Symptoms Of Mold

Photo of Sharol Tilgner

Symptoms Associated with "Mold Associated Illness" or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome(CIRS)

It may seem hard to believe a person can have so many symptoms from being exposed to a water-damaged building, but they can. Some symptoms are from immediate irritation and inflammation from mycotoxins but there is also dysregulation of many body systems that can be acute or chronic and effect any organ system in the body.  When moist building materials with toxic chemicals meet up with bacteria and fungus it creates a toxic soup that may bother anyone, but this toxic milieu will bother some people that have susceptible genetics much quicker, and they get much sicker and have much more trouble recovering. These are the folks that end up with "mold sensitivity" or chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).

General Signs & Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Flu-like
  • Symptoms
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Sensitivity to environment - Many chemical sensitivities
  • Multiple diagnosis from various docs

One of the important things to keep in mind is that mold can mimic many other diseases, both that growing in the body as well the reactions people get from environmental mold and mycotoxins/VOCs and other toxins in a water-damaged environment.

Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Eyes sensitive to light
  • Eyes watery or tear up
  • Night blindness
  • Eyes puffy/dark circles
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Dizziness
  • Sinus/nasal congestion
  • Nose bleeds
  • Sensitive to odors
  • Nasal polyps
  • Vocal cord polyps
  • Laryngitis or raspy voice
  • Burning in throat/sore throat,
  • Sensitivity to environment
  • Swallowing problems


  • Joint pain
  • Shooting pains
  • Ice-pick pains
  • Burning pains
  • Stabbing pains
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Weak muscles
  • Fleeting & moving pains
  • Tics
  • Spastic muscles
  • Charlie horses
  • Hands curl up like a claw
  • Toes/feet curl up
  • AM stiffness

Lungs and Heart

  • Shortness of breath and tachycardia (fast heart beat - rapid pulse) with exercise
  • Swelling or edema
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid pulse even when not exercising
  • Heart pounds intermittently
  • Heart feels like it is jumping out of chest
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma
  • Low and high blood pressure

Digestive, Liver and Urinary

  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Sores in mouth that come and go
  • Bile reflux
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea and /or Constipation
  • Abdominal pain that is intermittent
  • Unable to eat foods that were okay in the past
  • Small intestinal overgrowth of bacteria or yeast
  • Weight loss or Weight gain
  • Urinate a lot
  • Bladder control issues

Nervous And Endocrine Systems

  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or Light headed
  • Mental confusion
  • Spaciness
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor short term memory
  • Forget what you are doing
  • Can't remember names or words
  • Poor word recall
  • Disorientation
  • Brain Fog
  • Decreased learning ability
  • Real thirsty
  • Low blood pressure and high blood pressure
  • Poor temperature regulation
  • Numbness, Tingling
  • Vibrations or buzzings in one place or mobile
  • Static electricity zaps more than other people
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Parkinson's like symptoms
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable
  • Body temperature regulation issues
  • Difficult concentration
  • Lack of sex drive
  • POTs or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is seen in some people.
  • Executive function issues: problems with judgement, abstract concepts, ability to multitask, hard to plan.

Immune System

  • Swollen and painful lymph nodes
  • Chronic viral, fungal or bacterial infections
  • Chronic parasitic infections


  • Skin is sensitive
  • Skin is itchy
  • Feels like bugs crawling on skin
  • Feels like bugs stinging or biting but nothing there
  • Easy bruising
  • Itchy pimples
  • Excess pimples
  • Skin sores
  • Bumpy skin
  • Thickened skin
  • Skin peeling
  • Burning sensations
  • Red Face
  • Mottled looking skin/white and red together
  • Skin flushing
  • Sweats - especially at night,
  • Static shocks - lots of them
  • Skin reacts to sun -even through clothing sometimes
  • Vitiligo
  • Cherry hemangiomas
  • Dermatographia urticaria(when you can write on the skin- may be related to high C4a).


  • Cold Hands/feet
  • Discolored hands and feet such as white and red mottling
  • Parts go to sleep (numbness), tingling
  • Hands shake
  • Clawing of hands and fingers or toes and feet
  • Some of these people have excessively flexible joints and find they get dislocated joints easily, or strains and sprains.

Some physicians, including myself are under the opinion that many inflammatory diseases may be associated with mycotoxin exposure. This has not yet been proven although some practitioners have seen patients get better who have some of these illnesses when their mycotoxin exposure is treated. The list of inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.

Symptom Clusters

Many Docs use what Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker has called symptom clusters. He suggests that 8 or more of the following 13 clusters in an adult are diagnostic of CIRS. Don't forget to also look at screening tests such as VCS and Labs.

  1. Fatigue
  2. Weakness, decreased assimilation of new knowledge, aches, headaches, light sensitivity
  3. Memory impairment, decreased word finding
  4. Difficulty concentrating
  5. Joint pain, AM stiffness, cramps
  6. Tingling, tremors, unusual pain, unusual skin sensations
  7. Shortness of breath, sinus congestion
  8. Cough, excessive thirst, confusion
  9. Appetite swings, difficulty regulating body temperature, increased urinary frequency
  10. Red eyes, blurred vision, night sweats, mood swings, ice-pick pains
  11. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, numbness
  12. Tearing of eyes, disorientation, metallic taste
  13. Static shocks, vertigo

Some Of The Diseases Associated With Mycotoxins

Alzheimer’s disease (specifically what is now being called inhalation alzheimer's), autism, some types of cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud’s disease, kidney stones, asthma and vasculitis are a few diseases, but there are many more.


There are Tests That Can Help With Diagnosis of Mold

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