MY STORY – What happened to me and how my father died from MOLD MYCOTOXINS
I lived in a split-level home in an exclusive suburb of Philadelphia. Back in the 1960s, they built split-level homes with crawlspaces and the problem was from a moldy crawlspace, with mold and biotoxins infiltrating my home. When you entered the home, it smelled of mold, making me sick and finally killing my dad at 91.
The mold began in the crawlspace and, despite anything my parents did, they couldn’t get rid of it. Finally it appeared in the wall behind my parents’ bed and back then they told me it was “black mold.” They had this cleaned out by a mold remediator, who apparently poured bleach over the affected area. Back then, very little was known about mold and biotoxin illness and I am sure that it was behind every wall in the home, making my father and me sick. My dad finally died from a mold infection called Aspergillus, which was found after a bronchoscopy by a pulmonary doctor. He had chronic sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and was constantly taking albuterol inhalers as well as steroids. He later had heart disease, bladder cancer, recurrent pneumonias, and finally succumbed to fungal pneumonia and Alzheimer’s at 91.
I myself had my own troubles with lung problems and the lymphoma twelve years ago in my chest. I also had heart disease. I also had fungus in my fingernails, which is now cured.
I am writing this to alert people that there are many buildings and homes that have become a toxic mix of microbes, fragments of microbes, and harmful chemicals as well as harmful MOLD mycotoxins. Weather-damaged buildings are growing quickly in the United States and their repair is inadequate. This is one of America’s new health threats…we get sick. Are you at risk? Are you tired? Are you fatigued? Are you overweight? Do you have asthma or sinus issues? Do you have migraines? Please read on.
MOLD AND BIOTOXIN ILLNESS – HOW IT IMPACTS YOUR HEALTH AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
: To most people, biotoxin-mediated illness is an alien subject. It is also a controversial issue, but not for those living with the devastating consequences and bodily damage. Molds are involved in the cycle of life. They are part of the ecosystem. When a city is abandoned or a tree falls over and dies, nature takes it back. Molds are the clean-up crew. They are the big composters of the universe. Please realize there are hundreds of species.
Indoor and outdoor molds are ecologically very different. Molds are fungi, and their seeds, called “spores,” are spread throughout the air. Outdoor molds are not usually a huge concern, as there is no competition between species. However, indoors is a different story. Only a handful of mold species will grow indoors and, if conditions are right, they can take over and make individuals sick. Some of these include: Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, penicillium, and Stachybotrys.
Mold illness is a multisymptom biotoxin illness.
Biotoxins are chemicals produced by many organisms that cause a toxic response in humans if ingested, inhaled, or if contact is made with the skin. They can include heavy metals, Botox, xenobiotics, food preservatives, and toxins from stress, Staph, parasites, Lyme, fungal, and viral infections as well as some algae, recluse spiders, and certain types of molds. Many biotoxins are neurotoxic. They impact our brain and nerves and travel throughout our bodies, causing harm.
Biotoxins are capable of disrupting vital functions of nerve cells, including DNA transcription, transport of nutrients, and mitochondrial respiration, that is, degeneration of energy. They are also capable of dissolving fatty tissue and moving through fatty tissue. They even cross membranes, since membranes are 50% lipid. They can actually disrupt the sodium and calcium channel receptors as well as disrupting the electrostatic function of the cell. Mycotoxins are chemicals produced by organisms of the fungus kingdom; it is their survival protection. Hundred of mycotoxins exist. They cause a toxic response in humans, affecting the immune system, nervous system, liver, kidneys, blood, and blood clotting.
Mold illness is not an allergy. Mold biotoxin illness is all about INFLAMMATION. In the presence of biotoxin-induced inflammation through the continuing release of inflammatory cytokines, there is damage that is multisystem to the entire person.
Some diagnoses that may not recognize biotoxin illness as the underlying cause include chronic and post-Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, sick building syndrome, depression, multiple chemical sensitivities, multiple sclerosis, Bell’s palsy, sensorineural deafness, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of vision, chronic soft tissue injury, learning disabilities, endometriosis, and vulvodynia. There are many more to this list.
Mold and biotoxin symptoms can include:
Ice pick lightning bolts
Sensitivity to bright light
Lack of tearing
Shortness of breath
Chronic sinus congestion
Abdominal pain, often labeled as irritable bowel syndrome
Migratory but rarely true arthritis
Difficulty with assimilation of new
Difficulty handling abstract number
Difficulty word finding
Difficulty with concentration
Skin sensitivity to light touch
Sweats, often at night
Difficulty with temperature
Sensitivity to static shock
such as doorknobs, handles,
ImpotenceLose sparkle in your eyes
Not every person has every symptom and, remember, they can change from one day to the next. Most illness victims average 18 health symptoms.
