Reset Retreats

Could it be a mild-moderate mold problem? Checklist of symptoms with Christa Biegler, RD

In this continuation of episode 245, "I split tested my urine mycotoxin test," I go through dead ringer mold symptoms, a huge checklist of severe, moderate, and mild symptoms, and how I've changed my approach in practice.

You can also apply to become a client now and get your case reviewed right now in August to get started in September.

Here are some dead ringer mold symptoms if you have 2-3 of them: 

  • Nasal sores
  • Unproductive sore throat 
  • Joint pain, especially in hands/feet 
  • Lichen Schlerosus or sharp vaginal pain 
  • Lymph node swelling 
  • Increased allergies 
  • Itching on the base of the scalp, especially at night 
  • Significant negative "detox reactions" f
  • Mouth sores from citric acid 
  • Chronic sinus congestion or throat clearing 

If going through the symptoms is a little fast, here is a version of Dr. Jill Christa's mold questionnaire. I find people that score at least a 7 are positive for mycotoxins.

But I also think people don't check all the potential boxes (histamine issues, etc).



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Christa (00:24):
Welcome to the Lessed Stressed life where we help women and families overcome fatigue, foods, sensitivities, and inflammation. And the goal here is really to help you heal yourself. If you find this show or episode helpful, please repay the favor and share it with a friend or leave me review on the purple podcast app. If that's where you listen or wherever else you can listen, actually, all of our active links that you may want that give you very easy access to leaving a review [email protected]/links links. I am your host, Christa Biegler and integrative dietician, nutritionist, and lover of all kinds of foods and my chickens. So a couple episodes ago, I talked about the mold situation that I have found myself in this year and today. And I promise that I would come back and talk about symptoms, and I find that this is really sneaky.

Christa (01:15):
So I wanna talk to you about how I used to think about mold and how I kind of think about it now, because now it's like a nagging annoying thing when it's more mild to moderate. So we're gonna talk a little bit about mild symptoms, moderate symptoms, and severe symptoms. But first of all, let me set the stage. What I want you to think about with mold is that it's an aggressive fungus. So we have just setting the stage. We have our microbiome, which is our bacteria culture, like bacteria ecosystem of our in on and around our body. And then we also have the microbiome that's the fungal ecosystem. And I think that there is still, the microbiome has gotten a lot of press for a lot of years. The microbiome, not as much, if people are talking about fungus, they say I have Canda, or I did this Ken cleanse, right?

Christa (02:03):
We use the word Canino, which is one strain. But what you wanna think about with mold is that it's a more aggressive version of fungus. So it's just a big, ugly, hairy fungus, and there's many, many types. And if you can see mold, there's hundreds of mycotoxins that are being distributed from it. At least this is what that statement is from other mold experts that I've interviewed, not from my, not from myself, but so hundreds, I mean, when we do these microtoxin tests, we have like a handful of mycotoxins. We get to look at what I want you to know is that mold is gonna look like really bad detoxification potential. So this shows up a lot in my skin clients, because they already have poor detoxification. And I was a skin person. We already have poor detoxification. The skin is a safe place for us to get rid of things.

Christa (02:55):
So you can just guarantee that. So this would be, if you just do not do well, trying to clear toxic burden in general. So if it's abusing, so I'll just give you a couple examples. So someone was in my inbox today, and I remember she had told me that when she added an omega, this is a little bit of a, of a rabbit hole, but maybe useful. This person told me that when she in the past has ever taken like omega three fatty acids, she's gotten cystic acne, which tells me that she's got some issues with what's going on with the liver. So the liver would produce bile. Bile is like the one sentence answer to how the body packages of toxins and eliminates them. So I know she's not metabolizing fats beautifully, which is gonna lead to conditions like dry eye and all kinds of things that you wouldn't think can be related, but dry eye, I hang out with an optometrist all the time.

Christa (03:45):
<Laugh> and she's always talking to me about this. So we, we, we talk about this all the time. So detoxification symptoms can look like a lot of things. It can look like skin symptoms. It can look like heightened sense of smell. It can look like just, it can look like fatigue. Unfortunately, it's a little bit big and I can talk more about detox symptoms, but it also can look like recurrent fungal symptoms. So what this is doing is because it's a more aggressive toxin, it's gonna look like not only a fungal infection or recurrent fungal infection or one you just cannot get rid of, and it just relapses and relapses and, or it's gonna look like issues with detoxification, gallbladder, et cetera, because those endotoxins have to get out somehow. So you need garbage men. You need detoxification, you need to deliver to be working in your BI systems, your gallbladder to be working, to eliminate that.

