Mold, Histamine Intolerance, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: Everything You Need to Know

Finding mold in your home is more than just a small annoyance. Mold exposure can have serious health consequences and it may be the reason behind your mysterious chronic symptoms. Mold can hide inside and outside your home and spread its spores and mycotoxins through the air. Mold can increase histamine intolerance and trigger mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) leading to a variety of chronic symptoms, including allergies, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, congestion, skin problems, and anxiety. The good news is that there are natural solutions you can use to overcome mold toxicity, histamine intolerance, and MCAS.

In this article, you will learn what histamine intolerance and MCAS are. You will understand what mold is and what problems are linked to chronic mold exposure. I will explain how mold, histamine intolerance, and MCAS are connected. I will share my natural solutions for mold toxicity, histamine intolerance, and MCAS.

What Is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine plays a critical role in your body. It is responsible for many important bodily functions, including communicating with your brain, fighting off allergens as part of your immune response, and promoting stomach acid release to aid digestion. While healthy levels of histamine are necessary and good for your health, too much histamine is not healthy. 

Histamine intolerance means that you have too much histamine, usually because you can’t break it down properly, which can result in various symptoms and health issues, including allergies, chronic congestion, chronic runny nose, headaches and migraines, hives, eczema, psoriasis, fatigue, anxiety, diarrhea, tachycardia, low blood pressure, hypertension, flushing, crawling sensation on your skin, vertigo, abnormal menstrual cycle, hormonal problems, asthma attacks, and more. You can learn more about histamine intolerance in this article (1)

What Is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

Your mast cells play a critical role in your immune system. They are white blood cells that are found in tissues throughout your body. They can be found in your skin, digestive tract, respiratory tract, urinary tract, reproductive organs & surrounding nerves. They may also occur in your blood due to infections and diseases that mast cells help repair after the initial health threat is gone. Mast cells also store inflammatory mediators inside granules that also include histamine. During allergic reactions, mast cells are activated and trigger an allergic response.

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a complex issue that involves many different systems in your body leading to a large variety of symptoms. You may develop MCAS due to a variety of triggers, including mold, heavy metals, chemicals, fragrances, allergens, medications, infections, food, and alcohol. If you have MCAS, some or all of these triggers can cause your mast cells to release inflammatory mediators and histamine. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including rashes, hives, itching, headaches, heart palpitations, low blood pressure, weight changes, loss of appetite, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, digestive issues, chest pain, anxiety and vision changes. To learn more about MCAS, I recommend this article.

 

Symptoms of histamine intolerance and MCAS can be quite similar. However, there are some differences between the two. Histamine intolerance develops due to excess histamine and histamine build-up in your body, while in MCAS, your mast cells are being triggered spilling histamine and other chemicals into our body resulting in symptoms. I believe that MCAS is one of the primary causes of histamine intolerance. However, it may not be the cause for everyone. You may experience histamine intolerance without having MCAS (2, 3, 4, 5)

Mold, Histamine Intolerance, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

Mold is a fungus that is known for its ability to grow on almost anything and thrive under many conditions, especially in a warm and moist environment. They release mycotoxins in the air and lead to consequent health issues. 

Mold is versatile and has many types and forms. This also means that mold can grow both indoors and outdoors. Your bathroom, kitchen, and basement are some of the most common areas molds may hide, however, they can appear anywhere else, especially in damp, wet, and warm environments.

The problem is that mold can spread far and wide. You may initially have mold in one tiny spot in your home, but its microscopic spores can travel far. You may breathe them in through the air. They also may take home in other areas of your house leading to more mold growth. There are about 1,000 species of mold in the United States. Some of the most common molds that may affect your health include aspergillus, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Memnoniella, Penicillium and Stachybotrys.

Chronic exposure to mold can be dangerous. It can lead to mold toxicity symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, headache, skin issues, respiratory problems, and nausea. Mold exposure and mold toxicity may also increase histamine intolerance and trigger MCAS.

Mold releases mycotoxins that have toxic effects on your body. As a response, your mast cells release histamine and other chemicals to attack and destroy these harmful mold toxins. The problem is that if you are being continuously exposed to mold, your body will develop a chronic state of inflammation, your immune system will be on a constant alert, and your body will be in a constant state of defense. 

Due to chronic mold exposure and on-going inflammation, you can develop histamine intolerance. Your mast cells end up over-producing histamine in order to protect your body from mold toxins. However, your body won’t be able to keep up with all the histamine, which can lead to histamine intolerance and consequent symptoms (6, 7, 8, 9)

Natural Solutions for Mold, Histamine Intolerance, and MCAS

If you’ve been exposed to toxic mold and experiencing symptoms of histamine intolerance or MCAS, I have good news for you. You can resolve your symptoms by using simple natural solutions. Here is what I recommend: 

Reduce Your Mold Exposure

Mold may be hiding in your home and it is important to address it. Once you have located where the mold is hiding, it is important that you examine and address the underlying causes behind mold growth. There may be a moisture leak, too much humidity, or other factors. 

Next, call a mold remediation specialist to help with the removal of mold from your home and offer solutions for the problem.

