In 2018, I was building two new startups, but something was different… My ability to handle stress started to decline rapidly. I started to get more emotional than usual and my patience levels decreased significantly.

My sleep started to get worse as well and I had to start taking sleep supplements for the first time in my life.

And then on June 13th, 2018 I felt a little “click” in my brain while playing a game of PUBG. That was the last time I could naturally fall asleep for over a year.

After 6 days and nights without a single minute of sleep, I could feel my body starting to shut down.

This wasn’t “insomnia”. Nothing I could find on the internet or YouTube came even remotely close to describing what I was experiencing.

It felt like the path in my brain to sleep had been cut.

As soon as I would start to go unconscious, it felt like my brain hit a brick wall and I’d shoot up awake… My heart rate would increase, my breathing would increase, and I’d get flashes of adrenaline shooting down my legs.

There was no amount of melatonin, Unisom, or any other sleep medication that would make a difference.

To literally be unable to fall asleep and have no idea why was terrifying.

On Day 7, I reached out to my doctor out of desperation. He put me on Ambien and Valium which are two drugs I’d never taken before.

The first night, I got about 60 minutes of disassociation… It felt like lucid dreaming. I was in a dream like state, but never went completely unconscious.

I doubled the dose of both drugs the next night, and got about 90 minutes of the same. It wasn’t working.

My brain started to deteriorate. I couldn’t think straight, and the Ambien started making me suicidal. I stopped taking the drug and within a few days those thoughts went away.

My life turned into a living hell. I spent all night in my bed trying to fall asleep, and all day on my couch because I couldn’t.

My brain was filled with paranoid thoughts, and my memory was completely gone.

I was in survival mode for the next 6 months, and no one could figure out what the source of the problem was. By this time I started to get symptoms of early-onset Parkinson’s. I remember trying to write a birthday card to my friend and I could barely write the words through my trembling hands.

I had to walk away from my business, my friends, and everything I used to do in life as I could barely function or leave my house for almost a year.

Around that same 6 month mark, I found something that literally saved my life… THC.

My friend as going through chemo and suggested I try some.

I did, and for the very first time on 6 months I was able to actually fall asleep and go unconscious for about 2-3 hours.

The disassociation affect of the THC allowed my brain… And whatever was keeping it on such an extremely alert level… To go off-line for a period.

This 2-3 hours of sleep saved my life.

During the next 6 months, I tried anything and everything I could to figure out what happened, and to heal myself, including…

Neurofeedback therapy
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy
Float-tank therapy
EMDR therapy
Somatic Trauma Release
Ketamine IV

And over 50 different blood and DNA tests…

At the 12 month mark we finally figured out what caused it… Toxic mold.

About 6 months before I felt the “click” in my head, the building I was living in (The Bowie in Austin), flooded. It had a pool on the roof and after a week of extreme rain, the pool flooded the entire building down the elevator shafts.

I can only assume that mold started to grow in the walls an AC ducts throughout the building.

I finally connected with Dr. Ann Shippy who’s a functional medicine doctor in Austin. She’s was the first doctor to give me a mycotoxin test for mold.

We were absolutely shocked when we got back my results…

As you can see below, two different types of toxic mold had started to take over my system…

Aspergillus which is measured on a scale from 0 to 20. A score of 0-4 is safe. Mine was 29.

But as you can see above, the real whopper was Penicillum. A test score of 0-5 is safe. Anything between 6 and 50 is dangerous.

And my result on a scale of 0 – 50?


Yep, nearly 21,000!

We couldn’t believe it, and even had to call the lab to make sure the results were accurate.

They were.

My brain was literally being eaten alive by mold.

The content fight or flight mode that was keeping me awake 24/7 was my brain being eaten alive by mold and frankly… Freaking out.

We had finally discovered the problem… Or at least the first major one a full 15 months into this journey.

But the damage to my brain and nervous system was so severe at this point that it would take me a full 7 years to recover.

If You Or A Friend Is Going Through Toxic Mold Or Heavy Metal Poisoning, Here’s What You Need To Know…

Around 25% of Americans have a gene mutation that prevents our bodies from removing mycotoxins from mold effectively.

By the age of 30, 90%+ of Americans have some degree of leaky gut syndrome as well thanks to our modern diets filled with sugar, alcohol, pesticides, etc…

Throw in some antibiotics and glyphosate covered fruits and vegetables, and the American body becomes a perfect host for Candida overgrowth.

Candida takes root in our intestines, and it starts to poke holes in it causing a “leaky gut”.

