How to Detox from Toxic Mold: 10 Essentials to Detox And Heal Mold Illness 100%

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Written By

Rhea Dali

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Detox From Toxic Mold - Girl With Natural Makeup On Pink Background

Toxic mold illness recovery and detox from toxic mold are possible. Repeat: Toxic mold illness recovery and detox from toxic mold are possible.

…Especially when you know how to detox from toxic mold with an effective, holistic strategy—including these 10 essentials to heal and detox from toxic mold.

Consider this article your fast track guide to detoxing from toxic mold, directly by yours truly (me—Dr. Lauryn)—a mold illness survivor and thriver years later.

(Basically, what I know now, that I wish I knew then and what no doctor or Dr. Google article .

Note: If you’re looking for personal support, let’s help you optimize and take your health back into your own hands! Book a complimentary 15-minute Health Strategy Call today to find out how both myself and my clinic can help you kick toxic mold to the curb. 

MY TOXIC MOLD STORY: 2006-2024 

Detox From Toxic Mold - Woman Sitting With Drinks And Healthy Green Food At Home

This article has been long overdue, ever since healing from toxic mold illness 100%. 

In fact, today, as a functional medicine practitioner, I now work with clients worldwide to help them do the same too. Before we get to 10 essentials to detox from toxic mold, let me refresh you on my toxic mold illness recovery story:

2006-2014: EXPOSED TO MOLD IN COLLEGE & APARTMENTS…BUT NO IDEA!

Long before toxic mold illness happened, LIVING in moldy college dorms and post-college apartments happened. Statistically, 1 out of 2 homes do have some sort of water damage or mold in them. And, if you’ve ever lived in a college dorm yourself, there is a good chance you’ve been exposed at some point.

Looking back, and knowing now what I wish I knew then, there were certain seasons where symptoms—like IBS, shortness of breath and thyroid symptoms—were more prevalent than others. And knowing now what I wish I knew then, I can now pinpoint mold as part of that trigger. 

(Ironically, this fact also has allowed me to live more freely in my life post-mold illness—reminding myself how many years I “survived” and actually did tolerate a variety moldy places prior to getting super sick in 2017. It is true that “mold is everywhere” and the stronger we are inside—in our gut health and our brain health—the more resilient we are to it). 

However, one key thing to also note here is that, while I did live in several toxic mold homes prior to getting super sick in 2017, it was not until OTHER STRESSORS were are an all-time max that mold “got me.” In other words, mold may not have actually been the “root cause”—but rather just the trigger ASSOCIATED with other unforeseen and extremely stressful circumstances and event that my gut-brain axis LOCKED IN — associating toxic mold with stress, negative emotions and limiting beliefs going on in my life at the exact same time.

Bingo: Mold is not always the “root” root cause of toxic mold illness—it just happens to be that it happens during the right time and right place…making you super sick and intolerant to mold spores “forevermore.”

2017: MOVE INTO A NEWER HOME—WEIRD SYMPTOMS BEGIN

Detox From Toxic Mold - Shocked Woman Looking At Mold On Wall

Looking back at my “timeline” of events and medical records, it is very telling that my health “issues” (my 13 “incurable illnesses) began around the same time that I moved into a newer rental home (2010 build) located in my favorite “Pleasantville” neighborhood in Austin, along with two sweet friends.

I was 28 at the time and I was a picture of perfect health prior to the move—working as an ambitious functional medicine practitioner, eating a paleo diet, CrossFitting—and competing in local competitions, growing a business, loving life in Austin.

Life was all around going, until the steady health decline…

It first began with IBS—bloating, constipation, diarrhea. Though I’d struggled with “gut issues” for many years, they had actually been in remission ever since recovering from my eating disorder, supporting digestion with enzymes and adopting a real food, paleo-based diet.

Nevertheless, within the first 6 months of being at the house, I found myself diagnosed with SIBO, candida and IBD (irritable bowel disease—colitis), and food intolerances galore beginning to creep in.

And that was only the beginning. Fast forward to 2018, and I was a completely different person!

2018: 13+ “INCURABLE” CONDITIONS [DOCTORS HAVE NO IDEA WHY)

The diagnosis list began growing—

  • Hypoglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Shortness of breath and asthma
  • Type 1.5 Diabetes (autoimmune)
  • Anemia
  • Migraines 
  • Vertigo 
  • Environmental allergies 
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver  
  • Walking pneumonia 
  • Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s 
  • Heart disease
  • Amenorrhea 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Parasites
  • Lupus 
  • Mast cell activation syndrome 
  • Lyme disease and co-infections
  • Cancer, brain tumor and stroke workups 

And the list went on…

It seemed like every 3-6 weeks, I was either in the ER with another “flare”—a food or supplement reaction, significant shortness of breath or asthma attack, chest pains, or a new symptom no on could solve; or I was in a new specialist’s office or CT can appointment being officially diagnosed with something else. The Mayo Clinic turned me away. Cleveland Clinic said I was “too complex.” One doctor told me I’d end up in a nursing home at age 40. 

