Toxic mold exposure: 17 signs that you have it (and how you can recover)

Mold.

You may not be able to see or smell it, yet it may be growing in your home and the reason you feel sick. Mold poisoning may be impacting your health. How do you know? In this blog, I want to cover mold illness and who is susceptible.

Most likely your regular doctor won’t be much help.

Conventional medicine doesn’t really believe that mold exposure is a problem. Plus it can be difficult to diagnose someone with mold toxicity; it can mimic many other conditions and symptoms are nonspecific.

First, let’s start with: What is Mold?

The Low-down on Mold

So, what is mold? Molds are multiple types of fungi that grow in filaments and reproduce by forming tiny spores that sprout and fly away, invisible to the naked eye. Mold grows in damp, warm, and humid locations, inside and outside. Even if you live in a dry location such as Arizona or Nevada, mold can be a problem if there are water leaks, poorly ventilated bathrooms, or floods.

Mold can grow in your bathroom, in the showerhead, or in the corner near your shower, especially if the room is not well ventilated. Mold can attach to your shoes, pets, clothes, carpets, furniture, books, and papers. Mold can circulate in your air system, especially if you’re like me and rarely change your filters. (The recommendation is to change HVAC filters once every one to three months!)

Overall, water-damaged buildings create a complicated mixture of contaminants present in the air and dust, resulting in a toxic chemical stew. Additionally, mold produces toxic chemicals called mycotoxins, present on spores and fragments of mold released into the air. 1No single toxin is responsible for all mold illness; rather, it’s better to think of the cause as the water-damaged area or building itself. One recent review connected the sinuses as a common source of ongoing mold illness.2

Would you believe that half of buildings in the United States are water damaged, leading to the growth of mold and the potential for mold illness in susceptible individuals? Given that most of us spend significant time in a home and indoor workspace, there’s a good chance you’ve been exposed to water damage and mold. When you buy a home, the inspector includes mold problems on the house report—obviously, it’s not a good thing.

So why is mold a problem?

Mold toxicity falls under the larger category of biotoxin illness, also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, knows all about mold. He’s the author of eight books, including Surviving Mold: Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings. He defines CIRS this way:

Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) is “an acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and mycobacterium as well as inflammagens . . . . “

That science moment may have made your eyes glaze over, so consider this comment from Dr. Shoemaker: “24 percent of people cannot make adequate antibody responses, and they’re the ones that comprise over 95 percent of people who have an illness from water-damaged buildings.”3 That leads us to our next topic, which is the role of your DNA in making you more or less susceptible to mold illness.

Why Some People Are Susceptible

As mentioned by Dr. Shoemaker, approximately 24 percent of the population is genetically vulnerable to mold toxicity; they have a certain immune response gene (HLA-DR). If you’re one of those people with mold susceptibility genes, you are far more likely to have an adverse reaction to mold when exposed to a sufficient quantity. In fact, 95 percent of mold illness occurs in this subgroup. Additionally, there’s 2 percent who are particularly susceptible with a “sicker quicker” variation of the genes. If you aren’t susceptible, your chances are lower but not zero.

People like me who are genetically mold susceptible aren’t able to recognize specific toxins as toxins, such as mold, and the toxins get recirculated in their bodies. As a result, the toxins, in this case mold, trigger a persistent inflammatory response. Most of these folks don’t know that they have a genetic susceptibility.

Mold illness from water-damaged buildings is a serious health problem.4  It’s not an allergy; it’s a state of chronic inflammation caused by the immune system becoming out of whack. The CIRS doesn’t heal on its own, will not abate, and will continue to provoke illness unless it’s treated. Their illness is built into their DNA and once triggered, the inflammatory response and resulting symptoms can last for years.

CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome)

To make a diagnosis of CIRS, experts have agreed that you need to meet the following criteria.5

1. History, signs, and symptoms consistent with biotoxin exposure. In cases of mold toxicity, history should include exposure to toxin-producing molds as documented by the EPA-approved ERMI test. In other cases (microcystin, ciguatera, etc.), history should include likely exposure or laboratory evidence of exposure.

2. A genetic predisposition to biotoxin-related illness based on identification of an HLA susceptible haplotype.

3. Abnormalities documented by Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) testing.

4. Biomarkers consistent with the neuroimmune, vascular, and endocrine abnormalities that characterize CIRS. If you have a history consistent with biotoxin exposure, a susceptible genotype, and an abnormal VCS test, you are very likely to show the laboratory abnormalities seen in CIRS. Major and minor criteria are a work in progress.

