This article is intended to begin to orient you towards a broader understanding about mold sensitivities and is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number and scope of articles we will put out about mold.

Part A: The objective is to understand the different types of molds, how we become “sensitized” to them, what happens when our immune system cannot “see” them, as well as to understand how to begin to determine if they are contributing to our symptoms.

What types of mold cause immune sensitivities?

Clinically, patients generally have issues with either indoor/outdoor molds, pathogenic molds, or food borne molds and many times combinations of both.

Indoor molds are seen in places like the bathroom, in drywall from old roof leaks, plumbing leaks, rotten floor boards around bathroom tubs. Outdoor molds are those that grow on plants, in the ground, and on outside structures where dampness is easily accessible. Common strains for indoor/outdoor molds are: Sporotrichum, Eurotium amstelodami, Aspergillus, Acremonium, Absidia, Bipolaris, Penicillium, Alternaria, Phoma, Epicoccum, Stachypotrys, Trichoderma, Acrodontium, Scopulariopsis, Chaetomium, Ulocladium, Geotrichum, Sporobolomyces, Eurotium, Tritirachium, Cladosporium, Rhizomucor, Serpula, Rhizopus, Paecilomyces, Paecilomyces, Aureobasidium, Phoma, Cephalosporium, Stemphylium, Pithomyces, Verticillium, Trichothecium, Ustilago, Mucor, Botrytis, Curvularia, Helminthosporium, Chaetomium, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Aureobasidium, Chaetomium, Trichosporon, Arthrinium phaeospermum.

Those patients having high environmental mold allergies and sensitivities generally have some type of chronic exposure from their living environment. The toxins from molds called mycotoxins have a tendency to inhibit the immune system in an effort to thwart detection. Over time therefore, those with chronic mold exposure have inefficient immune systems and low adrenal function (cortisol) and have multiple food sensitivities, and low grade bacterial and/or viral infections that remain undetected, contributing to chronic fatigue and other symptoms.

Regional weather conditions and age of housing developments have a significant impact upon whether someone will become victim to environmental mold sensitivities. One of the clinics of Immune Matrix is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California but sees patients from all over California. Demographics from their patient base have shown that the worst environmental mold sensitivities are associated from areas where patients live along the coast, such as Santa Cruz, and areas of the North Bay Areas starting from Redwood City and progressing north into San Francisco because of the fog belt. Many homes in San Francisco are 100 years old and therefore mold in the home is a common source of chronic exposure. Immune Matrix regularly screens its patients for sensitivities for the above listed indoor and outdoor molds.

Food-borne molds are those that are commonly found in nature growing with the fruit or are cultivated in cheeses. Such molds include: Cladosporium herbarum, Penicillium digitatum, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Eruotium chevalieri, Penicillium expansum, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus ochraceus, Guignardia bidwellii, Alternaria alternate, Aspergillus niger, Candida zeylanoides, Morillia fructigena, geotrichum candidum, Penicillium camemberti, Penicillium roquefortii, Penicillium crustosum, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus flaucus, Saccharomyes carisbergensis, Saccharomyces sake, Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor racemosus, Saccaromyces ellipsoideus, Botrytis cinerea, Wallemia sebi, Aspergillus versicolor, Penicillium italicum, Fusarium oxysporum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aspergillus tamari.

Patients sensitive to food-borne molds typically test sensitive to grapes, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, raisins, strawberries, corn smut and therefore corn, wheat smut and therefore wheat products, oat smut and therefore oats, even granola! Immune Matrix calls these “moldy foods” and tells their patients to eliminate these foods from their diet so that they stop inoculating themselves with these molds. It is believed that until one can confirm the presence of sufficient good microflora in the digestive tract, and that one has eliminated the presence of staph, strep and pathogenic molds and candida strains from the digestive tract, that patients eliminate these foods indefinitely. For those patients wishing to run a stool test to determine their level of good microflora, the presence of bacteria, fungi, candida and what it will take to kill them, go to the online store at and order Doctor’s Data Microbiology Stool kit. The cost will include a phone consult about the results.