Christa (04:35):
So if there's any malfunction in that junction, it is going to look like a problem. So for me, as a clinician, I'm used, I'm used to being able to see what's kind of average response and what is a more delayed response or a more severe response to things. And then when I see more delayed and severe responses to things, because I believe that we're very good at putting together very high quality protocols, then it kind of makes me give mold to side eye, and then I start screening for that harder. Actually. Now we've just moved mold screening up. I think like many things, once you become more aware of something, you just cannot unsee it, right? Like with that sluggish thyroid stuff, which was a, you know, an episode probably back in April that was very popular about when your labs normal, but you don't feel normal.

Christa (05:18):
All right, let's get into biggest dead ringers of mold for me. Now, when I see these, I'm like, Hey, I'm really suspicious. Like if you have like three of these, I'm kind of concerned. So these are like very specific. I think mold symptoms, if in, if they're not isolated, like one, there's a couple that are, that are kind of like super, just mold symptoms on their own. But most of them, I won at least 2, 3, 4 of these, probably three, two to three is gonna be most common for the majority of people with like maybe mild to moderate mold. So nasal source, I talked about this with my own story in the last episode where I talked about where I talked about my old mold story. So nasal source, you literally, if you are not in my body, if you're not me, you would not see these on my face.

Christa (06:06):
I think you'd have to be looking up my nose to see these they're just on the very edge and they're very subtle, but if I feel that skin it's got like little rough patches, and if I like pick at it, I can like so more pronounced nasal SOS. Yeah. Much more severe, but this is like mild to moderate, right? So little tiny nasal stores, unproductive sore throat, meaning you wake up or you have this odd sore throat. Or recently with some cases, I've had people where I've done some things to upregulate bile and support detoxification. It's kind of provoking a sore throat. So what's happening. I always use this analogy of like pulling the dust outta the corners. If you start provoking this out of the tissue in the cell, cause the body's gonna look to manage this in your body so you can function.

Christa (06:47):
It's gonna like shove it away in the cells. And so it'll pull it to the surface and then you can have unproductive sore throat, meaning like you never fully get sick. But it just, you have a sore throat and then it kind of goes away and then joint pain, especially in the hands and the feet, especially if it's pokey, that's a more moderate, severe one. I find like for sure, moderate. I've also seen that just present in the morning or present in certain areas, but definitely hands feet, sometimes hip S knees. It just kind of depends. There's other bacteria that cause rotating joint pain as well. So again, I'm gonna give you what 10 symptoms I think, and I should stop I'll I'll recap them here. And then we're gonna go through a checklist of like mild symptoms and fungal symptoms and more moderate sphere.

Christa (07:30):
But these are just very mold specific symptoms that make me very suspicious. Like, yep. I think we should, should test and address this appropriately. Nasal sores, unproductive sore throat, joint pain, especially in the hands and feet. Again, you have to have multiples of these. Especially if it's a really pokey, that's like an oxalate thing. And so one of my complaints got mold is that it makes it look like you have a lot of food sensitivities. And so sometimes some foods will really up regulate this joint pain, but you probably have to be pretty pretty kind of in the weeds to, to catch that lichen sclerosis or sharp vaginal pain that is actually related to oxalates as well. So it's just a different presentation of how that can be, which is just a sneaky little bugger. And so until that really started presenting in clients again and again, I was like, huh, I'm really perplexed by this.

Christa (08:18):
And I was looking for the different relationships and when I saw oxalates was a potential cause. So oxalates during natural food chemical, and when your body is overloaded with fungus and mold is just a aggressive fungus, you cannot metabolize or break those down. And so when you eat foods high in oxalates, that you would normally be able to break down, they build up and they cause like shark, pointy pain and potentially even like kidney stones, lymph node swelling. So that's like a systemic inflammatory sign and symptom and it's not necessarily mold only. But I think like when we've got a lot of lymphatic backup, we definitely wanna look at hard hitters for inflammation. A mold is just such a systemic inflammatory thing that affects every system. So I'm talking about recurrent fungal symptoms. I'm talking about poor detox symptoms, but in general it could make your guts a mess.

Christa (09:07):
Anyway, you know, I digress as I talk about every symptom increased allergies. So overall over increase of allergies, especially as an adult that can be overall gut liver stuff, but mold just taxes what's going on in the gut. And the liver just makes it so much more severe. This is a really interesting one. So I am like a common denominator fric <laugh> I've never seen this on any either list, but I've been getting together with a group of practitioners. We call ourselves the mold groupies and we just kind of exchange case studies and stories and like what's working, not working. It's a lovely thing. And so I was chatting with one of my friends and I was going through my like catalog in my brain <laugh> of how often I see this very specific thing. So itching at the base of the scalp, like between the back of the neck and where the hair starts.

