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PODCAST: My Mold Recovery

The truth is there are many root causes of burnout and it can take time to find them and root them out. One of the big players in my own burnout was my long term exposure to mold, living in water damaged and musty homes for almost my entire life. 

Listen to Episode #43 My Mold Recovery : Find A Joy To Be Me on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Stitcher or Spotify 

Mold can take your life down to the shitter- I am sharing this to help you get unstuck.

If you have 'tried everything' and are still struggling with a myriad of symptoms such as; chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, allergies, sinus congestion, pain and infections, GI issues, poor detox, hormonal issues, insomnia and more - it's possible chronic mold exposure is at work. 

On my podcast, I shared my own story of how mold affected my health and well being. Recovering from mold illness (and other co-infections) is not a quick fix. The good news is most of us can be restored to health, the bad news is that it takes time.  For me the time it took to get sick was my entire life, so to recover in just a few years is really nothing in the grand scheme. 

One of the biggest reliefs I had upon realizing mold was a big root cause for many of my health issues was knowing what it was and then where to start. You see, I had lived with a lot of sensitivities for a number of years and tried many things that never brought complete relief. I began to accept that I had to live in a body that would 'flare up' from time to time. Yet, deep down I wanted to live with greater freedom from it all. 

One of the biggest issues I was dealing with was inflammation and for years my immune system was always fighting hard to keep me from crashing. My biggest trigger was musty smells and dank smells. I would have sinus flare ups that started as extreme fatigue out of nowhere and it would take me awhile to realize it was my sinuses. I'd get the pressure in front of my eyebrows and my cheeks would start to ache. That's when I knew it was the musty basement of the house I was in.

I now understand that a big part of my burnout (chronic fatigue) was more of an environmentally acquired illness. 

It was after the flood in my rental property, that I realized I had to really work at my health. I knew it would make it harder for me to stay as healthy as I wanted. I did not want to have another health crash, so I stayed committed to my health habits. The biggest one happened to be spending a lot of time in the woods by the creek. At first I felt a little uncomfortable allowing myself so much time outside, but I learned it was the return to nature that saved my nervous system. 

Now let me be clear, mold toxicity is not an allergy as I may have made it sound. Mold toxicity is an inflammation within the body by an immune system that has gone haywire. Some people are sensitive to molds, many are not. 

In about 75% of the population, the immune system recognizes mold toxins and uses its defense mechanisms to destroy them. Unfortunately, 25% are genetically unable to make antibodies to these toxins. It's these folks who are prone to become progressively sicker as toxins accumulate in their bodies. 

Mold is a toxin, a poison. Molds make toxins called mycotoxins, primarily to keep other molds out of their ecological niche. Mycotoxins can enter our bodies if we inhale the spores into our lungs, absorb the toxins through our skin by direct touch, or ingest them in the form of contaminated food. Certain foods such as dried fruits, aged cheeses, mushrooms, over ripe fruits, beer, wine and processed meats are known to contain small amounts of specific mycotoxins. The primary source of mold toxicity is inhaled spores. For me that was the case. 

Many of the symptoms of mycotoxin illness are similar to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or depression, that's exactly how this illness could manifest. The truth from what I've read is that people with mycotoxin illness may have unrecognized bio-toxicity as a component or direct cause for their illness. 

The common symptoms of mold toxicity include (I highlight my most chronic symptoms): 

fatigue, weakness, muscle aches and cramps, headaches, sensitivity to bright light, unusual paints, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, chronic sinus congestion, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, joint pain with morning stiffness, cognitive impairment, skin sensitivity to light touch, numbness and tingling, metallic taste in the mouth, excessive thirst, menorrhagia, disequilibrium and dizziness, frequent urination, anxiety and depression, mood swings, night sweats, body temperature dysregulation, odd tics and spasms and seizure like events. 

When I figured out the mycotoxin illness was likely my biggest problem I knew I needed a reboot of my bodies systems or in my case a continued focus on my whole systemic health as I was taught in my nutritional therapy training and minerals balancing work. All of these systems must operate in balance, with each affecting the others, in a complicated dance that we call health. 

Nervous system support

I had to support my nervous system and the nature therapy was in large part what helped me with that. As well as remineralizing my body, some body work or my own movement sessions, salt baths, essential oils, connection with my man and salt tank floats.

I'm not a big fan of super clinical paths or modalities -so this is what worked for me. Honoring what I knew I needed for my own nervous system was key. I also took my own supplement protocol from my hair analysis and consulted with a practitioner I trusted to fill any gaps I may have missed. 

