Illness related to mold exposure is something that I had heard of, but did not take to heart until recently. This fall I started Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training which required a daily home practice. I set up my yoga props in a cozy corner of the carpeted finished basement and practiced there for at least an hour every day. Kundalini Yoga often involves long deep breathing as well as a rapid breath pattern called Breath of Fire. After about two weeks of inhaling the basement air, I began to feel an overwhelmingly heightened sense of anxiety, profound depression and began to wake up multiple times throughout the night. There were no other symptoms. I was baffled as I could identify no obvious precipitant.
During this same time period, one of the readers of my blog wrote to me and mentioned that she had been diagnosed with toxic mold and thought that I might be interested in the topic. She wrote “I am going to bet that many of your psych pt’s have this mold based illness, and that you will love this info and find it very useful in your practice…” I wrote her back, thanked her, said that it sounded really interesting and that I looked forward to learning more about it.
I don’t know why I stopped going down the basement to do yoga. I must have been feeling too miserable to practice. But a few days later, my anxiety started to melt away, the depression lifted, and I started sleeping through the night. After three days I felt completely fine again. Suddenly I remembered the e-mail, reread it and began to wonder if toxic mold had been causing me to feel so awful. The growth of toxic mold is initiated by water damage, and there had been flooding in my basement several years ago. Testing the basement revealed very high levels of mold. I am now in the process of contracting for remediation and trying to minimize going down there until it’s safe again.
The more I learn about toxic mold the more grateful I am that avoiding the moldy basement was all I needed to do to recover. This is not the case for many people. Mold toxins can accumulate in the body, continuing to wreak havoc long after exposure ceases and require an extensive and often arduous course of treatment. But for everyone, the first and most crucial step in treatment is to identify where the mold is located and to get away from it.
Toxic mold is apparently a more prevalent and a more serious problem than ever before. Due to common building practices of using Drywall or Sheetrock, which was not a material used in construction in the past, more people are now being exposed to toxic mold, as Drywall is a great medium for mold growth. The current practice of making homes more energy efficient, means that there is less ventilation with outside air and the toxic mold gasses can be trapped inside, potentiating their effect. There is also research that electromagnetic frequencies cause molds to release their toxins in self defense. The routers that are so common in our homes may be causing mold to become more virulent. In addition, in the 1970’s anti-fungals were added to paint which stimulated the mold to mutate and become more dangerous.
Mold allergies and mold toxicity are not the same illness. Mold allergies are due to mold spores that are inhaled and cause hay fever like symptoms. It is different than Toxic Mold, which is due to the volatile toxic vapors produced by mold that can cause a chronic inflammatory response, (CIRS), an auto-immune reaction caused by poor clearance of bio toxins. It can manifest with so many different and diverse symptoms, that it is frequently misdiagnosed. It is likely that many cases of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mast cell activation disorder and histamine intolerance, irritable bowel and leaky guy, multiple sclerosis and post treatment Lyme syndrome, which do not respond to treatment, are due to toxic mold causing a chronic inflammatory response. Unfortunately most conventional practitioners and even alternative practitioners do not include it as a possibility. It should definitely be on the list of possible treatable causes of medical and psychiatric symptoms.
Some of the common symptoms of toxic mold and CIRS are:
4. Muscle Cramps
5. Unusual Pain
6. Ice Pick Pain
8. Light Sensitivity
9. Red Eyes
10. Blurred Vision
12. Sinus Problems
14. Shortness of Breath
15. Abdominal Pain
17. Joint Pain
18. Morning Stiffness
19. Memory Issues
20. Focus/Concentration Issues
21. Word Recollection Issues
22. Decreased Learning of New Knowledge
25. Skin Sensitivity
26. Mood Swings
27. Appetite Swings
28. Sweats (especially night sweats)
29. Temperature Regulation or Dysregulation Problems
30. Excessive Thirst
31. Increased Urination
32. Static Shocks
36. Metallic Taste
Toxic Mold is not recognized as a legitimate diagnosis by conventional medicine. Part of the reason for this is that vulnerability to mold toxicity is only present in 25% of the population, who in most cases, have a genetic predisposition. A family can all be living in the same house but only one family member will become ill. This is because that person is the only one with the genetic vulnerability. The conventional perspective of mold deniers is that if mold were really a problem, then everyone in the house would get sick, and thus it is discounted.
