Jemma’s case illustrates how and why it’s important to take your environment into consideration when dealing with ongoing health problems.
Many people are under the false belief that diet and exercise are the only important factors in health, but there can be some hidden influences that cause illness and prevent you from healing.
In Jemma’s case, mold exposure appeared to be a trigger, and the mold was coming from some rather unexpected places.
Here are Jemma’s main symptoms:
In her own words, the main uncomfortable symptoms were as follows:
“Ongoing allergies since childhood, hay fever, asthma triggered mostly by dust, animals or mouldy environments. Lots of food intolerences and digestive issues since childhood. In recent years recurrent outbreaks of thrush and cold sores, very low libido, sleep long hours but feel like I am not refreshed. PMS, mood swings, anxiety. Even in childhood was always anxious or worried but often without specific reason. Always had very disturbed sleep – talking, walking, nightmares – I often would not be aware of this but would be told by others – Parents, friends and these days my poor long suffering husband.”
Like many people, Jemma felt frustration as, “for a long time I have mostly followed what I think is a healthy diet and lifestyle but feel like this just about keeps me functional but not thriving.”
Benefits from food sensitivity testing
Before contacting us, Jemma’s entire family had benefited from food sensitivity testing, which showed they were all sensitive to eggs.
Upon removing eggs from their diet, all four family members experienced improvements, particularly one of the children, whose health improved quite dramatically.
However, despite feeling somewhat better, Jemma still didn’t feel she had found the right answer.
Jemma’s stool test
As you can see below, Jemma’s stool test result showed that she had quite a lot of bacterial overgrowth in her digestive tract.
Citrobacter is quite a nasty bacterium that produces toxic gas called hydrogen sulfide in the intestine, which in turn irritates the digestive lining. In some people, Citrobacter can cause nasty colitis.
Once it is absorbed into the blood stream, hydrogen sulfide can interfere with energy production in the body’s cells, and is a possible reason for low energy as well as digestive symptoms.
In addition to the presence of Citrobacter, you can also see high levels of the bacteria such as Escherichia and Enterobacter, which are supposed to be present in the intestine, but which can overgrow and cause problems.
Jemma’s stool test also detected a parasite called Dientameba fragilis, which also has the ability to trigger digestive symptoms and impact food digestion and nutrient absorption.
Jemma’s organic acids test
In addition to a stool test, we also performed an organic acids test, which is a simple urine test that looks at digestive function in a slightly different way.
In chart below reveals elevations in markers 5 and 7, which indicate mold and Candida overgrowth, respectively.
Summary so far
From these two tests, we had clues about why Jemma wasn’t feeling herself.
She had a parasite, fungal overgrowth and bacterial overgrowth.
How could these findings affect her energy, mood, hormones and libido?
Well, the scientific literature shows us that there are several possible mechanisms, which include:
These factors are all very important, but with Jemma there was another key issue that needed to be addressed, as you’ll see shortly.
Jemma’s action steps and progress
Jemma and I begin fine-tuning her diet and addressing all possible factors in her diet that might be contributing to symptoms.
She was already very well versed on how to eat healthily, so it we were able to work through these steps quite quickly.
I also recommended an anti-microbial protocol to cleanse her digestive system of the unwanted bacteria, parasites and fungal/mold that were picked up in her lab tests.
Jemma did well on her program. She experienced definite improvements in energy and general wellness. However, something was still not quite right.
Could the car be making Jemma feel unwell?
Jemma noticed that she felt unwell every time she traveled an appreciable distance in her car, especially if the windows were closed.
She wondered if there might be a link between the car and her symptoms, so she took it to the mechanic to do some investigation.
It turned out that the car’s air conditioning system was playing host to a bunch of fungal/mold overgrowth!
Every time she switched on the air con, she was blasted by fungal and mold spores, which then triggered an immune response in her body that made her feel unwell.
This made perfect sense because a) she had some mold overgrowth markers in her urine test, and b) since childhood she’d always struggled with, in her words, “Ongoing allergies since childhood, hay fever, asthma triggered mostly by dust, animals or mouldy environments.”
