Could Mold Be the Cause of Your Health Problems? One Family’s Unbelievable Story – Part 2

The information provided in this post is for information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Could Mold Be the Cause of Health Problems .jpg

{More on mold toxicity. Last week, Andrea Fabry shared with us the beginning of her family's story of mold poisoning from black mold. If you missed it, you need to go back and see what they went through.

Her story continues here.}

When we vacated our home in October 2008, due to an overwhelming presence of black mold, I felt certain life would return to normal. (Read our story in this previous post.)

We finally connected the dots with our deteriorating health and the decision to vacate would make everything better.

Or would it?

I failed to realize that while our external environment had changed, our internal environments had not.

Two months after vacating, I frantically searched for answers.

– Why was our 8 year old still suffering severe headaches?
– Why the continued dizziness for my 12 year old?
– Why did my memory loss seem to worsen after we left?

I was in utter despair.

I contacted a doctor in Arizona who specialized in environmental illness. Two of the kids and I traveled to Arizona for the first of many appointments. Our insurance refused to pay for the out of network expenses.

However, I saw a ray of hope as the symptoms matched perfectly with a toxic exposure. We weren’t crazy after all!

The warm desert air felt like a balm to my weary body. I began to think, what if we relocated through the winter months and tried to heal?

My kids and husband agreed, and by December 22, I was in a vacation rental with five of the kids. After a brief visit for Christmas my husband returned to Colorado to tie up loose ends.

With impaired brain function I struggled to learn the detox protocol and find my way around a new city. I was increasingly isolated from friends who couldn’t relate or understand why we were taking such drastic action.

I cried often and fought the ongoing depression. I still felt that hint of hope, having now identified the trigger for these serious symptoms, but overwhelmed by the road ahead. It was clear this was not going to be an overnight fix.

Big Life Changes

It was also evident that we were going to have to radically alter our diet.

No more McDonald’s.

No more Doritos.

How would my kids possibly adjust? They were raised in the drive-through lane. (See the perspective of one of my children in My Real Food Story.)

– Alone in a new city
– facing monumental tasks and decisions
– with severe health issues

I couldn’t see how we would possibly dig out of this hole.

But there was no turning back.

I no longer doubted our decision to vacate the home. That part was clear, as I was now able to comprehend the toll the home had taken on our bodies. My husband was completely on board, despite his initial reservations. (Read his perspective in My Wife is Crazy)

A Bump in the Road

On February 1, 2009, my husband, Chris, drove a trailer full of new mattresses and belongings from Colorado to Arizona to move into a home we agreed to rent for three months.

Together again, and united in our determination to forge ahead, we began a new chapter.

But…Within hours symptoms appeared.

Nosebleeds, breathing issues, headaches, rashes and more.

Something was clearly wrong with the home.

Most of us slept outside the second night, (though it was February) perplexed by our response to the home.

I had done my homework before moving in – researching the history of the home and performing a preliminary mold test – what could be wrong?

After a bit more probing we learned the home had been sprayed for pesticides several days before our move. It had been sprayed indoors and on the carpets.

This was my introduction to the issue of chemical sensitivity.

We could no longer tolerate chemicals. (Hyperreactivity to chemicals is common following a toxic exposure.)

Moving On

We left the home and traveled from hotel to hotel in search of safe housing. I began more and more to notice plug-ins and other artificially-scented cleaning products.

I thought back to a recent visit to a local park where several of the kids rolled in the grass. No wonder they had headaches and red eyes – they were reacting to the chemicals on the grass.

We needed a mold-free home with no chemical smells or recent pesticide treatments. Truly, we were looking for a needle in a haystack!

By February 21 we settled on a new 3 bedroom home with all tile. We now had a majority of our kids with us.

Eight of us slept in one room on air mattresses.

I was stunned how quickly life had changed. Six months prior we were living the “good life” in our luxurious 5500 square foot home.

And now — air mattresses.


Our detox began in earnest. The kids were adapting to our slow transition away from processed foods. They nebulized glutathione and took supplements.

This had to be the turning point.

Because of the protocol our symptoms escalated. We started getting nosebleeds from being around each other. A friend felt sick after walking into our house simply because of the toxins coming from our skin.

Each child had unique symptoms.

I was struggling to function.

My husband was trying to work from this tiny house and pay our massive medical bills due to the lack of insurance coverage for out of network providers.

We tried alternative therapies like energy medicine and acupuncture. The therapies helped, but continued to drain us financially.

The Next Move

In the summer of 2009 we moved to a larger rental home. We had space to breathe again.

Our oldest daughter moved in with us to try to recover from her continued health decline, and I began to study the impact of diet on health.

I noticed changes from our improved diet and I began to feel empowered that perhaps we wouldn’t be beholden to office visits, lab tests, and expensive treatments for the rest of our lives.


On August 1, 2010, all 11 of us began the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Introduction Diet. (Read more about our family's GAPS journey here.)

GAPS didn’t fix us but it did empower us to let go of medical intervention and move forward.

The GAPS Diet is fully covered in this book.  The link to the book is an affiliate link so if you make a purchase after clicking, a commission might be earned. Your support helps keep this free resource up and running.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Slowly I watched as my kids moved back into the world. Some started school. Others got jobs. Still others embraced the journey and worked hard at the detox protocol. The chemical sensitivity was improving.

I started an intense detox protocol for myself and began to function again. (see my article Healing as a Lifestyle.)

After an almost four-year long journey, four months ago our oldest daughter got married. The day represented a milestone not only for her and her husband, but for our family.

Andrea Fabry - family wedding photo - mold toxicity story

Fabry Family Wedding photo – March 2014. A fresh start on the other side of mold toxicity and detox.

Lessons Learned

As painful as it is to reflect on this season of my life, I am grateful for the lessons learned. I hope these encourage you wherever life has you right now.

1. When you’re doing everything right with diet and still fighting a health battle, always rule out the presence of hidden water damage. Toxic mold can hold a person back from recovering their health.

2. Mothers have a God-given instinct – especially when it comes to a home. Moms are nesters by nature. They sense what their family needs. Moms, trust your gut – even if it’s buried in confusion.

3. The next step is enough. When it comes to large battles it’s easy to get mired in the uncertainty and overwhelming nature of the journey. Don’t look too far ahead. Take it one step at a time. It really is enough.

4. Symptoms will instruct–if we listen. Our current medical system tends to focus on suppression of symptoms without considering the cause. What is your body telling you? It could be a food sensitivity, hidden allergy, or environmental issue.

Don’t be afraid to ask why.

5. Sometimes relinquishment (doing nothing) is good medicine. We can work hard, try new things, and ask hard questions. We can take drastic action. We can seek justice and we can try to convince others. But there comes a point when the best thing is to let go. Wisdom is knowing when that time comes.

Andrea Fabry - her family's story of dealing with mold toxicity.

Andrea – looking to the future.
Loneliness is part of this new journey – but so is richness and hope.

Our lives have become “normal” again, but not the normal I once imagined. It's a new normal –

filled with richness and hope.


Have you had an experience with mold or another toxicity issue?

What changes have you had to make / what's YOUR new normal?  Please share any lessons learned to help others.

Andrea Fabry - A woman dedicated to detoxifying her family for health's sake.Andrea is a former journalist and the mother of nine children ranging in age from 28 to 12. Following a toxic mold exposure, Andrea and her family discovered the wonders of natural living. Andrea is the founder and president of momsAWARE, an educational organization designed to empower others to live healthy in a toxic world. You can follow her family’s journey at It Takes Time. She is also the owner of Just SoNatural Products.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. I just found this story. Wow we are in full mold trauma. We moved out of our yurt 4 weeks ago and found a safe hotel. I’m the mom and am detoxing through a Dr and my son’s urine test came back positive for mycotoxins as well. He’s had nosebleeds learning problems eye problems and I never knew about mold toxicity. I’m having a hard time because his school smells moldy to me when I walk in but I know they don’t believe me. I feel like pulling him out and homeschooling for now while we heal. Feel very confused this is a nitemare. Luckily I have a good Dr Neil Nathan who wrote mold and mycotoxins. Iam feeling better too but I feel torn about my son leaving his school. Guess I need advice on that. Thank you for being here

    • I am so sorry!! I can’t give you medical advice, but I will say that our getting out of the mold was very important and many would say that it is crucial. Please take care of him. I would think that Andrea might be able to help on her site as well if she is available.

