As a Functional MD who treats mold toxic patients, my middle Tennessee hikes often remind
me of my work with patients in the clinic. I end up pondering what type of mold is growing on the trail markers and rocks around me. Thankfully, I can reassure myself that these outdoor growths are not the toxic molds that we need to avoid. Having studied toxic molds in the course of patient care, I can breathe deeply because in the great outdoors all is well. When it comes to indoor growths, however, mold takes on a different connotation. Molds growing indoors can be extremely toxic to individuals and lead to debilitating chronic health issues.
What sign markers might I leave behind to guide others down the trail that locates the root cause of a number of health problems? What can I leave behind to let others know they might be dealing with a mold toxic illness?
Mold toxins not only trigger a myriad of symptoms, but these symptoms mimic numerous other diagnoses. Just as the hiking novice walks through a forest unable to distinguish an oak from a birch or a maple, the toxic patient walking through mold illness might not be able to distinguish thyroid fatigue from mold toxin fatigue. For this reason, our patients often travel through many doctors in search of answers. Their signs tell them something is not right in their body, but none of the trail guides lead them to ultimate relief.
Who can help them tease out the nuances between the different root causes?
Mold toxic patients often search for a specialist who can tell them what is wrong, but with symptoms in so many different body systems, they don’t know which one to ask. They see a neurologist for the odd sensations that begin in their arm, then run down in their leg, and end up on their face. They see a GI doctor for the irritable bowel and growing list of food intolerances. They see an allergist or a dermatologist for the weird hives and rashes that wax and wane. They visit a lung doctor for the increasing shortness of breath that keeps them from exercising. They may even see a psychiatrist for the emotional symptoms or the fatigue that they just can’t shake. None of these specialists see the big picture and thus the big question never gets answered.
Where can someone go to answer the questions about whether they are suffering from mold toxicity? At Sanctuary Functional Medicine, we help our patients answer this question with an in-depth history, physical, and advanced testing. For those who want a little help in deciding whether they need such an in-depth evaluation, the Institute for Functional Medicine has put together some helpful mold toxic symptom areas.
Below I have shared a list of these symptoms as a trail guide in the decision to seek further evaluation. Don’t be frightened if some of these apply to you, especially if you have another illness that explains the symptoms. Do be aware, however, that just because you think you have an explanation such as stress, seasonal allergies, adrenal fatigue, aging, etcetera, you still may not have the root cause figured out. Mold toxicity actually may be the cause behind multiple body system dysfunctions – some mysterious and some with seeming explanations. It can be a sly culprit. If several areas in the list below apply to you, mold is a possibility.
- Brain function: memory loss, difficulty finding words
- Weakness, achiness, headaches, difficulty with adding new knowledge, sensitive to light
- Concentration problems
- Joint pain, morning stiffness, muscle cramps
- Unusual skin sensations, tingling
- Trouble breathing, sinus congestion or drainage
- Appetite swings, difficulty controlling body temperature, frequent urination
- Cough, increased thirst, and confusion
- Red eyes, blurred vision, lots of sweating or night sweats, weird unexplained pains
- Belly pain, diarrhea, numbness
- Vertigo, static shocks frequently
- Watery eyes, metallic taste in mouth, disoriented
If you have been ill for months or years and find that over half of these areas apply to you, reach out and we can help decipher the trail marker signs. Maybe mold is the root cause of your poor health. We want to help as many as possible live a healthier more abundant life.