The 5 Most Important Steps to Get Rid of Mold in Your Body And Home

More than 1 in 2 buildings has had water damage or mold exposure in the United States, and at least 25% of people suffer from mold illness symptoms…do you? 

If you’ve discovered that you’ve had mold exposure or you have “CIRS” (chronic inflammatory response syndrome), follow these 5 steps to get rid of mold and heal your body from your mold exposure symptoms:

The 5 Most Important Steps to Get Rid of Mold in Your Body And Home

Step 1. Remove Yourself from Mold Exposure

Step 2. Identify & Remove Mold Toxins in Your Home

Step 3: Detox the Toxins in Your Body

Step 4: Breathe Clean Air 

Step 5: Believe You Can Heal from Mold Exposure

Step 1. Remove Yourself from Mold Exposure

The first, most critical step to heal from mold exposure is to identify where the mold is located in your environment and to get away from it—especially if you’ve become ill. 

Although you can bandaid mold exposure and illness symptoms with supplements, air purifiers and EC3 spray, you cannot fully heal from mold exposure unless you are in a cleaner space. Repeat: You cannot fully heal from mold exposure unless you are in a cleaner space.

woman in white top with napkin blowing nose looks to the source of the allergy from mold

For some people, this means temporarily moving out of their home in order to remediate the mold. For others, this means completely leaving the moldy environment, and several cross-contaminated  items behind (ie. porous, fiber containing items like upholstered furniture, rugs, books, clothes)—as if a fire had happened. 

Although moving out of a moldy home or office may sound extreme, many anecdotal reports of CIRS sufferers claim it was the only thing that helped them recover. 

If anything, spending a short time away from the triggering, moldy environment, (followed by a reintroduction to the same space once it is remediated) can be a good first step to deciphering your sensitivity.

Pro Tip: Finding a mold-free place can be difficult to do—especially if you live in a humid or wet climate. Before leaving one moldy environment in exchange for another one, consider running a mold test sample on the Air BNB, apartment, home or loved one’s place that you plan to stay at or rent. 

Step 2. Identify & Remove Mold Toxins in Your Home

You have two primary options when it comes to reducing toxins in your environment:

(1.) Move

(2.) Remediate (remove and repair) the Mold from Your Environment

Option 1: Move Out of Mold (for Good)

This option is easier if you are renting your home, apartment or office space. Many states have no-contest laws in place where, if there is mold present, you may be able to get out of your lease. 

Moving out of mold basically entails: 

(a.) Uncovering the mold problem, then moving yourself to a non-moldy environment (Step 1); and

(b.) Parting with some of your cross-contaminated items (See more on what to toss and what to clean below)

  1. Should I get rid of everything?!
    Some people; Yes. Others: Maybe not. 

It really depends on your personal threshold. In my personal experience, getting rid of everything was necessary. Mold made me a sick person, and I began reacting to my clothes, books, furniture, purses, my car and more with my “mold symptoms” (shortness of breath, body tingling, headaches).

Even though you may not see “visible” mold on your items (clothing, books, cookware, or other contents of your home), this does NOT matter, nor does it mean that those items are safe. In fact, mold spores—especially those of mycotoxin-producing molds— are often invisible to the human eye—approximately 3-40 microns (note: a human hair is approximately 100 microns thick). Mold spores are so small that as many as 250,000 can fit on a pin head, and a person can breathe in as many as 750,000 spores in an hour. Mycotoxins provoke oxidative stress, neurological problems, DNA damage, and disease.

Unfortunately, mycotoxin removal is nearly impossible from many furnishings and personal items made from soft and porous materials (especially books, linens, towels, etc.); however, it may be possible to salvage non-porous items better (kitchenware, metal furniture, phone, laptop, etc.). 

If anything, get a storage unit and store any questionable items in boxes elsewhere until your health has improved or until you have become less sensitive enough to withstand exposure and then decide for yourself. (Chances are you’ll realize, you forgot about your stuff and you no longer need it or want it anyway!). 

Option 2: Remediate Mold 

Mold remediation begins with identifying the source of mold—visible, smell, testing, followed by “remediating” and cleaning—a complete removal of the mold.

Some home restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” (and even guarantee to remove all mold), but this is a fallacy. A vast majority of “mold removal” companies are NOT practicing proper “mold remediation.” 

True mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal healthy levels by not only removing the issue (sometimes via demolition), but also properly cleaning and purging the affected area—without cross-contaminating your environment with mycotoxins. You may be able to clean some of the mold yourself, but the process of remediation is best accomplished with professional help

Proper mold remediation includes several steps (check out my blog post on How to Remediate Mold here). 

