MOLD …THE HIDDEN ENEMY
As I watch the horrible aftermath of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, I know from my own personal experience that flooding leaves behind an enemy so dark and treacherous that few people understand the far reaching devastating effects.
My husband and I have personally have been affected by black mold, a condition I was unaware of when I moved into a leased house after my home burned to the ground several years ago. It was a beautiful home that we leased; glass, spectacular views, space. Luxurious… is how you would describe it, so beautiful it helped ease the pain of losing all our belongings to the fire.
A year after we moved in, both my husband and I began to have health problems. At one point a fungus attack put me in the hospital for six days, horribly misdiagnosed as cancer,until it was discovered to be mold fungus. I did not connect mold with my home. Around the same time my very healthy husband started experiencing hair loss, red irritated eyes, and a sinus and fungal nose infection that wouldn’t go away. We both started having GI tract problems; bloating, yeast, candida, cramping.
It wasn’t until I was interviewing Dr. Rick Sponaugle of the Florida Detox & Wellness Institute that I started piecing together the puzzle that had been eluding both of us.
We had mold. A professional remediator came to our home to test and found standing water all over a lower floor that had never been finished. Black mold was crawling everywhere, including into the air-conditioning and heating vents so it wasblowing into all the rooms.
We had to move. And detox…
In walks Dr. Rick Sponaugle of the Florida Detox &Wellness Institute who has successfully treated over 2000 patients who, unknowingly, were suffering from Mold Toxicity.
This week on The SUZANNE Show, we discussed the dangers of mold and I wanted to get more detailed information to pass along to you in my blog from the preeminent expert in the field, Dr. Sponaugle.
SS: Thank you, Dr. Sponaugle. Can you explainmold and the affects that you can predict the victims of Hurricane Sandy might experience?
RS: Well, I worry for all of them. Mold toxins are toxic gases produced by indoor molds. From what I see of the houses devastated by Hurricane Sandy, it will be difficult to dry out those houses, especially now as the weather is wet, cold, damp, and snow is coming. It is my experience that hidden mold is always present in water-damaged buildings. Most of these people will be unaware that they are suffering from gases produced by mold infestations hidden behind water-damaged walls,shower tile, and above wet ceilings. These harmful toxins go unnoticed whenmold is hidden because we cannot see or smell them.
SS: I see… like the silent enemy. You and I have talked before about the gene we both happen to carry, the HLA-DRBQ gene, making us more susceptible to mold and allergies of all kinds. Will Hurricane Sandy victims be spared if they don’t happen to carry that same gene?
RS: This is the irony: three out of four Americans who naturally produce antibodies to mold toxins can live and work in water-damaged buildings without suffering significant demise in their health. But patients who carry the HLA gene have no antibodies to deactivate and remove mold toxins. They develop excessive accumulation of these harmful toxins. Mold toxins are lipophilic, meaning their molecular structure consists of fatty acid molecules. For this reason, mold toxins migrate to and deposit in the brain because the brain is the ‘fattiest’ organ, consisting of 60% fat.
SS: What you are saying is that some of the victims will not be able to handle the toxicexposure to the mold but they won’t realize that this is the root of the problem?
RS: Right. Mold toxicity is the cause for many psychological and neurological disorders, including but not limited to: addiction, anxiety, bipolar II, chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia, multiple sclerosis (MS), Neuropathy, OCD, panic disorder, paranoia and schizoid syndrome.
SS: How about your everyday conditions, like the ones my husband and I are experiencing: sinus, red watery eyes, fatigue, inflamed GI tract, unexplained weight gain?
RS: Yes, mold causes all those symptoms and also other odd effects including slurred speech, disorientation, feeling irritable or paranoid, insomnia, craving sweets, itching nose at night, static shocks, muscle aches, food allergies, antibiotic allergies, blurred vision, confusion, very high blood pressure, Mono-like symptoms, skin rash, cystic acne, joint pain, slurred gums, tongue swelling, odd periods, stuttering, and throat closing.
SS: It’s shocking to know that mold is that damaging. So little is understood about mold by most doctors, but your clinic is one of the only in the country that gets it. And I know we all benefit because you, too, suffered severe mold toxicity yourself, so you are able to grasp the enormity when apatient is sitting in front of you. Certainly no one would ever connect severe depression to mold toxicity.
RS: There are three different mold toxins associated with depression, panic disorder and bipolar symptoms – aflatoxins, ochratoxin and trichothecene. The government set toxic level for trichothecenes, the family of mold toxins produced by Stachy Botrus (known as black mold) is 0.2 parts per billion. I routinely have patients with levels as high as 3.2, which is 16 times the government set toxic threshold.
