am not sure if it’s from high leptin, insulin problems, or hormone balance problems. What is the protocol to fix weight gain in CIRS? Do I need to be on DHEA? Gaining lots of weight in hips, high estridol, taking things to help aromoatize? How does one fix the weight issues? I’m thinking it’s even more than sex hormones and insulin leptin related…

    Thank you!
    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle,
      Yes, unfortunately this is very common and there is not a simple solution. Detoxification and addressing aromatase upregulation (estrogen dominance) and excessive cortisol are keys. Also patients most times do better on a grain-free, paleo-style low-mold diet
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

      • I eat paleo haven’t had grains in a year. I’ve been taking supplements to lower cortisol and things like DIM for estrogen. I am constantly hungry which makes me think it’s more of a leptin thing. What do you suggest to fix leptin? Will my body eventually recover its normal weight? I’ve even detoxified for an entire month at a clinic through Ivs after I did CSM shoemaker protocol as well. Thank you!

  127. Hi Dr. Carnahan,
    I have read up on Dr. Shoemaker’s research on mold exposure and toxicity and also looked over your website and listened to some podcasts that you were guest speaking on. I have worked in the real estate industry for 12 years and as a result I have been exposed to various molds more times than I can remember. I was diagnosed with fibro in 2009, and over the past 7 years have had other doctors says I may have lyme and/or lupus. But my blood work always comes back whacky. Sometimes it supports thes additional diagnoses and sometimes by blood tests look totally normal. Yet I have horrible fatigue, memory loss, joint and muscle pain all the time, muscle fatigue and weakness, chronic headaches and migraines, inability to regulate my body tempature, low-grade fever and chills, pulmonary issues such as pluerisy and plueral effusion, and my heart is weakening. So I am now on 10 different meds. I asked my PCP about testing for mold toxicity and even doing the genotype test that you mentioned. But he said that he couldn’t provide those tests largely because he wouldn’t know how to interpret them and mold is only medically known to cause allergies. He offered to refer me to an allergist or an infectious disease doctor if I wanted to. My problem is that I do not know what type of doctor specializes in this type of testing and treatment. Can only a functional medicine doctor treat me? Or can an infectious diseases specialist be knowledgeable in mold toxicity? What about an occupational and environmental medicine specialist? I live in a small town in Texas and there really are limited options for functional medicine. Plus my insurance won’t cover functional medicine. So, I’m really at a loss as to where to go from here. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

      • Hi Dr Carnahan,
        I have a friend in South Africa that has been struggling to diagnose what has been happening to her since 3 years ago when she was struck down by a lot of the symptoms mentioned relating to biotoxin illness following a dental procedure. It has recently been suggested that she has PPPD/CRS. She is receiving physiotherapy and psychiatric treatment but is on the verge of giving everything up as she is now hopeless. She and her family are now at their wits end. I discovered the similarities of her presentation to mold symptoms last night & when asked she said her house has had a mold problem in the recent past. I am wondering would you be able to recommend a suitable, sensitive facility/medical practitioner in the Johannesburg region that she could engage with to get the appropriate testing to ascertain whether this could be the reason for her chronic multiple symptoms? Thank you for your article and information, it is the most accessible and useful one I have found yet.
        Kind Regards
        Stephen Patterson

  128. Pingback: The Issue with MOLD | shelby's LIFE WITH LYME
  129. About two months ago, I developed IBS-like symptoms. Constant diarrhea, bloating, extreme gas, rare (but not rare enough) incontinence and abdominal pain.However, I don’t have IBS. What I did have – and still do – is inflammation and ongoing sickness from exposure to toxic mold. All traditional GI tests (i.e. stool tests, blood tests) showed nothing abnormal, but I had just gotten out of a condo with high levels of toxic mold. Testing confirmed that I was sick from it.

  130. Pingback: Impact of Mold Exposure on Your Skin and Health with Dr. Jill Carnahan - The Spa Dr.
  131. The trichothecene mycotoxins produced by toxic black mold are neurotoxic. This means they can kill neurons in the brain and impair a person’s mental ability. They also cause nervous disorders such as tremors and can cause personality changes such as mood swings and irritability.

    Symptoms:
    (1) Confusion
    (2) Brain fog
    (3) Shortened attention span
    (4) Difficulty concentrating and paying attention
    (5) Slowed reflexes
    (6) Disorientation
    (7) Dizziness
    (8) Memory loss and memory problems
    (9) Impaired learning ability
    (10) Hallucinations
    (11) Shock
    (12) Anxiety
    (13) Depression
    (14) Aggression and other personality changes
    (15) Tingling
    (16) Trembling
    (17) Shaking
    (18) Seizure
    (19) Numbness

    [Source] http://www.floodaz.com/toxic-black-mold-symptoms/

  132. Pingback: 21 Signs That You Have Mold Illness; How to Treat it Naturally?
  133. Hi Tan,
    Please get a professional company to remediate. You can do more harm than good by trying to do things yourselves..
    warmly
    Dr Jill

  134. Hi Dr Jill! I started having severe anxiety/pnic attacks last year and ever since I have been experiencing daily panic attacks. I have been seeing a ND who diagnosed me with SIBo, mthfr gene, and also she did IGg test for mold for which I tested high for 12 out of 14 different molds. It was a blood test preformed by LabCorp. How accurate is this test? I am not in a situration to spend a lot more $$$ for additional testing 🙁 I dont know where I was exposed but what protocol do you reccomend on getting rid of the mold oit of my body. And do you reccomend treating sibo and mold and the same time or sibo first?

