How mold and mycotoxin illness is often misdiagnosed by doctors

By: Lee Ann Billings

You have a 1-in-20 chance of being misdiagnosed as an outpatient

Doctors excel at emergency medicine performing lifesaving feats. But when it comes to chronic illness with a mysterious combination of symptoms and labs that don’t point in any one specific direction, treating physicians have a more difficult time accurately diagnosing the patient.   

Statistics on misdiagnoses

Symptoms galore can increase the risk of misdiagnosis, so with multi-symptom conditions, it may be possible that the risk of being medically misdiagnosed is higher. There are many causes of outpatient medical misdiagnosis, and it happens far too often, which is why studies have been conducted to estimate just how often. These outpatient statistics do not include medical errors that occur in hospitals.

Medical misdiagnosis estimates vary

Research studies demonstrate that medical misdiagnoses are pervasive.

  • According to the Institute of Medicine’s Report of the Committee on Diagnostic Error in Health Care, “A conservative estimate found that 5% of U.S. adults who seek outpatient care each year experience a diagnostic error.”    
  • Researchers calculated outpatient medical misdiagnosis estimates based on three large studies that observed US adult populations state, “Our population-based estimate suggests that diagnostic errors affect at least 1 in 20 US adults.” (Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare, 2015)
  • Another study reports, “It is likely that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.”

Diagnostic errors may cause harm to patients by preventing or delaying appropriate treatment, providing unnecessary or harmful treatment, or resulting in psychological or financial repercussions.

–        Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare (2015)

If you suffer from the same reoccurring symptoms after medical treatment, it may be advisable to seek a second opinion from a medically licensed care provider to confirm the original diagnosis and to make sure you have not been medically misdiagnosed.


Are you sick from mold?

Do the below symptoms sound like you? If so, you may be suffering from mold and mycotoxin exposures. Check with your treating healthcare provider to discuss the possibility of a mold- and mycotoxin-related illness. Please note: this list is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a self-diagnostic tool.

Mold and mycotoxin symptoms

The following symptoms of mold and mycotoxin illnesses came from clinical studies and research performed by scientific and medical professionals, whom we quote in our book, MOLD: The War Within.

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Neurocognitive dysfunction
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Throat irritation
  • Sneezy or runny nose
  • Bloody nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Rhinitis
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Respiratory problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • hyperactive
  • Vision problems
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Coughing
  • Laryngitis
  • Nausea
  • Skin rashes and mottling
  • Burning sensation on skin
  • Sloughing off of skin
  • Skin and eye photosensitization
  • Hives
  • Foot and skin fungus
  • Cracking of skin
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations
  • Memory loss
  • Other neuropsychiatry problems
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels in arteries and veins)
  • Edema
  • Angioedema (swelling in deep layers of the skin, often around eyes and lips)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Dry or burning eyes
  • Vascular fragility
  • Bleeding from tissues or lungs
  • fibrosis
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Infertility
  • Changes in reproductive cycles
  • Immune suppression
  • Immune system irregularities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Incoordination
  • Inability to write, walk, speak, or learn like normal
  • Inability to behave normally
  • Attention deficit
  • Liver damage
  • Intestinal hemorrhage
  • Necrosis (decaying of tissue)
  • Nephrotoxicity (kidney toxicity)

The medical quandary

The multisystem effects of mold and mycotoxin exposures that cause such a wide array of symptoms are what make diagnosing a mold-related illness difficult. It is easy to see how a treating physician could get medically misled by this long list of symptoms.

Seek medical attention

If you recognize yourself in the aforementioned list of symptoms, seek the medical advice of a licensed healthcare professional knowledgeable in treating environmental illnesses.

Check for structural mold

Just as important as seeking qualified medical care is also having your home and work environments checked for structural mold. In order to recover from mold and mycotoxin illnesses, you must remove yourself from any source of ongoing exposure to elevated levels of structural mold and mycotoxins.

Be encouraged and have hope

Getting an accurate medical diagnosis is the first step in the recovery process. If it does turn out that you are suffering from a mold- and mycotoxin-related illness, know that many people are able to recover without treatment once they remove themselves from the source of exposure. There are simple, inexpensive steps that can be taken to support the body’s natural repair process, which include diet changes, juicing, and supplements.

For more information on the health effects of mold and mycotoxin exposures and natural recovery options, see the research documented in MOLD: The War Within. The information provided in the book is for educational purposes, and so people can discuss with their doctors how the various treatment components may work for them.

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