Ways To Counteract Mycotoxin Exposure

Hi there.

I am wondering if there are any foods to eat to help combat a mycotoxic reaction AFTER it starts? I understand that avoidance is the best bet, but sometimes you don't know to avoid something until it gives you a problem. I have read that anything with chlorophyll is good at binding to and carrying toxins away. I'm never without my raw organic parsley! But what else can help? Garlic? A spoonfull of butter? I would love to see a blog post about this.

A little backstory (okay, a lot of backstory): Almost one year ago I was on a flight back from a business trip. It was filled with long hours, stress, carb overload, and drinking (of course!). To quell my queasy stomach at the airport I opted for a package of neon orange peanut butter crackers and a Coke. Once in the air, by the time I had finished the package of crackers I felt my throat start swelling, like there was a lump in my throat that I could not swallow. The first thing I thought was allergies, though I never had them before and had been eating nuts literally the day before. My nostrils clamped almost shut with each breath through my nose and I had to hold my head a certain way to breathe more freely through my mouth. My heart was pounding, I was freaking out! Not knowing what to do, I rummaged through my purse and found an old Alavert and took it. (I always liked to be prepared.) It didn't help much, though it seemed the swelling had at least stopped. I almost started crying when I asked the gate attendant for help. She pointed me to a news stand and told me to buy Benadryl. I took it. No help. My eyes were watering and my nose was running, but at least my breathing was not getting any worse. A look in the mirror showed a deep red throat...though no swelling. I finally calmed down enough to get home and get some rest.

My problems were not over though. In the days that followed I began to have similar "reactions" (though not as severe) to foods that I normally would eat in my everyday life. Pasta. Tomatoes. Other nuts. Eggs. Crackers. It seemed like almost anything I put in my mouth caused this reaction - a swelling of the esophagus BELOW where you could see into the mouth with a simple inspection. Trips to urgent care clinics yielded nothing but an offering of a steroid shot and prescription of prednisone (which did nothing). I found myself clutching a new epi-pen on my person at all times, just in case. At one point it was so bad that I had nothing but water and chicken broth for three days. On the third day it happened again. That's it, I told myself. I'm going to the ER. After a cursory exam and a CT scan, the doctor told me to "calm down, it's all in your head" and sent me home empty handed, and a smaller pocket after the $100 co-pay. It happened again with an omlette, where I lost my voice in the waiting room, but the doctors found nothing.

I am an engineer. I consider myself a normal, rational person. And now I was frantic, acting crazy, doing anything to find out what this was and to avoid things that gave me problems. I was resigned to eating chicken soup (home made by myself), and rice noodles with zucchini fried in olive oil, out of fear to eat anything else. I slowly added foods back, but the results were puzzling. I for sure would not eat nuts, sardines, eggs, or any other potentially allergenic or histamine loaded food. I had reactions to them all. I found the paleo diet and started following it religiously. Sans nuts and fish. I lost weight and my symptoms got better but did not go away entirely. Sometimes when I had symptoms, I had not eaten anything that day at all, or it would be worse in the car, or at a store. I went to all manner of doctors. An allergist deemed me free of these food allergies. An ENT shrugged me off with a prescription for zantac. After an upper GI scope the doc sent me home without even an inkling of what to do next. To add to the puzzle, I would only SOMETIMES get symptoms with certain foods, but not if I ate a different batch of it. Example: raw tomatoes, pears, and spinach. Spinach sent me to the ER with what I thought was an allergic reaction or irritation. It had been a staple of my diet - I loved spinach. The doctor did not see signs of allergic reaction, but gave me a steroid shot anyway - it didn't help in the least and it took me over a week to recover from the incident, on my own. Once I nearly fainted after eating smoked salmon - after I had enjoyed salmon almost once a week for my entire adult life. No more fish for me.

Thankfully I found a naturopathic doctor who actually listened to me, and started treating my whole body. She helped tremendously, but I still had issues. As long as I didn't stray too much from being paleo, I was mostly okay. After reading the benefits of dark chocolate (and having always loved it) I started incorporating it more into my diet. After a particularly tough day at work, I binged and ate an entire organic, 85% cacao, soy-free chocolate bar. After that I had nausea, racing heart, headache, dizzy and lightheadedness, numb fingers, legs, and lips. That subsided a few hours later after drinking a ton of water. Strangely now, I can still eat chocolate, though I have avoided eating it in excess for fear of another strange effect. Out of nowhere I started researching mold and mycotoxins in food, and that's how I found the Bulletproof Executive. I realized that the foods I had been having trouble with are all universally contaminated. Through my entire college career I lived in a basement apartment that had been flooded previously. I have been living my life now under the assumption that I was basically poisoned on the plane that day, tipping my poison barrel overflow, and have been taking months to recover on my own. Living this way has really helped me with my symptoms, and I look to be toxin free in as many areas of my life as I can.

One year later, I am seeking an environmental doctor in my area. I cannot afford to go to any more doctors who have no idea what this is, and have my bank account cleaned out for getting nothing. I cannot afford a battery of tests. I am my own advocate. Which is why I posed my question, as I am always looking for new ways to help. In my worst times, jumping on a trampoline 2 times daily and dry brushing to move lymph really helped. All manner of detox helps. I rediscovered meditation and spirituality. I don't know what I would do without my naturopathic doctor. And now I rely on awareness, avoidance, and my trusty greens. Now whenever I cheat and eat too much of a probable mycotoxic food, I get mucus formed in the very same area of my throat as where this all started, and I am able to cough it out and feel better. A "flush it out" sign from my body - confirmation for me.

I would love to see more blog posts on mycotoxicity to get the word out, as I am certain I am not the only one to have suffered such frightening symptoms with no traditional help to be found. It hit me like a ton of bricks. All, and I mean ALL doctors I have been to are clueless. Mycotoxicity basically means that your body has been POISONED, not that you are necessarily allergic to mold! (Though it shouldn't be ruled out). Allergy medicines and steroids do not help in the least - if anything they make it worse. If it was closing my airway off, surely it is potentially fatal. I am just glad I found a way to cope. If an environmental doctor cannot help me and tells me that I have not been sick with mold, well then - I give up totally on traditional medicine. And I hope I can help others and tell them that what they have is real. They don't have a nervous disorder and they aren't alone.

Thanks for reading my story image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


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