    • Hi Je
      This is complex… the mold may cause allergy or inflammatory response and these are very different things. You may have had an exposure to mold but that doesn’t mean you have mold in your body.
      I suggest finding a mold expert to help you get well
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  135. Hi Dr. Carnahan!
    Firstly, thank you for dedicating your work to helping people with CIRS/mold illness. I have most of the symptoms of mold illness. Over the years I have lived in moldy homes and just this June, via a mold inspection , discovered Asperilligus in my washing machine. Air testing confirmed 3 times more the amount of this mold in my apartment than outside. I sold, threw out, gave away a lot of stuff. But kept bed frame and an antique desk which I cleaned and vacuumed an put back in my new apartment. . Washed all my clothes with borax. Put framed pictures in storage. Began treatment for mold exposure with an ND familiar with Dr. Shoemakers’s work, but not certified in it. Began feeling better after a couple of months, then stopped going. Brought back some pictures from storage and almost immediately began having gastro issues and poor sleep. Began losing weight. Tingling, burning, numbness in feet, legs, thighs, buttocks. Tightness in chest. Allergies to my pets. Inflammation. Could my pictures have caused all this or was it that I stopped treatment too soon? I removed the pictures, but worry mold spores are now in my new furniture, rugs, matress. Had mold inspection again a week ago. He found no mold and air tests came back with very low amounts of spores. How could it be that I am reacting so strongly when there apparently is no mold or toxic spores? A reply with suggestions and feedback would be much appreciated.
    PS: bought the Austin air purifier through your office this last summer and run it all the time. Am following your diet recommendations.
    Anne-Sophie

    • Dear Anne-Sophie,
      Unfortunately your experience with re-exposure of belongings that were in moldy environment is not uncommon. It is very possible that belongings could be causing issues. Best to get rid of them if you suspect they are making you ill.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  136. HOME PARTNERS OF AMERICA THE SILENT AND DEADLEST REALESTATE SWEEPING THE NATION.
    They will con you, poison you and take EVERYTHING you have to make a dollar. HPOA willing put us in a TOXIC BLACK MOLD infested home and didn’t care that it almost killed us. They took everything from us just to line their pockets to PROFIT!!! Every day is a struggler to make it threw.I WAS ONCE HEALTHY AND NOW SCARED, BLISTERED, AND LIFE IS A CHALLANGE EVERY DAY TO FUNCTION. WE LOST OUR HOME, BELONGINGS AND EVERYTHING WE EVER HAD. WENT FROM HAPPY, HEALTHY TO HOMELESS WITH EMPTY POCKETS AS HOME PARTNERS OF AMERICA LINNED THEIRS AND ARE STILL COVERING IT UP. WE HAVE DOCUMENTS FROM INSPECTIONS (DID NOT PASS), EMAILS FROM THEM, VP’S FLYING TO OUR HOME, 2 MOLD COMPANY’S WITH TOXIC HIGH LEVELS OF FINDINGS, LABS, DOCTORS, RESTORATION REPORTS, WITNESSES, PHOTOS AND STILL COVERING IT UP. THS IS A WIDE SPREAD ISSUES THAT PEOPLE NEED TO DISCUSS AND TREAT JUST AS CANCER, AIDS, MS ANYTHING. I WAS ONCE HAPPY HEALTHY AND NOW TO LIVE AND FIGHT THIS POISON INSIDE ME IS A DAILY BATTLE.

  137. Dr Jill, we moved into a new house a couple of months ago and the seller didn’t disclose any water damage. I discovered some patchwork in the basement ceiling that leads me to believe something water related happened. My wife has been feeling ill and after having a stool sample tested she has blastocystis hominis. Could this be caused by indoor mold spores? Also, we started smelling a foul odor in the basement shortly after moving in that we are trying to figure out the source.

    • Hi Jed,
      Mold can weaken the immune system and lead to other infections but the mold didn’t specifically cause the infection. If you are concerned, I would hire a professional environmental expert to inspect and sample your basement.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  138. Hi again Dr. Carnahan,
    I am now faced with having to move again. Devestaying both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, I have listened to “experts” that really did not know just how important it is to leave everything behind. Also trusted mold inspector who did air sample testing and told me my current environment was ok. I have come to learn that certain spores don’t stay airborne long and that air testing only collects a sample in the direct vicinity where sample is taken. I had replaced all my furniture since last exposure and now am looking at selling/storing/donating everything again. It will be very hard to start from absolute scratch. I don’t even trust that I can take my clothes. So much money lost with all this.
    I am assuming pets need to be bathed before taking to new environment? Worry about my office where I go in my clothing with spores and have brought files from my home office. What to do about that? What about my car? I have likely transferred spores there, too. Where does it all stop?

