Signs Of Mold Illness
by Dr. Michele Neil-Sherwood | Health Tips
Mold is a big problem in most homes, but many people are unaware of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow just about anywhere.
Mold can be found in drywall, in the roof , and even in ones Christmas tree. One study found that Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. Studies have found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room.
There are 1,000 types of mold that can be found growing in the modern American home. Scientists classify these molds based on the effect they have on humans and other living things.
Remove Yourself From The Contaminated Environment And Begin Treatment
Removing yourself from the mold- and mycotoxin-contaminated environment is the first step toward healing. Next steps, guided by a mold-literate practitioner, may include taking binding agents to mop up circulating mycotoxins, treating fungal infections, and using Functional Medicine to address the downstream effects of mold/mycotoxin exposure.
Mold illness is scary, especially when it starts to impact your most precious organ, your brain. However, there is no need to panic. By following the actionable steps outlined here, you can take charge of your well-being, address toxic mold exposures, and restore your cognitive health.
Health Risks Associated With Household Mold And Mildew
A lot of homeowners are unaware that their homes contain household mold because they do not see or smell any signs of infestation. But what is wrong with mold and mildew growth at home? As long as they stay in the laundry room or in the basement where they cant be seen, no one would care, right? That is not true. You should care about mold and mildew growth because they are not only wreaking havoc in your house, they could also wreck your health as well.
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What Does Mildew Look Like
Since mildew grows on surfaces, its often easier to spot in its early stages than mold. Mildew is generally classified as either powdery or downy. Powdery mildew is white or gray in color. Over time, it turns yellow and eventually dark brown or black. As the name suggests, it has a fine, powdery texture. Downy mildew initially shows up in the form of yellow splotches. As it ages, these splotches turn a darkish brown.
The Effects Of Mold On Your Home And Your Health
We all know that mold in our homes is a bad thing but exactly how bad is it for your health and your home itself?
Mold grows by releasing its spores into the air, which are invisible to the naked eye. It can spread and grow anywhere as long as moisture and oxygen are present, but commonly grows on surfaces such as insulation, sheetrock, tile, fabrics and wood. It can enter your home through windows, vents and doorways or it can attach itself to clothing and pets and be carried inside. It might be a shock to learn that you can have hundreds or even thousands of mold spores in one cubic foot of air in your home.
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Some Of The Symptoms Associated With Mold And Mycotoxins Can Include:
- Chronic burning in the throat and nasal passages
- Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- Eye irritation red eyes, blurred vision
- Increased urinary frequency, increased sweating , or increased thirst
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
- Metallic taste in mouth
As you can see, the list is quite long! It is also not a list of symptoms that would immediately point a doctor to a specific illness. Some symptoms manifest immediately, but others such as poor color distinction, dizziness, fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty word finding may take months or years to develop.
What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like
Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.
To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:
- Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
- Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
- Regular allergy medicine
A persons immune system must be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe allergy cases, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to relieve symptoms
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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
Mold Sets Off Allergy Symptoms
“Mold spores are small enough so that you can inhale them deep into your lung,” says Dr. Rizzo. Though not everyone reacts to the presence of mold in their airways, if you’re sensitive to it, your immune system may kick in, triggering a nasty attack of hay fever-like symptoms such as nasal congestion, red eyes, or itchy eyes and skin, notes the CDC.
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How Does Powdery Mildew Spread On Cannabis
In general, mildew attacks the youngest plants first. It spreads across the entire plant, ruining the stems, leaves and buds of your plant.
If you notice a damp smell coming from your buds, your marijuana has likely been affected.
It is best to act before the fungus invades the bud otherwise, the reproduction process cannot be reversed.
When the mildew reaches advanced stages of growth, it will make your cannabis plants go yellow first. The plants will then become brown and, eventually, they will simply die.
This could mean the end of your dreams of becoming a successful marijuana grower. That is why you need to make sure you are constantly inspecting your plants and paying attention to any unusual changes.
Mold Toxicity: The Effects Of Living With Mold
Rapid growth and an overtaking of your environment are a few characteristics that can be used to describe the dreaded but common household issue that we know as mold. Mold is a fungus that can grow on almost anything, with the ability to thrive in many conditions but most specifically in warm temperatures and high moisture environments.
The versatility of mold allows for this fungus to grow in both indoor and outdoor environments, making it an invasive presence in both your outdoor area and most importantly in your indoor areas such as your home. When you are exposed to mold chronically, you can develop mold toxicity symptoms.
Mold has the ability to spread far and wide, as tiny microscopic spores called mycotoxins, are released from the source in an effort to allow additional mold to grow. As mold begins to reproduce, its effect on humans who have been exposed could be significant.
