Mold Illness Misunderstanding And Misdiagnosis
You might be wondering if youre experiencing toxic mold exposure symptoms. If you lived or worked in a water damaged building and tried to learn the truth about the risks to your health, you probably came across some conflicting information.
Maybe you were told by a practitioner that your symptoms couldnt be mold related or that your fatigue, weakness, brain fog, memory issues, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and other debilitating symptoms were all in your head. Perhaps you were even referred to a mental health specialist. If so, youre not alone.
Theres a lot of misunderstanding about toxic mold exposure and the resulting impact on human health. Thankfully, awareness is growing. What was once speculation is now defined, diagnosed, and treated by integrative and functional medicine practitioners with the Shoemaker Protocol and other natural therapies. And research continues to be funded and published by large institutions such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Yet, there is still much to be done to inform the larger medical community and the general public. Lack of awareness about mold not only lead to misdiagnosis but also fear, shame, and confusion. Many sufferers are left feeling hopeless, believing there is no solution. Ive written this article to correct faulty assumptions about toxic mold exposure from a medical perspective.
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.
How Long Do Mold Allergy Symptoms Last
- Mold allergy signs and symptoms are like those of any other allergies of the upper respiratory tract. These symptoms may differ from person to person and may be mild or severe
- These signs and symptoms may get triggered in only certain periods of the year, or they may be present all year long
- The signs and symptoms may last for a few minutes to days, depending upon the severity of the allergy
If mold allergy causes allergic rhinitis, the signs and symptoms may include-
- Itching in eyes, throat and nose
- Watery and red eyes
- Scaly skin
- Cough with a postnasal drip
If you suffer from asthma along with mold allergy, the exposure to mold may trigger your asthma as well as mold allergy symptoms. Exposure to certain types of molds can trigger a very severe asthma attack. These signs and symptoms of asthma may include-
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When To Go To The Emergency Room
Symptoms of mold exposure are not usually an emergency, but in some instances, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Go directly to the nearest emergency room or call 911 if you:
- Have significant trouble breathing
- Have an asthma attack that doesnt respond to your usual medication or seems worse than usual
- Have a very high fever
- Cough up blood or experience a bloody, frothy discharge from the nose or mouth
- Are confused or disoriented
Let the emergency room staff know if you think your symptoms might be related to mold exposure.
Keep in mind the fact that most doctors have an answering service and a health care professional is on call 24 hours a day, so if youre not sure if you need immediate care or can wait to make an appointment at your doctors office, call the office any time, day or night, for advice.
Effective Treatment For Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Get Your Home Tested Properly
Proper mold inspection requires hiring an experienced Indoor Environmental Professional that uses various testing techniques to ensure there has not been water damage leading to mold growth in your home. When someone is sick in the household, the degree of mold testing needs to be more comprehensive than if someone was doing a general home inspection. I have witnessed mold inspectors miss water damage and mold growth in patients homes because they did not do a thorough investigation, or used the wrong testing methods.
Proper testing for mold helps to establish the scope of work for remediation. It is a conflict of interest to hire an inspector who also does remediation. However, most reputable inspectors can recommend a contractor who specializes in mold remediation.
To find a certified IEP in your area, visit www.acac.org and look for CIEC and CMC certifications. You will also find certified remediators with CMRS and CMR designation.
Treatments for mold Illness
Prescription medications and supplements referred to as binders are used to reduce the mycotoxin burden in the body. Technically these compounds do not bind mycotoxins, but they adsorb like static cling. Mycotoxins are secreted with bile from the gallbladder into the intestines. Mycotoxins adhere to binders in the intestines and then excreted through the stool.
Glutathione in Treating Mold Toxicity
Reduce Inflammation in Mold Toxicity
- Transfer Factors Enviro
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Does It Matter What Covid Strain You Have
Nope. The CDC has not issued any recommendations to differentiate between how you should act when you have one strain of COVID-19 vs. another. Currently, the Delta variant dominates COVID-19 cases in the U.S., causing about 99 percent of them, per CDC dataand the agency has not released any separate guidelines.
Theres no data that suggests the different variants cause a different length of time in symptoms, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Black Mold Is Toxigenic
Certain molds prove toxigenic, which means that they produce mycotoxins that cause ill health effects. A little mold is everywhere, but not all mold is poisonous. That doesnt mean you should ignore mold.
Most are familiar with black mold, which is toxigenic and produces mold spores. These form colonies and grow with other spores. High concentrations of these mycotoxins can cause mold poisoning in healthy people, too.
Mold poisoning is also known as mycotoxicosis. This condition affects the upper respiratory system with harmful cold or flu-like symptoms. Additional symptoms due to mycotoxins can prove fatal. Thats especially true for those with severe allergies, asthma or other conditions.
Green-black mold is also harmful. Its found on paper, dust, lint, fiberboard and other low-nitrogen content materials. It can develop and spread after water leaks, floods and condensation.