    • Hi Anne-Sophie
      I am sorry to hear about your experience… I suggest cleaning clothing and pets before going to new environment. You may also have your car detailed and that should take care of it. The good news is over time you will likely become less reactive to your environment.
      warmly
      Dr. Jill

  139. PS: refer to your answer from 12/12. Would not items with spores have cross contaminated all my things by now? Don’t I need to move as I have wall to wall carpeting in my bedroom and shades ( porous)on my windows that likely have spores on them? I am renting and cannot tear up rug or get rid of window shades.

  140. Hi and happy New Year!
    I asked in a previous post about my office where I have come with my clothes from home with mycotoxins. I have brought files there from my home office,too. Do I need to find another office? Or is it enough to clean well? It has carpeting, so that could be an issue, I think. What is your recommendation? It would be hard to find something without any history of water damage/leaks here in Portland, Oregon. Also my kids have taken some of the things from my old place. They could then contaminate my new place by just coming in there? Where does it end?

  141. Hi Jill,

    Im from Australia and was intially clinically diagnosed with lyme however now 3 lyme tests have come back negative, my doc has done gene testing to find i am mold susceptible and have marcons. In the last lyme test they also were able to culture 3 types of mold from my blood sample so there is mold in my blood stream over 5/6 weeks. This shocked me and worries me that its potentially very dangerous if its in my blood…. is this common? All my standard bloods are normal so for 4 months western medicine told me i was healthy and needed anti depressants. Would love your opinion! Thank you

    • Hi Eve,
      I don’t know of any tests that detect mold in the blood. I suspect you are talking about antibodies, which means you have been exposed at some time in the past but it is unlikely you have mold in your bloodstream
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  142. Hi – great site. I will try to keep this short. Got gravely ill in mid 2015 after a very wet summer in the UK. My flat began to suffer mould problems (which I didn’t realise until later). I suddenly (and I mean in a period of 1-2 months) developed what was diagnosed as pulmonary arterial hypertension. I knew the diagnosis was wrong because of how suddenly it came on. My arterial pressures were dramatically raised though, causing breathlessness, pulse of 120/130 bpm, dizziness, etc. I also started to get hyperthyroid symptoms on the dose of thyroid meds I’d been treating my hypothyroid symptoms with for 5 years. It took about a year but I noticed one day that my mattress had mildew on it! I’d seen mould on the walls and windows but didn’t realise it had infected my belongings. The cabinets on either side of my bed, the drawers I kept my clothes in, and my sofa and armchair had mould growing in/on them too! I could not move so bought a dehumidifier, replaced my mattress and gave away the rest of my furniture and moved into the least mouldy room. My health improved drastically, although not totally. Once I got away from the constant exposure, I realised what I thought was chronic GERD was actually a histamine response to mycotoxin containing foods. Almost everything I was eating was exacerbating the problem (I lived on bread, coffee, cereals, chocolate, cheese, pasta, etc). The first time my arterial pressures were tested after my discovery and change of sleeping area, they had reduced by 25%! They improved this much before I made some dietary changes and actually started to feel better. I don’t know what they are now but I have a hospital appointment coming up so will hopefully find out soon. I also have an appointment with an allergist tomorrow but, as has been said by others, they will probably be no help. I have since moved home into a mould free (as far as I can tell) environment. We do not have any Shoemaker practitioners in the UK that I can find and, even if we did, I cannot afford the testing. Is there some simple thing I can do to help detox my body? I am generally much, much better but if I eat any of the mycotoxin containing foods, I either get a bit wheezy, or gastro upsets, or breathlessness on exertion and/or post nasal drip. Taking the zyrtec/zantac combo clears this up within a day and taking the right probiotics has generally helped my gastro issues. I know somebody like me who wants free advice is every doctor’s nightmare so please don’t think I ask this question lightly. The mainstream medical profession almost killed me last year by refusing to listen to me when I told them my symptoms had come on rapidly. They diagnosed me with a life limiting disease and are now treating me like I am a bit crazy because my symptoms have improved even though I have been refusing to take their huge doses of medicine (for example, 150mg A DAY of Viagra or 700mg per day of Amlodipine!!) I am convinced the only reason I am still here and relatively well is because I know my body well enough to get a clue about what was wrong with it, and I never stopped searching for answers. Any advice you can give me would be gratefully received. Thanks for the good work you do in this field. Doctors like you are lifesavers!

