Watery Or Irritated Eyes
When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.
This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.
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 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.
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How Can You Detox From Mold
In addition to removing yourself from the environment where the mold is or having the mold removed, you can help your body detox the spores that have been inhaled and trapped inside. You can take supplements to build up your immune system, reestablish your gut health, and reduce inflammation:
Rather than trying to handle mold exposure on your own, you should consider seeing a physician. The situation may be more serious than you think.
Mold Is A Fungus That Grows By Feeding On Organic Material
Mold is a fungus that grows by feeding on organic material. It can grow anywhere there is moisture, food, and warmth. When its growing in the right conditions, mold will spread quickly and ruin whatever it touches. Mold can also cause health problems for people who are allergic to molds or sensitive to their effects on the respiratory system. Mold removal entails removing moldy things and making sure they dont come into contact with any additional surfaces where they may develop. This usually necessitates the use of a wide range of domestic cleaners as well as commercial products designed for this purpose, such as Lysol Mold Prevention Solution or Clorox Anti-Bacterial Cleaner With Bleach Spray & Wipe Kit For Removing Mildew And Mold. In most cases, professional cleanup is needed to make sure mold remediation gets done correctly. This requires hiring a certified contractor such as Heroes Restoration& Remodeling who will send an inspector to test for mold before attempting any removal procedures. In some areas, this work must also be conducted by a licensed remediator whose credentials have been verified by the local government agency responsible for licensing for this type of work. Additionally, all employees hired to do any aspect of this process should go through a background check including checking their criminal record as well as making sure they have no previous violations for any of the state or federal rules and regulations governing mold cleanup.
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Here Are Some Of The Common Symptoms I See In My Patients:
GENERAL: insomnia, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain or loss, sweet cravings, light sensitivity, poor depth perception, memory loss, intolerant of fragrances and chemicals, nose bleeds
NEUROLOGIC: headaches of all types, including icepick headaches, brain fog, numbness, tingling, weakness, tremor, nerve pain, dizziness
MUSCULOSKELETAL: joint and muscle pain, muscle cramps, general weakness, tics, muscle twitches
PSYCHIATRIC: anxiety, depression, OCD, short fuse
SKIN: rashes and pruritus
IMMUNE SYSTEM: recurrent infections, autoimmunity, allergy, asthma
GASTROINTESTINAL: nausea, bloating, pain, vomiting, diarrhea
URINARY: urgency and incontinence
HORMONAL: continuous dehydration , night sweats, poor temperature regulation
What about mold makes it dangerous to our health?
I dont want to minimize the danger mold allergy has on the respiratory system: Allergies and asthma can significantly impact quality of life, and can be deadly.
Mold toxicity, specifically, can have big health consequences, because of the kind of toxins molds make as their biological byproducts. These toxins fall into two main categories: mycotoxins or microbial volatile organic compounds . The fungal MVOCs, produced as mixtures of alcohols, aldehydes, acids, ethers, esters, ketones, terpenes, thiols, and their derivatives, are responsible for the characteristic moldy odors sometimes associated with damp indoor spaces. Mold toxins range from mildly toxic to extremely potent .
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.
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Mold Control On A Budget
Welcome to this unique website! Youll read stories here that will help you understand different aspects of mold inspections, mold remediation, and post-remediation testing.
But more than stories, Mold Control on a Budget website is a unique website to help you determine the best plan of action for your situation. The health of a family member, the degree of mold contamination present, your budget, and the array of local inspectors and remediators may all enter into your decision.
A Story: Worker training matters.
My client just called, upset: I made it so clear to the remediator what I wanted, and I know he understood because he worked with us before. This time, he forgot to tell one worker what was expected. This clueless worker brought contaminated material down the open stairwell from the attic to the basement and also sat on my new couch!! Now my daughter and I are feeling sick in the house again.
We had cleaned so much and were doing so well here and in five minutes, our efforts were trashed by this worker. THEY JUST DONT GET IT! What can we do? Please help! CR, Edison, NJ
At Mold Control on a Budget, I will assist you in to an in-depth mold inspection and a safe and effective clean-up whether you or your contractor do it yourself or whether you hire a professional mold remediator.
For the record, I am an independent inspector/consultant and not affiliated with any remediation firm which would be a conflict of interest.
Heres what I can do for you:
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?
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Comparative Testing For Mycotoxins
For this reason, I recommend someone else in your home take a mold toxicity test if possible. That way, if they also test positive for the same mycotoxins youll have further evidence its your home that is the toxic environment.
If you can convince a coworker to take a mold toxicity test and they test negative, that will give you even more confidence that your home is the toxic environment. Of course, if they test positive, that muddies the waters a little. A test of a second coworker could be helpful.
B Types Of Mold In Lungs Diseases
Mildest health problem causedby mold growing in your lungs is breathing problem. When the mold enters yourrespiratory system, it can cause inflammation to the internal organ evenswollen lungs that can block airways. This condition is a high prevalence forpeople with immune system disorder and trigger asthma, chest pain, persistentcoughing, etc.
When mold in lungs treatment is not treated properly, it can cause asthma, a chronic lung illness that produces extra mucus in your airways. The swelling may block the air passage in your lungs, making it hard to breathe. Mold-related asthma is characterized by symptoms including chest pain and tightness, wheezing, and coughing.
