Breaking the Mold: Think outside the box to free yourself from chronic mold and yeast infections.
Kevin Q. Ng, MD
Mycology – The discipline of biology that describes and studies a very vast group of organisms denominated fungi.
Mycologists traditionally have a love hate relationship with chronic fungal infections. Having trained and co-authored research with a world-renowned mycologist who helped write the IDSA guidelines, I still found myself ill equipped to handle these ubiquitous and chronic infections. As an infectious disease specialist, I was trained to view mold as an allergen or opportunistic infectious agent in the immunocompromised. These infections were so unrecognized during my fellowship that the sole case of a neuro-invasive mold infection I encountered was presented at a citywide ID conference in Philadelphia and will be infamously remembered as “Mr. Mold.”
For many years I would view the idea of chronic mold and yeast infections through an ambiguous lens akin to chronic Lyme disease. My perspective would be shattered due to an insidious water leak in my south Philadelphia home that began my family’s journey to dealing with mold. Initially this involved removing water damaged and visibly moldy walls and flooring in my basement and a second remediation to isolate a persistent leak from our stucco exterior. We thought this would be the end of our figurative headaches from the logistical and financial stress. What we didn’t foresee was the cascade of health maladies including chronic sinusitis, brain fog, and autoimmune thyroiditis despite the visible mold being removed. This led me to investigate mold treatment protocols from experts such as Dr’s Ritchie Shoemaker, Frank Shallenberger, Ty Vincent, specialists from ILADS and ultimately finding my answer at the Chung Institute through a comprehensive integrative approach.
- The most common primary symptom patients report is a chronic stuffy nose or sinusitis that is year-round, worsened with New Jersey’s humid summers or exposure to musty environments. This can be accompanied by phlegm in the throat, bad taste or odor, eye irritation or breathing difficulty.
- Secondary Symptoms are typically neurologic, including headache, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability, brain fog or general sense of the brain feeling dull.
- Tertiary symptoms may be correlated with hormonal or endocrine disturbances (due to anatomic location of the pituitary gland), increased inflammation or chronic inflammatory response syndrome, and potentially trigger autoimmunity. These may include symptoms of an over/under active thyroid, sex hormone imbalance or reproductive dysfunction, etc. .
- Remediation/avoidance of mold is paramount
- Inhaled ozone/ozonides in the office- to kill mold, yeast, and mycotoxins
- Sinus rinse (Neilmed) or neti pot – for mechanical flushing of debris and toxins
- Low dose immunotherapy– to train immune tolerance and enhance elimination
- Iodine supplementation- immune support, antimicrobial, endocrine support
- Biotoxin binders and mobilizers– chlorella, Calcium D-Glucarate, zeolite, bentonite clay, activated charcoal
- Acupuncture – decrease inflammation, supports healing.
- Low-level laser therapy -resets and retrains nerves.
- Diet – avoiding foods and drinks that are high in mold/yeast or that feed them
- Herbals– Oreganol oil, Propolis
- Probiotics– balance microbiome of sinus and oropharynx
- Most common source is the showerhead and drain – see video for instructions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuCyaTcdE0c&ab
- Leaky plumbing, sinks, toilets
- Indoor plants
- Basements and crawl spaces
- Workplace or school
- Air purifier
- Use protective mask, gloves and goggles when cleaning
Author’s Disclaimer: The purpose of this brief guide is for education and to facilitate discussion with your healthcare provider. This is not intended or implied as medical advice.
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