Dont Let Mold Interfere With Restoring Your Health
Mold is everywhere in the environment. Indoor exposure to toxic mold can trigger inflammation and cause immune dysregulation that causes multiple symptoms in multiple systems of the body. This makes mold illness difficult to diagnose. Physicians rarely look for environmental causes of illness so they do not ask patients about exposures such as mold. If you are suffering from multiple chronic symptoms or have been diagnosed with Lyme disease, or an autoimmune or neurological condition without a known cause, find a physician with expertise in mold illness so you can get properly tested.
Proper Testing For Mold Illness
Physicians that specialize in mold illness have narrowed in on tests that are most effective in determining if mold is an underlying cause of someones symptoms. Before considering laboratory tests, there is often a clinical suspicion someone may be suffering from symptoms of mold exposure.
When someone is experiencing any of the above symptoms and no other diagnosis has been made that explains these symptoms mold illness should be considered. There is also the circumstance when someone has another diagnosis such as Lyme disease, but treatments have not been effective in resolving symptoms.
There is no one perfect test to diagnose mold toxicity. I use the two testing methods below to determine if mold and mycotoxins are undermining someones health.
Urine Mycotoxin Test
A urine mycotoxin test indicates whether or not a person is excreting mycotoxins from mold exposure. However, our bodies should excrete mycotoxins after exposure to mold and this does not necessarily mean someone has mold illness. The degree of elevation of mycotoxins in the urine suggests the severity of mold toxicity.
Great Plains Laboratory and Real Time Laboratory are the labs most commonly used by physicians treating mold toxicity. The two labs use different testing methodologies and test for different mycotoxins, so it is hard to compare results between the labs.
Preparation for urine mycotoxin testing
Mycotoxin Antibody Test
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Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Common symptoms of exposure include brain fog, depression, skin irritations/rashes, fatigue, joint pain, and inflammation to name a few.
If you have been suffering from a seemingly random array of symptoms that have no known cause, mold could be the answer. Because mold has the ability to affect the whole body with a broad range of symptoms, many individuals suffer for much longer than they should before receiving a diagnosis.
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Is All Mold Toxic
Mold is not the only pathogen that grows from water damage. Fungal fragments, spores, mycotoxins, bacteria, mycobacteria, actinomycetes, VOCs, and other biotoxins can also form in damp buildings. These pathogens combine to produce a toxic soup that can lead to a multi-systemic and multi-symptomatic illness.
Not all mold is toxic, but many mold species from water-damaged buildings produce mycotoxins. It is the indoor concentration of mycotoxins and the rest of the toxic soup that can contribute to chronic debilitating symptoms.
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Could Your Symptoms Be From A General Mold Allergy
Regardless of the species of mold in question, symptoms of a mold allergy can appear very similar, especially when looking at many individuals. So if you see black-colored mold and experience allergic symptoms, it could be Stachybotrys, or it could be another species of mold. That said, the same person can react differently to different molds. For example, one person may have severe dry eyes in response to a Cladosporium exposure, while Aspergillus exposure may cause wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.
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Does Mold Cause Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion, otherwise known as a stuffy nose, can happen to you regardless of whether or not you have allergies. Often, a stuffed up nose can be the result of a cold, the flu or dry air and shouldnt be a cause for concern. However, if you notice recurring and persistent nasal congestion, particularly at night, then there may be something in your environment thats causing your body to react this way. One of the most common reasons for a stuffy nose is mold, and if you experience this repeatedly over a long period of time, you likely have a mold problem somewhere in your house one that should be remediated as soon as possible.
Does Insurance Cover These Tests
RealTime Labs is an Authorized Medicare Provider and is an Authorized, Non-Network Provider with Tricare. They are considered an Out-Of-Network provider with all other insurance companies, including all Medicare Advantage plans. Payment is required in advance for the testing, however, RealTime Lab can assist with submission to your insurance company for reimbursement if requested.
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What Causes Black Mold
Molds are an important part of our environment. They decompose dead plants and animals. All types of mold will grow if the conditions are right. Mold grows and spreads quickly in the right conditions, which include:
- Moisture level at or over 70%
- Adequate food source
- Temperatures that range from 40 to 100 degrees F
Mold can grow anywhere in your house that provides these conditions. The most likely places mold will grow are:
- Anywhere that there has been a water leak.
- Damp rooms without adequate ventilation, such as bathrooms.
- Basements where humidity tends to be higher.
- Any areas with a lot of water condensation.
- Any areas where flooding has occurred.
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Other Mold Prevention Tips:
- Keep the temperature of your home consistent
- Keep humidity levels in your home below 50%
- Make sure your walls are well insulated
- Clean up any water damage immediately
- Frequently open windows in rooms that are dark and musty
- Clean or repair roof gutters
- Immediately fix any leaks in your homes roof, walls, or plumbing
When in doubt, if youre worried that mold might be growing in your home again, it is always a good idea to call a professional to come and evaluate.