  2. Paradachsie says:

    WOW what a story! So glad you all are recovering! The 8 year old house (5,000sf) we bought in CO had warped floors in a couple of places. Homeowners said it was from over watering plants.( We didn’t think it was a problem, loved the house and bought it anyway. )Little did we know it was from numerous roof leaks. After turning on the gutter heat tape one winter there was water streaming down a wall in the living room, water down the chimney and nail pops in the dining room. The ice maker bin was full of furry ice cubes! In the last 10 + years Ive experienced terrible anxiety, prickly sensations, stabbing sensations, migraines, brain fog and was diagnosed with asthma, and chronic Hives. Last summer I experienced anaphylaxis on 4 occasions before Heath provider would prescribe epi pen. I also experience severe chemical sensitivity where even windex bothers me. I prefer NO smell what so ever. I now think that human smells aren’t half as bad as breathing in scented human smells!!! Our dog had numerous skin rashes that went away with benedryl. Had to put her down. With real estate like it is in CO we sold a rental and bought a snow bird home in Tucson AZ. with tile floors! Ive felt way better and Hives went away.I started running again! I had to come back to Denver house for the holidays and what do you know? I now have an intense bilateral rash on my calves and arms that itches so badly I have little scabs and brushing from scratching. . My husband doesn’t want to replace the now 20 year old carpet that smells of wet tent. The walls may need tobe demo’d and insolation replaced. I refuse to sleep in the master bedroom because of the smell. My husband can’t smell it but complains of fatigue and joint stiffness. Do ya think perhaps it’s the mold exposure? He’s in denial. I imagine he thinks I’m neurotic. What I do know is cause & effect. Moldy environment = rash and NO MOLD = NO RASH. I can’t wait for the holidays to be over and get back to my bubble where I can detox some more. Book Suggestion: Surviving Mold Ritchie Shoemaker. MOLD exposure is real. The statistics are unreal. up to 33% of homes are “wet Buildings” Unfortunately, so many are in denial about the effects. Remediation is costly and Mold treatment even more so. All the best to all of you who are struggling with mold issues. Someday, our PCP will wise up and admit there’s such a thing as sick building syndrome. – Wait until all the houses/people are effected by hurricane storms….

    • Oh my goodness. How terrible. It all sounds like mold to me. Is there a reason you are keeping the CO home? Even with no symptoms mold exposure can do great damage. I worry about hurricanes too.

  3. Lisa Rivera says:

    I am glad I came accross this. I have been getting sick out of no where and constantly going to the doctor, tests after rest and nothing but I continue to get sick. It’s like I live with the flu! I am suspecting it Is mild related. I experience itchy ears/throat,coughing running/stuffy nose/ tightening in the chest, very bad headaches and all too often. Prayers so that I can move!!! I am the oldest of 9. My mother has 9 Kids ages 22-10. Thanks for sharing your story God bless you.

