When you hear the word mold, you often think of rotten food or dirty showers in bathrooms, but this very toxic substance is actually everywhere—and you are breathing and ingesting it every day, whether you know it or not. It is important to know the signs of mold toxicity.
Mold is not limited to what we can see growing in damp or wet areas in dirty homes or buildings. The truth is that most mold is not even visible. It grows undetected behind your walls, under your floors and even in your food.
And even though you may not be able to see it, you are most definitely being subjected to its toxic, even deadly effects.
When your body becomes overrun by mold, it can literally shut down your immune system and start a cascading effect of illnesses that can take months and even years to be diagnosed let alone cured.
The Silent Killer
Not all molds are “bad” or toxic, at least to the same degree, but there are definitely some very poisonous and even lethal varieties called mycotoxins that can be challenging to kill or get rid of once they take hold in your environment and even your body.
Mycotoxins contaminate everything within their environment including things such as your furniture, linens, draperies and even your clothes.
Once in your body, mycotoxins begin ravaging your immune system, wreaking havoc on your joints, your nervous system, and even your brain.
It can ultimately lead to many horrible diseases, even cancer, and in many cases, the damage caused by these tiny toxins is irreversible.
According to a 2005 study published in the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture,
“Acute toxicity generally has a rapid onset and an obvious toxic response, while chronic toxicity is characterized by low-dose exposure over a long time period, resulting in cancers and other generally irreversible effects.”
And should you be lucky enough to only be mildly affected by mold, you are still likely to feel its effects in the form of allergies.
A 2011 study published in Applied and Environmental Biology, revealed that between 25-28 percent of North Americans are now genetically predisposed to feel negative effects when in areas with water-damaged such as their homes or workplaces.
The study also revealed that “dampness,” which is the perfect breeding ground for fungi and mold, is present in up to 50 percent of homes and buildings in North America and that “…fungal growth is a problem in 15 to 40 percent of North American [homes].”
Simply put, that means that essentially you have up to a 50/50 chance that your home or workplace will be susceptible to mold and if it is, there is up to a 40 percent chance you will experience negative health issues as a result!
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold loves damp, poorly ventilated areas such as bathrooms, basements and anywhere there is water.
It can start with a small leak in your roof or behind your shower. You may have had a flood at one time that was not properly cleaned and mold now lives under your floors in the underpadding of your carpets or behind the drywall.
Sometimes, the mold may even be brought into your home by contaminated materials during construction such as untreated wood or other construction materials. Mold also flourished in places such as a dirty HVAC system, where dust and moisture have been collecting for months or even years.
In many cases, there are even strains of mold that survive and grow in dry and arid climates such that is Arizona or Nevada, where there is a specific mold that causes severe breathing issues for susceptible people.
But your home or other buildings are not the only places this predatory toxin grows—foods can be very susceptible to mycotoxins. Grains, nuts, chocolate, coffee, and wine for instance are vulnerable.
How Do I know If I Have Mold Poisoning?
The issue with mold allergies and/or poisoning is that up until recently, doctors and other medical professionals would simply tell their patients their symptoms were all “in their head,” because they could not pinpoint the cause.
However, as more and more studies are showing, the effects of mold are very real and even life-threatening to some individuals who are the most susceptible.
When you are chronically exposed to mold, your symptoms may start out as mild, but as your body begins to become overwhelmed—inundated with toxic spores—the symptoms will progress.
And unless you have a doctor who is familiar with the signs and symptoms of mold toxicity, you can easily be misdiagnosed as the symptoms can resemble many other diseases and syndromes—specifically Lyme disease, Celiac disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and others.
And to further complicate the problem, the treatment for these conditions is much different than that for mold toxicity and in some cases, may even exacerbate the problem.
14 Warning Signs—Symptoms of Mold Poisoning:
- Blurred vision
- Auto-immune issues
- Joint pain
- Weight fluctuation
- Neurocognitive problems
- Brain Fog/Confusion/Memory loss
- Mood issues
- Sleep issues
- Inflammatory problems
- GI problems/food sensitivities
- Numbness and tingling
- Sensitivity to light
If you have a compromised immune system, mold can attack your lungs, skin, organs, eyes and cause devastating effects such as lung cancer or renal failure.
What Can I Do?
If you suspect mold might be a problem there are several things you can do:
1. Test your environment. The most reliable and widely used test is the ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index), which was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If there is mold present, this test will reveal what type and whether it is toxic.
2. Find a professional mold remediation expert: If the test comes back positive, you can then work with a professional mold remediation company that can help you determine the source of the mold and make all necessary repairs to leaks, or remove contaminated materials, clear air exchanges etc. Once all the work is finished, make sure you test the area again to ensure all of the spores are absent before rebuilding or moving back in.
3. Find a doctor that specializes in mold issues: Specifically, look for a doctor who is trained in the “Shoemaker Protocol” or is familiar with mold illness so you can begin the detoxification process.
4. Eat and live healthy: Once you have ridden your body of the toxins, you will need to continue to support your health by avoiding foods that feed or contain yeast, mold and fungus such as carbohydrates and sugars—essentially you will need to follow a Candida Diet. There are also supplements such as glutathione, activated charcoal, olive leaf, and many others that can help you rebuild and restore your body.
5. Stay informed: While the world may just be starting to understand the effects that mold can have on our health, there are still many wonderful resources you can take advantage of to better inform yourself and your family.