The following are the effects of indoor molds on the brain: Decreased attention, increased risk-taking, lateness, poor empathy, increased narcissism, poor organization, poor stress-coping, serotonin changes, EEG abnormalities, poor memory, disorientation, vocal or motor tics, seizures, headaches, scarring on brain MRIs, child developmental milestone delays, decreased productivity, irritability, impulsivity, mood swings, manias, depression, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, strokes, trembling, seizures, unable to process trauma, drug abuse, panic attacks, increased alcohol consumption, poor insight, and abnormal PET and SPECT brain scans. Interestingly, they are highly sensitive to interpersonal problems.
The effects of mold throughout the body:
Light sensitivity, red eyes, blurred vision, eye pain. Mouth: Sore throats, cold or flu, wheezing, air hunger. Liver: Fatty liver, liver cancer, abnormal liver lab tests, jaundice. Stomach and intestines: Ulcers, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain. Nose and sinuses: Chronic infections, sniffling, runny nose. Skin and hair: Numbness, tingling, hair loss, blisters. Heart and blood vessels: Heart damage, chest pain, abnormal EKG. Muscles and joints: Cramps, stiffness, joint pain, cartilage damage. Reproductive tissue and genital: Increased testicular cancer, vaginal irritation, decreased sperm production, and erectile dysfunction. Hormones and hormone tissue are also affected.
THE TYPICAL MOLD PATIENT:
Symptoms of the typical mold patient include fatigue, weakness, malaise, weight gain, bizarre pain, ice pick pain, chemical sensitivity, increased thirst, frequent urination, shock sensation, sweats, appetite swings, easy bleeding or bruising, swelling, rapid pulse, low temperatures, abnormal low or high blood pressure, fevers, chills, and increased tremors. Which of these signs and symptoms do you have? Which apply to you?
DIFFERENT MOLDS AND WHERE THEY ARE FOUND:
Alternaria – the mold Alternaria is comprised of about 40 to 50 species. They are commonly isolated in plants, soil, food, and indoor air. Alternaria has been isolated from numerous kinds of organic materials and damp situations including textiles, stored foods, canvas, cardboard, paper, electric cables, polyurethane, jet fuel, sewage, and effluents. The presence of Alternaria together with other molds in the indoor environment is indicative of human conditions. Alternaria is a well-recognized disease-causing agent.
Cladosporium is one of the most widespread molds and includes about 40 species naturally found in the soil on decayed plant material and is a plant pathogen. In an indoor environment, it occurs as a secondary wall colonizer, appearing after the primary one such as penicillium and Aspergillus species. Cladosporium is very common on wet building material like gypsum board, acrylic painted walls, wood, wallpaper, carpet, and mattress dust, fans, and wet insulation in mechanical cooling units.
The fungus Aspergillus has close to 200 species and varieties. Under human conditions, Aspergillus species have been isolated from damp walls, wallpaper, paper wall covering gypsum boards, floors, carpets, and mattress dust, upholstered furniture dust, paint, leather, HBAC insulation, filters, and fans, humidifier water, shoes, leather, bird droppings, potted plant soil, plastic, and decomposing wood. It is the mold that imparts a musty odor to shoes and clothing. Several species are certainly found on grains and exposed foodstuffs.
Aspergillus species produce toxic compounds, the most well-known being aflatoxins. Aflatoxin is a class I carcinogen. Aspergillus fumigatus is an animal in human pathogen. As concerns health, the most important species are Aspergillus clavatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Aspergillus niger. They can colonize in the gut. These molds have been classified as being toxigenic or pathogenic and instant action is required when they appear in the occupied indoor environment.
There are about 200 species of penicillium. They are commonly called the blue or green molds because they produce enormous quantities of greenish, bluish, or yellowish spores, which give them their characteristic colors. Penicillium species are extremely common on damp building materials, walls, wallpaper, floor, carpet, mattresses, and other upholstery furniture dust. Penicillium notatum species are HIGHLY NEUROTOXIC. They can also colonize in the gut.
Stachybotrys grows on water-damaged materials, such as ceiling tiles, insulation, wallpaper, wood, sheetrock, and can be found on dust from contaminated building materials. IT IS THE MOST NEUROTOXIC ENDOTOXIN OF ANY MOLD. Stachybotrys can cause permanent brain damage with prolonged exposure. It can injure brain tissues including lungs and bones. It can colonize in the intestinal tract and increase sensitivity to environmental exposure, that is, other allergens and/or chemical smells, which are usually secondary allergies. Some have died from Stachybotrys exposure.