  4. I believe I’m dealing with a toxic black mold problem in my apt which I share with my little 3 pound yorkie. The first thing that I noticed with me was a pain in my mid back, but it was a burning pain and the medicine that I am on for my hurinated discs in my lower back won’t even that the burning pain away. My little yorkie has a lot of health problems. Now I don’t know if these are due to the mold but if I find out they are, well let’s just say they will pay. But he has a cyst in his brain, fluid on the brain, fluid on his spinal cord, neck issues, gastrointestinal problems and the newest symptom is i guess his salivary glands need removed in his mouth because they are so large. This is my baby and it makes me so sick to see him have more and more things go wrong with him. But he is worth every penny. But now my burning pain min my mid back goes to the right into what feels like one or two ribs. Under my rib cage feels like there is inner tube that keeps fIlling with air until I feel like I’m going to split. And it’s huge. I have brain fog, can’t sleep, anxiety, major joint pain every where especially my hands, I have like a slime in my mouth that no matter how many times I wipe my lips it’s back with in seconds, but my yorkie also has this slimy spit. Sinus issues and infections, trouble breathing, can’t remember crap anymore. Magnesium, Vit D, potassium deficiency and much more but my mind is getting over worked to where I can’t think. But last winter there was a weird smell in my apartment, only thing I can describe it as is like a vynal/plastic, chemical and I can remember the other right now but it was awful. I literally thought my neighbors were making drugs. It was the strongest up stairs where the big cold air return is, this is why I thought that they were making drugs. This went on for 3 to 4 months but at first I didn’t know what to think. But spring came and they moved so I figured I would get feeling better from how I was feeling because of that smell. Fast forward to April /May, new neighbors moved in. Towards mid to late May I started to smell urine. It was so strong that I was feeling exactly the same that I did during the winter. Once a month I go to my dads and visit for a few days and when I got home it hit me like a brick wall. The urine smell was so bad that I got an instant headache. I don’t even want to think of what my little yorkie felt that day. So I called a neighbor to come over and see if she could smell it. At this time it has been going on aprox 2 months but never this strong. She came over and told me she couldn’t smell anything, I said there is no way you don’t smell that. And I told her to be honest with me because it wouldn’t hurt my feelings. She said she couldn’t. So inlet it go, I know my nose is good but I wish not that good. Then the 4th of july my sister came up to watch fireworks. The first thing she said to me was, Kim, oh my goodness your house smells like urine. I said wait you can smell that too? She said yes and it was bad, very bad. I trying to figure out where this smell is coming from. I thought maybe my one neighbors was letting there dog pee everywhere and it was working it’s way into my apartment, I even called her and asked her and she let me know they gave thereally dog away 2 months prior. So then I was thinking maybe the new neighbor was letting there little boy pee every where or they didn’t know that he was and the smell was coming into my apartment. It was killing me because I knew it wasn’t from my yorkie. So I was at my dads again, get back, open the door and boom….urine in my face something terrible. Then I noticed that maintenance was just in my apartment right before I got home. So I went out side and asked why would they be in my apartment. The guy said he was unclogging my bathtub drain but it was news to me that it was even plugged. But before I went out to say something to them I went to go and check my furnace filter because it has been like 6 to 7 months since they changed it last. So when I touched it, it was soaking wet. I knew that it leaked a year and a half prior but they had a green plastic like filter in it and I had 2 dish tubs under it to catch the water. And it took them I think a year before the changed that filter. But prior to that they changed the filters every month. So when I was talking to the maintenance men, I said I know you didn’t change my filter because it’s soaking wet, the one maintenance man said, well it shouldn’t be wet. I said I know that but it’s been 6 to 7 months since you guys have changed it and the one before that was a year. So I asked the maintenance man that was in my apartment right before I got home did he smell anything, he said no. I said you didn’t smell that urine smell he said no. So when they other maintenance guy came back with the new filter I asked him did he smell anything and again he said no. And I even asked him are you sure you don’t smell urine? He said no but maybe it was because he smoked. Well he went in to change my filter and there was black mold on one side and pink mold on the other. It was just dripping every where so I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and had him put it under it and get it out because I didn’t want my little yorkie in that. But he see the mold also. It was the size of a Frisbee and even said to him, pink mold? I have never seen pink mold before. So when he left I thought to my self could that be where this urine smell is coming from. So I googled what kind of mold smells like urine…… Toxic Black Mold came up and I couldn’t believe that mold could smell like urine. So the more I read on it the more I believe this is what is causing my yorkies health problems and my health problems. So I went to the manager of the apartments and had her come over and asked her if she could smell the urine smell and she also said no. So I told her about the furnace filter and about looking it up and what it brought up. I asked her if they could get someone in here and check to see what the air quality was in my apartment and have the furnace and vents checked for this mold. She told me she would talk with the head manager and get back with me because she didn’t know if they had anyone like that that they would use. Well that was over 10 days ago and I have heard nothing. The very bad urine smell had finally gone away a few days later after the filter was changed. But aprox 5 to 7 days ago I started to smell another smell again, kinda like a chemical smell again but not the same smell that I had during last winter. On the 15th of july I asked my Dr if she could check my blood or what ever it is they check for mold. And I told her why, about everything from me and my yorkies health issues to thinking my neighbors were making drugs tone urine to the black mold on the furnace filter. She said there isn’t a test to check for mold and that black mold won’t hurt you and was trying to tell me how to clean it. I was like it’s in my furnace, but why bother she didn’t care. But I did ask her for Diflucan because I read if you took it for a month it would kill all the yeast, mold etc. She did give it to me but only 2 pills with one refill. So I took the 2 pills, one a day and after a few days I noticed my gut wasn’t so huge and hard and the inner tube feeling and that the slime in my mouth was a lot better, not gone but better. But now I’m feeling like crap again. Have burcitis in my knee which the dr told me most people that get that in the knee is people like carpet layers, I was just putting puppy pads down…. My gut it feeling bad again and feels like the inner tube is coming back and it’s worse now then even yesterday. And my little yorkie is starting to have something else go wrong, it’s like he’s hick upping in his throat. I googled it and it could be one of two things, something to do with stomach acid going up to his throat or partial /focal seizures. But he was doing it all evening and all night long. So I took him to OSU Veterinarian hospital to see his neurologist. I tried to explain everything to her as I did my Dr, again did no good. She also said she never heard of a dog doing what I was explaining to her so she’s writing it off its due to his syliva gland problems. He’s poor belly is so huge and when I would pick him up he would whimper cry so I know he was hurting because he has a very high pain tolerance. So with this long long story of the last year of my life, I believe it’s all due to this mold. But my Dr and vet looks at me like I’m a couple bubbles off.
    My landlord hasn’t done there job and I believe they have had plenty of time to do so. So where do I go from here? What kind of blood test or what ever kind of test do you take to see if mold is in your body? And what can I do about my landlord not doing there job especially when these apartments go on your income? I’m just scared. I have already been admitted to the hospital January 1st of this year because the pain under my rib cage and the burning pain in my back was so bad and made me so weak I couldn’t go anymore. But my WBC was way off umong other things. But the ER Dr couldn’t understand why my WBC was off like it was when my (I can’t remember the name right now) but it was normal. Plus he said I had illus or something like that, where parts of small intestines weren’t working. Then finally I get into see a GI Dr 2 months later and being I was able to pass the white chalky drink then I was fine and the GI Dr said it was my anxiety causing my stomach and under my ribs feeling like something was trying to split me open and my burning back pain basically was all due to anxiety……
    He tried to tell me that anxiety meds would fix the problem. In other words I believe he was saying I wasn’t all in the head. But I guess anxiety can cause your WBC among other stuff in the blood work to be completely off and let’s not forget what my CT scan with dye showed but I guess anxiety caused that also….
    I need help but don’t know what to do. I have no money and the ER Dr that I just to for my knee said move. Well if I had money I would move. So I asked him does he have a room for rent. He thought that was funny but it wasn’t funny but that is how people that have money act and think. But even the woman that shared her story went from a big 5 bedroom house to sleeping in a motel on air mattresses. So imagine having nothing to begin with. But I hope you are able to get back with me about what kind of test do I need to tell my Dr and his vet to do to see if there is mold in our blood or bodies. Thank you.? and god bless.

