Mold Detox Symptoms: Have You Been Exposed?
It’s time to dive deep into all things related to mold (mycotoxin) illness. Buckle up as we uncover the mysteries behind why mold makes you sick and unveil the most common (and not so common) mold detox symptoms.
We’re going to go far beyond just symptoms and also answer- why does mold make you sick, what are the most common mold detox symptoms, how do you remove mold from your body, and how long does that process take?
Ever wondered how to purge mold from your body? We’ve got the answers! Let’s dig in.
Table of contents
- What Causes Mold Illness?
- Why Does Mold Make You Sick?
- Does Everyone Exposed To Mold Get Sick?
- What Are The Symptoms You May Be Sick From Mold?
- How Do You Remove Mold Toxins From Your Body?
- What Causes Mold Detox Symptoms?
- What Are The Most Common Mold Detox Symptoms?
- How Long Does it Take to Detox Your Body From Mold?
- What Are The Symptoms of Mold Herx?
- What is The Best Way to Reduce Mold Detox Symptoms?
What Causes Mold Illness?
Mold tends to make humans sick when they have been repeatedly exposed to enough spores to the point where their body is unable to filter the toxins.
Now, when we say toxins, we are specifically referring to mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by fungi (mold). Mycotoxins are what actually make people sick.
For most people, brief contact with a high amount of mycotoxins won’t make you sick. Some very sensitive individuals can have issues but, usually, brief contact with mold from moldy food or sleeping one night in a moldy hotel room from a prior leak is not a problem.
Mold spores are every, and we encounter them all the time in the environment, naturally in certain foods such as wine or cheese, and there are a re lot of different types of mold.
The main issues occur when we have consistent exposure for long durations such as when we had a roof leak and didn’t know about the mold developing in our attack.
Repeated, long-duration exposure for more than a few weeks or years is most of the primary cause of mold mycotoxin illness. Common exposure issues occur at work and leaky roofs or unknown leaks before hinds things like dishwashers.
Why Does Mold Make You Sick?
Mold can make you sick simply from exposure, but it can also make you sick as you work to detox from it.
When detoxing from mold, you can experience an increase in the amount of toxins in circulation. This is what leads to mold detox symptoms. If you are unable to clear these toxins in a timely fashion, mold detox symptoms will be very intense, thus making you sick.
Few things in life can damage the mitochondria of our cells more than mold can.
These spores are so powerful that they have the ability to imbed themselves in the most sensitive areas of the body – sinuses, gut lining, lungs, testicles, ovaries.
In fact, we have found in our practice and also from studying under some of the greatest functional medicine physicians in the world that the root of many women’s health issues, such as PCOS, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer, is a root issue of mold toxicity. Or rather, exposure to mold without detoxification from the exposure.
Once mycotoxins enter our system, our body goes into overdrive trying to clear it. Insert fatigue, sinus issues, joint soreness, and stiffness. Months and years into this “overdrive” phase is what finally leads to disease because the body is breaking down without proper clearance and support.
PLEASE NOTE: An allergy to mold is different than mold toxicity!!!
Sure, you can have both issues, but mold colonizing our body and gunking up various pathways, leading to stress on our immune system, is different than an allergic response to mold exposure. This is a mistake and a misunderstanding commonly seen in conventional medicine. The conventional outlook that mold can’t make you sick unless you have an allergy is one of several major reasons why many individuals live for years and years feeling like trash despite going to 10+ different doctors.
“Well, my test did not show that I was allergic to mold. My doctor said I have nothing to worry about.”
Great, because you’re probably not allergic, but it doesn’t mean your body isn’t completely shutting down as a result of exposure.
Does Everyone Exposed To Mold Get Sick?
No, it depends on time, duration, type of mold, detox pathways, DNA, and also if you fall into the category of ~25% of people who do not produce the proper enzymes to effectively detox mold mycotoxins.
Case in point- We’ve treated families that lived in a house with mold where only 1 or 2 individuals in the family were sick, leading the other family members to believe mold couldn’t actually be a problem.
I have seen countless relationships end after mold exposure – perfect proof that overall health and genetics play such a profound role in mold illness.
It is unbelievable how many times I’ve witnessed this scenario: A couple will be living under the same roof, but one partner will become extremely ill, and the other might just experience a little brain fog or sinus congestion. The result, over time, tends to be a lot of confusion, frustration, and disbelief, thus leading to relationship turmoil.
And I don’t blame them. If you didn’t study this for a living, it just seems absurd.
What Are The Symptoms You May Be Sick From Mold?
The most common symptoms of mold toxicity are as follows:
- Brain Fog
- All over muscle/joint pain
- A heightened sense of smell when it comes to mold or mildew
Seems like basic symptoms that most American adults experience regularly. Confusing, right?
Right…Well, until you dig deeper.