    • Hi Rose,
      You can start by trying some of the tips I give in this article… Unfortuantely this is a long and complex process of healing and there is no simple answer. Most patients take years to get completely well….
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  143. Dear Dr. Jill,

    I’m in the process of researching the effects of mold exposure and mold remediation. In 2006 we moved into a new home and within a year my health started to decline. 2012 I had to have my thyroid removed and it turns out that I have Thyroid cancer. I’m 52 years old and until I moved into this house I rarely had a cold. My health is still declining, primarily I have bone aches, insomnia, a constant lung pain (like nails scrapping the insides), GI issues, muscle weakness, I’m constantly tired and I’ve put on 60 pounds (since 2006). I realize that these can also be symptoms of thyroid cancer but I suspect mold issues as we located water damage and mold in the basement. My TSH was being suppressed but the last year I have been in the low normal range with no improvements in my health. Also for the past year my lymph nodes (neck) have been swollen with the ultrasound showing “unremarkable”. I have had lung tests, CT scans, upper/lower GI’s and other tests, all of which come back negative. My doctors are unable to find any issues. I actually had a doctor recommend a psychiatrist.

    The reason I’m writing is to ask a few questions. The information that I’ve located on the web primarily states that you must move out of your home and leave all your belongings behind. I have been unable to locate information for those of us who do not wish to move, for whatever reason. If it turns out that my health issues are due to mold exposure then I would chose to fight for both my health as well as my home. I love where I live. Is it possible to complete remediation with a clean ERMI test (under 2?), remove the contents of your home, save (sanitize) non-porous items, replace porous items and then move back into your home? Where would I find information on this process? Would I be able to “Remove the mold” from my home and then begin on my health recovery?

    Even if we had to discard everything we owned and start over in a new house there would be no guarantee of a mold free environment. The mold was not visible in our current home when we purchased it and we would not have found the mold if it weren’t for a rogue snake that got into our house. I had my husband tearing apart walls in the basement to locate it. 😉 My point is that at least with this house we have a starting point in locating the mold issues.

    What I want to know is is it possible to “remediate” your house and improve your health within that house? If so, where can I find information on the process?

    Thank you for your help, I appreciate it!

    • Hi Gloria, It all depends… many patients who have CIRS cannot tolerate even the smallest exposures. I would at least recommend leaving the home while they are remediating the area to minimize exposure. You can find resources on http://www.survivingmold.com
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  144. My boyfriend and I both worked at a 24hr establishment as baristas…We were both exposed to moldy trash bins which we neglected to see for months. I noticed an unpleasant odor coming from the area where the worst one was located, I asked if anyone else smelled a putrid odor and no one else did. Upon replacing the can liner during an unusually slow shift, I was disgusted and alarmed to find at least 3 inches of white and green mold at the bottom of the bin. Since I have a history of severe mold sensitivies/allergies (confirmed with blood and skin scrape tests) I alerted a fellow employee, who then placed outside to later be cleaned by another employee.
    During my next shift I still smelled the same putrid mold smell, I lifted the can liner, looked inside to see if it was even cleaned, or just cleaned poorly…by doing so, it was quite evident that it was not even remotely cleaned, and I just put myself in harms way by basically huffing my kryptonite…aspergillis, aspergillis niger, penicillium, penicillin, and stachybotrys being the most toxic to me. When I am exposed to any of these molds, or cosume anything which contains ascorbic acid, I go into anaphylactic shock.
    Shortly after the inhaling of said spores I began to feel symptoms, I called my boyfriend and fellow employee, he immediately came to the shop and covered all of the moldy bins with borax, he then left to take family to the airport promising to return as fast as possible. It was during a rush, we were very busy, and grossly understaffed…within the hour I was experiencing full blown anaphylaxis, I tried alerting my bosses and no one answered. I did my best to work through my severe symptoms until my boyfriend came to relieve me.
    I sat in the parking lot, the owner came, I alerted him that I needed medical help, in anaphylactic shock and without an epipen, and he told me to drive home.
    Later that night my boyfriend throughly cleaned the trash bins with borax and boiling water, then gave them a final scrubbing with just borax. He has been exhibiting symptoms of mold poisoning ever since, and this was about 2 weeks ago. It sucks because I know exactly what he’s going through.
    …so my question is, what should I do to get him better?
    Long ago when I found myself in his shoes, very well knowing I was sick from mold, and going to doctors to try to get better, no one wanted to acknowledge mold as a culprit.
    What can we do to better expedite/relay that he was intimately exposed to molds and isn’t merely “just sick”?
    Thank you kindly.

    • HI Erica
      You may find an expert to help you at surviving mold.com. The first thing is remove yourself from any exposure and start binders
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  145. I was helping out a friend clean an old apartment building I think I inhaled mold I got most of the symptomss. I went to a doctor who gave me an antibiotic that doesn’t seem to help. So I started using clay and other binders I also stopped eat carbs , sugar and dairy like the detox diett. After a week u felt almost normal. But now it’s been about two weeks since I started a I fell tiers and I lost almost 20 pounds which isn’t good because I’m already skinny. Do I need to continue the diet? Or are are binders enough? Also how do you know if there is mold growing in you? Thank you for your help. Sincerely Kody

  146. Dr. Jill,

    We are renting a house and unsure if there may be a mold problem. I have looked for options to cleanse the air if possible (just to make sure). I have come across an air purification system that advertises reduction of mold in the house. Can you tell me if you think it could be an effective system? It is called the “Air Scrubber Plus”. http://airscrubberplus.com/

    http://airscrubberplus.com/the-technology#how-it-works-1

    “The key components of the Air Scrubber Plus® are the honeycomb surface and the UV light. The surface – coated with a titanium oxide and a proprietary formulation of reactive metals – creates a catalytic reaction that generates charged clusters of hydrogen and oxygen.”

