A Guide To Common Mold Exposure Symptoms: How Worried Should You Be
Mold can grow anywhere in the home and many people believe that it can cause a range of problems from cancer to lung disease. Although theres no evidence that mold can cause these health threats, this doesnt mean that its harmless. Theres a range of mold exposure symptoms that you may experience when you breathe in mold spores. Thats why its important that you try to get rid of any mold that you find growing in your house.
If youre concerned about this little pest, then heres how to know if its affecting your health and what to do about it.
How To Remove Mold Outside The House
External mold is just as serious as mold inside the home. Youll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or on your deck, as soon as possible. External mold can do significant damage to exterior surfaces over time, eating away at wood, stucco and other materials. In addition, exterior mold can easily work its way into the house if left unchecked.
- Don gloves and eye protection and liberally spray a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water on the surface.
- Scrub tough stains with a stiff bristle brush dipped in the solution.
- Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse with a garden hose.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mold Inhalation
Walking into a room where the mold spore count is high could have a significant effect on your response system. For those who have an allergic reaction to mold spores, the response is more immediate. These individuals may experience watery or itchy eyes, a runny nose, redness around the eyes, shortness of breath, or wheezing. Persistent exposure can create a nagging cough, asthma, or frequent sinusitis. As these symptoms sound much like the common cold or seasonal allergies, it can often be hard to narrow down the culprit as mold exposure.
As symptoms and severity are different for every person, it is difficult to say how long the symptoms will persist. Generally, the length of exposure, the type of mold that an individual has been exposed to, and the bodys natural health and detox process impact how long a person may struggle with a mold illness. Natural detoxing can see symptoms subside in a few days, particularly if the source of mold is eliminated or the individual leaves the environment where the mold is present.
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Mold Exposure And Lung Support
Working closely with the heart and blood, the main role of the respiratory system is to uptake oxygen from the air we breathe and dispose of waste gases, primarily carbon dioxide. Supporting the lungs is essential for those suffering from short- or long-term exposure to mold.
Many environmental factors contribute to the development of pulmonary diseases. Environmental pulmonary diseases result from the inhalation of dust, allergens, chemicals, gases, and environmental pollutants. The lungs are an important interface between the body and the environment consequently, the lungs are a common site for environmentally-induced diseases.
In the lungs, inflammation is usually caused by pathogens or by exposure to toxins, pollutants, irritants, and allergens. During inflammation, numerous types of inflammatory cells are activated. Each one releases cytokines and mediators to modify the activities of other inflammatory cells. Orchestration of these cells and molecules leads to a progression of inflammation. While this response is usually protective and beneficial, inflammation also has the potential to injure tissue, including the airways, within the lungs.
Natural supplements can be beneficial when dealing with respiratory issues caused by short- or long-term exposure to mold.
Question 4 Of : How Do You Get Rid Of Mold In Your Lungs
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Mold And Adrenal Fatigue
Any mold exposure symptoms that you experience may cause or worsen adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a common complaint because of chronic stress. Many people in the world are constantly stressed these days because of our lifestyles, environmental problems, relationships, and work. The human body just isnt designed to cope with constant stress, and this can result in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome .
When stress is temporary, the NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response activates during stressful periods. It helps resolve the stress and gives you the energy and the focus to cope with the cause of the stress. However, when stress becomes chronic, this system is overused and becomes unbalanced.
Cortisol is an essential part of the NEM stress response. Its released by the adrenal glands and affects every circuit in your body, preparing you to cope with stress. But if your stress isnt alleviated, the body continues to demand cortisol on an ongoing basis. The adrenals become fatigued from the high workload and can start to fail. This can lead to a whole range of problems and health concerns as the bodys circuits become unbalanced and malfunction.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Mold Allergy
The symptoms of mold allergy are very similar to the symptoms of other allergies, such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion and dry, scaling skin.
- Outdoor molds may cause allergy symptoms in summer and fall
- Indoor molds may cause allergy symptoms year-round
Mold spores get into your nose and cause hay fever symptoms. They also can reach the lungs and trigger asthma. A chemical released by allergy cells in the nose and or lungs causes the symptoms. Sometimes the reaction happens right away. Sometimes a mold allergy can cause delayed symptoms, leading to nasal congestion or worsening asthma over time. Symptoms often get worse in a damp or moldy room like a basement. This may mean you have a mold allergy.
