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Reference Guide
Mold & Toxins

Mold & Toxins

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According to the EPA, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, and the Mayo Clinic has found that over 90% of chronic sinus infections have been attributed to mold with mold allergies affecting about 10% of the population.

Molds are fungi that grow indoors and outdoors in warm, damp, and humid conditions, with some capable of producing toxic compounds (Mycotoxins) that have the potential to cause illness in humans.  More than 400 mycotoxins have been reported, and they can cause health problems through inhalation, absorption through the skin or consumption if on a food product. 

Exposure to mold can elicit an immune system reaction producing symptoms similar to allergies such as sinus congestion, runny nose, itchy skin and eyes, shortness of breath. Mold exposure can also manifest as chronic inflammation with the body producing a chemical and inflammatory reaction to mycotoxins. 

Some symptoms that may be experienced include:

  • Confusion and poor memory
  • Abdominal pain and muscle pain
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Metallic taste
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in ears
  • Gut problems 
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Hair loss, skin rashes

What Mold Tests measure?

Mold tests assess samples of urine, blood, and dust from the living environment for a variety of known mycotoxins. A variety of mold tests are available through Rupa Health. Some examples from this category include:

  • Mosaic Diagnostics' MycoTOX: A comprehensive mycotoxin test is performed with a urine sample, screening for 11 different mycotoxins from 40 species of mold.
  • RealTime Labs' EMMA: This is an Environmental Mold and Mycotoxin Assay to assess a dust sample from the patient’s living environment for a variety of mycotoxins.
  • BioReference's Molds Screen: A serum sample is assessed for IgE response to 6 types of  mold.

In addition to the mold tests, a physical examination, a medical history of symptoms, and an environmental history would be helpful in determining the cause for the health issues.

Treatment Plans

Evaluation of home, work, and care environments are often included in treatment plans to identify source(s) of molds for elimination. Some treatment plans can include:

  • Removing the source of mold 
  • Improving diet to lower inflammation 
  • For allergies or respiratory problems, taking allergy medication to manage symptoms or including immunotherapy to reduce allergic reactions
  • Taking supplements that help eliminate toxins such as antioxidants, charcoal, glutathione, NAC, garlic, and green tea
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