    Not sure if this is good or not. Your professional opinion would be very useful. Thanks.

    • Hi Jason,
      The UV filters may create radical oxygen species. For patients with lung issues, it is not a good idea. I use and recommend Austin Air Healthmate Plus. Call Amy for more information and discount pricing 303-993-7910
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  147. Hello Dr Jill Thanks so much for this great post on Mold. Since March of last year I experienced alot of symptoms that were common from mold exposure. I was an athlete and could run and had high endurance ezt,.

    After retracing back 5 years of my life I remembered that in my office right above me the ceiling around the vents were black and it would always smell musty. I realized I had been exposed to mold since then

    I changed my diet to Paleo glutten free diet and it has helped alot. i still had some remaining symptoms, so recently I decided to check my house for mold and they found 34,000 spores of Apseriligis / penicillin in the bathroom. and a low count 84 of Stachybatrous on the wall.

    Ive taken the Recommended test from dr shoemaker from my own research and my doctor was nice enough to add all these testing on the prescription for me. SOme of the results showed
    Tgf-Beta1 was 8060, MSH was 5.9 & VEGF was 77. Im waiting now to see if I have that geno type.

    I have not been able to run like I used to cause when I start running after like 5 minutes my feet and legs start feeling heavy and Some what cramp. I feel like they are not recieving enough oxygen or circulation.

    I have not started any supplement protocal yet.

    My question is do you think by leaving my house all the symptoms should return back to normal?

    Should I still continue running or should I wait for my markers to get back to normal first?

    Despite that I have good digestion and have like 2 to 3 normal bowl movements a day, does that mean I still need to get binders like Gluthiane force and charcol ezt,?

    Once again thanks for writing about this topic.

    • Hi John
      I am sorry to hear about your symptoms! I experienced a very similar course after mold exposure in my office… from running 25-30 miles per week to barely being able to walk up one flight of stairs. CIRS and biotoxin illness will impair your body’s ability to delivery oxygen to the tissues. You may continue gentle exercise but you must stop if you feel numbness/heaviness or shortness of breath. Binders, glutathione and an air filter may help you start to get well… Leaving the exposure is also critical but it may take 6-24 months for you to get well…
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  148. Thanks Dr Jill.

    I had one more question. I got the results back from Quest Diagnostics and I cant seem to read it. My doctor gave me the prescritpion to take it but I know he wont be able to interpret it.

    I did the DRB1 LOW Resolution to see if I have the gene for mold susceptability.

    The results where

    DRB1 DRB1 *01 (DR1)
    DRB1 DRB1 *04 (DR4)

    This is what showed up. Does this mean I have this gene?

    Your input would be great.

    Thanks again for your help

  149. Thanks Dr Jill.
    I thought the Lab test I took would be sufficient to check if I had that Geno type.

    I did take the HLA for Celiac Disease and this is what came out? Not sure if this was helpful to determine if I had the gene.

    HLA DQ2 > Negative
    HLA DQ8 > Positive
    HLA Variants Detected: HLA DQA1* > 01
    HLA DQA1* > 03
    HLA DQB1* > 0302
    HLA DQB1* > 0501

    So Can I get these remaining Labs done at Quest Diagnostics? If so, are these these the names you described DRB1,3,4,5 and DQB1 so that I can let my doctor know?

    Thanks Again for your help!!

    Many blessings

  150. Hello Dr Carnahan hope you are doing great. BY the way Im waiting for those other test I took (DRB 3, 4, 5). Thanks

    I had a question? Do you think its necessary to get the Mycotoxins Testing from RealTime Labs to see if I have the mycotoxins?
    Does it really matter since the markers I already took (Tgf-Beta1 was 8060, MSH was 5.9 & VEGF was 77) point that I have bio-toxins in me and also that I had worked for 5 years in a Mold environment, and my symptoms have been common mold symptoms.
    In other words, will this urine test help me to root out other problems related to mold?

    Also wanted to know how one knows if we have colinization in the nasal area or other areas?

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    • If your CIRS labs are abnormal, you don’t need to do mycotoxin testing. You should test nasal culture to rule out MARCONs due to your low MSH
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  151. Thanks Alot!! Dr Jill.

    Will be Getting on Activated Charcol and binders, & Gluthiane while I wait for the DRb 3, 4, 5.

    Is there a particular test name for the Nasal Culture? Or can one take them at quest with a Docs prescription?

    IM still looking for a good mold doctor who can guide me here near Miami.

    Thanks Again for all your input.

