Mold illness, aka mycotoxin illness, can be incredibly debilitating, and in my mind, is one of The Big Ones I want to evaluate in my sickest patients. Even those I might be treating for something else such as Lyme disease, should still be evaluated for mold, especially if they have known exposure through a moldy house or water-damaged building of any kind, whether it be at work, school or home, present or past. Undetected mold toxicity can be one of the biggest hindrances to being able to regain one’s heath. A new test for mycotoxins has just be released that will make such an evaluation more accessible to people.
Mold illness can be responsible for a huge array of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment, respiratory issues, fevers, vomiting, liver disease, digestive/ intestinal problems, vertigo, blurred vision, headaches, dermatitis and the list goes on.
There are a couple of different ways to evaluate for mold illness. Dr. Shoemaker, one of the leading experts in the field, has a range of tests that he runs, such as:
- TGF-beta 1
- Anticardiolipin antibodies
This panel can be run through Labcorp or similar lab, and is sometimes covered by insurance. The problem is, one must have a doctor that knows how to interpret the results correctly. This is something Shoemaker-certified doctors would be more than competent to do, but not everyone can see a Shoemaker-certified doctor. I admit that without specific training in mold illness, I find all those variables somewhat confusing.
My preferred test is to do a direct mycotoxin test – one that quantifies and differentiates mycotoxins in the individual. It’s a urine test, so low on the invasiveness scale. The problem to date is that the primary lab that ran that test, while being a great lab, was very expensive – nearly $1000 out of pocket for the panel of four mycotoxins.
Now, Great Plains Laboratory have launched a mycotoxin panel of their own. I love Great Plains and have used their testing for many years, and I’m excited that this panel is less than half the cost of the other one. To me this means that mycotoxin testing will be more accessible to people, which means more potential for finding issues that could be keeping people unwell.
The GPL-Mycotox panel tests for the following species of molds:
The mycotoxin markers given are:
- Aflatoxin M1
- Ochratoxin A
- Roridin E
- Verrucarin A
- Enniatin B1
So you can see it’s a very comprehensive panel for just $299, which is much more palatable than the $900 alternative. I’m excited and have been starting to run these panels on my patients and potentially identify more areas of imbalance in their systems that need to be addressed.