Christa (09:52):
But especially at night, we see that in mold and it's such a sneaky thing cause it could be bacteria and fungus. Like the things that you use for treating bacteria and fungus can work on mold. It's just, again, that mold is more severe. So it's such a sneaky one significant negative detoxification reaction. So doing something to kill something like, let me give you a quick example. This is not an amazing one, but it's a little, it's a, it's a die off story. Once upon a time I took a probiotic called SPBI, it's an antifungal. Sporatic called SISes blaring and I took a high dose. I tend to be kind of aggressive and impatient and sometimes you need to deal with the consequences of being aggressive and impatient. And I ended up with spots everywhere all over my body. And I was like, wow, that's interesting.

Christa (10:38):
They did not itch fortunately. And it was gone within a couple of days because I did not continue to push on that. I just kind of stopped that, but I basically gave myself something that was quite antifungal in a state of, I could not clear that I didn't have any other support to clear that. And it was kind of trying to shift too much too soon. You know, it's kind of, that's like a way that can present mouth source from citrus acid. So Citrix acid used to be innocent and from citrus and now it can be grown on mold as an additive or preservative. And so if you have like just these bizarre, like sores on your tongue that come and go from different foods. So I also would get them from certain nuts, which can be moldy some of them. So this is why it's really like obnoxious because some things will cause a problem and some things won't.

Christa (11:27):
So it'll be a little bit hard to find or pinpoint the problem. And this is very classical now, not everyone has it, but if someone's got this it can definitely be a, a mold thing. Chronic sinus congestion, especially onset of, you know, whenever this exposure happened or throat clearing. So I didn't used to have throat clearing on there, but as I've kind of gone through my old Mo my own mold symptoms and watched and looked at all my clients and kind of like pulled together this, I, I was working on a list last week of what things make me the most suspicious out of all the symptoms, cuz I have many, many, many, and I'm gonna try to go through a shortened list of them, but anything that looks like worse, worse detox symptoms and recurrent fungal symptoms, those were really mold suspicious. Now what I wanna mention also are more, some more severe mold symptoms because in practice I used to only think we needed to deal with mold when it was really severe.

Christa (12:23):
I now believe, so this is like the same. I I'm having really the same kind of come to Jesus as I, I was having a thyroid in the last year, over this like last year or two, who knows they all blurred together. But anyway, I remember being really distraught. That labs were normal for thyroid, but you didn't feel normal well with mold actually all of our mycotoxin tests are positive. Technically you heard me talk about that last time I split tested the mycotoxin tests, they're both positive. They both got different results. I thought that was really interesting. What's important is I think that the timeline for treatment is a bit extended. And so for stem in our purposes, it's really nice to see those positive results. So you can see what they look like. So I used to just think that if it was very severe, it was an issue and these were some other symptoms I used to describe.

Christa (13:14):
Now, not everyone feels like this because it, it may be one place and not the other. And on another episode, we should talk about internal address, like addressing this internally, cuz that's something I look at in practice. And then how you address this in your environment, which is not, I don't come over and fix this in your house. Like, this is why opening this door is not exactly. It's not like a real, it's not like a quick door. <Laugh> it's like, well this is a package you open and it's kind of ugly on the other side a little bit. Sometimes, sometimes it's not that bad, but usually it is cuz it's more aggressive and severe. So, but if you notice a difference in how you feel on vacation or away from home or away from a workplace or you notice significant health problems beginning after living in a certain place really, really, really important to sit down and if you have different health symptoms compile them and then also to like timeline out like your history of stress and your history of where you've lived and like the, the exacerbation of different symptoms.

Christa (14:09):
I've actually been thinking about this a lot. Like when my oldest daughter where she would've gotten exposed, I ran across some old medical records from probably when she was five, the other day I'm going through a, quite a purge. And she, and there was some, there was a, she has geographic tongue, which is essentially a fungal symptom and it's like just spotted like white coated, spotted tongue. And it's technically a medical diagnosis. But I think it's a fungal symptom. And I saw it was noted like as a child and I thought, oh my gosh, what did I not know? <Laugh> when she was a child, like good grief. So I just, I've been really cataloging like where we lived over those times and like how long it's been an issue and I'm not freaking out. There's just things we can do to fix it.

