Mould exposure, and their production of secondary metabolites called mycotoxins, have been shown to contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Before we start other blogs that you might be interested in, include:
- The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins
- Mould Illness: A Functional Medicine Approach
- Ochratoxin A
Mould, Mycotoxins And Chronic Fatigue
In one study, urine specimens from 104 of 112 patients (93%) were positive for at least one mycotoxin (one in the equivocal range). Almost 30% of the cases had more than one mycotoxin present. OTA was the most prevalent mycotoxin detected (83%)
Exposure histories indicated current and/or past exposure to WDB in over 90% of cases. Environmental testing was performed in the WDB from a subset of these patients. This testing revealed the presence of potentially mycotoxin producing mold species and mycotoxins in the environment of the WDB. Prior testing in a healthy control population with no history of exposure to a WDB or moldy environment (n = 55) by the same laboratory, utilizing the same methods, revealed no positive cases at the limits of detection.
But how does mould illness cause fatigue?
How Does Mould And Mycotoxins Cause Chronic Fatigue?
A brilliant article in NDNR discusses three mechanisms behind mould illness and chronic fatigue:
- Decreased oxygenation
- Decreased mitochondrial function
- Neurotransmitter imbalances
I would have to add to this list compromised gut health also. In my blog ‘Can Mould & Mycotoxin Exposure Cause Gut Problems?‘ I describe how mycotoxins cause both structural and functional changes in the gut.
To expand on the three mechanisms listed above though, decreased oxygenation may occur due to the mycotoxins ochratoxin A and citrinin sequestering iron, and thus preventing its use by the body. This is referred to as ‘Nutritional Immunity’ – the process by which, in the face of an infection, the host will attempt to sequester nutrients in order to control the pathogenicity of an offending agent (an infection/toxin).
Mycotoxins are known disruptors of mitochondrial function, and this is partly mediated via oxidative stress which creates dysfunction at various sites of the mitochondria. The mitochondria are often described as the “power houses of the cells”, and where energy is created.
Finally, some mycotoxins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, where they may interfere with neurotransmitter production and function. Animal research demonstrates a decreased level of dopamine after being exposed to the mycotoxin ochratoxin A.
How To Test For Mycotoxins In The U.K?
There is a urine mycotoxins test available in the UK via Regenerus Labs. Below is a sample of the report:
Treatment Of Mould Illness And Mycotoxins
This is discussed in more detail in The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins blog. Some of the main components include:
- Leaving the property if it is the source of the mould.
- A low mould diet: click here for more information.
- Supplementation including:
- Sweating: sauna therapy is a great option.
- Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Mycotoxin: Its Impact on Gut Health and Microbiota
- Effects of Mycotoxins on the Intestine
- Impact of Mycotoxins on the Intestine: Are Mucus and Microbiota New Targets?
- Modulation of Intestinal Functions Following Mycotoxin Ingestion: Meta-Analysis of Published Experiments in Animals
- Probiotic Supplementation Reduces a Biomarker for Increased Risk of Liver Cancer in Young Men From Southern China
- Effect of Supplementation of Fermented Milk Drink Containing Probiotic Lactobacillus Casei Shirota on the Concentrations of Aflatoxin Biomarkers Among Employees of Universiti Putra Malaysia: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Cross-Over, Placebo-Controlled Study