Step 3: Detox the Toxins in Your Body

Health is an inside job. The stronger your health (and liver) is on the inside, the easier it is to detox from mold is on the outside. 

detox your body-heal mold illnesses

It’s safe to assume that if you’ve had mold exposure and you feel badly, you probably have mycotoxins in your system. Even healthy people have a certain amount of mycotoxins living inside of them! 

Most people do not need elaborate protocols to purge mycotoxins from their system—especially if you’re eating a healthy nutrient-dense diet and limiting mold exposure in your environment. However, if you have a weaker immune system and mold grows in your body, it can impact how you feel. People with suppressed immune systems (such as those with autoimmune disease, Lyme, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, reoccurring infections or illness, etc.), and/or poor methylation genetics (MTFHR gene), are more susceptible to mycotoxin damage.

Boosting your immune system and liver detox pathways are crucial to boost recovery after mold exposure. This step is best accomplished once you’ve removed yourself from the moldy environment

Some of my top recommendations for detoxing mold include:

Binders (Coconut Charcoal, Modified Citrus Pectin, Pyrophyllite clay, or Chlorella)

Purpose: Binders “bind” to toxins in the body to clear our build up, remove biofilm in the gut, and prevent further toxicity or poisoning. Fiber also helps create bulk in your stools t encourage elimination and healthy bacteria growth. Reach for partially hydrolyzed guar gum or glucomannan.
Dose: 1-2 capsules or doses (of binders), twice per day, with water, away from meals on an empty stomach. (Note: Do not use charcoal if you are more prone to constipation); Try: GI Detox+, Quicksilver Ultra Binder, Pecta-Sol

Prebiotic Fiber

Purpose: Helps create bulk in your stools to encourage elimination and healthy bacteria growth. Reach for an easily digestible source like partially hydrolyzed guar gum or glucomannan in powder form as a supplement.
Dose: Take 1/2-1 tsp. once per day with meals; Eat a variety of vegetables and some fruits—especially pre-biotics and soluble fibers like cooked and cooled sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, winter and summer squash, cruciferous veggies (cooked), leeks, onion, apples, blueberries, green tipped bananas

Liposomal Glutathione

Purpose: Mycotoxins deplete the body of enzymes that make glutathione — a key antioxidant for fighting free radical damage and removing toxins from the body. Supplementing with glutathione can help with repletion. It supports the body’s detoxification system, provides antioxidant protection, and supports mitochondrial resistance to free radical damage.
Dose: 1 tsp. Liposomal Glutathione 2-3 times per day.

Liposomal Curcumin + Boswellia Akba

Purpose: Eliminates inflammation and supports detoxification pathways as well.
Dose: 1 tsp. Liposomal Curcumin + 1 dose Boswellia Akba 2-3 times per day

Adrenal Adaptogen

Purpose: Supports your HPA Axis to combat the “stress” response. Try cordyceps, reishi, rhodiola, or ashwaganda, or a blend.
Dose: 1 capsule, 2-3 times per day: Gaia HPA Axis, Adreno Distress Guard

Clear Your Sinuses

Purpose: If you’ve been continuously inhaling mold in your environment, your body’s healing systems will not be able to function properly and mold may colonize your sinuses since your sinuses are a warm, moist environment with mucous and other organic material to feed on. (Even if you do not have obvious sinus symptoms, your nose is always a potential reservoir for fungal growth and colonization just by nature of how we breathe and because of the warm, moist nasal terrain).

How to Do It: Try daily nasal rinsing with Dr. Hana’s Nasopure or a homemade saline-based irrigation system—Boil filtered water, cool it to a warm temperature and and pour in to a large sterilized salad bowl. Next, add salt; (about ½ teaspoon for every cup of water) along with a few drops of iodine, and/or xylitol—a sugar alcohol that inhibits the growth of nose bacteria.

To get the rinse in your nose, use a Netipot or simply place your bowl on a counter and bend forward with your spine parallel to the floor— don’t tip your head back or you’ll gag. Close your eyes, then “drink” through your nose. Note: The solution won’t go down your throat if you are at the proper angle; instead, it will collect in the back of your mouth. When your mouth is full, spit the water out in the sink, and repeat.

Sweat.

Purpose: Heat allows your body to cleanse mycotoxins out through your poor
Dose: Move your body daily—a mix between exercise, warmed yoga and outdoors/fresh air. In addition, infrared sauna sessions are also amazing! Consider getting an infrared sauna for your home. At the height of my detox, I was sitting in the sauna for 15-30 minutes daily!