After treating mold toxicity in hundreds of patients and also experiencing it firsthand myself, I can tell you that there is an additional unique set of symptoms that your body is using to let you know you are sick from mold.
Check them out:
- Frequent urination, especially in the middle of the night
- Borderline incontinence – where you have to urinate so badly (even after you just went) that it feels like you’re about to have an accident
- Extreme sensitivity to chemicals such as perfume, laundry detergent, and cigarette smoke
- Experiencing frequent static shock
- Extreme intolerance to alcohol- especially red wine. Some report feeling drunk or sick after half of a glass, and this uncomfortable feeling might even last a day or two
- Intense sugar cravings. “I may die if I do not get to eat that brownie.”
- Excessive thirst
- Terribly painful periods. Unable to get through a cycle without medication.
- Sensitivity to fermented foods, foods that naturally contain higher quantities of mycotoxins (like peanut butter, corn, etc.), or overripe foods like bananas with black spots or berries that start to grow white fuzz
- Some experience insatiable hunger
It’s important to note that not all individuals exposed to mold will experience these symptoms. Some may experience many, some may only experience one. However, it is worth mentioning because these unique signs can be an effective way to determine exposure without spending hundreds of dollars on testing.
Are you curious now if mold might be lurking in your environment? Check out our guide to mycotoxin testing to figure out if you are being exposed.
Also, be sure to stay tuned as we will soon have an in-depth guide to biotoxin illness for your viewing pleasure.
How Do You Remove Mold Toxins From Your Body?
Not surprsingly, you will receive different answers from different experts when it comes to removing mold toxins in the body.
Some will say throw any binders at it and jump in the sauna! Others claim that the approach will differ depending on the mycotoxin strains you’ve been exposed to.The next provider may make a push for heavier prescription medications like cholestyramine.
While a lot of this may be true to a certain extent, our recommendations, after many, many years of experience, both personally and professionally is as follows:
- Remove yourself from the source of exposure or limit as best as possible.
- Work with a functional dietitian to open up all detoxification pathways.
- Treat in the proper order. Gut infections must be cleared first before mold is addressed.
- Start with a gentle and effective binder then progress to more potent, and targeted binders. (The Biotoxin binder mentioned in this post is incredibly effective. It does not cause side effects for most and it can be taken with food. This makes for excellent patient compliance. It also does not completely strip the body of nutrients.)
- Incorporate vitamin and mineral support as you are clearing toxins.
What Causes Mold Detox Symptoms?
Simply put, when someone is exposed to the toxin metabolites that mold produces – AKA mycotoxins- and their body is not capable of clearing it, symptoms begin to arise.
Additionally, mycotoxin strains, gut health, genetics, and time frame of exposure all play a role.
Another critical fact I’ve learned over the years is that detox pathways can be clogged by infections such as parasites. At the start of my career, I did not understand that:
1) We have to take the time to open pathways FIRST (liver, kidneys, lymph nodes, etc.) and
2) These pathways have to be opened in the correct order.
So, if someone is living with a parasitic infection (think food poisoning, international travel, dirty water on a hike, etc.) and we do not take the time to clear that little guy first, we will have an awful time trying to clear the mold.
Parasites will feast on mold to keep themselves alive. Lovely, isn’t it? Apologies if you’re reading this on your lunch break.
Many clinicians just start throwing binders at the patient and wonder why the patient never truly experiences long-term success. This is why.
Summary: Mold detox symptoms occur when the body cannot clear effectively, and the body cannot clear effectively when we do not open pathways and clear infections in the correct order.
What Are The Most Common Mold Detox Symptoms?
Detoxing from mold can stir up a wide variety of aggravating symptoms. While this experience will differ from person to person, here are the most common mold detox symptoms:
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Skin flare (i.e., acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.)
- Sinus congestion/running
- Joint pain
- Increased anxiety
As clinicians in the trenches, we have found that the symptoms a client experiences from mold exposure is often the exact same symptom(s) amplified as the mold (mycotoxins) are leaving the body.
How Long Does it Take to Detox Your Body From Mold?
Well, it depends. If you’re in the 25% of people who don’t produce the enzymes to properly eliminate mold toxins from your body, it can be a long process.
It also depends on your current state of health as well as current exposures. Are you ill because you were exposed to mold 5 years ago in a prior work environment, or are you ill because you are being exposed day in and day out in your home? This is perhaps the biggest predictor of all in terms of your healing.
Even worse, if you read some of the garbage information on the internet from healthcare providers who’ve never suffered from mold toxicity nor have ever effectively treated a client or many clients with it, then you may be sick for a long, long time.
Here is an example of the nonsense we’re referring to, which was taken directly from Healthline and written by a dietitian.
This kind of information is often written by healthcare professionals who don’t work in the trenches. Rarely are the ones working day in and day out with very sick individuals because if they did, they would know having an approach like this won’t get you anywhere, and none of their clients would get better.
