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Why Cholestyramine is a BAD Idea!!

For some incredibly strange reason, the use of Cholestyramine got misconstrued and some really bad medical advice has been passed through the "Toxic Mold" community that it is a drug for "mold".  Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker experimented with it and threw it in his list of treatment protocols as a "one size fits all" drug approach for everyone regardless of health status.  The use of this drug and how its use has spread like wildfire through fancy marketing caused me to dig deeper into the medical side of things so that I could be "better informed".


What is Cholestyramine? (aka CSM)

Cholestyramine is used to lower high cholesterol levels in the blood. This may help prevent medical problems caused by cholesterol clogging the blood vessels. Cholestyramine is also used to remove substances called bile acids from your body.
It is also prescribed when a liver is producing "TOO MUCH" bile and with these types of liver conditions, there is too much bile acid in the body and this can cause severe itching.

**NOTE:  Exposure to toxic mold rarely causes the liver to "over-produce" bile.  Mycotoxins suppress the liver's ability to produce bile, which means that most people exposed to toxic mold have some level of liver dysfunction and slowing down of the production of bile.  This is an important factor to remember as you continue to read the remainder of this article.

What other drug names are used for Cholestyramine?

All drugs have side effects (which is NOT good), so what kind of bad things happen in my body when I take CSM?

DIRECT Effects of Cholestyramine

  • Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and Disease- 

    Download the full PDF 

    People with Mitochondrial damage have ONE or MORE of these symptoms: 
  • developmental delay or regression in development (in children)
  • seizures
  • migraine headaches or strokes
  • muscle weakness (may be on and off)
  • poor muscle tone (hypotonia)
  • poor balance (ataxia)
  • painful muscle cramps
  • unable to keep up (low endurance)
  • chronic fatigue
  • stomach problems (vomiting, heartburn, acid reflux, pain)
  • temperature problems from too little or too much sweating
  • breathing problems
  • eyes are not straight (strabismus)
  • decreased eye movement (ophthalmoplegia)
  • loss of vision or blindness
  • droopy eye lids (ptosis)
  • loss of hearing or deafness
  • heart, liver or kidney disease at a young age
  • parts of the body are shaky (tremors)
COMMON Side Effects of Cholestyramine (not rare ones)
  • Bloating (caused by an increase of bad bacteria in the gut or aka SIBO)
  • Gas (caused by an increase of bad bacteria in the gut or aka SIBO)
  • Nausea (caused by an increase of bad bacteria in the gut or aka SIBO)
  • Consipation (caused by an increase of bad bacteria in the gut or aka SIBO)
  • Other gastrointestinal problems with pain
  • Night blindness
  • Prolonged or unusual bleeding and bruising
  • Increase in tryglicerides
  • Diagnosis Osteoperosis if used more than a few months (See accurate reports for Osteoperosis complications from the use of Cholestyramine HERE)
  • Taking CSM more than a month causes tooth problems such as discoloration, erosion of enamel, or decay.

LESS COMMON Side Effects of Cholestyramine (more rare but dangerous)

  • Cholestyramine contains Quaternary ammonium compounds can display a range of health effects, amongst which are mild skin and respiratory irritation up to severe caustic burns on skin and gastrointestinal lining (depending on concentration), gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea and vomiting), coma, convulsions, hypotension and death.

According to "Life-Sources", a highly reputable Alternative Medicine website, Cholestyramine makes the list of one of the 12 most Dangerous Prescribed Drugs and the reasons why.  You can read the full article here:

What's wrong with removing Bile from the body?

You may not hear much about bile, but did you know that it helps you detoxify? 

Secreted by your liver and stored in your gall bladder between meals, bile is a complex fluid that :1

  1. Contains bile acids that are essential for your digestion and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as aiding your digestion of proteins and starches.
  2. Regulates your intestines’ level of friendly bacteria and yeast, the good microflora that keep you healthy and strong.
  3. Destroys unwanted and dangerous organisms as they invade your body.
  4. Encourages peristaltic action in your intestines to help fecal matter move through and out of your body.
  5. Is a critical part of your body’s detoxification process. Your liver uses bile as a way to get rid of all kinds of waste products through the secretion of bile. Your body then eliminates both bile and waste products, helping your liver cleanse.

When these processes function appropriately, you feel great!

But if your bile just isn’t flowing like it should, then you could experience a whole host of symptoms, from mild to severe like:

  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Sinus problems
  • Allergies
  • Mood swings
  • Migraines
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
  • GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease)

That’s right, healthy bile is essential for a healthy body.  There are 5 essential methods to encourage healthy bile flow through your bile ducts, helping you digest your food better and naturally enhancing the detoxification of your body.

Having enough bile and a healthy bile flow is highly connected to a healthy liver and a healthy gall bladder. Support the function of those organs, and you will enjoy healthier bile flow.

Want to get your bile flowing, support liver function and help your body heal? Then you need to support your liver. 

  1. When you wake up, drink 6 oz of warm water with the juice of one lemon. This antiseptic drink supports a natural, daily liver cleanse.
  2. Eliminate even good fats and oils from your diet for a period of time. Instead, flavor your food with herbed salts and spices. Be creative! Giving your bile a break from having to break down fats at every meal helps your liver and gall bladder rest too.
  3. Avoid sugar and processed foods. High dietary intake of sugar and processed foods is linked to gall bladder disease. Create options for yourself that satisfy your sweet craving without the empty calories and sugar.  Following a proper mold diet will ensure this. 
  4. Take a liver supplement. Some herbs like Milk Thistle and Dandelion contain properties you need to improve bile flow.
  5. Try these foods specifically to improve your bile flow:
    • Grated radish (daikon) takes oil and fats from your body
    • Leeks are antiseptic and help bile keep your intestines clean
    • Asparagus and celery are good liver cleansers
    • Carrots build your blood and encourage the secretion of bile. Our Mold Detox Juice Recipe is great for this on
  6. Take "bitters" before every meal - Bitters are a concentrated blend of bitter herbs, spices, barks, fruits, flowers or roots (also known as botanicals) infused in high-proof alcohol.  The alcohol pulls the bitter taste from the herbs and preserve the liquid. With a few drops placed on your tongue before or after a meal, bitterness challenges the digestive system to wake up and secrete powerful digestive juices, including BILE!!

Bring on the Bile

When you focus on your bile flow, your liver, gall bladder and digestion will automatically improve.  Chances are, you’ll experience better health in the rest of your body as well. Remember, your body is a finely tuned and complex system that needs every little organ and function to work properly.

Other Sources: (added 12/27/2016)

Below, are some general complaints documented in some of the mold groups online.  These are just a few of the thousands of bad reactions and terrible effects of cholestyramine that we see people ask questions about every single day in our Facebook Group (SurvivingToxicMold - Answers from the website)

So, if Cholestyramine isn't a good idea, then what other type of binders should I consider?

I have compiled a list of natural binders here on our website to help you make safer choices during your mold detox journey.  You can see this full list of binders here: