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Mold and Biotoxin Illness

gloved hand holding a sponge, wiping down a very moldy wall

Mold is everywhere. In nature it serves as "recycling manager" in our ecosystems.  There are small amounts of mold present in most homes and buildings that drifts in from the ambient mold in the environment.  Other than allergies, mold from the natural environment does not usually pose a significant health threat. The molds that occur inside buildings due to water damage are quite different from the molds in the outdoor environment. When mold grows inside a building due to water damage it can cause health issues that go far beyond allergies.  

For an unfortunate 25% or so of the population exposure to these indoor molds and the tiny chemicals they release (mycotoxins) can  initiate a dramatic cascade of immune and inflammatory badness.

Common symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety and/or depression

  • Headaches

  • Muscle weakness, frequent muscle cramps

  • Digestive issues that mimic IBS (cramping, bloating, diarrhea)

  • Joint pain

  • Mysterious skin issues (rashes, tingling, burning, crawling)

  • Chronic respiratory or sinus issues

  • Sudden weight gain

Coming from Seattle and now living in Austin, I am well acquainted with mold and mold illness.  Water damaged buildings are very, very common in general, and exceptionally common here in Austin.  

Identifying the presence of mold, what species, and where it is located are the first critical steps to healing. Knowing what kinds of mold are present can also help guide the healing process, as can various types of laboratory testing for the patient.  If you have become ill from mold exposure you MUST get away from the mold!  

I draw on my training and experience in holistic environmental medicine (teachers Walter Crinnion ND, and Paul Anderson ND), the work of Dr. Shoemaker's approach, as well as the work of Neil Nathan MD, Jill Crista ND and Lauren Tessier ND. 

Please check out the Resources section (Air, Mold, Health Buildings) for lots more information on testing, treatment and remediation.

I also want to recommend this excellent course created by my friend Brian Karr, an expert mold inspector with a specialty in inspecting homes for the 25% of people who are immuno-sensitive to water damaged buildings.  

The Mold Master Class

Clickable logo for Mold Master Class
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