Having a flood or leak in a house can seem to be an inconvenience just when having to clean it up, or fix damages. The long lasting effects of water damage, unfortunately is often not spoken about. Toxic Mold is one cause of an environmental illness, which can result from a flood or leak within the home. Sometimes flooding or leaking is so minimal or hidden it leaves the home owner unaware that there is a problem. Not everyone is aware when they are exposed as it can be from a multitude of places such as their work, school, or a new exposure at home.
Mold can sometimes be apparent by signs of a “musty” smell in the affected area, or yellow water marks on a ceiling or wall from a flood or leak. If moisture is detected on windowsills or walls, or if black mold is visible, these are signs that there is a problem. These areas should always be investigated by a professional mold remediation company. It is not recommended to undertake mold removal yourself, as if done incorrectly, can leave you and your family more vulnerable. “Black Mold”, as it is often called, is caused by Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra), and other fungi that can cause this problem are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus.
Mold reproduces by forming tiny spores that are not visible to the naked eye, and creates a mycotoxin, which is a defense against the fungi’s enemies. Mycotoxins are toxic to humans and animals1, and can cause a host of health problems. It is not uncommon for those with Lyme Disease to be extremely sensitive to exposure, or to link their initial decline in health to mold exposure. Those who have had mold exposure can often look back and see a decline in health after a flood in their house or office. Exposure is not safe for anyone, although there are those who are more sensitive including those with Lyme Disease, asthma, children, the elderly as well as those who have a compromised immune system, and compromised genetics for detoxification.
Common symptoms of mold toxicity include: Respiratory illnesses2, sinusitis3, rhinitis4, asthma5, shortness of breath, sore throat, immune dysfunction6, swollen lymph nodes, cough, skin rashes and hives, reddening of eyes, allergies (environmental and food), allergy to mold, fatigue, lethargy, dizziness, light headedness, nausea, vomiting, flu-like symptoms, seizures, blood pressure irregularities, bleeding in lungs, urinary tract infections (UTI) or problems urinating, chronic granulomatous disease7, osteomyelitis8, neurological symptoms6, sensitivity to sound and light, pain in liver and other internal organs, hair loss, dirt or metal like taste in the mouth, fibromyalgia, joint pain, muscle pain and tension, numbness and tingling, muscle cramps, burning, unusual shooting (ice pick-like) pains, night sweats, anxiety, depression, headaches, difficulty learning, ADHD, disobedience, poor memory6, moodiness, personality changes, addictions, inappropriate speech content (verbal abuse, swearing), decreased speech speed or smoothness, decreased coordination, stress with transition or change, social deficits (making others uncomfortable), new aggressiveness, increased dependence in a child or adult, infertility, miscarriage, abnormal PET and SPECT exams, and edema, swelling or abscesses on the brain9,10,11.
At Ananta Health, our first step is to perform BioMeridian testing to determine the overall inflammation and health picture. If you have been exposed to mold, the source must be identified. Sometimes the mold is still present, and sometimes the exposure was in the past. If the mold is present in the environment, then a mold remediation company should be contacted. The next step would be to make an individual plan for the patient addressing inflammation and immunity by incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet, herbs and supplements needed to treat the infection. If you feel you have been exposed to mold, then please contact our office.
Listen to Episode's of Dr. Risk's radio show about mold (more shows can be found here):
(1) Bennett, J.W., Klich, M. (2003, July 16). Mycotoxins. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164220/
(2) Government of Canada. (2016, January 12). Residential Indoor Air Quality Guideline: Moulds. Retrieved from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/healthy-living-vie-saine/mould-moisissure/index-eng.php
(3) Foshee, J., Luminais, C., Casey, J., Farag, A., Prestipino, A., Iloreta, A.M., Nyquist, G., Rosen, M. (2016, August 6). An Evaluation of Invasive Fungal Sinusitis Outcomes with Subsite Analysis and use of Frozen Section Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27272979
(4) Arikoglu, T., Batmaz, S.B., Coşkun, T., Otag, F., Yildirim, D.D., Kuyucu, S. (2016, May 28). The Characteristics of Indoor and Outdoor Fungi and their Relation with Allergic Respiratory Diseases in the Southern Region of Turkey. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27236446
(5) Madureira, J., Paciência, I., Cavaleiro-Rufo, J., de Oliveira Fernandes, E. (2016, July 27). Indoor Pollutant Exposure Among Children with and without Asthma in Porto, Portugal, During the Cold Season. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27464657
(6) Rea, W.J., Didriksen, N., Simon, T.R., Pan, Y., Fenyves, E.J., Griffiths, B. (2003, July 7). Effects of Toxic Exposure to Molds and Mycotoxins in Building-related Illnesses. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15143852
(7) Waqas, M., Zafar, S., Rehman, T., Riyaz, M., Bari, M.E., Idrees, R. (2016, May 30). Cerebral Aspergillosis and Pulmonary Tuberculosis in a Child with Chronic Granulomatous Disease. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27308089
(8) Dotis, J., Roilides, E. (2004, March 8). Osteomyelitis due to Aspergillus Spp. in Patients with Chronic Granulomatous Disease: Comparison of Aspergillus Nidulans and Aspergillus Fumigatus. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14732328
(9) Garg, N., Devi, I.B., Vajramani, G.V., Nagarathna, S., Sampath, S., Chandramouli, B.A., Chandramuki, A., Shankar, S.K. (2007, July-September). Central Nervous System Cladosporiosis: an Account of Ten Culture-Proven Cases. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921658
(10) Huang, W.M., Fan, Y.M., Li, W., Yang, W.W. (2011, August 18). Brain Abscess Caused by Cladophialophora Bantiana in China. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21852529
(11) Tauber, S.C., Eiffert, H., Kellner, S., Lugert, R., Bunkowski, S., Schütze, S., Perske, C., Brück, W., Nau, R. (2014, August 5) Fungal Encephalitis in Human Autopsy Cases is Associated with Extensive Neuronal Damage but only Minimal Repair. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23517274