Laura’s Journey With Toxic Mold Exposure
Disclaimer: I am not a medical provider, just a person who has experienced toxic mold exposure. This is my own opinions and experience. I recommend that you contact an experienced medical provider to discuss your own personal situation.
It all started when my mom had several undiagnosed health issues and no traditional medical provider could figure out what was wrong. At her wit’s end, she got on the waiting list to see a provider at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine and waited almost a year to get an appointment. During her treatment there, her provider recommended that she test my childhood home for mold. She engaged a professional mold remediation company to test the house. In some parts of the house, the mold count was more than 10 times higher than the normal recommended limit. I don’t know all the details about the remediation, but it was extensive.
That finding led my mom’s provider at the Cleveland Clinic to test her for mold exposure. The test showed that she had large amounts of various toxic molds in her system, some especially dangerous because they cause neurological issues. She began a detox regimen at that time.
Around the same time, I was on a frustrating path trying to figure out why I also had so many unexplained health issues. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue syndrome as a freshman in high school, and I always struggled with severe allergies. I also struggled with bloating and GI issues. Then every winter, I would have sinus infection after sinus infection and wondered if there was something wrong with my facial anatomy. I saw an ENT doctor and got an x-ray and CAT scan. There was nothing wrong with my facial anatomy and they found that there was no sign that I ever had a sinus infection. Very frustrating. Then they tested me for allergies and I was deemed to be so allergic to everything I wasn’t even eligible for allergy shots.
It just didn’t seem right. Nothing added up. I was fortunately able to secure an appointment at the Center for Functional Medicine in a short time. I took a mold test and I had the SAME mold profile as my mom. Coincidence? I think not. I was also tested for and diagnosed with Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO, and histamine intolerance. My doctor believed that the genesis of all my random health issues was the mold, so I started a detox regimen in December of 2018. I also changed my diet to low FODMAP, low histamine to address the SIBO and histamine intolerance. I could write a whole separate blog post on that, but the diet is extremely restrictive as far as the types of food I can eat. (At the time, I was actually familiar with histamine intolerance because my favorite fashion blogger, Kat Tanita, has a blog post on histamine intolerance here that is very insightful)
My detox regimen consisted of: activated charcoal, bentonite clay, colloidal silver, Welchol, chlorella and spirulina, calcium D glucarate, OptiFiber Lean, NAC, L-Glutamine, and glutathione. I was taking over thirty pills every day. In December of 2020, I felt a noticeable change in how I felt. In the spring of 2021, I felt another noticeable change in how I felt. Then in May 2021, I took another mold test and it showed that I was making substantial progress in my detox. I waited until September to take another test and it showed that I was finally free of mold! I cannot even begin to describe how relieved I felt and how much better I feel. I have more energy, I sleep much better, my allergies have nearly cleared up, and I hardly ever have “brain fog” anymore (you know when you forget names, can’t find the words to say, etc?).
I am still being treated for the underlying conditions that were caused by the mold, primarily the SIBO. So more on that to come, but I am so thankful that I no longer have toxic mold because it can cause life threatening health issues if left untreated.
If you suspect or know that you have ever lived in an environment with mold, I recommend that you start by going to a functional medicine provider. They are becoming more prevalent, and there are also well-known providers that will see patients virtually. One note: this journey has been expensive. The tests and supplements are expensive and not covered by insurance. But it has definitely been worth it for my health- the difference in how I feel is night and day.