I just found out that I have toxic mold! I’m in a little bit of shock right now. I had someone come out and test my house several years ago, and the house tested clean except for one small spot in the basement.
Since that time, I’ve installed a REME (Reflective Electro Magnetic Energy) system by Guardian Air in order to kill anything that’s air borne coming through the HVAC system. I thought that I was pretty much covered.
At the urging of my doctor, Dr. Jay Davidson, I had an ERMI test by Mycometrics Lab done to see if anything showed up since my healing wasn’t progressing as fast as is typical. I really didn’t think anything would show up since I had already had the house checked.
Boy, was I wrong!! Not only did something show up, It was off the charts!!! Come to think of it, my basement had flooded a few times in the last couple of years. I have a dehumidifier and had cleaned up the water quickly, so I thought I was good.
I contacted Mycometrics and ordered the ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) test kit which tests for 36 species of mold. These are divided into Group 1 (associated as causing health issues) and Group 2 (doesn’t usually cause health issues unless the individual is severely immune compromised).
The number calculated as the ERMI is actually the sum of the logs of the concentrations of the DNA of the different species. The “mold index” is the difference between Group 1 and Group 2. So, you get a score for each group and then a percentile ranking that helps you determine the severity of the problem.
What to do if you suspect mold is playing a role in your health challenges
1 Don’t assume you’re house is clear
Even if you had your house tested previously, mold could form at ANY time. Something could start leaking at ANY time. If you’ve had ANY type of water issue then mold is a possibility. Mold can start growing in as little as 24 hours after a water issue.
2. Order a comprehensive mold test
Traditionally, mold analysis has been performed by either microscopic observation or plate culturing of molds on various media. These techniques are outdated and aren’t as accurate as we expect in today’s technologically advanced world.
Mycometrics Lab offers a solution to mold analysis arising from powerful technological advances in DNA detection, notably a method called Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR). This test is the ERMI test, and I believe it is the most accurate and comprehensive test available.
3. Get a mold sensitivity test
Dr. Jill Carnahan is a functional medical doctor practicing in Boulder, CO and has first-hand experience with mold. She explains on her website that routine labs will come back normal and many people with mold sensitivity will be labelled as having a psychiatric illness.
Especially, when they experience another symptom of mold exposure, rage, anger and sudden deep dark depression when exposed to mold. Dr. Carnahan does HLA typing along with testing of leptin and adiponectin which will show early signs of insulin dysregulation.
You can also detect mycotoxins (the nasty poison that mold puts off) in a urine test. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker is the “Godfather” of treating mold illness and has created the most effective protocols. Check out his website.
His online Visual Contrast Sensitivity test is an easy test that you can do at home. This is a screening tool, not a diagnostic tool, so you would need further testing to confirm that you are mold sensitive. However, this will give you a good indication that it’s a good probability.
4. Get the heck out of Dodge!
If the ERMI shows high levels of mold, then you need to get out ASAP! Every day that you stay in a moldy environment it is wreaking havoc on your immune system and driving inflammation. This should be the first step anyone takes in their healing journey.
You MUST remove the source of the toxins before your body can start to detox and heal. This is very scary and overwhelming to think about leaving the environment in which you’re the most comfortable. That’s when you have to DIG DEEP and decide how committed you are to getting well. I’m dealing with this very issue right now, and it is NOT easy.
5. Get rid of any possessions that cannot be cleaned
As if it’s not hard enough to leave your moldy home, then you have to think about mold being on and IN your furniture, books, papers, etc. Thankfully, clothes can be washed, but you may have to leave behind some very important possessions.
Anything fabric that can’t be washed has to go. Papers and books have to go or possibly be stored in plastic in a storage facility.
6. Get emotional support
If you test positive for mold sensitivity and your environment tests positive for mold, then it could mean tremendous upheaval and dramatic loss. This can take an emotional toll which can also lower your immune system making matters worse.
If you have someone in your life that can give you emotional support during this time, then it may make the transition a bit easier. I am actually freaking out at the moment!
If you don’t have a physical human that can give you support, then seek it out online. Facebook has some really good support groups. Here’s a good one called Toxic Mold Support Group.
I just joined, so look me up and say, “Hello”!
If you have a “mystery” illness and you’re not getting better even with a clean, grain-free diet, consistent detox practices, targeted supplements, and toxin-free environment, then it would be a good idea to consider toxic mold as a possible roadblock to your healing.
Don’t assume that your house is clear even if you had it tested recently. Mold can form behind walls. A water leak can occur at any time. I have NO VISIBLE mold and my levels were off the charts. TEST, DON’T GUESS!
Get a mold sensitivity test to determine if you’re sensitive to it or not. Many people are not mold sensitive, but mold sensitivity and chronic illness seem to go together. Dr. Carnahan likes HLA Typing. Check out her website for more info.
If you have mold and are mold sensitive then you will NOT get well until you remove yourself from the source. This is a tough one. I’m trying to wrap my head around the probability that I will have to move out of my beloved home that I’ve been in for the last 13 years.
Getting rid of possessions that may be contaminated with mold spores is another tough one. Fabric that can’t be washed, papers, books, etc. may be some of the things you have to let go of. I’m really hoping pictures and photos are o.k.
All of this upheaval is bound to cause some emotional distress and even grief as you let go of things that have been precious to you. If you have emotional support, then it can help ease the pain of the feelings of loss.
The bottom line is that you will NOT get well if you are mold sensitive and are living in a moldy environment. You must REMOVE THE SOURCE before your body can start to detox and heal.
Have you had to deal with mold? How did you do it? I really need some help!