Christa (14:51):
I really just don't believe so many people start to Google and they freak out about mold cuz it looks like you need to burn your house down. And I just, it doesn't, there's nothing helpful about that feeling. I know, I understand like sometimes that's emotion you have to go through, but there's nothing that's like such a disempowered state. So I'm just like in, I really, my, my hope for humanity is like an empowered state around health. So that's why that's the point of this podcast. Okay. Anyway, you notice a clear difference how you feel on vacation, away from home or away from this workplace or you notice symptoms after you lived in a place or were working in a certain place. You or your children are sick frequently. If it's more moderate to severe, it's gonna be like monthly every other month. If it's more like mild to moderate, it's gonna be like quarterly or having like unreasonably high allergies, you cannot resolve fungal infections or you have a significant fungal symptoms or recurrent bacterial vaginal.

Christa (15:43):
So fungal symptoms include things like toil, fungus, athletes, foot vaginal yeast infections, white coated tongue sugar cravings, oh, here are some like this itchy ears is like fungus all the way. Some ear nose and throat concerns, sinus congestion stuff, throat clearing stuff, all of those. So I was talking about home mold, assaults, detoxification, and there's so many symptoms that, that overlap. But you can have just, you're putting on weight really quickly because in theory, like of course mold screws up everything. So it's gonna affect thyroid. It's gonna affect everything. But remember the body's solution to pollution is dilution. So it may shove it away in tissue or you may have undesired weight loss. So all of those things onset of thyroid issues, excess estrogen, that's like period symptoms. We're SNE around your cycle now that not all of this, like if you have one of those symptoms, it does not mean it is from mold.

Christa (16:39):
I'm just saying if there's like many of these that are stacking up, like again and again and again, it's worth screening and considering whether mold could be a problem and then addressing it appropriately because not addressing it app app. So it's cost a little bit more in the, at the beginning I think. And it's a bit of a pain in the butt <laugh> but I just think like you save money and not relapsing in the future. And even if you do relapse and go backwards, like let's say you move forward and then you kind of go backwards cuz you get some exposure, it comes to life like this seems to be a problem, then fine then deal with it then. Right? Like you just, you can like, we're always in pursuit of some like the time is gonna pass anyway. And so it's not that you should always be a constant project, but aren't we all a constant project.

Christa (17:26):
So anyway, I'm just saying like try to have like an optimistic attitude about it because if you can learn about it, if you can feel empowered, if you can understand it, then you know, like you're just better than 90% of other people. Right? So so de detoxification subtle joint pain that doesn't go away. Those were all like bigger, more significant fungal symptoms to me before I started watching for less severe ones. So this episode is supposed to be mostly about symptoms. So in that vein, I'm actually gonna go more quickly now through many of the questions in our mold questionnaire. Now I'm not gonna be able to help you score this. I just want you to think about the severity of this overall. I'm actually gonna start with some of the more severe ones and go to some of the more mild ones.

Christa (18:10):
Some of the more mild ones could just be generalized fungal overgrowth, but some of these let me start with this. These are more severe symptoms daily use of sinus, basically daily, chronic sinus congestion, peanut allergy, difficulty walking pots, postural tachycardia syndrome that has like become a big thing. Not gonna go off on that. Tangent, that tangent confusion, memory loss respiratory distress, arrhythmia histamine issues. I think so often my clients do have histamine issues. They don't even mark that one E O E eosinophilic esophagitis, non CLIC, intestinal disease, cyclical, vomiting syndrome, fatty liver. It's estimated that very high amount of the population of fatty liver. But most people don't know because of biopsy. Interstitial cystitis. So bladder pain. That's another one. I don't think people mark that one enough either. And I think that goes along with the oxalates, the vaginal pain, et cetera, kidney disease, chronic pelvic pain, mass cell activation syndrome, something that's become more and more thing kind of post COVID D stuff, sinus surgery, any time of your life.

Christa (19:21):
Markon chronic fatigue, DYS Sono, which is kind of like some imbalance stuff. Hearing loss, dementia, tremors scarring ulcers, blood and stool infertility cancer, diagnosis, history, exposure to any water damage building in your life or positive. There's some screening tools out there called Shoemaker tests and positive to that. So those are the more severe, very severe symptoms. These are more moderate ones, wheezing, burning lungs, migraine voice sounds nasally, chronic sinusitis alternating. And there's a lot of overlap here. You know, I I'd like to clean these up, but in general, I wanna get you in the right direction here. If there's you have to check like 20 of these out of this list, wheezing, burning lungs, migraine voice sounds nasally. So just make some ticks. Chronic sinusitis, alternating, constipation, diarrhea, diarrhea, food sensitivities. It's gonna be like lots of food. Sensitivities, abnormal reactions to antibiotics, big one.