    • Hi there. I am so sorry for all you are going through. Do you think your landlord would read the posts on this site? Even the government has things showing mold can kill you. What do you mean about the apartment going on your income? You could possibly talk to an inspector in your area. I had a friend who had mold growing in her apartment. An inspector came for free to look at it and they ended up going to the landlord and the landlord put them in a new apartment. There was actually a mushroom growing in the apartment!

      Anyhow, I know you are scared but better to be healthy and deal with this.

      Here is a site owned by the lady who did some of the mold posts on my site:

      You can get a mold test there and perhaps she can assist you further, but of course mold is dangerous.

      I hope that helps! And I am praying for you right now.

  5. Ellen J. says:

    Thank you for this forum and research. It is research to me. I have always been passionate about the right way of life and natural health since having my first asthma attack at age 13 while playing with my dog in the backyard one day during a bad air quality day in west Los Angeles. My family had a genetic predisposition to asthma but only I seemed to inherit it in my immediate family of four siblings. When I turned 18 I moved north to NW California and my asthma slowly went away.
    However mold in Humboldt County, the 2nd wettest coastal area in the country, was an exposure that became extreme. I moved from back and forth from northern to southern California, wet to dry climates, between 1997 and 2012, but 2009 to 2012 I was blasted with black mold in a 130 year old house and also from dirty well water. My roommate and I had a weak immune system from the mold and fell sick to something in the water during the large rush of rains over the cow pasture during the rainy season in 2009.. We were deathly ill for 3 days, had caught something I believe, and within the following 2-3 years our teeth rotted out. We were in our early thirties. I had major dental work and two molars pulled out before he was told all his upper front teeth were rotten and needed pulling. I moved out of the house after he did, after three full years of exposure and within three weeks was in an apartment in Placer County with a black mold problem from a long history of bad plumbing. My landlord proceeded to have my doors assaulted with pesticides more than others because he saw me washing down my stoop with water a day after a spraying. The mold destroyed my health and pesticides, etc were impossible to deal with. I had anxiety, depression, another case of skin lesions that permanently scarred my face, neck, shoulders and arms, as well as numbness and falling asleep of limbs, more dental problems, digestive problems, food intolerance galore, memory loss, confusion and nervousness… and probably more!!. Luckily I didn’t get sent to the nut house for refusing bad diagnoses and medication that would make my health worse.
    I decided I had to become an expert, I was my only hope.
    In June 2013 after 5 months in the moldy apartment building, I moved to my present duplex. I suffered during the summer with another bought with skin lesions to add to my health problems, which made me look like a freak. The heat and weak immunity made me and my dogs sick with what felt like pneumonia, but colloidal silver and Himalayan rock salt lamps saved us, among numerous other natural food and remedies, until we got final and major relief in September 2014 from consuming food grade diatomaceous earth. Nothing has helped more than that, nothing. I started on 1/8 tsp. the first day in water., 1/4 tsp the 2nd day, 1/2 tsp the third day and then I woke with roughness inside my cheeks. It was dead blood. There had been something living in my cheeks causing the facial lesions and the dental problems. I became constipated and had to stop the D.E. until it improved a few days later and then I started the D.E. again. It helped me detox various other parasites and quickly allowed me to feel normal and healthy again over the last 1.5 to 2 years.
    I brush my teeth with it, feed it to my dogs, sprinkle it on them when they have fleas to kill, wash my face with it- and my fiance who I met August 12, 2014 has done the same almost as long as I have. He swears by it too.
    So that’s my story. I am only sharing this story because I hope others will try food grade diatomaceous earth. It saved my life. Happy healing to you all.

    • Oh my. I can’t believe all of this. Really?

      I have heard of people using diatomaceous earth, but haven’t used it myself. May I ask what other benefits you have seen? You say you wash your face with it and brush….how about your fiance? Thanks for sharing! So you know what is doing the helping?