This allows even more toxins like mycotoxins and heavy metals from fish, dental fillings, etc… To get direct access to our blood stream.

If you have a leaky gut, you also have a leaky brain barrier.

Which means you have mycotoxins and metals heading straight into organs including the brain.

Your body stores these neurotoxins in your fat cells to try and isolate them from the body, and unfortunately our brains are made from fat.

My toxin levels were so high, they literally caused a physically injury in the brain.

But my symptoms are pretty rare… Mold and metals in the body can cause a dozen different symptoms including allergies, skin rashes, brain fog, insomnia, fatigue, and a host of other issues.

If you have high levels of toxic mold in your system, it also means that you likely have high levels of heavy metals, parasites, and candida.

Once your bodies ability to handle these toxins gets overwhelmed, all of the bad things start to build up in the system.

Here’s What To Do If You’re In This Situation:

Step 1: Get Tested.

You’ll want to find a good functional medicine doctor, as 99% of traditional MD’s don’t have any knowledge or experience when it comes to toxic mold, metals, and parasites. They’ll just prescribe you drugs for the symptoms which will make things worse.

Have them test you for Mycotoxins (mold), heavy metals, and parasites.

The Mycotoxin test is a simple urine test and will tell you if you have toxic mold in your system. If you do, that means you’re being exposed to it somewhere you spend a lot of time… Usually your home or work place.

Have them test you for heavy metals as well… I didn’t do this until I was 5 years into my healing journey, and that was a major mistake.

Over the past five years, I’ve met two other people who had the same kind of sleep issues I had. Both of them had mercury poisoning.

I finally got tested for metals in 2024 and the results came back with really high mercury and lead levels.

IMPORTANT: Heavy metals tests are urine-based as well, but you MUST get tested while doing a provoked chelation IV with EDTA and DMSA.

If your doc tries to send you home with a heavy metal test kit and tells you to pee in the cup without a chelation IV, find an other doctor.

Metals are stored in our fat cells, and they won’t show up in your urine unless they’re “provoked” with two specific drugs… EDTA and DMSA.

These drugs pull the metals out of your fat cells and into your blood so they can then be removed through the kidneys and into your urine.

The IV at the doctor’s office should take 1.5 to 2 hours. You’ll collect your urine there during the IV, and for the next 6 hours.

This is the ONLY WAY you’ll get an accurate result. When I took this test years ago without the EDTA and DMSA, my results were green and we didn’t do anything for heavy metals.

That was a huge mistake and delayed my healing process by 2-3 years.

Step 2: Move.

If you come back with high levels of mycotoxins and your symptoms are bad enough that you’re reading this blog post, you’re in serious danger. You DO NOT want to end up in the same position I did.

Please listen to me… Your healing journey will NOT begin until you are out of the exposure.

You can get all of the air purifiers and supplements you want… It won’t matter.

You can try remediation, but I’ve only heard of that working for one friend of mine.

I had to move 6 times in 12 months during 2020.

Why? Because every rental property we moved into had mold in it as well.

We finally had to buy a new construction home to get me into a safe environment.

And that’s finally when I started to heal.

If you can’t afford to do that, consider buying an RV and living there for 12 months. I know that’s extreme, but I’m telling you from experience that nothing you do is going to help until you get away from the mold.

Any house or apartment that’s 3-4 years old or more is going to have mold in the AC ducts, so at a bare minimum, have a company come out and remediate the AC and ducting.

Once we were in the new construction home, we installed a central dehumidification system and UV sterilization lights in the central AC.

Step 3: Supplementation And Detox:

There’s really only one way to detox mold mycotoxins from the body… “Bind and clear”. It’s all about opening up your methylation (detox) pathways, binding the mycotoxins, and then cleaning them from the body.

Stripped down to the basics, this will consist of using the following “must use” supplements. Don’t go cheap on these. Buy the highest quality that you can. The doses are what I took and are not a personal recommendation.

1: Liposomal Glutathione from Essential Pro twice a day. This is your body’s master antioxidant and detoxing agent.

2: Biotoxin Binder from CellCore. 3 capsules 2-3 times per day. This is your primary toxin binder.

3: PureGenomics B-Complex from Pure Encapsulations

4: InterFase Plus. This is an enzyme that will start to break down the bio-film in the gut that protects the fungus, Candida, and bad bacteria from being removed by your immune system. 2 capsules 2X per day.

5: ONNIT Gut Health. This is a great probiotic/enzyme product that will bring your gut biome back into balance.