The mold spores ofpneumocystis can easily enter your lung and cause pneumonia, a lunginflammation that comes along with other illness like the flu. When someonecatches pneumonia, it will be hard to breathe, trigger chest pain, headache,fever, chills, excessive sweating and loss of appetite. This disease mostly affectsolder people, but people with a compromised immune system or whore undergoingchemotherapy drugs are also vulnerable.
The most severe case of mold in your lungs infection is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Now, the illness wont build up in one night, but it is highly linked to and particularly persistent in people with asthma or other allergies. When the spores enter the respiratory system, it will block the airways, and more thick mucus is produced.
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What Are The Treatments For Mold Allergy
In some cases, there may be ways to reduce or remove mold exposure. This may not always be possible and you may need medications.
- Avoid contact with mold.
- Take medications for nasal or other allergic symptoms. Antihistamines and nasal steroids are available over the counter without a prescription. If you have allergic asthma, talk to your doctor about which medicines may be best for you. You might also be a candidate for allergy shots. Allergy shots may help reduce symptoms and medications. Learn more about allergy treatments.
Look for this mark to find products proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. Find CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products on our Certification program website.
Use A Humidity Monitor
Lastly, put up a humidity monitor in your home. This will let you know if the humidity levels are within a healthy range. By watching over the humidity level, you can prevent your home from being a breeding ground of black molds.
On average, the ideal humidity level for household settings is 30% to 50%. Once it goes beyond 55%, your home becomes an ideal place for mold growth. This is what you need to avoid.
A humidity monitor will keep an eye on the moisture level. This way, you can act fast to fix leaks and remove other sources of dampness.
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Strengthen Your Immune System With An Optimal Diet
If you havent been optimizing your diet, now is the time to start. Its especially crucial for those with mycotoxin poisoning to avoid more toxic substances that will compromise your detox pathways. That way, your body can spend all its energy eliminating the mycotoxins rather than working overtime to keep up with clearing out toxic foods you introduce at every meal. Steer clear of inflammatory foods such as grains and legumes, nightshades, gluten, and dairy.
Even after youve tackled your mycotoxin poisoning, I recommend eliminating toxic foods such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners from your diet entirely. These foods are toxic for all bodies and contribute to leaky gut and autoimmunity.
On the flip side, there are plenty of foods that help you detox naturally that you can easily add to your daily diet. Optimizing your diet to include these foods can help boost your detox efforts and quickly reverse the symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning.
What Causes Mold Sickness
The toxins in your system from breathing in mold spores add to the total amount of toxicity in your body. We call this the Total Body Burden. When your burden is high, you start experiencing symptoms many which are seemingly unrelated.
For most people, toxins get flushed out from the body when eliminating waste.
For some, the toxic load is so high that its too much for the body to eliminate them all efficiently. For others, they may have poor detoxification processes or they may even recycle or reabsorb these mycotoxins back, as the body tries to eliminate them. Genetics plays a huge role in this difference from person to person
In short, multiple symptoms happen because, as we say in environmental medicine genetics points the gun, and then the environment pulls the trigger.
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What Is Mold Toxicity
Youre likely familiar with mold allergies. But you may wonder how they differ from mold toxicity, also called chronic mold illness. In short, poisons produced by mold can cause illness that extends beyond common mold allergies.
Mold allergy symptoms tend to be limited to your respiratory tract, eyes, and skin such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. Allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to mold spores. Those are dormant forms of the fungi. Theyre lightweight and easily float through the air.
In contrast, mold illness results from mold growing indoors and producing toxins. These can trigger varied and widespread symptoms in your body.
The buildings that harbor mold toxins are water-damaged buildings. This damage can result from any water intrusion such as from flooding, melting snow, or leaky pipes. Everyday activities like showering without good ventilation are risks, too. Warm, humid environments also increase mold growth risk.
Toxic mold growth could happen in any type of building. The most problematic ones are those where you spend a lot of time. That includes homes, workplaces, and schools.
Studies suggest that up to 50% of buildings in North America and Europe may have water damage.So, its better to suspect a building has a mold growth problem rather than assume it doesnt.
How Can I Check For Mold
Its best to hire a professional to help you identify and remove mold, especially if youre allergic or vulnerable to it.
You should also consider hiring help if the mold covers more than 10 square feet or if its hidden behind wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or other areas.
Here are some steps for identifying and removing mold.
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How Mycotoxins Affect Your Body
Like mold spores themselves, mycotoxins are often airborne and enter your body through your respiratory tract. In the short term, this can cause a number of respiratory symptoms including asthma, allergies, sinus infections, and cold- and flu-like symptoms.
If you have a leaky gut, mycotoxins may also pass through your intestinal wall and travel throughout your bloodstream to your skin, brain, and other organs. This can lead to mycotoxins symptoms in any part of your body such as eczema, psoriasis, anxiety, brain fog, and autoimmunity.
One way mycotoxins wreak havoc on your health is by adversely affecting your cells mitochondria. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells, making them essential to nearly every bodily function. They provide your cells with energy. Thats why you can experience chronic fatigue or weakness when dealing with mycotoxin poisoning.
When mitochondria are not functioning optimally, they release free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can cause cell damage. This cell damage, in turn, causes inflammation. The more inflammation you have, the higher up on the autoimmune spectrum you are. This is why its so challenging for autoimmune patients to reverse their symptoms while dealing with mycotoxin poisoning.