What To Do If You Have Consumed Mold
So, now that you know all the different side effects of eating mold, what do you do if it happens to you? The symptoms may start appearing just a little time after you have consumed the moldy food. If you have already found out that the food you ate was moldy then it is better to head on to visit your doctor.
You shouldnt wait for the symptoms to start showing up. The most important thing is to see a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to help diagnose the problem and give you the proper treatment.
What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Yourself and Your Family from Consuming Moldy Food ?
There are certain steps that you can take to prevent yourself and your family from consuming moldy food. These include
What To Tell Your Doctor
If you have symptoms, and youve been exposed to mold at work, on a trip or at home, you should consult your doctor immediately, Dr. Ibrahim says. Tell your provider all that you can about the mold and the location.
Be sure to mention all symptoms you may have, no matter how trivial they may seem. There are no insignificant symptoms when youre being evaluated for a new problem, Dr. Ibrahim says. Pay close attention to symptoms that are only present or worsen at home or other public areas where mold is common.
Causes Of Mold Allergies
Like any allergy, mold allergy symptoms are triggered by an overly sensitive immune system response. When a person inhales tiny, airborne mold spores, their body recognizes them as foreign invaders and develops allergy-causing antibodies to fight them.
After the exposure has passed, a person will still produce antibodies that remember the invader so any later contact with mold causes the person’s immune system to react. The reaction triggers the release of substances such as histamine which cause:
- Itchy and watering eyes
- Additional mold allergy symptoms
Molds are very common – both inside and outside. There are many types of molds, yet only certain kinds of mold cause allergies. Being allergic to one type of mold does not necessarily mean a person will be allergic to another type. Some of the most common molds that cause allergies include:
Although a mold allergy is the most common issue caused by mold exposure, mold may cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause irritant and toxic reactions or infections. Infections caused by mold might lead to a number of issues from skin infections, flu-like symptoms and pneumonia. An irritant reaction is caused when substances from molds called, ‘volatile organic compounds,’ irritate a person’s mucus membranes. Symptoms of an irritant reaction are similar to an allergy and include:
- Skin irritation
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Testing For Mould In Your Home
Where mould is visible, it is generally not considered necessary to test for it in the home. However, not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling. Generally, if you can see or smell mould, you need to clean up and remove the mould immediately, as mould can damage surfaces it grows on.
If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.
What About Black Mold
At this point, many individuals may ask: what about black mold effects on lungs?
The short answer for these questions is simple: despite what many think, black mold is not lethal.
A large number of molds, including black mold, produce toxins however, they are not likely to be lethal.
As with other molds, individuals who were already at risk may experience symptoms, such as the following:
- Lung problems
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How To Remove Black Mold
Protect yourself. You don’t need to worry about having mold tested if you find mold in your house. But you should get rid of it no matter what type of mold it is. Take precautions to protect yourself before you attempt to remove mold.
Use an N-95 face mask to avoid breathing in mold spores. Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles without ventilation holes to protect your eyes.â
Find and destroy the mold. The most important part of removing mold is finding and removing its water source. Mold can’t grow without moisture. Keep the following tips in mind when you’re cleaning up mold:
- Items that can’t be dried quickly should be discarded if they show signs of mold or water damage. Porous items such as carpet, padding, drywall, and paper soak up moisture.
- Do not paint or caulk over moldy surfaces. Remove the mold and dry the surfaces before you paint. Paint applied over mold will peel.
- Use plastic sheeting to block an area with mold from the rest of your house and keep the spores from spreading.
- Scrub hard surfaces with mold with detergent and water and dry them thoroughly.
- Put any moldy items in a plastic bag before you take them out of the room to prevent mold spores from spreading.
- Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner and furnace to capture mold spores that may be airborne in your house.
- Consult a specialist if you’re not sure of the best way to clean a valuable or sentimental item.â
Who Is Most At Risk
- People with respiratory problems
The dangers of mold heavily depend on underlying health conditions and mold sensitivity or allergies.
There are some individuals in whom mold is dangerous to inhale, while others may experience no symptoms.
While there is no general guideline to gauge how much mold exposure is harmful, a key factor to consider is the level of exposure.