The person who has done the most research about Toxic Mold is a retired family physician named Ritchie Shoemaker, MD. He has written several exhaustive tomes about this topic including Mold Warriors and Surviving Mold. His website contains a wealth of information, as well as a list of a of practitioners trained by him in his protocol to treat Toxic Mold. A more accessible, very concise and excellent e-book on the subject is by Neil Nathan, MD, who was also trained by Dr. Shoemaker. It is titled Mold and Mycotoxins, Diagnosis and Treatment 2016.
Once the diagnosis is made, this is a very treatable condition, though it can take a long time. The treatment recommended by Dr. Shoemaker makes use of a pharmaceutical binder named Cholestyramine, an old cholesterol lowering drug, which can be quite hard on patients, though effective. It is unpalatable and must be taken four times a day away from meals and causes side effects of heartburn, constipation and bloating. Jill Carnahan, MD, a functional medicine doctor in Boulder, who had her own personal saga with toxic mold illness, uses natural binders such as charcoal and clay, in combination with high doses of Vitamin C and glutathione, and reports good results. There is a fascinating interview with her at the bottom of this page entitled “Mold Testing and Mold Toxins.”
So many buildings in this country are water damaged, that it is very likely that many of the patients coming to psychiatrists with anxiety, depression, attentional problems, insomnia and brain fog are suffering from toxic mold. The appropriate treatment is not Prozac. In addition, many schools have sustained water damage and kids are being exposed to bio toxins in the environment which degrade cognition, attention and memory. It’s sobering to think about New Orleans after Katrina and the recent flooding in Baton Rouge, and what the health consequences for the population must be from mold illness.
My awakening to the huge problem of toxic mold is an example of synchronicity, evidence of a non random meaningful universe. Had I not begun Kundalini Yoga Teacher training, I would not have been breathing deeply in the basement daily for an hour and fallen ill. Had that generous reader not written to me at that particular moment to share her discovery, I would not have connected the dots about toxic mold causing my debilitating psychiatric symptoms. And had I not connected the dots, I would not be able to share this information with you and raise your consciousness about this potentially very important cause of illness.
The universe provides all of us with endless opportunities to help one another, if we are open to allowing the Mystery to work through us. We are now in a time of enormous change and transition. Something new is being born and we are all being called upon to contribute, each in our own unique way. As we approach this darkest time of the year, the Winter Solstice, be a light to your community, and you will uplift yourself. Blessings and love to all my readers for the New Year.
Good luck, Tara.
Good luck. There are products these days that I want to try, like mold bags for air and a testing kit, best rated and around 60, for multiple mild types. From Home Depot. Cleaning the pipes for this issue where I’m at is off limits due to the likely refusal of the homeowner. But I think that’s a smart move, too. There are herbs for fungus destruction but I haven’t had much luck in this arena. Though it has helped with cyst reduction when used in the diet:a combo of anti-fungal/parasitic herbs for flavor and health.
I have been working in a mold infested building for the past four years; the past year and a half of my life have been absolutely horrible. I have been to the doctor so many times and they cannot seem to figure out what is wrong with me. I put a mold test kit in my office and it filled up with all types of spores. I did not send it off to get tested though, so I am not sure what kind of molds are in there. I have been doing things so out of character for myself and thinking horrible thoughts. I can’t remember things and get easily confused. I feel as if there is a mask over my brain and I cannot think. I have tried to tell people and they look at my as if I am crazy. I have always been a very upbeat and positive person and have never been suicidal, but for months now I think horrible thoughts and just wish I could go to sleep and never wake up. I feel like nobody is listening to me when I tell them how I feel and what’s going on inside my head and body. I am at my wits’ end and don’t know what else to do.
