Partners in Crime: How Mold And Lyme Conspire to Keep You Sick

by Dr. David Minkoff March 28, 2019 5 min read

Partners in Crime: How Mold And Lyme Conspire to Keep You Sick

“About 50% of all unresolved Lyme disease cases are linked to mold toxicity”

-Dr Raj Patel

Lyme disease and mold toxicity are two of the most difficult to diagnose conditions in modern medicine today.

These two devastating conditions create a laundry list of symptoms that include everything from arthritis and body aches to memory loss to mood swings.

And to make matters even worse, these two work hand-in-hand, each making the other worse and perpetuating sickness.

Why is Mold So Toxic?

Mold secretes what are known as mycotoxins. These are incredibly toxic fat-soluble compounds that bind to DNA and RNA, cause oxidative damage, and spread inflammation.

Because they are fat-soluble, they often don’t circulate in the blood. They get lodged inside of your cells and tissues.

Normally, your body will eventually get rid of mycotoxins through cellular detox pathways.

Unfortunately, approximately 25% of the population has what’s known as the HLA-DR gene. This means your body does not recognize mycotoxins as a foreign poison, so the cellular detox pathways don’t work.

The toxins build up and build up, and health gets worse and worse and worse.

The longer the mycotoxins stay in your body, the more they increase systemic inflammation, leading to what’s known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, or CIRS.

Interestingly, this same condition is also created by Lyme disease.

The Great Masquerader

One nickname for Lyme disease is “The Great Masquerader.” This is because, like mold, it can “imitate” dozens of other diseases.

It can look like chronic fatigue. It can look like an autoimmune condition. It can even look like a mood disorder.

Biologically, Lyme disease is an infection by a microorganism known as spirochetes (although there are often multiple co-infections that occur with Lyme). Spirochetes burrow into your cells and tissues, slowly spreading and poisoning your body.

Because they burrow inside your tissues, they are notoriously difficult to kill.

Once they infect your body, they work to increase systemic inflammation while simultaneously wrecking your mitochondrial function with toxins.

Because both Lyme and mold create systemic inflammation, together they make for an CIRS firestorm in your body––that’s why there are so many different possible symptoms.

But that’s just the beginning.

What happens next is even worse.

A Tale of Two Conditions

See, Lyme and mold work together to make each other more toxic and debilitating.

Mold toxins severely compromise your immune system. The cellular damage from mycotoxins can actually stop Lyme therapies from working before they even have a chance.

Without help from medicine, Lyme has more time and less immune resistance so it can burrow even deeper into tissues and spread further through the whole body.

Lyme, on the other hand, makes you more susceptible to the effects of mold.

It secretes its own compounds that weaken the immune system. Your immune system is critical for detoxification. When your detox system is suppressed by the 1-2 punch of Lyme and mycotoxins, your body becomes an increasingly toxic environment.

Which, again, makes the mold worse, which makes the Lyme worse, which makes inflammation worse, which makes symptoms worse, and so on.

It’s a vicious cycle of disease and deteriorating health.

For individuals with the HLA-DR gene, this situation is compounded further because they cannot detox mycotoxins properly in the first place!

The Paradox of Healing: Which to Work On First?

Dealing with these partners in crime can seem like a paradox: if they reinforce each other, how do you deal with either of them?

First of all, accurate diagnosis is critical. Remember how mycotoxins hideout inside cells and fat tissue? You may get a more accurate reading on your levels of mycotoxins by first going to an infrared sauna and then doing a blood or urine test.

The sauna will trigger the release of stored mycotoxins so you will have a more accurate reading of your real toxic load.

If you know that you have mold toxicity, then you can look at your environment. Because mold is generally an environmental issue (but can also be dietary), you can remediate your house or workplace by consulting a mold professional.

Once you remove the source of mold, you can begin to help your body detox the mycotoxins with detox procedures like sauna , activated charcoal , Body Detox, and PerfectAmino.

With mycotoxins out of the way, medical therapies will work more effectively and it will be easier for your body to manage the Lyme disease.

Fatty Fat Fat: The Importance of Membranes

Lastly, it is important to look at one last critical area for recovering from mold and Lyme: cellular membranes.

Mycotoxins hide inside fat. That’s how it gets inside your cells. Lyme disease also disrupts cellular membranes, especially in your mitochondria –– the energy factories of your cells.

Damaged mitochondria are the reason chronic fatigue is so commonly associated with both Lyme and mold.

All cellular membranes are made of fat. With time, old membrane fats are naturally discarded and recycled. This is called “turnover”.

The more you facilitate membrane turnover, the faster you can detox mycotoxins and restore mitochondrial health.

So how you do do that?

Eat lots of fat!

Especially omega 3 fatty acids and phospholipids like phosphatidylserine and phosphotidylcholine. You can get these fatty acids from soft-cooked, runny-eggs, or from soy-lecithin supplements from your local health food store.

Final Thoughts and a Case Study:

Mold and Lyme are devastating conditions. They are extremely challenging to diagnose, even for experienced physicians. The confusion and frequent misdiagnosis can be just as stressful and painful as the disease itself.

However, with accurate testing to get a proper diagnosis along with simple clear detox steps, it is possible to make a full recovery.

We’ll leave you with a case study from Dr. Neil Nathan. The patient was a 37 year old woman, Sarah, diagnosed with “chronic fatigue.” No matter what her doctors tried, nothing seemed to work.

After months of no results, they determined it was Lyme disease, but even then she showed zero improvement no matter what her doctors tried.

Finally, after screening for mold and finding high levels of multiple mycotoxins, she was put on binders –– compounds that grab toxins and flush them out through the bowels. She used bentonite clay, charcoal, cholestyramine, and chlorella.

With just this simple intervention, she made a 70% recovery and felt better than she had felt in years.

Once the mold was out of the way, the symptoms of Lyme were much easier to deal with and she was well on her way to a complete recovery.

While Sarah’s condition fairly common, her recovery, unfortunately, is not. Hopefully, by working together to spread the word about these partners in crime more individuals will find healing from the toxicity of mold and Lyme.

For more about mold toxicity, check out this video from Dr. Minkoff explaining how modern mold is up to 600x more toxicthan mold 100 years ago:

Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then worked as an attending physician in infectious disease, co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine until 1995. In 1997, his interest in alternative and complementary medicine led him to open LifeWorks Wellness Center, which has become one of the foremost alternative medicine clinics in the U.S. His search to find a source of the highest quality nutritional supplements led him to establish BodyHealth in 2000, a resource that could provide doctors with the best possible supplementation and education for their patients. Today, the BodyHealth products are used by hundreds of practitioners and individual consumers who seek all-natural wellness and detoxification supplements with a demonstrated high level of quality and effectiveness. In addition to their use by patients looking to heal disease, the BodyHealth products are also used by sports enthusiasts interested in achieving and maintaining optimal performance. As a 42-time Ironman triathlon finisher, (including 8 appearances at the Ironman World Championships) Dr. Minkoff has first-hand experience to help athletes achieve optimum conditioning. His expertise in protein synthesis, detoxification, and nutrition allow them to run, swim, and bike faster and longer. Today, Dr. Minkoff is an alternative healthcare expert, guest lecturer, writer, tv and radio show guest. He also authors two weekly newsletters, the BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter and the Optimum Health Report.


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