How Do Doctors Test For Mold Exposure
If you are aware of mold growth in your home and you feel sick let the doctor know that right away. But sometimes you cant see mold, and it is not clear whether its mold exposure thats made you sick or not.
Because mold allergy or mold exposure symptoms can resemble that of other allergies, the doctor will typically start by asking about your medical and family medical history. Additionally, doctors usually run tests for mold exposure which may include one or more of the following:
- Skin test for reactions to allergens, including mold
- IgG mold antibodies test to see the immune systems reaction to molds. A positive test means that an individual was or is currently exposed to mold
- Urine mycotoxins test
- A fungal culture of the nose sinuses
The type of testing youll receive depends on the doctor you visit, so be sure to ask questions ahead of time so you can feel confident in your diagnosis.
Navigating All Of The Confusing And Concerning Information About Black Mold Is Hard But Were Here To Tell You The Truth
Many of us have heard of the dangers of toxic black mold and may worry about black mold poisoning, but the truth is that black mold is a much more manageable problem than you might expect.
Few topics get us more upset than seeing misinformation publicized about toxic black mold, and mold in general, by unscrupulous companies and zealous media articles that seem more interested in sensationalism than fact-based reporting.
When you understand what youre dealing with, you can make informed choices to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Were here to cut through the mess and help you understand what having black mold in your home may mean, and give you some tips on how to fix the problem yourself and save big money in the process.
Toxic Black Mold: The Deadly Fungi
Toxic black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum is a group of micro-fungus that is often found is cellulose-rich and nitrogen-low areas such as the fiberboards, gypsum boards and wooden components of water-damaged buildings. It was discovered in 1837 by Czech mycologist August Carl Joseph Corda, on the wall of a house.
S. chartarum is a greenish-black fungal species in the division Deuteromycota, an inclusive group for fungi with unknown sexual reproduction stages. It has a worldwide distribution, although some species limited to the tropical and subtropical regions.
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24-hours after a growth food source becomes wet. This is why it is advisable to begin mitigation as soon as possible after a water breach occurs.
The first step in getting rid of black mold is identifying the source of the moisture and stopping it.
Once the space is no longer suffering ongoing water intrusion, technicians, like the certified HRS team, begin the process of ensuring that all moisture is discovered and dried fully.
All affected items and structures are dried, cleaned, and disinfected. Anything that can be saved, is repaired and returned to its pre-damaged condition during the restoration process.
Using technological tools such as thermal cameras, moisture meters, and high-powered air dryers, professionals are able to reduce the health effects and damage that a home suffers as a result of a water breach.
Final Word On Black Mold: Best Avoidedbut Not Deadly
As for black molds toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill.
Its not likely that youll die from black mold poisoning because its just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is its treatable, removable, and preventable.
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When To Hire A Professional Mold Exterminator
If signs of mold sickness are evident among occupants, it means that the black toxic mold colony in your home is already expansive.
It could be dangerous for untrained individuals to handle severe infestations. A professional mold exterminator has the knowledge and tools for dealing with molds safely.
How Does Mold Toxicity Affect The Human Body
There are numerous mold poisoning symptoms in humans that can lead to a variety of health issues from sore throats to headaches for acute mold exposures to mold bain and cancer for more chronic long term mold exposures. Failure to immediately address these black mold toxicity symptoms can be fatal, particularly for immunosuppressed individuals. These include patients with cancer, kidney disease, liver problems, diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, or any chronic infection. Long-term effects of black mold exposure can affect health in many ways, to the point that your personality and quality of life are changed, even for relatively healthy individuals.
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How Best To Remove Mold From Your Home
Here are some tips for how to remove mold from your home and prevent exposure:
- Check your home for places where mold might lurk, such as under sinks and in basement walls. Things to look for include visible mold growth, water leaks, and water seepage.
- Promptly fix any leaks you find, including leaky roofs and pipes.
- Dry damp surfaces, such as shower stalls, immediately after use.
- Control your homes humidity level with a dehumidifier.
- Keep kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms well ventilated.
- If flooding occurs, clean and dry the flooded area as quickly as possible.
Since mold can grow under carpets and behind walls, moldy homes dont always have obvious mold patches.
Mold smell is unmistakable but doesnt always accompany mold. If you suspect that your home is harboring mold but cant find the source, a home inspection will help.
