Co-conspirators work alongside mold to amplify its harmful effects. These are basically additional stressors which either sneak in through the door left open by mold or simply invade life coincidentally.
Given mold’s weakening of the immune system, no one should be surprised that enterprising infections take advantage of the opening and invade. On this list are chronic bacterial infections like Lyme, chronic viral infections like EBV and HHV6, opportunistic fungi like candida, and parasites of all sorts. Each of these could take up chapters to describe, so for now, just be aware they you should be tested for these co-morbid infections if the symptoms line up.
While mold toxins are enough to cause disease and suffering, the presence of other toxins in the individual amplifies or modifies the suffering. Such toxins include heavy metals, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), Persistent Pollutants (POPS), and other microbial toxins. Heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, and tin may further hinder the immune system, cause hormonal imbalance, trigger inflammation, and more. VOC’s in new construction and new furniture, often lead to headaches, brain fog, insomnia, and other weird symptoms even without mold toxins. Persistent organic pollutants like plastics also imbalance hormones and are difficult to eradicate. In the same water damaged building settings, other microbes besides mold reside, also producing chemicals that harm us.
Physical and psychosocial stressors also contribute to a patient’s symptoms. Head trauma can initiate chronic inflammatory changes similar to those mold or other toxins produce. Emotional abuse and neglect from childhood or adulthood both set individuals up for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The same limbic system which is over stimulated by mold toxins becomes over-stimulated by such social factors. Any of these stressors may alter cortisol balance, trigger leaky gut, and more. Mold toxicity with any number of these factors creates challenging diagnostic and treatment procedures but expertise and patience can yield the long sought after restoration.