  6. I just read this article & am afraid for my parents. They live in a house with mold. They discovered mold behind some wood paneling in the family room after the chimney had a leak. After opening the paneling it showed mold that was black. My husband & I refused to let our kids over there until it is properly cleaned. They had several companies out & no one tested it. I’m not sure all of them were qualified to deal with mold. Most of who came out said it wasn’t black mold. They went with a handyman who did not tent the area but sprayed it with something & replaced the insulation then closed it back up. I’m nervous bc I’m not sure it was handled properly & was never tested. My parents are in poor health & think I’m a kook for not coming over. They think I’m ridiculous to suggest mold could be causing at least some of their problems. I told them I would not bring my kids over until there’s an air quality test. Are the test kits you get at the hardware store sufficient? This is really dividing our family & I am being seen as the bad guy for not being ok with this. I realize this post is a couple months old but any resources for air quality testing or other resources are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • This sounds bad. Of course, just b/c the mold looks black doesn’t mean it’s stachybotrys. I would check out Andrea’s site and get one of the tests she has there. I know how it feels. We’ve been ridiculed for our food allergies and other things……like how we avoid medication. It’s very tough but you are doing the right thing. Bless you.

      • Thank you for taking the time to reply!!! I bookmarked the link & if I can get my dad to allow me to test his house I’m ordering the kit mentioned.
        I feel like the black sheep of the family at times but also know I am an advocate for my children. I am their protector & only voice right now.
        Thank you so much!!!

        • I so hope it works out for you. You are right – it’s a big juggling act. You are called to care for your kids. bless you and feel free to come back.

  7. Hello my family and I are getting very ill in a moldy house and no one believes us! doctors say old can’t hurt you
    and people think we are nuts. My husband is having it worst because he grew up in a moldy house and he is having a very hard time… please email us if you could we need help

    • Hello- I am so sorry. I would see if things on Andrea’s site can be of help. My current practitioner is on maternity leave. I could put you in touch w/ my homeopath if you would like. Also there are some good mold Facebook groups that can offer insight.

      Please take care. Most in the groups would say to get out if you have mold. Please seek medical care.

  8. Emilie Chiozza says:

    Hi Andrea! We just found out that my husband tested positive for all three types of mold toxicity. I have a question…When you left your house, did you leave all clothes behind as well? we are probably going to have to make that tough decision soon and have been reading other people’s stories. Glad your family is doing better.

  9. Last year towards the summer my Grandmother (my dead fathers side), moved out of her trailer to live with my aunt due to health problems. She offered it rent to own-didn’t give use a contract- and my mother jumped on it.Early September to Novemberish we had no choice to move out. The roof mind as well be a colander, their was an infestation of cockroaches (Including in our beds and furniture) and black mold. The main reason we were so eager to move we didn’t ask about a contract was because theblast place had issues with water leaking and mold (an inch of water in a bathroom with the turned off (and had been off for at least six months)Our tap water was orange on good days, on others it was black sludge). My grandmother knew I was having health issues, knew what condition our current residence was in and knew that hers was worse.

    Over three months out of that property and I am in danger of not only failing to graduate but in danger of expulsion for being out sick so much (keep in mind this is after failing a grade entirely and then not only repeateing it but catching up).

    I have the following symptoms:
    Ulcers (including one thats apparently the same kind as the one that killed my granpa ( if Bad Gmas to be believed).Treated twice for Hpilory virus.No longer have it)

    Diahrea that is chronic and random (It might be every ten minutes one day, once the next, and seven times the next)


    Asthma like symptoms ( The doctor I was seeing while uninsured had to prescribe a percription for both breathing treatments and a breathing machine)

    Panic attacks



    Anger Issues

    And (at one point) I forgot how to read (note that it was attributabed to an allergic reaction to the meds I was on.Given that we ruled it down to one, that was recently prescribed(With no allergic reaction), The allergic reaction has probably been ruled out.

    Strep throat every couple months ( I was tested last week to see if I carried it).

    Ill ask if mold could of caused it at the docs next time I go because I need to get these problems fixed so I can actually understand the school work. (Ps.On phone, its late but I cant sleep, and I don’t have the energy to edit. )

  10. Andrea, thank you so much for your story and site. I have a question. Are you or any of your family able to eat semi-“regular” food now? I’m not talking about eating McDonald’s and potato chips all day. But do you everyonce in a while have an ice cream or donut?

    After 8 months in a moldy home I’ve been doing GAPS for about two months now and am improving, besides lots of detox reactions . But I wonder later on, if I eat some toast or go out for a drink if it will mess everything up.

    What’s been your experience?

    • Hi there. You are welcome.

      We didn’t really veer off of our plan, but I had to get a tighter diet due to autoimmune issues. We pretty much don’t eat that food. We have some samples at Costco sometimes but I found I was even overdoing that and had a flare of candida.

      I guess I figure it isn’t good for my anyway so I don’t plan on doing it.

      • Thank you so much for your quick reply. I agree, it’s not for you anyways. I am also having what I believe are autoimmune issues, but have not been able to find a doc or anyone to help me through it. Was some one able to help you? How were you able to know that’s what was going on?

        I am hoping to eventually have quinoa or other wheat free options added to my meat and veggie only diet. Are you able to do that?