Symptoms of Mold Illness

  • Memory problems, brain fog, trouble with focus and executive function

  • Fatigue, weakness, post-exercise malaise and fatigue

  • Muscle cramping, aches and pains, joint pain without inflammatory arthritis, persistent nerve pain, “ice pick” pain

  • Numbness and tingling

  • Headache

  • Light sensitivity, red eyes, and/or blurred vision

  • Sinus problems, cough, shortness of breath, air hunger, asthma-like symptoms

  • Tremors

  • Vertigo

  • Persistent nerve pain

  • Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, appetite changes

  • Metallic taste

  • Weight gain despite sufficient effort (weight loss resistance)

  • Night sweats or other problems with temperature regulation

  • Excessive thirst

  • Increased urination

  • Static “shocks”

See how easily mold poisoning could go unnoticed, or mistaken for other conditions? Yet 30 years of good scientific evidence points to the serious health problem that mold can cause.

What to Do Next

If you suspect you may have a problem with mold, I suggest the following steps.

Step 1. Start to learn about mold illness. Start with Dr. Shoemaker’s excellent website and book, Surviving Mold.

Step 2. Test your home for mold. One of the best tests is called an ERMI, and I suggest that you hire an environmental professional to perform a visual inspection of your home and sample several rooms. You can perform an ERMI on your own at a lower price (about $325) but it’s only helpful if it’s positive, in which case you’ll need to hire an environmental professional. So I suggest skip the self-testing.

Step 3. Work with a clinician trained in the Shoemaker Protocol. Click here for more information on how to find one. You may consider the genetic susceptibility test for mold, which can be performed by Labcorp, panel # 167120.

 


A quick note from our founder-

Over the past year, my friend Dr. Axe has been working on a new book on Essential Oils and he's agreed to let us give you a copy for free.

The King's Medicine Cabinet will show you how to take control of your health with essential oils...

  • Specific recipes to help fight cold or flu symptoms, relax, heal skin conditions, alleviate pain, balance hormones, improve digestion, reduce cellulite, personal care and product recipes
  • Application chart that explains how to use each oil
  • And much, much more!

Get your copy of King's Medicine Cabinet book. (Grab this today, because I'm not sure how long this offer will last!)

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5 Metabolism Ignition Foods

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Are you doing everything right when it comes to your diet and still not getting the results you want?

Maybe you already:

  • Eat veggie-packed omelets instead of cereals and grains
  • Choose water over sugary drinks
  • Cook your own meals rather than order takeout

But no matter how much you try, does it ever feels like your metabolism has slowed to a screeching halt?

It’s frustrating and discouraging. But not all hope is lost. If your dieting results have plateaued, you may only be a few tweaks away from a breakthrough.

Today, I’ll show you the top 5 metabolism ignition foods. These foods and drink can help you burn fat, shed unwanted pounds and end food cravings. And they can work wonders for your results even if you’ve tried other diets before (with less-than-stellar results).

Metabolism Ignition Foods

Here are 5 powerful foods that can light your metabolism on fire. I call these the metabolism igniters. Add these key foods to an already balanced diet to see the fastest results.

1) Coconut Oil

Contrary to popular wisdom, eating fat is NOT what makes you fat.

The truth is consuming too much sugar is the fastest way to pack on the pounds and slow down your metabolism.

On the other hand, fats — like coconut oil — can actually help you lose weight, shed body fat and keep your thyroid running smoothly. How? Well, this benefit comes from coconut oil’s high concentration of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).

Whereas most of the fats we consume take a long time to digest, only need 3 steps to be turned into fuel. That’s versus a 26 step process that other fats that go through!

Unlike harder-to-digest, long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) found in plant based oils (think canola and vegetable oils), MCFAs are:

  • Easier to digest
  • Not readily stored as fat
  • Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
  • Processed by the liver, which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat

Because coconut oil is rich in this healthy form of fat, it truly is one of the healthiest, most natural oils you can consume. That’s why I recommend swapping out vegetable oils for coconut oil in your cooking. It’s an easy way to add another fat-burning food to your diet. This is a true case where all fats equal are not created equal

2) Grapefruit

Have you ever wondered why celebrities and fitness pros love eating grapefruit for breakfast?

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not just because they love the citrus-y taste. Instead, it’s because grapefruit is famous for its natural ability to support metabolism health and promote healthy digestion. The enzymes in the fruit help your body break down sugar and boost your metabolism. For these reasons, it can be a great dietary tool to help you drop those last few pounds.

The best part: getting enough grapefruit has never been easier. Simply add a slice to your breakfast or squeeze a few drops into a glass of water or smoothie for amazing benefits to your health.

Or if you prefer, you can try smelling grapefruit essential oil.

The refreshing and cleansing smell can be a potent pick-me-up and metabolism supporter.