LAB TESTS THAT WILL DETECT MOLD IN THE BODY AS WELL AS THE HOME:
Standard medical diagnostic tests are usually normal in patients who have biotoxin-induced illness. SOME INCLUDE C4A, VIP, MSH,TGF B1 ADH AND OTHERS
This makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. I feel that when diagnosing mold toxicity it is important to evaluate several factors, including the patient’s symptoms and history of exposure to water-damaged buildings along with a variety of lab test markers. Many people who are sick from all the mycotoxins have negative lab test results.
Lab tests don’t exist for all types of mold and mold toxins that are present in water-damaged buildings so, while tests for these toxins are useful, they have their limitations.
Real-time laboratories may be one of the most effective labs for mycotoxin testing.
Real-time testing in these three types of categories, not types of mold toxins, Tricothecenes, ochratoxins, and aflatoxins. These mycotoxins are produced by various different fungi, such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, and penicillium. Real-time lab tests for the above-mentioned mycotoxins through antibody and DNA tests usually using tissue, salivary, and urine samples. They can also test for mold in the home and work environments.
Another useful type of test to measure mold levels in the home is the ERMI test, which is a done by Mycometrics.
ERMI stands for environmental relative moldiness index, which measures the presence and concentration of over 36 mold species in the home, based on a sample of dust. The ERMI test was developed by scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Molds vary in severity and their effects on the body. Some molds aren’t toxic to humans or toxic at only very high levels. Thus, sending in a sample of dust from the home or workplace to the laboratory may help to determine whether a particular mold is causing symptoms of toxicity
. Laboratory technicians can indicate which molds are toxic to the body and which aren’t. Once mold exposure has been confirmed, a diagnosis of mold toxicity can be made by testing the molds and microtoxins, evaluating a variety of inflammatory markers, and analyzing symptoms. Inflammatory markers, which I have already discussed, are a piece of the pu
THE PRESENCE OF MOLD IN THE HOME AND THE WORKPLACE:
Some people don’t give mold and mycotoxins more than a passing thought, because they can’t see or smell mold in their homes and they ultimately conclude that they don’t have a mold problem. Yet molds cannot always be detected by visual or odor inspection. Mold may be present even in the absence of smells, high levels of humidity, and water leaks.
The best way to detect and determine whether mold is present in your environment is to send a dust sample to one of the aforementioned laboratories and have a mold remediation expert inspect your home. It is likewise important to test your car and any other interior environment that you frequent on a regular basis.
Researchers at Harvard University studied five thousand homes and found that fully half of them had enough mold toxins in them to cause symptoms. The situation is similar in most parts of the country. Almost half the people in the USA are living in homes that have enough mold toxins to make them sick to some degree.
MOLD REMEDIATION FOR THE HOME:
If you suspect you have severe water damage to your home, it is a good idea to call a mold remediation expert to ascertain whether mold is present and, if so, have it removed. If the damage to your home has been severe, it may be necessary to move.
Several studies have been performed showing efficacy in diffusing essential oils throughout the environment with a cold air diffuser.
Diffusers use compressed air to disperse oil throughout the room in the form of a fine mist. The only problem with using essential oils to remove mold is that when they kill the mold they may cause even more mycotoxins to be released in the environment. When the mold dies, it releases toxins. Also, the essential oil can kill mold in the body, but can cause a Herxheimer (detoxification reaction), as the molds release mycotoxins in the body. Thus, it may be feasible to diffuse your living environment with essential oils if you can spend several days away from your home as the building is being treated.
Ozone generators also remove mold from the environment and some doctors feel ozone may be a better choice than essential oils since some people develop allergies if the essential oils are used on a regular basis. Some authorities advise against using ozone, as some studies have shown they can harm the lungs and immune system.
Again, you should avoid ozone unless you are off-site during the mold clean-up period. I use both.
Research done by Professor Griffin, the director of the French Police Toxicology Laboratory, studied the purifying effects of a blend of aerosoled oils in petri dishes. The petri dishes were allowed to stand for 24 hours at a level of 5 cm above the floor.
These dishes grew 210 different colonies of bacteria and molds. Within 15 minutes of diffusing the room with essential oil mixture, only 14 of the original 210 colonies were still alive. All colonies of the mold and bacteria were dead in thirty minutes. It is a common practice to use these oils in sickrooms, operating rooms, and clinics. I myself am currently using essential oils in my hometoo.