Why Lyme Disease Is Difficult To Treat
The Sponaugle Wellness Institute, after successfully treating chronic Lyme disease patients from different parts of the world, found that Lyme disease is widely misunderstood. This is due to the fact that it mimics the symptoms of other diseases.
Signs of mold sickness are similar to those of Lyme Disease, making it difficult to come up with a precise diagnosis. The Sponaugle Wellness Institute uses the Brain Imaging database and correlation of 6,000 mold mycotoxin levels with changes seen in neurotransmitter patterns and infectious biomarkers for Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections to formulate effective treatment plans.
Furthermore, Lyme disease cannot be treated effectively if there are mold toxins in the bloodstream because these toxins suppress the immune system.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Are Not Safe From Lyme Disease!
Yolanda Hadid, star of how The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and mother of three fashion models, was diagnosed with Lyme disease. She received antibiotics and did not fully recover until mold toxins were eradicated from her body.
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Where Can Black Mold Be Found
Black mold can be found in many areas of your home or property after they suffer a water breach such as a flood or leak.
It is especially common to find black mold growing behind doors, in carpet, and in hidden spaces such as behind drywall.
As mold requires moisture, dark, and warmth to thrive, it can be hidden from plain view after a home suffers water damage.
This is why professionals, like the certified technicians at HRS, use technologies such as moisture meters and thermal cameras to find hidden moisture remaining in a home after it begins to dry after a water emergency.
How Did I Get Mold
Like any other living thing, mold needs food and water to thrive. Mold problems start when a mold spore thats floating in the air lands on a wet piece of organic material , takes root and starts to multiply. Mold spores are everywhere in the air, including in the cleanest of homes.
In fact, every breath you take likely has some mold spores in it at low levels! In the home, mold usually grows wherever there is dampness and moisture, like basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms, or areas that have experienced flooding.
With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it impossible to tell what type of mold you have without testing by a certified mold inspection professional.
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How Is Black Mold Exposure Diagnosed
If you havent been feeling well and believe youve been exposed to black mold or any other type of mold, schedule a visit with your doctor. Theyll try to determine your level of sensitivity to mold and its effects on your health.
Your doctor will first perform a physical exam. Theyll pay special attention to how your lungs sound when you breathe.
Theyll then take your medical history and perform an allergy test. This is done by scratching or pricking the skin with extracts of different types of mold. If theres swelling or a reaction to black mold, its likely you have an allergy to it.
Your doctor may also run a blood test that measures your immune systems response to certain types of mold. This is called a radioallergosorbent test.
Some things can increase your risk for a reaction to black mold.
risk factors for illness from black mold exposure
Treatment depends on your reaction and how long youve been exposed. If black mold has made you sick, see a doctor for continued care until your body heals from exposure to black mold spores.
The most common reason for a reaction to black mold is a black mold allergy.
If youre dealing with an allergy, you can take steps to limit your exposure and manage your symptoms. While theres no current cure for mold allergies, there are medications you can take to reduce your symptoms.
Talk to your doctor about taking the following medications:
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, can cause symptoms if you are sensitive to them or are exposed to them for a prolonged period of time. Symptoms of mold exposure include:
Symptoms of mold exposure may be worse in people who are most at risk, including:
- People with an allergy to mold
- People with a weakened immune system, who may develop infections
- Older people
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Mold Toxicity And Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Mold toxicity obstructs the proper transmission of electrical signals for proper hormone regulation. This could trigger the excessive production of androgen . High levels of androgen disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, which can cause delayed periods and difficulty getting pregnant.
The uterine lining starts to thicken during the reproductive stage. Regular menstruation sheds off the thickened layered, and then another cycle begins if the menstrual cycle is not normal, abnormal buildup inside the womb.
Abnormally high androgen levels hinder the development of the egg from the ovarian follicles, causing infertility.
PCOS is also associated with hirsutism , acne, and weight problems.
A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.
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What Causes Black Mold To Grow
Black mold grows as a result of the same conditions that allow all types of mold to flourish.
Some of the conditions that allow mold to thrive in a home include darkness, warmth, and moisture.
The fungus grows on building materials such as wood, paper, and insulation, as well as on carpets, fabric furniture, and even clothes.
Moisture is the key condition that mold requires for growth. Without it, the mold cannot thrive and wont be found in your home. This is why it is common to find mold in a property after a water emergency or leak.
