Signs of Mold Illness, Mold may be growing in your house and taking a toll on your health, but you may neither see it nor smell it. This article covers the most important things you need to know about mold illness.
Besides conventional medicine not believing that mold exposure is unhealthy, it can also be pretty tricky to diagnose someone with mold toxicity. In addition, it can be confused with many other health complications since it has no specific symptoms.
SYMPTOMS OF MOLD ILLNESS
- Memory problems and brain fog.
- Fatigue, weakness, and post-exercise malaise.
- Muscle cramping and pains, persistent nerve pain, joint pain without inflammatory arthritis, and “ice pick” pain.
- Numbness and tingling
- Light sensitivity, red eyes, and blurred vision
- Sinus problems, shortness of breath, cough, air hunger; asthma-like symptoms
- Metallic taste
- Persistent nerve pain
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, appetite changes
- Night sweats or other issues with temperature regulation
- Weight loss resistance
- Static “shocks”
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
Do you see how easy it is to identify mold poisoning or confuse it with other conditions? However, 30 years of proper scientific evidence shows serious health complications that mold can cause.
THE LOW-DOWN ON MOLD
Molds refer to multiple kinds of fungi, which grow in filaments and procreate by forming minute pores that sprout and fly away. They usually grow in damp, warm, and humid environments, indoors and outdoors.
Mold can grow in the bathroom, showerhead, or a corner near the shower, mainly if the room is not adequately ventilated. It can attach to your shoes, carpets, clothes, furniture, books, and even pets. In addition, it can circulate in the air system significantly if you rarely change your filters.
Generally, water-damaged buildings form a complex mixture of contaminants present in the dust and air, leading to a toxic chemical stew. Likewise, mold produces mycotoxins, poisonous chemicals found on spores, and mold fragments released into the air.
Hence, water-damaged buildings are majorly responsible for mold illnesses. Given that many of us spend considerable time indoors, both at work and home, there is a significant chance you have been exposed to water damage and mold.
WHY IS MOLD A PROBLEM?
Mold toxicity is categorized under biotoxin illness, also called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).
According to Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, author of Surviving Mold: Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings, CIRS is:
“an acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and mycobacterium as well as inflammations . . . . ”
He further says:
“24 percent of people cannot make adequate antibody responses, and they’re the ones that comprise over 95 percent of people who have an illness from water-damaged buildings.”
WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE SUSCEPTIBLE
According to Dr. Shoemaker, roughly 24% of the population is genetically prone to mold toxicity. This is because they have a specific immune response gene (HLA-DR). So if you’re among those with mold susceptibility genes, you have a very high chance of having a severe reaction to mold when exposed to a significant amount.
95% of mold complications occur in this subgroup. Furthermore, there is the 2% who are particularly vulnerable with a “sicker quicker” variation of the genes. You have a lower chance if you’re not susceptible, but the options can never be zero.
Individuals who genetically mold susceptible cannot recognize toxins, like mold, and hence the toxins get recirculated in the body. Consequently, the toxins (mold) trigger a persistent inflammatory response. Many of these individuals are not aware that they have a genetic susceptibility.
Mold illness induced by water-damaged buildings is not an allergy but a state of chronic inflammation occasioned by the immune system becoming out of whack. This condition must be treated, as it doesn’t heal independently and can last for years.
According to experts, you should meet the following criteria to make a diagnosis of CIRS:
- History, signs, and symptoms need to be consistent with biotoxin exposure. History should encompass exposure to toxin-producing molds for mold toxicity, as documented by the EPA-approved ERMI test.
- A genetic predisposition to biotoxin-related ailment based on the identification of an HLA susceptible haplotype.
- Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) testing documented abnormalities.
- Bio-markers are consistent with the neuro-immune, vascular, and endocrine abnormalities, which characterize CIRS.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you think you have a mold problem, here’s what you should:
Step 1: Start with learning about mold illness. Dr. Shoemaker’s website and book, Surviving Mold, can be beneficial.
Step 2: Test your home for mold. It’s advisable to hire an environmental professional to perform the testing and inspection.
Step 3: Work with a clinician who’s trained in the Shoemaker Protocol.