An excerpt from Rika’s upcoming book:
NOURISH, HEAL, THRIVE: A comprehensive and holistic guide to living with Lyme disease. Sign up to get on the email list to be notified.
Available January 3rd, 2017, on Amazon.com. Soft cover / ebook
The Mold Factor
…….Mold toxins wreak havoc on the brain and the body’s biochemistry. The blood-brain barrier is designed to keep toxins out of the sensitive brain; when it is breached, poisonous substances enter the brain and cause damage. This dam- age causes psychiatric symptoms and learning disabilities that are often misdi- agnosed by psychiatrists and pediatricians. For instance, toxic mold illnesses can be misdiagnosed as autism spectrum–related disorders because the symptoms are similar. This is all part of the complex landscape of chronic Lyme.
When suffering from toxic mold exposure, melatonin production is com- promised; thus, insomnia is a common occurrence. Sleep patterns are often dis- rupted, contributing to excessive fatigue as well as neurological, behavioral, and bipolar disorders that are often treated with hard-core drugs from a psychiatric professional without a thorough medical and living-environment evaluation.
Mold toxins also alter the brain, especially the forebrain. Symptoms of a toxic brain can include debilitating brain fog, thinking glitches, headaches, mem- ory and vision problems, severe trigeminal nerve-related migraines, cognitive issues, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Imagine it like a virus entering your computer—it doesn’t work anymore, and the screen is scrambled. This is what
CHAPTER TWO » THE LANDSCAPE OF PERSISTENT LYME
happens with mold exposures in the brain. It can be debilitating, causing anxiety, depression, and even the risk of suicide.
If you are not sure if you are suffering from toxic mold exposure, you can do a self-test by leaving your home and moving into a sterile environment, with new clothes, for four to five days. Then, go back home and see how you feel. As long as you are exposed to harmful mold toxins in your home, you are con- stantly repoisoning your system. As a temporary measure, physicians prescribe BEG spray and cholestyramine to detox mold toxins, but there are other options, such as Argentyn23 and bentonite clay or chlorella; however, to become well, you must get into a mold-free environment. If you choose to move, it is necessary to leave all furniture behind and to have your clothes professionally cleaned to avoid a transfer of spores.
There is no one simple test to know if you have a mold illness. The work of Dr. Richie Shoemaker is instrumental, and his comprehensive book, Surviving Mold, is a good resource that discusses the visual aids test, nasal swabs for MAR- CoNS, inflammatory and genetic blood markers implicated with mold sickness, available mold testing in homes, and remediation techniques.
It is best to use professional remediation to address any mold contamination in the home. Increased exposure to spores and toxic chemicals is a risk, espe- cially without proper precautions. It is worth the money to get it done profes- sionally. Common remediation options include extremely toxic chemicals, but I recommend the biological approach with enzymes.
From a nutritional perspective, food choices beyond dairy and gluten can add fuel to the flame for those with mold illness. Each case is unique and must be treated differently. Refined sugars, processed foods, high-sugar fruits, vege- tables, and nuts can feed the fungal infection. Foods and supplements that con- tain yeast can make mold and Lyme symptoms worse; however, this is currently under debate.
When discussing mold illness, it is important to consider the impact of hista- mine, which occurs naturally in our bodies and in foods. Chronic infections, med- ications, and genetic weaknesses can create or contribute to a scenario where the body has difficulty breaking down excess histamine. If this happens, the histamine accumulates in the bloodstream. An excess of histamine-producing gut microbes
NOURISH, HEAL, THRIVE
can also create symptoms that mimic Lyme or mold illness, so the gut flora plays a role as well. (Mast cell disorders are complex and part of a new frontier.) Foods high in histamine (and dairy) are best avoided when mold illness is present.
For more, sign up on the email list to be notified about the upcoming book release on January 3rd, 2017.