Surviving Toxic Mold

Surviving Toxic Mold

By James Templeton

My motto is “enjoy life, but always keep one foot on the path to health.” As a 30-year survivor of stage IV melanoma, this way of living has served me well. But not long ago I faced another health battle that made me feel like I was fighting for my life again.

A Health Scare

When we first moved to Idaho from Montana, we rented a house while ours was being built. This house was only about 7 years old – airtight, like new construction often is. After a few months there, I started having trouble breathing when I was running. It got so bad I couldn’t walk up the stairs without wheezing. Then one day, when I went out to our home site to do a little clean up, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and I had no energy. I thought I was having a heart attack, so I went to the ER. But my heart looked strong, so they sent me home. I decided to go to a doctor I knew in Seattle for a thorough workup – chest x-ray, EKG, the whole 9 yards. Everything came back normal. I couldn’t figure out what was going on and I honestly felt like I was dying.

Finding Hidden Mold

A friend suggested it could be mold exposure. Idaho in the winter has some of the highest mold counts in the country, but I knew it had to be more than outdoor mold affecting me. We had the house tested and the results came back positive for black mold. They found it in the bathroom next to the shower and under the baseboards from an old leak. And new home construction is so airtight, the walls can sweat on the inside and be covered in mold, but you can’t see it. We moved out of that house a couple of weeks later, and I started feeling better almost immediately.

As with everything else, I researched and read everything I could about mold sickness. It turns out it’s far more common than I realized, and many people have symptoms as severe as mine were. Most common are shortness of breath with fatigue like I had, but since mucus from your airways gets into your stomach, gastrointestinal complaints are also common. Less common are the neurologic symptoms like headache, weakness, vertigo and memory issues.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like this, even if it’s not visible it’s a good idea to test for mold. The cheap kits you can buy at the hardware store don’t differentiate between outdoor and indoor molds in your home, so don’t waste your money. If you want to do the test yourself, you can order a kit to do an ERMI test from Mycometrics. If you think you’ll need to get your insurance company involved, then hiring a building biologist is your best bet.

Road to Recovery

The first thing you have to do if you’ve been exposed to toxic mold is to get out of that environment. Anything porous, like paper or clothing, carries mold spores in it, so mold experts say it’s best to leave these things behind. As far as supplements, I had a lot of success with oil of oregano and high dose Vitamin C, but a lot of protocols out there also strongly recommend a binder like charcoal or clay along with good liver support. It’s important if you do take a binder to avoid constipation, it slows down your detox. Magnesium is a safe choice to help get things moving again.

People who already have other fungal issues like candida are more susceptible to mold illness, because the environment inside the body is already set up for fungus to thrive. It’s important to address the candida with diet and supplements at the same time as you treat the mold. Keep diet clean and full of sulfur-rich foods to encourage glutathione production, and cut out the sugars, processed foods and foods known to have mold toxins in them like peanuts, grains, and cheese.

I stayed on the oil of oregano for a year, and it took a couple of years for me to really feel good again. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight; persistence pays off when it comes to mold sickness and toxic mold exposure.


Comments (10)

  • Kim francis July 9, 2017 - 9:20 pm Reply

    James I would love to visit with u about this. I almost dies in 2007 from toxic black mold exposure and it’s been a journey back to normalcy. There was almost two feet of it under my shower.

    I’m writing a book called break the mold and would love to speak with you about this.thank you.
    My email is

    • UKadmin July 10, 2017 - 7:29 pm Reply

      Hi Kim,

      It sounds like you survived quite an ordeal! Congratulations on your upcoming book. I would be glad to tell you more about my experience, but it doesn’t sound like it was near as challenging as what you’ve gone through! We will contact you. Thanks!

  • sheila tidd July 9, 2017 - 10:55 pm Reply

    Hi James,
    I have mold in my house in Australia and am currently trying to get rid of it. I have been having chronic fatique, memory problems and vertigo. I am under a Dr. for copper poisoning ( I a problem with methylation due to a mutent gene.
    Whilst I can clean off the mold and spray with tea tree oil in my house here I have a problem with a house in England that I rent. Tenants are not airing the house adequately and cleaning off the mold. Winter is particularly bad. In leaving the property they have used a strong solution of bleach which has bleached the walls in patches. Have you any suggestions for leaflets that I can give the Agents on the problem. Thanks.

    • UKadmin July 10, 2017 - 7:24 pm Reply

      Hi Sheila – I don’t have experience with remediation – I was living in a rental house at the time and we were asked to leave the home when we brought up the issue. If it were in my home I would hire a reputable mold remediation company to be sure it was handled properly.

  • Amy July 10, 2017 - 3:10 am Reply

    Hi –

    Thanks for this helpful info. How much/how often/what potency of vitamin C and oil of oregano did you take? How can the oil be safely ingested?


    Amy G.

    • UKadmin July 10, 2017 - 7:12 pm Reply

      Hi Amy –

      I took oil of oregano – oregonol softgels from North American Herb & Spice – you can check with the company for recommended dosage.

      I ate a yeast-free diet as much as possible (fruit, carbs, high glycemic foods, alcohol etc).

      I also found it was key for me to take a lot of intestinal flora (probably at least 40 billion cfus daily). Y-C Cleanse (our homeopathic yeast/Candida formula) was also helpful.

      It takes a while so you just have to stick with it.

      For Vitamin C I have always taken a lot but I would take anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 mg spread throughout the day. Buffered and/or Time-released seems to be more easily tolerated…more gentle on the stomach.

      *This information is merely based on my personal experience and is not to be used as medical advice. I am not a doctor.

      • Amy July 12, 2017 - 11:47 pm Reply

        Thanks so much for the reply with more specific info about your healing. Amy

  • Jana D. July 10, 2017 - 6:08 pm Reply

    Would quercitin help?

    • UKadmin July 10, 2017 - 7:21 pm Reply

      Hi Jana – It’s a strong possibility but I haven’t used it personally and don’t have experience with it for mold.

  • Kathleen Sullivan October 7, 2017 - 11:36 pm Reply

    I’ve had black mold exposure in an old school that had a history of leaks. Thank you for this information.

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