Mold Toxicity


Mold is both friend and foe.

Good molds break down dead plants and animals and return the substances back to the planet as a form of recycling. These enrich the soils which are used in agriculture, composting, peat or peloid baths, to name a few. Molds that grow as food include mushrooms, yeast, and medicines such as penicillin.

Our immune systems are educated to recognize mold spores as foreign invaders after exposure and uses the allergy-response antibodies to annihilate the invaders. Once that has happened, the body will develop a group of antibodies that remember this mold and will have a swifter and stronger future response.  

Testing the building and the body for molds is easier now than ever before. Kits for the home and mold panels supplied by doctors have become more specific. Mold related illness continues to be somewhat controversial and includes a number of non-specific symptoms.

Headache
Runny nose
Stuffy nose
Fatigue
Memory loss
Irritated eyes
Lung infections
Asthma flares
Skin rashes
Nose bleeds
Wheezing
Abdominal pain
Bloating/Cramping
Nerve problems
Cough
Sore throat
Nail infections
Chronic illness
Weakness/Aches

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences states, “Presently, there are three accepted pathophysiological mechanisms in mold induced disease. These mechanisms include: (a) infection by the organism, (b) generation of a deleterious immune response (e.g., allergy or HP), and c) toxic-irritant effects from mold metabolites (e.g., mycelial components, mycotoxins, or volatile organic compounds).”1

Water damaged buildings and vehicles are the primary methods of exposure, foods are also suspect. Once a sensitivity to mold exists, locating the source and supporting the body’s immune response become imperative. Scheduling a discovery and remediation appointment for the building is as important as supporting the body-physiology. About 25% of the population has specific genes of the HLA type that are almost always more prone to sensitivity – the immune system is less effective with mold exposure for these individuals. HLA DR is known to have an increase in frequency of mold illness. This explains why some people are not impacted by a moldy building, while others are very sick. Mold panels offered by many companies are available at hardware stores and online. GENIE is tests genomic expression of inflammation for those who are symptomatic, have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or any other unexplained symptoms. Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker of SurvivingMold.com,2 offers a NeuroQuant Analysis online for CIRS, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome caused by  biotoxins. 

What can you do? Testing is important for the building and the body. Remediation and immune support needs to be investigated by the proper professionals. Do what you can at home to keep things dry and the humidity down. Eliminating carpet, rugs, curtains, old fabrics or furniture will help. A mold-free diet works for some, but the body needs to be tested appropriately to ensure the correct approach. If the above items are impossible (maybe because you do not own the building in question), MOVE! Moving to another building is often the most effective approach to begin healing.

Finally, I have had to do this twice in my own life when the office building was not remediated properly which caused me to have sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and general exhaustion while in the building. To protect my home, I use a low-output ozone generator once or twice a week. This keeps me on top of the environmental exposures that I cannot prevent, especially during the wetter-darker months of winter.

I hope this helps!
Please take care of your health and those around you!
Dr. Nancy Doreo

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References
Edmondson DA, Barrios CS, Brasel TL, Straus DC, Kurup VP, Fink JN. Immune response among patients exposed to molds. Int J Mol Sci. 2009;10(12):5471-84. Published 2009 Dec 21. doi:10.3390/ijms10125471


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