Is Mold Making You Sick?

Is Mold Making You Sick

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Suffering from brain fog, chronic fatigue or insomnia? How about depression, migraines or inflammation? If so, you may have a problem with an internal mold infection.

Associated with an astounding number of health issues, mold toxicity is a common — although often hidden — source of declining health. Thriving in humid climates, or wherever water damage is present, the fungus releases spores into the environment, which infiltrate the air, along with carpet and furniture, clothing, mattresses and bedding. People living or working within these spaces inhale the spores, which then reproduce in the body and (for the more harmful varieties) subsequently release mycotoxins. Mold and mycotoxins can be ingested through contaminated food as well. You can learn more about this hazard here.

Those with suppressed immunity, leaky gut syndrome or other health issues are at higher risk for developing a problem with mold. It’s important to remember, however, that a large majority of the population is suffering from low-grade immunity issues due to the near constant bombardment of environmental pollutants, genetically modified organisms and decline of nutrients in the food supply.

Limit contact and detoxify

If you believe that you have an issue with mold, the following protocol can help.

1. Of primary concern is to establish whether your home or work environment is mold-toxic by hiring a qualified inspector. Keep in mind that, oftentimes, mold may not be readily apparent — especially if there’s black mold growing within the wall, bedding or furniture.

2. Once the environment has been thoroughly evaluated, and the moldy structure remedied, installing a full-house HEPA air-purifying system is the next course of action. Cleaning surfaces with white vinegar or ammonia helps remove fungal spores as well. If you live in a damp climate, a dehumidifier will help keep spores in check. Also, keep air-conditioning units in good repair and opt for annual cleanings.

3. Diet is crucial when contending with mold infections. Avoid edibles that “feed” mold, such as coffee and black tea, sugar, starches, grains, cheese, refined carbohydrates, fermented foods, soy sauce, vinegar (except unpasteurized apple cider vinegar), peanuts, pistachios, mushrooms and yeast (both brewers and nutritional). In addition, always source B vitamins that are free from yeast or mold cultures. Likewise, many antibiotics are derived from mold.

Instead, focus on berries, non-starch vegetables (with the exception of carrots, which are antifungal), grass-fed meats, pastured poultry and eggs, sardines, wild-caught salmon, yogurt and kefir. Additionally, chia, hemp and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut and olive oil, garlic, ginger and turmeric are excellent foods too. And stevia is a good alternative sweetener. For a full list of safe foods, have a look at the Kaufmann antifungal diet.

The following supplements are also helpful:

  • Brown seaweed
  • Probiotics
  • Goldenseal
  • Cayenne
  • N-acetyl cysteine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • B vitamin complex (yeast and mold-free)
  • Vitamins C and D

A bit more food for thought. A review in the Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal states:

Mycotoxins–toxic substances produced by fungi or molds–are ubiquitous in the environment and are capable of damaging multiple biochemical mechanisms, resulting in a variety of human symptoms referred to collectively as “mycotoxicosis.” In fact, mycotoxins mimic multiple xenobiotics, not only with respect to their ultimate damage, but also in their routes of detoxification. This suggests potential therapeutic options for the challenging treatment of mycotoxicosis. In this brief review, the author examines the use of lipoic acid as an example of an inexpensive and available nutrient that has been shown to protect against, or reverse, the adverse health effects of mycotoxins.

Article Sources

http://www.alternativemedicine.com

http://enhs.umn.edu

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.tampaent.com [PDF]

http://www.tandfonline.com

http://www.drjohntafel.com

http://www.raysahelian.com

Updated November 2014

Previous articles by Carolanne:

About the author:

Carolanne WrightCarolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 


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Please note: this article was first published on Natural News.

  • james

    Your little checklist is nice and all, but you seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that most of the people who live in old, mold-infested housing a) probably dont own it and therefore arent able to make renovations and b) even if they do own it, hardly anyone has the financial means anymore to fund such an expensive undertaking as expert inspections and mold removal specialists. Also, most people cannot afford the expensive foods and supplements you list as being perferable. We’re all ex-middle class working poor now who are just fortunate enough to still have a roof over our heads, even if it is a leaky, molding one…

    • Carolanne

      I hear you James. As a single mom on a freelancer income, money is tight on this end too.

