Is Mold Sabotaging Your Health?

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My Story

When I lived in a house with black mold, it was the sickest time in my life. I dealt with chronic sinus infections, migraines, allergies, anxiety and depression. I felt like I was living in a fog. I was on multiple different medications and tried everything to feel better, but nothing helped until I moved out of that house. As soon as I left that house, I began to heal.

Was mold the ONLY thing impacting my health? Absolutely not, it's never that simple. I was also eating gluten like it was my job and have a severe gluten intolerance, I had leaky gut, hormone imbalances, I wasn't eating enough, my blood sugar was all over the place, and the list goes on. But I truly believe I wouldn't have been able to start my healing journey if I was still in that house with black mold. 

Moving out of a moldy environment, changing my diet (including avoiding gluten like the plague), running functional labs to see other underlying causes of dysfunction and getting on a personalized protocol changed my life. I can say now with pride that I am no longer on any medication, I no longer suffer from debilitating migraines, sinus infections, allergies, anxiety or depression.

I am living a life full of purpose and happiness and help others do the same. If you are worried about mold impacting your health, keep reading. I am so happy you are here. Stay strong and stay positive, you CAN heal from mold illness and you CAN thrive in health and in life. If you are ready to discover if mold is causing your or your child's symptoms, click here to learn more about our Comprehensive Mold Testing and Analysis Package. 


Symptoms of Mold Illness

Mold illness, also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), is a condition that can occur when individuals are exposed to mold and mycotoxins for an extended period of time. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, a prominent researcher in the field of mold-related illnesses, has extensively researched and identified a set of symptoms commonly associated with mold exposure. In this blog, we will explore the symptoms of mold illness as outlined by Dr. Shoemaker, helping you understand if your symptoms are actually being caused by exposure to mold.


1) Neurological Symptoms: One of the hallmark characteristics of mold illness is the impact it can have on the neurological system. Neurological symptoms of mold can include:

  • Brain fog and difficulty concentrating: Mold toxins can impact cognitive function, leading to memory problems, confusion, and difficulty focusing on tasks.
  • Fatigue and weakness: Mold illness can cause extreme fatigue and a feeling of overall weakness, often leading to reduced stamina and productivity.
  • Headaches and migraines: Persistent or recurring headaches, including migraines, can be a symptom of mold exposure.


2) Respiratory Symptoms: Mold spores and mycotoxins can trigger various respiratory issues. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing and wheezing: Mold exposure can irritate the airways, leading to persistent coughing and wheezing.
  • Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or a sensation of breathlessness can occur, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma.
  • Sinus congestion and sore throat: Mold can cause nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and a sore throat, mimicking the symptoms of a common cold or allergies.


3) Fatigue and General Malaise

  •  Chronic fatigue: Mold toxins can disrupt the body's energy production, leading to persistent fatigue and a lack of motivation.
  • Muscle and joint pain: Individuals with mold illness often report experiencing muscle aches, joint pain, and stiffness.
  • Increased sensitivity: People with mold illness may develop heightened sensitivity to light, noise, and certain smells.


4) Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Digestive issues can also arise as a result of mold exposure. Some common gastrointestinal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: Mold toxins can irritate the stomach lining, leading to feelings of nausea and occasional vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain and bloating: Mold illness may cause discomfort, pain, and bloating in the abdominal region.
  • Diarrhea or constipation: Fluctuations in bowel movements, including diarrhea or constipation, can occur due to mold exposure.


Does mold look different in children?

Mold and mycotoxins (the chemicals that mold produces), weaken the immune system. In children, this can look like more frequent illnesses including both bacterial and viral infections. If your child is between the ages of 6 months and 2 years in daycare and getting sick all of the time, there is no reason to immediately think mold. Daycare is a different story - almost everyone I know that has kids that young in daycare are dealing with constant illness. Children don't have a fully developed immune system, so being exposed to viruses and bacteria and getting sick is part of what builds up their immune system. 

Mold shows up differently in each person depending their genetic susceptibility and immune system. In children, we most often see skin issues show up first when they are dealing with mold exposure or mold illness. Skin issues can look different in every child, but some skin symptoms can be rashes, peeling skin, sensitive skin, eczema, itching, acne, psoriasis, fungal rashes. Mold also impacts behavior in children and adolescents, this can show up as ADHD, sleep disturbances, fussiness in babies, delayed development, inattentive, difficulty learning or paying attention. Other symptoms of mold in children are related to gut health and sinus issues, as mold can colonize in both the gut and the sinus cavities. These symptoms can show up as colic, bloated, diarrhea, constipation, ear infections, food allergies or intolerance, allergies, asthma, headaches, brain fog, irritable bowel and more. 


So you think you have mold... what do you do next?

The first step is to remove yourself from the environment or remediate. I realize these aren't always possible for everyone, so if you living in a moldy environment or work in a moldy environment and can't leave that environment, there are things you can do like getting an air filter and getting outside as much as possible. Make sure you go on walks during the day, open your windows, and spend less time in the moldy environment. If your children are in a moldy environment, I highly suggest leaving that environment. There are filters you can get that filter mycotoxins, the best one is Intellipure, you will have to reach out to them for a quote and get it installed by a professional, but this is by far the best on the market. Another option is the Air Doctor, you can purchase directly on their website and no installation is needed. 

Next step is to make sure you are having daily bowel movements. This is the MOST important part of any detoxification protocol - you cannot start to bind up mold unless it has a way of getting out of your body, and that way is via bowel movements! If you or your child aren't pooping at LEAST once a day, I would suggest the following:

  • Increase water intake (your poop is made up of mostly water, we can't poop if we aren't drinking water!)
  • Increase minerals. Minerals are essential for promoting the health of the colon (sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus). You can simply add Celtic Sea Salt to your water and make adrenal cocktails. 
  • Consider using NDF Pooper to support bowel movements (kids and adults can use this). Use code NRHEALTH for 10% off all BioRay products. 
  • Try a Squatty Potty when using the bathroom. 
  • Get to the ROOT cause of why you are having constipation by working with me or another functional practitioner.  


The next and possibly the most important step is to test both your body and your home so you can get on a proper plan to remove mold from your body and your environment. I am by no means a mold remediation expert, I suggest finding someone local to you that has good Google reviews to help you with the remediation process. I am, however, an expert in helping my clients address mold in their bodies. I have worked with dozens of clients on personalized mold protocols to address their whole body and help them heal. I also train practitioners on mold labs and creating protocols for their clients. If you are ready to have a health partner walk with you side by side in addressing mold, check out my comprehensive mold testing package here and consider scheduling a complimentary discovery call here.


I didn't write this to fear monger you, I wrote this to educate and empower you to take your health into your own hands. You CAN heal from mold. You CAN live a live full of happiness and health. I know because I have helped dozens of clients heal from mold. I have helped clients reverse their autoimmune diseases that were caused by mold. I have helped them live a life full of happiness and passion. The same can happen for you. 


To your health and happiness,

Nicole Ritter


References and Research




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