Mold toxicity can mimic a variety of symptoms and disease. If you have chronic fatigue, mood swings, allergies, trouble concentrating, asthma or unexplained weight gain keep reading. Mold toxicity can also mimic Lyme disease. Mold exposure is one of those things that effects over 20 percent of the population according to Dr. Mark Heyman. Happily this is becoming easier to test for.
1. How to test for toxic mold and mycotoxins
First off, if you notice musty smell, see water damaged or have had leaking pipes there are a few common places to check for mold.
- Bathtub or shower caulking
- Window sills
- Under a bathroom or kitchen sink
- Toilet tank
- In the backs of closets especially if you’re in a basement level apartment
If you can see black mold and don’t think there are any other likely areas in your house it could be then you can skip ahead to the cleaning part. Otherwise there are some different testing options:
- Mold culture test – you can get these at Home Depot (Mold Armor). This test includes a Petri dish and swab. You can expose the dish to the air and then cover and let it sit for 48 hours. If you get a lot of growth or particularly black growth, then you have a problem. However this won’t tell you where the mold it, it’ll just say there is mold.
- ERMI test – I used Home Air Check Indoor Air Test. This was able to tell me what type of mold I may have had in my home and how much.
Another way to test especially if you can’t test your work environment, but still want to know if you have mycotoxins in your body, is a Mycotox profile test which you would request through your doctor. This is a urine test.
2. How to clean toxic mold
Cleaning your home of toxic mold isn’t always easy but here is my typical plan of action when it comes to cleaning.
- Clean it yourself using a cleaning vinegar – not bleach. Or you could use something super toxic like Moldex. Either way be sure to wear goggles and a respirator so you don’t inhale any mold toxins.
- Get rid of mold contaminated items. Any clothing, shoes, carpet, caulking or papers need to go. If you want to try to salvage things like area rugs or drapes, get them professionally cleaned.
- Professional mold remediation – This is helpful if the problem is bigger than what you’re ready to deal with. For instance, you have drywall that’s covered in mold or you found a patch of floor board that’s moldy and you’re worried that it’s worse than it looks, a professional can tear it out, clean it up so it doesn’t grow back and may even be able to repair it or recommend a contractor who will. When my husband and I were renovating our house, we tore out all the drywall and found several huge areas of mold growth. We happen to be DIYers for home renovations and so were able to remediate all of what we found safely.
3. You found mold toxicity in your body so now what?
Mold toxicity, also called mycotoxins, target your mitochondria, so you want to boost your mitochondria while getting rid of the mold toxins. Time to do a little mold detoxing. Here are some options:
- Zeolite – This is a clay like binder that binds to mold toxins without drawing out important minerals like calcium from your body like charcoal would. This is easy to take – just a teaspoon a day in some water 90 minutes after eating and 30 minutes before eating. I take Zeobind by BioPure.
- Glutathione – This is an antioxidant and it’s great at protecting mitochondria from oxidative stress.
- Phosphatidylcholine – this is a component of mitochondria membranes and helps repair serious damage. You can take this orally as phosphatidylcholine supplement or you can get this by eating pasture-raised egg yolks – still runny so you don’t destroy this nutrient.
For additional ways to detox your home, take a look at my post on 3 ways to detox your home. If you’d like to start rebalancing your body, be sure to book a free chat with me to see how I can support your healing through functional medicine labs and clinically proven protocols.