Signs of a Mold Problem

Joyce’s seasonal allergies progressed from chronic asthma to bronchitis and onto pneumonia over the course of two years.

She couldn’t concentrate, suffered from memory loss, and couldn’t sleep.

“Every time I’d lay down in bed, I began to wheeze and cough,” said, “I felt like I was drowning.”

A Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function profile reported +4 Yeast/Fungi; taxonomy unavailable.

She resigned to sleep on the living room couch so her coughing fits wouldn’t wake her husband. “My husband bought a black mold test kit at Home Depot,” Joyce said.

Black mold from night stand.

Placing the test kit on her bedroom nightstand for an hour, Joyce said the room tested positive for black mold.

She immediately ripped the carpet and padding from the room but found no visible signs of mold.

“I sprayed gallons and gallons of industrial mold killer, but my bedroom still smelled a bit musty and tested positive,” Joyce said, “I was on the verge of ripping the baseboard trim from the walls.”

Instead, Joyce decided to check the interior layers of her 5-year-old air bed.

The bed has multiple layers of pads with an inflatable core and controls to let air in and out to control the bed’s firmness.

“I peeled back and sprayed all layers of the mattress down to the plastic inflatable core,” She said. “When I flipped the last layer of padding, I saw black mold outlines of our bodies where my husband and I slept. It was disgusting. I went weak and started to cry.”

Joyce’s inflatable air bed turned into a breeding ground for black mold because moisture accumulated inside the bed from the moisture from their bodies seeping into the mattress.

Within two weeks of removing the mattress from her home, Joyce said her health improved.

“Although I now feel remarkably better, my resistance to mold is very low and I feel my lungs are weakened,”.

Wellness Alternatives uses the GI Effects Mycology Profile to identify yeast, mold and fungi, in real quantitative amounts, as well as fungal sensitivities of pharmaceuticals and botanicals. A Yeast/Fungi; taxonomy unavailable finding may indicate ingested mold.

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Statistics show that most people spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors. We like to think our homes are healthy places to live and raise our families and that our offices safe to work in, but just how safe are they?

Tigger hiding mold on wall.

Inhalation of fungal spores, mycotoxins and other volatile organic compounds from a wide variety of fungi may cause a wide variety of adverse health effects, including allergic or cytokine reactions, toxic mold poisoning, or internal and external infections in humans and animals.


Health effects from exposure to toxic mold can include any of the following symptoms:

Headaches, memory loss, problems focusing or concentrating, chronic fatigue, nose and throat irritation, persistent cold-like symptoms, dizziness, nausea, burning, itching, or watering eyes, tremors, heart palpitations, shortness of breath (during mild exertion), exhaustion after routine activity, serious swelling in legs, ankles, feet, serious swelling in torso or stomach, prolonged muscle cramps and joint pain, sensitivity to odors, cancer, women who are pregnant could experience multiple problems, and even miscarriages.

There are a number of documented cases of health effects and physical problems resulting from indoor exposure to mold and mold spores. Mold related illnesses can result from either high-level via short-term exposures or lower level via long-term exposures.

This is the case with a twenty one year old college student. After a semester in his room in the moldy basement of his fraternity, he began experiencing severe emotional and digestive issues.

He was diagnosed with depression and experienced some improvement after moving home. The digestive issues continued even with taking antacid medications. None of the depression medication made any difference.

It is not surprising the Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function profile showed immeasurably high levels of mold. In addition to the mold, probably due to the “sanitary” conditions of the frat house, high levels of H. pylori were also reported.

Once exposed to mold our bodies become the perfect warm moist environment for mold to continue growing. 

H. pylori are a stomach bacteria that resides in the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract are responsible for gut inflammation, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, and gastric cancer. An H. pylori infection can induce autoimmune processes against the gastrointestinal mucosal lining, with consequent autoimmune gastritis. H. pylori infection are also involved in non-gastrointestinal conditions such as rosacea, heart disease, hair loss, and type 1 diabetes.

The most common health effects or symptoms reported from exposure to indoor mold environments are a chronic clearing of the throat, runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma, allergic reactions similar to cat allergies, headache, and fatigue.

Seventy percent of all chronic sinusitis cases are in fact related to mold inhalation.  Did you also know that antihistamines do not work on mold allergies? This is probably a big part of why some folks can’t seem to find relief from chronic sinusitis. If you have been treating your sinusitis with antihistamines and antibiotics but do not get lasting relief; it is likely you are using the wrong treatment protocol for the problem you have. The best way to eliminate the sinusitis is to remove the mold from your body and environmental air. Without these important steps virtually no medical treatment is effective long term.

