There are over 50,000 different kinds of molds present. Our homes are very vulnerable to mold growth especially if there is enough moisture and humidity.
However, there are only 200 different kinds of molds that impart serious health risks and what differentiates dangerous molds from safer ones are mycotoxins.
What Are Mycotoxins & Their Effects to Human
The body can be subject to mycotoxin poisoning very easily because most foods we eat have a minute mycotoxin content.
These mycotoxins are excreted with urine and stool. However, eating food which has been infected by mold gives higher chances of diseases.
Mycotoxins can cause persistent headaches, fatigue, lung diseases such as upper respiratory tract infection and sometimes, increased exposure can also cause cancer.
During the last couple of years, the lab has been advertising urine tests for mycotoxins which are supposedly meant to tell you how much and what kind of mycotoxin is present in the body.
The patient sends a urine & blood sample to the lab and they test it. Results include the kind of mycotoxin/fungus that the patient is exposed to and the amount found in the blood and urine.
Mold/Mycotoxin Testing | Detection in Human
Mycotoxins are the toxic or poisonous component present in molds. These toxins (mycotoxins) come into human contact through a number of ways.
Molds in our homes release spores, which if breathed, deposit mycotoxins in our body. Another path is that molds infect crops and we eat those crops.
In either way, molds can deposit mycotoxins in our body through a number of ways. Meanwhile, we may not have control over it, it is always good to be sure of things.
Mycotoxin testing for human beings estimates the amount the mycotoxins present in our blood and hence tells whether it is a concern or not.
Furthermore, if you live in an environment which is moist and humid, or your house is or has been water damaged at any point, it is always wise to go through a mycotoxin test.
Mycotoxins can also impart some very serious health risks and hence, test for them in our bodies is an important practice for a safer living.
How does it work?
Laboratories usually have the facility to test for mycotoxins in the human body. There are currently various methods to check for mycotoxin quantities in the body.
Mycotoxin Blood Test
The blood test is one of the most successful and conventional methods to test for almost anything in the body.
Testing labs collect a sample of your blood and run it for mycotoxin levels. Another method is urine testing.
Mycotoxin Urine Test
Urine testing is comparatively a newer and equally effective method.
Some labs also collect tissue samples which can be more effective for running mycotoxins deposited by certain kinds of molds.
Although urine is one way to tell about the presence of mycotoxins in the human body, it is by no means the most accurate method to make assumptions.
A cut off has not been declared that suggests what amount is too much amount in the human body and therefore, an assumption made on the basis of the amount of mycotoxin present may be flawed.
Anti-fungal treatment and diseases, mold testing and removal etc. are all part of the aftermath of mycotoxin poisoning.
These are expensive and difficult to go about, and sometimes and complete mold testing can even cost up to $30,000 or more.
Considering this point of view, any solid assumption should not be made on the basis of a urine test.
Furthermore, almost all urine tests yield some trace amounts of mycotoxins because of the minimal presence of mycotoxins in the food we eat.
This should therefore not be a reason to be worried about, the best recommendation in this situation is to see a doctor for your symptoms who can examine your condition critically.
Whatever method may be opted or recommended by a doctor, will result in the mycotoxin quantities present in the body.
How much does it cost?
A mycotoxin test can be very expensive. A simple test can cost up to $700. One can determine whether or not they need to make this investment.
Only go for a mycotoxin test if you are facing symptoms and cannot find any visible source of molds around your house.
Or if you see symptoms of a disease which can be due to molds, but the symptoms do not go away even after treatment.
Related Topics: Mold & Mycotoxin