Toxic Floods: How to Protect Your Health from Mycotoxins

By Chantel Ryan

Naturopath and Integrative Health Coach at Dr Kathleen & Team Global Consulting

Feb 2023

The devastating floods in New Zealand

On January 27, 2023, Auckland, New Zealand, experienced severe floods. The torrential downpour caused rivers to swell and the low-lying areas to be submerged in water. The floods caused extensive damage to property, roads, and infrastructure.   The flooding was the result of a combination of heavy rainfall and a high tide. In some areas, the water levels reached up to 2 metres. The areas that were particularly affected included Waitemata Harbour, the Tamaki Estuary, and Manukau Harbour.  

Before New Zealanders had time to recover from the January floods, Cyclone Gabrielle ravaged the North Island in February, bringing strong winds and heavy rains. The cyclone began as a tropical storm on February 6 and was upgraded to a category 4 cyclone on February 12. It made landfall in Northland on February 14, bringing winds of up to 110 km/h. The storm caused flooding and property damage in Northland and Auckland, with further great devastation in the Hawke’s Bay region, with the destruction of homes, livelihoods, and personal belongings, and the loss of pets and loved ones, power, destruction of vital crops and critical transportation bridges and roads, and loss of running water safe for drinking.

The hidden dangers of flooding: mould and mycotoxin exposure

Flooding can have a devastating effect on buildings and homes. Not only can it cause physical damage, but it can also lead to the growth of mould and the production of mycotoxins.  Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp or wet environments. It can develop in flooded buildings after just 24–48 hours. It can grow on walls, floors, ceilings and furniture and lead to unpleasant odours. Mould can also cause a range of health issues, including respiratory problems, skin irritation, and allergic reactions. 

Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals produced by some types of mould. These mycotoxins are some of the most toxic substances in existence and cause a wide range of health conditions.  When people are around toxic mould they are usually exposed to airborne mycotoxins by breathing them in. These mycotoxins end up in the lungs and cause breathing problems and other severe symptoms. In extreme cases, mycotoxin exposure can lead to organ damage, neurological disorders, and even death. 

Ridding your home and body of mould and mycotoxins  

If you experience flooding or dampness in your home, it is important to take steps to prevent mould growth and the production of mycotoxins. The first step is to assess the damage and remove any standing water and wet materials from the premises. You should also ensure that the area is well-ventilated and use dehumidifiers to reduce the levels of moisture. 

Despite removing the mould, you may still have been exposed to mycotoxins. It’s important to seek the help of a health professional if you suspect you have been exposed to mycotoxins and are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Skin rashes
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Tachycardia
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Agitation
  • Itchy eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Weakened Immune system
  • Sinus and respiratory problems

Testing for mycotoxin exposure

At Dr Kathleen and Team Global Consulting, we test our clients for mycotoxin exposure using the NutriPath Mycotoxin Exposure Panel.  This advanced test screens for the presence of a variety of mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, ochratoxins, trichothecenes and others. 

This test was specifically designed to provide a reliable and easy-to-understand way to measure mycotoxin exposure. NutriPATH’s testing method is highly sensitive,  making it one of the most reliable and accurate tests currently available.  Being a urine test, it is also easy to use and can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Book your consult today!

If you suspect you have been exposed to mycotoxins and would like to organise a test, please go on to our website and book a Naturopathic Consultation (link provided below). We can order the test for you and interpret the test results, helping you understand what the different mycotoxin levels mean and how they can affect your health.  We will also put together a personalised wellness plan for you, which will include a plan to help detoxify any mycotoxins that are present, with the aim to help you get back to full health.

Book your consult here:

We recommend booking a 1-hour Naturopathic/Functional Health Consultation

Note all appointments are remote, via phone or Zoom

Consults are available worldwide.