Top Health Tips If You Are Living With Mould

Article published in the Autism Eye Magazine, written by Stella Chadwick 

Mould is a common type of fungus that grows in damp environments, and it can be found in many homes, schools, and other buildings. According to the National House Building Council (NHBC) Foundation in 2018, it is estimated that up to one-third of UK homes may be affected by mould. It’s generally well known that mould can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions, but recent research suggests that mould exposure may also have a significant impact on brain health and the nervous system, leading to a range of health issues.

There is evidence to suggest that exposure to mould can cause inflammation in the body, disrupting the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and leading to symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, chronic constipation or diarrhoea, nerve and joint pain, balance problems, overactive bladder, tics, OCD, unexplained seizures, constant colds and flus, and mood swings. Mould exposure can also cause oxidative stress, which can damage the nervous system and lead to inflammation. We know from many years of research that a subset of autistic children, and children with PANDAS and PANS, suffer from high levels of oxidative stress and disrupted neurotransmitters.

Studies have found a potential link between mould exposure and autism. Children who were exposed to mould during infancy were found to be almost three times more likely to become autistic than those who were not exposed. Exposure to mycotoxins, toxic compounds produced by certain types of mould, during pregnancy was also found to be associated with an increased risk of autism in offspring.

PANDAS and PANS are autoimmune disorders that affect the nervous system, characterized by sudden onset symptoms of OCD, tics, anxiety, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms. Studies have found that children with PANDAS/PANS were more likely to have been exposed to mould in their homes than children without the disorder. Exposure to mould toxins can trigger autoimmune responses in the body, leading to PANDAS/PANS.

While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between mould exposure and the nervous system, these studies suggest that mould exposure may be a risk factor for the development of autism, PANDAS, and PANS in some children. It’s important to identify and address any mould problems in homes and other buildings to minimize the risk of health issues associated with mould exposure.

What Can You Do?

If you suspect that your child may have been exposed to mould and is experiencing symptoms related to the nervous system or autoimmune disorders, it’s important to remove yourself from the mouldy environment in order to get better. Moving out and or remediating the mould are the only real long term options.  I would recommend you work with a mould literate professional to advise you through your health journey. They can advise you on the right tests to do and create a health plan that is specific to your needs.

Testing your home for mould needs to be done by a professional so seek advice and thoroughly vet any remediators. Make sure they don’t use chemicals that may add to your toxic burden and that they don’t’ simply patch over the problem.

In the meantime, there are steps that you can take to reduce your child’s exposure to mould:

  1. Keep your home dry and well-ventilated. This can help to prevent mould growth.
  2. Fix any leaks or water damage promptly. If you do have water damage, make sure that the affected area is properly dried and cleaned to prevent mould growth.
  3. Reduce exposure. Isolate the area that you suspect is the epicentre of the mould problem and seal it off with plastic sheets and masking tape! Adding a few drops of essential oils to a cotton ball and placing them in the problem area can help. The essential oils that have been shown to help are rosemary, tea tree, thyme, frankincense, any citrus based ones and any pine based ones. If you have any pest please check with your vet before using essential oils in your home. Some oils can be toxic to animals.
  4. Use a HyperHepa filter that can clear out mould spores, mould fragments and mycotoxins. Some brands to consider are IQAir, Intellipure, and OKTOair.
  5. Mould toxins travel on dust particles so clean and vacuum your home regularly to reduce dust and allergens.
  6. Avoid foods that promote mould production. See table one.
  7. Increase anti-oxidant rich foods that are low in oxalates to combat the increased toxic burden on the body  – See table two.
  8. Often using a strong binder like activated charcoal while living with mould can worsen things. It pushes your body into detox mode, which can be too much for many who are living with mould. Use natural food-based binders, which are also low in oxalates. These include psyllium husk, flaxseeds, and oat bran. 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon a day can be helpful. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation. Take binders at least 2 hours away from medication, main meals, and other supplements.
  9. Use gentle nasal support with products like Xlear and Natura Nectar Nasal Guardian, especially if you have allergies. Use simple gut support products like aloe vera and slippery elm and probiotics like Megaspore.
  10. Use natural antifungals like caprylic acid, derived from coconuts.



Mould exposure can have a range of impacts on the nervous system and other health implications, particularly in autistic children and those with PANDAS, and PANS. While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between mould exposure and these conditions, the evidence suggests that reducing mould exposure may be beneficial for children’s health. If you’re concerned about your child’s exposure to mould, talk to your healthcare provider about testing and treatment options.

Please note you must always discuss any supplements or changes to diet with your medical doctor or practitioner. This article is for education purposes only.



  1. Liew, Z., et al. (2015). Residential proximity to freeways and autism in the CHARGE study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 123(7), 73-79.
  2. Rossignol, D. A., & Frye, R. E. (2012). A review of research trends in physiological abnormalities in autism spectrum disorders: immune dysregulation, inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and environmental toxicant exposures. Molecular Psychiatry, 17(4), 389-401.
  3. Zarei, M., et al. (2019). Mycotoxin exposure and autism: A review of the literature. Journal of Child Neurology, 34(2), 57-64.
  4. Ziklo, N., et al. (2018). Effects of indoor environmental exposures on neurodevelopmental outcomes in early childhood: A systematic review. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 221(5), 785-805.

Table one


  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Dried fruit
  • Yeast
  • Mushrooms
  • Fermented foods and drinks
  • Aged foods like aged cheese, cured
  • Nuts and most seeds
  • All high oxalate foods

Table two


Romaine, Butter, & Iceberg Lettuce, Bok Choy, Chives, Red Bell Pepper, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Capers, Cauliflower

Celeriac Root, Coriander, Courgettes, Cucumber, Purple Kale, Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, Radish, Turnips, Boiled Green Peas, Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Watercress, Water Chestnuts.

Gala Apple, Ripe Haas Avocado, Cranberries, Cherries, Coconut, Seedless Grapes, Kumquat, Peaches, Banana, Mango, Papaya, Fresh Plum, Watermelon, Honeydew,

Lemon & Lime juice. Blueberries, Strawberries

Olive oil