Rarely, some patients can have a more serious illness called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. In this condition, there is both an allergic and an inflammatory response to the mold. Symptoms may include severe wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, much like asthma.
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The Impact Of Mold: 5 Steps To Regaining Health
The impact of mold on health is far reaching, and the occurrence of mold might be higher than you might think. Symptoms of mold exposure go beyond an allergic response and can include a vast range from achy joints to dysregulated hormones, cognitive issues or sapping fatigue.
To complicate matters, you could be exposed to it, and simply not know. Mold could be hidden behind walls or be disguised as a fine powder instead of the striking black spots you might expect.
Curious if mold is playing a role in your mysterious symptoms? Have a hunch you need to address it to achieve optimal wellness but overwhelmed with where to start? Here are 5 steps worth investigating if youre concerned about how a moldy environment might be affecting your health and wellbeing.
Causes Of Basement Mold Growth
A basement is usually dark, damp, and humid, making it ideal for mold growth. Typically, mold starts to grow because of water problems like leaky pipes and flooding. Condensation due to extremely low and high temperatures is also a common cause of mold.
There is no better way to deal with mold than to identify its cause and stop it from spreading. However, it is still best if you can consider following our tips to prevent it.
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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.
What To Do If Your Home Is Mold
First, you need to identify the source of water intrusion and fix it. A leaky roof or pipe will only create more issues after mold remediation.
Fixing an extensive mold problem is best left to professionals. When you disturb-mold infested materials, the spores and toxins spread like dandelion seeds in the wind. Attempting to tackle it yourself could make a bad problem much worse.
When looking for a professional mold remediator, some of the questions you should ask are:
- Are you certified in mold remediation? Examples of major certifying groups are the American Council for Accredited Certification and the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification .
- How do you document your work? This should include photos of damaged areas. The company should also provide an itemized cost estimate before starting.
- How do you contain mold-contaminated areas? This generally includes using thick plastic sheeting to seal off the moldy area. Remediators also use indoor air scrubbers with high-efficiency particulate air filters. These should be vented to the outdoors.
- How do you clean your equipment? Besides air scrubbers, remediators also use HEPA vacuums. Ask what measures they take to avoid contaminating your house with their equipment. Do they change HEPA filters between jobs and sanitize their equipment?
- How do you dispose of moldy material? The moldy debris should be double-bagged before removing it from the building.
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Health Effects Of Black Mold
Black mold refers to several species of mold, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, that have a dark green or black appearance. The most common black mold symptoms and health effects are associated with a respiratory response and include:
- Chronic coughing and sneezing
- Irritation to the eyes and mucus membranes of the nose and throat
- Persistent headaches
Furthermore, mold exposure has been shown to pose a risk to neurological health. One study investigated the effects of ME on human cognition by analyzing neuropsychological data from patients who were exposed to mold in their homes or workplaces. Compared to normative data, ME patients demonstrated impaired cognitive measures, with the most consistent deficits in visuospatial learning, visuospatial memory, verbal learning, and psychomotor speed.
Toxic Mold Exposure: 9 Misconceptions Corrected By An Expert
Toxic mold exposure could be the cause of your chronic condition or mysterious symptoms. In fact, illness from toxic mold and other environmental inflammagens is one of the most common conditions I see in my clinic.
As a Shoemaker certified physician, Ive guided countless patients to recovery through proper diagnosis, treatment, and support. Ive witnessed the joyful restoration of optimum health, wellbeing, energy, vitality, and clarity as chronic symptoms are reversed.
Ive also seen what happens when toxic mold exposure is not recognized. My best friend suffered for nearly two years before finding a physician who could tell her what was wrong and help her heal. Her difficult journey led me to the Shoemaker Protocol and my certification as a mold and biotoxin expert. Now Im here to help others through the complexity of this illness so they can heal and reclaim their joy in living.
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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.
