MOLD TOXICITY OR POISONING?
There are many mold toxins that can cause health problems, particularly the Aflatoxins, Ochratoxins, Safratoxins, Gliotoxins, and Tricothecenes, which have the ability to interfere with detoxification. They overload the detoxification mechanisms, which eventually increases chemical sensitivity. There are also a number of mold toxins that can produce cancer, which is due to their ability to disrupt or damage DNA, RNA, and Organelle function. This in turn produces a profound effect on DNA and protein synthesis leading to inadequate nutrient stores, which are necessary for detoxification. Mold toxins can have a significant effect on protein inhibition by creating a toxic effect on mitochondrial function producing damage, which eventually leads to fatigue. There is also Amino Acid wasting (weight loss) due to mold toxin exposure. Mold mycotoxins have direct immunosuppressive action due to their effect on T-suppressor cells. There may also be an indirect effect on T4 helper cells, B-cells, and Macrophages. Some mold toxins have tremorgenic properties, particularly those within the Penicillium species. The effects of mold toxins can have future deleterious health effects. There are a number of articles and experiments that show fatty degeneration of organ systems, particularly of the liver. This degeneration can produce complications including Cirrhosis, Reye’s Syndrome, and cancer. Mold toxins can have a direct effect on the myocardium as well as the peripheral blood vessels, which can be life threatening if left untreated. The peripheral blood vessel involvement may present as cold hands, cold feet, and spontaneous bruising and swelling to the point of gangrene and acneiform skin lesions. Molds and mold toxins can also produce nervous system dysfunction due to inflammation or neurotoxicity manifesting as symptoms of short-term memory loss, an inability to concentrate, disorientation, and vertigo.
Because of the complex nature of this condition, it is important to keep in mind the concept of total load or the total environment. Individuals often experience lowered resistance to disease as a result of the depletion of their nutrient pool brought on by mold exposure. They may then develop chronic symptoms of ill health such as symptoms associated with neurocognitive dysfunction, gastrointestinal disturbances, cardiovascular anomalies, immune system dysregulation, chronic and recurrent upper respiratory infections, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. If these people are later exposed to ambient levels of toxic molds, they may experience additional and/or enhanced symptoms. “Spreading” which can involve both new organ systems and increased sensitivities to additional substances, may occur.
Mold exposure can lead to a very progressive disease process. It is imperative that evaluation and treatment be initiated immediately in order to avoid a more life-threatening and often irreversible medical condition.
The Environmental Health Center-Dallas (created as a less-polluted environment) has conducted extensive studies on mold sensitivity, mold exposure, and mold toxin (mycotoxin) exposure evaluating over 2000 patients suffering from medical conditions resulting from exposure to molds and mold toxins. In our medical experience that mold and mold toxin exposure cause medical problems, which affect many organ systems. The organ systems affected include the Central Nervous System (headaches, dizziness, depression, confusion, drowsiness, unconsciousness, panic, hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis), Cardiovascular System (manifesting as vascular constrictions, muscle pain, cardiac arrest, gangrene, chest pain, cold skin, and weakness), Gastrointestinal System (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), Respiratory System (asthma and sinusitis), and the Autonomic Nervous System (tremors, spasms, speech dysfunction, muscular paralysis, blindness, deafness, numbness, jaundice, redness, swelling, infertility, tingling, and itching). These findings have been published in several peer-reviewed articles relating the effects of molds and mold toxin exposure. A list of references follows for your review.
REFERENCES for Neurotoxic Effects of Mold and Mycotoxins
- Kilburn KH. Indoor mold exposure associated with neurobehavioral and pulmonary impairment: a preliminary report. Arch Environ Health 2003; 58(7):390-98.
- Campbell AW, ThrasherJD, Madison RA, et al. Autoantibodies and neurophysiologic abnormalities in patients exposed to molds in water-damaged buildings. Arch Environ Health 2003; 58(8).
- Auger PC. 1995. Mycotoxins and Neurotoxicity. In: Johanning E, Yang CH. editors. Fungi and Bacteria in Indoor Air Environments. Eastern New York Occupational Health Program, Mount I Sinai School of Medicine, New York. pp. 161167.
- Gordon KE, Masotti RE, Waddell WR. 1993. Tremorgenic encephalopathy a role of mycotoxins in the production of CNS disease in humans? Can J Neurol Science 20:23739.
- Norris PJ, Smith CC, DeBelleroche J, Bradford HF, Mantel PG et al. 1980. Actions of tremorgenic fungal toxins on neurotransmitter release. J Neurochem 34:3342.
- Hymery N, Sibiril Y, Parent-Massin D. In vitro effects of trichothecenes on human dendritic cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2006 Sep;20(6):899-909. Epub 2006 Mar 6.
References for Immunotoxicity secondary to mold and mycotoxin exposure
- Minervini F, Fornelli F, Lucivero G, Romano C, Visconti A. T-2 toxin immunotoxicity on human B and T lymphoid cell lines. Toxicology. 2005 May 15;210(1):81-91.