Pathogenic molds are those that do not normally live in the human body, come from the environment but have adapted to living in the body in various forms from cysts, micro-tubules and such. These are the most troubling and chronic of group and include but are not limited to: Geotrichum candidum, Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Candida Krusei, Candida lipolytica, Candida dubliniensis, Trichophyton rubrum, Fonsecaea compacta, Microsorum canis, Chrysosporium tropicum, Aspergillus versicolor, Piedraia hortae, Emmonsia parva var.crescens, Rhizopus oryzae, Curvularia lunata, Apophysomyces elegans, Cladosporium herbarum, Bipolaris spicifera, Basidiobolus ranarum, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Candida lusitaniae, Chaetomium giobosum, Cunninghamella bertholletiae, Acremonium spp., Paecilomyces variotii, Rhodotorula rubra, Sporothrix schenckii, Pseudallescheria boydii, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Aureobasidium pullulans, Aspergillus niger, Conidiobolus coronatus, Cryptoccus neoformans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trochosporon cutaneum, Cladophialophora bantiana, Lacazia loboi, Histoplasma capsulatum, Candida glabrata, Absidia corymbifera, Wangiella dermatitidis, Fusarium solani, Penicillium marneffei, Mucor indicus, candida kefyr, Trichophyton verrucosum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Alternaria spp., Arthrographis kalrae, Stemphylium macrosporoideum, Candida tropicalis, Coddidioides immitis, Aspergillus flavus, Trochophyton schoenleinii, Trichosporon asahii, Candida guilliermondii, Madurella mycetomatis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida parapsilosis, Aspergillus nidulans, Malasseizia furfur, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Sporobolomyces salmonicolor, Candida albicans, Bipolaris hawaiiensis, Trichophyton tonsurans, Streptomyces spp., Microsporum audouinii, Exophiala jeanselmei, Phoma spp., Epidermophyton floccosum, Trichophyton violaceum, Candida rugosa, Blastoschizomyces capitatus.

Patients at Immune Matrix are regularly screened for immune sensitivities to the above pathogenic molds. What has been found is that those strains that a patient tests “sensitive” to are generally the very ones that have become chronic in the patient. Like the princess and the pea, the immune system fatigues to the continued presence of these pathogens for reasons too complex to go into in this article. What is astounding is that Immune Matrix has found that even when a patient is given an anti-fungal, often for months to combat a specific strain of pathogen, the patient is unable to eliminate it. Western medical doctors simply keep the patient on the anti-fungal in many cases. However, once the patient’s immune system is “woken” up to its existence in the body, the immune system immediately begins to facilitate an attack with the assistance of the anti-microbial. Therefore, the presumption that the anti-microbial didn’t work because the microbe was “resistant” is not entirely correct in most cases.

Immune Matrix has been able to help patients get off of long-term anti-fungal therapy by boosting their immune system to those strains that they test having an immune sensitivity for! Anna Manayan likes to explain to her patients that “its like giving a person a shotgun and telling them to kill the enemy. If the person doesn’t know who the enemy is, the enemy can stand there right next to the person and continue to thrive”. The immune system acts in a similar fashion in that it needs to recognize self from pathogen. Sometimes, this recognition function fatigues, and unless the immune system can be “re-programmed” to recognize necessary pathogens, the pathogens continue to thrive in the patient even with anti-fungals. This is an innovative and effective method to boost and treat patients for chronic fungal, environmental mold and food borne mold sensitivities by reading and working with the patient’s immune system instead of assuming that the body can effectively utilize a prescribed herb or drug to kill a pathogen. This is why Immune Matrix is able to help patients that doctors “give-up” on and tell them to just continue to take anti-fungals and avoid exposures and candida promoting foods.

Therefore, if you or someone you love has been on anti-fungals and candida diets persistently and have not improved in health, then suspect that your immune system has become weakened to recognizing these pathogens. Also, if you do follow an anti-candida diet and find that when you deviate from that diet you suffer symptoms, it means that you have not addressed the cause of your condition which is highly suggestive that you harbor strains your immune system is ineffective in eliminating. Two things you can do now is to order the Doctor’s Data Microbiology Stool test to get an assessment of the health of your digestive tract relative to bacterial, fungal and candida microbes for a start.

If your stool tests show only good flora, it still does not mean that you do not have any pathogenic mold or candida strains in the body because they can and do live in tissue and you will need appropriate blood tests from an experienced medical practitioner. The second thing you can do to boost your immune system’s effectiveness is to determine the relative health of your adrenals by ordering a Flex Matrix Cortisol test with Diagnos-Techs, Inc also available at You will then be given a phone consult to help you interpret the findings and some guidance as to how to begin to eliminate the cause of your mold sensitivities and eliminate the needless suffering that they contribute to chronic fatigue. Part B, tomorrow, will address how molds contribute to chronic fatigue.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan