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Toxic Mold and Candida

One of the most frustrating aspects of Candida overgrowth is that it can be very challenging to get rid of. People treating their Candida at home often go on a Candida diet, take antifungal supplements, and see their symptoms disappear, only for them to come back again a few weeks or months later.

When a patient comes to see me who is trapped in this vicious cycle, I immediately investigate mold or mycotoxin exposure as a root cause.

They usually say, “That can’t be it, I haven’t seen any mold in my house”, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there! The right testing often uncovers that hidden mold is behind their recurrent Candida and other mysterious symptoms.

What is Toxic Mold & Where is It Hiding?

Mold is a natural part of the environment and most types are not harmful. However, certain strains of mold release gas-like chemicals called mycotoxins that permeate the air and environment.

These toxins cause high levels of systemic inflammation, often with extreme reactivity to certain chemicals and foods. They also adversely affect your mitochondria, the powerhouse of every cell in your body, and drastically impact your energy levels.

Signs of toxic mold exposure include:

  • Fatigue, muscle weakness, and joint pain
  • Cognitive impairment, including brain fog, confusion, headaches, and difficulty concentrating
  • Candida overgrowth, food sensitivities, and histamine intolerance
  • Coughing, difficulty breathing, or asthma
  • Skin issues, rashes, eczema, or psoriasis

Many modern homes and buildings are now tightly sealed for energy efficiency. This creates a breeding ground for mold. The particles are typically too small for the eye to see and it’s often hiding behind walls, inside air vents, and in furniture, carpets, and clothing. It’s even found in foods, such as grains, coffee, peanuts, corn, and dried fruit.

One thing to note is that some people are genetically more susceptible to mold than others. It may be that one or a few members of a household are ill while others are unaffected. This can make it very difficult to pinpoint the environment as the problem.

How Toxic Mold Makes Candida Overgrowth Worse

Candida overgrowth, especially Candida that won’t go away, is a manifestation of a problem with the immune system. Candida is an opportunistic organism, meaning it will overgrow and proliferate when it sees an opening.

When your immune system is strong and hardy, it keeps Candida in check. When your immune system is weakened, Candida has the opportunity to flourish and wreak havoc throughout your body.

Mycotoxins have been shown to suppress immune function, which allows Candida to proliferate and makes it harder to eliminate. Studies have also found they damage the gut endothelial lining, meaning they cause leaky gut and allow Candida to escape the digestive tract and become a systemic problem.

Testing for Toxic Mold

If you suspect toxic mold, one simple starter option is to stay somewhere else (ideally for two weeks) to see if your symptoms improve. You can think of this as an elimination diet for mycotoxins.

There are also a number of tests for your home or body to detect a toxic mold exposure. When working with patients in our Adaptation Program, I use a urine test from Real Time Labs to screen for 16 types of mycotoxins and their environmental assessment to check for mold and in patients’ homes.

Treating Toxic Mold

Here’s the process I use in my clinic.

1. Treat the root of the problem by removing the mold from your environment.

This can be quite a big undertaking, but it’s necessary for long-term recovery. You’ll need to hire a mold remediation specialist to locate and remove all of the mold in your home and prevent it from regrowing. You may also need to replace furniture, rugs, curtains, mattresses, and other items that cannot be fully cleaned.

2. Support safe detoxification.

Toxic mold puts a significant strain on your detox pathways and immune system. Use an acetylated liposomal glutathione supplement to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and promote detoxification. Drink lots of filtered water and use infrared sauna therapy to flush out toxins via your sweat. Reduce your overall toxic burden by choosing organic food, using toxin-free personal care products, and filtering your air and water. Get plenty of rest and find ways to relieve stress so your body can recover.

3. Treat your Candida overgrowth and repair your gut.

With the underlying issue tackled and immune function restored, you can address your gut imbalances with diet, herbal antimicrobials, and lifestyle.

Mold illness can be very complex and there are often multiple health issues involved. If you are struggling to put the pieces together, I highly recommend working with a functional medicine provider to get the right testing and a personalized treatment protocol. We’ve worked with many toxic mold patients who’ve overcome debilitating fatigue, neurological issues, and recurrent Candida with a functional approach.

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Mold Toxicity, Biotoxin Illness & CIRS Testimonials

Dr. Jennifer Smith, ND
"Dr. Jenn is very knowledgeable about mold illness recovery and has provided me great help during the past year of healing. On top of that, she always make me feel taken cared of. I trust that she genuinely cares about my health just as I do. After seeing her for around a year I’m happy to say I feel like I’m almost back on track with my health. I’m going to keep on exploring my potential of wellbeing with her. I’m deeply grateful for everything I’ve learned from this journey."
"Dr. Richey is successfully treating myself and my family for Lyme Disease, Co-infections, and Biotoxin Illness. She stays up to date on all the current treatments. I recommend her to anyone looking for a LLMD."
"Dr. Richey is extremely intelligent and has vast knowledgeable about Lyme, co-infections, and other factors. She recognized Biotoxin illness in my daughter who has Lyme which turned out to be our home. We have moved and my daughter is now steadily gaining weight thankfully back to her old self, when she was a mere 110 lbs for so years. I appreciate greatly the compassionate and caring person Dr. Richey is, and how hard she works to help my daughter and others."
Dr. Jennifer Smith, ND
"Dr Jenn is the best doctor! She truly cares about our family and our health. She always listens and we feel heard and affirmed by her. Dr Jenn looks at root causes of presenting symptoms and actually addresses the root causes and helps heal the person. She is an expert in treatment of Lyme, CIRS and chronic illness in kids and adults. She will continue to be our family doctor even after full health…"
Dr. Jennifer Smith, ND
"Dr. Jenn is kind, compassionate, and knowledgable at treating patients with complex medical challenges (including conditions such as Lyme, Mold and Autoimmunity) using an array of tools and creative thinking. She is an accessible, honest partner and a valuable healthcare provider to have on your team. I’ve worked with Dr. Jenn since 2016 and can say with confidence that I would not be where I am today without her support and expertise! As a patient and practitioner, I have recommended Dr. Jenn to many in the Phoenix area and will continue to do so without reservation...."
Dr. Sultana Afrooz, DO
"I love Dr A so much. She has been a life savior for me. I was deathly ill when I first met her 3yrs ago and she knew exactly what it was. She said lets order test to be sure and they reassured us it was indeed Mold tox that was keeping my Lyme active. She is a kind hearted doctor witch is so hard to find these days. Really goes above and beyond to ensure your getting the proper treatments and care. Thanks Dr A"
Dr. Werner Vosloo, ND
"Dr. Vosloo and Dr. Coffin took me from extreme illness with Lyme and co-infections, mold toxicity, and high viral loads, to remission and restored health. I truly could not be more grateful and highly recommend these doctors and this clinic for getting to the root of your chronic illness!"
"I never knew how effective a real Doctor-Patient relationship could be until working with Dr. Richey. She engaged me in my own healing process from the beginning, and helped me take responsibility for my recovery from Lyme, Bartonella and Biotoxin Illness. Then, she helped me maintain my good health."
Dr. Jennifer Smith, ND
"Dr. Jennifer Smith has provided exceptional care after diagnosing me with and treating CIRS following previous biotoxin exposure. I have seen significant reduction in my symptoms including resolution of headaches, pain, fatigue, and sensitivities. The medication I took cholestyramine and BE spray has been healing along with the other supplements she added to my treatment plan. I recommend anyone who is struggling following biotoxin exposure, whether it be genetic, environmental or both, to seek care under her knowledge. Additionally, she actually cares about her patients, which definitely increases trust in her recommendation and treatment plans. And I’m back to..."
Dr. Jennifer Smith, ND
"I cannot recommend Silvertree Wellness highly enough. I’ve struggled with chronic Lyme/mold illness for a solid decade and before seeing Dr Smith had spent so much time and money searching for answers. I immediately felt at ease with her because of her genuine down to earth compassionate bedside manner.. but it was her depth and breadth of knowledge that truly made me feel safe and like I could finally trust this person with my health. She’s trained by the best in the country but the unusual thing about her is her insatiable desire to KEEP learning. She’s always..."

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