When people get sick from mold it’s because fungal spores, mold fragments, or mycotoxins are in the air and inhaled. They come in by skin contact with mold, or when mold is eaten. Susceptibility can vary from one person to the next. Some people can be exposed to mold for long periods of time and experience little to no reaction. Others cannot enter a room with elevated mold spores without getting violently sick. Exposure to mold is not healthy for anyone. Mold can make people seriously ill. It is not possible to determine general “safe” or “unsafe” levels of exposure to mold. So how much mold is acceptable to you?

Christine suffered from severe environmental allergies. She had spent an enormous amount of money searching for an answer.

She was allergic to perfumes and any scents. She suffered from chronic fatigue spending days in bed unable to move without pain.

Her diet was down to boiled chicken and broth. She sought help from Dr. Peterson for possible food allergies.

Based on her symptoms, plus she had previous food allergy testing from multiple doctors, Dr. Peterson ordered a Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function Profile.

Her husband attended the consultation to ensure she was not going on another fruitless treatment plan. The Metametrix GFP reported +4 Yeast/Fungi; taxonomy unavailable. I told Christine and her husband there was a major mold infestation in the house.

Christine’s husband leaned across the table, looked me in the eye, slammed his fist down on the table as he said, “We live in a 2 ½ year old, $950,000.00 house. I don’t think so!” Then got up and walked out leaving Christine sitting there crying.

Thirty minutes later, I received a phone call apologizing. He had found the furnace room covered in black and white mold. After seeing this he remembered it had rained during the framing of the house.

Her symptoms began resolving after the mold was sprayed. She still suffered from minor symptoms but was able to resume a more normal life. Several years later, some of her original symptoms began returning. During the consult, I asked her to check the furnace room again.

She called to say a small patch of mold had become visible again. This is common as the press-wood used to build houses provides plenty of areas where the spray cannot get into. It was just a matter of time before the mold grew enough to again be visible.

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Once mycotoxin laden spores are airborne, they can rest on clothing or skin and become trapped in mucus membranes from normal breathing. The longer one is exposed, the longer it can take before they notice feeling better. With enough long-term exposure to elevated mold environments, it is possible for mold related illnesses and health effects to become lifelong chronic diseases.

Amara had been experiencing thyroid issues since the birth of her second child. These symptoms of severe fatigue worsened after moving into a different house with episodes of  extreme vertigo. In fact the whole family started developing more health issues.

Her thyroid developed a nodule which was biopsied and found to be benign. Adjusting her thyroid medication did not make any improvement. She also began having digestive issues with gas, bloating, and alternating diarrhea and constipation.

The results of her Metametrix GFP showed the constant use of antibiotics had wiped out her good bacteria and the probiotics were not able to colonize her system. High +4 levels of mold were reported in the test. 

Coincidentally about the same time she sent her stool sample in, her furnace went out and had to be replaced. The repairman found standing water in the furnace ducts. It seems the previous occupants had flooded the house allowing water to drain into the vent. Mold traps found mold throughout her home. 

Mold trapped from different areas of the home.

Cleaning out the furnace ducts made managing her Hashimoto’s and Autoimmune Atrophic Gastritis much easier and less confusing.

Eradication of the mold is an important step to feeling better. However, it will also require a treatment plan to repair the damage done in your body. Symptoms can be significant clinically but they can also be very misleading as seen in the case examples. Lab testing is the only way to determine how the symptoms are clinically significant. In these known and unknown mold exposure cases, the Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function Profile is the best lab test to determine if mold, bacteria or parasites are possibly contributing to your health issues. The results allow a comprehensive treatment plan using prescription medications as needed with nutritional supplement protocols to restore metabolic health.

Mold health effects are nothing to ignore. Having mold in your home can cause a number of health problems, and mold sickness can be avoided by cleaning the mold up as quickly as possible if a problem occurs.SOM cover

Term to know: Mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are substances naturally produced by molds and fungi that are normally present as some form of defense for the organism. Mycotoxins produce free radicals and shift immune responses and gut permeability, increasing vulnerability to other disease causing microbes. Mycotoxins shift immune cytokines in favor of TH2/TH17.

For more information on mold read: Signs of a Mold Problem Yeast/Fungi; taxonomy unavailable. If you have symptoms and would like to be tested to verify that mold is a problem, we recommend the Metametrix Gastrointestinal Function Profile. Call Wellness Alternatives to order today!

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5 thoughts on “Signs of a Mold Problem

    • I use DNA stool testing from Metametrix. The lab tests for the presence of human based mold/fungi. In addition to that after doing over 400+ of these labs. Patients report back finding mold in their home in varying locations, i.e. standing water in duct work, in furnace room, humidifiers/dehumidifiers both central and portable, basements, attics, under sinks, etc.

  1. Pingback: Does Your Autoimmunity Have A Name? | Living Wellness

    • A +3 is high enough that you should find evidence of visible mold near where the child spends most of their time. I also recommend getting a ultraviolet light from homedepot to install in the furnace. This will help eliminate any spores in the air system in the home.

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