They will be able to determine if mold is infesting your home and if your symptoms are cause for concern.
We have Mold Remediation Specialists that can help Find the Source of the Mold In your home, Remove it & Prevent it from Returning.
For Disasters of all Sizes,available in 95% of the USA
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What About Tiny Mold Toxins Aka Mycotoxins
As mentioned above, though the Stachybotrys spores may be sticky and not easily airborne, there are other airborne contaminants to worry about: tiny fragments of mold and special toxins called mycotoxins. These contaminants may cause illness in those who are exposed, with mycotoxins being the most concerning.
You can think about mycotoxins as the molds defense: they are used for protection from environmental threats. Mycotoxins are minute organic compounds as small as 0.03 microns. These tiny molecules can stick to particles already floating through the air. Studies have found Stachybotrys mycotoxins on mold fragments that have broken off from a mold colony after it has been disturbed . This can be harmfulairborne particles less than 1.0 microns are easily breathed into the respiratory system, where they can cause irritation and potential allergic reactions. If this occurs, mycotoxins could accumulate onto local tissue and ultimately enter the bloodstream. The study by Brasel cited above showed that trichothecenes could be measured in the blood of people exposed to an indoor environment that had Stachybotrys.
Stachybotrys creates a class of mycotoxins referred to as trichothecenes. Trichothecenes have been widely studied and have been proven to be detrimental to the health of humans, animals and plants. In fact, trichothecenes have been investigated for the purpose of biological warfare needless to say, they are not something to which you want to be exposed.
Demystifying Mold Toxicity Treatment With Dr Ami Kapadia
Hi everyone. In todays episode we discussed mold with Dr. AmiKapadia. What I enjoyed about her perspective is she is a testing minimalistand someone who simplifies treatment. I think weve done a pretty good jobbringing you guests and experts in this area who are of that same mindset andweve had our pinnacle today with Dr. Ami. Really simple narrative on testing anda straightforward protocol for treatment. It was reassuring to me personally tosee that what shes doing as someone whos fairly focused on mold andenvironmental illness is very similar to what Ive been leaning toward in theclinic. This tells me that Im on the right track in terms of determiningwhats working, whats not working, what to focus on, and what falls along theline of frivolous testing and or treatment recommendations regarding mold andenvironmental toxins.
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What Causes Black Mold Exposure
Exposure to black mold happens all the time because mold is everywhere. However, mold usually is not dangerous at the levels present in normal, everyday amounts. Exposure becomes a health concern when the amount of inhaled mold is a much higher amount due to living or working in an area where mold is allowed to grow. These settings are usually working or living in humid or damp buildings, working with moldy materials, or accidentally eating moldy food.
When mold grows in buildings or on materials and then dries, disturbing the dried mold releases spores into the air, which are then inhaled. Long-term exposure can result in allergy or more serious symptoms.
Black Mold Exposure Mold Poisoning:
These are molds that are green or black in appearance. The most common species of the black mold isStachybotrys chartarum. It has been speculated that many black molds are toxigenic, which means they release mycotoxins that are particularly harmful to people with preexisting conditions.
When these mycotoxins begin to accumulate in the body, it may lead to a condition known as mold poisoning which affects the upper respiratory system adversely.
Common mold poisoning symptoms are the same as that of mold allergies. People who are suffering from asthma or any other chronic lung disease, these mycotoxins will make their condition miserable. They will exhibit severe symptoms such as:
After becoming conversant with the health issues caused by molds, its high time to discuss how doctors test for mold exposure.
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Indoor Environmental Sampling And Analysis
Professional mold testing is more detailed and specialized than any DIY test. The accuracy of home mold test results vary widely, and these tests may not offer insight into the concentration of mold spores in indoor air or which species of fungus are growing in a home. These tests may also not differentiate between active growth and desiccated airborne mold spores from past growth.
Having a property inspected and tested by certified experts can provide a clearer sense of the scale and severity of a fungal infestation. Indoor environmental hygienists and other specialists trained in assessing mold damage may take air, batch or surface samples to submit for lab analysis. Air samples may also be taken from a central HVAC system. These results can include information about the species of mold present in a structure and whether growth is active or old, and can be used to guide remediation work.
Even professional mold tests cannot determine whether individuals have been exposed to mold spores, mVOCs or mycotoxins. Such information requires lab testing of biological samples taken from the residents of a home or regular occupants of a commercial building with a mold problem. Only licensed healthcare professionals are qualified to interpret the results of medical mold exposure testing.
Support Your Energy Oxygen And Thyroid
Mycotoxins can wreak havoc with your mitochondria. Dysfunctional mitochondria result in less cellular energy. And that decreases your ability to fight mold illness. Support your mitochondria with supplements specially designed to restore mitochondrial function.
Mold can also squelch your oxygen levels. Your mitochondria need oxygen to generate energy efficiently. Stabilized molecular oxygen supplements support mitochondrial function.