By age 29, I joined the 60% of all Americans with a chronic disease, only this time that number surpassed 13. 

Everything came to a head that night, I woke up about 2 am feeling like I was having a heart attack and I rushed to the ER down the street praying it wasn’t anything serious. 

That night, the doctor walked into the hospital room, stumped, telling me straight up, “Lauryn, there are times conventional medicine will fail you. This is one of them.”

And in that moment, I made up my mind, once more, deciding no matter what: I am healed. And life is going to be different on the other side!

That same night as well, something inside of me flickered the word “mold”—God put it in my heart and mind. The next day, a mold inspector arrived to the house and within hours, I had an answer no one had ever once asked me about: toxic mold.

2019: FOUND—TOXIC MOLD!!!

Toxic mold is not always seen with the naked eye. 

Exhibit A & B —

Mold in the HVAC—heating and air system Mold in the side-wall (from a leaky window and recent flooding rain)

As a renter—not a house owner—I did not think twice about mold, much less maintaining a home, and these findings were news to me. The entire home was contaminated! For over 2 years, I had been breathing in toxic mold spores every single day. 

Discovering toxic mold in my home was ironically like a breath of fresh air after my two year “wandering soul” journey, aimlessly bopping from doctor to doctor looking to answers—root causes—behind my symptoms. 

Within two weeks, I was moved out. I walked away as if a fire had happened…almost, and so began the “mold avoidance” and “homelessness” journey like none other I’d ever experienced. 

2020: SUPER SICK + MOVED 15 TIMES 

I wish I could say it was all rainbows and butterflies when I left the toxic mold home…but it was far from it. 

While I felt relieved to have a root cause, finding toxic mold was ALSO like ripping the rug from underneath me. Not only did it explain my conditions; but it also exacerbated them. Now that I knew what was causing my symptoms, it’s as if the alarms began to go off in my brain and took my sensitivities (mast cell activation syndrome) to the next level. 

I even became allergic to myself! Toxic mold spores were pouring out of my body—my hair and hair follicles, my skin, my sweat—it made me sick. My gut was a wreck—IBS and IBD took over. My energy and stamina were depleted. And I was isolated, stranded and like a refugee—which depleted me more. 

“Couch surfing” takes on a whole new meaning when you go through toxic mold illness. It becomes “survival.” And you definitely find out who your friends are during a time when you are stripped of “everything.” I had a few friends let me crash on a couch for a few days at a time. But most had zero clue the magnitude of the struggle and most just wished me well.

I felt very vulnerable and self-conscious at this time, and never liked over-staying my welcome—especially since there were several homes I could not tolerate either. Mold is everywhere! Over 50-70% of buildings and homes have toxic mold, and I reacted everywhere—grocery shopping at Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin, my 24 Hour Fitness gym, church, even my sauna studio and doctors’ office where I got IV therapies. 

I bought a new car — my car was definitely contaminated with mold. There were many nights I slept in there; or on back porches and balconies. Fresh air always felt so much better. Away from poor indoor air quality, off-gassing and moldy furniture or items. 

When they say “don’t take your contaminated belongings with you to your new home,” they mean it. Listen.  After my exodus from Ground Zero, I took several clothes, pictures, pots and pans, my Bible, my stuffed dog Benji (I had him since I was 4 years old), my Vitamix blender, my laptop, my makeup—the “little things”…and I quickly discovered that mold traveled with me. Yup, just because you “get out” of toxic mold, does not mean you are in the clear—especially if you are a “bad detoxer” like me and 25% of the population who must go through “mold detox” treatment—leaving a moldy home is not enough. 

The first home I moved into after I left my house was a townhome in the same neighborhood with two other girl roommates, and I also quickly discovered that “off gassing”—from carpets, paints, fragranced cleaning products—was equally toxic and ‘overkill’ for my sensitive, histamine-loaded, mast cell activation syndrome loaded system. I slept on a blowup mattress and even the plastics from that bothered me. 

Shortness of breath, asthma, headaches, blood sugar drops, IBS, brain fog, blurred vision— I felt suffocated by toxins everywhere I turned. That home living situation only last a few weeks. Then it was off to couch surf, AirBNB, sign apartment leases—only to quickly break them within 48 hours to 30 days. I moved a total of 15 times within one year. 

One beautiful new high-rise condo I rented in the middle of downtown Austin flooded within a few days of me being there from my floor (the 23rd) on down — the pipe literally burst behind my own wall and flooded the entire building. No wonder I had been vomiting, seeking floaters and had to sleep outside on the 23rd floor balcony for days before it happened—my body knew something was not right there.

Another brand new apartment complex I lived in allowed me to switch units 4 times before I realized that just because a building says it’s “new” does not mean it’s mold free. 

And I could write an entire book on CRAZY ROOMMATES. I had too many to count!

One roomie—a 70 year old naturopathic doctor—rented out her spare bedroom, which happened to be the only room with a musty smell and she requested I scrub her driveway with my toothbrush because of tire marks from my Jeep.  

Then there was the amazing townhome situation where I lived with two sweet girls…until one of them moved out and got a replacement…who also happened to own stock in thrift stores. She brought buckets and racks upon racks of thrift store clothes that wreaked of toxic mold spores that “leaked” into the air—getting sucked up into the HVAC system and permeating the entire home. I was out within 2 weeks. 

Another roomie let me rent a room from her, until the day that she kicked me out on the street after 3 months. Within 12 hours I had to “get out” because her husband (in the military at the time) had decided to move back and there was no room for me in the inn. 

Then I went on to rent a room from yet another girl—and while I was thankful to have a place to sleep—I had never lived in more clutter in my life. The home was full of knick knacks galore, random art pieces, instruments, potted plants, board games, bottles of alcohol, hobby lobby decor. It overwhelmed my nervous system and I was home as little as possible. 

Another girl—an MBA student at the University of Texas— ended up having an undisclosed bi-polar illness, and I woke up one morning at 6 am with her stroking my hair, telling me she wanted to buy me a dress and her dog pooping on my bed. 

To say the least, “instability” further contributed to my toxic mold illness—“fight or flight” is not an optimal state for healing. 

While I was doing “all the things” to detox from toxic mold at this time—IV therapies, sauna, lymphatic drainage, shake plates, supplements, daily sauna, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, ozone, eating a low histamine diet—I still felt like I was treading water–barely keeping my head above water. 

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, “shelter” is definitely a fundamental; and the toxic mold journey definitely hijacked that. 

2021: FINDING STABILITY & DETOXING TOXIC MOLD 

Detox From Toxic Mold - Person Hand Measuring The Wetness Off A Moldy Wall

Fast forward to clean air—the AirBNB I found that actually became my first place, my “refuge” for healing. The air was clean. The furnishings minimal. And for the first time in four years, my nervous system felt calm inside. 

What began as a place to stay for three days turned into my home for the next two years, and slowly but surely, I began to turn the tide. 

Nervous system regulation is a BIG piece to the toxic mold healing puzzle. 

2021-2023: REWIRING THE GUT BRAIN CONNECTION

The straw that “broke the camel’s back” (in a good way) inadvertently happened at the 7 day long NLP (neurolinguistics programming) coaching certification I found myself in to ironically learn gut-brain rewriting techniques to help my own patients…that ended up helping me!

The subconscious mind—that runs 90-95% of the “show” of our body and total health—is the “secret sauce” for taking your health back into your own hands, and it was during this training that I learned how to “release the issues in my tissues”—the negative emotions and limiting beliefs—keeping me “stuck” in disease.

Symptoms are metaphors for something “deeper” going on under the hood—our Higher Self telling us “knock knock…something is up…misaligned or out of balance in your life” and coming out in symptoms. Put another way: dis-ease in our lives leads to disease in the body. The body keeps th score. 

As I learned to address these things…my body began to heal…and all the diets, supplements and therapies began working. 

2023: 100% HEALED!!!

Nine months later, I looked up and was in 100% remission from all the 13 incurable illnesses and diagnoses I’d been given, and no longer reacting to toxic mold as I once had. 

I was able to travel, eat more than 5-10 foods, crush my favorite CrossFit workouts, build muscle, feel good (in my gut and hormones), connect socially to community and bounce around with boundless energy. 

Toxic mold illness became a thing of the past. 

2024: HEALED TO HEAL OTHERS

Today, I am so thankful for my toxic mold journey—especially as a functional medicine practitioner, and it has helped me learn how to truly heal and build out a HOLISTIC “process” for “detoxing” mold—beyond just taking lots of supplements or doing restrictive diets. 

Ironically, when I was going through it myself, I actually did consult with a TON of functional medicine practitioners, and still many were very stumped on how to help me. Some prescribed cookie cutter detox protocols from popular brands online; others jumped straight to anti-fungals or immunotherapies via pharmaceuticals; and others simply had no idea what to do—telling me they didn’t help “complex” patients with mold, lyme or MCAS. 

And the whole experience forced me to dig DEEPER in order to learn a solid “order of operations” and several ESSENTIAL variables for healing, not just managing, symptoms. The whole experience also taught me one of the greatest lessons of all—self love. Self trust. Connection to my body and my “gut” intuition. Instead of getting inside my head, cookie cutter protocols or even relying on (sometimes) false test results, it taught me to trust my gut intuition again for the first time in my life since I was a kid. 

No, I will never ever choose to live in toxic mold (I am very aware of a “clean space” vs. toxic space and my body is actually now my best tester. I rarely if ever run “mold tests” any more—my body is pretty darn smart). But, that said, I can finally live my life again and mold no longer dictates my ability to travel, eat, connect, love or do things I want to do in life—big or small…and today, I love nothing more than helping people, just like you to do the same. 

P.S. 

Again, if you’re looking for personal support, let’s help you optimize and take your health back into your own hands! Book a complimentary 15-minute Health Strategy Call today to find out how both myself and my clinic can help. 