Christa (20:19):
Recurrent used infection, recurrent athletes, foot jockish, toenail, fungus episodes of fast heart rate Ray not syndrome. That's been a really fun one to observe lately with clients, difficulty in thinking clearly balance issues in coordination, nerve pain, overactive bladder reaction to musty spaces, asthma recurrent respiratory infections, allergies aren't controlled well by medication plugged or clogged ears, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, chemical sensitivities, Epstein bar virus, bacterial vaginosis, peeling, or sloughing skin, especially dry feet, which can go along with thyroid stuff, chest pain, non obstructive sleep apnea, disorientation, slow refluxes, numbness or tinkling unexplained menstruals changes and bladder infection. So that was a lot. You'd have to be like many, many, many of those would start to make you say like, man, maybe this is starting to kind of come together. So actually what I'm reviewing right now is a slight edit for Dr. Jill Christa's mold questionnaire.

Christa (21:17):
So you might be able to like search Dr. Jill, Kristen find the questionnaire, but I'm gonna keep going. I've got a couple more pages of symptoms. These are more mild to moderate symptoms overall. So I'm just gonna run through these. You'd have to have like, you know, 10, 15, probably 15 to 20 of these for this particular section of score high brain fog, frequent running nose Cing postnasal drips. While on gland frequent yellowing or SI headaches, irritation frequent changes in vision, dark circles under the eyes nervousness can't settle, feeling overwhelmed, irritated lungs, nasal polyps, sores in the mouth thrush ringing in the ears. Skin rash, easy bruising bothered by tags and seams on clothings protruding veins on libs clearing your throat often frequent cold, exhausted from exercise, increased thirst, feeling of internal vibration vertigo, frequent urination change in appetite, nausea, constipation, crave, alcohol, feel tired all the time.

Christa (22:12):
Blow your nose all the time. Nose bleeds, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, hay fever, blurry, vision allergy sensitivity to sunlight, low mood depressed, episodic chronic dry cough, blood streak TA mucus coated tongue bumps in the back of the throat. Sore and itchy ear canals bothered by loud noises, burning Orchy skin, spider veins, anemia, lower extremity edema, sore throat delayed recovery from colds, frequent static shocks, trouble, sleeping, dizziness, drunken, feeling yeast infection and intestinal gas, feeling bloated and crave sweets. I know that was kind of a lot. You might resonate with a lot of those, that particular section. You need to get a whole bunch. The point here is awareness because I feel like I spend a lot of time educating and trying to bring people into awareness around, Hey, you could have this like kind of sneaky, sneaky little guy going on and it is gonna send you backwards.

Christa (23:00):
You're gonna go forward during protocols. And when you come off, if your protocol is not quite mold specific you could go backwards accidentally, especially the problem is, is it's such environmentally driven that if someone's living in mold, usually all the symptoms are gonna be much more severe and much more, much bigger. And one of the big things that comes up is why does one person in a house maybe not have the exact same symptoms? First step is awareness and everything. And so going through this kind of questionnaire is really helpful to start to bring awareness. First of all, second piece is genetics and everyone's got a little bit of a different bucket in what is full. So I'm gonna leave it there right now. Today was just about mycotoxin symptoms and to bring awareness to that, I hope this was helpful for you.

Christa (23:42):
If it is please share write a review, send in questions. I'd love to do Q and a right now it's August. And in August only I'm enrolling new clients. So basically to become a client, you book a call a one on one or a very small group call to go through your case history. So I can put together the pieces, make sense of it. I don't wanna work with you unless I know I can help. So I want to get in there a sleuth behind the scenes and figure out like, if you need a Mo talk Mo test added on, because you know, there's a little bit of an added expense. So if it's not a good fit for someone, then why would I do it? Right? But all those symptoms kind of point me toward like understanding someone's history, et cetera helps point towards, should we do that testing right away?

Christa (24:27):
And do we wanna include that in our overall protocol? So you can head over to Krista Our program is called food sensitivity solutions in the fatigue fix. Honestly, it's just fixing everything. <Laugh> gut liver adrenals and thyroid stuff. All of that is looked at nutrient deficiencies. We look at all the things because I think once I like open a box, I'm like, I just wanna fix everything in here as much as possible. Or as, as much as we can in the amount of prescribed amount of time, then there's always options to do more. One other thing I wanna mention though, about mold stuff is that sometimes you can have really sad adrenals which is gonna look like major exhaustion and not being able to recover and all kinds of things, low blood pressure, dizziness upon sitting to standing and mold just abuses the overall adrenal system. It's just like, it's really a, it's really damaging to a lot of systems. So this podcast is not meant to be scary. It is meant to be helpful, help increase your awareness because once you're more aware, you can then be empowered to take action. If it's a good time for you, have a great day and I'll see you next week,

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