        • Yes, I eat some but not much. I need to watch it. I worked with 2 practitioners and now am seeing a homeopath. This one first:

          and if homeopathy interest you I can share that as well. Please do tell them I referred you if you contact them. oh, Meghan is great but will be on maternity leave.

          • I’d love to know your homeopath. I currently live in Ecuador, where the mold house was, but am coming home to the States to hopefully figure some things out.

            It’s hard to decide where to live. Ecuador where healthcare and healthy eating are cheaper, or the states where family is and docs who speak the same language and know American diseases are but much more pricey to eat and live healthy.

            I am very honored to speak with you. I am dealing with mold effects, rashes, itchy skin, depression, whacked out emotions, swollen glands, seizures, dizziness, muscle cramps, and so much more. But that’s just me. I have no clue how you went through all that plus your family on top of it. You are a strong woman!

          • I just emailed you. Sorry for the delay. I completely understand your dilemma. I wish there were a perfect country…..ours used to be better. Blessings and hope you feel better. I am not always strong….it’s hard :).

  11. Hello,
    My husband and I are looking to purchase a home and start a family, and mold is a scary factor for us! I worked at place that had mold in the building and it made me very sick. We made an offer on a lovely home, it had just rained a lot that week and I noticed NO smell or wetness anywhere. However, the original HVAC unit from 1989 is still in the home and the inspection revealed that it is riddled with mold. We think this is because it is located in the basement along with the laundry hookups and little ventilation and has not been cleaned or replaced in 27 years. The house has all new carpet and paint and a new roof and water heater, there are no signs anywhere that they were problematic other than age. Would you feel comfortable purchasing this home if we had the HVAC unit replaced, put extra ventilation in the basement, and had a mold test done in the home???? We don’t know how common moldy HVAC units are, how easily it is dealt with, or how serious it is. Any advice you can offer would be welcome.
    Thank you

    • Yes, I just did that. Have it removed and replaced and have the ducts cleaned out using negative air return. Our whole unit wasn’t the problem, but it was the humidifier. If the follow up mold tests come back clean I would be comfortable. I hope it works for you!!! Please let me know!

  12. Thank you for this blog.

    What can you suggest for recovery in memory. From my Mold exposure it feels like it cut off part my personality.

    I feel guilty everyday day cause my child’s personality changed she went from having a photographic memory to sporatically being attentative.

    I’ve come to accept things won’t be 100%. But I need to take a step.

  13. O yeah were also allergic to dust mite and dust NOW

    I’m a mother and MY SON is not getting better – neck and joint pain, migraines, pimple-boils, HLA B27 activated, small amount of Candida D., Lyme Borellia chain 39 /41 -SAME AS ME , LYME DISEASE CANDIDA D. stool culture, m. Pneumonia, Enterbacter -sputum, hla gene activated. And C4 C25 sky high along with everything you need to diagnose yourself from toxic mold. (And a positive aspergellius penicillium mold test in water damage house) CADMIUM TOXICITY AS WELL !!! We set metal and smoke detectors off. I’m afraid of driving the days my head is spinning and my body is “floating” can’t think, don’t think just react, exhausted, swollen, neck has a ripping sound, MY hands our SO swollen EVERY SINGLE DAY, few of my fingers are now crooked and THE TWO DOG’S WE BOTTLE FED ARE SICK TO. Other things I WON’T scare you with , and now findings BLACK ?? SHAVINGS IN THE TUB WHEN I GET OUT. I HAVE TRIED TO FIND A DOCTOR NO LUCK – it killed our pet rat, and my house the water now smells like metal. Were ALL tasting SOMETHING NASTY ALL THE TIME. PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE IT KILLS ANYONE ELSE IN MY FAMILY!!, I’M PLEADING BEGGING FOR SOMEONE’S HELP. If things don’t get better soon afraid of giving up. PLEASE

  15. Omg this article was such an eye opener for me! I have been having problems with severe memory loss and brain fog for the past couple years and no Drs will take me seriously because I’m only 33 (to young i guess) , last year i paid to have an expensive blood sampled food allergy test done, which showed I am allergic to over twenty foods (all are delayed reaction allergies), I’m tired all the time, and frequently sick. My ten year old son has had Mono and pneumonia, constant ear infections and colds/ allergies. About five years ago we rented a home which had a lot of black mold in the basement, we then moved and the new house also had it, now we are living in another home that is 100 years old and i suspect also has black mold in the basement. I cannot believe I never knew about the dangers of this stuff! I have got to get out of here! I’m going to be bringing this up to my Dr. right away. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    • Oh no. I am so sorry! There are some helpful Facebook groups that I can direct you to if you’d like. Take care of yourself!!