Besides these two do-it-yourself remedies, the only way to remove mold from your environment and probably the safest and most effective way to do it to cause in a mold remediation expert. These experts can detect mold in places that the eye can’t see, such as behind walls and beneath carpets.
They are experts in infrared tomography, which can reveal abnormalities inside the wall itself when remediation experts remove materials that have been contaminated by mold, including wall materials, insulation, flooring, carpet, and cabinetry.
They also treat the contaminated area with mold-killing substances and correct and remove the source of water damage. If the damage is intensive and severe, however, it may be necessary to vacate the mold-affected environment permanently.
When detoxifying the home or workplace of mold, it is essential to get rid of all clothes, books, bedding, and furniture that smells musty, sweet, or pungent, or which gets discolored. Smells and discoloration all indicate mold. Getting a high-efficiency particulate HEPA air filter for the bedroom ,MERV 11 air filters are extremely important.
Because mold flourishes in carpet, replacing the carpet with some type of hard surface flooring may also be necessary. Ceramic tile is ideal.
MOLD TREATMENTS FOR THE BODY:
I perform an extensive history and physical and, depending on my patient’s symptoms, will proceed with a mold workup.
After objectively reviewing all the laboratory tests and all the symptoms of my patients, I proceed accordingly. Healing from mold-induced illness involves not only removing the mold and its mycotoxins from the body, and remediating water-damaged buildings, but also lowering the inflammatory and autoimmune responses that mold and its toxins can cause.
When removing mold from the body, it is important to note that separate treatments are needed for mold and for mycotoxins. Mold is a living organism or fungus. It must be eliminated using antimicrobial remedies, prescription medications, and its toxins must be removed by powerful toxin binders.
It is important to bind and remove the toxins that the mold produces. Not just any toxic binder will suffice for this purpose.. For some better toxin choices for other patients, a sterol based product might be better or activated carbonate or clay. . .
There are other prescription drugs that kill mold directly, and these are used on a case-by-case basis. Another natural substance includes Glucomannan, which is a soluble fiber. Glucomannan binds to mycotoxins for removal from the system, preventing reabsorption via the portal vein. It helps bulk up the stools. A usual dose is a half a teaspoon twice a day between meals. This can be used alone or with cholestyramine. Other detoxifiers include pectasol, which is modified citrus pectin, to help detoxification.
These will start binding and promote excretion of the neurotoxins into the bile. Other things to decrease inflammation include omega-3s, omega-6s, and the addition of phosphyticholine by injection as well as glutathione
. Other therapies include increasing phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxifications, along with adequate amounts of vitamin D. There are also useful or natural antimicrobials and substances that break down the bio film which I also use.
I USE MANY DIFFERENT NUTRITIONAL IV’S AS WELL AS FLOODING THE BODY WITH OXYGEN TO KILL THE MOLD.
Maintaining a proper diet is important for reducing the impact of mold upon the body. It is essentially to avoid moldy foods and foods that encourage inflammation. These include starchy, sugary, high carbohydrate foods, including grains and high-glycemic fruits. Some nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes may encourage mold growth as well as cheese, vinegar, and alcoholic beverages. It is also important to avoid consuming improperly stored foods.
Some foods are quick to grow mold on them, with mold spores present before you can ever see them. When in doubt, don’t store cooked foods for more than 24 hours after the day they are prepared. This includes meats and cooked grains. I was surprised when I noticed some discoloration on my foods kept in the refrigerator in less than one day.
Be aware that nuts tend to grow mold on them, as do cured and smoked meats. Soaking nuts in lemon juice or baking them in the oven may remove the spores. Peanuts and peanut butter should be avoided entirely, as they often harbor mold, even when stored in the refrigerator.
Other nuts and nut butters should be stored in the refrigerator.
You must eliminate all sources of mold that you are ingesting in your diet. These foods excrete mycotoxins as well as exacerbate the problem. The molds themselves can colonize in your gastrointestinal tract and will prevent the clearing of mycotoxins.
Eat glycemically controlled meals. Only a little low glycemic carbs. Eat protein and fat. Control your insulin. Avoid drinking all sitting water sources, such as a glass of water left on your desk. Drink your water from a glass bottle with a lid. Drink alkaline water.
FOODS TO AVOID:
Dried fruits, raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, etc. Aged cheese of any kind. Some cheeses are okay if milk is not a problem, that is, cottage cheese, mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and farmer’s cheese. Avoid mushrooms and fungi, even truffles and sprouts. Avoid leftovers. Avoid all breads. Molded means moldy.
Bread develops surface mold in a day. Avoid all sprouted grains, beans, etc. Avoid sauerkraut; it has been fermented. No tomato products, juice, sauce, paste, ketchup, etc.; they are made of moldy tomatoes.
