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What Are The Signs Of Mold Poisoning

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Mold Toxicity Symptoms| The Symptoms of Mold Exposure

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What Is Mold Toxicity

You may have heard of mold allergies. But mold toxicity, also called chronic mold illness, can cause problems that extend beyond common mold allergies.

Mold allergy symptoms tend to be limited to your eyes, respiratory tract, and skin . Allergic reactions happen when your immune system overreacts to mold spores dormant forms of the fungi. Theyre lightweight and easily float through the air, under the radar.

In contrast, mold illness results from mold growing indoors that produces toxins that trigger varied and widespread symptoms throughout your body.

Water-damaged buildings harbor mold toxins. This damage can result from any water intrusion, such as flooding, leaky pipes, or melting snow. Everyday activities like showering without good ventilation are a danger as well. Warm, humid environments also increase mold growth risk.

Several molds have many different species or subtypes, and some of them are more problematic than others.

Examples of the different insidious mold types include:

  • Aspergillus
  • Stachybotrys
  • Wallemia
  • Toxic mold growth could happen in any type of building. The most problematic ones are those where you spend a lot of time such as homes, schools, and workplaces. Studies suggest that up to 50% of buildings in North America and Europe may have water damage. Just to be on the safe side, its better to suspect a building has a mold growth problem rather than to assume it doesnt.

    What Does Black Mold Exposure Treatment Look Like

    Just like the diagnosis, the treatment of mold exposure differs from doctor to doctor. One thing most doctors will advise you to do is to test for and, if needed, remove any unhealthy mold conditions from your home. Even if the treatment will help in the short-term, it wont be effective over the long-term if your indoor environment isnt improved.

    To treat the symptoms, doctors may suggest:

    • Over-the-counter medication. Medicine that would decrease the airway inflammation and suppress the allergic reactions.
    • Nasal sprays to deal with a runny or stuffy nose or rinses to clear your nasal passages from inhaled mold spores.
    • Regular allergy medicine

    A persons immune system must be working properly to fight mold symptoms, so changes in a lifestyle or diet might be necessary. In more severe allergy cases, doctors prescribe immunotherapy to relieve symptoms

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    Is There A Test To Determine If I Have Been Exposed To Mold

    Some physicians have recommended testing for mold-specific antibodies. Thepresence of antibodies only indicates that you have been exposed to a substanceat some time. It does not tell you when you were exposed, where the exposuretook place, or how much of the mold you were exposed to. Having a positive testfor mold-specific antibodies alone is generally considered insufficient toprove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildingsare caused by exposure to mold.

    Your Wallpaper Is Peeling

    What is Black Mold? How to get Rid of or Kill Black Mold?

    Moist, peeling wallpaper is an ideal location for mold to thrive. Like all types of mold, black mold spreads when it is able to attach to a host like paper or wallboard, and is able to remain moist.

    A plus for the mold colony is that the peeling paper provides ample cover for it to avoid the drying effects of sunlight.

    Read Also: Where Does Black Mold Come From

    Q: Can Mold On Toothbrush Make You Sick

    A: Yes, mold on toothbrushes can cause health issues such as asthma, sinusitis, and allergies. The best way to prevent mold from growing on your toothbrush is to keep it clean and dry. If you do not want to throw away your toothbrush, then you should soak it in hot water for 10 minutes. After soaking, rinse it thoroughly with soap and water.

    What Does Mold Poisoning Feel Like Symptoms & Treatments

    Mold is a fungi that we havent thought worth exploring too many times unless we actually experience what it can do to our health. Weve underestimated what it can do and how it will do it. In order to stop that from happening, this article is a wakeup call for everyone who has mold in their house and wants it gone. Its not always easy to tell if mold exposure is getting you unwell.

    Mold poisoning has diverse effects on different peoples bodies. Some people suffer from migraines and headaches on a regular basis, as well as shortness of breath, brain fog, exhaustion, and depression. Because symptoms range from person to person, mold exposure may not be immediately linked to them. Many people who are sickened by mold have a difficult time getting a good diagnosis and inquiry.

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    Removing Mold From Your Home

    Resolve any issues causing mold growth, and throw away anything affected by mold or contributing to mold growth that you cant clean.

