Mold or also known as mildew or mould is a form of fungus. This thin white colored coating, consisted of minute fungal hyphae,is most commonly growing on plants or on damp organic materials such as paper or leather.
When it comes to apartmentsorhouses, mold is common problem and its presence can be the cause of many health issues. In order to prevent severe illnesses it’s essential to recognize its symptoms and to discover if you belong to those persons who are prone to it, treat the issue, and avoid contrary effects.
The modern medicine doesn’t consider the mold as a problem, and so, there is no proper treatment. In addition to that, the symptoms of mold disease are quite similar to the ones of other medical conditions because they are nonspecific, and they are usually attributed to other health issues.
Some of the most common signs of mold illness are:
- Light sensitivity, blurred vision, red eyes
- Fatigue, post-exercise malaise, and weakness
- Sinusitis, air hunger, shortness of breath, cough, asthma-like signs
- Memory problems, executive function problems, focusing issues, brain fog
- Static “shocks”
- Muscle cramps, pain in the joints, constant nerve pain, aches not caused by inflammatory arthritis, “ice pick” pain
- Weight gain despite sufficient effort (weight loss resistance)
- Excessive thirst
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea,appetite changes
- Persistent nerve pain
- Metallic taste
- Night sweats or temperature regulation issues
- Increased urinationAll of these symptoms very often are confused with the common symptoms of other diseases.Still, when it comes to terrible effects of the mold, they have been scientifically studied for over 30 years and the conclusion is that it is a combination of many types of fungi that grow in filaments and also reproduces by creating small spores that sprout and fly away and can’t be spotted by the naked eye.
The mold thrives in damp, warmand humid places. Namely, it can appear, for example in places such as Nevada and Arizona, some places with poor ventilation or areas prone to water leakages or floods.
Still, the mold most commonly appears in the poorly ventilated rooms, on the showerhead, in bathroomand it can also attach to the furniture, pets, books, shoes, papers and carpets. In addition, it may circulate in air system and it’s highly recommended to change your HVAC filters every 3 months.
The water-damaged buildings are the perfect environment for the formation of a complex combination of contaminants that are present in the air and dust, which over time form toxic chemical mixture. That is also the main cause for creation of toxic ingredients that are called as mycotoxins, that remain on spores and fragments of mold released into the air.
At this point it’s very important to highlight that mold illness is not caused by a single toxin, but at most cases it appears in the water-damaged areas or buildings.
In addition to this, on the word of the newest review, it was discovered that sinuses might be a common reason for a persistent mold disease.
Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that even half of the buildings where people live in are water- damaged, and that is the main cause of mold and mold illnesses to the persons who are more prone to it. Considering the fact that most of the time people spend indoors, in the offices or at their home, it’s of extreme importance to learn how to reduce this very harmful influence.
Experts classified the mold toxicity in large category of biotoxin disease which is also called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).
Ritchie Shoemaker, MD is the author of 8 books on the subject, including “Surviving Mold: Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings”, in which he defines CIRS:
CIRS,Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome 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 bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and mycobacterium as well as inflammagens . . . . “
In addition,Dr. Shoemaker explains that: “24 % of the people cannot make adequate antibody responses, and they are the ones that comprise over 95 % of people who have an illness from water-damaged buildings”.
Below you can read an explanation about the role of the DNA and its impact on the susceptibility to mold illness.
Dr. Shoemaker stated that around 24 % of the population is genetically susceptible to mold toxicity, and the reason for that is the immune response gene (HLA-DR). In other words, the individuals with such genes have significantly increased risk of mold illness. In fact, this subgroup includes 95 percent of the cases of mold illness.
Moreover, 2 % of individuals are especially prone to it and they have so-called “sicker quicker” variation of these genes. As the scientists explain, even for persons who are not vulnerable to mold illness, it still doesn’t mean that they have zero chances to suffer from it.
Persons who have mold vulnerability actually are not able to recognize specific toxins as toxins, including the mold, and they get recirculated in the body. Consequently, these toxins can lead to a continuing inflammatory response.
Doctors explain that the mold illness, caused by water-damaged buildings is a severe health problem, and that it actually is a state of chronic inflammation due to weakened immune system. This medical condition cannot be healed on its own, it’s even provoking many other diseases if left untreated. It is also very important to mention that this disease is built into the DNA and once it’s activated, the symptoms and the inflammatory response may last quite long period of time.
Diagnosis of CIRS is established if the patient has these symptoms:
- Abnormalities that are documented by Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) tests.
- Genetic predisposition to biotoxin-related illness, based on an identification of an HLA susceptible haplotype.
- History, signs and symptoms of biotoxin exposure. This history could involve exposure to toxin-producing molds as it was documented by the EPA-approved ERMI testing. In cases of ciguatera, microcystin, etc., the history also includes exposure or laboratory evidence of exposure.
- Biomarkers consistent with the neuroimmune, vascularand endocrine abnormalities specific to CIRS. If there is consistent biotoxin exposure, abnormal VCS test, or a susceptible genotype, the patient will most likely show the laboratory abnormalities seen in CIRS.
In case you are not sure if you are exposed to mold and if you experience some of the abovementioned symptoms, you should do these thing:
- You can work with a clinician who has been trained in the Shoemaker Protocol and thus examine your susceptibility to mold illness.
- Test your house for presence of mold. You can do an ERMI test or find an environmental professional in order to inspect the home. The ERMI test costs $325 and you can do it on your own. If it turns out to be positive, you will need to hire a professional to solve the problem.
- Learn and research more about mold illness.