Mold is an insidious problem that is a growing concern in the modern health world. This mold isn’t the kind that grows on food, but rather the biotoxic black mold that grows behind the walls and floorboards, and wreaks havoc on the human body. This type of mold is a silent killer that is triggering a host of hormonal problems, and driving autoimmune disease. Today we will explore the symptoms, how to test for and safely remove mold from your home, as well as your body.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Mold exposure is almost impossible to detect because there are no reliable tests to measure mold toxicity in the body. We rely mostly on symptoms at this point, which include:
- Panic attacks
- Join pain
- Skin irritation (burning, itching, pain, ants crawling sensation)
- Blurred vision
- Chemical sensitivity
- Postnasal drip
- Water eyes
- Food allergies
- Weight gain
- Body odour
- Light sensitivity
- Noise sensitivity
The low level underlying chronic stressor of mold toxicity can be that source of stress that’s slowly filling up your cup until some specific event triggers a full blown autoimmune reaction. All of a sudden when someone is faced with a new stressor (like a breakup, a pregnancy, or a new job), their body faces a major breakdown. For this reason, it’s important to address all areas of stress in your life when you are trying to heal. In addition, fatigue may be a symptom of mold exposure. Take our Why Am I So Tired Quiz to learn more about the causes of fatigue.
How to Test Your Home for Mold
Along with symptoms, one of the best ways to know if you are being poisoned by biotoxic mold, is to test your home (or office). The average mold testing company (or even worse, the reports from landlords or real estate agents) does not properly test for mold. Many companies test the ambient air for mold, which generally yield negative results. The mold is not in the air, it lurks behind the walls and floorboards. The air is infested with mycotoxins, the airbound molecules that wreak havoc on our health, but they are not detectable by conventional mold testing.
Two better options for effective testing include:
- An ERMI Test, which tests bits of dust that have been vacuumed out of key places (like behind the walls, the HVAC systems, and corners in the basement). This test is much more accurate in locating the spores.
- Hiring mold dogs. These dogs have been trained to sniff out the mold, and they are an incredible tool to locate mold in your home or other living space.
Apart from exhibiting symptoms of mold exposure, the biggest clue that your home may have mold is any sustained moisture, either as a result of the humid weather or a leak. If your home or office has wallpaper on drywall, this is also a major red flag- because the cellulose (in the wallpaper) feeds mold. Moisture combined with cellulose is a guaranteed mold infestation.
Step 1: Remove the Source!
The first step in healing yourself from biotoxic mould toxicity is to remove the source. No amount of detox can heal the body if you are still being exposed regularly to the source of the toxins. Mold is a very powerful toxin because it spreads via spores, which are invisible and are carried through the air. Properly removing the mold requires more than a little scrubbing. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you will likely need the support of a qualified team that can properly insulate the home while you treat the affected areas.
How to Remove Mold (Safely)
- Control the Humidity: Controlling humidity is the number one, because humidity feeds the biotoxins, it’s what sends the toxic stuff out into the air, it’s what’s making you sick. If you don’t control the humidity, there will be no fixing the problem. The key number here is less than 50% humidity. Ideally significantly lower than that. This may require an industrial dehumidifier, or two, depending on the size of your space. This is absolutely imperative before moving forward, because a humid space is a moldy space.
- Inline Air Filtration Filters: If you don’t already have them, try installing inline air filtration filters. MERV 7 to MERV 11 would be my suggestion. If you go too high of a MERV rating, meaning it grabs even more particulates, it can cut down on the flow for your HVAC and affect your air conditioning and heating within the home. You can install larger units (which are a little more expensive), but the bigger size means you can get a higher MERV rating and still move quite a bit of air through your HVAC.
- Detox the Home: once you’ve dehumidified, you want to clean the space (including the entire HVAC). Then you want to “fog” the space with a natural chemical to knock out the biotoxins and mold count. There are a few options, one effective spray is “Concrobium” which is an over-the-counter natural chemical you can find at places like Home Depot. To do this properly you need to seal up the house to create negative air pressure, and spray the entire home as well as the entire HVAC system. Hire someone competent to do this properly, you don’t want to risk improperly detoxing your home and risking future problems.