      When I lived in San Francisco (a very moldy place), I would keep open jars of white vinegar in warm places (radiators, heater vents, on top of the fridge) and bathrooms/closets, to keep airborne spores in check. Cleaning regularly with vinegar helps too, along with airing out the space as much as possible””even in wintertime. Adhering to an anti-mold diet, as well as using more cost-friendly, bulk supplements like powdered turmeric, can offer additional support. Usually, if a space smells “musty” there is a good chance that mold is present in the environment. If you think you might have an issue, you can give these budget suggestions a try to see if they make a difference.

    • Name (required)

      Here, here. Well said!

  • Rustic

    A good topic not much covered however I have a few issues with your suggestions.

    Yes fermented foods that use yeast should be avoided however properly lacto fermented foods can be beneficial.

    Most berries and nuts however are foods that are very susceptible to mould and carrying mould spores so should be high on the list of foods to avoid imho!
    As someone who has battled candidia/IBS/SIBO for years I know.

    • Laura

      Agreed, if the object of the diet is to avoid foods that harbor mold, berries wouldn’t be much of a choice. And yet, how does mold on berries/nut/whatever survive stomach acid? Consider how stomach acid both begins the digestion of our food AND disables many pathogens. The danger of drugs to reduce stomach acid seems lost on most people. I wonder if the approach to dietary mold isn’t essentially the same as dealing with candida, that’s to say, crowding it out with more desirable micro flora? That leaves the larger danger, breathing mold spores, which gets back to cleaning / air filtration / or moving! It makes a good case for bolstering one’s immune system as best able.

    • Carolanne

      You’re right””berries and nuts can be a mold nightmare. You can “detoxify” nuts and berries by soaking them in water with vitamin C. More on this topic here: http://wakeup-world.com/2014/05/20/the-silent-toxin-in-food-that-provokes-cancer-diabetes-multiple-sclerosis-and-more/

  • Simona

    You fail to state any of the symptoms people might have to confirm or otherwise, that they might indeed be suffering from mold sickness.
    So what’s the point of the clean up list?
    In essence, because of the missing and most important symtoms, this article is quite useless.

    • Carolanne

      Symptoms include brain fog, chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, migraines and inflammation. Irritability, acne and allergic reactions (sneezing, congestion, sore throat) within specific indoor environments are additional indicators.

  • Terri

    Mold spores do not reproduce in the body! The mycotoxins produced by mold are what the problem is for people. Mycotoxins are not living organisms, so they cannot reproduce in the body, but they certainly can do a lot of damage, creating a multi system, multi symptom illness called chronic inflammatory response syndrome. In nature, mold defends itself by releasing mycotoxins into the environment to keep other organisms at bay. These mycotoxins are extremely toxic. So much so, they are used as chemical weapons in biological warfare. 24% of the population has a genetic abnormality that causes the person to not be able to detox the mycotoxins out of the body. People without this genetic defect may feel yucky when exposed to a moldy environment, but after leaving the environment, their liver processes the mycotoxins, releases them into the small intestine, and they are eliminated from the body. In people with the genetic defect, the toxins are re absorbed from the small intestine back into the body and recirculated. It is a process of constant re-poisoning of the system. It is completely devastating to the body and a chronic inflammatory response loop develops. The person gets sicker and sicker as time goes on. The person will not get well until the mycotoxins are removed from the body with a bile acid sequestrant such as cholestyramine or welchol. Go to http://www.survivingmold.com to get a full explanation of all of this, including diagnosis, blood tests, treatment, etc. Although the diet you suggest is clean and admirable, it will do nothing to treat chronic inflammatory response syndrome once the person has been exposed. It think what you are actually targeting with your “anti fungal” diet is candida, not toxic mold exposure from mycotoxins. They are two entirely different animals. Toxic mold is deadly and the diet you suggest is useless once a person is exposed.