Natural Ways To Deal With Black Mold Symptoms
If you already see or smell black mold, remove it immediately and thoroughly.
If youre experiencing black mold poisoning, there are thankfully some natural ways to help with your black mold symptoms, including:
1. Raw Garlic
Raw garlic has amazing antifungal abilities, which is just what your body needs when it has been exposed to black mold. Garlic helps to kill off fungi, molds and yeasts. Two to four grams of fresh garlic per day, or 600 milligrams to 900 milligrams of garlic tablets daily, is recommended for toxic mold exposure.
2. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal can be taken as a supplement for mold cleansing. Most people dont think about mold living in their bodies, but it can, and activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment. It traps toxins in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesnt reabsorb them. Activated charcoal is made from a variety of sources, but when used for natural healing, its important to select activated charcoal made from coconut shells or other natural sources.
Its so much more than a green pigment found in plants. Im talking about chlorophyll, which has shown an ability to protect DNA from damage caused by toxic molds like aflatoxin. Chlorophyll also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a highly recommended part of any healthy diet, but especially one that is looking to fight black mold symptoms.
4. Cut Down or Cut Out Sugar
5. Identify the Moisture Source
6. Fix the Source
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Symptoms Of Black Mold
What Does Black Mold Look Like?
Stachybotrys is commonly known as black mold because its black in color. We see black mold most often when there is flooding or water damage, such as attics, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.What does black mold look like? Check out these photos of black mold in basements that experienced flooding:
Is black mold dangerous?
The answer to the above question is It can be, but the vast majority of black mold situations we see are nothing to panic about.If you search black mold youll be sure to find plenty of websites and articles that tout the dangers of it. Weve seen quite the long, sensational list everything from seizures to cancer to death. But the truth is that it most situations are nothing to panic about because:It has never been scientifically proven that black mold is any more harmful than other types and colors of mold.Only a small percentage of people are especially sensitive to mold .Most horror stories come from people with severe, prolonged exposure to mold while most situations are small areas of mold growth that get cleaned up rather quickly.So why does black mold get so much hype? Well, a lot of it has to do with a general lack of information about a strange substance that looks especially ugly and threatening.
What are mycotoxins?Can black mold make you sick, cause cancer, or kill you?
How Much Mold Exposure Is Harmful
Molds are a type of fungi, which can flourish both indoors and outside. There are millions of mold species.
Mold is important for the planets ecosystem, because it helps break down waste products and organic matter, such as leaves, dead trees, and garbage.
Some people get sick from exposure to mold. Others have no symptoms and dont experience ill effects of any kind.
In this article, well talk about the potential dangers of mold exposure, identify whos most vulnerable, and provide solutions for keeping your environment mold-proof.
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Improper Way Of Removing Toxic Black Molds
Other dangers of black mold are aggravated when you try to remove the toxic black mold by your own. Untrained or hasty removal of toxic black molds may allow the mold to release large amounts of mycotoxins within the entirety of your home, eventually worsening your health symptoms. It may be wise to contact a professional mold removal service which can eliminate the toxic black mold at minimal disturbance while preventing exposure to spores and mycotoxins due to careful containment of these toxins. The dwellers of the affect house should also move to a temporary abode until the black mold removal has been accomplished to prevent further damage to the occupants health.
The mycotoxins of the mold accumulate at the spores of the black mold and in the entire mold colony, making it easily breathable which eventually cause toxic symptoms and health problems to the persons near the mold.
Mold Toxicity And Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by infected black-legged ticks. These ticks bite humans, accidentally inserting the bacteria into the bloodstream. Common symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue, and rashes. If the infection is left untreated, it can progress to severe neurological problems.
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How Can You Be Exposed To Black Mold
You can be exposed to black mold, or any species of mold, by breathing in microscopic mold particles in the air, or through consumption of food that contains it.
Stachybotrys is unique because its spores are sticky and easily adhere to a surface when the mold colony dries. They are not regularly found in the air unless the mold colony has been disturbed. Though its spores are not readily airborne, black mold can produce other harmful contaminants more easily found in the air .
A disruption to a black mold colony can be as simple as slamming a door, opening a window or knocking into contaminated furniture. More force is required for Stachybotrys spores to become airborne, as compared to other commonly found indoor molds .