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What Health Problems Can Mold Cause
Exposure to mold can cause several health issues such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, cough, and wheezing, as well as skin irritation in some cases. Exposure to mold may also cause heightened sensitivity depending on the time and nature of exposure.
How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick
Are you sick and suspect it might be from mold?
Determining whether exposure to mold is making you sick isnt always easy.
Each persons body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression.
Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure. Many people suffering from mold illness struggle to get a proper diagnosis and investigation.
Its common to think my house is clean it cant be mold! However, mold comes in many forms. In this article, well share what toxic mold is, the signs and symptoms, and how it can be treated.
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Be Careful With Canned Food
Medical experts often talk about the harmful effects of processed food but what you might not have realized is that canned food can be moldy as well. Mold can start growing inside the can without you even realizing. You might think its an air tight can so you are safe, however a simple opening can be responsible for the growth of mold inside the can.
Canned food is another item that you have to be careful with. Many times, canned food can contain moldy ingredients and since the cans arent see-through its hard to tell which items are safe to eat. So always make sure to check the expiration date before purchasing any canned goods!
Drinking Or Eating Mold
As for drinking a moldy beverage and even eating something moldy, our stomachs are one of the harshest environments in the human body. The stomach acids can dissolve food like meats and raw vegetables pretty quickly and thoroughly.
The most that could happen to you, unless you have a compromised immune system and a weak digestive system, is an upset stomach and stomach cramps.
If you have a sensitive stomach, you could get diarrhea and maybe a touch of nausea from drinking something with mold. Our minds might have a stronger reaction to the fact that we ingested it compared to our bodies.
If your symptoms are severe, get yourself to an emergency room for medical assistance. Inhaling mold can yield more severe side effects than ingestion.
While not all people will get a severe reaction, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you feel that something is wrong, go to the hospital and explain what happened. If you find you need to use a mold killing product, consult a mold professional first.
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Lifestyle And Home Remedies
To keep mold allergy symptoms at bay, take these measures:
- Sleep with your windows closed to keep out outdoor mold. The concentration of airborne mold spores tends to be greatest at night, when the weather is cool and damp.
- Keep indoor humidity below 50% and correct any moisture or water damage in the home. You can measure relative humidity with a small moisture meter, available at many hardware stores.
- Wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth to keep mold spores out if you have to rake leaves, mow your lawn or work around compost.
- Avoid going outdoors at certain times, such as immediately after a rainstorm, in foggy or damp weather, or when the published mold count is high.
It Can Cause Different Medical Conditions
If youre someone who is allergic to mold, consuming it may cause different medical conditions. This happens because the bodys immune system starts to attack whatever it is that has caused the allergy.
The most common symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches and asthma attacks. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating something with mold in it, see a doctor as soon as possible!
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Indoor Environmental Quality: Health Problems Mold
Health problems associated with excessive damp conditions and mold include:
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Treating A Chronic Cough Caused By Mold
Throat lozenges can soothe a cough. So can hot tea with honey. Your doctor can prescribe a cough suppressant if constant coughing keeps you up at night, but often doctors prefer not to suppress a cough because coughing serves a purpose. Coughing helps to remove irritants, debris, excessive mucous, and fluids from the lungs and airways, and removing these things from your airways is a good thing. Thats why doctors sometimes prescribe expectorants instead of cough suppressants, which help thin the mucous or fluids in the lungs and airways to help you cough it up. If youre coughing due to an infection like pneumonia, you may be prescribed antibiotics, as well. However, even with treatment, youll probably continue to cough as long as you continue to suffer exposure to mold.
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Sneezing And Nasal Congestion
While many things can trigger sneezing, its also a symptom of mold toxicity that should get your attention. If youve never had allergies or hay fever symptoms and youre positive you dont have a cold, those sneezes could be indicative of mold exposure.
Sneezing is the immune systems standard response to allergens. It could also be a warning sign that your home has a mold problem.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Mold Allergy
Where would we be without our immune system? A robust and responsive immune system works hard, often without us even knowing it, to keep our body safe against harmful pathogens. But the bodys immune system can overreact to a perceived threat, and such an immune response can be unpleasantif not dangerous. This sort of internal hypervigilance is the basic idea behind an allergic reaction.
