How You Get Rid Of Mold In Your Body
Mycotoxins And The Brain: Mechanisms Of Action
There are several mechanisms by which mold and mycotoxins harm the brain and induce cognitive dysfunction.
- Mycotoxins induce oxidative stress, instigating the release of reactive oxygen species from cells that cause damage to nervous system tissue.
- Trichothecenes induce mitochondrial dysfunction, a phenomenon that has been found to underlie cognitive impairment.
- Mycotoxins interact with the neuroimmune axis, a network of cells and signaling molecules that links the immune system with the central nervous system. Mycotoxins activate mast cells along this axis, triggering the release of inflammatory cytokines that cause neuroinflammation and cognitive dysfunction.
- Mycotoxins impair neuronal plasticity by binding to proteins involved in synapse activity. Reduced neuronal plasticity is a contributing factor in cognitive dysfunction, depression, and anxiety, among other mental health issues.
- Mycotoxins compromise the integrity of the bloodbrain barrier, crossing into the brain and exerting neurotoxic effects on neurons.
Causes Of Damp And Mould
Mould and damp are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames.
A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out for example, in the plaster on the walls. Excess moisture indoors can also be caused by condensation.
If you have mould or damp it’s important to find out why you have excess moisture in your home. When you know what’s causing the damp, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air. You may need to get a professional to remove mould for you, but if it’s only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself.
Page last reviewed: 8 August 2018 Next review due: 8 August 2021
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How Do We Become Exposed To Toxic Mold
Toxic mold enters our body through the air we breathe and the food and medications we ingest. Did you know that antibiotics are fungal metabolites? Yes, they save lives, but take enough of them and you increase your odds of fungal infections and even cancer! To learn more about the havoc antibiotic overuse can cause specifically in the gut, read my post called Can you Trust your Gut. Once the good bacteria is depleted in the intestines, yeast and fungus which are normally kept in check, can gain a foothold and cause an avalanche of health problems.
When we breathe in toxic mold in the air, the mold spores attach to the sinus membranes and spew mycotoxins and sometimes even volatile organic compounds which can then pass to the brain. Breathing in mold can also cause fungal infections of the lungs which are sometimes mistaken for cancer. Watch my interview this week on NBCs Bloom as I talk about a study which misdiagnosed almost half of patients that were clinically and radiologically diagnosed with cancer when what they really had were aspergillomas in their lungs.
How Can I Be Exposed To Mold
People are exposed to molds every day, usually by touching or breathingthem. Because molds naturally exist outdoors and indoors, living in a totallymold-free environment is practically impossible. As molds grow, spores can bereleased into the air where they can be easily inhaled. People who inhale largenumbers of spores may get sick. Possible health concerns are an importantreason to prevent mold growth and to clean up molds in indoor environments.
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How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
How Do You Get Mold Spores Out Of Your Lungs
What is the treatment? Its almost impossible to avoid all contact with fungal spores, so treatment for mold in your lungs often consists of taking medications. Corticosteroids often help open your airways to make coughing easier. You may need to take them when daily or only when your symptoms flare.
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There Has Been A Wet Smell In Our Newly Purchased Home Since We Got Here The Previous Owners Did Not Heat The Home In The Winter Months And There Is Very Poor Ventilation In The Basement We Removed Some Gyproc Todaydoes It Look Like We Will Have To Remove It All
Yes, the sheet rock should be removed. This is necessary not only to clean up the existing mold, but to implement the prevention measures.
First, you need to identify the source of the moisture. Three possibilities exist. 1.) Condensation from the warm interior air hitting the cold concrete wall. This typically does not happen behind a well sealed wall , but its possible.
2.) Vapor emissions through the concrete. This occurs when moisture moves through the concrete in vapor form, creating high humidity and saturation on the surface. In an uncovered wall, the water would simply evaporate into the air without causing an issue. The installation of the sheet rock traps the moisture, leading to mold growth. There are two solutions either keep the concrete exposed or install dimple board with a interior footing drain.
3.) Liquid water intrusion. Its possible youre having liquid water enter through the cold joint at the bottom of the wall. If this is the case, youll see more damage at the bottom plate/framing than higher up the studs. In most cases, the solution is an interior footing drain.
Can Damp Clothes Grow Mold
If you have clothes that are wet for more than 24 hours then mold can easily start to grow on them. The most common reason mold grows on clothes is if you wash them and then leave them wet for a long time. The other main reason that clothes grow mold on them is if the air in your home is too humid.
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What Medical Tests Are Available To Determine If I Am Allergic Tomold
There are medical tests to determine if you are allergic to a particularsubstance, such as mold. These can be performed on skin or blood. Skin testsare considered more reliable than blood tests to determine allergic reaction toa substance. Skin tests yield results more quickly, are less expensive thanblood tests and are generally considered more sensitive. If an individual hassymptoms year-round, which may indicate an indoor allergy, skin testing may berecommended.
Blood testing called the RAST test can be done to showif you are allergic to a substance. The RAST test detects levels of antibodiesto particular allergens. The test is expensive to perform and results areusually not available for about two weeks.
You Feel Like You Have A Cold That Just Wont Go Away
Symptoms of a mold reaction can be as subtle as a perpetually runny nose and sneezing fits. That cold that you just cant seem to shake could actually be a sneaky sign of a mold problem.
Try to notice if your symptoms seem to worsen after spending time in a particular room or immediately after you finish doing laundry in the basement, for example.
How to check for mold in basement? If you notice a musty odor permeating throughout your home, theres a high chance its mold. There are several ways to confirm this, which include smelling or inspecting it. Mold can become a health hazard when left alone, and that means identifying mold in the basement should be your priority as soon as you think you have it.
Below, I discussed the best ways to check for mold in your basement and how to remove them.