    Have a blessed day!!

  152. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were
    just preparing to do a little research about this.
    We grabbed a book from our local library but I think I learned better from this post.
    Im very glad to ssee such magnificent info being shared freely out there..

  153. Hi Dr. Jill!
    Thank you for all your information that help people like me that have nowhere to turn for answers! I have a question on my HLA test came back as:
    DQB1*03
    DQB1*06
    DRB1*13
    DRB1*– (blank)
    DRB3*02
    DRB3*03
    It looks like I have 2 haplotypes that are Mold Susceptible, but the 13-3-52B sequence is that Multisusceptible?

    Also, my MSH came back as <8. Have you ever seen people recover to normal MSH numbers (+35)?? The more my husband and I research this, it is getting so depressing on the low levels of MSH. We need good news on how I can get the MSH up. Any advice would be so much appreciated!!!
    Thank you for your time!
    ~Rose

      • Dr. Jill, thank you so much! I am so glad to hear that it is possible to get MSH numbers back up!
        The reason I was asking about the HLA 13-2-52B sequence is because I do not see that combo of numbers on the rosetta stone. The 2-52B is under multisuseptible but the 13 is under mold suseptible.
        My family doctor told me I was on my own with deciphering these numbers since she didn’t know their meaning. Thank you so much!!
        ~Rose

  154. Hello,
    I don’t know if this is the right place to ask this question but I’ll give it a try.
    Back story:
    Last summer I was working on a live aboard dive boat as a divemaster and started getting progressively sicker starting about half way through the summer symptoms included: whole body numbness especially in the face, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue many other various psychological symptoms. I realized at the end of the summer that there was a thin layer of mold growing on the interior diaphragm of the second stage of my scuba regulator. When I got back from the summer I talked to my doctor and all he did was give me a chest x-ray to make sure I didn’t have a lung infection and then just kind of dropped it. I was probably breathing on that regulator for about three hours a day for about two months while the mold was in it.
    Since then I’ve gotten somewhat better but I’m still having a myriad of issues. So my question is after this kind of exposure how long can it take to go back to normal and is there anything that I can do to speed up the process? Any information would be helpful. Thanks.

    • Hi Kyle,
      You may needed to be treated… keys are avoidance of any mold or toxic exposure, taking prescription binders to decrease load of biotoxins in body, testing and treating any colonization in lungs/sinuses or gut. And down regulating the inflammation in your body. It may take 6-24 months to heal. This is no laughing matter… a man inhaling mold from his bagpipes died from the exposure… more here and here.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  155. Hi Rebecca
    All of the symptoms you are describing could be attributed to Chronic inflammatory syndrome from biotoxin illness. IF you are genetically susceptible and you were exposed to a significant dose of toxic mold your immune system may be reacting.
    Warmly
    Dr Jill

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  159. Hey Dr Jill hope you are doing great. I got back my results today. My doctor couldn’t read the results. Based on these results do i have the Geno type for Mold suscesbility? The labs were done by Quest. Thanks for all your help. 🙂

    HLA DQ2 > Negative
    HLA DQ8 > Positive
    HLA Variants Detected: HLA DQA1* > 01
    HLA DQA1* > 03
    HLA DQB1* > 0302
    HLA DQB1* > 0501

    DRB3,4,5 DRB4*01 (DR53)
    DRB3,4,5 DRB4*01 (DR53)

    • Thanks, John
      You have 4-3-53 one of the “dreaded” phenotypes and 1-5 correlated with low MSH
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  160. Thanks Dr Jill for your quick response. Does that mean I have susceptability to Mold then? do I fall under that 25% percent of the population?
    I added these codes to a calculator online and it said im Multi-suscetable. Don’t get what that really means.

    Thanks again for all your input.

    God Bless

  161. Hey Thanks alot for your input Dr Jill.

    One more question. Do you think it would be better to get on Cholestyramine since I was exposed to mold for a long time in my previous job for 5-7 years?

    Or do you think the natural way is better with binders (upgraded Coconut charcol) high vitamin C, and glutathiane Force?

    Thanks Again for all your input. Your the best.

    • Hi John
      Best to tak to your doctor and get a plan that fits for you! CSM is the best studied binder for biotoxin illness but not everyone tolerates it well.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  162. Hi Mary,
    Mold can cause up-regulation of TGF beta which drives TH17 and autoimmune disease, but I don’t think celiac disease makes you more prone to mold-related illness. However, the genetics for celiac disease are shared by mold-sensitive individuals.
    warmly
    Dr Jill

  163. Dr. Jill, thank you for answering all these questions! This site is a wealth of information for those of us that have just started on this journey and don’t know where to find answers!

    My question for you has to do with moving into a new home from a previous mold home.

    We will be leaving most everything behind but wanted your experienced opinion on cleaning techniques. (There are so many different/confusing answers out there!)

    *What is the difference between quaternary ammonia vs. regular ammonia? 

    *What is the best recommended product for cleaning (new) clothes daily in the washing machine to get rid of any mycotoxins: ammonia, oxiclean, borax…etc. ?