Sensitivities can plague some individuals when contact occurs between mold, with symptoms spurring into overdrive in some cases. The type of mold present can lead to variations of symptoms, with a rough estimate of 1,000 species of mold currently in the United States . The level of hazard existing to human health can significantly reflect based upon on the specific type of mold in the environment and can thus lead to a scary health effect called mold toxicity.
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Testing For Mold Toxicity
If you find mold in your home or workplace, it is important to test for mold toxicity in your body. Oftentimes, people who are struggling to get healthy , are dealing with mold toxicity.
Mold toxins increase the burden on the liver and create chronic inflammation in the body. These toxins are highly indicated in neurological disorders and symptoms like brain fog, depression, and anxiety. One very effective option for testing mold toxins in the body is the GPL-MycoTOX Profile.
What Causes Nasal Congestion
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Does Every House Have Mold
Every house, every environment has mold spores. It becomes an issue when the concentration of mold spores in a home is greater than what is found outside. The temperature in most houses is almost always ideal for mold growth. Mold feeds on dust or dirt, which is nearly impossible to eradicate from a home.
How To Remove Mold From Your Home
If you find the presence of mold in your home, there are several steps you can take to help remove it:
- Fix Water Leaks: Whether its from a leaky faucet or a broken pipe, mold can start growing in 24 48 hours. Reach out to an HVAC professional or plumber to help you eliminate any water leaks.
- Exhaust Fans: Use exhaust fans when youre cooking or washing dishes. When taking a shower, be sure to always use your bathroom fan.
- Clean Visible Mold: Do you see mold growing on a wall or other surface? Use a sponge and soap to remove mold wherever you find it.
- Get Professional Help: When mold damage is widespread or if its just too much for you to handle, its time to call in the pros. Look for a mold remediation professional in your area that has the tools needed for large-scale cleaning.
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Can Mold Cause Health Problems
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens , irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances . Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash . Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This brochure provides a brief overview it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.
Keep in mind that:
For more information on controlling mold and moisture, visit the Mold Website.
How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance, Correct conditions causing mold growth to prevent mold growth.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
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Mold And Mildew Can Be Harmful To Your Health And Damaging To Your Home
Mold is very common in home and it can be found around areas with a lot of moisture. Some homeowners may find traces of mold and mildew in their homes following flooding or severe rainstorms where water soaks into the wood, drywall, and sheetrock. When this excess moisture enters your home it can weaken the structural integrity of your homes building materials but with the ideal conditions for mold and mildew to thrive in.
This growth of mold and mildew in your home can also cause you and your family to experience illnesses that target your immune system. Respiratory conditions: wheezing, coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, and even allergic reactions are all linked to exposure to mold and mildew.
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Is Everyone Vulnerable To Mold Exposure
Sometimes inhaling or touching mold or mildew may have hazardous health effects. But, everyone may not be adversely affected by molds. People who have other allergies or existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or other lung diseases are more susceptible to the effects of mold exposure. Also, those with an impaired or weakened immune system will have severe reactions to molds.2 Pregnancy, autoimmune disease, AIDS, or diabetes are medical conditions that can weaken your immune system. Infants, small children, and elderly people are also vulnerable to mold contamination.3
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Household Molds That Can Lurk Inside Your Home
Mold is unfortunately, pretty much unavoidable in your home as most homes harbor some species of mold in its confines. Out of the 1,000s of mold species, there are some species that are more prone to growth indoors than others, and some that particularly grow inside homes.
There are six main species of mold that are commonly found inside homes, and each contain their own characteristics and potential health hazards.
Plan Of Attack To Removing Mold From Your Home
What can you do when you find a mold source in your home, what plan of action is required next? First and foremost, when you locate mold growth in your home you will want to examine the underlying cause of the mold growth, whether there was a moisture leak or what type of conditions surround the mold in the environment.
Second, you will want to call a mold remediation specialist to assist you in the removal of this mold from your homes surfaces. Often times we will try to utilize different methods of mold removal that we find online, but in reality, the best solution is having a trained professional come to your aid to ensure that proper removal occurs of this mold.
Third, eliminating the mold spores that have traveled into your air. We often dont consider that mold can compromise the quality of your homes air by collecting mold spores released from mold.
How can you eliminate these mold spores from your air? The enhanced chemical reactivity found in the EnviroKlenz Cartridge makes it ideal for removing harmful mold-generated VOCs.
The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Air System is a portable air filtration machine that contains this enhanced chemically reactive technology that can effectively work at taking in mold spores and capturing them from your air.
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I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family
There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.
Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.
There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.
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