You feel like you’re doing everything right, you you’re STILL struggling with chronic health issues. You’re frustrated with the constant fatigue, itchy or painful skin rashes, and anxiety. If that’s you, it’s time to look deeper. There may be a hidden cause behind your symptoms: toxic mold and mycotoxins.

During my years in residency, I experienced mold exposure. Those specs of black, fuzzy substances not only look bad, but some can release mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic substances that can make you very sick. 

Mold and mycotoxins are in many places, even places you might not expect. Some molds are nontoxic but cause allergy-like symptoms. Other types of mold produce mycotoxins, which can produce severe symptoms in some people. 

Today I’m going to share the different types of mold. You’ll learn the symptoms of mold exposure, as well as ways to eliminate and prevent mycotoxins. You’ll also learn my proven approach to recovering from mold so you can enjoy better health.

Who Is Affected by Mold?

Mold is no respecter of persons. Everyone can be negatively affected by molds, from infants to the elderly. 

Everyone processes mold exposure differently. During my residency, both my husband and I were exposed to mold. His body tolerated it better than mine. In fact, my body reacted very strongly, and my symptoms were more severe. 

Other factors can influence the severity of mold and mycotoxin exposures, including:

  • Home conditions: If you live in very humid areas, you’re more likely to encounter mold. Houses with water damage are also perfect breeding grounds for mold and mycotoxins. Cleaning your air can help minimize this. 
  • Inflammation: Chronic inflammation in the body makes you more susceptible to toxic mold. This is because the immune system is overworked and worn out. 
  • Foods: Commercialized foods can develop mold during processing or storage. Pesticides are another threat to your health. Some of the most processed foods today include corn, cocoa, coffee, and nuts.

Mold and Mycotoxins

How do you know if you’re dealing with a toxic mold or a non-toxic mold? Knowing the difference can help explain some of the health symptoms you’re facing. It can also better direct your treatment plan.

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins created by some molds.1 Molds are a natural part of the environment and come from different fungi species. Conversely, mycotoxins are poisonous substances that come from specific molds and fungi.

Molds can grow wherever moisture, oxygen, and warm temperatures are. This combination helps mold grow and thrive. Mold spores can travel through the air and enter your home through doorways, windows, vents, and some heating and air conditioning systems.

You may have accidentally consumed food with mold on it, but unless you have severe risk factors you may not experience more than a stomach ache. On the other hand, consuming toxic molds can lead to acute and chronic toxicity in humans and animals.2 

Some of the most commonly consumed foods containing mycotoxins are:

  • Coffee
  • Corn
  • Cereals
  • Feed crops
  • Grain
  • Peanuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Sorghum
  • Soybeans

Another way you can be exposed to both toxic and non-toxic mold is through your environment. Damp, shady landscapes can also be ideal places for mold spores to hang out. 

Types of Non-Toxic Molds

As I mentioned earlier, there is a difference between toxic mold and non-toxic molds. If you were to spot black mold growing in the corner of a room, you might automatically think it’s the toxic kind. 

Believe it or not, there are non-toxic molds. These molds do not release mycotoxins, but they can trigger significant allergy symptoms. Those with respiratory issues or mold sensitivities are more at risk. Other non-toxic molds to note include nigrospora, dresclera, pithomyces, aureobasidium, ulocladium, and stemphylium. 

Types of Toxic Mold

Not all molds are toxic, but some molds produce mycotoxins you need to be aware of. Toxic mold types include Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus Versicolor, and Alternaria.

Common Types of Mycotoxins

When it comes to toxic molds, there are four common types. Remember, a mycotoxin is a naturally occurring toxin produced by certain fungi and molds. If you’re sensitive to mold or have an autoimmune condition, you’re at higher risk for developing more severe symptoms. 

Below are four common types of molds that produce mycotoxins:

Stachybotrys Chartarum

The most common type of toxic mold is Stachybotrys chartarum, also called “black mold”. Black mold can grow on paper, wood, and cotton surfaces. This type of mold is toxic because the spores trigger an immune response.

Black mold contains two trichothecene mycotoxins. These travel through the air and trigger reactions in the body. While most resemble allergic responses, only one of these is currently considered toxic.3

Aspergillus Flavus

Aspergillus flavus can form dangerous mycotoxins known as aflatoxins. While these are often found on stored food products, it’s also found in damp walls, wallpaper, floor and carpet dust, humidifiers, and HVAC fans.

Aspergillus Fumigatus

Aspergillus fumigatus fungus is one of the most prevalent airborne molds. It has caused mycotoxin poisoning in both indoor and outdoor environments. In fact, you likely inhale hundreds of its spores every single day. 

Skyrocketing rates of autoimmune disease have led to a huge increase in health issues caused by mycotoxin poisoning.

Aspergillus Versicolor

This common type of mold grows in air conditioning and carpeting. It’s particularly dangerous because it affects pets and immunocompromised patients. It’s also associated with pulmonary disease. One of the mycotoxins Aspergillus Versicolor produces is sterigmatocystin, a known carcinogen.