SS: What does this do to the body?
RS: It can cause severe anxiety, insomnia, panic-disorder or bipolar. I’ve treated (successfully) hundreds of toxic patients who were simply diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder or misdiagnosed bi-polar by psychiatrists who remain naive regarding the effect of mold toxicity on the brain. Most doctors will give these patients drugs like Klonopin or Xanax to calm theiranxious brains.
SS: But when they have these anxious or over-electrified brains from mold toxins, it’s clear to me that the mold needs to be detoxified from the body, rather than medicating it with a Band-Aid.
RS: Mold toxic brains produce excessive levels of two powerful electrifying brain chemicals; glutamate and PEA. It is the increased activation of glutamate and PEA nerve receptors throughout the body that produces an over-electrified nervous system producing symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, panic disorder, bi-polar and fibromyalgia. Mold toxic patients experience a gradual progression as they slowly accumulate more mold toxins. Their symptoms usually begin with insomnia, then as they spend more time living and working in mold toxic buildings or houses, their symptoms progress from insomnia to anxiety which can then progress to full blown panic disorder, and in the most severe cases, bipolar symptoms of rage and paranoia.
Probably most patients who come to my clinic have been to 20 different doctors before me and not found an answer. Many of these mold toxic patients have traveled to multiple states and various medical centers in their failed attempt to discover the underlying cause of their severe depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndromes. Many developed addiction issues because of their undiagnosed mold toxicity.
SS: It’s sad. I presume the addiction is a result of the over-electrified brains and the patients need to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to calm themselves down? It’s very understandable.
RS: Yes, it is. Depression and chronic fatigue can be a result of mold toxicity suppressing the production of nor-epinephrine output from the A5 Nucleus. That’s the part of the brain that produces 90% of our nor-epinephrine. This is one of the primary mechanisms by which mold toxicity causes severe depression and severe chronic fatigue. When you have a mold toxic brain, specifically the hypothalamus, it can’t properly stimulate the brain’s primary hormonal factory, the pituitary gland. Pituitary insufficiency results in hormonal deficiencies, such as the downstream hormone factories – the thyroid, adrenals, and the sex organs. Mold toxin induced deficiencies of these hormones cause inactivation of the three adrenaline chemicals causing symptoms of severe depression, lethargy, and chronic fatigue.
SS: Can mold toxicity cause fibromyalgia?
RS: Yes, mold toxicity is the primary cause of fibromyalgia in many middle-aged women. It causes total body pain because of the excessive production of the electrifying neurotransmitters, glutamate and PEA. The excessive inflammation is derived from the toxic load and deficiencies of the calming neurotransmitters; taurine and serotonin. This causes mold toxin induced destruction of the intestinallining, which leads to poor absorption of the essential amino acids, tryptophan and taurine. The resulting up-regulating of electrical voltage in the body’s nervous system can be dramatic, and it directly correlates with the measured level of mold toxins. When these women go to their doctors, they are usually misdiagnosed and prescribed addicting pain medication and drugs like Lyrica, which treats the symptoms but not the true cause of fibromyalgia – which ismold.
SS: What about MS? I once saw two side-by-side slides. One slide was a healthy person; the other was a person with MS. The healthy cells were moving around and in constant motion, all clumped together. The MS slides showed cells that werelumbering, moving very slowly. They were not clumped together, but moving slowly, slowly, and the strange thing was the MS cells all had a white filmsurrounding them. I asked what the film was and the scientist told me it was toxins. So can MS also be caused by mold toxins?
RS: Mold toxins destroy the myelin sheath on brain neurons, causing the classic white spotsseen in MS. That’s why I have created the Brain Wellness Program combined with intravenous mold toxin removal protocol to reverse damage caused by MS.
SS: Anyone reading this blog who has any of these symptoms now has something new to consider. Maybe their diagnosis has been wrong. Maybe they are not truly suffering from autoimmune diseases or addictions. Maybe the cause isthat musty smell in your house or the black fuzz in between your tiles. Up until I was affected, these signs were annoyances I thought could be handled by deep cleaning. But now I know mold lurks deep in the roots of the house and anyone who has water damage, in particular those affected by Hurricane Sandy or those devastated by Katrina, now know that there is likely a hidden enemy in the home. There is an answer to this problem. You, Dr. Sponaugle, seem to be one of the few in this country who understands mold, its effects, and how to treat and detoxify it from the body at The Florida Detox & Wellness Institute. I know you have already helped so many people and many more are going to be helped by this interview and the important work you are doing. I thank you for your great work.
RS: My pleasure, Suzanne.
For more information, go to www.floridadetox.com.