12 ESSENTIALS TO DETOX FROM TOXIC MOLD

Phew! Now that you know my story…let’s help YOU with these 12 Essentials to Detox from Toxic Mold!

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to any mold detox or health optimization protocol, there are definitely several essentials that I have learned first hand as both a toxic mold illness survivor and clinician, working with hundreds of patients to detox from toxic mold themselves. (These are insights you won’t easily find on Dr. Google, Chat GPT or even your doctor’s office—both conventional and holistic alike).

#1. GET OUT OF “FIGHT OR FLIGHT” (TAKE SABBATICAL & GET RID OF MOLDY THINGS)

Detox From Toxic Mold - Home Inspector Wearing Protective Gloves And Holding To Check Cotton Bud With Cone For Mold Spores

First things first, if you find yourself in a contaminated space or realizing that toxic mold is a big part of your symptom puzzle, get out.

Whether it’s a permanent move out, a week long vacation or escape to a family member’s house, or a long sabbatical, take a T-O from the toxic mold situation. 

Basically: don’t be a boiling frog—you cannot heal that way. 

You’ve may have heard the “boiling frog” analogy describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats (like mold) that arise gradually rather than suddenly.

While everyone’s situation will look different (ie. Your story may not look like mine) and toxic mold may only be a small sliver of contamination in your home or space (versus a whole house or systemic issue), a time away from the toxic load can help you at least take a breather away to think straight, game plan as well as assess how you feel. 

Something to note here as well is the fact that “getting out of mold” actually won’t always “feel better” right away either — sometimes it can even feel “worse” than better (as your body begins to detox).

All that to say is the first step is to break free from the stressor so you can at least begin to game plan and disrupt a pattern that has not been contributing to your health. Get out of fight or flight.

As for the BIG question—do I toss or keep belongings? (Ie. something to NOT Google!).

The answer is: it all depends. If toxic mold was just in your bathroom or work office space…then of course you don’t need to get rid of all your furniture or your car like I did. If the entire home was contaminated or you’ve been feeling poorly for years and connect your symptoms to your environment, then…maybe. 

If anything, one of the BEST pieces of advice my “mold mentor” gave me it was: PUT IT IN STORAGE. That way you don’t have to make rash decisions and you can come back to it. For anything you question, just give it a break. 

I also do NOT recommend YOU being the one to “clean” your belongings if you’ve been feeling sick for awhile. Take a break and get out of fight or flight—that is step #1. 

Then we can go from there. 

On the same front, while you are getting out of “fight or flight,” nervous system regulation is ESSENTIAL at ALL PHASES of the mold healing game. 

Yoga, daily saunas, time in nature, time in the Word/my daily devotional, deep breathing, and gut-brain rewiring (as mentioned) were like “water” to my nervous system’s soul and, to this day, remain daily practices that still feed my soul and keep my head “above water.”

#2. RAISE AWARENESS (GET TO THE ROOT CAUSE OF WHAT TRIGGERED MOLD ILLNESS SYMPTOMS)

Mold illness does not happen overnight—like that boiling frog analogy above, it typically slowly “cooks” over time—especially since mold is not always seen with the naked eye. 

And, an interesting observation I have found as a practitioner (and patient) of toxic mold illness is that the “worst” of mold illness typically does not show its “true colors” until a time or season of significant stress is also happening—either at the exact same time, or in the months and years leading up to it. 

Think about it: if you are currently struggling with toxic mold illness, there probably was a time in your life previously that you actually also lived in toxic mold…and it did not affect you to the same magnitude that it may currently be.

Heck, if you’ve ever lived in a college dorm, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve lived in toxic mold. And while you may have had symptoms—allergies, IBS, acne, thyroid problems…toxic mold illness and mast cell activation syndrome can take on a whole new meaning when significant stress is ALSO correlated with the conditions. 

The BIG idea: Stress coupled with an external factor or trigger (like toxic mold) can exacerbate how we feel and take sickness to a whole new level—thanks to the “gut brain connection.”

Consider this to be like Little Johnny and his peanut and gluten intolerance…

8 year old Little Johnny ate a PB&J sandwich every day for lunch. He did for years and loved it! 

Then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, he began to develop hives and tummy aches around his PB & J sandwich. His pediatrician suggested it must be gluten intolerance and a peanut allergy, so Little Johnny cut it out. 

Well, when we did the work to figure out what was going on his life a few weeks prior to the onset of symptoms, we realized that recently, Little Johnny had witnessed his parents have an “all out” fight that led to his dad walking out and eventually their separation and divorce…at the time, Little Johnny was eating a PB & J. 

His GUT-BRAIN axis locked in the “indigestible” stressor—correlating it with the PB & J. Boom peanut and gluten intolerance! 

Likewise: consider my own story with toxic mold.