- Re-test, and possibly evacuate. Unfortunately, getting rid of mold is not always possible. Even the most qualified company might not be able to fix a really bad mold problem. When building materials are very porous (like wood), the infestation can be so deep that no amount of excavation, cleaning, and fogging will do. You have to understand that these toxins essentially make their way into everything (from books, to bedding, clothes, and furniture), and so if your mold problem is bad, you might have to genuinely get rid of everything, move, and start fresh. Taking beds, furniture, and other objects from a mold infested home into a new home might actually bring those biotoxic spores with you. It might seem extreme, but having worked with so many clients whose health has been totally devastated by mold toxicity: it’s worth it.
If you need further help we recommend the mold removal services of Green Home Solutions.
Step 2: Get on a Mold Detox Diet
After ensuring that you’ve gotten rid of the source, you will then want to detox yourself from the lingering spores in your own body. This process follows the principles of my cellular healing diet approach, and includes removing inflammatory foods (like unhealthy fats, poor quality processed meats, and refined sugars and grains). For inspiration on how to cook cellular healing diet approved food, you can view my detox recipes here. You can also see our clean eating meal plan.
Remove “Bad Fats” From Your Diet
Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, but depending on the quality, they can either be nourishing or highly inflammatory. Healthy fats are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, lower inflammation, help you detox, and heal your cells.
Unhealthy fats to avoid include:
- Factory farmed (non-organic/ pasture raised) animal fats; like tallow or lard.
- Farmed fish, or large wild fish (which contain larger amounts of heavy metals); like tuna, catfish, king mackerel, sea bass, and swordfish.
- Factory farmed (non-organic/ pasture raised) animal dairy; like milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, regular butter, and soy milk.
- Peanuts (they test very high in mycotoxins).
- Refined vegetable oils and processed synthetic spreads like safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn, and cottonseed oils, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, margarine and shortening.
Remove Unhealthy Meats
Like fats, meat are a source of essential nutrients that make up a part of a healthy diet, so long as the animals are organic and pasture raised, and that the meat you’re consuming is free from added sugars, preservatives, and other harmful agents. When buying beef, make sure it’s not only grass-fed, but also grass-finished, and for all your animal products you want to buy pasture-raised, and non-GMO certified.
Unhealthy meats to avoid include:
- Factory farmed (non-organic/ pasture raised) animal fats; like beef, chicken, and pork.
- Highly processed meats with preservatives like hot dogs, salami, canned meat, and conventional jerky.
Remove Sugar & Processed Grains
This should be a no-brainer by now: processed grains and sugar are highly inflammatory, and have no part of a healthy diet. Removing all sources (which includes most packaged foods found in the grocery store) will ensure your body has the opportunity to heal, as opposed to be constantly fighting the low levels of chronic inflammation caused by sugar and grains.
Opting for a high-fat and protein diet, void of refined sugars, helps control your blood sugar throughout the day which is associated with health and longevity, and supports cellular healing.
Common sources of sugar and processed grains to avoid include:
- Breakfast cereals
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- Syrups and Sauces in general
Step 3: Focus on Natural Remedies vs. Man Made Medicines
When healing from mold toxicity, it’s important to opt for natural remedies instead of man made medicines, because only natural remedies are geared to address the root cause of the problem, without any added “side” effects. Man made medicines can be great at suppressing symptoms, but these symptoms are your body’s way of communicating with you; if you fail to hear the message, you gear up for larger troubles in the long run.
Take Natural Detox Supplements
Natural detox supplements will prove to be just as useful in getting rid of your symptoms as man made medicines, but when you feel better- you can be sure that it’s because your body is actually healing.
My top three recommendations to heal from mold toxicity are:
- CGEL: increases the cells natural ability to undergo the natural mechanism of detox;
- BIND: is a powerful binder that sweeps the body and effectively eliminates toxins from the blood;
- CytoDetox: enters the cell membrane and act as a vehicle to getting rid of the toxins as we up-regulate cell function, and prevents reabsorption.
See the detox supplements Dr. Pompa recommends.
Mold toxicity is an invisible biotoxin that is unknowingly destroying the health of people across the country. This biotoxic mold is often invisible, difficult to test for, and lurks behind walls and floors. It is often present in highly moist areas or develops after a leak.
Healing from mold toxicity requires safely removing the source of the mold, detoxing the body, and removing other sources of toxicity from your life. Detoxing your body can be done following the cellular healing diet, and by following a natural detox supplement protocol. Toxins come in many forms and it can be difficult to remove them from your life on your own. That’s why we recommend you also read this information about holistic detox.