Mold Allergy vs. Mold Toxicity vs. Mold Illness
Having an allergy to mold is actually quite common. Many people experience allergic reactions to mold particulates and spores. You may feel symptoms similar to the common cold or other seasonal allergies like a runny nose, sneezing, itchy, red eyes, and coughing. Your symptoms may come and go with seasonal changes however, like most allergies, you may experience a depleted yet irritate and allergic immune system which can lead to more serious complications.
Mold toxins are toxic in the true meaning of the word. Airborne and foodborne mold toxins, like Aflatoxin B from Aspergillus species in grains and nuts, Ochratoxin A and patulin from grains and fruits and fruit juices, Trichocene toxins are produced by Fusarium and Stachybotrys. These toxins are toxic to tissues and of special concern is that these toxins are strongly associated with DNA damage, genotoxicity, and in animals and human cause various types of cancers due to the damaging effects on DNA in your cells.
Mold illness, also know as CIRS – chronic inflammatory response syndrome – is a chronic inflammatory condition that is caused by overexposure to mycotoxins. It’s significantly more serious than a mold allergy. Almost a quarter of the population is genetically susceptible to chronic mold illness because they carry HLA genes associated with an inflammatory reaction from mold exposure. People with this gene simply don’t have the immune system function needed to identify and remove biotoxins. Instead, mold toxins remain in their body, leading to ongoing systemic inflammation that never resolves itself without intervention. This build-up of toxins is the main culprit behind mold illness and CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).
Do You Have Mold Illness?
Assessing your symptoms can be tricky but have hope. I’ve made it simple so you can quickly determine if you have mold illness with my list of common symptoms below.
Keep in mind that Lyme disease and mold illness can manifest in many similar symptoms. When things start feeling too complex remember, knowledge about your illness is your greatest power.
Symptoms of mold illness are not specific to one area of the body. Here are some of the common symptoms of mold illness.
- Achy body: joint and muscle aches
- Cognitive decline (Brain Fog):
- Trouble finding words
- Short-term memory issues
- Trouble with decision making
- Insomnia or non-restorative sleep
- Adrenal fatigue (a common misdiagnosis of mold illness)
- Hormone Irregularity
- Low testosterone in men
- Estrogen dominance in women
- Digestive issues:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination frequency
- Night time urinary frequency
- Dry lips
- Static electricity shocks
- POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) – elevated heart rate
- Blurry vision