28-year-old Lauryn is living her “best life”…until she was not. As a solopreneur and business owner who just went off on her own completely for the first time, she finds herself working 12-hour long work days, sleeping 4-5 hours at most and daily stressing about if her business is going to succeed or fail (a “survival” conflict). She also feels a bit isolated in the process—very few of her friends at the time are entrepreneurs and no one seems to really get it—her drive, her vision and her dedication to building a business (something she is very passionate about). In order to manage stress, she turns to food and exercise—often times working out 2 to 3 times per day and focusing on eating a clean and pristine diet in order to keep things in “control.” Around this same time, she also begins to experience some body imbalances—gut issues, hormone imbalances, low energy…and she begins to see doctors…many of whom have no idea what’s going on with her body, and she begins to be sent from doctor to doctor for workups with inconclusive results. 

At the time, the internal stage of stress is set—the soil is tilled and laid—for the “perfect storm” of an external stressor to occur.

Enter: toxic mold.

Although she’s been living in toxic mold for now 2 years. One night, after an extremely stressful day with patients, she flips on the air condition for the spring one night, toxic mold spores that have been lingering in the HVAC go flying! 

At 2 am, she pops up out of bed—eyes wide open, heart racing, chest pains cramping, feeling like she is having a heart attack (actually a severe asthma attack).

She goes to the ER. The ER doctor tells her, “Lauryn, there are times conventional medicine will fail you, this is one of them!” No one can help her!

Something inside her brain flickers: “MOLD!” The next day an inspector comes out and sure enough…it is toxic mold!

From then on out, any time she smells, comes into contact or thinks about toxic mold, her “toxic mold symptoms” (especially shortness of breath) come out to play. The body keeps the score—subconsciously remembering the fear, the anxiety, the hopelessness, the “survival conflict” she felt that night and in that same season “back in the day” when everything was going down.

Although she is not consciously aware that her body and brain are holding on to trapped emotions and limiting beliefs (“I am alone”, “no one can help me”, “no one gets it”), the body keeps the score—keeping her body “stuck” in fight or flight and toxic mold illness.

In order to begin to overcome toxic mold illness, you need to identify the root causes—the top stressors, the negative emotions, the limiting beliefs that were ALSO going on around the same time that you became ill.

Awareness is the first step so you can begin to change your story and take new meaning to march into health.

#3. CHANGE YOUR STORY

We are the stories we tell ourselves. Our conscious mind (our brain) perceives stress, emotions, thoughts and beliefs…then sends the signal to our subconscious mind (our gut), which then carries out the marching orders for symptoms or healing or anything else in our 3D reality to occur.

For every 1 signal from the brain, there are 9 more in the gut—that not only play out as digestive symptoms, but also as immune symptoms (or healing), hormone imbalances (or balance), blood sugar regulation, energy and metabolism, sleep quality and EVERYTHING in between. 

How we feel is a direct reflection of how we think.

Psychology informs physiology. Just like physiology (self-care, gut health) can inform psychology. It’s a two way street. 

You’ve probably heard of Dr. Masru Emoto’s famous “water experiment“—when researchers sent positive thoughts towards water, the molecules looked like beautiful snowflakes under a microscope, whereas the water molecules that received negative thoughts and energy appeared angry.

Now, consider this: Our bodies are 70% water. What do you think this means for you? Your cells are incredibly intelligent, listening to what you tell them 24/7. 

So how do you want your mold HEALING (or sickness) story to go?

Limiting stories and negative thinking hold us back.

If you believe that: “Nothing helps.” “I have bad genes.” “I can’t lose weight..”— getting well is going to be an uphill battle.

We are the stories we tell ourselves!

Create a vision outside of your current 3D reality of sickness—What do you want instead? Who is healthy, thriving you? Your higher, feeling amazing, self? Get a clear picture. Bullet it or write it out on paper.

Then from there, start with embodying it: thinking, acting, believing as if you are already that guy or that girl who is healed.

How does he or she talk to yourself? What is your morning routine? How do you treat your body? How do you accept or reject other people’s negative beliefs about healing? What thoughts go through your mind on a daily basis? How do you practice self care today?

An easy way to get into this frame of mind—ideal, thriving, healthy, healed, mold-free you—is to create a “gut love mantra”—

Pick at least 3 “power statements” that remind you of who you are becoming—

For example: “I am happy! I am strong! I am confident.” 

Or, “I have tons of energy. I feel vibrant! I love my life!” 

Or, if you’re like me, the day I gained 10 pounds overnight that lasted for 4 weeks until I began to say, “I feel light, fit and free!”…

Even if you don’t fully believe it right now: believing is seeing. 

Repeat your mantra several times throughout the day—declare it as if you already it. Visualize it. Feel into it—Really imagine what it would feel like to have your desire—happy, confident, glowing, invigorated. And the secret sauce: GRATITUDE. CELEBRATION. Thank God in advance for the healing you have.

Your body has the perfect blueprint of health and healing inside. It is wired to heal. And it all begins with belief!

#4. OPEN UP THE “CHANNELS” (HYDRATE + SWEAT + POO)

Ok, once the gut-brain “work” is fired up and online for healing, now is where the physical supports for healing from toxic mold illness comes into place. 

