Not all fungus is bad. Mushrooms and mold both happen to be fungi!
It can be helpful (like penicillium) or harmful (like the dreaded stachybotrys), and it’s been a problem since biblical times - it’s mold exposure! In this podcast episode of Highway to Health, Dr. Morrison talks with hosts Zoe and Erica about mold toxicity, its symptoms, and what to do about it.
Why is mold such a common issue?
Interestingly, the way we build homes today is part of the problem. After World War II, builders began using drywall instead of plaster. Because drywall dries very slowly, it can become a petri dish for mold (a type of fungus) when it gets wet or damp. In the 1970’s, in an effort to conserve oil and fuel, builders began using more insulation. Dense insulation in the walls is great for helping to maintain temperatures in the home, but it also makes it more difficult for dampness in the walls to dry out if there is a leak. In fact, mold can grow within 3-5 days of a leak if the area is not properly ventilated, so this is a big problem for a lot of homes, especially in New York City.What if I suspect mold in my home or office?
If you suspect mold in your living space, you can buy a home mold test kit, such as the ERMI test, which stands for Environmental Relative Moldiness Index. We like the ERMI test from Mycometrics. You can also seek out certified mold inspectors, such as Olmstead Environmental Services or Microecologies, who will come to your home and assess for the presence of mold.Is mold contributing to your symptoms?
Mold, mold exposure, and mold-related illnesses are complex, and according to Dr. Morrison, the problem is threefold:
- Most people don’t know that there’s mold in their home
- Most testing techniques aren’t very sensitive and can miss mold
- Symptoms of mold overexposure and mold-related illnesses are vague
Symptoms of mold exposure can include chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic sinusitis, asthma, irritability, brain fog, achiness, chronic viral infection, rashes, digestive issues, and immune system dysregulation, which triggers inflammation. Dr. Morrison orders specific functional blood and urine tests that can help hone in on whether mold toxin or mold fragments are related to a person’s symptoms. Paying attention to whether a person feels better when they’re away from home can also be an important clue.If you do have mold-related symptoms...
A true diagnosis of mold related illness isn’t easy to reach — you have to put many pieces together. But the path to wellness is possible, and includes:
- Eliminating the source of exposure
- Anti-histamines, like quercetin, nettle, or OTCs
- A low histamine diet
- Specialty testing to see if there are mold toxins in the body
- Sauna and intentional sweating
- Binding agents, like cholestyramine, Welcol, activated charcoal - even okra can help bind mold toxins
- Stress relief
Stress relief is a very important component to healing from mold because being in a state of “fight or flight” prevents the body from detoxifying efficiently. Modalities like Emotional Freedom Technique, Reiki, NuCalm and retraining old thought patterns can be instrumental in the healing process. Once a cohesive healing protocol is in place, Dr. Morrison says people can expect about 3-6 months of treatment. Dr. Morrison encourages people to pay close attention to how they feel and to be proactive about their health, especially when it comes to mold.Listen to Dr. Morrison’s interview about mold on the Highway To Well podcast
Click here to listen to the full podcast for even more information on how you can prevent and detect mold in your home, and heal from mold exposure.
WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK
This guide was written by Dr. Morrison and the health and nutrition experts at The Morrison Center. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health through the treatment and prevention of disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is an award-winning medical doctor, a leader in the field of Integrative Medicine, and champion of a nutritional approach to healthcare
Robin is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine and holistic healing modalities. She helps her clients address complicated conditions and return to wellness.
Stephanie is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner with a passion for helping her clients fulfill their potential through both emotional and physical optimization.