Mold is a big quandary in most homes, but many people are ignorant of the problem. Of course, everyone looks at the shower curtain, under the sink, or in the basement when he or she think about mold issues, but mold can grow anywhere.
Mold can be detected in drywall, in the roof if leaks are present, and even in one’s Christmas tree. One research found that even Christmas trees can breed mold, quietly releasing millions of spores into the room and causing winter allergies and asthma attacks. The research found that indoor air quality dropped six-fold over the 14 days a Christmas tree typically decorates a room. (Dr. Mercola)
Types of Mold
Allergenic molds are on the low end of the risk scale. They only cause problems for those with asthma and a predisposed allergy to the specific mold. Children are more likely to have mold allergies than adults.
Pathogenic molds will cause some virus. This is a big problem for those with a suppressed immune system. An acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia is commonly found with those exposed to these types of mold.
As the name implies, these molds produce mycotoxins that can cause serious health effects. They have been tied to immunosuppression and cancer. The toxic chemicals found in these types of molds can be absorbed into the body when one smell them, eats them, or even touches them.
According to Dr. Mercola, the Five Most Common Indoor Molds are:
- Alternaria:Commonly found in your nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract; can make allergic responses.
- Aspergillus:Usually found in warm, extremely humid climates, and a common occupant of house dust; produces mycotoxins; can cause lung infections.
- Cladosporium:This very common outdoor fungus can find its way inside to grow on textiles, wood, and other damp, porous materials; triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.
- Penicillium:Very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation; known for causing disease and asthma; some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.
- Stachybotrys: Extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs, among another health difficulty. Thankfully, less common in homes than the other four, but not rare; found on wood or paper (cellulose products), but NOT on concrete, linoleum or tile.
What is Mold Illness?
Mold illness is the variety of health problems that can occur from any type of mold exposure. Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause disease or irritant and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia. (Mayo Clinic)
Mold toxicity is more an issue, and it is considered a Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, author of Surviving Mold: Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings, defines CIRS as:
“an acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged home with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium as well as inflammations…” (Wise Mind Healthy Body)
11 Signs of Mold Illness:
- Brain Fog, Memory Problems, Trouble Focusing, Headaches
- Fatigue and Weakness
- Unexplained Muscle Cramping, Aches, and Pains or the Joints, Persistent Nerve Pain
- Numbness and Tingling
- Eye Problems like Red Eyes or Light Sensitivity
- Asthma and Sinus Problems like Cough or Shortness of Breath
- Tremors and Vertigo
- Digestive Issues like Change in Appetite, Diarrhea, Nausea, Abdominal Pain
- Metallic Taste in the Mouth
- Temperature Regulation or Night Sweats
- Excessive Thirst and Increased Urination