Treatment Options

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There are a wide variety of treatment options for mold exposure. Genetics, finances, circumstances, and individual physical needs play a role in determining the best option. The following is an overview and is designed to stimulate further research rather than suggest a specific protocol.

Drug Options:

Cholestyramine (CSM) is commonly prescribed for mold exposure. This is a bile acid sequestrant, which binds bile in the gastrointestinal tract to prevent its reabsorption. It works as a mycotoxin binding agent. CSM can be compounded to contain no sugar. (One pharmacy which does this is Hopkinton Drug.) When taking cholestyramine it is important to take it 2 hours before or after any nutritional supplements, as it will bind these as well.

Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are two natural binding agents and often taken with CSM.

Anti-fungal drugs. These include the plyenes, the triazoles and imidazoles, allylamines and more. Nystatin is an example of an anti-fungal drug. Anti-fungal drugs can be taken in nasal spray form.

Low-dose Naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist. Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) has been shown to be effective in treating immunologically-related disorders.

To find a doctor, check the list of physicians on the American Academy of Environmental Medicine website. The level of knowledge regarding toxic mold varies. Two other possibilities include: 1. The American Board of Environmental Medicine, which is currently working on an online list of physicians, and 2. The Institute for Functional Medicine. The website Surviving Mold offers this list of certified physicians.

Natural Options (often integrated with conventional medical therapies):

CholestePure is often suggested as a natural option for those who cannot tolerate, or want to avoid Cholestyramine.

Garlic, Oil of Oregano, Pau D'arco, Olive Leaf Extract, Caprylic Acid (found in coconuts), Barberry, and Grapefruit Seed Extract are some of the natural anti-fungals.

Dr. Grace Ziem's chemical injury website contains a nutritional and environmental protocol for chemical injury.

Glutathione therapy is often vital to recovery. For more information, see this previous entry.

Skin Remedies:

Rashes often appear during mold exposure, as well as during the de-tox process.

Ketoconazole cream is a topical anti-fungal cream. Other skin remedies include tea tree oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, grapefruit seed extract (diluted).

Charcoal soap can be used as a de-tox agent. It can be combined with ketaconazole shampoo lather.

Epsom salt baths are helpful. For more detox bath alternatives see this list.

Anti-Fungal Diet:

One goal of an anti-fungal diet is to starve the fungus, thereby halting the cycle that often occurs. Sugars and carbs feed the fungus. Chlorophyll does the opposite. Green foods are therefore effective anti-fungals. Alkaline diets incorporate a similar goal. Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and yeasts thrive in an acidic environment but do not thrive in an alkaline environment.

Some chlorophyll-rich foods include spirulina, chlorella, and wheat grass.

For a summary of this anti-fungal approach and a list of foods to avoid, see this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola titled Forget Antibiotics, Steroids and Medication - Starve This Toxin out of Your Body.

Brain Re-Training:

The entire body is impacted by mold exposure. Digestive tracts are hit hard, as well as endocrine systems. The brain is invariably involved. Brain re-training programs often play a part in recovery. An example is the Gupta Amygdala Program.

Alternative Health Options:

A wide variety of alternative health options exist. Practitioners may not be familiar with the specifics of mold exposure but can address the need to de-tox.

These are a few of the numerous options available: orthospinology (chiropractic specialty), ONDAMED, acupuncture, oxygen chamber therapy, IV therapies, chelation therapies, far infrared sauna, and much much more.

It's important to note that a healing crisis can occur as de-tox from mold exposure begins. This is known as a "Herx Reaction"and is an increase in the symptoms caused by toxin circulation and inflammation. It is, therefore, not unusual to get worse before getting better.

On-Line Support:

Sick Buildings Yahoo Group

Planet Thrive

MCS America

momsAWARE

Note: If you are overwhelmed as you consider all of these options, remember that the de-toxification process takes time. Trust your instincts. Begin with mold avoidance and diet as you consider your next step.