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The Best Mycotoxin Test – Ultimate Mycotoxin Testing Guide

The Best Mycotoxin Test – Ultimate Mycotoxin Testing Guide

Have you been struggling with symptoms of debilitating fatigue, chronic congestion, hormonal imbalances, allergy-like symptoms, brain fog, and/or chronic gut issues? 

A mycotoxin test may be the missing link in your health journey.

People can spend months and years spinning their wheels on restrictive diets, green juice detoxes, fancy tests, and expensive supplement protocols only to find themselves with little to no change in symptoms. Hands in the air if you fall into this lucky brunch!

Trust us, we’ve been there and know how frustrating it can feel to think you’re “doing all the right things” despite feeling like junk day in and day out. 

If you feel like you fall into this category, environmental toxins such as mold exposure are a possible cause for concern, which is where mycotoxin testing comes into play.

So, what the heck is a mycotoxin test?

Stay tuned because today, we will dive deep into answering that burning question as well as others, like what is the best mycotoxin test? How to test mycotoxins? And what does mold toxicity feel like? 

This is what was making Michael & Kylene sick in their former townhome!

What are Mycotoxins?

First, let’s quickly review what mold and mycotoxin testing is.

Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by certain types of fungi and mold, such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, and Penicillium, that can contaminate crops, vehicles, animal feed, and food. Humans are also commonly exposed to mycotoxins through contaminated air in old, water-damaged buildings where mold grows. 

So, the mold is not necessarily the problem but rather the toxic chemicals that the mold gives off. AKA mycotoxins! 

The global health concern for these compounds is growing due to their systemic adverse health effects, which is crucial considering people are suffering silently worldwide and often not given the time of day by conventional medical practitioners.  

So why do a mycotoxin test? Mycotoxin exposure can lead to immune, emotional, and cognitive dysfunction and other symptoms of illness, pain, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, and other chronic issues.[2] 

Not only do you not want to deal with these symptoms, but long-term infection of these toxic components in the body may also lead to the development of chronic health conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Disease.[3] 

Are you wondering what mold toxicity feels like?

Let’s dive deeper into the signs and symptoms that high mycotoxins could be an issue for you. 

What are the Symptoms of High Mycotoxins?

When it comes to mold toxicity, symptoms vary widely based on factors such as the type of mycotoxin, the individual’s sensitivity, and genetic ability to detoxify.

Something else to consider is how long mycotoxins are in the body because the longer the exposure is, the more severe the symptoms will be and the higher risk one has for developing underlying health conditions. 

Common symptoms associated with high mycotoxin exposure may include the following.[4] 

Respiratory Symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Post nasal drip or mucus in the throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Shortness of breath, even with simple day-to-day activities

Allergic Reactions:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Red, irritated skin
  • Nasal congestion

Neurological

  • Headaches and migraines 
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Chronic bloating and gas 
  • Chronic abdominal pain or discomfort

Other Symptoms:

  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Mood changes (i.e., depression, anxiety)
  • Sensitivity to odors or chemicals
  • Hormonal imbalances such as heavy and painful menstrual cycles
  • Suppressed immune system [5] 

Sound like you? A mycotoxin test might be the next step in your health journey.

It’s important to emphasize that these symptoms are not specific to mycotoxin exposure and can be caused by various other factors, such as allergies, infections, other environmental contaminants, or unknown imbalances, which is where using the best mycotoxin test can confirm or rule out the reason for these symptoms. 

It’s also crucial to understand that symptoms vary from person to person. One person may only deal with nasal congestion and mold headaches, while another person may experience debilitating fatigue, muscular pain and dysfunction, and anxiety/depression on the daily. 

Not so fun, huh? No… 

Dealing with symptoms of mycotoxin toxicity is anything but enjoyable. If you have been feeling any combination of the above symptoms, and you feel like you’ve “tried everything” to live a healthy lifestyle, such as improving your gut health, improving the quality of your diet, adding healthy levels of exercise and movement into your day, it could be time to explore a mycotoxin test. 

What can Cause Mold Toxicity?

Damp Environments

Are you aware of water damage that has taken place in your home? Maybe a flooded basement or leaking drain that you think was already “handled”? Or maybe you work in a 100-year-old warehouse that “feels musty.”

These are questions to start asking yourself if you are sick of dealing with the symptoms listed above and have done ALL THE THINGS to get healthy. Mold growth is more likely in damp or humid environments. Buildings with water leaks, high humidity, or poor ventilation can create the perfect conditions for mold to grow. 

A mycotoxin test might be what answers your prayer.