An often overlooked step in the toxic mold detox puzzle is “opening the channels”—get the filters of your body, the natural detox systems “flowing”—naturally detoxing and releasing toxins on their own. 

You have SEVERAL detox pathways—not just your liver! They include:

  1. Lymphatic and circulatory system
  2. Colon
  3. Kidneys
  4. Liver and Gallbladder
  5. Skin
  6. Lungs
  7. Gut Bacteria

If any of these pathways are “clogged” (which spoiler alert: most people’s filters are!), then you need to support them!

The simplest way to “open up the channels” are starting with these 3 things—

  1. Hydrating with clean, pure filtered water (ie. NOT tap water; NOT plastic bottled water; pure water with minerals added or spring water like Mountain Valley water)
  2. Sweating daily (sauna and detox/epsom salt baths)
  3. Pooing—daily

In fact, if you are not pooping daily, Houston we have a problem! I am the QUEEN of BUSTING CONSTIPATION and if this is you, some of my initial fave go-tos include:

CONSTIPATION BUSTERS

  1. Apple cider vinegar shots
  2. Warm water + a generous pinch of sea salt
  3. Iberogast digestive bitters and Aloe juice (inner fillet) or a colon cleansing formula  in the morning and night
  4. Soluble fiber (like winter squash and well-cooked greens) or psyllium husk with dinner

0. 0. Castor oil packs and coffee enemas

#5. JUST BREATHE (YOGA, INHALERS, HUG A TREE)

Detox From Toxic Mold - Woman Do Yoga Downward Facing Dog Pose Inside Of Light Cozy Room

As previously mentioned, nervous system regulation reigns supreme in not only overcoming toxic mold illness but any other symptom or condition you will face in your life!

Dis-ease (stress) in our lives causes disease in the body. The body is a metaphor or a mirror for what’s really going on under the hood.

For me, “just breathing” basically means: “chill out.” And it took on an especially important meaning when I was going through mold illness since shortness of breath was a big part of my presentation as well.

  • Yoga
  • Essential oil inhalers
  • Hugging trees —literally, try it…it helps! (and getting sunshine/out in nature)
  • Daily saunas
  • Breathwork

—Just some of my “staples”

I also LOVED nebulizers with glutathione, Biocidin or hydrogen peroxide (3% food grade)—which helped open up my lungs—and helped me breathe more normally post mold so I would not be systemically and physically sending signals of “fight or flight” to my brain (because fact: when you breathe shallow breaths or run at 100 mph all day long—figuratively—your body cannot physically “catch a breath” very well…creating oxidative stress!). 

#6. EAT AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, LOW MOLD DIET

Most patients who come to see me are already doing “all the things”—eating a “clean diet”, maybe even a low histamine diet….and still not feeling better!

The reason why is often because you have dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalance), leaky gut and “reduced oral tolerance”—not ENOUGH healthy gut bugs to actually digest your food well.

In this state, you actually need MORE nutrients and an abundance of foods to diversify the microbiome. In order to attain this, I strategically help patients rebuild their gut AND rebuild the variety in their diet — focusing on ancestral, nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory foods that are low in mold and rebuilding confidence, trust in the body and food freedom!

One of my favorite “food freedom” stories happened with my client Tiffany—a famous jazz singer who’s career became sidelined when she went through toxic mold illness, along with CIRS/MCAS and a variety of heavy metals, lyme coinfections and gut problems galore. 

After 3 months of work together around healing her gut, rewiring her gut-brain connection, and rebuilding body love and “gut trust”, she messaged me on Thanksgiving, “Dr. Lauryn, you’ll never guess it—I ate whatever I wanted…foods I haven’t eaten in years with my family…and tolerated everything! Pumpkin pie is so delicious!”

The big idea: Healing from mold does not mean food restriction! It means strategy—healing the gut (the immune system), anti-inflammatory nutrients the majority of the time and 80/20 balance (ie. NO perfection — more freedom and trust in your body that it is wired to heal). The body does NOT digest food well in a state of stress or fight or flight, which is why NO PERFECTION is encouraged.

If you react, that’s ok! I have a “3 strikes and you’re out rule!” Try a little bit of a new food at a time, while telling your body, “You know how to digest food!” And also while remembering a time when you were able to digest foods without as many problems as you may experience now. People eat foods like avocados, bone broth, nuts, raw dairy, sweet potatoes, chocolate, chicken, beef, etc. on a daily basis…so why not you? Your body can get back to it!

One of my favorite personal stories with food involved sweet potatoes—a food I love, but one that did not love me back during toxic mold. My blood sugar would spike from 80 to 180 and then back to 80 within a matter of 30 minutes after eating it—a blood sugar roller coaster nightmare! I’d feel brain foggy, fatigued, gut pains, loose stools, shortness of breath—a histamine response. 

