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Does Mold Cause Autoimmune Disease?

The Mold Autoimmune Connection

In part 1 of this special 4 part series on mold and autoimmunity, I break down the scientific connection between mold as a cause of autoimmunity. Watch Part 2 Watch Part 3 Watch Part 4

Mold Can Cause Autoimmune Disease

Approximately 5% of people are allergic to mold. Beyond being allergic, many are sensitive to mold without evidence of an acute immune reaction. Some common early onset symptoms linked to mold exposure are headaches, chronic coughing, frequent infections, nausea, elevated blood pressure. These immune reactions can contribute to chronic nerve damage and other inflammatory problems. Aside from the reaction to mold, many also react to the toxins that mold produces. These compounds are commonly referred to as mycotoxins. Mycotoxin exposure is also linked to kidney damage and cancer.

The Medical Community Ignores the Mold Problem

It is common for doctors to claim that mold does not play a major role in creating chronic autoimmune disease or inflammatory illnesses. It is important to understand that not only can mold contribute to autoimmune problems, autoimmune problems that are medicated using immune suppressing medications can contribute to mold illness. Mold often overcomes a person’s immune system when it is suppressed. So if you have been taking steroids like prednisone or corticosteroids for chronic pain, you should be aware that long term use of these drugs suppresses the immune system making it more susceptible to the mold issue. It is a common practice for doctors to prescribe medications that inhibit the immune system when treating autoimmune disease. So be aware that the longer your immune system is being suppressed, the greater the risk of developing a mold related problem.

What Does Mold Have to Do With Gluten and Grains?

Many grains are cross contaminated with both mold and mycotoxins. So for those of you with gluten sensitivity issues, chronic mold related illness can start initially with gluten damaging your immune system and causing it to become weaker and more susceptible to mold. You can learn more about this connection in a previous article I wrote called Mold Toxicity Vs. Gluten Sensitivity Have you had an experience with chronic mold exposure and autoimmune disease? Chime in below and share your experience.

41 Responses

  1. I was exposed to the mold after we had leakage from the pipe, and my asthma condition worsened. I was forced to move out, I was not able to sleep at night.

  2. Thanks foe writing this. It is very timely. I’m looking forward to learning more as I was recently diagnosed with mold toxicity I suppose many people in the Houston area have this issue.

  3. Thank you this is something I have lived with for years. For those with a mold allergy be very careful of the mulch you use. It is full of mold, I was turn my mulch last spring and ended up in urgent care unable t9 breathe properly. This incident has made the sensitivity to this allergy so much worse.

  4. I am sensitive to mold. After treatment for macrons, I doo daily netti pot nasal washes. Looking forward to getting an ERMI test done on my house. Installing rain gutters and building up the foundation grades on all my houses as well as inspecting attics & dehumidifying basements. Getting tested and then doing these things may be a good place to start.

  5. I have been sick for over 10 years. We just found out our home has mold. A remediation company is coming this week to remove the walls in my master bedroom to treat and also in my dining room. Five days to complete this. I knew my home was making me sick. So happy we found this out.

    1. Not sure if you can help me with any information but we live in Long Island Massapequa NY. I have been progessively getting worse with sinus issues for the pass 5 years. Im always afraid to have a mold specialist come in and possibly make things up because they are working with contractors. ect. Like a money thing. What do you look for in a company ect.

      1. As far as I know, einkorn is not safe to eat if you have celiac, but I would be interested to learn more!

  6. Your validation of this illness is heartening, and even life saving. Having been to so many practitioners both conventional and holistic/integrative who are completely ignorant of the many effects of mold/mycotoxins and living/working in a contaminated environment, and having spent the majority of my life’s savings on trying to find a way out of the living death that is the existence for those of us suffering from this, your message is a breath of fresh, hopeful and life-sustaining air. Your spirit is that of a true healer. Thank you for all you do!

    1. Oh my Goodness, you mention how practitioners are completely ignorant of the effects of mycotoxins….WHY!!!! Why don’t they know? Why don’t they do the research that I’ve been doing? Why aren’t they listening to me? I know the source and the exact types of mold I’ve been exposed to, including a copy of the air quality test results from the company that performed the test at my workplace. How many more hoops do I need to jump through and when will I live a pain-free life again? 🙁 🙁 🙁

    1. Yes, when I feel that I know mold is around. It also triggers alopecia areata in me. I’ve gotten away from the environment twice and went into full remission.

    2. I lived in a moldy home for 12 months when I developed an autoimmune disease called Scleroderma. I also had breast implants for 24 yrs that slowly poisoned me and created the perfect terrain for mold to thrive in my body. I moved and explanted ( removed ) my implants and I’m healing.