Detox Mold From Your Body
Mold is a fungus that grows in damp environments. It can be found indoors and outdoors. When certain types of mold begin to grow inside your home, you may develop mold related illness. Most people have heard of black mold however, there are many other types of toxic molds found indoors, including Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Wallemia. Molds produce two different types of toxins mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds. Both of these types of mold toxins can be inhaled or swallowed. When this occurs, mold can begin to form colonies inside the body. Mold induced toxicity is very misunderstood. Mold produces poisons that can cause long-term problems. CIRS or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome is caused by exposure to mold and other biotoxin producers. You are at increased risk if you are suffering with allergies, asthma, respiratory issues or with a weakened immune system. It is essential to detox mold from the body to start feeling better.
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Detoxify To Remove Mold Toxins
Mold doctors can help you detoxify by using a combination of binders to help remove toxins from your body. Some of the common binders used to help remove mold are:
- Activated Charcoal Activated charcoal must be carefully administered because it will bind to everything, including toxins, vitamins, minerals, and other medications. If activated charcoal is used, your integrative physician will need to carefully monitor your nutrition, and supplementation may be required. Because of the mechanisms of activated charcoal, it is best used for an acute situation.
- Bentonite Clay Bentonite clay comes from volcano ash and has been used around the world for many years to help detoxify the body. Bentonite clay absorbs heavy metals, toxins, and other harmful materials. It also provides the body with a variety of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and sodium. Bentonite clay provides the body with some antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Chlorella Chlorella is an alga that does a great job of detoxifying the body. Chlorella binds to toxins and heavy metals in the digestive tract and helps transport it out of the body. Unlike other types of binders , chlorella does not remove minerals and nutrients from the body. In fact, chlorella can help boost immunity naturally. Because there is no risk of nutritional deficiencies with long term use, it is a popular binder used by integrative practitioners.
Molds And Other Fungi
The spores of fungi are ubiquitous and, like pollen, are very light and travel in the air. Capable of surviving in dry, adverse conditions, fungal spores can live a long time. However, they especially thrive in a damp, warm environment, indoors or out.
Many people are allergic to mold, and in some people it may trigger asthma. Doctors have long recognized the connection between respiratory diseases caused by the inhalation of mold spores and an allergic response.
Outdoor molds include Alternaria, whose spore count peaks in late summer or early fall, and Cladosporium, whose spore count peaks during the summer months. People who are allergic to mold should minimize exposure to airborne molds by avoiding wooded areas or activities like raking damp leaves. Also avoid outdoor activities on windy and rainy days, since mold spore counts increase in warm, humid weather and immediately after summer rainstorms.
Indoor molds are also common, with more than 1,000 different molds found in U.S. homes. Indoor exposure to mold can be linked to not only to rhinitis symptoms, but also coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Once youve identified mold in your house, follow these six steps to remove black mold:
1. Wear protective gearBefore beginning the removal process, take necessary safety precautions to prevent allergic reactions and possible health hazards. Always wear a face mask or respirator when removing black mold to avoid breathing in mold spores. Protect your skin by wearing a long shirt, pants, and rubber gloves.
2. Seal off the affected areaCover doorways and vents to prevent mold spores from traveling to other areas of your house. You can tape a plastic sheet over these openings to firmly seal them off.
3. Remove moisture sourceThrow away any materials, including towels, clothing, and furniture, that have been affected by mold. Repair leaky sources, such as a sink or window, that could be causing mold buildup. If an area retains any moisture, there is the possibility for mold growth to recur, so be sure to leave spots as dry as possible.
4. Wash away the moldUse soapy water and a sponge to remove black mold from any affected surfaces.
5. Use a disinfectant productAfter washing away the mold, use a disinfectant product to remove any remaining mold spores. We recommend chemical solutions like RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain & Mildew Remover or MoldSTAT Plus to remove mold fast. When using these products, be sure to keep them away from children and pets.
Mold Causes Physical Damage To Your Building
The biggest problem with mold is that it gets in and damages material that makes up your building.
Most common items?
- Dizziness and memory loss
- Low-grade fevers
And thats just a few examples. Those with asthma or other breathing conditions seem to fare worse.
Can you see why taking steps to prevent mold is about more than just your physical building?
Protecting yourself and those who spend time on your property is crucial.
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