Do you need to detox your body from mold? If you live in a fairly humid environment, you may have mold present in your home without realizing it.
This can cause allergic reactions, particularly if you already have asthma or other allergies.
Is Toxic Mold Syndrome Real?
Some people think that mold can cause illness, with a range of effects like joint pain, skin and eye irritations, and even mood swings, concentration difficulties, or fatigue. 1
However, studies have been inconclusive, with scientists offering a “reality check” suggesting that, “Previous reports of ‘toxic mold syndrome’ or ‘toxic black mold’ have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria, partly stemming from the misinterpreted concept of the ‘sick building syndrome.’” 2
Another review acknowledges that molds can indeed cause allergies and trigger asthma, but insists that, “the existence of toxic mold syndrome has been disproven, despite the numerous disreputable practices such as testing homes for mold spores, measuring “mycotoxins” in the urine, and testing patients for IgG to mold.” 3
Yet some scientists feel mold toxicity should be taken seriously, with one writing that, “it is clear that mycotoxins can affect sensitive individuals, and possibly accelerate underlying neurologic/pathologic processes.” 4
If you’re concerned about mold exposure, here are some simple things you can do to detox your body from mold.
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5 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body From Mold
1. Avoid or Reduce Mold Exposure
Most obviously, you want to avoid mold exposure where possible. While there’s disagreement on whether mold is toxic generally (or just harmful to people with allergies and pre-existing conditions like asthma), it’s widely agreed that mold isn’t a good thing.
You can reduce or eliminate mold in your home by:
- Using an air purifier for mold. This should have a HEPA filter, trapping 99.7% of particles with a size of more than 0.3 microns. This not only includes mold spores but also dust, pollen, and bacteria. 5
- Improve ventilation in your home. This is a good idea not just to prevent mold but also to prevent the spread of illnesses such as Covid-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends opening multiple doors and windows, running your HVAC’s fan continuously, and using the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen. 6
- Reduce the overall moisture level in your home, e.g. by using a dehumidifier.
- Avoid leaving damp towels or washcloths in your bathroom, as mold grows on damp surfaces.
2. Protect Yourself When Dealing With Mold
If you need to physically clear mold from your home, you should limit your exposure to mold and mold spores. This means wearing gloves so that the mold doesn’t get on your hands, but also protecting yourself from inhaling mold spores.
Home Depot recommends that you wear a mask or N-95 respirator and wear goggles to avoid getting mold or spores in your eyes. 7
3. Change Your Diet: Avoiding Mycotoxin Foods
Some foods commonly contain mycotoxins which are produced by mold, either as part of the food production process or as a contaminant. 8 It’s important to avoid these in order to detox. Of course, you’ll want to steer clear of foods that deliberately include mold (such as some cheeses)—but other foods to avoid include:
- Peanuts and cashews
- Dairy products
It’s also a good idea to avoid sugars as much as possible, as these can promote the growth of mold.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
4. Consult Your Physician About Your Symptoms
You don’t necessarily need to take any special supplements or medications to detox from mold. But if you’re concerned about symptoms, you should always consult your physician and seek their advice.
Because symptoms attributed to mold exposure or mold toxicity are quite varied, you may find that your symptoms are actually indicative of a different medical problem. For instance, excessive thirst and urination have been described as a symptom of mold illness 10 but those are also common symptoms of untreated diabetes.
5. Be Cautious About Over-the-Counter or Online Solutions
A lot of websites offer ways to detox your body from mold by taking a variety of supplements or substances. For instance, they might recommend taking activated charcoal, bentonite clay, or zeolite.
Make sure you get reputable medical advice before taking any substance as some of these could cause serious health issues if misused. You should also be cautious about buying supplements or medications from websites that may not be reputable.
Mold exposure can be a real worry for many people, especially in humid environments. If you have any symptoms you’re concerned about, particularly respiratory symptoms that could indicate asthma or an allergy to mold, always see your physician for advice.
In general, reducing your exposure to mold will certainly do no harm and could prove beneficial. Keeping your home (or workplace) dry and ventilated should make a big difference.
Healing Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Detox Mold From Your Body. Rosewellness.com. Published 4 Sept 2020. Accessed 22 Sept 2021.
- Borchers AT, Chang C, Eric Gershwin M. Mold and Human Health: a Reality Check. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2017;52(3):305-322. doi:10.1007/s12016-017-8601-z
- Chang C, Gershwin ME. The Myth of Mycotoxins and Mold Injury. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2019;57(3):449-455. doi:10.1007/s12016-019-08767-4
- Empting LD. Neurologic and neuropsychiatric syndrome features of mold and mycotoxin exposure. Toxicol Ind Health. 2009;25(9-10):577-581. doi:10.1177/0748233709348393
- What is a HEPA filter? epa.gov. Accessed 22 Sept 2021.
- Improving Ventilation in Your Home. cdc.gov. Accessed 22 Sept 2021.
- Home Depot. How to Get Rid of Mold. Homedepot.com. Accessed 22 Sept 2021.
- Alshannaq A, Yu JH. Occurrence, Toxicity, and Analysis of Major Mycotoxins in Food. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(6):632. Published 2017 Jun 13. doi:10.3390/ijerph14060632
- The Mold Detox Diet. jjmd.com. Accessed 27 Sept 2021.
- Neil-Sherwood, M. 11 Signs of Mold Illness. Fmidr.com. Accessed 22 Sept 2021.