Mold & Mycotoxins as comorbidity with trauma

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dollyvee

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Mold & Mycotoxins as comorbidity with trauma
« on: October 18, 2022, 10:36:50 AM »
I've been dealing with health issues for about 10 years now (SIBO, weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety) and just happened to nail it down with the help of my functional medicine practitioner. What stands out to me is that it can mimic a lot of emotional stuff people with CPTSD go through, and can be hard to tease apart what is coming from trauma and what is from mycotoxins, mold (or lyme as the case may be).

Looking back I can see now that when I moved into the temporary accommodation where I lived at the time, and where I started getting fatigue and weight gain, there was mold. There wasn't a massive amount either, just a little on the ceiling. I never had the experience of living in a place with mold before (that I remembered at the time) but I knew it wasn't good for you. I moved out a few months after into somewhere without mold and felt better until I moved into another apartment that had an ensuite where I became really sick. However, I didn't see any mold but now wonder if there was an issue behind the tile/shower in the bathroom. This continued until I moved again where I started to get a little better but knew something was wrong. The doctors did all sorts of tests (thyroid, diabetes etc) and told me that they couldn't see anything wrong, it was basically all in my head. They did find that I had h pylori and I knew that I reacted very badly to gluten. I moved two times more and started to focus more on training and watching calories in a healthy way (1800-1900 per day w/ training 4x week). I started to lose weight and as long as I hit my calories, and I went down 6kgs in about 6 weeks. What also happened is that I became extremely sick one night at a work drinks after having a glass and a half of wine. I was so drunk that I blacked out but was still functioning. The medic had to step in and say that no, I was not drinking irresponsibly, my body just gets toxic very fast. 

During covid I moved again into a new place (that had no apparent signs of mold). I wanted to get back in shape after not really being in the gym for a year and started on the same diet and exercise program, but lost no weight. I thought this was related to covid and perhaps it had damaged my gut bacteria. To me, I could lose weight before covid, but not after. My functional medicine practitioner suggested that mold might be the underlying cause of my SIBO and I thought she was crazy. But I started to read more and realize that made sense as I had also moved during covid. There is a room in this apartment that has some water damage but I didn't really use it and didn't understand how it could be an issue. I even "forgot" (mycotoxins affect memory) that I had taken a photo of a little bit of mold forming and sent it to my landlord last October. I had a urinalysis this May which showed high levels of Ochratoxin A and Mycophenolic Acid, which are both present in water damaged buildings. I've since got an ERMI test on the apartment, after the roof has been fixed, and there are still very high levels of a number of molds, including stachyborys also known as toxic black mold. ERMI was 6.5 and 2 or lower is recommended).

Mold toxicity is very diverse and presents in people in very different ways. While I've been living in this flat I only really saw weight gain/inability to lose weight. Looking back, I think I also noticed more apathy, and a kind of mental dullness. I've also had anxiety and fatigue in the past, but I stopped eating gluten around 10 years ago and I think it helped a lot with inflammation. So, when I am exposed to mycotoxins, I think it helps that I'm not as inflamed and get less anxious as the mycotoxins produce inflammatory cytokines which cross the blood brain barrier.

This is a very long explanation but I thought it might be helpful to see how difficult it was to pinpoint this stuff. I can look back now and see that it probably goes back even further and that it was present in other members of my family. My father committed suicide and I know he also renovated our basement, which I'm sure had mold. Suicide ideation is another symptom of mold toxicity along with weight gain, migraines, OCD, and depression - all of which he had. I'm not saying there weren't other factors, but there is a lot of research on the neuropsychiatric effects of mold toxicity. I know for a lot of my life, I looked at the the cause of my feelings and reactions as emotional. Now I can see that there was also something else there. I don't think trauma wasn't/isn't a factor, but I think mold/mycotoxins exacerbated a lot of those feelings and states, and made it more difficult to heal. There's a couple other posts here on OOTS that deal with mold toxicity, and I think it's interesting that others have a similar experience where they find it difficult to pinpoint what is CPTSD and what is mold. It's a shame that they aren't posting anymore as I would be interested in hearing how they have progressed.

Mycotoxins also stay in your system until you take binders to get them out. That means that the poison circulated through your bile, accumulating and filtering through your liver until you begin to detox, which is itself a long process. It makes sense to me now that my body got toxic very fast after drinking, where the doctor I saw after told me that, I must be allergic to wine now. You can be out of a moldy environment but still have mycotoxins in your body, contributing to your health.