Dr. Tsafrir says
You need to find a mold literate physician in your area. Here are two lists of sophisticated practitioners: https://neilnathanmd.com/books/
Mold can make you feel so ill. Its important to get treatment and also to get away from the mold exposure.
Peggy Eyler says
When I ask the doctor how long can it take to get over my toxic mold symptoms, he just says, “everyone is different,” and I do not even get a range of time or an average. I am on the Paleo diet and following the protocol given which includes glutathione and charcoal among other vitamin supplements. I had to quit my job. Our condo was inspected and we removed the carpet over cement on our main floor as well as the front loading washing machine, as these were the most obvious mold carriers. I do not want to go on with this way of life. I have seen an infectious disease doctor and soon to see a neurologist to rule other things out. I am looking into the Amen Clinic as a place to go to get help. They take PET scans of your brain and figure out where the problem is so it can be treated. It is expensive. If I knew how long I should give the protocol I am on to work, that would be helpful.
Dr. Tsafrir says
Your frustration and wish for a definite answer is so understandable and yet its really impossible to say how quickly you will respond to treatment. Some people are super sensitive and they can only tolerate detoxing the mold in an extremely incremental way. It is unpredictable. It would be unusual for it to be less than 6 months and could take several years. But you should be feeling better over time even if you are not “cured’.
Hello. I am sorry for your suffering. I was ill for eight years, couldn’t work for four and lost most of my possessions due to toxic mold. But I want to assure you that life does get better again. The place that treated me is https://lifestylehealinginstitute.com/. Treatments are not necessarily cheap, but they do more than just treat you while you are there, they do extensive bloodwork before and after treatments and make sure you are on the right maintenance doses of different supplements including ones that boost your glutathione levels. Another issue is that the mold will significantly lower other hormones in your body including serotonin, which will leave you feeling anxious, depressed, and other symptoms, that you may feel like are not the way you used to be, and they are able to regulate all of this through natural supplements and not pharmaceuticals. I have the blood work to prove it all. The other thing I really like about them is that you can contact them anytime with any questions or concerns even on weekends, and they are able to help you. One thing that they will tell you and also is very important, make sure you have an air quality test in your home, because if there is mold present still, you will not be able to get better. I would suggest giving them a call for more information. I hope this helps you in some way.
Yes me too. I have diagnosed myself with mold allergies. I am in Seattle and although I’ve paid a ton if money to doctors none of them could help me. It saps my adrenals and I take hormone replacement: bovine adrenal.
We have been sick on and off for years with what I believe to be mold toxicity. Our 6 year old son has a severe histamine intolerance after 2 years of asthma- like symptoms but no asthma diagnosis. I would really like to know about the urine test as none of my doctors seem to know about it. I know that there is company online that does it, though in NJ it would have to be ordered by a physician. Is there another urine test I could ask my doctor about and should I see an immunologist? We were able to get an appointment for a geneticist for our son, as recommended by our functional medicine doctor. She wants to test for rare metabolic disorders. After hearing about your journey, I will request the genetic test for mold sensitivity as well. Thank you for so much helpful information. I did some research on the HLA DR test and came upon this: http://ntced.org/medical-testing/hla-dr-gene-test/# So, now I’m little troubled about its validity. My husband, son and I all have symptoms but it’s probably unlikely all three of us have the gene, I’m thinking. But then again mold exposure can make even people without this marker sick, yes?
The lab test that I use is by RealTime Lab for urine mycotoxins. I think that the HLA DR test is useful if you suspect that you may be suffering from Mold Toxicity or Chronic Lyme Disease, which can present similarly. If that test came back negative, then you would not need to continue to pursue the mold or lyme disease testing, which can be very expensive. So, I don’t think its a bad idea, as a first step. Dr. Neil Nathan in California is the real expert, and he does consultations. I think it would be worthwhile contacting him and having your whole family evaluated. I don’t know if someone can be sick without the marker, but if all of you are symptomatic, that is what is important. And the number one first step, is to remove yourself from the mold exposure. I wish you all the best.