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Who Is At Risk Of Mold
According to the WHO, 15 percent of houses in cold climates show signs of dampness, and about 5 percent have signs of mold problems. In warm climates, however, it is estimated that 20 percent of houses have dampness, and 25 percent have mold. Dampness is most likely to occur in overcrowded houses or those that lack appropriate ventilation, heating and insulation. Because symptoms of mold infection are similar to other respiratory ailments, they are often misdiagnosed.
What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Mold Exposure
Molds produce irritating substances that may act as allergy-causing substances in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, some molds produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, but mold itself is not poisonous or toxic. The term “toxic mold,” therefore, refers to the fact that certain kinds of mold can produce mycotoxins. The conditions under which some molds produce toxins are not understood, and the presence of mold, even a mold that is capable of producing toxins, does not always imply that toxins are being produced or that a health risk or problem is present. Mold may not cause any health problems, or it may lead to allergy or other symptoms in people, including adults and children, who are sensitive to molds.
Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects of mold and are therefore the greatest health risk related to mold. Allergic reactions may happen immediately or develop after a period following exposure. Both growing mold and mold spores may lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms and signs of mold allergy may include
Mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and are allergic to mold. Even in some non-allergic individuals, mold can cause symptoms of irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways. For example, the “black mold”Stachybotrys, along with some other types of mold, produces toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause irritation of the skin and airways in susceptible individuals.
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So Is Mold Toxicity A Real Thing
Mold toxicitythe idea that mold can produce harmful substances called mycotoxins that can contribute to autoimmune conditions and other chronic diseaseis a bit controversial. Thats because there isnt any kind of test for it or scientific evidence that any kind of disease exists solely because of mold exposure. Keep in mind that theres a lot of misinformation out there, both about the toxicity of mold and the treatment options.
Theres clear, validated proof that breathing in enough mold in your home over a period of time can cause or exacerbate both allergies and asthma, Dr. Parikh says. It can even cause an invasive respiratory infection, she adds, but any chronic health condition resulting from mold hasnt yet been proven to exist.
Diagnosis Of Mold Toxicity
The conventional medical community is slow to acknowledge that chronic mold-induced illness is common. However, many functional and foundational medicine practitioners have expertise in mold toxicity and CIRS.
A common and simple test for mold toxicity is a urine mycotoxin test. Excreting an elevated level of mycotoxins is a sign of mold illness. Still, if your body is holding onto these toxins, your level may be falsely low.
Some functional medicine doctors also check specific immune system and inflammatory markers via blood tests. Examples are C4a, TGF Beta-1, and MMP-9. Elevated levels of these markers dont prove you have mold illness, but they contribute to the evidence.
Urine mycotoxin and inflammatory markers are best considered in the context of other signs and symptoms of mold illness. These include the following five areas:
The more of these criteria you meet, the more likely it is you have mold-related toxicity. And if you meet all five criteria, its more likely your mold illness is advanced and longstanding.
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How To Test The Walls For Moisture
You cant address damp basement walls until you know where the moisture is coming from. To determine if youre dealing with an exterior or interior problem, try this simple test .
1. Secure a 12-inch square of plastic to the basement wall with water-proof tape tightly sealing all four edges.
2. Leave your test patch in place for at least 24 hours or preferably several days.
3. Check the plastic periodically to see if moisture forms on its surface. If it becomes wet, then youre dealing with high indoor humidity.
4. If you find a damp, dark spot under the plastic when you remove it, this means that moisture is wicking through basement walls from the outside.
If the moisture is from outside, you can try a DIY approach with the same techniques that help prevent basement flooding. If moisture is from the inside, youre usually in luck. You can reduce indoor humidity downstairs by running fans to increase air circulation and installing a dehumidifier. Dont store belongings against walls, and make sure that the furnace and clothes dryer are properly vented.
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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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How Long Does It Take For Black Mold To Kill You
Black mold, or Stachybotrys atra, has a reputation for being fatal. This is due to reports that black mold was related to infant deaths in the 1990s. Its also been linked to the idea of sick building syndrome and is often called toxic black mold.
But theres no solid evidence proving that black mold is toxic. Black mold, and mold in general, is not deadly.
Still, black mold can cause unwanted side effects, especially those in people who are sensitive to mold. This includes people who are young, old, or have compromised immune systems.
Visit a doctor if you have:
- persistent sinus and nasal congestion
- frequent headaches
- unexplained skin irritation
- more frequent asthma attacks
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if mold is causing your symptoms. Many side effects of mold exposure are similar to other conditions, like seasonal allergies. Some symptoms also take time to appear.
Your best bet is to see a doctor, even if youre unsure your symptoms are related to mold. They can help you find relief.
The best way to treat mold exposure symptoms is to reduce exposure. Follow these tips:
- Avoid contact with moldy items or surfaces.
- Avoid damp rooms, like basements.
- Remove mold from the home by cleaning surfaces and drying damp areas.
- Increase ventilation by using a fan or opening windows.
- Reduce indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
The length of time it takes for mold to leave your body will depend on your level of previous exposure.
- a musty, earthy odor
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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Testing For Mold In Your Home
If you hire a professional mold inspector to come to your home, theyll take samples from three areasthe air, the surface, and surrounding dust. They send these samples to a third-party laboratory to find out the concentration and kinds of mold in those particular areas.
However, this procedure takes time and isnt cheap. Fortunately, testing for mold in your home is a relatively easy task that can give you faster results and save you money. If youve done everything you can to prevent mold but still have reason to think the air you breathe is compromised with mold spores, check strategic locations for visible signs of mold.
Common areas of mold growth include:
- Areas around plumbing lines, even behind the drywall
- Below sinks
- Coils of HVAC air handlers or ductwork
- Between the furniture and exterior walls, particularly in basements or concrete block houses
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