Lastly, you need to address mold spores that might’ve traveled into the air. Make sure that you have a high-quality air filtration system that captures and removes mold spores from your air. Ideally, you want to make sure that your workplace is also mold-free and has a good air filtration system. Make sure to speak with HR about this to know what you are dealing with. 

Get Tested for Mold Toxicity

If you have symptoms of mold toxicity or have been exposed to mold, it is important to get tested. Working with a functional medicine doctor, like myself, can help you with this.

Detoxify Your Body from Mold

If you have been affected by mold toxicity, it is important to detoxify your body from mold. Here is what I recommend:

  • Hydrate well: Start your day with 16 to 32 ounces of water and drink throughout the day. Water helps the elimination process.
  • Support detoxification through sweating: Exercise and move your body regularly. Use infrared sauna therapy for further support.
  • Take Glutathione: Try Optimal Liposomal Glutathione. Glutathione is fantastic at protecting your mitochondria from oxidative stress and supporting your recovery from toxic exposure (10).
  • Support your gut: Support your gut health and digestion with Optimal Reset Ultimate Gut Support and ProBiota HistaminX probiotics. They help to support your gut help through and after mold detoxification.
  • Use activated charcoal: Take activated charcoal between meals. It absorbs and helps to eliminate toxins, including mold toxins from your body (11).
  • There are various other products I use to address mold depending on the person’s history and tolerance to supplements.  

Recover Your Body from Histamine Intolerance and MCAS

It is not enough to address mold toxicity, you also have to address histamine intolerance and MCAS. Here is what I recommend for histamine intolerance:

  • Eat a low-histamine diet: If you have histamine intolerance or MCAS, I recommend that you follow a nutrient-dense and low-histamine diet. Eliminate all histamine foods for one to three months. After this Elimination phase, slowly re-introduce them one by one following The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan. To understand each step of this simple yet refined system, I recommend that you read my book, The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan: Getting to the Root of Migraines, Eczema, Vertigo, Allergies and More where I explain everything about histamine intolerance and each phase of the plan in detail. You will also find my favorite low-histamine recipes to nourish your body. 
  • Support your liver: Your liver is a major detoxifying organ that’s critical for your recovery from histamine intolerance. I recommend Optimal Reset Liver Love, a powerful blend of botanical and mushroom extracts and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)  for optimal liver function, detoxification, hormonal health, and brain function (12).
  • Take HistoRelief: To support your body and reduce histamine intolerance, I recommend HistoRelief. It is a synergistic blend of nutrients including Tinofend®, quercetin, nettle leaf, vitamin C, and bicarbonate salts, that provides natural support to balance your immune response, inflammation reduction, and histamine release (13).

Final Thoughts

Mold can be found in our indoor and outdoor environment, especially in warm, damp, and moist areas. Mold toxicity can trigger MCAS, increase histamine production, and lead to histamine intolerance and related symptoms. Follow my natural solutions to overcome mold toxicity, histamine intolerance, and MCAS. 

If you are dealing with symptoms of mold toxicity, histamine intolerance, or MACS, I invite you to schedule a consultation with us. We can help to identify the root cause of your problems and recommend a personalized treatment plan to repair your body and regain your health and well-being. Schedule your consultation here.

 

Sources:
1. Maintz L, Novak N, Histamine and histamine intolerance, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 5, May 2007, Pages 1185–1196. Link Here
2. Afrin LB, Self S, Menk J, Lazarchick J. Characterization of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Am J Med Sci. 2017;353(3):207-215. Link Here
3. Frieri M, Patel R, Celestin J. Mast cell activation syndrome: a review. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2013;13(1):27-32. Link Here
4. Akin C, Valent P, Metcalfe DD. Mast cell activation syndrome: Proposed diagnostic criteria. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Dec;126(6):1099-104.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.08.035. Epub 2010 Oct 28. PMID: 21035176
5. Petra AI, Panagiotidou S, Stewart JM, Conti P, Theoharides TC. Spectrum of mast cell activation disorders. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2014;10(6):729-739. Link Here
6. CDC – Mold: Basic Facts. Link Here
7. Gray M. Molds and mycotoxins: beyond allergies and asthma. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007;13(2):S146-52. PMID: 17405693
8. Bush RK, Portnoy JM, Saxon A, Terr AI, Wood RA. The medical effects of mold exposure. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;117(2):326-33. PMID: 16514772
9. Afrin LB. Presentation, diagnosis, and management of mast cell activation syndrome. University of Minnesota. Link Here
10. Marí M, Morales A, Colell A, García-Ruiz C, Fernández-Checa JC. Mitochondrial glutathione, a key survival antioxidant. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Nov;11(11):2685-700. doi: 10.1089/ARS.2009.2695. PMID: 19558212
11. Hope J. A review of the mechanism of injury and treatment approaches for illness resulting from exposure to water-damaged buildings, mold, and mycotoxins. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Apr 18;2013:767482. doi: 10.1155/2013/767482. PMID: 23710148
12. Rodriguez RR. Headache and liver disease: is their relationship more apparent than real? Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Jun;49(6):1016-8. PMID: 15309894 
13. Histamine intolerance. Vickerstaff Health Services. Link Here

 

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DR. BECKY CAMPBELL

Hi, I am Dr. Becky Campbell. I work with men and women who’ve had a health set back and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach optimal health so they can perform their best in their careers and be fully present with their family again.

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