Jennifer Velasquez says
Thank you for this wonderful piece on mold in Psychology Today, a mainstream, respected publication .Like the person who left the other comment, my family and I have been dealing with mold toxicity and its effects since 2003
I have worked full time with severe mold symptoms since 2005 and the physical symptoms, frequent urination, inability to learn new things, emf sensitivities, and mood swings upon exposure to toxins HAS MADE WORKING EXTREMELY DIFFICULT and made me the subject of ridicule.
But worse is seeing a child suffer from hives and having the doctors not even bring up mold.Worse yet is seeing a child struggle in school due to the cognitive effects of mold, which i didn’t know was the cause at the time.
The only cure is moving to a different house and that’s so expensive. I have moved so often in the last six years.
Please, please continue to raise awareness so I can get ACTUAL MEDICAL HELP and can stop trying to do this on my own, with people telling me “there’s no mold, it’s all in your head”.
This should be a major public health initiative due to increased flooding , natural disasters, and climate change.
Thank you for doing a blog on this!
Dr. Tsafrir says
You are welcome. I believe that we are in the midst of a public health crisis and epidemic that is typically unrecognized and therefore inappropriately treated. There are so many patients receiving exactly the opposite treatment than what would be helpful. It would be helpful to others if you would leave a comment on the Psychology Today blog post, to lend credence to the reality of this condition and the way in which conventional health practitioners are frequently oblivious.
Jennifer Velasquez says
Thank you for the reply! I certainly will do so.
Susan Mallory says
This is a great post!! Wonderful information. I have a few follow-up questions:
* What type of doctor would you recommend seeing if you wanted to be tested for this?
* What process did you follow to get your basement tested? Are there companies that do this or did you order a do-it-yourself home test?
So glad that this was useful to you. There is a group of doctors who have been certified and trained by Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, but I do not agree with his allopathic treatment approach. I prefer the approaches of Neil Nathan, MD in Californis or Jill Carnahan, MD who use more natural means which are equally effective. You could contact either of them to get a recommendation, or find a functional medicine doctor and ask them if they are knowledable about mold diagnosis and treatment.
I used an environmental testing company to test my basement. It’s important to make sure that the people doing the testing are not the same as those doing the remediation, because it’s a conflict of interest. The company that I used and was happy with in the Boston area was called Indoor Doctor. Good luck with it all. It’s a huge undertaking. But well worth it.
Great post, thankyou for writing this. Many of us patients are part of active advocacy groups, or writing personal blogs, but anything coming from health professionals has much more street cred.
It is important for mental health professionals to be aware of mould.
Firstly, because as you say, it can cause genuine psychiatric issues.
Secondly, because gaslighting of invisible illness patients is so common.
Mould illness patients may end up in your clinic, written off as anxiety/ depression/ hypochondriacs/ professional diagnosis collectors. Irrespective of whether there are actually any mood/ personality symptoms. Particularly female patients. A mould-savvy mental health professional might be the only voice of reason in the long line of doctors the patient has gone through.
If someone presents with a long history of multiple “imaginary” symptoms, or we-don’t-know why labels such as fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, POTS, idiopathic seizures, autoimmune issues, MCS and mast cell issues, then mould illness (and Lyme and heavy metals) are important rule outs.
Lisa Petrison, Ph.D. says
That was a great article.
You and your readers may be interested in this article by psychiatrist Mary Ackerley, M.D., with links to many studies linking mold exposures and psychiatric/neurological symptoms.
I am familiar with the Mary Ackerly’s article and agree that it is a great resource. Thanks for writing.
Erik Johnson says
Message # Search: Advanced Start Topic
Erik Johnson intro
Wed Nov 20, 2002 8:07 pm
Reply Message #372 of 20533
I’m an Incline Village 1985 CFS epidemic survivor, described in the
book Osler’s Web.