Don’t believe us? Be sure to check our 90+ 5-star reviews on Google. We’ve dealt with mold toxicity ourselves, and we’ve helped countless clients overcome mold toxicity, heavy metals, parasites, and more.
One of the major things providers such as this fail to understand when they make a claim such as “When functioning optimally, your body constantly detoxes itself…” is that we’re all living in a very toxic environment that impairs us from detoxing properly. Pesticides in our food, plastics in our water, seed oils causing inflammation, high levels of stress from life, etc. Very, very few people have optimally functioning detox pathways, which leads most of us to become very sick when encountering high levels of mold mycotoxins.
P.S. This is also why you may notice that you do not tolerate things like caffeine, alcohol, or junk food as well as you once did!
What Are The Symptoms of Mold Herx?
An extreme herx reaction might manifest as nausea, vomiting, and even full-body hives. This occurs when toxins are being excreted faster than the body can clear them. Back in the days when I worked in a functional medicine center in a hospital, we were told this was a “good thing” and “ Be sure to have the patient keep fighting through it.”
Now, I have learned this is absolutely NOT the way to go. In fact, we can make things much worse in the long run for the individual. Instead, slow and steady wins the race. If my client starts to feel terrible during treatment, I pull back the reigns until they can tolerate the treatment. Then we advance.
As mentioned previously, you may notice issues like extreme fatigue, sinus issues, or joint pain as the mycotoxins are exiting your body.
What I’ve noticed more than anything is that whatever the typical symptoms are that the client is experiencing, that is what tends to be amplified as they are detoxing. So, for example, if sinus issues are one of their biggest complaints, the sinuses will flare big time as we are clearing. For some, this is extreme drainage. For others, it feels like a complete blockage.
What is The Best Way to Reduce Mold Detox Symptoms?
- Work with a functionally trained dietitian.
- As mentioned above, it is crucial to work with someone who has experience being in your shoes. Mainstream healthcare providers simply believe the body will heal itself and don’t understand how to treat complex issues. So, be sure to look for someone with experience in helping people overcome mold toxicity. You need someone who can guide you through the process! We offer a free 15-minute strategy call to potential clients and are happy to explain how we can help you restore your health.
- Up your hydration!!
- This is probably the most underrated part of limiting mold detox symptoms. You need to constantly hydrate to keep the flow of toxins out of your body. Without this, many of them recirculate.
IF YOU ARE NOT POOPING 1-2X A DAY, YOU ARE IN TROUBLE!! REPEAT, IN TROUBLE. TOXINS NEED TO CLEAR CONSTANTLY FOR YOU NOT TO EXPERIENCE EXTREME MOLD DETOX SYMPTOMS. You will fall ill quickly when toxins become trapped, only to recirculate.
- Pro tip: If you want to reduce inflammation as you up your hydration, add a hydrogen tablet to your water once or twice a day. Hydrogen water is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and all you have to do is drop a tablet in and drink it within 2-3 minutes after it dissolves. We recommend and personally use H2 Elite by Quicksilver Scientific, which is available on Fullscript for cheaper than on Amazon. Use our link to create your account and get 20% off all your supplement orders for life!
- Use electrolytes to improve hydration.
- If you don’t add electrolytes, you often won’t really become “hydrated,” and much of the water will just pass through you quickly. This is especially important if you are very active. Consider adding a basic electrolyte blend like Ultima to improve your hydration and reduce your mold detox symptoms.
- Sauna- Sweat it out!
- In case you haven’t noticed yet, a big part of reducing mold detox symptoms is keeping things moving in and out of your body. Water in, toxins out. Rinse and repeat.
- Saunas help mobilize toxins and can help reduce mold detox symptoms when used correctly. What does that mean? Go SLOW and listen to your body. If you jump into a sauna and go for a full 30 minutes off the bat while your body is full of toxins, you will make yourself very, very sick as you mobilize toxins quicker than your body can clear them. Go SLOW. Oh, and don’t forget to up your hydration and add electrolytes after your sauna sessions.🙂
- Go SLOW
- When my husband Michael, the co-founder of our company, started taking binders to overcome mold illness, he could only take 1/8th of the recommended dose. Anything more, and he was FLG- Feeling Like Garbage!
- Going too fast can make the whole process take longer as you wreck your body and impair your immune system. Go slow, listen to your body, and increase your binders, sauna sessions, etc., as your body allows.
While inevitable and annoying, mold detox symptoms are very real. The good news for you, though, is that you now have the knowledge and tools to improve your detoxification experience.
Here is a summary of the key points to consider:
Be sure to:
- Work with a functional dietitian experienced in mold toxicity
- Start with a binder that is safe and effective.
- Stay hydrated with electrolytes, not just water!
- Sweat, sweat, sweat! A good sauna is recommended for most.
Most importantly, keep fighting the good fight! Better days are around the corner.