- Thuvander A, Wikman C, Gadhasson I. In vitro exposure of human lymphocytes to trichothecenes: individual variation in sensitivity and effects of combined exposure on lymphocyte function. Food Chem Toxicol. 1999 Jun;37(6):639-48.
- Kaden DA, Call KM, Leong PM, Komives EA, Thilly WG. Killing and mutation of human lymphoblast cells by aflatoxin B1: evidence for an inducible repair response. Cancer Res. 1987 Apr 15;47(8):1993-2001.
- Amstad P, Levy A, Emerit I, Cerutti P. Evidence for membrane-mediated chromosomal damage by aflatoxin B1 in human lymphocytes. Carcinogenesis. 1984 Jun;5(6):719-23.
- Auger PL, Gourdeau P, Miller JD. 1994. Clinical experience with patients suffering from a chronic fatigue like syndrome and repeated upper respiratory infections in relation to airborne molds. Am J Ind Med 25(l):412.
- Danko G. Stachybotryotoxicosis and immumnosuppression. Intern. J. Environ. Studies 8, 209211, 1975.
- Johanning I, Biagini R, Hull D, Morey P, Jarvis B, Landsbergis R 1996, Health and immunology study following exposure to toxigenic fungi (Stachybotrw atra) in a water damaged office environment. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 68;4:207218.
- Sakamoto K, Tsuill E, Miyauchi M, Nakanishl T, Yamashita M, Shigematsu N, Tada T, Izumi S, Okuhara M. 1993. FR901459, a novel immunosuppresant isolated from Stachybotrys chartarwn no. 19392. J Antibiotics 46:17881798.
- Sharma RP. 1991. Immunotoxic effects of mycotoxins. In: Mycotoxins and phytoalexins. (Sharma RP, Salunkhe DK editors. Boca Raton. Fl.: CRC Press.
References for pulmonary disease secondary to mycotoxin exposure:
- Brunekrccf B. 1992. Damp housing and adult respiratory symptoms. Allergy 47:498502.
- Banaszak EF, Thiede WH, Fink JN. 1970. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis due to contamination of an air conditioner. N Engl J Med 283:271276.
- Dales RE, Zwanenburg H, Burnett R et A. 1991. Respiratory health effects of home dampness and molds among Canadian children. Am J Epiderniol 134:196203.
- Emanuel DA, Wenzel F), Lawton BR. ~ 1975. Pulmonary Mycotoxicosis. Chest 67:293297.
- Etzel RA, Montana E, Sorenson WG, Kullman GJ, Allan TM, Dearborn DG. 1998. Acute pulmonary hemorrhage in infants associated with exposure to Stachybotrys atra and other fungi. Arch Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 152:757762.
- Fink JN. 1984. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 74, no. 1: 19.
- Hodgson MJ, Morey P, Leung WY, Morrow L, Miller D, Jarvis BB, Robbins H, Halsey JF, Storey E. 1998. Building associated pulmonary disease from exposure to Stacbyb” chartarmn and Aspergillms mnicokr. J Occ Env Med 40(3)241 9.
- Husman T, Koskinen 0, Hyvirinen A. 1993. Respiratory symptoms and infections among residents in dwellings with humidity problems or mold growth. In: Proceedings of Indoor Air ’93, Vol 1: 225230. editors. Jaakkola JJK, Ilmarinen il, Seppinen 0. Helsinki. Jaakkola JJK, Jaakkola N, Ruotsalainen R. 1993. Home dampness and mold as determinants of respiratory symptoms and asthma in preschool children. J Exp Anal Epidemiol 3:129142.
The Environmental Health – Dallas offers a wide range of diagnostic and treatment services including less polluted environment, complete medical examinations and evaluations, general laboratory and blood tests including vitamin and mineral assays, immunology and environmental toxic panels. Other services include intradermal serial dilution provocation/neutralization testing, vaccine therapy, nutritional counseling, neuropsychological and cerebral function evaluation, intravenous and oral nutritional therapy programs, deep heat sauna program, osteopathic manipulation and patient environmental counseling. The Environmental Health Center of Dallas has the most sophisticated and less polluted environment to study and treat the severely mold contaminated patient without interference from mold, mycotoxins, chemicals, and electromagnetic fields that lead to a precise diagnostic work up and mold exposure treatment.
The diagnostic approach includes the following:
- Urinary testing for the presence of mycotoxins namely Tricothecene, Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin and Gliotoxin.
- Mold and mycotoxin environmental studies.
- Intradermal serial dilution provocation/neutralization testing for historical documentation and treatment to increase tolerance for mold and mycotoxin exposure.
- Immune evaluation (T and B lymphocyte subset profile, gammaglobulins, and complements).
- Venous oxygen blood gas testing to determine the presence of vasculitis and its effect on tissue extraction of oxygen.
The treatment approach includes:
- Educational counseling regarding environmental control and incitant avoidance.
- Neutralization antigen therapy for molds and mycotoxins for increased tolerance and effective mycotoxin detoxification.
- Intravenous and oral supplement nutrition therapy.
- Immunotherapy (Autogenous Lymphocytic Factor or Gammaglobulin).
- Deep heat depuration therapy (sauna detoxification).