I have been diagnosed by both Dr Cheney and Dr Peterson more than a
decade apart as one of the most pristine cases of CFS known.
In 1986 they called for my blood to demonstrate that EBV was not the
cause of CFS as I am EBV negative.
In 1998 I was in an Ampligen study screening program with severe MCS
and CFS symptoms.
I noticed that my periods of depression/anxiety corresponded to
specific places and exposures and determined to use my depression
response as a guide to identify my primary irritants. By paying
attention to my “emotional” state I soon identified Stachybotrys
Chartarum as my primary immunological trigger.
Instead of doing ampligen I decided to pursue a strategy of extreme
The results were more dramatic than I expected. I have made a
spectacular recovery and have returned to an active lifestyle.
By practicing a strategy of avoidance and decontamination after mold
exposure I have been able to exert control over the inflammatory
response and resulting symptoms of anxiety, depression and fatigue.
I have been searching ever since to find an explanation consistent
with my illness and recovery. I believe that Ritchie Shoemakers
findings are consistent with my experience.
My familiarity with the symptoms of Anx/Dep resulting from mycotoxin
exposure combined with my sensitivity allow me to witness varying
degrees of the same response in others during times of mycotoxin
I believe that a major proportion of behavioral disorders will
eventually be connected to modulation by barometric pressure change
from the resulting release of mycotoxins which induces an
immunological response from the stimulation of bacterial
These psychiatrists had no interest -Erik
What a fascinating comment. Thanks for writing. I was not aware of the barometric factor. So great that you figured out what was going on and that you have been restored to health and well being.
A friend of mine swears that what triggers her migraines is when the barometric pressure drops.
This makes so much sense to me. I was living for five years in a relatively new apartment building that was built by an unethical contractor. The owners won a lawsuit against them and notified us they would be tenting the building and completely re-doing the windows and exterior finishes. They didn’t say it was because of mold but before that they had been inspecting for mold throughout the building. Meanwhile I had already decided to move because I couldn’t understand why I had inflammatory conditions and seemed to be getting less well despite a great health regime. I had a lot of brain fog and memory issues. Once I moved I started to feel better almost immediately and also sleep much better. I will look into some of these natural treatments.
I have been stunned by how sick I felt from the mold exposure. It’s very real and for those individuals who are vulnerable due to impaired detoxification, a real bio hazard. I will be writing more about this. I am learning that the treatment differs depending on what specific mold toxin is poisoning you, which is determined by urinalysis. Because those who are sickened by mold do not detoxify and get rid of the toxins competently, it is necessary to prime your system with a glutathione challenge and sauna before collecting the urine. Otherwise it might not show anything, as the body just holds onto the toxins. The treatment needs to be done extremely carefully, because as the mold is killed, it releases more toxins and can make you very very ill. Caution and patience is necessary.
It is so excellent you are writing about and sharing this information. One primary thing that helped me – and I will try to write a blog post about it soon, related to symptoms of bipolar (overused, misused term) – is the ‘total load’ concept.
Here it is described simply:
“Theron Randolph, the great pioneer of clinical ecology (the study of allergy or sensitivity to substances in the environment), developed the theory that illness is caused when the body’s ability to detoxify environmental stressors is overloaded (Ann Allergy, 1978; 40: 333-45). Single, intermittent exposure to chemicals may cause no obvious harm, but if the exposure is repeated, the immune system can become overwhelmed, even at low levels.”
“For example, painters occupationally exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found to have significantly more adverse reactions to VOCs than non painters, even though the individual exposures were below the accepted threshold for harmful effects (Scand J Work Environ Health, 1976; 4: 240-55).Randolph’s concept is known as the total load theory, or the more popular ‘rain-barrel effect’. When more toxins enter the barrel than the body can detoxify and excrete, the barrel overflows and symptoms develop. This explains why some people may react to environmental toxins while others do not.”
“Randolph had a wide concept of what environmental stressors might be: as well as chemicals, he included infections and psychosocial factors, such as depression and stress. Thus, a psychological upset in someone already exposed to environmental chemicals might overload the immune system and lead to genuine physical illness.”