      • Would like to know more about the Facebook groups. I have been having problems for a about a year, but has worsen and on short-term disability. I’ve tried Welcol, food grade H2O2 and epson salt baths. Still not able to move out of my home after a ceiling fell in a bedroom due to condensation along the ductwork. This happened 6 months ago and after 2 months and constantly being sick had to stop working. Only that my finances have taken a toll. Dr bills, trying to pay other bills and keeping my utilities on. Symptoms, fatigue, depression, headaches, neck and back pain, parotid cyst that was benign, but needing monitoring, weight gain, constipation, “brain fog”, joint pain. ANA positive, elevatad d-dimer, decreased lung volume, scarring and ground glass opacities in my lungs, shortness of breath, increased allergy sensitivity, …….the list is long. Wish I had 1 doctor that had any knowledge on Dr. Shoemaker protocol but the closest is 6 hours from me. Instead I have a PCP, ENT, ENT surgeon, pulmonologist, rheumatologist, and now being referred to a psychologist. Have done much research,
        but with the help of a lawyer hope to get my home fixed and make it livable again. Had the attic dehumidified for 3 weeks, insulation removed, and fogged for mold, room that the ceiling fell in is sealed off. Need to remove carpet. Dont have the funds and when I tried it only made me sicker. Hope a FaceBook group could give me more ideas and support. Thank You,

  16. Hi, so glad you are finally all on the mend. This happened to my friends in the past two years. Their house was infected with toxic mood after a water pipe from their hot water cylinder was broken in the big earthquake we had in 2011. No-one picked it up until they were all sick. They had to drop everything and move out. Everything they owned that wasn’t metal or glass was dumped. They are a home schooling family so all their books went too. On top of all the health issues, they had to battle our earthquake commission and insurance company to cover their costs. Now finally after two years of homelessness, living in tiny flats, Church buildings, and a caravan they have a nice new clean, dry home and they are healing on an all natural diet. All the best for your continued health improvements, Jill.

  17. I lived in an apartment, before the we knew that mold was a problem. We had just had our first nasty storm, in this apartment. The closet in the master bedroom started smelling really bad. I walked in there, and was just about overcome, it was so strong. It was also wet. I then took all the clothes out, and started working on the closet. I sprayed a mix of bleach and water. Then turned on a fan. This was before I knew of natural things. I started having many more allergies, weird sicknesses and problems. We moved, and the problems started getting better. I am still not completely better, years later.

  18. Somewhat similarly, I had a host of symptoms that slowly got worse over a six year period. Right before we caught the cause, I had bacterial bronchitis for the 15th or 16th time, I couldn’t breathe well enough to walk across a room, I was lethargic and unwilling to eat, and I abruptly developed a full body itching rash, head to toe, in my hair, on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet, in my mouth and on my eyelids.

    The rash caught the attention of a pediatrician who was filling in at Urgent Care when we came in making the next desperate plea for help. She treated the symptoms and bronchitis, but she sent me to an allergist.

    Undiagnosed wheat allergy. It had been slowly killing me for years. At my sickest I could no longer work and was living on my friend’s couch. Drowning in the swelling and inflammation and bronchitis in my lungs.

    It took well over two years to (mostly) recover, and I’m wheat free now. The occasional slip up is fine in small amounts… my allergy is NOT anaphylectic (sp?), although I do carry an epi pen. Just in case.

    My point being, KEEP TRYING to find the cause. My trips to urgent care (because I had no insurance and no primary care doctor) treated the bronchitis symptoms, but they didn’t find the cause. It took the right person at the right time… a pediatric doctor who was used to seeing food allergies in children.

  19. My family moved to the Big Island of Hawaii in ’97, and didn’t realize what an impact it would have on my highly asthmatic mother. After five years, my parents packed up their things, and moved back to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. She was tested for many many ailments/diseases like COPD, and Tuberculosis. None of which were positive. Finally finding the right doctor (a DO) , made all the difference in the World! Turns out she had spores growing in her lungs, and has been on antibiotics for over a year now (which has helped a lot!)! Its scary, how many times she has gotten sick over the past few years! Bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. I feel for your family! What a scary situation that must have been for You, for SO Many Years!!

  20. I definitely believe in the power of detox (some of my story is here: I think you have alot of knowledge about detox, and I want to learn even more! I went to your site and read your detoxing routine. How much improvement did you see with that routine? Did certain things cause certain symptoms to lessen or disappear? How did you know you were on the right track?

    • Going on GAPS probably caused the most die-off. My first acupuncture treatments also caused die-off for me. Coffee enemas gave immediate relief. Overall, I relied on my instincts to guide me. I learned not to push and feel free to back things up if I felt it was too much. Over all I had a strong sense that moving forward did not necessarily mean immediate results. I continue to tweak my protocol as I listen to my body’s needs. One thing that I know without a doubt having 11 of us in the family – each one is unique. There is no one treatment or regimen that worked for all.