How Do I Know If It’s Mold Making Me Sick?

Picture of mold spores on a dish
Patients and friends often ask me, “How do I know if mold is making me sick?” Most of the time, either their symptoms brought them to read about mold-triggered illness, or they know about my personal story with mold, and they hope that I can provide some answers. Unfortunately, a definitive “yes” or “no” is not always easy when it comes to mold—the presentation of mold-related illness can mimic many different illnesses, and there is no “positive/negative” lab test to be done. Over time spent working with patients and sorting through the many and varied ways in which mold can present, though, I have found that a combination of observations, tests, and evaluations can lead to an accurate diagnosis.

A Detailed Patient History

Everything must start with a detailed patient history.  Even if mold is making me sick, it may not begin causing symptoms in a noticeable way until the capacity or threshold of the individual patient has been breached. This explains why several people in one household may have vastly different manifestations or severity of symptoms, even though they are ALL living in the same moldy environment.  The patient’s history, when recorded exactly and with attention to the right questions, can often be the first and most obvious indicator of mold illness.

Mold-Illness Symptoms

As we have mentioned in previous articles, symptoms of mold-triggered illness can affect all of the organ systems of the body. Symptoms can be strictly respiratory, such as chronic sinusitis and bronchitis, or can involve other expressions that are not commonly thought of as being related to mold, especially the fatigue and brain fog and neuromuscular complaints. READ MORE . . .

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