Landlords deny it, your friends or family think you’re a hypochondriac, and the average doctor has no idea what you’re talking about — but mold toxicity illness can trigger chronic health problems, including autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. The recent news about a number of child deaths at a Seattle hospital due to mold in the air system brought attention to how serious and common mold toxicity is.
New construction methods, new building materials, improperly repaired water damage, indoor humidity over 50, and genetic susceptibility are all risk factors for mold illness. Many, many buildings are water damaged. One study found 85 percent of buildings inspected had past water damage.
A new study found that people struggling with mold toxicity illness have the following health conditions:
- Brain inflammation in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that governs memory, learning, and the sleep-wake cycle.
- Decreased neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells.
- Impaired memory.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Increased anxiety.
The study also found that not only do mold spores trigger symptoms, but also mold spore skeletal elements and mold metabolites.
Could your symptoms be mold related?
Symptoms of mold toxicity vary depending on the person’s genetic makeup, the type of mold affecting them, other health conditions, and so on. However, mold has very strong and significant links with increases in asthma.
Moldy work or school buildings and homes have led to complaints of pain, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, and memory loss. The symptoms can look similar to those from a bacterial or viral infection. This is because of the inflammation cascades mold triggers throughout the body and brain.
This was the first study to look specifically at the effects of mold on the brain. Lack of such research has led the standard health care model to largely dismiss the topic and it is believed to be more common than realized, especially in humid or rainy areas.
However, sufferers of mold illness already know it causes brain symptoms. The striking results of this study will hopefully prompt similar studies in the future.
The researchers inoculated mice with mold spores intranasally, which caused increases in inflammation in the hippocampus, notable losses of memory, increased pain, and more anxious behavior compared to mice inoculated with saline.
Addressing mold illness
If you think you might have mold toxicity illness, you can test both your home (or whichever building you think is moldy) and your body. Lab testing can show whether you are dealing with high mold mycotoxin levels and if so, which molds are the culprits.
This information is important because the type of mold making you sick will help determine how you recover.
It’s important that you treat mold illness as a priority and not let it fall to the bottom of your to-do list. In a serious situation, this can mean permanently vacating the contaminated building and possibly getting rid of your belongings. In less serious situations remediating the mold in the environment can be successful, along with protocols for mold toxicity. Without action, the inflammation will continue to inflame and damage tissue in your brain and body. Mold can also trigger or worsen autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid, multiple sclerosis, vitiligo, and more.
Ask my office how we can help you address possible mold illness.