The Root Cause Of Mold Problems
Here are common sources of mold growth in an indoor space:
Moist air makes it easier for mold to multiply. A damp basement or a humid bathroom can create spores that spread to the rest of the house. Purchasing a dehumidifier and keeping levels around 30-50 percent may be helpful in preventing mold growth. A poorly ventilated bathroom can be a source of high humidity. Using a ventilation fan during showering and for at least 30 minutes may be helpful.
Poorly sealed windows, gaps in walls, improper flashing
Doors windows and walls will all need to be sealed properly to prevent water intrusion.
Common places include under bathroom and kitchen sinks. Wet carpeted areas may need to be removed to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
All leaks need to be fixed as soon as possible. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to begin to grow from a water source.
Keep a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule for air conditioning and heating. They can be a source of spreading spores.
During winter, the warm indoor air can hit the cold window and create condensation. This in turn can cause mold growth on wooden window sills.
And other sources
This list isnt exhaustive. Mold can commonly be seen throughout a home: in fireplaces, mattresses and bathtubs, just to name a few.
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.
Increased Risk For Mold Growth
Buildings with flat roofs or basements, or that are built on hillsides or in shaded areas are at increased risk for mold growth. HVAC systems are also a significant source of mold growth, especially when ducting is in a basement. In addition, water damage can come from a leaking roof, pipe, or appliance such as a dishwasher, refrigerator, or wash machine. Buildings that are poorly maintained are much more susceptible to mold growth. Government buildings and schools, as well as rental apartments and homes, tend to be poorly maintained.
There are also circumstances when water damage to a home or building is apparent. A patient shared a story of a wall caving in under the pressure of a paint roller because the sheetrock was so damp from water damage. Others have reported discovering mold growing on a wall after removing a bed or a picture . I have seen patients who were exposed to mold in their car and at their place of work.
Current and past mold exposure can cause illness. People can continue to have elevated mycotoxins from a past mold exposure long after leaving a moldy environment.
However, most of the time, my patients are unaware they have been exposed to mold until they get tested. Once diagnosed with mold illness, people may recall a house they lived in years prior to their health decline had a musty odor. How about the dorm the college student lived in where the air conditioning unit was on all the time? When did their health decline?
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How To Cure And Detox Your Body From Mold Poison Naturally Symptoms Testing And Treatment
Now more than ever indoor mold, even Toxic Mold exposure is easier to treat.
You can do mold remediation on your home and remove environmental toxins.
You can but do not need to call in a mold inspector as there are many online kits you can test for in your mold detox protocol
From my research It has been estimated that up to 25 percent of people have a genetic and immune system predisposition to mold mycotoxins says Dr. Jim Ken Ph.D.
What is also concerning is according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health , maybe as high a 50% of dwellings, commercial building, and offices in America have a history of water damage and could easily contain mold toxins
Black mold is a common occurrence in homes, growing and flourishing in damp, humid conditions. This would not be such a problem but for the fact that black mold can cause a host of symptoms and if left untreated can lead to toxic conditions within your body.
- Follow a Detox protocol
- Follow a Mold detox Diet
We will cover in this article How to Prevent Exposure to Mold, Symptoms of Mold Exposure and provide an in-depth look at mold poisoning, toxicity, detection, prevention, and how to detox your body from the mold
So what is black mold? Where does it appear? What are the health risks or black mold poisoning and how do you get rid of the symptoms and the causes?
How Can I Prevent A Relapse
Mold spores can be found just about anywhere, whether inside or outside. However, you can take preventative measures to ensure they dont breed into larger, toxic colonies. If there are water leaks in or around the house, have them repaired immediately. Dark, wet environments and plenty of organic material create the perfect home for mold growth. Keep your attic and basement or crawl space dry and free of moisture. Consider bringing in an environmental professional and having an ERMI mold test done every so often to evaluate your home for the presence of mold. There are DIY kits that can be purchased, but these results arent always accurate.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to mold, either because you have found mold in your home or you have had nagging symptoms similar to the ones discussed, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. As you make a plan to remove mold from your home and prevent future relapses, team to have the mold problem removed.
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Checklist: Preventing Mold Growth & Toxicity
Keep the humidity in buildings less than 50 percent. Dont set your AC up over 78 degrees when you are on vacation.
If you have a water spill or leak it needs to be dried in less than 24-48 hours. If drywall gets wet, remove it.
Inspect all barriers to water and/or re-caulk bathrooms, kitchens, windows, roof annually.
Minimize your exposure to other environmental toxins .
Take supplements that support your detox pathways to keep ahead of exposures.
Bigger picture: We need to update our building guidelines to reduce the risk for mold growth. The issue is that buildings are being built so tight for energy conservation that now they dont breathe. This decreases the likelihood that moisture will dry out and increases the risk for condensation. If you have an opportunity to build a house or remodel find experts to work with who are familiar with these tradeoffs.