There are so many things that can create these illness issues (temporary or long-term) that it can be overwhelming to try and identify. And so many things can be a part of the overall picture (diet, genetic history, toxic exposures, sedentary lifestyle, emotional issues), it’s a bit mind-boggling. Not to mention very costly to explore with some of the amazing docs who work with environmental illness (testing, treatments, needed supplements, etc.).
The way this concept helped me was to start thinking that there was not going to be ‘one’ thing identified that was making me feel so fatigued, depressed (intermittent, but very severe at times), etc. And in working towards being well I had to accept there was no magic bullet, it was a lifetime work of learning, treating things that could be treated (thyroid hormone helps me much) and most importantly – to do my best to not ‘overload’ my system with new exposures.
Lots of folks recover, I definitely did and was able to finish school, work, raise a child but it is still a struggle.
Ok – think I am going to copy and paste this comment for my blog post 🙂 Hope that answers your question below… just had to think a bit. 🙂
Such a wonderful thoughtful comment. Thank you. The whole concept of the rain barrel and toxic load is talked about in relationship to the development of autism as well and I think has tremendous explanatory power.
I look forward to more of your writing on this – it is trained, qualified health professionals (not a layperson like me) who can publically and professionally educate on a large-scale and help move allopathic medicine forward to more holistic-thinking of mental-physical illness states and ways to help alleviate symptoms and potentially heal.
I so appreciate all you do. Thank you.
Thank you, Molly. I am so fascinated with it and learning alot! I do plan to write more about it as I gain both personal and professional experience.
Hi! Hope your holidays were good and I just read this.
I’d love to share – accept the challenge/ game on. LOL.
Let me think – maybe a 3-part series on my blog? As my experience is not like yours – much more complicated and I never was directly treated for mold… it was just added-in as the ‘list of possible factors’ that were contributing to illness states.
And I read a ton. Even sent out a sample from where I was living at the time in Seattle to a lab recommended by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. – an absolutely beyond brilliant lady that wrote a book I can’t remember the title at the moment (was more than 25 years ago and via Internet search not on this list of her current pubications: https://prestigepublishing.com/).
The sample for came back indicating my living situation had toxic mold – therefore could have been contributing to illness (was not an old or sick building at all – actually very nice few years old condo) – not shocking considering I was living in the water drenched, sun-deprived Pacific Northwest.
But I was in treatment for CFS/depression not mold sensitivity. It was just another possible contributing factor I learned about while trying to get well after psychiatric care made me worse.
So many have gotten well from dealing with – and being aware of – those issues. Maybe they had psychiatric care at some point like I did or maybe not.
The important issue is that environmental sensitivities and exposures can create illness states that can respond to medical care. Psych meds are not ‘medical care’.
I’d love to write more, and you’ve given me inspiration to focus on this issue. I did in my book, but not on my blog, need to correct that.
I’ll email you or post here when I get something up, you let me know what is best, promise to check back and not miss any follow up comment.
Happy New Year, Molly
Superbly written and informative article. As a nurse and mother who has seen the psychiatric demise of a child from a week of Miralax I am thrilled to see you share another possible and explainable cause of anxiety that need not be addressed with MORE drugs.
I love what you say about the synchronicity of the universe providing all the information we need. I suspect this article may help many who are suffering.
Thank you for writing. One of the factors that has caused me to resonate with Dr. Carnahan’s treatment approach is that Dr. Shoemaker recommends Miralax to treat the constipation from Cholestyramine. That is not a good sign in my book. There are so many other more healthful options. The conventional medical paradigm of using pharmaceuticals for symptom suppression causes so many problems in and of itself, as you witnessed with your child. I do hope that this post will help many people. You cannot address the problem if you don’t recognize it.