    3. Yes it can. Excessive exposure to black mold will cause internal inflammation known as CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome). The inflammation causes pressure on the nerves which will lead to the destruction of the myelin sheath. A nerve that has a damaged myelin sheath is like an electrical cord having a short circuit. It can cause a rash, burning, itching and a tingling sensation. Inflammation is the fuel to the fire of all complications with black mold.

  7. Omg I dealing with chronic migraines and I found out I had been exposed to mold and sewer gases for 5 years. I’m from Canada and most medical doctors don’t believe in naturopath doctors and vis versa. I had lab tests done in the states cause Canada doesn’t have any. It came back 3 harmful mycotoxins. I’m detoxing but my migraines have not stopped. Today I seen a new doctor and he thinks lupus or fibromyalgia?

    1. A lot of people suffering from mold toxicity are misdiagnosed with autoimmune diseases. I myself was diagnosed with lupus anticoagulant, it took a lot out of me to not take medication and instead follow a detox protocol which helped so much. Of course I am no expert so definitely consult with a specialist to have proper care.

  8. I have had lost of issues and attacks over the years. Recently I have had a lot of testing trying to pinpoint what was causing my gallbladder attack like symptoms. I took a zyto scan which showed very high amounts of Mycotoxins (we used to live in a house with water issues but had testing that showed no black mold) and recently I had a positive autoimmune blood test. I haven’t seen a rheumatologist yet because of insurance issues and I’m not sure if I should mention the Zyto scan or not.

  9. But how can it be proven? Are there labs that can be done? I’m dealing with immune issue as well as a known mold problem in my apartment that my landlord refuses toaddress. I have been getting progressively sicker year after year that I’m finally thinking that it is this home that is making me sick. How does one pursue it and have the evidence to back it up? I seriously need help. Ki

  10. My son is sick with autoimmune encephalitis and my family lived in a home full of black mold for 4 years. I begged doctors to address the mold in his system and they chose to focus on how his autoimmune attack rendered him a diabetic it was always about the diabetes. Now he just got off life support and just started after 24 days to have any reaction period. Hyperbarics is the last thing they will try although the doctor who knew mycotoxins were in my sons system recommended it now. They are doing his last plasma phresesis treatment tomorrow then IvIg and last hyperbarics so I know the medical community cares nothing about what mold can do. I’m living the nightmare NOW!

  11. I had to come to live with my sister and her family 4-5 months ago. I had no idea the house was flooded. All they did was clean up the water. After some pestering from me they had someone come to test for mold. That’s it. Have not done anything else about. I have autoimmune hepatitis-liver disease,, diabetes, hypertension, short term memory loss. Worried to death of how it is affecting me. Was just now put on prednisone for my livers disease. Dr. said I have scarring of my liver, which I believe I didn’t have before I came here. Don’t know if mold cause scarring. So thankful I found this information.


    1. Mold can stress the liver, gallbladder, lymph, actually everything. Read Dr Jill Crista’ book “Break the mold” about ways to recover from all this. Most conditions can be reversed once removing mold and MYCOTOXINS from your system.

  12. Wow, I never would have put these two together. I have psoriatic arthritis/psoriasis, fibromyalgia, RA, Osteo, skin vasculitis amongst other problems. Auto immune issues has given me many medical conditions sometimes Doctors questions things. I have been struggling with nausea, a cough that is just now calming down since January, It’s June 11 now, severe sinus headaches, dizziness, being lightheaded, fatigue anywhere from 12 hrs of sleep to 18 hrs of sleep. Since January I haven’t had much relief. Psoriatic arthritis brings a huge amt. of fatigue so does fibromyalgia and RA. But this has been the worst it’s ever been. My doc knows my conditions and told me a few months ago she thinks it is mold exposure. Well, due to hurricanes we have had roof issues at times, leakage in from heavy rains, At one point due to the hurricanes that sent 3 to us at one time, my daughter and I were hospitalized with upper respiratory infections, a few times. We had a mold litigation and found 30% of mold in my bedroom and 80% mold in our back room. We took off the drywall and treated. But, after the hurricanes last year, we noticed a line of water on the ceiling, going from the walk through to the back patio doors, it has black dots now on the ceiling and some larger patches about the size of my fist, we treated with straight clorox and it killed it but the problem is WHAT is under the drywall and where is the leak? We lost over 50 shingles last year and could not get help from FEMA. We need a new roof and can’t afford it right now with I being on disability and Hubby being cut to 4 hrs a day, if that, due to Covid-19. I continue to get worse and worse, a slight cough where before it was as though I had a chronic coughing problem, headaches, fatigue, nausea, a heavy chest at times and it’s not my heart, I’ve had my heart checked. Breathing issues but not short of breath. I have small patches of rashes on my legs, and itchy chest with a small amount of pinhole little sores, crazy! I feel like I’m “shutting down” sometimes feeling like “I’m fading” it’s scary! After reading this I have most of the symptoms mentioned and have been dealing with this at this extreme for 5-6 months now. The problem with having so many medical issues makes it hard to diagnose what the underlying problem is or what could be causing it. I wish I could move but that is not even a choice. We found out mold litigation if over $800 and we do not have house insurance right now either. So I guess it’s stay sick. It’s been miserable, all I do is sleep and feel so sick I am also having extreme amounts of pain in my leg, been to the E.R. no blood clot but now I have a narrowing of the artery and blood pooling causing the pain, they say. I am strong and have been ill most of my life, but lately all I do is cry. TY for this information.