Nourish Your Cells

Purpose: When given the right tools your body innately wants to heal itself…starting in your gut with the food you feed you gut biome.
Recommendation: Steer clear of processed carbohydrates and sugars, while nourishing your cells with nutrient-dense, whole “gut loving” foods, including:

  • Fermented Foods (1-2 servings/day; sauerkraut, kefir, organic plain yogurt)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (1 tbsp in water)
  • Meat broth & bone broth
  • Organ Meats (capsule or ground in food)
  • Cleansing Teas (especially: rooibos, honeybush, green, black teas)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa (polyphenol-enriched cocoa extract was able to reduce free radicals produced by mycotoxins)
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Fresh organic herbs (cilantro, dandelion, basil, oregano, peppermint)
  • Grass-fed ghee and butter (for butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that helps bacteria fight off toxins in the body, and supports the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestine)

Essential Oil Infusion

Purpose: Essential oils have been around fro centuries, used medicinally and therapeutically to cleanse and heal.
Recommendation: Get an oil diffuser for your home and diffuse: oregano, thyme, cinnamon, clove and tea tree oil. Caution: If you have multiple chemical sensitivity, avoid this one)

Step 4: Breathe Clean Air 

People spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors (upwards of 22 to 23 house per day) and the concentrations of air pollutants may be two-and-a-half times higher indoors than outdoors.

Indoor air quality is influenced by a number of factors including: 

  • Mycotoxins
  • Air pollutants (carbon monoxide, chemical compounds, lead, nitrogen dioxide etc.)
  • Air sources (heating and air units, and air purifiers)
  • Emissions (off gases) from those sources
  • Ventilation quality
  • Absorption of compounds by materials (furniture, clothes, upholstery, etc.)
  • Temperature and humidity

To combat air pollutants and mold growth, an indoor air purifier, dehumidifier and/or air scrubber can all be game changers. However, like most things in health world, not all air purifiers are created equal. According to the Environmental Protection Agence, as well as Consumer Reports, many manufacturers falsely advertise that ozone cleaners are air cleaners. This is false. Ensure you get a quality machine.

Air Purifier

Air purifiers remove some or most of those pollutants from your indoor air. They work by drawing room air in and through a filter or combination of filters, then blow out fresh, clean air. A good air purifier removes allergens, dust, gases, and other pollutants from the room air, leaving behind clean air for your lung’s benefit. A HEPA filter with carbon filtration is the “gold standard” to have in your home for removing ultra-fine particles in the air.A good rule of thumb for most air purifiers by and large is: You do get what you pay for. In other words: There is a difference in a $50-$100 air purifier and a $600-$1000 air purifier. No, you do NOT have to break the bank to have cleaner air, but you can expect to pay between $400 to $1200 for a quality air purifier.


Recommendations: Austin Air, IQAir

Pro Tip: “Cheaper” models—such as a Honeywell—can be great for helping you breathe a little better if you are actually living in a moldy home and in between figuring out where to go, or what to do. This is primarily because they helped keep air circulating a little bit more, and I could more easily throw them out/part with them (without costing me an arm and a leg!). You never want to re-use an air filter or air purifier unit in a new clean home after using it in a contaminated moldy home. I kept a cheaper air purifier by my head at night in order to sleep better while trying to figure out a healthier, safer environment. 

Air Scrubber

An air scrubber is a portable filtration system that removes particles, VOC’s, gasses, and/or chemicals from the air within a given area. These machines draw air in from the surrounding environment and pass it through a series of filters to remove contaminants. They are best for “heavy duty” air cleaning to run one to two times per week for clean air maintenance.
Recommendation: Dri-Eaz HEPA 500, Blu Dri

Dehumidifier
Helps reduce mold accumulation in your home. Mold stays “dormant” in the air or on surfaces (even when there’s no excess moisture to help it grow). Although dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, they do prevent it by reducing humidity. Great for keeping in bathrooms and your main living room space.
Recommendation: Aerus Pure & Dry

Step 5: Believe You Can Heal from Mold Exposure

Face it, mold “recovery” can be overwhelming and it can also feel somewhat extreme, emotionally and financially draining.

The key to keep in mind is, no matter the severity of your mycotoxin exposure: When given the right tools, your body innately wants to heal itself.

Instead of spending countless hours on social media and Dr. Google (living in fear and anxiety), believe: The sun will come out tomorrow. You are healing and you will overcome. 

This article was scientifically reviewed by Dr. Lauryn, PhD. She is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Nutritionist, & Functional Medicine Practitioner with over 20 years of clinical and personal experience. 

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