I've started to feel a little better I think and slowly am starting to lose weight (not in an overly vain sense - it's just the thing I could see that was "wrong" and seemed off). I wanted to put this here because I don't think a lot of people are aware of the effects of mold on your body. It can cause respiratory problems, but it also can be much more widespread. For example, it can go into your nervous system and turn it on, go into your dopaminergic system (which affects our responses to fear), and mimic neurological effects like MS as well as things like anxiety and depression. The research has been out for quite a while and it blows my mind that more is not done to enforce proper air quality in homes and workplaces. It's also estimated that 25% of the population have this genetic predisposition, which is incredibly large and likely affects a number of us.

Some info:

Household Mold Linked To Depression
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070829162815.htm

When Your Brain is Stuck in Fight or Flight Mode
https://drruscio.com/brain-stuck-in-fight-or-flight-mode/

Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149291818302297

Mycotoxins & the Brain
https://ndnr.com/neurology/mycotoxins-the-brain/

Mechanisms of Mycotoxin-Induced Neurotoxicity through Oxidative Stress-Associated Pathways
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179161/

Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive and emotional dysfunction
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159119303010

Symptoms of Mold Exposure
https://www.survivingmold.com/resources-for-patients/mold-symptoms
 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2022, 10:39:19 AM by dollyvee »

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Papa Coco

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Re: Mold & Mycotoxins as comorbidity with trauma
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2022, 05:01:19 PM »
Wow.

THis is good information. Thank you for sharing it, and being so detailed. You have me thinking now too. I live near a beach in a community with higher than average year-round humidity that I have to maintain in various ways: I have dehumidifiers and air conditioning, just to keep the house from being too moist. When we moved in, the indoor humidity was so high that the paper for my printer felt soft like linen sheets, and my stash of pistaccios immediately turned to little sponges. Even today, with my dehumidifiers going, I have to wrap food tightly in plastic if I want it to still be crunchy in the morning. Meanwhile, we had to repair a leak in the roof that had been slowly saturating the walls behind the sheetrock for years and years before it finally leaked so bad that we could see it. Parts of the house still have black mold in the walls and behind the poorly installed shower surround. I absolutely suffer with depression, breathing issues, listlessness, ZERO energy... You have me thinking. Maybe I should make de-molding my house a priority over the other restoration projects I have in place.

Years ago I looked up the term Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). I did a bunch of research on it, and wrote a presentation that I gave in my workplace to help people assess whether they were HSP. HSP, when it's present in a person, makes them highly sensitive to everything emotional, physical and health-wise. It would be common for an HSP person to be both C-PTSD sensitve AND chemical sensitive. HSPs are fantastic people, creative, fun, productive...but also sensitive to everything from relationships to trauma to mold to temperature to fabrics, etc. etc. etc. By your description of your own sensitvities, I would think you are very HSP.

Good luck with your mold issues. I'm taking mine on too. I qualify as an HSP so perhaps, that black mold in my sunroom and bathroom are dragging me down along with the trauma and the forced retirement.  It certainly won't hurt anything to rid this house of the mold. AND perhaps I should look into proper ways to detox after long-term exposure to mold.

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dollyvee

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Re: Mold & Mycotoxins as comorbidity with trauma
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2022, 07:59:47 PM »
I think youíre spot on Papa Coco and thank you. There are certain genetic mutations which predispose one to these sensitivities. You can do HLA testing to find out if you have chronic inflammatory response syndrome  but itís not always necessary. Thereís a lot of inflammation on both my dad and momís side of the family. Essentially these genetics do make you more sensitive to things, which then impacts the trauma I think and your healing response to that.  Whatís interesting is that mycotoxins can set your nervous system into permanent fight or flight as well, making the sensitivity to CPTSD more apparent as well. Whatís more is that the genetics can be different in a family. So you could have five people living in a contaminated environment but maybe only one would have a reaction (as happened to someone else I spoke to).

A friend of a friend has had a sensitivity to electromagnetic waves for a while. They also believed that the government was trying to poison them with EMF because they knew too much. I asked the friend if they were exposed to mold and their whole apartment was moldy for a number of years and had to be renovated. What I think happens is that our bodies know something is wrong but we arenít conscious of whatís going on. Are body can be aware of a danger and go into alert but we wonít know the reason. So, he made up a story about what was happening I think yo try and make sense of it. 

I really hope you do look into it. Iím on a mold mission to spread the word  ;D I can recommend Toxic by Neil Nathan and the Great Plains mycotoxin test if you do want to be tested. You might also try taking a low dose of binders and see how you feel. Though there might be adverse affects. Noticing how you feel after youíre away from the beach house could be a clue - ie more energy, more clear headed etc. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest too and know how damp it can be.  You need a place you can relax in and is healthy for you.