The 2018 National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference will be held at Twin Towns Services Club this month over 27-28 September.

Joining us at this year’s conference is Prof Shirley Mcilvenny, GP at NIIM Gold Coast who will present on ‘The Role of Mould and Toxicity in Obesity.’


This new area is a topic of interest which can cause fatigue, affect hormone balance such as cortisol and thyroid function and also result in obesity which is resistant to diet and exercise.

It is now recognised that mould, fungi and bacteria can produce toxins which can be absorbed by the body and stored in the fat cells. Many homes in Australia suffer from water damage, either from flooding, leaking pipes or faulty air conditioning. Moreover, many workplaces can also fall victim to the same problems. These moulds, bacteria and fungi can produce biotoxins which are absorbed into the body by inhalation and can cause symptoms. Fatigue is a common problem, respiratory problems such as asthma, headaches but also weight gain too.

The mechanism behind obesity is that the toxins are stored in fat cells which the body is reluctant to release back into the blood stream, to protect the body from harm. At the same time the toxins also raise leptin levels and produce leptin resistance. So, sufferers also feel hungry all the time. They also get low ACTH which can lower cortisol and affect thyroid function so that patients feel fatigue and lethargic, are unlikely to exercise and have a low metabolic rate from sub-clinical hypothyroidism. Not all mould is visible to the naked eye and unfortunately the toxins can live on in dust and carpets long after the leaks have been fixed.

This presentation discusses the symptoms of mould toxicity, how patients can get tested as well as testing their homes and workplaces, the most effective treatments for this condition and how they can work to successfully manage their weight gain.

Key learnings
1. In obesity that is resistant to diet and exercise, think of other causes.


Prof Dr Shirley Mcilvenny is a GP with an interest in Obesity and Eating disorders, Diabetes and PCOs, as well as mental health and addictions. She is a published author and speaker and President of the International Association of Health and Nutrition Coaches.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 National Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference and to register your place please visit





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