    1. Bleach won’t kill black mold. It only discolors it. Biocide is an excellent choice for treating and killing black mold. We used it and it took care of the problem.

    2. Feel like a garbage bag over your head? Can’t get air in your lungs?
      See an immunologist and a pulmonologyst !
      Find a United way and a community action center to help asap call Red Cross and a st Vincent DePaul place to help
      You !
      I know there’s no place that’s really helpful but maybe these organizations can .
      Call your state board health maybe they can give you a non profit group that can help! But get to pulmonologyst and a Immunologyst asap

  13. I can not be in my children’s houses because of mold. ERMI test were negative. The ERMI tests are not sensitive enough.

  14. I was nearly killed by mold in a new apartment building with a nonworking HVAC system. My heat pump filter in my apartment was black with mold. I developed severe asthma and other symptoms; I was a yoga teacher; a healthy 145 pounds . Within eight months at 5′ 9″ I was down to 104 pounds and was bedridden. My doctors did not know what to do with me. Despite me bringing them article after article, to educate them about mold, I was left to treat my mold illness on my own. On the verge of death I left my apartment on my doctors recommendation. I was in bed for another six months. I could not walk to my car I was so weak and breathless. Two years later, using my own recovery system as a result of my research, I am back to doing 3 miles uphill walking weightlifting and Pilates. The worst thing about my experience is that this new apartment building is affordable housing. The people that live in the building most of them have MS. Apartment managers did absolutely nothing ,the state itself did absolutely nothing and the building is 100 feet from a city block wide electrical substation, with powerlines all over the place. According to Dr. KLINGHARDT, dirty EMF increases toxicity of mold by several hundred percent.The people that live in the building are constantly having exacerbations & new diagnoses of respiratory conditions. If I knew what to do? I would do something. Because these people are disabled already, no bureaucracy seems to care. I am very grateful that I escaped with my life. This was one of the most defining experiences in my life. It is very hard to avoid mold it is endemic in new construction which is built with cheap Chinese building materials as well as an older water damage construction. My hope for everyone is that if they get sick with an UNdiagnosable illness that they find a Doctor who is willing to help them. Going through this experience alone, with no help or resources was devastating. My doctors now tell me that they thought I was going to die. I consider myself very lucky to be alive.

  15. So there is mold in my place bad enough to make a hole in my bathroom wall. Well my daughter was there her whole pregnancy and she had a baby girl and we were told that her blood wa abnormal. And untreated she will die . It will effect her lungs and kidneys. Plus my grandson 2yrs old has had runny and been sick since she brought him my daughter depression can’t sleep and me I have memeryloss could all this be from the mold and I just get feel tired and weak

  16. I was exposed to several types of molds a few years back in a classroom I taught in and I had miscarriages, face swelling, migraines and a general unwell and tired feeling. When I went to an allergist she said my body was reacting as if I had severe autoimmune issues as a result. Now years later I’m having issues with gluten. I’m also getting random rashes that if I itch turn to huge painful welts. It feels like a bruising under it even the next day. I feel like I’m becoming sensitive to everything now.

    1. Excessive exposure to black mold will cause internal inflammation. The inflammation can cause many neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases. I now have rheumatoid arthritis because of black mold.

  17. I’ve been in the tile business for 10 years soo working around mold isn’t a new thing. I recently remodeled a bathroom which high levels of black mold worst I’ve ever seen. 2 weeks into the project I was getting more and more sore and then I couldn’t walk. I’ve now basically been in bed rest for the most of 5 months. I’ve gone to the doctor had X-rays, blood work done at my primary and the rheumatologist. All blood work comes back clean. I have elevated levels in scleroderma 70 antibodies but no autoimmune disease. They have no idea what it is. I keep saying mold but I am not being taken seriously. Mycotoxins are not taken seriously in the medical field and I’m beyond frustrated. If anyone has any advice, comments or guesses let me know.

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