3 Fungal Facts to Help You Recover from Mold Toxicity

By Catherine Fruechtenicht

When I finally got to the root cause of my health symptoms and figured out that high levels of mycotoxins in our home were making me sick, I admittedly did not know much about mold/fungus. Granted, I knew that mold could discolor and grow on our bathroom grout, make things smell musty, or could form on the water line in an unused toilet, but I really did not know anything about how the fungal load in my environment related to my health. Honestly, at first, I did not care to get to know this new fungal enemy of mine. I did not think that knowing more was important for my healing. But as I embarked upon a full-scale remediation of our home and mechanical systems and upon tackling the fungus in my body, I quickly learned that the clearest path to healing included digging deeper and becoming intimately acquainted with my enemy. In doing so, I have been able to make our home a safe place for us to live and thrive and have also been able to regain my health and my life.

Obviously I cannot in one article tell you every, single, important fact about fungus and health, but I can give you 3 fungal truth bombs that just may help. And, even though that doesn’t sound like much, I promise, when you finish reading, I think you will walk away with a renewed understanding of 1.) how and why mold/fungus can be so problematic once it invades your body, 2.) why you may be doing “all the things” but still not recovering, and 3.) why knowing your enemy (mold/fungus) is the BEST way to defeat it.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

3 Fungal Facts to Aid in Recovery from Mold Toxicity

(Quick Note: Before I begin, this goes without saying, but the AIR you are breathing is ALWAYS #1. You CANNOT outsmart or out-treat contaminated air. First get to mold-free indoor environment and, if possible, do not take anything from the moldy place with you. If this is not feasible you can use HEPA filters in each room, the EC3 Candles, EC3 Fogger, and Ec3 Laundry Additive to Band Aid the environment until you can get into a safe place.)
  1. Fungus has a sugar receptor that makes it transform into its invasive hyphal form making it harder to eradicate.
  2. The presence of the fungus makes bacteria more pathogenic and resistant to normal interventions.
  3. Most fungus enters the body through the nose. Thus, you must treat your nasal passages, even if your symptoms are not sinus related, to fully recover.

Let’s now explore in more detail each item on the list.

Fungus and Sugar

Some fungus can alternate between a yeast phase and a hyphal phase, depending on environmental conditions. Such fungi are termed dimorphic (with two shapes) and they include several that cause disease of humans, the most prominent being Candida albicans. While yeast or Candida is naturally occurring in our environments, on our skin, and in our intestines, when immunity is challenged by something like mycotoxins in the environment, yeast can begin to grow out of control and to cause health problems. Then, if you are eating a diet high in processed carbohydrates and sugars, you are giving the already increased levels of systemic yeast a secret weapon.

Fungus has a sugar receptor that transforms it into its invasive and pervasive hyphae (3 ft. long) form (think tentacles). Of major concern in human illness is that the fungal hyphae can penetrate tissues in pursuit of food. For example, in its hyphal form, yeast can permeate the intestinal wall causing food that should remain contained within the digestive tract to leak into the bloodstream and create histamine reactions, GI symptoms, and intolerances. Thus, if your mold toxicity symptoms include anything having to do with digestion or food intolerance, this is a fungal fact that you should pay close attention to. Just small amounts of sugar in your diet could be exacerbating and making symptoms worse. Additionally, if you have tried antifungals (natural and prescription), but are still not making progress with recovery, you likely need to take a stricter approach to diet. If you don’t believe me, a great illustration can be seen in lab settings where Candida albicans was cultured on sugar agar plates. (These are the same kind of plates that come in the EC3 Mold Test Plate kits. They are excellent at growing out mold because the growth medium is sugar!) When lab technicians treated the Candida on the sugar agar with Fluconazole (a first-line prescription antifungal for yeast) the Candida continued to grow and was resistant to treatment.

Fungus and Bacteria

Many mold toxicity sufferers are also battling chronic infections. In fact, recurrent Lyme disease and an increase in Lyme symptoms is often connected to mold exposure. This is because mold causes lowering of the immune antibodies IgG subclasses, thus causing more infections of all kinds. Also the immune reaction to mold that 25% of the population has causes pits in the mucosal lining of the sinuses which destroys the cilia and causes pooling of mucous in those pits, so bacteria begin to grow.  When fungus has caused this pitting, no amount of antibiotics in the nose or orally will work long term until the cause of the pits, the fungus, is removed. To illustrate this, Dr. Dennis has allowed me to use the picture below of nasal Candida and polyps resolving after Amphotericin-B nasal spray and CitriDrops and saline irrigation.

There is good, scientific reason for this. Dr. Vincent Bruno published a research paper in 2016 that that illustrates the significance of what happens to pathogenic bacteria in the presence of fungus. Dr. Bruno outlined that when you co-incubate the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus with Candida albicans, the Staph bacteria will become resistant to an antibiotic drug commonly used to treat it called Vancomycin. Without the presence of the fungus, the Vancomycin would have killed the Staph bacteria, but with Candida present, the bacteria ignored this powerful antibiotic. Whoa, right?

Fungus promoting antibacterial resistance is important to understand, because while I believe many of us have several infectious agents causing our symptoms, not just the mold per se, Dr. Bruno’s research exemplifies that if we aren’t ruling out and treating “fungus first”, other treatment interventions may fail. If the fungal cause is not addressed (moldy air and fungus in the nose), the sinus infections persist and resist treatment. I am getting ahead of myself, though. That brings us to #3 . . .

Moldy Environments and the Importance of Treating Fungus in Your Nose

The average human inhales 2,904 gallons of air each day—2,904 GALLONS! If a large portion of that air has a high fungal load, or high a high level of mycotoxins, there are going to eventually be some health repercussions. Thus, obviously, the first and most important order of business is to get the person out of the fungal/mycotoxin exposure and to make sure that the breathing air is safe, clean, and mold free. If the breathing air is not clean, no medical treatment can beat that load. Period. When that step is complete, the second most important intervention is to address where all the mold/fungus is entering the body. That brings us to the nose.

Our noses, nasal passages, and sinus mucosa are designed to filter the air. But, when the air is full of fungus, the load exceeds the nose’s filtering capabilities. Then, mold/fungus builds inside the nasal passages and eventually makes it way to the sinuses, where it can colonize and secrete mycotoxins in the sinus mucosa. The sphenoid sinus also sits right below the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.

When mycotoxins are secreted in the sinus, they can cross the blood-brain barrier and can begin causing hormonal havoc and neurological/cognitive symptoms, much like sniffing glue into nose. Just like glue, mycotoxins go directly into the brain from the sinuses, and, as stated before, the spores in the sinuses continue making more mycotoxins!

Additionally, your nose is connected to your throat, which is also connected to your digestive tract and gut. Simply recognizing and consistently addressing your nasal passages for fungus as the body’s main mold access point can be game-changing for some people. Simple things like nasal rinsing with saline and a antifungal/antimicrobial (remember the mold/bacterial connection?) agent or using a fungus-specific nasal spray on a daily basis can do a world of good for both sinus, cognitive, and GI symptoms. It is interesting to me that this can be a blind spot for some mold sufferers, especially those who do not have sinus symptoms, but when incorporated into a treatment regimen can make a world of difference in treatment progress and in alleviating symptoms.

Did this article answer some questions for you? Provide healing insight? I hope so. I also hope that by learning a little more about fungus, you may have that “aha moment” that can turn your health around.

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