Fungi have been around for millions and millions of years, so it should come as no surprise that they have a leg up on humans in a lot of ways. And while many different types of fungi have delicious and often beneficial properties, others can cause big problems for our immune systems. Specifically, we’re talking about molds, spores, and fungi that contain mycotoxins which can wreak havoc on hosts, especially if they are already immunocompromised.
Mold Toxicity is so much more than just an allergy. In many instances, the symptoms can be very debilitating. Some of the most common examples include:
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint and muscle pain.
The real danger here is that the symptoms don’t seem to be related. That’s because the ways that the different mycotoxins affect you have a lot more to do with your body chemistry and genetics than the molds themselves!
Mycotoxins can enter your system via ingestion, inhalation, or contact with airborne mold spores or fungi particles. And depending on the toxicity of the mycotoxin itself, the exposure time, and the age and health of the person affected, the resulting illness can range quite widely in symptoms and severity.
Understanding Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)
Mold toxicity is the result of a condition known as chronic inflammatory response syndrome, or CIRS. This is where mycotoxins from both the initial mold exposure and toxins from your environment join forces to attack your immune system. When your immune system is firing on all cylinders, it can easily rid your body of these toxins, but if you are genetically predisposed to be sensitive to mold mycotoxins, they will build up in your body’s tissues and wear your natural defense down.
As the name implies, one of the main symptoms of CIRS is inflammation, which results in an MMP-9 biomarker that we can identify in blood tests. Unfortunately, some long-term CIRS patients see increased permeability in their blood-brain barrier as well, which causes inflammation in the tissues of the brain itself.
Dietary Changes That Can Improve CIRS Symptoms
As we mentioned, your overall mold toxicity is not just the result of exposure to one specific type of mycotoxin. Though that may have gotten the ball rolling on compromising your immune system, eventually, all the toxins in your environment start to build up inside your body. One of the most common sources for new fungi and spores is the food we eat.
For instance, fungi are drawn to the sugar present in most carbohydrates. As a result, we can often end up eating a variety of harmful spores without even knowing it, further contributing to our overall CIRS symptoms. That’s where the Low-Amylose Diet can be extremely beneficial.
This diet is all about reducing your body’s overall toxic burden by avoiding foods known to contain those spores. This gives your immune system a chance to catch up and start eliminating – or “detoxing” – itself the same way it would if it were 100% healthy.
As you might expect, the Low-Amylose Diet is all about avoiding starches and sugars, specifically those that come in the form of:
To translate that into foods, you’re going to have to minimize or (ideally) eliminate the following:
- Dairy Products
- Sugar beets
- Yeast Products
By following a diet like this, you can put your body in the best position to deal with mold toxicity by reducing the number of new mycotoxins you’re throwing at it every day. Now, if you see some of your favorite foods up on that list, keep in mind that you won’t have to keep up this diet forever. You simply want to reduce your MMP-9 levels, give your immune system time to recharge, and hopefully alleviate the majority of your symptoms.
You Don’t Need to Go It Alone! Contact Internal Healing and Wellness MD
At Internal Healing and Wellness MD, we help people from all over Spring, The Woodlands, Conroe, and other areas of Greater Houston take charge of their health using natural, holistic methods. Our team is highly experienced in dealing with mold toxicity and CIRS, and can help you develop a customized dietary plan to get you feeling better in no time.