3) Bone Broth

I believe bone broth is the number one healing food of all time. It’s my go-to food for supporting:

  • Healthy digestion
  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Lean muscle tissue
  • And most importantly, metabolism health

There’s truly nothing more powerful and nourishing than this ancient superfood.

But what is it that makes bone broth so powerful?

Bone broth is rich in the key amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine. These amino acids can help seal openings in the gut lining, support metabolism health and are great for promoting detoxification of your whole body.

Although our ancestors didn't have the medical studies we now have to prove the benefits of bone broth, they did recognize bone broth and its amazing health benefits early on.

For as long as humans have been cooking food over fire, bone broth—the simmering stock of bones from fish, beef, chicken, turkey and other animals that are typically discarded—has been a daily part of life, celebrated by cultures around the world.

You, too, can reap the amazing health benefits of this ancient superfood. Try my brand new bone broth protein powder for a quick and easy way of getting this amazing fat-burning and healing food into your diet.

4) Apple Cider Vinegar

Deep inside your pantry, you may already have the key to losing weight and reducing sugar cravings.

No, I’m not talking about canned vegetables or beans. I’m talking about another pantry staple: apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is one of my top natural remedies. I use it every single day to support:

  • Detoxification
  • Healthy digestion
  • And, in some cases, just to get a quick burst of energy

Ingesting it before a meal can help you feel full longer with less food. That combination of feeling full longer and greater digestion can have tremendous benefits to your metabolism and weight loss efforts.

And that’s not all. It also works as a natural remedy for balancing your stomach’s pH levels. For this reason it’s one of the key ingredients in my Secret Detox Drink.

Bottoms up! With apple cider vinegar on your side, you can cleanse, detox, and enjoy these tremendous benefits to your health and weight.

5) Turmeric

At first glance, turmeric may seem out of place. “What’s this peppery, warm spice have to do with my metabolism?” Let me show you.

For starters, turmeric has a high antioxidant capacity. That makes it a potent immune system booster. Studies also show that turmeric can help remove free radicals from your body. This prevents cellular damage and promotes a healthy immune system. In fact, I believe it’s the number one healing herb of all time.

But more than just healing, other scientific evidence is showing that turmeric may help you burn fat.

How?

Well, it starts in your central nervous system with thermogenesis.

Thermogenesis is how your body gives off heat and maintains your body temperature. Interestingly, the molecules in turmeric can bind to capsaicin receptors in the body and help increase your thermogenesis rate. In other words, consuming turmeric is like pouring jet fuel on your metabolic rate.

Speaking of fat burning, turmeric also enhances detoxification of the liver. When the liver—one of the body’s most important fat-­burning organs—is overburdened and flooded with toxins, it can become sluggish.

Turmeric works with your body’s natural digestive and detoxification systems to “ungunk” your liver and keep it — and you — humming along.

Consume my favorite metabolism ignitor

If you’re looking for quick, easy and delicious ways to add one of my favorite metabolism boosting foods to your diet, check out my free ebook, Turmeric: The Spice with Medical, Health-Improving Power.

You’ll discover nature's most impressive ancient healing agent...

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Introducing A Game-Changer In Nutrition: Collagen

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Introducing A Game-Changer In Nutrition: Collagen

Collagen is a favorite addition to many lotions and skin creams. And I’m sure you’ve seen the transformation of people using it in plastic surgery.  

But what exactly is collagen? What kind of benefits does it bring? And if start using it, how can you get more of it into your life?

For starters, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. In fact, it’s the second most common substance making up your cells —second only to water.

Collagen is in your muscles, bones, skin and tendons. And it's what gives your skin strength and elasticity, and helps replace dead skin cells.

It truly is the “glue” that helps hold your body together. And when you consume enough of it, it can have some tremendous benefits to your health.

Top 5 Collagen Benefits

If you’re still not convinced that you should be filling in the collagen gaps in your diet, check out these seven benefits.

  1. Skin and Hair

As we age, collagen production declines. That's right. It’s happening as you read this! You’ll notice it physically first. Early signs include:

  • looser skin
  • more wrinkles
  • And less elasticity.

Yikes!

But don't worry too much (that's bad for stress and aging, too) because you can increase collagen levels through supplementation. And when you do, it can work wonders to help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally.

  1. Joints

Is there anything worse than joint discomfort? Well you can thank  a loss of collagen for those joint issues rearing their ugly head. That’s because when we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more.

