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Today’s Mold Talks guest is Amanda Panacea, a licensed mental health counselor, life coach, and holistic health practitioner. Amanda knew from a young age that mold was not her friend. Between dealing with physical symptoms and the mental aspect of mold toxicity, she was well acquainted with how much this indoor contaminant could affect her health.
Later on in life, she would encounter a mold situation that drastically shifted her life while she was studying functional medicine. Luckily, she was familiar with mold illness and pushed through the pain to begin her journey to healing. Now she’s helping others who are suffering from similar situations detox and find relief from exposure, as well as getting back on track from the mental aspect of mold toxicity.
Their chat touches on various aspects of mold exposure, including illness, detoxing, and the mental aspect of mold toxicity. They also discuss that even with familiarity with mold, this fungus among us is still the last puzzle piece we look at when determining what the underlying cause of chronic illness is.
“I actually knew about mold and being allergic to mold since I was a child, and I really suspect that was a big piece of my childhood because I used to have chronic bronchitis and pneumonia all the time.”
Amanda is one of the lucky few who had a parent that did a deep dive into why their child continued to experience chronic illness. After a slew of allergy tests and functional medicine doctors, she discovered that she was “basically allergic to everything in the environment.” That included several species of mold as well. Yet it wasn’t until later in life that she truly experienced mold illness.
After contracting hepatitis A, her body seemed to become much more sensitive to outside triggers, such as mold. While getting her functional medicine degree, she began seeing her current boyfriend, and as soon as she entered his apartment, she immediately knew that there was a mold problem.
“I walked into that apartment and I was like, “Your apartment is filled with mold.” You could see it in the AC event. But, I didn’t want him to think I was hypochondriac, so I kind of just ignored it, against my better judgment.”
Over the next several months, Amanda developed a list of symptoms, including itchy skin, rashes, brain fog, hormonal changes, and bloodshot eyes. The mold toxicity also started working in conjunction with Candida, causing her skin to become sensitive to a wide range of products. During this time, she saw quite a few doctors, one of whom diagnosed her with mast cell activation syndrome.
At first, Amanda was in denial that she could be suffering from such a condition, but eventually she realized that her body really was fighting multiple conditions on all fronts. Still, one of the worst parts of her experience was the mental aspect of mold toxicity.
“I have been a mental health counselor for like 12 years now. So, my mental health had been stable for a good period of time. So, when I started to have these weird anxious thoughts and waking up in panic… I mean, when I say weird, it was like I was having anxiety about swallowing too much air… I knew that something was very off when I was having bizarre thoughts like that. And then the waking up in panic, like out of nowhere with a racing heart.”
As she was studying to be a functional medicine practitioner, the inability to figure out what was wrong and heal herself added to this mental tug of war. Looking back, she better understands how much mold impacted her brain, but at the time, she was too entrenched in the toxicity and symptoms to better understand what was going on and how to heal.
“It really took a toll on my self-esteem. Like, what am I doing wrong? I’m in functional medicine school, and I can’t get through this. I can’t figure out how to get rid of this… Just the frustration and feeling really hopeless and the low self-esteem from having your body just literally go haywire on you and you are trying to be a root cause practitioner.”
Amanda said the PTSD of encountering mold again was also a constant struggle for her as well. Living in Florida, mold is a prominent indoor contaminant, which just added to her ongoing stress.
Luckily, in 2020, she started working for a company that would help her get her body back on track. Using their bioenergetic testing, she was able to finally begin healing and detoxing from the mold exposure. Now she’s using her experience to help heal others who are going through similar situations.
For those who are struggling with mold, Amanda encourages a deep dive into limbic work testing to truly understand what is going on in the body. This fungus can have a drastic impact on both physical and mental health, which is why getting a clear picture of what’s going on is so important to help create a plan to heal.
“With pain comes passion. So, a lot of people, when they go through something as horrible as mold illness, they come out of it with so much more education on not just mold but the entire body and brain and even things like taking care of it in your home. And, they usually want to help other people.”
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