Until you know more, treat all molds the same due to the potential long-term side effects and health risks. Take mold growth seriously. You will usually see the mold colony and smell the signature musty smell.
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Recovery Depends On Your Immune System
When mold symptoms show up, your body fights back and is assisted in beating back allergies by the right type of medication. Usually, stronger immune systems overcome these symptoms faster compared to weaker ones.
Youll need to have a strong and healthy immune system to beat back mold symptoms in record time.
In some cases, symptoms may last 1 to 2 days for strong immune systems. However, it must be said that the strength of an immune system alone wont guarantee faster recovery.
Some persons are generally sensitive to allergies. Such individuals might have faster recoveries when medications are taken.
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
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How Common Is Mold In Buildings
Molds are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. We do not have precise information about how often different molds are found in buildings and homes.
If Your Home Has A Mold Infestation Act Now
Mold can be hiding in your home, putting you and your family at risk of illness and allergic reactions from poor indoor air quality.
Whether its allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic mold, you must regain control of the situation today by removing the mold and getting your health checked out. While only a medical professional can handle the latter, our team of professional mold removal technicians is perfectly positioned to help with the former.
Take control today by contacting Green Works today.
First published: Feb 27, 2019
: May 11, 2021
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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.
The Journey From Outdoor Mold Spore To Indoor Mold Problem
Whether out enjoying a hike or inside examining the grocery stores produce section, we are constantly transporting and breathing in tiny mold spores. An open window, a family pet or even your sneakers can bring outdoor spores to a new homeyour home or workplace.
These mold spores can be harmless. However, problems arise if the spores come in contact with a moisture source. Moisture lets the spores grow into mold that could affect health.
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Indoor Environmental Quality: Health Problems Mold
Health problems associated with excessive damp conditions and mold include:
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Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems Associated With Exposure To Mold
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immune suppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
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What Happens If You Eat Food With Mold
The thought of eating something moldy likely makes you want to gag. Most of the time, this is the only symptom youd get after eating moldy food. If somethings not right with your immune system and you eat something moldy, you might experience symptoms like:
- If you had an allergy to mold, then you might have symptoms connected with it as well
If you notice mold on your food that you dont want to throw away, then USDAs guide on handling moldy food will be for you.
How Fast Does Black Mold Spread
Mold begins to grow as soon as its spores land on a damp, fibre-rich material and it can spread around the house within 24 to 48 hours. It colonizes in one to twelve days and grows at one square inch per day. In less than a week, it can cover surface areas of several square feet.
Unfortunately in most cases, mold is widespread and already a big problem before a problem is even suspected by the homeowners.
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Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
Most people are unaware exposure to mold can cause serious illness. Even worse, most physicians are not familiar with mold illness or the symptoms of mold exposure, so it is rarely considered as a diagnosis. If mold is suspected, a physician may test the patient for mold allergies or suggest they have allergies to some inhalant but mold illness is much more. Symptoms of mold exposure are very similar to Lyme disease, and it is not uncommon for these conditions to occur simultaneously.
Someone can test positive for mold allergies and experience mold toxicity at the same time. However, in mold toxicity, systemic immune dysregulation, and subsequent inflammation are the underlying features that drive symptoms.
Time Taken To Recover From Sickness Due To Mold Exposure
The recovery time or period for sickness caused by mold exposure may take longer.
This is mainly because the immune system of the patient or affected person is weakened. With the right medications, recovery is likely to last about a week or more.
Of course, treatment is best administered by medical experts. No form of self-medication will perform better than one given by medical professionals.
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Trying to kill or remove toxic black mold yourself is not advisable. If not handled properly, you could end up disturbing the mold and releasing millions of spores and mycotoxins into the air. This could worsen you indoor air quality and cause damage to your home.
Since black mold is toxic, youre better off contacting a professional mold remediation company with experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
Mold removal specialists will be able to accurately determine the extent of the mold infestation and can suggest the right course of action for your home. If you suspect that your home has black moldthat is, if you can see and/or smell it .
A healthy, mold-free home ensures a healthy, happy family.
Mold Exposure: The Long And The Short Of It
Most fungal allergy sufferers can withstand small doses of mold. But prolonged exposure increases sensitivity thereby slowing the recovery time. This is why it is so imperative to make sure during your recovery that you are living and working in clean environmental air.
So assuming that your mold exposure is relatively short, the recovery can be fairly quick. People often see results in just days, by following our protocol. Now, if you have had a relatively short exposure to mycotoxins it will likely take several weeks to get relief from your symptoms. As we stated earlier, if the exposure to mold has been prolonged your recovery could take up to a year and involve environmental steps, sinus washes, as well as diet and nutritional supplements. The good news is that our system is scalable so if you are having severe symptoms due to longer term exposure you can add product to speed up the healing process.
If you would like more information on mold allergies or how to treat your environment check out the other great articles on this site. Also visit Micro Balance Health Products for mold cleaning solutions for nose, clothes, and home.
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