    • Wear protective gear. As youre dealing with the moldy area, cover yourself with a mask, gloves, goggles, and rubber boots. If youre cleaning a lot of mold, you can also wear disposable clothing or a mold-resistant suit.
    • Ventilate the room. Open all doors and windows to increase ventilation.
    • Sort and discard. Remove any objects from the area that havent been touched by mold growth. Throw away any items that cant be cleaned.
    • Replace moldy housing materials. Cut away and replace mold-damaged drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet.
    • Scrub and disinfect. Cover and scrub nonporous surfaces affected by mold with bleach, a fungicide, or detergent and water, then dry them. Dont mix cleaning products together.
    • Address any water issues. Make sure any water problems are fixed and the area is dry before you renovate the room.

    You cant prevent all mold, but you can reduce the amount in your home. Here are some dos and donts for managing mold and keeping it from growing indoors.

    How Common Is Mold Allergy

    10 Warning Signs of Mold Toxicity in Your Home – Black Mold Symptoms

    According to some statistics, about 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with environmental allergies. About two-thirds of people with asthma also have environmental allergies. Many days of work are lost and more than 50% of people who have such allergies consider them to play a part in their quality of life.

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    How Do Molds Affect People

    Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.

    In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.

    In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.

    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.

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    Who Is At Risk For Mold Toxicity

    While anyone can become ill from exposure to mold and its mycotoxins, some are more susceptible than others.

    People who already have allergies or asthma can be more severely affected by mold toxicity than those who do not have allergies.

    Also, people who are already ill, have immune suppression, or who have respiratory illnesses are more likely to have noticeable and intense symptoms resulting from mold exposure.

    Symptoms of mold toxicity are relatively persistent and should not be ignored.

    How To Know If You Have Black Mold In Your House

    10 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mold Toxicity that You Must Know

    Mold isnt always visible. If you can see mold, its only a sign of the real potential health risk the unhealthy levels of harmful types mold in the air of your home or workplace.

    Airborne mold is all around us in both the outdoors and indoors. The types and amount of mold determines the potential health risk. Most of us are accustomed to the varieties and amounts of mold present in our outdoor environments.

    Healthy indoor environments will have mold conditions similar to or better than those in the surrounding outdoors. Over time, because of moisture , many indoor spaces develop unhealthy types and/or unhealthy levels of airborne mold that can be harmful to you or your pets.

    These signs could mean you have unhealthy mold conditions in your house:

    • Allergic symptoms
    • A damp or musty odor in one or more places
    • Frequent headaches
    • The air in the home feels different
    • Your house has been flooded or currently has leaks
    • You previously tried removing mold yourself

    Take note of how you feel in and out of the house. If the symptoms disappear or decrease when youre out and about, then you might have a mold problem, yes, even if you cant see mold.

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    How Do You Treat Mold Toxicity Symptoms

    Right now, youll see a lot of experts recommending handfuls of supplements and strict diets but the reality is, we just dont know for sure if these are the right treatment approach, says McElroy. Instead, she recommends the steps below. You might be surprised to see that killing the mold is only one out of five. Thats no coincidence! As McElroy explains, I often dont focus on killing mold since most symptoms are due to the immune response, not the mold itself. Instead, she starts with simple lifestyle steps and utilizes non-pill practices to achieve a state of better immune health , including:

    What Are Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds

    Another source of irritation from mold exposure comes from substances knownas microbial volatile organic compounds . These compounds are producedthrough fungal metabolism and are released directly into the air, often givingoff strong or unpleasant odors. Exposure to mVOCs from molds can irritate theeyes and respiratory system and has been linked to symptoms such as headaches,dizziness, fatigue, nasal irritation and nausea. The effects of mVOCs are notcompletely understood and research is still in the early stages.

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    Prevent Mold From Growing Back

    • Use dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as the basement
    • Fix leaks in the roof, walls, windows, or pipes
    • Ventilate bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry areas
    • Vent clothes dryer to the outside
    • Use mold-resistant paint
    • Dry areas that are wet or have been flooded within 24 to 48 hours, throw out anything that cannot be completely dried

    Summary Of Health Problems

    Symptoms of Mold Exposure and Mold Illness from Toxic Black Mold Exposure

    Many types of indoor mold, not just black mold, may cause health problems in some individuals.

    Long-term exposure to high levels of mold in the home, however,

    People who are most at risk of the symptoms of mold exposure are:

    • infants and children
    • people with allergies or asthma
    • people with weakened immune systems

    The main health risks related to mold exposure are allergies and irritation, which typically cause respiratory symptoms.