Another group of toxic molds includes Alternaria mold. This collection of around 300 mold species contains club-shaped spores that develop into long, chain-like structures. You may notice gray, green, or black colonies on wood, drywall, or paint. This type can cause severe respiratory symptoms in those with autoimmune conditions.

Now you know the difference between toxic mold and non-toxic mold. How can you tell if your health is at risk?

Mold and Mycotoxin Exposure Symptoms

Non-toxic and toxic mold symptoms can show up differently for each person. It’s important to know which one you’re dealing with so you can get the help you need.

Non-Toxic or Mold Allergy Symptoms

You can still be allergic to mold and show symptoms similar to seasonal allergies, including: 

  • Itchy throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Eye irritation
  • Sinus congestion
  • Breathing difficulties

These symptoms can range in severity and may come and go. Reducing and eliminating trigger spots can help prevent these symptoms. 

Toxic Mold Exposure Symptoms

Seasonal mold allergies may cause irritating symptoms, but toxic mold exposure can present more complex and severe chronic symptoms.

If you are regularly exposed to toxic mold, you may develop what’s called mold toxicity. This can be any illness brought on by exposure to toxic mold and mycotoxins. Common mold toxicity symptoms include:

  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Mood changes
  • Numbness and tingling in the body
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Cognitive difficulties (brain fog, poor memory, anxiety)
  • Pain (abdominal pain or muscle pain similar to fibromyalgia)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Digestive issues (bloating, food intolerances)
  • Significant fatigue interfering with daily activities
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Excessive thirst and dehydration, bed-wetting in children
  • Symptoms similar to hormone imbalances (hair loss, rashes)

Mold toxicity is often overlooked in conventional medicine. Because it can look similar to other symptoms, it’s difficult to pinpoint whether it’s an isolated issue or part of something complex.

Remember, not all mold produces mycotoxins. The biggest difference tends to show up in how severe your symptoms are. If you suddenly feel very ill and realize you’ve been exposed to black mold, you may be dealing with mold toxicity. 

How Do Mycotoxins Affect Your Body

How do mycotoxins really affect your body? Like mold spores, mycotoxins are often airborne and enter your respiratory tract. This triggers symptoms including asthma, allergies, and sinus infections. They can also show up as cold or flu-like symptoms.

If you have a leaky gut, mycotoxins may also pass through your intestinal wall. Once they get into your bloodstream, they can cross tissue barriers. This affects your skin, brain, and other organs. As mold exposure increases the toxic load on your system, the chances of developing an autoimmune disease begin to climb.

Mycotoxins also wreak havoc on your health by disrupting your mitochondria. Mitochondria produce energy for nearly every bodily function. That’s why mycotoxins can cause chronic fatigue or weakness.

Compromised mitochondria release free radicals. These unstable atoms create oxidative stress, causing cellular damage and inflammation. The more inflammation you have, the higher up on the autoimmune spectrum you are. 

Another way mycotoxins affect your health is by interfering with metabolism. During normal chemical reactions, your cells determine whether mycotoxins can bond with molecules. Depending on the type of mycotoxin that enters your body, the mitochondria can be disrupted. This damages DNA and leads to cellular death. Eventually, it impacts your immune system, vascular system, various organs, and hormones.

The good news is you can reverse mycotoxin poisoning symptoms! I’ve experienced mold exposure myself, and have helped thousands recover and enjoy optimal health once again.

Testing for Mold

Determining the source of the mold problems can be difficult. You can test both yourself and your home to see where the source of mycotoxin poisoning is coming from.

Process of Elimination

The first step is to try to remove yourself from certain environments. This way, you can establish which ones trigger mycotoxin symptoms.

Get yourself out of your home, office, or school and see if your symptoms resolve. Try not to take much with you so you don’t accidentally bring the mycotoxins with you. Stay with a friend or relative nearby (who hopefully doesn’t also have mycotoxins in their home). You can also stay in a local hotel or rental for as long as you can, preferably two weeks. 

If you feel better when you are away and worse when you return, your house is likely a toxic environment. If you feel better when you are away from your workplace, then that is likely the toxic environment. It’s just like an elimination diet. Your body will clue you in.

Mycotoxin Testing

In addition to testing your environment, there are several tests you can have done to check for mycotoxins in the body. I like to start with a urine test from RealTime Labs. They test for several specific types of mycotoxins that may be in your body:

  • Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2
  • Gliotoxin 
  • Isosatratoxin F
  • Ochratoxin A (OTA)
  • Roridin A, E, H, and L-2
  • Satratoxin G and H
  • Verrucarin J and A
  • Comparative testing (have someone else in your household take the test too)

Gene Testing 

Some people are genetically predisposed to mold sensitivities. For instance, I have the HLA-DR gene that prevents me from clearing both toxic mold and mycotoxins. Consider having genetic testing done to see if you’re at risk.

HLA-DR Testing

Nearly one-fourth of the population lacks the HLA-DR gene, which prevents your body from clearing mycotoxins. If you suspect mycotoxins are to blame for your, HLA-DR testing may be helpful.

