Test After Test With No Answers
That was the first episode, lasting for three months starting in November of 2010. In that time she lost twenty-five pounds, was forced to abandon her practice, and withdrew from activities outside the home. Her doctor, family, and friends told her that they thought she had depression or even bipolar disorder. She resisted, even in her confused and debilitated state, and insisted on further testing, believing that something was terribly wrong.
After a series of blood tests, her general practitioner diagnosed Kimberlyn with heavy metal poisoning and recommended she undergo chelation therapy. After undergoing this treatment, she did feel better. However, within five months the illness returned.
During her second cycle of illness, Kimberlyn sought out another doctor who performed a series of tests and suggested that maybe Kimberlyn was suffering from mold illness, also known as toxic mold syndrome. This was the first time mold had been suggested as a possible cause for Kimberlyns symptoms and was unexpected due to the arid climate of Arizona. Yet after having her home tested, three different types of toxic mold were found, including Stachybotrys, also known as black mold.
From Concise To Confused
Out of nowhere, Kimberlyn went from a highly-effective, busy, working mother, to a disorganized, uninvolved, confused individual who couldnt focus long enough to put together cohesive, coherent thoughts. She was no longer able to make decisions for herself and struggled to even get dressed in the morning. Insomnia, anxiety, and a loss of appetite accompanied the confusion. It was like I lost my personality, says Kimberlyn.
What Does Black Mold Look Like In The Shower
These varieties of mold mostly look dark brown or green with Stachybotrys the most dangerous kind common to bathrooms appearing so dark that its almost black and Penicillium sometimes having a blue, green or yellowish tint to it. It can be difficult to tell different types of mold from another, Tolliver said.
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Can Black Mold Spores Travel In The Air
Yes. Mold spores are airborne and can attach themselves to peoples skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags, furniture, carpets, and even pets. Once spores enter your home, they can settle onto any surface and start to multiply. They can also enter your house through open doorways, open windows, and HVAC systems.
Mold spores are microscopic and are virtually found everywhere. They are naturally found in the air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors. Since spores are tiny and lightweight, they become airborne easily, every time we vacuum or walk on the carpets or even sit on our couch.
How To Prevent Black Mold Exposure
Studies have shown that poor building standards can contribute to the presence of black mildew. Sick Building Syndrome, commonly known as SBS, is a term applied to structures which engender symptoms including fatigue, respiratory problems, dry coughing, and dermatitis.
These structures usually exhibit poor ventilation and/or chemical contamination, which can frequently lead to the growth and spread of black mold. In general, property owners should be careful not to purchase buildings which have poor ventilation, while tenants should avoid leasing properties which have poor air quality.
Additionally, any incidences of flooding or water damage should be addressed immediately with a thorough clean-up to prevent the growth of mould. If water pools for a significant amount of time, it can eventually cause the growth of black mold within the walls of the entire property.
When a heater or air conditioner is turned on after a long period of dormancy, the individual should allow the appliance to run for several minutes without breathing in any of the air. In many cases, long dormant appliances can discharge an initially high amount of mold spores into the air.
Property owners should perform a regularly scheduled series of checks for black mould near faucets, drains, and sinks, especially if a tenant or inhabitant of the property reports any of the symptoms listed above.
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What Is Black Mold
Black mold is the common name for a certain type of mold called Stachybotrys, which is thought to be particularly harmful to a persons health.
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
How To Prevent Black Mold Growth
Conducting routine home inspections and maintenance are the best ways to deal with a black mold problem. Keep an eye out for evidence of water damage and visible mold on a regular basis. The conditions that cause mold should be corrected in a timely manner to prevent mold from growing further.
The extent of structural damage black mold can cause to your home, depends on how quickly you act to fix it.
Some of the ways you can keep mold out of your home is by:
To completely get rid of black mold from your home, you must address the root cause of the problem, so that there is no recurrence of mold. For example, just cleaning up the mold without addressing the moisture problem will not solve the issue because the mold will very likely return.
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Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, can cause symptoms if you are sensitive to them or are exposed to them for a prolonged period of time. Symptoms of mold exposure include:
Symptoms of mold exposure may be worse in people who are most at risk, including:
- People with an allergy to mold
- People with a weakened immune system, who may develop infections
- Older people
How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .
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Can Black Mold Cause Respiratory Problems
In a residential setting, people are generally exposed to black mold through breathing in mold spores and mycotoxins. When ingested, mold spores have the potential to cause irritation and a burning sensation in air passages, such as the nasal cavity, mouth, and throat.
Some common symptoms for respiratory issues from black mold exposure include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Nose bleeds
- Runny, itchy, or stuffy nose
- Bleeding gums
- Burning sensation of the mouth
- Bleeding or swelling in the lungs
Five Of The Most Common Indoor Molds
Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritants and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia.
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Signs Of Black Mold And How To Get Rid Of It
Do you know if theres mold in your home? Mold grows in areas that are dark and damp, like bathrooms or around heating and cooling units that produce condensation.
The thought of any type of mold growing in your home might have you reaching for the nearest scrub brush and cleaning agent. Before you start scrubbing, be sure to evaluate what type of mold youre facing. While you dont want any mold in your house, black mold may pose more health risks than other types.
Learn more about black mold so you can identify it and prevent it from contaminating your home.
Brain Spect Imaging Helps Treat Brain Toxicity Caused By Black Mold
Kimberlyn had booked a Full Evaluation, which took two days to complete. She filled out multiple questionnaires and history forms, talked to specialized counselors, and finally had a set of SPECT images taken of her brain. Just to really see exactly what was happening to my brain in the SPECT scans and that I do have a toxic injury due to mold was amazing, said Kimberlyn. They did such a good job with all of the evaluations, and they were so thorough. By the end of the second day, Dr. Arsalan Darmal had a whole binder of material that discussed the results of the testing I had done while I was there.
Dr. Darmal and the staff at Amen Clinics Orange County, CA discovered that Kimberlyn also had ADHD and a previous traumatic brain injury that was increasing the effects of the mold injury. When my brain swelled from the mold exposure, I was getting almost no blood flow to my prefrontal cortex, explained Kimberlyn.
Co-occurring conditions that can increase the effects of an injury or illness on the brain are common, yet can be easily overlooked. Kimberlyn was shocked to hear that the brain injury she had suffered in high school was impacting her life today and even more surprised that she had ADHD. The medication for ADHD has made a huge difference in my productivity and ability to focus. That was like the bonus prize that I wasnt even expecting, said Kimberlyn.
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Coughing And Shortness Of Breath
The irritation and inflammation caused by mold often lead to frequent coughing that is otherwise unexplained.
The throat and lungs are irritated continuously when repeatedly exposed to mycotoxins. If the issue isnt addressed, this coughing can develop into more severe conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
The same inflammation that causes irritated, constricted airways that lead to wheezing and coughing can eventually lead to shortness of breath.
This gives a feeling of tightness in the chest. It may feel like you are unable to take in a full breath.
Watery Or Irritated Eyes
When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.
This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.
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The Hidden Dangers Of Black Mold
Physical signs of mold exposure can range from itchy, water eyes to asthma and airway problems. The body reacts to a mold that may not otherwise be toxic by exhibiting allergy-related symptoms, such as an irritated throat, coughing, or a runny nose. For some people, the reaction may be more severe, causing nausea, fatigue, sinus infections or trouble breathing. In more extreme cases, fungus can produce volatile organic compounds, which can affect the central nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and decreased attention span, according to www.toxic-black-mold-info.com. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information on mold and how to combat it and protect yourself and your home.Documentation of the dangers of mold, the result of studies being undertaken by countries around the world, is pointing toward an increase in the prevalence of the health problems mold can cause, particularly in children.
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Are You A Clean Freak?
It’s easy to spot a clean freak when you see one in action. What’s not so easy is recognizing the signs of compulsive obsession with cleanliness when you’re the one who’s obsessing. Having a clean house doesn’t mean that you are a clean freak.
Signs And Symptoms Of Black Mold Poisoning
Black mold exposure may often present with your typical allergic complaints that are listed above. However, one must be mindful that other non-allergic, mold-related illnesses exist and may present similarly to a mold allergy, but often with more seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Research has found that people who have been exposed to mixed mold, mold spores and mycotoxins have experienced neurological and behavioral symptoms. These symptoms have been corroborated by other studies like Gordon et al. and Rea et al. .
Such non-allergic symptoms to mold may include, but are not limited to:
- Cognitive impairment
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Can Black Mold Cause Mental Problems Like Depression
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A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
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How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nose sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
How To Prevent Mold Growth
As mentioned earlier, mold is everywhere, including outside. Which is why Industrial Hygienist always tests outside the affected structure to get a baseline level of what is acceptable inside a structure. It is impossible to completely eliminate mold from your home. However, you can dramatically reduce the amount of mold and future growth of mold in your home by reducing and controlling the moisture.Some ways to control moisture in your home include:
Monitor humidity: make sure your home is dry. Ideal humidity levels to prevent mold growth are at or below 50%.
Use exhaust fans and vents: Turn on exhausts in your kitchen, bathroom, and the laundry room, especially when cooking or taking a shower. If you dont have an exhaust fan, open the nearest window to provide ventilation.
Clean up spills immediately: Spills provide a breeding ground for mold. The longer you let them sit, the better chance moisture has to soak into carpets and floorboards.
Fix leaks: Leaking pipes are a leading cause of mold buildup, especially in bathrooms and basements. Take note of areas with plumbing in your home and check them regularly. Fix any leaks immediately.
Run HVAC: Your HVAC acts like a dehumidifier removing moisture from the air, make sure you keep your HVAC system running year round.Mold and Your Health
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