This is such an excellent post (not the part about you becoming ill, and thankfully it was stopped in it’s tracks and you are well again) – the more awareness about these issues means less victimization of sufferers (from toxic mold exposures, other undiagnosed underlying causes for physical-mental unwellness and illness states) by Big Pharma-controlled medicine.
They can learn and seek treatments to heal, and avoid a trip to the psychiatrist or regular doctor who will simply write a prescription for an antidepressant or other psych med.
I got lucky many, many years ago in being treated by some of these physicians (similar to Dr. Shoemaker) after serious psychiatric illness (hospitalizations, high doses of lithium for a year, short trials of other meds) that had a strong underlying physical component (fatigue, daytime drowsiness + the resultant depressive and high states).
It wasn’t easy, and still I had to fight being ill but if I hadn’t been given the information similar to what you write above and then researched and learned more – I would have suffered much more and become much more seriously ill with traditional psychiatric care.
Not a doubt in my mind I would have been given ECT.
So thankful. And so glad you are sharing what you’ve learned 🙂
Thank you for writing and sharing what you went through because of the ignorance of the psychiatric community. I am sure that there must be many people with similar stories. And I imagine that it is likely that many of them have tragic endings, because they did not get treatment for mold the way you did. Mold toxicity is simply not on our radar. In your case, how was it ultimately figured out? How long did it take you to get well? Were you given Cholestyramine? What was that like? I am sure that given your experience, you must have a lot of insight to share. It would be great if you wrote something more about the treatment approach and how long it took you to recover and if you have lingering effects. Thanks again for taking the time to write.
One last quick comment – as I think you will be interested in this woman’s story (she got severely ill with environmental illness from working in a sick building), recovery and her ‘neural retraining system’ – Annie Hopper.
If I had the money – this is something I would do to improve my level of functioning. I’m happy to be as well as I am – but would like to be better with less fatigue and less worry about increasing symptoms with aging (I’m 52 years old, history of Manic Depression – always in the background as a potential issue).
“As a keynote speaker at a national Brain Injury Conference in June 2009, Annie delivered ground breaking research on “Acquired Toxic Brain Injuries and Neuroplasticity.”
Just one last note – thought it would be a good add to all the info here.
I have recently been given Chlorestyramine for what my integrative doc thinks is mold illness. Within 3 1/2 weeks of the drug, I’d slowly developed pain beyond what was the norm for me, and then abruptly a few days later had anxiety that woke me with rapid breathing and a sense of fear. I also had incredible pain in my joints, weakness and insomnia. It was intolerable and I quit the drug.
My doc thought my reaction may be the sugar in the Chlorestyramine because I have so many food sensitivities. She then had me start Welchol capsles. It took only 3 days to be unbearably miserable with pain, anxiety & insomnia. Im waiting to hear what she suggests next. Im guessing that the problem is an overcrowded musty or moldy basement which I avoid except to do laundry. We are looking for another place to live. (I am homozygous for MTHFR, have been living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, autoimune illnesses, mcs, and mental health issues for > 25 years & have lived in the same house for 32 yrs. I endured 2 years of staying in the dark with no radio or tv because hypersensitivity to light & sound was unbearable. I lost all my friends because no on could understand (including my ex doctor) these invisible illnesses. My new dr witnessed the loss of 30 lbs from sudden reactions to foods and chemicals. For 2 years, the only things I could use to wash my body, hair or clothes was baking soda. Other than medical appointments I stayed home and of course lost my job. Its been 5 yrs & Im slowly improving with a paleo diet, filtered water, and no cosmetics or lotions. I still have a very small life with many unresolved issues, some of them seemingly related to the possibiliy of mold illness. Any suggestions? Thank you, Annette
So sorry, Annette, to hear what you have suffered. It does sound like you have a chronic inflammatory response syndrome and the cause is not clear. Mold is a common culprit. There is a system called Dynamic Neural Retraining which is very helpful to people who are so exquisitely sensitive to so many things. It requires an enormous amount of time and effort, but is supposedly very effective. Here is a link: https://retrainingthebrain.com. I wish you all the best and hope you find healing.