The HLA-DR mold toxicity test is a simple blood test for the immune response genes on chromosome six. Since your genes don’t change, you only need to test once in your lifetime. Knowing where you stand can empower you to make better decisions.

Glutathione Panel

Mycotoxin poisoning can decrease the formation of glutathione. This natural antioxidant helps with detoxification. Lower glutathione levels can lead to a buildup of oxidative stress, damaged tissue, and systemic illness.

A glutathione panel can help you determine if you’re producing enough. It can also test for the two genes responsible for the production of glutathione. Gene mutations can reduce your ability to synthesize glutathione and protect against mycotoxins.

Environmental Testing

Your home should be your haven, not a source of toxic exposure. Remember, mold testing is not mycotoxin testing. Mold caused by water damage should be fixed. However, these molds are not necessarily creating mycotoxins.

1. ERMI Test

The Environmental Protection Agency developed a research tool called the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) to test for mold and mycotoxins. Dust samples are collected in a home and DNA from mold in the dust is analyzed. The sample is then compared to the ERMI, an index or scale. 

You can hire a company to do this or use one of the many kits. Some of these include professional evaluation of the results and some you compare to a chart. 

2. Spore Capture Test

Another testing option is to have a certified mold testing company run an air quality test. This mold toxicity test will see if you have high mold concentration levels in your home. The problem with this test is it doesn’t test specifically for mycotoxins. You may have a high mold concentration, yet it doesn’t necessarily mean these are toxic molds.

Most people only do this type of mold toxicity test one time inside their home. However, it’s best to do this more than one time and also test the outside air for comparison.

Recovering From Mold and Mycotoxins

Whether your encounter was brief or chronic, you can recover from the harmful effects of mold and mycotoxins. I’ll share a few strategies for combating the mold that’s causing your mycotoxin symptoms.

Cleaning Your Home of Toxic Mold

Fully cleaning your home can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Moving to a new, mycotoxin-free home may be your best option. If that’s not possible, I strongly recommend you get out of your environment while it’s being cleaned. Hire a professional mold removal company and don’t try to do this yourself. 

Take as little as possible with you. Discard or make sure all your remaining possessions are cleaned before you return.

Detox Support 

Once you’ve removed the toxins from your home, it’s time to remove the mycotoxins or non-toxic mold effects from your body. 

I recommend a combination of several natural supplements that encourage your body’s natural detoxification pathways. For starters, I recommend a glutathione supplement. This master antioxidant is concentrated in your liver and is your body’s most important molecule when it comes to detoxifying.

Next, your liver needs extra TLC as it filters toxins out of your blood. My Liver Support supplement is packed with N-Acetyl-Cysteine; the liver-loving glutathione precursor. N-Acetyl-Cysteine, or NAC, is a special form of cysteine. Your body uses this amino acid to help make glutathione.

Along with this, consider adding coconut charcoal. Made with natural coconut fibers, this toxin-binding agent helps collect and expel mycotoxins. 

Sweating is a classic method for detoxing. While exercise is important, I recommend using an infrared sauna to help you remove mycotoxins from your system. 

Oxygen therapy is another powerful technique to help flush toxins. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) helps block the effects of harmful bacteria. It also strengthens the body’s immune system. Breathing in pure oxygen helps fill your blood with oxygen, repairing tissues and restoring optimal health. 


Diets high in processed foods only add to the toxic burden your body is already under. Avoid inflammatory foods such as grains and legumes, nightshades, gluten, and dairy. Even after recovering from mold and mycotoxin exposure, keep away from toxic foods. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners contribute to leaky gut and autoimmunity.

Thankfully, plenty of foods can help boost your detox efforts and quickly reverse the symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning.

Stress management

Meditation, listening to calming music, and deep breathing exercises can lower stress and boost your immune system. Reach out to friends and family. Join my community to find others healing from their mold exposures as well.

Your adrenal glands go through a lot when under physical and environmental stress. My Adrenal Support supplement is rich in adaptogens that support healthy cortisol production. I’ve also included L-Tyrosine, an amino acid needed to support catecholamine production. This is crucial for those dealing with chronic stress.

Final Word on Mold and Mycotoxins

It can be discouraging when your home or workplace is inhabited by mold. The good news is you can recover from the harmful effects of mold exposure. I’m living proof! After being exposed to mold many times, I’ve made several full recoveries. 

And you can too. As you remove mold and mycotoxins from your body and environment, remember to replace items affected by mold. Otherwise, you risk relapsing to the symptoms you felt before. 
Be confident you WILL regain your health. I, and many, many others who have followed The Myers Way®, have found the source of their symptoms and made a full recovery from mycotoxin poisoning. I’m cheering for you!

Article Sources

  1. Mycotoxins. J. W. Bennett and M. Klich. Clin Microbial Rev.. 2003.
  2. Occurrence, Toxicity, and Analysis of Major Mycotoxins in Food. Ahmad Alshannaq and Jae-Hyuk Yu. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017.
  3. Mycotoxin production by Stachybotrys chartarum on water-damaged building materials. Skrobot III, F., Diehl, S. V., and Borazjani H.. Bio Res. 2017.