6: LV-GB from Designs For Health. This is a bile and liver support product to help your liver which will be doing the majority of your detox work.

These six products are the basic foundation for a toxic mold detox protocol… Your doctor will likely add another 10+ supplements to these based on your lab results.

During the primary years of my detox, I was taking around 20 supplements a day.

This isn’t going to be a quick process. By the time you have severe enough symptoms showing up to bring you to this post, it’s likely that almost every major system in your body is out of balance… Brain, liver, gut biome, immune system, hormones, chronic inflammation, (CIRS), leaky gut, parasites, etc…

If your tests come back positive for heavy metals, there’s a whole separate protocol for that.

The fastest way to detox heavy metals is to use EDTA/DMSA Chelation IV therapy, which is basically the same thing you did for your heavy metals test. High levels in the red will take 10-20 IV sessions. These must be administered by a doctor, as they will remove ALL minerals from your body, including the good ones you need like zinc, iron, and calcium which must be monitored and replaced with supplementation.

How Long Will It Take?

1: Your healing clock doesn’t start until the day you move into a clean environment and out of exposure. I lost an extra 2 years moving from house to house until I finally got into a strike new construction home.

2: Depending on the severity of levels, it will likely 1-3 years to fully remove the mycotoxins from your system. This is assuming you’re no longer being exposed at home or work.

During this period you’re likely going to be doing a heavy metal detox, and parasite cleanse as well.

Your body can and will heal with the proper care, but it will take time so be patient and give yourself grace.

Using a sauna to sweat 2-3 times per week will dramatically increase the detox process and is highly recommended if your body can tolerate it. I was too sick and my adrenals too shot to use a sauna unfortunately.

3: This isn’t going to be cheap. I was probably spending $1,500-$2,500 per month on supplements, doctor visits, and lab tests. If you’re on a budget, you can make solid progress with $500 to $1,000/Mo.

I lost almost every penny I had after the first 3 years of dealing with this health crisis. You can read more about my financial story and how I built it all back here.

4: Healing the nervous system. Mycotoxins and heavy metals are both neurotoxins that affect the brain and central nervous system. If you got to as bad of a place as I did, you’re going to need to focus on healing your nervous system as well which is still la work-in-progress for me 6 years later.

One of the most helpful therapies for me was MDMA psychedelic therapy. MDMA is not legal in the US, so you’ll have to find a back-channel through friends in order to find a facilitator. I talk more about this here in this blog post. MDMA is incredibly powerful at calming down the nervous system, reducing fight-or-flight, and healing trauma. After every session, I saw profound and lasting benefits.

DO NOT do any kind of psychedelics if you are still being exposed to mold!!! They create a neuroplastic state in the brain which is great, but if you do them and just go back home to a moldy environment that sets off your brain’s alarm system again, that sense of alarm can get stronger.

I made a huge mistake by doing psychedelics like Ketamine out of desperation before I knew I was dealing with toxic mold.

If you are experiencing chronic fatigue symptoms, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain, these are all symptoms of a brain that’s been locked into fight or flight and it’s trying to get your attention.

The good news is that you can turn these false alarms off and you CAN fully heal from these conditions. I’d highly recommend working with the team at

Doctor Recommendations:

If you are in the Austin area, I’d highly recommend working with Dr. Philip Oubre. I’ve worked with 5-6 amazing functional medicine doctors, but he’s been my favorite. He’s the most organized and has specific protocols for mold, metals, parasites, etc, with specific timelines, supplements, etc. It is $1,000/Mo just to become a patient, but you get direct access to him and his entire team. They also do the heavy metal chelation IV’s on site.

If you are on a budget and live outside of Austin, I’d recommend working with my friend Dr. Torrie Thompson who went through her own mold, metals, parasite journey years ago. She works virtually with patients all over the country. She can have the test kits sent straight to your home.

The Good News:

Going through this experience was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. I would not wish what I went through on my worst enemy…

And yet it turned into the best thing that’s ever happened FOR ME…

It forced me to give up alcohol, and caffeine and to eat a healthy organic diet. (I haven’t had a drink in 6 years now and it’s the best thing ever).

It forced me to completely cleanse my body from all forms of toxins.

And it forced me to do some DEEP emotional healing and trauma work that allowed me to heal all of the emotional baggage from my past.

None of this would have happened if I hadn’t been forced to go through this healing process.

So while it may feel like your’e going through hell now, keep going… This will end up being one of the biggest blessings of your life.

With love and compassion,

Mike Dillard


I’ve really just scratched the surface here on my journey and this topic… If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!