Black Mold Syndrome is one of many illnesses that cause a variety of debilitating progressive symptoms in different people. Either the mold itself or the biotoxins produced and released into the body by the mold can cause illness.
Biotoxins is a broader term for the toxins produced by Black Mold or other toxic molds or living things. This includes toxins from spider or snake bites, contaminated fish, Lyme Disease or other tick borne illnesses. Candida produces mycotoxins even though it’s a yeast not a mold.
Why do some people get sick from mold and others do not?
It’s in your genes. Specifically your HLA genes. Your body gets exposed to the toxins in food, water, air or insect bites. If you have “good” HLA genes they make proteins that tag the toxins so your body can eliminate them. If you have incompetent HLA genes, your body can’t “see” the toxins. If the body cannot clear them out, the biotoxins trigger a cascade of proinflammatory reactions and disruption of many hormones.
The other reason for the wide variety in presentations is that there are hundreds of biotoxins from different molds. Each interacts in a unique fashion with your genes.
What are the symptoms of exposure to Biotoxins?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, neurological disorders that are similar to multiple sclerosis, dementia at an early age, and psychiatric illnesses like ADHD/ADD or depression. Other possible presentations of biotoxins are Lyme Disease and Neurally-Mediated Hypotension (NMH) or syncope. Sometimes patients are obese and unable to lose weight no matter what they do. All of the presentations have these things in common:
- Many organ systems are involved.
- The symptoms change in quality and severity from week to week. Sometimes even day to day.
- Symptoms are progressive. Without appropriate treatment, patients get worse over time.
- Almost always, there are symptoms due to compromised brain function, unusual pain patterns, sleep disturbances and fatigue, and unstable blood pressure.
- Few people (including yourself and doctors) can figure out what you have. They will be confused by the ever changing collection of symptoms and presentations. You KNOW you’re sick, but no one can help you. Or they think you’re crazy. You can think you’re crazy, because the symptoms don’t fit an obvious pattern.
Diagnosis of exposure to Biotoxins
Diagnosis is based on a history of exposure, screening for symptoms, testing the environment for mold, a screening vision test and blood tests. Symptoms frequently develop after a flood, or if there is water damage to a home or office, or after moving into a different home or office. It can be a new or old house – mold doesn’t care. If you can smell mold or see it, be suspicious. Other people around you in the same structure are may be sick or have lots of complaints. Remember, each of us is unique so the symptoms may be slightly different in different people.
With Toxic Shock Syndrome, some women got diarrhea, fatigue and lightheaded with their periods. A few developed total body collapse with low or no blood pressure, a sunburn like rash, progressive organ failure, and died. Same toxin, we think, different bodies.
Symptoms vary widely. They may include the following:
- cramps, muscle pains
- weakness and fatigue
- fever and flu symptoms
- chest pains, shortness of breath
- diarrhea, stomach pian
- chronic sinus infection
- sore throat
- light sensitivity, bloodshot red eyes, burning eyes, red eyes
- “brain fog”, memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate
- dizziness, balance problems, metallic taste in mouth, numbness and tingling
- excessive urination and unquenchable thirst
- night sweats
Mold testing your home and workplace can be helpful, but if you don’t find a specific mold that causes illness in people that does not rule out biotoxins as a cause for your illness. It’s hard to find it sometimes. You may wish to contact mold inspectors to track the source.
Blood work that looks for antibodies to specific biotoxins, evidence of an inflammatory reaction, gene testing and hormone imbalance are all useful. A visual contrast sensitivity (VSC), test available at chronicneurotoxins.com is an excellent place to start. If positive, it strongly suggests that you have neurotoxins, i.e., toxins that affect the brain.
You may wish to see our video explaining how black mold effects the brain.