Finding and Avoiding Mold and Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are dangerously toxic substances released from mold spores on food, air, the environment, homes, and buildings. Exposure to mycotoxins can happen through the skin, lungs, and digestive system and may lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation, gastrointestinal problems, inflammation, compromised immunity, liver and kidney damage, and neurological issues.

  • The most well-known health problems associated with mycotoxins are respiratory issues like asthma, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • When mycotoxins come into contact with the skin, they can cause rashes and severe itching, which can be particularly problematic for people with pre-existing skin conditions.
  • Other less apparent issues with mycotoxin exposure are more difficult to diagnose and treat, such as organ damage, immunological disorders, and cognitive issues. Read more on treatment for chronic mold exposure.

Food and Environmental Sources of Mycotoxins

Certain foods are prone to mold and must be carefully grown, stored, and processed to reduce the risk of developing dangerous mycotoxins.

Food Sources of Mycotoxins

  1. Aspergillus mold produces Aflatoxins on contaminated beans, wheat, corn, rice, and tree nuts, as well as meat, eggs, and meat due to animals consuming infected feed. Peanuts and peanut butter are one of the most well-known sources of aflatoxins.
  2. Fumanosins commonly infect corn, but under the right weather conditions will also infect wheat.
  3. Patulin is produced by Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Byssochylamys molds that grow on fruit, grains, and cheese. The best-known example is moldy, bruised, or rotten apples used to make apple juice or cider.
  4. Ochratoxin A, produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium molds, is found in contaminated wheat, rye, oat, barley, coffee, grapes, and wine.

Environmental Sources of Mycotoxins

Preventing mold growth is the most critical step toward reducing the risk of exposure to toxins. First, ensure your home is well-ventilated to prevent moisture from building up and create an environment where mold can thrive. Additionally, you should regularly clean your house, paying attention to areas where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Another effective way to prevent mold is to control the humidity levels in your home. You can use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner, especially during humid months. It is also essential to fix any leaks or water damage as soon as possible, as these can create an ideal environment for mold growth.

Finally, it is vital to be proactive in preventing mold. Regularly inspect your home for tell-tale signs, such as a musty smell or visible growth. If you do find mold, it is essential to address it immediately. This may involve hiring a professional mold remediation service to remove the mold and prevent it from returning.

Hidden Sources of Mold in the Home

When mold forms in damp, wet, and dusty environments on organic surfaces like walls, upholstery, carpets, and wood, some species of mycotoxins can form that are problematic to health. However, if dirt and dust are present, mold spores can form even on inorganic surfaces like metal and glass. The most dangerous mycotoxins on environmental surfaces are Stachybotrys chartarum and Chaetomium globosum, which form highly toxic metabolites connected to significant adverse health effects.

Hidden sources of mold include water leaks and standing water in the following:

  1. Above ceiling tiles
  2. Basements and attics
  3. Crawl spaces
  4. Fabrics and upholstery
  5. Inside heating, ventilation, and air ducts
  6. On and inside walls
  7. Painted surfaces
  8. Tile, cement, and grout
  9. Under carpets and floorboards

Because mold and mycotoxins are so dangerous to health, it is crucial to identify hidden sources of mold that could lead to the development of these toxic metabolites. Refrain from taking shortcuts and painting over suspected moldy areas. Dangerous mold spores can form before anything is visible, so pay close attention to damp surfaces and water leaks.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and believe you have a chronic health issue related to mold exposure, contact our clinic for more information.


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What are the Types of Autoimmune Conditions?

It is common for an individual to have more than one autoimmune condition at a time. There are more than 100 types of autoimmune diseases, and a person may have more than one autoimmune disorder simultaneously (see the complete list). The most common include the following:

  • Addison disease
  • Autoimmune liver diseases
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Graves disease
  • Thyroiditis, including Hashimoto thyroiditis
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Non-MS neurological autoimmune diseases
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes

I’ve lost trust in the medical system because no one can help me. How is your clinic different?

According to the Autoimmune Association, “many doctors don’t think to test for autoimmune diseases initially.” Depending on your symptoms, we often start with the notion that symptoms could be autoimmune-related. However, we continue to look for underlying causes. Autoimmune conditions mimic other serious health issues, like Lyme disease and mold exposure. We understand how frustrating it can be if a doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously. We want our patients to be assertive about their care. Being sick is frustrating, and it’s easy to feel intimated by the medical system. We take pride in helping patients overcome the post-traumatic baggage from previous experiences with physicians and the healthcare system.

How do I Become a New Patient to Treat a Diagnosed or Possible Autoimmune Disease?

We want to treat any patient from anywhere in California or the country, but that is unrealistic for our clinic. We only take patients from Los Angeles and Orange County who show medical necessity. Restoration Healthcare also only takes patients who have a qualifying insurance plan. Our new patient inquiry process and staff will help guide you through the qualifying process. If you believe you meet these qualifying factors, please request a new patient packet here.

Hear About a New Level of Care and Compassion from Arabella

After being passed around from doctor-to-doctor and multiple emergency room visits, no one knew what was causing Arabella’s nerve, joint and muscle pain, extreme fatigue and inability to walk. Was it multiple sclerosis? Was it Lyme Disease? What it something else? A friend’s recommendation led her to Restoration Healthcare, who confirmed it was Lyme Disease.

She describes the experience as being engaging with high standards of care from people who actually care about their patients. The clinic explored every aspect of Arabella’s health including nutritional status, hormone balance, immunity and even the emotional toll she and her family experienced prior to coming to Restoration Healthcare. “It’s a different level of compassion,” she says.

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