    *For daily cleaning i.e. floors, counters, surfaces…which of these cleaning agents works well to keep our new environment from being contaminated by everyday living?

    Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Darren,
      Quaternary ammonia is better for cleaning molds/mycotoxins. I recommend borax for clothes and finish with Downy free and gentle. I generally do not recommend fabric softners but this product contains quaternary ammonium compounds. You can use dilute borax for cleaning or citrisafe.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

  164. Hello Dr Jill hope your having an awesome day. I finally was able to find a doctor in Orlando which is 4 hours away. My appointment is not until April.

    I had a question? Meanwhile while I wait for my appointment, Do you think it would help me to get on Glutathione?

    I did some labs 2 weeks ago and my marker was 691 for a total Glutathione. The range is 544 – 1228. I had it done at quest.

    I did purchase Daves glutathione force, but havent started on it. I understand that you can increase your glutathione through Certain types of foods ezt,,.

    With all that said do you think it would help me if I also supplemented with Glutathione Force? Would the glutathione help with the lack of oxinigation delivery to my muscle cells?
    My legs still cramp up sometimes and go numb sometimes when trying to jog lightly.

    Once again thanks for all your info.

    Blessings

    • Hi John
      Glad you found a doc closer to you! Glutathione is helpful for many people… give it a try and see how you feel. The leg cramping is from cytokines inhibiting oxygen delivery to your tissues.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

      • Thanks alot Dr Jill. I just have 2 more questions. Sorry for the many questions.

        Is there anything I can do to lower the inflammation from the cytokines?

        Once TgfBeta 1 is Lowered will it lower the inflammation from the cytokines and also lower my VEGF?

        My VEGF was at 77) which was within high range. My tgfbeta1 is at 8,000

        Once Again thanks for your input. Your the best.

  165. Hi Dr Jill. I had sudden onset of anxiety 2 years ago and it all centred around my period. 9 days into my cycle i would get anxiety and depression and it would last 12 days. The doctors don’t seem to be able to pinpoint what caused everything to go wrong suddenly. I already had ocd when this happened and pcos. The bedrooms in my house do have mold and we’re currently seeking to address the issue. I am on birth control now and antidepressants which have helped. I want to know, if the problem was/is caused by mold, would birth control and antidepressants work to help the symptoms? I’m just hoping it’s the answer to my health problems.

    • Hi Hayley,
      No, unfortunately birth control and antidepressants will not overcome a biotoxin/mold issue
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  166. Hi Dr. Jill. What is your opinion of the VIP nasal spray treatment if VIP is low on a blood test? Are there any health concerns to worry about when taking it?

    • Hi Brian,
      In order to safely use VIP, you must be out of any mold exposure with normal ERMI test, normal TGF beta, normal visual contrast and normal lipase.
      Warmly
      Dr Jill

      • Thank you for the reply. A friend of mine who is sick recently had the HLA DR test done and came back with the following combinations: 17-2-52B, 17-5-52B, 10-2-52B, 10-5-52B. Looking at the list of possible susceptibilities, I don’t see any that she is at risk for. 17-2-52A says mold susceptible but not 17-2-52B (although I saw on a website that after the Dallas CIRS 2016 meeting they think there is a possibiilty of 17-2-52B also being susceptible??) I’ve read that there are 54 known hapoltypes – is that according to Shoemaker? Who came up with or discovered them? Are all the ones with risks/susceptibilities according to him and his practice?

        I’m trying to understand all this better. After doing some research, there are quite a few doctors and scientists who do not buy into his correlations, saying there just has not been enough repeated science to prove any of it. It’s just his anecdotal findings. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on this?

        Thanks so much!

  167. Hello Dr Jill. I finally had my appointment and it went great. My tgfbeta-1 went down from 8,000 to 4,500. YAY!!
    I had a question about my MSH.
    My MSH was at 5.9 and I know that I have the 4-3-53 phenotypes and 1-5 correlated with low MSH.

    My question is can higher that MSH with nasal sprays or other treatments?
    Cause the doctor that saw me 2 days ago advised me that I will always be low MSH due to my genetics.

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  170. Hello Dr. Jill, I’ve felt some symptoms since November of last year as described from the list such as difficult to concentrate, headaches, morning stiffness, blurred vision (dizziness), night sweats, constant sinus infections and change in moods. I have recently gone to the doctor and found nothing. They even did a cat scan of my sinus and a chest x-ray and nothing, also my blood work did not show anything other than a fatty liver, but today I noticed that on top of my office there are 2 AC vents with black discoloration on the inside, hence the google search and me finding this site. I recently moved to this new job since early October 2016. My office is in a trailer turned office and would problably guess built back in the 80’s (or earlier). How bad can it be if I am in here all day with the vents turning on and off during the day? Unfortunately my entire day is inside in the office, and my other colleagues (4 other people) have not seem to be struggling.
    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Allessandro,
      You could certainly be exposed to something in your environment contributing to illness. Best to test and not guess if you are concerned… it is possible for you to feel ill when no one else does due to genetic influences.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  171. Hi I have a friend who has had a sore throat for 3 years. Eventually she had the house tested for mold and it was loaded with it. Now she is starting to have other health issues.. Is it possible mold poisoning could lead to the sore throat and what are the next steps to take? Thank you