Until the day that I decided to tackle it. I popped some enzymes and apple cider vinegar and thought nothing but good, happy thoughts about the spud. I reminded my body, “you are strong, you are resilient, you know how to digest.” I ate a cooked and cooled sweet potato (ie. A resistant starch that is great for the gut), paired it with some protein. Chewed it well. Tasted it. Told my body, “You’ve got this.” And boom: sweet potatoes are back to being a staple in my diet,

Ever since toxic mold, I’ve reintroduced every single food that I wanted back into my diet with ease and enjoy (don’t fear) a variety of foods today.

While again, there is NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL approach to food freedom and “healthy eating” for your body, here’s an overview of my “mold diet strategy” I build out for patents in my programs:

MOLD DETOX “DIET” — DR. LAURYN’S APPROACH

#1. Reduce histamine reactions (education on histamine-rich foods and a brief, short-term break from A LOT of histamine foods at once—i.e. not completely anti-histamine–we will figure out your threshold)

#2. Support digestion with enzymes like DAO, proteolytic enzymes, gallbladder support and pancreatic enzymes

#3. Heal leaky gut and increase oral tolerance with probiotic therapy

#4. Balance blood sugar with ENOUGH protein and calories (many people are under-eating)

#5. Add in medicinal foods (like sea moss, apple cider vinegar, beet juice/celery juice, meat stocks, local organic meats, soluble fibers, resistant starches, cistus tea, etc.)

#6. Gradually expand the diet and introduce new foods

#7. Eventually, try ANYTHING you desire…and find food freedom!

#7. DITCH (MOST) SUPPLEMENTS & EXCESS LAB TESTING

The day that I threw out an entire plastic bin and medicine cabinet of random supplements is a day that I distinctly remember healing—I began to take my power back (versus living in a state of fear, desperation and fight or flight reflexes—ordering whatever the next Dr. Google article said to try at a finger’s click). 

Supplements are a Wild West and are definitely not the “panacea” for healing.

Strategic supplementation under the guidance of a skilled practitioner is a game changer. Dr. Google and random recommendations are not. 

The same thing goes for lab testing. I only run lab tests today that I know will “change” the direction or inform the direction of whatever “game plan” I put together for a patient. 

End of story.

One of my most common observations with my patients struggling with toxic mold illness is that, not only are they eating a clean diet, but they also are taking tons of supplements and/or may have an extensive list of tests they’ve completed…and yet they are still not feeling better.

I help put a “stop” to the frenzy and must remind you that labs, diets and supplements are only about 10-20% of healing and results. The other 80-90%? Rewiring your gut brain axis and healing your gut, inside and out. 

I can explain more if that sounds like something you’re interested. 

#8. HEAL YOUR GUT & REPAIR LEAKY GUT

Gut healing is the cornerstone for any healing protocol—primarily because your gut is the gateway to health. You have trillions of microbes that run the show of your entire body—including your immune system, hormones, detox pathways, brain health and thoughts, energy, metabolism. Everything. If your gut is off…you are off.

And if you have toxic mold illness, guarantee your gut is off—either dysbisois (gut bacteria imbalance), leaky gut, candida, inflammation or all of the above!

“Gut healing” is another Wild West term that basically means:

  • Weeding
  • Seeding
  • Feeding 

Weeding out the “bad” things not serving you (dysbiotic bacteria, candida overgrowth), as well as “fixing” the things not serving you (like low stomach acid, leaky gut, low enzymes, gallbladder congestion).

Seeding or bringing in the “good things” (ie. A gut loving diet, gut loving habits, probiotics, prebiotics, leaky gut support). And “feeding” your gut ongoing good things as well of these same things. 

It’s like a 1-2-3 punch for a healthier inner eco system that is responsible for 80% of your immune system; it’s your “first” brain (with more brain cells than any other part of the peripheral nervous system); it’s your endocrine system (hormone balancing system); it’s your energy source—everything.

A lot of patients going through toxic mold illness and treatment jump straight into a gut “cleanse” or detox with anti-fungal medications or supplements to “kill the pathogens” BEFORE going through many other important steps for “prepping” the gut to detox in the first place (like opening up drainage pathways, hydration, boosting digestive enzymes and stomach acids, rebuilding the gut lining, etc.). 

This is why I’ve developed a 3 step total gut reset process which entails:

  1. Kickstart – lay the foundations for detoxing, rebuild a leaky gut, boost digestion, implement a gut-loving diet, basic probiotic support) 
  2. Cleanse – removing fungi, bacterial overgrowth and biofilms
  3. Optimize – rebuild the gut back stronger with triple probiotic therapy, prebiotics, short chain fatty acids, and a happy heart

#9. SUPPORT LIVER & GALLBLADDER 

Detox From Toxic Mold - Fruits Water Or Lemonade With Lemon, Orange And Mint

More than 1 out of 2 people are “bad” methylations (ie. They only process toxins, foods, supplements or medications at a 40% capacity).  And if you’ve been “poisoned” by toxic mold, then your liver and gallbladder certainly took a hit—because they are not clearing them well. 

As a refresher, your liver is your body’s number one detox center and recycler of all things you breathe in, consume or put on your skin. The gallbladder is the second in command (like Robin to Batman) that intercepts bile (sludge like waste) created in the liver, and then stores the bile UNTIL you eat fat or your next meal, as well as need to poo. 

