Dr. Jess teaches us the symptoms of mold exposure and offers a unique treatment plan to help us clean up our internal health. Mycotoxins grow on various types of crops, including cannabis/hemp, and foodstuffs often under warm and humid conditions. These can make you very sick.
How to Heal From Mold Exposure: A 10-Step Guide
Mold is a type of fungus grown in multicellular filaments on moist food and other surfaces. While generally thought to be an outdoor problem, mold contamination in buildings is quite common. In fact, the negative effects of air pollutants have been receiving increased attention both clinically and in the media.
One study from Harvard University surveyed 13,369 children aged 8 to 12 years from 24 communities across North America. The report found that the prevalence of indoor mold growth affected 450% of households in five communities.
That is huge and an often overlooked problem.
In my line of work, I see mold toxicity as the match that lights the fire of other illnesses, pathogens and autoimmunity. It has the ability to imbalance the immune system and knock it out of homeostasis; predisposing you to a plethora of other problems and conditions. In fact, mycotoxins — the secondary metabolite released from mold — are used in chemical warfare.
So what are mold symptoms?
Symptoms of mold exposure range from brain fog and bloating and include the inability to hold urine, static shocks on the skin, shortness of breath, asthma diagnoses, visual changes, fatigue, and weight gain.
So if you find yourself in a water damaged home, what can you do to remedy your health?
10 Ways To Heal From Mold Exposure
- First, remove the offending agent and get out of the moldy house! It’s difficult to heal from mold for some people if you are still living in a water damaged home. Mold spores can be breathed into the body through the nasal cavity and lungs; making continuous exposure harder for the body to rid itself of the offending agent.
- Load up with omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil or krill oil. CBD oil and other anti-inflammatories like curcumin or alpha-lipoic acid may also be useful before starting the treatment. This will lessen healing detox reactions. Be sure to stay hydrated.
- Before beginning any binder or detox treatment, you’ll need to ensure that the toxins have somewhere to go or can leave the body. Otherwise, it is similar to a construction site where the dust has been kicked up, which has the potential to make you feel terrible. For the first month, I work on opening up the body’s natural drainage pathways: bowels, mitochondria (which make cellular energy), bile, lymph, liver, and sweat pathways. We attempt to ensure you are sweating ok, pooping normally, have good energy, and digesting properly.
- Once the body’s drainage pathways are open, it is time to help the body fully remove the colonized mold. I employ the “Kill, Bind, and Sweat” method, which works beautifully for a lot of people. The method involves first taking a natural herbal killer to attack yeast that often runs with mold. After this, there is a 20 to 30 minute waiting period. The second step “Bind” uses a toxin binder that helps to mop up toxicities and bind up mold spores. Finally, if tolerated, it is advantageous to sweat for 30 minutes after taking the binder. This three-step method not only gets biotoxin illness, but heavy metals and some environmental toxins as well. It is an excellent treatment plan to heal patients with multiple issues.
- Since mold colonizes the nasal cavity and is an entry point for other pathogens, it is important to treat the area directly for some exposed to mold. Neti pots with liquid antimicrobials are amazing. I often use propolis nasal spray, which is so sticky it can remove a number of pathogens. A silver nasal spray with a biofilm buster that has ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is extremely useful as are nasal botanical washes. A bactroban edetate disodium and gentamicin (BEG) spray, which includes EDTA and an antibiotic, is often used as my second line of treatment.
- Secondary issues, specific to each individual patient, will also need to be addressed. For example, if a patient has low secretory IgA, which means their soldier cells in the mucous membranes are too low, they will heal much faster by replacing those immunoglobulins. Products like colostrum from either dairy or glandulars are very beneficial for low IgA.
- Mitochondrial damage is common in mold exposure. Mold is able to generate a ton of reactive oxygen species which damage our DNA. I find that acetyl-L-carnitine, coq10, MtoATP, resveratrol, D-ribose, NAD, and nicotinamide useful for mitochondrial damage in some patients. The organic acids test (OAT) by Great Plains Lab may also elicit some key findings in how the mitochondria are functioning to help in narrowing treatment.
- The gut will likely need to be addressed as well, as it is definitely involved with the immune system. Avoid constipation as this will worsen healing detox reactions since toxins are not being moved out properly. Taking binders, which are necessary to remove mold, can predispose one to constipation, which you do not want. Digestive enzymes, bitters, probiotics, or anti-constipation aids should be employed. Magnesium, colon hydrotherapy, or coffee enemas are crucial during heavy detoxing. Diet should be free of processed sugars (fruit sugar is mostly tolerated but dependent on the person), gluten, dairy, or boxed/convenience foods.
- I often employ proactive tasks for the patients such as castor oil packs on the liver or gut, coffee enemas, and IV ozone. Ozone is extremely antipathogenic and has a successful track record against CIRS and biotoxin illness in general. Even ozone saunas can be helpful in the interim.
- Most importantly, do not give up! Indolent, chronic infections or exposures may take months to properly treat holistically and naturally but it can be done! Healing detox reactions should only last 2 weeks to a month at the longest, at which point, the patient breaks through and their body begins to positively react to treatment. Find a great integrative doctor who understands the impact of mold. Remember it rarely acts alone and the body is never wrong. It is always trying to warn and protect us!
Dr. Jess is a former hospitalist, internal medicine based medical doctor, and a certified Gerson Practitioner. She is an expert in the areas of stealth infections, environmental toxicity, regenerative medicine, ozone, and cannabis. Her passion lies in uncovering the mystery behind the chronic illness, whether that be stealth infections, heavy metals, stress/trauma, or other environmental toxicities. You can find her at Dr Jess MD or on Instagram @dr.jess.md.
What are mycotoxins and why are they a concern to CBD products?
Wonder why most fungi cause so many health issues? Some of those issues are from certain productions of fungus, known as mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites created by a fungus (molds). In basic terms, they are fungal poisons. The molds often grow on various types of crops (including cannabis/hemp) and foods under warm and humid conditions.
Types of Mycotoxins
Mycotoxins consist of four aflatoxins (O1, O2, G1, G2) and ochratoxin A. Ochratoxin A is a known carcinogen and can be dangerous. Aflatoxins are toxic, potentially causing immunotoxicity, teratogenicity, and hepatotoxicity.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is one of the most potent, naturally-occurring carcinogens. The most toxic member of the mycotoxins group.
What’s the Problem with Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are poisonous to both humans and animals. They cause various adverse effects, including acute poisoning. Long-term chronic exposure to mycotoxins may result in immune deficiencies and cancer. You can absorb mycotoxins by inhalation— for example, breathing in toxic mold in the environment, and through your skin or the intestinal lining if you eat foods contaminated with mycotoxins.
Symptoms of Possible Mold and Mycotoxin Exposure
- runny stuffy nose
- rapid weight gain or loss
- hair loss
- dry skin
- hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- chronic pain
- leaky gut
- blurred vision
- behavioral changes
- teeth conditions
- insulin resistance
- chemical sensitivity (Toxic Encephalopathy)
- constipation and or diarrhea
- abdominal cramps
- heart failure
Inflammatory conditions can occur due to mycotoxins’ ability to push the immune system into overdrive. It’s important to always check lab reports before using any cannabis product to ensure it is free of molds.
If mold or mycotoxin is a concern, please seek a licensed, knowledgeable practitioner to confirm a diagnosis and oversee treatment.