Your body can have this reaction to numerous substances that, in and of themselves, are innocuous: while breathing in dust and pollen is not good for your health, its not on the same level as viruses or bacteria, the two sworn enemies of the human immune system. Another such substance is mold spores, the reproductive units of fungi, which are ubiquitous in the environment and your home. Mold allergies are common and uncomfortable, but fortunately, they are treatable. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a mold allergyand what you can do to address them.
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How Long Does It Take For Mold To Get Out Of Your System
Again, the answer to this question is highly dependent on several factors: your level of exposure, health history, environment, type of mold, and degree of sensitivity.
Some individuals get better just weeks after removing the source of mold and immersing themselves in clean, mold-free environments.
Other people have reported it took over a year to fully recover.
A good way to gauge how long you will be battling mold in your system is how much mold has built up. The more mold that is in your body, the longer it will take to remove.
What To Expect From Your Doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:
- Exactly what are your symptoms?
- What seems to trigger symptoms or worsen them?
- Are your symptoms worse during certain times of the year or certain times of the day?
- Do your symptoms flare up when you’re in certain locations, such as outdoors or in your basement?
- What other health problems do you have?
- Do other members of your family have allergies? What kinds?
- Are you exposed to mold, dust, fumes or chemicals at work?
- Do you know if you have mold in your home?
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How Long Do Mold Symptoms Last
The tricky thing about mold exposure is that its different for each person. The amount of time mold exposure symptoms persist depends on:
- What type of mold they are exposed to,
- How long the exposure has been,
- How well their bodies eliminate toxins
Those who process toxins well can see their symptoms disappear as quickly as a few days.
Others who eliminate toxins slowly can experience symptoms for much longer. They could be ill for months or even years after the source of mold is eliminated.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Sickness
If your Total Body Burden is high, or you are genetically predisposed to recycling toxins, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing/shortness of breath
- Long standing or frequent sinusitis
And, serious pain and neurological symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle cramping, aches and pains
- Persistent nerve pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor memory, brain fog, difficulty with focus
In some cases, the spores from mold take root and grow in specific parts of the body, such as the lungs and sinuses. This can cause serious respiratory illnesses and infections.
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What Are Allergenic Reactions To Mold
Most molds are allergenic. But while many people can handle a little bit of mold exposure, others are born sensitive and will experience allergic reactions. Allergic reactions, ranging from mild to severe, are the most common symptoms associated with mold exposure.
Types Of Mold Sickness And Symptoms
Mold can be found almost everywhere, though it thrives in warm, humid environments. It spreads by releasing tiny spores that float through the air. Some types of mold also produce mycotoxins, microscopic organic compounds that can attach to mold spores and cause additional health effects when inhaled.
Mold exposure does not always cause adverse reactions, and different types of mold can cause a person to react in distinctly different ways. However, those who are sensitive to mold or have mold allergies may experience the following symptoms after exposure, according to the CDC:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Eye, throat or skin irritation
- Coughing or wheezing
Reactions may be more severe in those with:
- Mold allergies
- Weakened immune systems
- Chronic lung illnesses
If you are in one of the above groups, the CDC recommends staying away from likely sources of mold, such as wooded areas, compost piles and freshly-cut grass.
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How Mold Affects Your Throat
Many people are allergic to mold. When youre allergic to something, your immune system perceives it as potentially harmful, even when its not harmful, or at least not harmful in small amounts. Your immune system begins to mount a defense against the perceived threat, including an inflammatory response. That response can cause inflammation or swelling in the throat, airways, and lungs. The inflammation in the throat can cause throat pain or discomfort.
In addition, tiny mold spores are easily inhaled, and they can cause irritation to the nose, throat, airways, and lungs. This can also lead to a sore throat.
Finally, the inflammatory response and irritation in the nasal cavity and sinuses often leads to a runny nose. That can cause post-nasal drip, a condition in which excess mucous drips down the back of the throat. This further irritates the throat, causing additional pain.