Avoid all grains and all processed packaged food. And avoid all fried foods. And avoid beer; the darker the beer, the more mold it contains. Wine and wine vinegar. White wine is the least moldy. Clear vinegar may be tolerated. Liquor – vodka, tequila, and clear rums are usually the least moldy.
Cider or fruit juice – juice contains mold, as it is made with old fruit. Pickles and smoked meats and fish, including processed delicatessen foods, sausages, salamis, bologna, frankfurters, corned beef, and pickled tongue. Melons, except watermelon if very fresh and eaten the same day. Avoid fermented foods, pickles, wine, sauerkraut. Avoid yeast and avoid sugar.
FOODS TO EAT:
You should maximize your nourishing experiences. Eat freshly prepared, low-glycemic fruits peeled and lots of vegetables. Proteins are extremely important; these include meats and fresh fish. Eat healthy fats. Some nuts are okay, but only eat the smooth surface nuts. Freshly cooked rice is safe, although please remember that all grains harbor mold.
Rinse even nuts and rice with vitamin C, that is, pure ascorbic acid crystals, for one hour before cooking. This eliminates the mycotoxins and roasting nuts kills the mold but does not neutralize the mycotoxins. Drink clean, purified water. Tap water contains mold. And by all means, eat organically. It may save your life.
PRODUCTS PROCESSED WITH ASPERGILLUS FERMENTATION:
All food will become moldy in time. Shop frequently, buy small quantities, do not store foods in a frost-free freezer for more than a week or two because of the automatic store cycle. The following products are processed with Aspergillus and should be avoided at all costs: Soy sauce, chocolate, ketchup, canned tomato juice, tomatoes, black tea, malt extract, that is, most cereals, Lactaid, which is a milk additive, citric acid, a very common food additive, soft drinks, fruit juice, and many others. If in doubt, consult your doctor or get on the internet and read.
WHERE TO LOOK FOR MOLDS:
In the attic, is there a leaky roof? Check all plumbing, toilets, washers, dishwasher. In the crawlspace, is there a vapor barrier? Look at hose bits, look at sprinklers – are they hitting the house? Air conditioning units, hot water tanks, closets, look under the carpet, mattress, and pillows, shoes, potted plants, compost bins.
Please note that clothes dryers and microwave ovens will kill spores and that bleaching kills the mold temporarily but does not neutralize the mycotoxins.
Other treatments that I use on my patients are correction of their abnormal blood tests and abnormal hormone levels. These include strategies to decrease inflammation and to eliminate the direct toxin effect on the nerve cells as well as correction of hormone levels. If there is evidence of a resistant coag-negative Staph infection, this is also treated.
I USE MANY IV THERAPIES TO KILL THE MOLD AND REBUILD YOUR BODY. YOU NEED TO FLOOD IT WITH OXYGEN.
THE SYNERGISTIC EFFECT OF MOLD, HEAVY METALS, AND ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION:
I myself have been mold-toxic for several years and in the past had many of the symptoms described in this I feel that when doing mold and mold toxin removal it may be a good idea to take some heavy metal binding agents. Heavy metals sometimes get released into the body when mold is killed off.
If these metals are released too quickly and no binders are available to carry them out of the body, they can get redistributed into the tissue and organs where they can cause further tissue damage.
Since heavy metals act as conductors or antennas for electromagnetic fields (EMF), many of us are sensitive to EMF. The moral of this story is that mold and mold toxin removal must be done carefully because of the heavy metal toxicity and the EMF sensitivity can occur as a byproduct of mold removal. Mold, heavy metals, and electromagnetic fields work synergistically to damage the body, since the effect of each one compounds and exacerbates the effect of the other. For this reason, I believe that these are three of the most dangerous toxins in the environment today, especially those with chronic illness.
Water damaged buildings and buildings as a result of construction defects are harmful. Inappropriate ventilation and HVAC systems, faulty construction of crawlspaces, or inadequate building designs, as well as failed technologies such as flat roofs or fake stucco roofs without adequate caulking, incomplete basement exposed to saturated groundwater, or not correcting water intrusion, or remediation that doesn’t clean up the final requirement, cause mold illness.
It is a difficult process for a physician is making the diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. If you suffer from some of these symptoms discussed in this writing or wish further information, please call my office for an appointment. Many chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other neurologic symptoms may be caused by mold illness. It is a neurotoxin, especially to the brain. Please call and see if we can help. Your life may depend on it. REMEMBER EVERY PATIENT IS DIFFERENT