Immune system support 

Thankfully, I have a lot of education around this one and was able to do plenty to help my own immune system. Having access to other health experts was advantageous to me on my journey - I was able to host microbiologist, Kiran Krishnan on my podcast where he taught an amazing immune heath 101 primer for my audience. Using Mega Spore probiotic was one of the key ways I kept my immune system stable as well as creating a daily sun session habit. Then knowing when I needed to bring on EXTRA support was key. 

Endocrine system 

Supporting HPA axis function had already become a mission for me. I had re-routed my life to flow with the sun. I knew I had adrenal hormone deficiencies and was addressing this through my HTMA and DUTCH results, as well as tracking my moon cycle through an app. I also tested my thyroid and learned how to support it fully through my own training and protocols. Many years prior to me knowing for sure mycotoxins were an issue for me. Supporting endocrine health is a key part of the work I help my clients with too. It's important because in any long term chronic condition that creates a 'burnout' affect in the body, there is also inadequate production of adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones. In his book, "Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness", Neil Nathan expounds on the connection mold illness has on our endocrine system. 

Gastrointestinal System 

Gut related issues were definitely my biggest pain point. Specifically bloating, gas and distention. What I learned is that toxins (such as mold) can contribute to intestinal disturbances in a variety of ways. The intestinal inflammation caused by these toxins create weakens the integrity of the gut lining. When the gut microbiome is disrupted like this the inflammatory cytokines can cross into the brain and affect the vagus nerve and autonomic nervous system. This in turn further interferes with gut motility and adds to the gut lining disturbance, which can be a vicious cycle. 

Supporting gut health is a top priority in addition to a full spectrum whole system approach. I learned you can't just target or isolate one system. A lot of people go around targeting JUST the gut in isolation and you'll hear; oh I healed my gut but then someone has numerous health issues yet still. No system in the body works alone, acts alone or heals alone. 

I'm so grateful to Kiran for his ongoing education to help me continue to deepen my learning on microbiome health for both myself and clients. Get started learning about gut health HERE

Detoxification System 

My own ability to detox over the years has been quite a challenge. When I first started nutritional therapy, I was dealing with chronic constipation (back in 2011, but it had been going on and off for probably 4-5 years). I couldn't tolerate anything detoxifying without experiencing some herxing effects. Even something as gentle as dandelion tea backfired on me back then. Thankfully, my detox abilities have improved dramatically, but I still have to adjust my protocols very slowly any time I add something new. Getting my own methylation information helped target some of what I needed in place to help my detox pathways run more effectively. My HTMA results also helped me target support. Over the years, detox practices became a part of daily life and I tend to switch up what I do for detoxification seasonally. 

There are so many health foundations that need to be in place for detox to work effectively; clean food, water, optimizing hydration, purifying the air in our immediate environment, sweating, appropriate movement/exercise for one's current health,  optimal sleep. Then it's important to support the organs of elimination and detoxification in the body; the liver, gallbladder, gastrointestinal, kidneys, lymph and skin. 


I am by no means a methylation expert so what I share here will be limited. I do believe that for me; getting information about my own methylation pathways helped  to target some basic supports to keep in place for me personally. If you want to geek out a bit on this topic, check out these 2 podcast episodes from my OLD podcast by Jessica Bischof, HERE and HERE

You don't need to start here but if you've put a lot of foundations in place and still feel like something is missing, getting your unique methylation pathway info could help. We still don't know to what extent genetic data can guide treatment because they measure genetic potential, and it's not always clear if the genes are being expressed. So, don't hang your hat on this being 'the thing' that will give you all the answers you need for your health.

Just having SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in your profile doesn't mean they are expressing. It also doesn't mean because you have them, you have no choice as to how your biochemistry is affected. To me, the value of knowing your SNPs is use the information to evaluate possible imbalances and support them with nutrition and lifestyle approaches to help them work more smoothly and override any potential genetic influences. 

Stress Management & Emotional Wellness 

Y'all this is everything! Just being alive on the planet today warrants learning how to effectively deal with and reduce stress as well as recover our emotional well being. It's been a big part of my journey. An iterative process one I've shared about in a myriad of ways here on the blog, in my podcast and I include this in all my client work and online programs. 

Additional Mold Resources To Check Out: 


I can help women in burnout once they’ve left their mold environment, I have a mineral advantage that connects everything together for a whole systems approach to deeper recovery. 

If you are ready to get clearer answers on how to support your own health and your body so you can make the right supplement and lifestyle changes: I invite you to sign up to work with me as a client through HTMA. You can get all the information as well as sign up on my Work With Me page HERE.

If you are a holistic health practitioner and would like to learn more about minerals and how to integrate HTMA into your holistic health practice - you can learn more about my program: The HTMA Practitioner Jumpstart right HERE.

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