Additionally, mold exposure can hamper thyroid gland function. Supporting it with supplemental iodine may be helpful.
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Are Home Mold Test Kits Accurate
Home mold tests are neither as accurate or precise as professional testing, laboratory analysis and expert interpretation of results. A DIY test cannot definitively identify any type of mold or determine its toxicity level. Indoor environmental hygienists take and submit samples and make recommendations for mold remediation based on results.
Mold In The Human Body
Nearly everyone becomes ill when exposed to sufficient levels of biotoxins, but most people recover once they are removed from exposure. Their detoxification system is able to recognize the biotoxins in their bodies as toxins and eliminate them via the normal mechanisms.
However, a minority of people have human leukocyte antigen genes that prevent their bodies from being able to recognize and thus eliminate biotoxins. The biotoxins remain in the body and trigger a chronic, systemic inflammatory response. These are the people who are at a higher risk of developing CIRS.
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Other Diagnoses That Influence Labs & Symptoms
In conclusion, mold illness can be frustratingly difficult to diagnose, but is refreshingly responsive to treatment, especially when a patient is willing to do what it takes to remove themselves from the exposure. Unfortunately, finding a doctor or medical practitioner who knows about mold and who will look to a patients environment for the cause of their symptoms is still the exception, rather than the rule. Wanting to help you close that gap is the main impetus for me writing this article today. If nothing else, you can print out this list of tests and take it to your primary care physician and ask that they run the labs necessary to begin compiling information from which to make a diagnosis. The abovementioned labs and proper testing of your environment can lead you to some pretty conclusive evidence that mold is or is not the cause of your symptoms. Should you wish to work with me directly, I currently offer phone consults. You can contact me through my site www.thebodynexus.com and by going to the Medical Consults section on the Services page.
Questions? Comments? Responses to this article or suggestions for future topics? Write to us below or email us at .
Other Exposures & Infections
- Chlamydophilia Pneumoniae
A history of exposure is essential for the diagnosis of CIRS, however it can be difficult to pinpoint at times, especially if a person does not recall being bit by a tick or contracting food poisoning for example. Some markers can also be difficult to diagnose via bloodwork as most labs do not use the gold standard lab test methodologies for work up.
Wu Y, Yan Y, Su Z, Bie Q, Chen X, Barnie PA, Guo Q, Wang S, Xu H. Enhanced circulating ILC2s and MDSCs may contribute to ensure maintenance of Th2 predominant in patients with lung cancer. Mol Med Rep. 2017 Jun 15:4374-4381. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2017.6537. Epub 2017 May 2. PMID: 28487978.
Gabrilovich, D. I., & Nagaraj, S. . Myeloid-derived suppressor cells as regulators of the immune system. Nature reviews. Immunology, 9, 162174.
Liu RM, Gaston Pravia KA. Oxidative stress and glutathione in TGF-beta-mediated fibrogenesis. Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Jan 1 48:1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2009.09.026. Epub 2009 Oct 2. PMID: 19800967 PMCID: PMC2818240.
Derynck R, Budi EH. Specificity, versatility, and control of TGF- family signaling. Sci Signal. 2019 Feb 26 12:eaav5183. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aav5183. PMID: 30808818 PMCID: PMC6800142.
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How Is Mold Poisoning Treated
Treatment for mold exposure and allergies may involve the use of nasal sprays or rinses, allergy shots, over the counter drugs, and oral medication. Nasal corticosteroids and over-the-counter medications help to reduce inflammation caused by mold allergies along the airways. You may also be given oral medications to reduce the amount of mucus in your airways. Your doctor may recommend getting frequent shots to boost your bodyâs immune system over time.
It is important to seek immediate medical attention once you notice any symptoms of mold poisoning since prolonged exposure to mold can cause severe health problems. The best treatment for mold is to avoid being exposed to mold spores as much as possible. It is also important to have professional mold remediation in your home as it ensures your home is safe and healthy for you and your family.
How Mold Testing Works
There are two different kinds of professional-grade tests that experts tend to utilize to look for mold infestations. Both of them involve taking a small sample of material, which is then analyzed in a lab for traces of mold spores or the presence of mycotoxins. Urine test kits, as their name implies, require a small volume of urine from a human . These kits are used to determine if a person has a mold infestation in their body.
Meanwhile, home test kits require a small amount of dust or detritus from a buildings air conditioning or heating unit filters. Its not uncommon for professional environmental inspectors or mold remediators to use both kits in tandem after experiencing water damage, as they provide differentbut equally crucialinformation.
There is a third type of mold testing kit on the market its the kind that folks frequently see in hardware and big-box stores. These kits are designed to detect mold spores in the air, and they usually consist of a petri dish filled with microbial growth medium. The dish is exposed to the air for a set period of time in order to collect samples, and then its sealed and allowed to incubate. The idea is that any mold spores captured by the dish will then grow, allowing them to be seen and studied.
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