    People with weakened immune systems may also have a risk of fungal infection.

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    Common Signs Of Toxic Mold Poisoning

    Symptoms and signs of mycotoxins poisoning are very different depending on many factors. How this poisoning presents itself depends on:

    • Type of mycotoxin
    • Genetic structure
    • And others

    This means there can be a major difference in symptoms between individuals in the population exposed to it. To some extent it is clear that mycotoxicosis can increase susceptibility to infections, worsen the effect of other toxins present and advance other health conditions.

    Although acute poisoning is more obvious and sometimes has grave effects, chronic exposure is much more present in the population in general. Finally, mycotoxin exposure can cause changes in immune, nervous system, behavior, mood and even development problems like stunting.

    When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Mold Allergy

    If you have symptoms you think are related to mold, call your provider. They can treat your symptoms and may want to do allergy testing.

    If you do have asthma or other breathing problems, and you suspect you have an allergy to mold, contact your provider. If you have any type of severe breathing problem, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

    If your mold allergy is confirmed, make sure that you follow the instructions of your provider. You may need to carry an epinephrine injector if you have severe reactions to mold. This type of medicine treats life-threatening allergic reactions.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Allergies are common conditions. If you have them, it means you react differently to certain substances than other people do. The best thing to do is avoid what youre allergic to. Among people with allergies, an allergy to mold or other environmental substances happens to 1 in 5 people. Many allergic reactions to mold are similar to the types of reactions you have to other allergens like pet dander or dust. You may have itchy eyes or skin, and your nose might run. Some reactions to mold are more dangerous, like when it acts as an asthma trigger. Keep in contact with your healthcare provider to know the best ways to treat your mold allergy.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/10/2022.

    References

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    Testing For Invisible Hidden Mould

    Not all mould is visible, as contamination may be in cavities or the ceiling.

    If you suspect mould contamination but cannot find the source of the problem, or if you have already taken measures to prevent mould from growing and you are still having problems, you could employ an occupational hygienist or environmental health and safety professional. For a fee, these professionals can provide specialist mould testing and consultancy services.

    Places where you may find hidden mould or damp include:

    • Opposite side of dry walls, wallpaper or panelling. Inside walls it often found around pipes that are leaking or condensing and drains.
    • Roof materials above ceiling tiles cement roof tiles may lose their outer glaze and absorb moisture into roof spaces. Moisture in roof spaces accumulate, particularly if moist air is vented into the roof space but not allowed to escape
    • Underside of carpets and pads, or curtains
    • Condensate drain pans inside air handling units
    • Porous thermal or acoustic liners inside ductwork

    You may need professional help to find and remove hidden mould.

    Mould Effect On Health Mould Toxicity Symptoms

    Symptoms of Mold Exposure

    Sometimes we dont get the opportunity to fix mould issues before they affect our health. But the earlier you discover that mould is the cause of your health issues, the sooner you can recover.

    It is important to note that some people will not experience any health problems from coming in contact with mould, while others will. It just depends on ones immune system, mould sensitivity, and duration of exposure.

    A test you can do yourself, is to leave the home for a period of time and stay elsewhere, monitoring for any changes in your health.

    Most physicians are not mould literate as medical school doesnt teach doctors to recognise the symptoms of mould toxicity and the multi-system dysfunctions that occur as a result.

    Symptoms of mould illness are varied and can be different from person to person. Some of the common presentations include:

    • Running or blocked nose, irritation of the eyes and skin and sometimes wheezing.
    • Asthma
    • Neurological changes including loss of memory and inability to focus
    • Depression, rage and quick mood changes
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Autoimmunity .
    • Mould infection, usually in the lungs.

    The symptoms are so varied that most people with mould toxicity end up with multiple diagnoses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory bowel disorder and depression and are subsequently medicated for each condition, without the underlying cause ever having been discovered.

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    Start A Neural Retraining Program

    Certain areas of the body are more vulnerable to mycotoxins, and the brain is one of them. Certain areas of the brain can end up in a chronic fight or flight response and according to McElroy, No pill can fully stop this response, so we have to retrain certain neural pathways to put the response into a heal and rest state. She often recommends Annie Hoppers Dynamic Neural Retraining System. This is essential for full recovery, says McElroy.

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