It may seem complex, but all you need to know is that your liver and gallbladder are what work super hard to clear toxins out of your system—including toxic mold. 

“Love” your liver and gallbladder with some of these simple strategies:

  1. Lemon water
  2. Take a gentle binder (two of my faves: chlorella and Biotoxin Binder *use code PJ03HABY to order)
  3. Celery juice and beet juice
  4. Dandelion, Detox & Cistus tea
  5. Digestive bitter herbs
  6. Supplements: Glutathione, lipsomal vitamin C, methylated B vitamins, ionic magnesium, fulvic minerals
  7. Cholagogue foods (beets, carrots, greens, apples, lemons, aloe, beets, apple cider vinegar)
  8. Sweat daily (sauna)
  9. Castor oil packs (daily over the right side, slightly below the rib cage)
  10. Coffee enemas 

Just to name a few… 

#10. BOOST MITOCHONDRIA & IMMUNITY 

Mitochondria are the “cellular energy” (ATP) of the body that reduces oxidative stress that is ever present in toxic mold illness. 

As for immunity, it is is a no brainer—it is your defense system that keeps you resilient and able to withstand toxic mold exposures, chemicals, histamines and beyond. Your immune system is housed in your gut, so by supporting your gut, you are already ahead of the game. However, some adjunctive “immune” supports (supplements and foods) can be helpful in the process of regaining your resiliency. 

  • Mitochondria Boosters
  • Sunlight and fresh air (often!)
  • Sauna & Cold Plunge
  • Block blue light (use natural light, screen filters and blue blockers)
  • Keep your phone/EMFs OFF your body & use EMF blockers
  • Supplemental support
  • HIIT workouts & walking (cut chronic cardio) 
  • 12-14 hour Intermittent Fasting (Dinner to Breakfast)
  • High protein diet
  • Immune Boosters

Mast Cell Stabilizer Supports (for blocking histamine reactions):

Add in 1-2 different natural mast cell stabilizers taken 30 minutes before a meal with quercetin; start with 1 capsule and gradually work up to 2 capsules with meals.

#11. DETOX DAILY

Toxic mold will awaken your world to the other 100,000 toxins in our “toxic world”: Chemicals, tap water, air quality, pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, even toxic people, relationships and influences (like toxic social media, entertainment, negative mindsets). We are inundated.

After going through toxic mold illness, I dove head first into non-toxic living and have not looked back since!

“Detoxing daily” is really all about mitigating toxins in your daily life. 

  • Swap out conventional (toxic) products for non-toxic alternatives (hygiene, cleaning) 
  • Ditch toxic makeup
  • Ditch anti-bacterial handsoaps
  • Avoid touching receipts (BPAs are crazy)
  • Quit birth control pills
  • Use quality air filters (I love IQ air)
  • Quit tap water and plastic bottled water 
  • Sleep on non-toxic mattresses and invest in non-toxic furniture
  • Buy local and organic produce as much as possible
  • Only eat pastured, grass-fed/grass-finished and local meats and wild caught fish
  • Get metal fillings and breast implants removed
  • Go to a biological dentist (vs conventional)
  • Clean out your closet (get a capsule wardrobe)
  • Quit hanging out with toxic people

The opportunities go deep to “detox daily”, and when we work together, my team and I will help set you up for “nontoxic” success in your daily life.  

We were not made to be alone. Stay as plugged in as you can with community, tribe, loved ones.

An observation I’ve had in my own life and the lives of patients I serve is that when “community” and connection is rich…disease lessens. 

#12.DON’T GO IT ALONE

One of my favorite stories from my own mold detox journey happened on the tails of exhaustion—after moving 10-11 times already…and running into multiple road blocks (mold, VOCs, chemicals, etc.) everywhere I turned…I was done! Emotionally. Mentally. Taxed.

In order to “re-coup” and try to catch a breath I decided to leave Austin and make the long 8 hour drive to Arkansas to visit my parents and family. I knew I needed people.

Even though I was “scared” (my parents’ house had mold!), I had no idea what else to do—mold was everywhere. 

So I did it. With no set date or intention to return back to Austin. A reset.

Well, lo and behold, when I made it back home and my parents welcomed me with open arms, I melted. I felt love. I felt supported. I had not seen them in almost a year. And I was exhausted of “going it alone.”

And, the biggest kicker of all: I survived! I survived their “moldy” home with almost no reactions. I was shocked!

Love truly conquers all. I ended up staying home for 2 weeks then decided I was brave enough to “try” my hand at Austin again—and finding a place I could tolerate. After the 2 week sabbatical, I packed my few belongings and set out back to the city I love where I ended up finding a home that I lived in for over one year—the longest I’d lived anywhere since my toxic mold journey began. 

Find your tribe. Invest in community. And don’t go it alone. Reach out if you need a hand up. We’ve got you and I get it!

TO TOXIC MOLD DETOX WE GO!

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