I first met KD in the summer of 2006 when she came in to see me for acupuncture in my Santa Monica clinic. She was a successful yoga teacher but had been unable to give classes for the last few weeks due to the strange neurological symptoms that she was experiencing which included: tingling and crawling sensations in her arms and legs, extreme weakness in her muscles, poor concentration, memory, and mental function, irritability, shortness of breath, and fatigue. She had a one and a half year old baby who was just beginning to walk, not saying any words yet, and very irritable with a constant frown on her face most of the time. K was sure that something was very off in her own body and suspected that whatever it was it was also affecting her baby though she had no idea what it could possibly be.
I gave her acupuncture and later that day she called me to say that she felt much worse with more tingling accompanied by extreme weakness. At that time I began to suspect mold neurotoxicity at the root of her condition because in my experience mold exposure patients tend to worsen with acupuncture treatments due to the fact that acupuncture stimulates the immune system causing antibodies and immune components to attack the nerves in an attempt to remove the mold mycotoxins. She was hesitant to believe that it could be mold exposure because she insisted that her husband was perfectly healthy with no strange symptoms. I told her that in my experience women are much more susceptible to mold exposure than men due to their heightened sensitivity.
She agreed to inspect her apartment thoroughly focusing on surfaces behind appliances and furniture and sure enough she found that the laundry machine had been leaking for some time and the entire wall behind the washer and dryer was filled with thick, furry, black mold. She immediately followed my suggestion to move her family to another location with friends until the mold could be remediated and I began to treat her and her daughter for black mold toxicity using a formula of Chinese herbs to kill the mold, protect her nervous system, and clear the mycotoxins out of her body.
KD read up about black mold and the serious medical problems that it can cause and grew very worried about her and her daughter?s condition and the chances of a full recovery. She found an MD toxicologist who ordered a series of specific blood tests checking for various types of toxic mold and they came back showing extremely high levels of Stachybotrys, the most toxic and dangerous type of black mold. This result made her even more anxious but her anxiety was soon eased by the gradual improvement in the tingling, weakness, and shortness of breath that she experienced and the boost in her energy level and brain function. Her daughter?s mood and neurological development gradually improved significantly as well.
Due to the severity of the stachybotrys exposure, her recovery has been a long up and down process marked by periods of exacerbation of symptoms and then reduction though gradually moving towards complete remission.