Today’s Mold Talks guest is Eve Elenhorn, Integrative Health Practitioner, Personal Trainer, mold survivor, awareness advocate, and expectant mother. Eve’s discovery of mold began after experiencing a devastating miscarriage that spurred her to look deeper into why she continued to experience chronic health issues. From Hashimoto’s and the Epstein-Barr Virus to a long list of gastrointestinal and thyroid issues, she believed that something else must be playing a role in her body; she just had to figure out a method for connecting the dots.
Her search for answers introduced her to the world of functional medicine. Teaming up with a functional medicine doctor and a naturopath, they ran extensive testing and determined that her problem was mold. From there, she began the long battle of learning more about this indoor contaminant, figuring out how to get rid of it from her home, dealing with the pushback on whether or not indoor mold growth is a problem, and the million and one other difficulties that often surround this event.
Still, Eve never gave up. She’s now well on her way to healing and is expecting a child in the next few months. Using her experience, she’s now dedicated to helping others find the root cause of their health issues and bringing more awareness to the harmful effects of mold exposure.
"I'm here because I want to share my story and hopefully maybe try to help somebody connect the dots with whatever they're going through. I'll just pay it forward."
From a young age, Eve struggled with a long list of health issues, including Hashimoto’s and gut issues, and bounced from doctor to doctor in the Western medicine realm. It wasn’t until she had a miscarriage that she started to wonder whether constantly being on medication was what was best for her health. After developing the Epstein-Barr virus and suffering through a whole host of debilitating symptoms, she knew something else must be at play.
Trusting her intuition, she started putting out feelers for functional medicine doctors in New York. Her search led her to Dr. Ben Lynch, who then introduced her to a naturopath and functional medicine doctor. Once her team was assembled, they quickly dove into testing to determine what was causing her chronic symptoms.
"They ran all the functional labs because it was kind of like, there's something going on. It can't just be my thyroid because there's something going on in my gut and my diet isn’t cutting it anymore. So I ended up finding out through her that I had mold in my gastrointestinal system and I had mycotoxins, and she thought that that was causing my thyroid problems."
Armed with the answers, Eve immediately started on a detox protocol and slowly began to get her body back into balance. While working on her health, she started to research and learn as much as possible about mold. She knew that while there was probably an issue in her home, she didn’t have the funds at the time to solve the problem. In the interim, she began implementing little steps to help make her indoor environment safer, like investing in air purification, cleaning often, and using non-toxic products.
One of the main struggles she faced while living in the toxic environment was getting her husband and fiance on board with the idea that indoor mold growth can be incredibly harmful to the health of those exposed.
"It’s very hard when you're dealing with multiple people that are living in the same house with you and they don't have the same symptoms as you. You know, you're dealing with an autoimmune disease and nobody understands how you feel, and my husband's sitting there, like, ‘Oh, it's nothing. And, he had people telling him all the time that black mold is serious stuff. But he was kind of in denial, and I just kept trying to explain to him that this isn't a joke."
It wasn’t until Eve became pregnant and they started to renovate a room for the baby that her family began to see things her way. During the process, they found black mold behind a radiator and inside of a wall, proving that she was in fact living in a contaminated environment.
She and her family ended up moving out of the house and living in an apartment so that her home could be renovated safely. While she realized that she could work overtime to keep her body healthy and in balance in the toxic environment, she didn't want to risk it with a baby on the way. It’s still up in the air whether or not she’ll be able to return to her home before the baby comes, but she’s dedicated to not rushing the process and ensuring the environment is a safe and healthy space for her family.
Eve’s journey was a long and rough road, but she’s choosing to look at it in a positive light instead of being upset at the troubles she experienced.
"I don't like to look at things as a burden. I hear other people say all the time that they're exhausted from trying to fix things and things not working. And I'm like, that’s not the right mindset to have. I look at it as my baby's coming. It's gonna be a fresh start. I'm gonna have a new house. They say in the Jewish tradition that when babies come, they give you a blessing. So I kind of look at it from that perspective, that this is all a blessing that I can start my life over."