Sensitivity and Genetics

Some individuals might be more sensitive to mold and mycotoxin exposure due to genetic factors or preexisting health conditions

Genetic differences in how the body processes mycotoxins or detoxifies toxins could potentially play a role in why two people living in the same moldy house can have very different individual responses.

Exposure Duration

If you’re wondering how long mycotoxins stay in the body, the answer depends. It depends on how long you’ve been living in a moldy environment and how long you’ve been working to remove them. Depending on how long the mycotoxins have been in your body will influence the intensity and amount of your mycotoxin symptoms and the accuracy of the mycotoxin test.

How Do You Get Tested for Mycotoxins?

Testing for mold and testing for mycotoxins are 2 different things.

Testing for mold usually refers to testing the environment for physical mold, such as an office building or home. Whereas testing for mycotoxins is testing for the toxic byproducts of mold in the body. 

The mold itself is not always a problem! It is a normal part of our environment, but it’s when the mold produces toxic mycotoxins that people get exposed to long-term where things go awry. 

Today, this post will focus on how to test for mold toxicity through a mycotoxin test. 

There are several ways that mold toxicity is tested, but the most common way they are tested for in the body is through urine testing.

What is the BEST Mycotoxin Test 

Urine Testing

When considering how to test for mold toxicity, urine testing should be at the top of your list because it’s non-invasive and the most stable option.

Urine testing for mycotoxins is done using various methods, which have been linked with elevated urinary mycotoxins in patients with suspected mold illness. [6] 

Some companies use ELISA, a highly sensitive detection method that aims to detect and quantify specific mycotoxins such as Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin, Trichothecene, Gliotoxin, and Zearalenone and their metabolites in the urine. Some companies will use mass spectrometry but will still be detecting similar mold species.

Let’s discuss some of the best mycotoxin tests available on the market.

Renowned expert and author of the book Mold and Mycotoxins Niel Nathan, who has been a pivotal contributor to the research and treatment of mycotoxin toxicity, prefers RealTime Laboratories and Mosaic Diagnostics (formerly known as Great Plains Laboratory). 

RealTime Laboratories

The Mycotoxin Panel from Realtime Labs tests for 16 different mycotoxins using ELISA, a highly sensitive detection method that uses antibodies prepared against mycotoxins. 

Something unique to RealTime Laboratories is that they are one of the only labs in the U.S. that tests for Macrocyclic Trichothecenes, which have been proven to be caused by Stachybotrys, otherwise known as “Black Mold.”

A note about urine mycotoxin testing with RealTime is that using something to “provoke” the mold is essential. A provoking agent such as liposomal glutathione 500 mg taken 1-2 times per day can be used for a week prior to the urine collection to mobilize the mycotoxins can help improve accuracy by making sure they show up in the urine. Other methods to mobilize mycotoxins include exercise, heat exposure such as through a warm bath, and dry brushing.

RealTime is a top-of-the-line testing company for a urine mycotoxin test.

Mosaic Diagnostics

Unlike Realtime Labs, which uses semi-quantitative competitive ELISA, Mosaic Diagnostics uses mass spectrometry to identify mycotoxins in the urine, which is used to produce fewer false positive results.

This type of technology can detect mycotoxins at very low levels. 

The MycoTOX Profile from Mosaic Diagnostics tests for 41 species of mold and proves to be so sensitive that it even accounts for variations in fluid intake. Accurate and reliable results are what you can expect from this company!

In 2023 Great Planes Labs changed their name and logo to Mosaic Diagnostics to reflect that they’re a global company offering a wide range of services to take care of a persons all encompassing health. So, if you hear that “GPL” or Great Planes Labs offers the best mycotoxin test, just know this is now referring to Mosaic Diagnostics.

*Important note: Mycotoxin testing, especially when using a provoking method, should only be done under the recommendation and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. If you think mycotoxin testing is something that you may benefit from, we offer a 👉free 15-minute phone call👈 to prospective clients who’re serious about their health and committed to achieving feeling their best. We’ve helped countless clients overcome mold toxicity symptoms with some seeing results in as little as 1 week. You could be our next success story!💃

What You Mosaic Diagnostics Test Results May Look Like

Are you interested in knowing what your mycotoxin testing results may look like?

Here is a real screenshot from one of our co-founders, Michael, who suffered from mold toxicity after several roof leaks in their townhome caused unseen mold to build up for several years.

Mycotoxin testing results and bar graphs for a client with mold toxicity using the best mycotoxin test by Mosaic Diagnostics.

We’re happy to say that with proper treatment, the levels of Ochratoxin A and Mycophenolic Acid went down to zero!

Does Mold Toxicity Show up in Bloodwork?