Think of ingesting more collagen like greasing a creaky door hinge: It’ll help your joints move more easily, reduce joint pain and even reduce the risk of joint deterioration. (1, 2, 3). A recent study even found that collagen is an effective treatment for treating osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. (4)

  1. Leaky Gut

If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, a condition where bad-for-you toxins are able to pass through your digestive tract, collagen should be at the top of your list of must haves. It can help break down proteins and soothe your gut’s lining, healing damaged cell walls and infusing it with healing amino acids. It will also help absorb water, keeping things moving freely in the digestive tract. Don't laugh. Regular bowel movements are key to removing toxins and letting your body heal itself.

  1. Boosts Metabolism & Energy

Up you collagen and you can increase your metabolism. Yes, you read that right. Thanks to the glycine, found in collagen, you can pump more sugar into your body’s tissue to increase energy levels. It also helps in muscle development — and muscles burn more calories than fat.

  1. Strengthens Nails & Teeth

Ever had peeling and splitting nails? Well, a lack of collagen could be to blame. Collagen protein is also the building block of your fingernails and teeth as well. Adding collagen into your diet regimen can help keep your nails strong and your teeth healthy.

Getting Collagen Into Your Life

Getting collagen into your diet has never been easier.

Thanks to a recent breakthrough, my friend, Dr. Axe has discovered a way to make the benefits of collagen available to everyone. And it comes in an easy-to-consume powder form.

If you’re interested in the benefits of collagen, check what Dr. Axe has developed.

-- > Discover the Benefits of This Revolutionary Collagen Formula, Derived From Real, All-Natural Bone Broth

 



10 Delicious and Nutritious Essential Oil Recipes

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10 Delicious and Nutritious Essential Oil Recipes

Today I want to share my 10 favorite recipes that include essential oils.

Armed with these recipes, you can enjoy tremendous benefits to your health, your body, and your tastebuds.

  1. The Healthy Orange Crush Smoothie with a splash of Orange Essential Oil. Who doesn’t love a good green smoothie? WIth that said, it’s also important to have some variety in your diet. This smoothie delivers on all fronts. It’s packed with orange fruits and veggies that provide lots of important nutrients and antioxidants. Add in a drop of orange essential oil and you’ve got a flavorful explosion in every sip.
  1. Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s time to enjoy all the Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor you love — with none of the guilt and even more benefits to your health. You’ll no longer have to wait in line at Starbucks to get your fix with this delicious treat, containing a couple drops of thieves essential oil
  1. Cranberry Walnut Bread. Looking for the perfect quick bread to take with you to the office, or a party? This gluten-free cranberry walnut bread gets a boost of fiber from the coconut flour, and tartness from the cranberries. Best of all, frozen cranberries can be used, so this can become one of your go-to gluten-free recipes. I like to add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil for a metabolism boosting, antioxidant-rich kick.
  1. Homemade Lemon Hummus. You won't believe how easy it is to make your own hummus! I almost couldn’t until I tried this recipe. In less than 5 minutes, you’ll have a rich, healthy dip that tastes way better than the stuff that comes in a plastic tub. Add a dash of lemon essential oil for an even fresher taste.
  1. Quick and Easy Paleo Guacamole. It doesn’t matter if it’s Cinco de Mayo or just a casual weekend get-together. Here’s the only guacamole recipe you’ll need year-round to get your dip fix on. Brighten it up with a couple drops of lemon or orange essential oil.
  1. Homemade Gourmet Pico de Gallo. This fresh gourmet pico de gallo is the perfect topping for almost any dish. It’s got a peppery taste and lemony flare with none of the calorie-loaded, salt-laden guilt of other dips.
  1. Mint Watermelon Salad. You can’t go wrong with this delicious fresh fruit salad — it’s brimming with antioxidants and teeming with flavor and fiber. Add in peppermint essential oil for an even more refreshing and cooling bite.
  1. Raw Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. St. Patties day or not, this Raw Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream will not disappoint. It's fresh, it's minty, and it's GREEN. Doctor’s orders: You have permission to indulge in this raw, vegan, healthy treat any time of the year. The peppermint essential oil is the clincher on this dish.
  1. Paleo Peppermint Chocolate Truffles. Be careful. Your kids are going to go gaga over these delicious (and secretly nutritious) Peppermint Chocolate Truffles. They’ll never even know there’s heart-healthy ghee, antioxidant-rich raw cacao, and fiber-dense coconut flakes inside. All they’ll know is it taste like gooey chocolatey goodness.
  1. Gluten-Free Lemon Pound Cake.Who says you can’t have cake when you’re eating Paleo? Try this healthier version of Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake. With a couple drops of lemon essential oil to brighten and freshen it up, it’s irresistible.

Enjoy!

Dr. Axe


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To create these oils, he partnered with New York Times Best-selling author and founder of Garden of Life, Jordan Rubin.
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