    • Hi Bruce,
      Mold exposure can cause both respiratory issues and immune dysfunction.
      warmly
      Dr Jill

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  174. Hi Dr. Jill
    My co-workers and I suffer from many, if not all, of the symptoms you have listed and yes this building we work in is infested with mold. Do you know who we could contact to get the mold issue fixed? We have all spoken to the manager but 6 years later, it is much worse, and nothing is ever done about the issue. I have started developing sensitivities to food I have never had issues with in the past. My allergies and asthma are much worse and the headaches are intense; all of which are exasperated at the office.
    Thanks,
    Dawn

  175. Hello, so I have been experiencing hives like rush that comes and goes away in 24 hours, but every day I have in different parts of the body. I never had an allergic reaction to anything. I was told I my metabolic test showed I had high creatinine level 1.25 and GFR of 57 which Dr said it could be to dehydration. I am breastfeeding and drink about 120 oz of water in 24 hours and I still get the skin reaction with tender fingertips, swollen eyelids, lips ans sore muscle… that soreness disappears within 24 hours…sometimes shortness of breath and little cough. Please help with any suggestions. Thanks

    • Hi Maria
      try adding Quinton Hypertonic 1 vial in AM – call Amy to ship 303-993-7910
      warmly
      Dr Jill

  176. I’ve been going to a naturopath since the beginning of the year and they suspect the mold issue in my past. Can this still affect me now, even after I’ve been out of that environment for over 10 years? Or is it more likely in one of my current environments (work or home)? They found my immune system was super low, very low on many minerals/vitamins and body wasn’t detoxing like it should. They’ve had me on a probiotic, vitamin D, magnesium, a whole food multi, and grapefruit seed extract. They recently added glutathione, and a couple other things. I eat a totally paleo diet. I saw slight improvement initially, but my ear congestion (constant popping since last year April) and inflammation really hasn’t gone down. Feeling discouraged. Any thoughts or advice?

    • Yes, without proper treatment, the inflammatory cytokine cascade triggered by mold can last a very long time…

  177. For CIRS, as I understand TGF Beta 1 raises Th17. Th17 produces TGF Beta 1. So its a sort of self-sustaining inflammatory process.

    I’m wondering if you’ve found any effective therapies that lower Th17 (either clinically or from cross-validated research).

    This article covers it in detail, however the variability and size of the effects of the alternative therapies covered are not well detailed.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/548086/

    Cheers,
    Greg

    • Thank you, Greg! You are quite right… I find treating the root toxic exposure or infection triggering the elevation in TGF beta may be the best way to address this, but as you can imagine not always simple
      warmly
      Dr Jill

      • Hi Dr C

        I’ve seen some of your treatment protocols via the Inst of Fun MD.

        Some insights. Dr Andrew Heyman is finding success with Nicotinamide riboside and intranasal administration of RS3 (extract of panax ginseng). I’ve tried the former with magnesium theronate with some success in treating brain fog. Its a lot better than AL-Car. There is a compounder of RS3 in Colorado which can prepare to his specs.

        Using Phosphatidylcholine push, or oral which is a bit easier to take regularlly, is good.

        Mycotoxin inhibits GSH producton (See Dr Guildford for his references on it) so IV GSH is good, but expensive and inconvenient. GSH is not well absorbed in the normal form. Acetyl-s-GSH is supposedly better. The best is liposomal GSH, which research shows a 75% impact compared to IV. So cheaper, convenient, can be used consistently over the day. Some Liposomal GSH is heat sensitive but there are brands which do not require refridgeration (Tri-Forte Orange is tested to have 100% effectiveness after exposure to 104 f for 30 days).

        Rectal ozone is worth considering as a mitochondrial boost, and mycotoxin in activator.

        Based on your treatment protocol you indicate success with probiotics. l plantarum is supposed to cleave mycotoxins in the gut, and S Boulardii, depending on which mycotoxin. For probiotics, have you seen benefit from Streptococcus theramophilus on reducing Th17?

  178. I was living with mold for over 15 years without realizing it. I now have psoriasis on my scalp, really bad on all my finger nails and a few parts of my body. I’m sure that was the main reason as to why I have it. It must have definitely weakened my immune system. I honestly never ate bad to begin with and I know they say diet can have a huge factor in it.

    I have black mold in my system and candida, so I’m eating well, doing a candida cleanse, taking antifugal supplements, high probiotics and exercising a lot. I haven’t had a clear head in years, I always have no energy and I’m tired all the time. It’s horrible. It’s a chore to even get up. But I’m trying and I hope this can work. I fear that the damage has already been done to my system so much that it’ll be impossible to get rid of this. If it does, it will take years. 🙁

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