By having the air con system properly cleaned and making sure the windows were open as much as possible, Jemma was able to resolve this environmental exposure, improve her symptoms, and feel much better.
Not quite out of the woods yet…
A few months later, Jemma contacted me and mentioned that felt some of her symptoms returning.
Because we had not checked her hormone levels in the initial testing, we agreed to run a relatively new test called “Dried Urine Hormones.”
Jemma provided some urine samples, which were analysed for various hormones, including the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA, and the sex hormones progesterone, testosterone and estrogen.
The results were very interesting:
Her total cortisol production was very low, as denoted by the yellow arrow, below:
Her estrogen level was quite high as you can see by the red arrow in the next graphic:
Her testosterone level was quite low, as you can see by the yellow arrow:
The reason this pattern is so interesting is that it’s a pattern that I would predict in someone who has a mold-related illness (that is, symptoms that are triggered by mold exposure).
Even more interestingly, Jemma reported that the weather had been very wet for a few weeks and that she had found some mold overgrowth in the house.
The mold growing in their home was likely triggering the return of Jemma’s symptoms.
Thankfully, the family had already made plans to move out of their home a few weeks later.
Why is mold awareness so important?
The first reason I wanted to share this case study is to stress how important your environment is when it comes to improving and maintaining wellness.
Jemma did really well on her program, but no matter what she eats, or what supplements she takes, she has an immune system that is prone to react to mold exposure and trigger symptoms.
Therefore, the most important thing Jemma can do to maintain her health is take care to avoid mold exposure.
Second, I wanted to raise awareness of mold-related illness because it’s something that can lead to a lot of problems.
Indeed, with subsequent articles and case studies I’ll expand on this topic. Please look out for these.
Third, I also wanted to introduce you to a couple of additional lab tests, over and above the stool testing I frequently talk about and promote.
Stool testing is fantastic, and I feel it’s a great starting point for your health journey.
However, as you’ve seen it’s not the only useful test.
Organic acids testing and dried urine hormone analysis are also incredibly helpful assessment tools and, what’s more, you can do them both in the comfort of your own home.
Do you have mysterious symptoms?
If you’re feeling tired, irritable, anxious or grumpy, or if you’re struggling with skin or sleep problems, or chronic pain and digestive problems, ask yourself some questions:
I realize it’s not easy to cut through all the conflicting information online and in best-selling books, but I encourage you to start somewhere and begin a thorough investigation.
It’s not just about your health right now, but also your future.
The sooner you begin your investigation, the better, because the longer you leave it, usually the longer it takes to get well (trust me, back in 2004, I limped on for three years before I took action in 2007, and that’s something I regret).
Where to start
If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you’ll know that my personal preference is to start with a home stool test.
It’s a quick and easy process: receive a test kit in the mail, provide a sample and send it back to the lab.
The reason I like stool testing as a starting point is simple: your digestive health affects all other areas of your body.
It’s just a really logical place to begin, especially if you have digestive symptoms like bloating, heartburn, gas, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
Poor digestion can also cause fatigue, mood problems, skin diseases, chronic muscle and joint pain, headaches, and more.
By assessing your digestive function you can pinpoint key issues that are likely triggering or contributing to your symptoms.
Of course, the downside of a stool test is that it costs money.
But how much is your health actually worth?
What is the financial value of being symptom-free and free from the stress and uncertainty of feeling unwell?
In my opinion, it’s priceless, which is why I run these tests each year for health maintenance purposes.
Because I know a stool test isn’t the cheapest of investments, I offer a money back guarantee if the test doesn’t reveal any meaningful information.
This means you’re making a 100% risk-free investment in your health when you order a test.
Like Jemma, you may find that the stool test gives you a big chunk of the answer you’re looking for, but not quite all of it.
Or, you might find you get a Eureka moment, where the test clearly shows the reasons you haven’t been feeling well.
Either way, you win.
Oh, and don’t forget that we conduct a comprehensive case review, symptom and health history and food journal assessment as part of the stool test package. AND, we run a 60-min phone or Skype consultation with you to explain everything.
And as I mentioned above, it’s 100% risk-free.
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