Not only do mycotoxins show up in the urine, but blood tests can also be used as a mycotoxin test by measuring anti-mold antibodies. It can tell you how your body is currently reacting to mycotoxins by measuring markers of immune system reactivity.

When symptoms become chronic, blood tests are often the first step taken by doctors to identify exposure, though it can be difficult for patients to advocate for this test to be run. 

These blood antibodies have been shown to be elevated in individuals exposed to mold. [7,8] 

So should you get a blood test over a urine test? We would not recommend this…

The accuracy of blood testing has been questioned, and the willingness of physicians to order mold testing for patients may be more challenging to obtain. We would argue that working with a qualified functional medicine practitioner who can utilize urine mycotoxin testing is the way to go! 

How Much Does the Best Mycotoxin Test Cost?

At this point, you may be highly considering a mycotoxin test, but maybe you’re intimidated by the cost…

Pricing for mycotoxin testing can range from $250-$500 depending on the company and whether it’s ordered by YOU vs. a practitioner. 

While this can seem like a costly endeavor, it could be worth getting an answer to your symptoms and avoiding spending hundreds of thousands more dollars on supplements, detoxes, diet programs, and more. 

What Should You Do If You Have Mold Toxicity?

If you’re suffering from, our top recommendation is to seek a functional dietitian or physician who has experience in treating clients with mold toxicity. We personally have been in your shoes and have successfully helped countless clients overcome mold toxicity.

If you’re interested in working with us, we offer a free 15-minute call to discuss your issues and how we can overcome them with our coaching program.

If you’re focused on figuring things out on your own, we recommend you learn how to open your drainage pathways and use a high-quality biotoxin binder to help remove the toxins from your body.

Summary

If you do not feel ready to jump to mycotoxin testing based on the price, we recommend first exploring other options. Many symptoms experienced by those dealing with mycotoxin toxicity are also caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, an inflammatory diet, and imbalances in the gut. Working on dietary and lifestyle changes such as switching to mold free coffee brands is often a great place to start. Cleaning up the overload of toxins your body encounters can have a dramatic benefit.

Other ways to work on naturally overcoming mold toxicity without testing include improving adrenal function and healing your leaky gut. A healthier lifestyle with lower stress and a strong gut may improve or completely resolve many of the symptoms you’re dealing with.  

Hopefully, you feel well versed in mycotoxin testing and feel confident in whether this could apply to your specific health concerns. Testing for mycotoxin toxicity with a mycotoxin test may be the missing link in reversing your unwanted symptoms for good! If you want to figure out if you have mold toxicity of mycotoxins, you can schedule your FREE call today and work one-on-one with one of our dietitians to guide you through the process! 

References:

  1. https://realtimelab.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/2.-Detection-of-Mycotoxins-in-Patients-with-Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159119303010?fbclid=IwAR1ofeyBUr7uwtcKfuC4trG1FUkgoDKYXAc_0ikBi8xAbpbft1gHluFcC4s
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26870879/
  4. https://www.clinicaltherapeutics.com/article/S0149-2918(18)30189-9/fulltext
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2496958/
  6. https://mosaicdx.com/resource/biochemical-markers-in-the-urine-associated-with-gastrointestinal-mold-overgrowth-are-linked-with-elevated-urinary-mycotoxins-in-patients-with-suspected-mold-illness/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8982061/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14992307/

About The Author

Abby Grimm

Abby is a functionally trained Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton and completed her Master of Science in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University, where she is an adjunct instructor. Abby has been an athlete her entire life, but never truly discovered her potential until she dialed in her nutrition from a whole-foods approach. As a high school athlete and into her college career often experienced fatigue, discomfort, and nagging injuries that held her back from excelling despite trying to eat properly. Throughout her functional nutrition education and competitive involvement in the sport of Crossfit, Abby began a more holistic lifestyle, which has significantly improved her performance and overall well-being. Abby enjoys sharing her knowledge of functional sports nutrition to help improve the lives of active individuals.

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Family picture of Dr. Michael Bogden and licensed dietitian nutritionist Kylene Bogden

Meet Kylene & Dr. Michael Bogden

Kylene is a licensed dietitian nutritionist board-certified in sports nutrition as well as Integrative and Functional Nutrition. She is a certified food sensitivity LEAP therapist and the Performance Dietitian for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Michael, a physiotherapist with dual fellowships, merges sports nutrition with rehab to enhance client recovery.

Together, they've conquered personal health challenges that hindered their athletic pursuits including mold toxicity, Celiac disease, SIBO, and food sensitivities. Inspired by their journey, they founded a thriving private practice in 2017, now boasting three expert-trained dietitian nutritionists specializing in functional nutrition.

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