How do we test for mold in our environment/home/office, and get rid of it?
We still need to develop more comprehensive testing technology for the presence of mold toxins in buildings . There are limitations with all environmental mold testing options. The mold plates available at hardware stores dont usually catch the most toxic mold spores. These molds dont send out very many spores, or they are heavy and dont make it very far, so they dont land on the plates.
Should we all be testing for mold regularly, or only if it seems to be an issue?
How is mold toxicity diagnosed?
Ways To Heal From Mold Exposure
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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.
Question 2 Of : What Should I Do If I Think Mold Is Making Me Sick
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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.
How Dampness Causes Problems
Indoor environments contain a complex mixture of live and dead microorganisms, fragments of dead organisms, toxins, allergens, volatile microbial organic compounds, and other chemicals. lists some of the many ways damp building materials can cause the production of toxins. lists the kinds of biological and chemical toxins that have been found. This is by no means complete rather, those included are worst or most prevalent. Finally, lists the scientifically accepted physiological effects. Its strange that only the respiratory effects are considered clinically important.
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What To Look For In A Cirs Expert
DrMR: Now, heres another question that may be harder to answer, but I would appreciate any candor that youd like to add. And Ill fill in a little bit of my perspective on this. How can a patient, who is looking to maybe work with a doctor in this realm and the realm of CIRS, tell if that doctor is objective and someone they should work with? Or if theyre someone for whom everybody who comes in gets treated for CIRS?
One of the things that I look for is the reasonability of a provider. You said something earlier about the Shoemaker protocol being a bit dogmatic. If Im being fully candid, I really didnt feel much appeal to his approach when Ive listened to some of his interviews. Im sure hes a perfectly nice person, but professionally, when things require a copious amount of testing, and a highly involved, highly rigid protocol, it just tells me thatIm not saying this is an exclusive ruleoftentimes the person making those recommendations is a bit overzealous, a bit dogmatic. Theyre making things harder than they have to be.
DrKM: Thats a really great question. My advice to patients out there, who are looking to advocate for themselves, is to continue to educate themselves as much as possible about these different clinical conditions, so that they go armed to a prospective providers office with as much knowledge and understanding as they can manage.
DrKM: Youre welcome. My pleasure.
Why Does Exposure To Mold Cause Coughing
Coughing is one of your bodys defense mechanisms. It helps you get stuff out that doesnt belong in your body. This could include dust, food, and especially mold spores. Even a small colony of mold in your home can produce thousands and thousands of mold spores, which are very small, and very light. The average mold spore is 10 to 30 microns in size. To put that into prospective, more than 250,000 mold spores can fit on the head of a pin. The average person can inhale as many as 750,000 mold spores per minute when breathing at a normal rate. Because of their small size, mold spores can easily be dislodged and become airborne. Once airborne they can easily be inhaled.
Inhaling mold spores can irritate the sensitive lining of the throat and nasal passages, causing a cough. Exposure to mold frequently causes other illnesses too, like bronchitis and pneumonia, which also cause coughing.
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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.
How To Treat Mold Sickness And Cirs
If you suspect you have mold illness and/or CIRS, please dont try to tackle treatment on your own. Find a mold-literate physician to help guide you through the Shoemaker protocol.
Did you know Flourish Clinic specializes in treating mold illness and CIRS?
I am going to introduce you to the first three steps of the Shoemaker protocol. Although they seem basic, they are the most important of the entire Shoemaker protocol. You will not see any improvements if you skip these steps or do them wrong.
If youre being treated for mold but arent seeing any improvements in your symptoms, talk with your practitioner about these three steps.
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Why Are Mold Issues Difficult To Diagnose
Conventional medicine recognizes that mold can cause allergies but does not recognize that mycotoxins emitted by some species of indoor mold can cause a problem, says McElroy. This means that doctors unfamiliar with mold and mold treatment may miss one of the main types of mold reactionsthe chemical and inflammatory reaction. This is for a few reasons:
- There is no gold standard in testing for mold
- There is no standardized treatment protocol or drug for mold toxicity
- There are very limited human-based studies looking at the connection between mycotoxins and human health
- The presentation of mold issues is very different among patients
- Not everyone exposed to mold mycotoxins will have a reaction to them
Its no wonder mold illness can be hard to diagnose. Fortunately, holistic medicine providers consider environmental factors that affect health when evaluating patients and may have additional advanced training in treating mold toxicity.
According to McElroy, one of the biggest challenges with mold is that mycotoxins can cause only some people to launch an inflammatory response. This unpredictable response can go on for years after a long-term exposure in a susceptible individual, she explains.