Yeasty Beasties and Mold toxicity part 1 of 2
Reviewing and Summarizing the recent Toxic Mold Summit Session by Evan Brand, BCHN, DFMP, NTP.
(Read this blog series’ introduction at very end if you are catching up. Look for “SERIES INTRODUCTION”)
Evan Brand, BCHN, DFMP, NTP provided insights on the connections between mold toxicity and candida overgrowth during the recent toxic mold summit. His summit session provided a number of take home points:
- Candida and other yeast may cause a variety of GI and non-GI symptoms in patients whether or not mold toxicity is present.
- Yeast are just one of the several types of dysbiosis organisms that contribute to poor gut health.
- Yeast in the stool may be found through stool testing or organic acid testing.
- A variety of medications place you at risk for candida overgrowth.
- Many of children’s behavioral issues may be linked to candida overgrowth.
- Many dietary factors contribute to candida overgrowth.
- Several natural therapies are available to treat fungal overgrowth.
- Herx reactions may occur with therapy for yeast.
Expanding on these take home points:
Candida and other yeast may cause a variety of GI and non-GI symptoms in patients whether or not mold toxicity is present. While many conventional medical types will point out that candida is everywhere and therefore can’t be causing our symptoms, functional MD’s recognize that candida don’t always live peacefully in co-existence. When they grow beyond what our systems can handle or our immune system overreacts to their presence, we see symptoms. In the GI tract, irritable bowel may ensue with cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. If the yeast overgrows higher up in the tract, post meal bloating and maldigestion occurs. Outside the GI system, brain fog may result from aldehydes and even alcohol produced by the yeast. Distant reactions in the skin or other organs may occur if the immune system is upregulated or dysregulated. At Sanctuary we see many patients with riboflavin or thiamine (B2 and B1 respectively) deficiencies due to yeast stealing these nutrients from our food. Keeping this malady in mind during our intake history is very important.
Brand describes how he uncovered not only yeast, but several other dysbiosis organisms, as the factors in a period of poor health earlier in his life. We tell our patients that if they only had one thing wrong with them, likely someone else would have found it earlier. We are not necessarily smarter, just more willing to look for multiple flat tires hindering our patient’s health. In a new patient’s GI evaluation, we must consider as Brand does whether imbalances exist in bacteria, parasites, or yeast. Many times we find multiple pathogenic (meaning disease causing) organisms which require treatment. We aim to treat all of these together in order to see full success.
Like Brand, we use both stool testing and organic acids to evaluate for the presence of candida. Depending on the situation we may use the GI-MAP stool PCR test or the organic acids tests in urine and blood. The GI MAP looks for genetic fingerprints of bacteria, candida, parasites, and worms. The organic acid tests evaluates for chemical fingerprints spilling over into the systemic circulation from candida growing in the gut. If we do both, they usually match in showing presence or absence, but sometimes they do not. Combined with a good clinical history looking for signs of yeast overgrowth, these tests help confirm and track success.
A variety of medications place you at risk for candida overgrowth. Antibiotics and steroids stand out as the most guilty of medications suspects. By wiping out the good bacteria in the GI tract, antibiotics open the door for both bad bacteria and bad yeast to overgrow. By suppressing the immune system, steroids, make it easier for yeast to take up residence. This occurs primarily with oral or IV steroids, but topical, inhaled, and nasal steroids may contribute as well. Last but not least, acid blocking medications lower the defense system of the stomach acid and contribute to the epidemic of yeast as well.
Clin Ther. 2018 Jun;40(6):903-917. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 Jun 5. Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes. Ratnaseelan AM, Tsilioni I, Theoharides TC. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29880330
Rosenblum Lichtenstein, Jamie H et al. “Environmental mold and mycotoxin exposures elicit specific cytokine and chemokine responses” PloS one vol. 10,5 e0126926. 26 May. 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126926 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444319/ FREE ONLINE
Thanks to those who collaborated and contributed to the Toxic Mold Summit. While I have a few nuanced different opinions here and there, the information one can glean from listening to this summit is empowering for those facing this disease. While some are able to handle the recovery process without formal care by a medical provider, I do believe it is wise for most to have a “trusted guide” of some sort who stands outside the tornado of active mold toxicity. Standing inside the mold tornado leaves one with a spinning sense of direction. Having a stable and fixed point of reference in a knowledgeable guide serves you well. Traveling the road to recovery is better done with someone who has walked it before. That is what we try to do at Sanctuary is working to restore healthier more abundant lives even after the tornado of mold toxicity.
To order the Summit from our affiliate link, click here (we receive a commission for this purchase): https://toxicmoldproject.com/order/?idev_id=25016
You may feel a little overwhelmed and stressed after the recent Toxic Mold Summit A great line up of both clinical types and environmental remediator types took the stage for several day offering a smorgasbord of information about mold toxicity. Now, what do you do with all that information? Should you run out the door screaming in your underwear and leave everything behind?
Short answer….NO! You should simply keep coming back to Sanctuary’s Facebook Live sessions every other week about mold toxicity and read our regular blog posts about mold toxicity and a ton of other chronic health issues. Bring your questions. Hear from myself, Dr. Eric Potter Functional MD who has walked both sides of the mold toxicity line in caring for my family and for hundreds of patients. While I can’t diagnose or treat non-patients by Facebook, I will do my best to educate and empower you in the journey of healing from mold toxicity. Over the coming weeks, I will review several of the Mold Summit’s sessions with additional information from our experience and study.)