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How Mold Exposure Effects Gut Health

Misdiagnosis of mold illness is common. Mold illness symptoms are so diverse that no two people will present with the exact same list of symptoms. 

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are also a common misdiagnosis of mold illness. GI signs that can be associated with mold illness include malnutrition, gut irritation, pain, bloating, food allergies, cramping, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), IBD, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO), and Candida.

Toxic molds, such as Stachybotrys, can release trichothecene mycotoxins. These toxins disrupt protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is needed to make enzymes, like digestive enzymes. Digestive Enzyme Insufficiency can lead to malnutrition, gut irritation, belly pain, cramps, bloating, etc.

Damage to the mucosal lining of the GI tract by ribotoxins is another mechanism of gastrointestinal injury that can be caused by mold exposure. Trichothecene mycotoxins are classified as ribotoxins and are associated with signs and symptoms of IBS, Crohn’s, and Ulcerative Colitis. 

SIBO and Candida are common organisms that over grow in the gut microbiome during or after a mold exposure. Candida and other gut organisms are naturally occurring in the gut. However, in a healthy body, these organisms are kept in check by a well functioning immune system. Exposure to trichothecene mycotoxins causes immune suppression. When the immune system is not functioning well, pathological organisms have an opportunity to advance, causing an imbalance that leads to an overgrowth of bacterial, viral, or fungal organisms. 

If GI symptoms are a misdiagnosis of mold illness, supplements and medicines won’t fully resolve symptoms.

That is a clue. When the GI process is disrupted by protein synthesis inhibition, supplementing with digestive enzymes won’t cure you. – you need to eliminate the exposure to the causative agent. Supplements and medicines also can not fully repair the damage of gut lining caused by mycotoxins. Staying in an environment that is causing immunosuppression can be a life threatening situation. Many people suffer over the years as their health declines, many times never being told their environment might be the reason. 

So what is the solution? For a healthy, happy microbiome, avoiding toxic mold exposures is best.

Writer: Kealy Severson, Founder and President, Exposing Mold Inc.