Mold Exposure: Symptoms, Clean-Up and How to Heal
What is Mold?
Mold is various types of fungi. It reproduces by forming spores that can travel through the air (yikes!). Mold can live indoors or outdoors. It thrives in warm, damp and humid places, however, it can exist in just about any environment or season. This is because mold spores are very durable. They can survive in conditions that mold cannot grow. Which makes getting rid of mold very complicated.
There are four types of common household molds. These are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. A less common but more dangerous type is called Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold). Black mold is a dark greenish-black mold that thrives in environments with more cellulose like wood, fiberboard, dust, and lint.
Mold is likely to appear in damp places like shower stalls and basements. However, mold can grow in any place that is damp including ceilings, behind toilets, by sinks, or even on carpet and drywall. Once the mold grows, the condition does not have to stay damp in order for the mold to keep reproducing. This is why knowing how to treat an area that has been infected by mold is so important.
Mold from the outside can also be transported indoors. This could be through shoes, pets, open windows or even open vents.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Allergic reactions to mold include allergies like symptoms, rash, runny nose, coughing/wheezing, and red eyes. People who are allergic to mold or who have compromised immune systems may also develop serious infections. People who have asthma may also experience an increase in asthma attacks, and people who do not have asthma may even experience asthma attacks.
Everyone is susceptible to experiencing a reaction to mold. The severity to which a person may experience symptoms is hard to predict. Those who are allergic or have compromised immune systems are likely to have more extreme reactions, however, that does not mean that those who are not allergic or have strong immune systems are not going to have negative reactions.
Mold exposure can also cause:
- Brain fog
- Aches and pains
- Memory loss
- Chronic illness
How to Test Your House or Workspace for Mold
If you suspect that your house or workspace might be affected by mold, there are a few ways to test. If you believe that your home or area that you spend a lot of time is infested with mold, I would recommend having it inspected by professionals. If you are not certain, there are alternative options for you to try first.
The first is an at-home test. You can pick up a test at Home Depot, however, these tests are not always the most accurate. If the test comes back positive, it means that you have mold. If it comes back negative, this does not mean that mold is not a problem. These tests can be an inexpensive option to get started. If this is the route you decide to take and the test comes back negative, I would suggest moving forward with a different test to confirm there actually is no mold.
The other test that tends to be more accurate to tell if you personally are being poisoned by mold is a blood test. Your doctor can order a panel of blood work that can detect if you have been exposed to harmful mold. This test can tell you if you have biotoxins in your bloodstream to reveal if you have mold poisoning. If you do not have a doctor or you would like to use a third party, there are other resources available such as this Life Extension kit.
What to do if You Have Mold in Your Home or Workspace
If you are personally having to clean the infected areas, you will want to wear protective gear to keep you safe. This includes gloves, a mask, and a protective suit. If the area infected is the floor, you will want to entirely remove the part of the floor impact. There are special cleaning supplies that can help clean mold (usually available at your local Home Depot or another similar store).
Get rid of anything that might hold on to the particles
Like I mentioned before, mold can reproduce through the air and does not need a lot to survive. I highly recommend getting rid of anything you can that has been infected (or has possibly been infected) by the mold. This includes couches, chairs, clothes, replace flooring...everything! I know it can be difficult to let go of belongings, however, mold can cause serious health problems in the long run. It is better to be clean and safe than to have your favorite sweater that is causing you brain fog and aches and pains.
Manage your health
Recovering from mold exposure can be a long process, especially considering how long you may have been exposed. Mold toxicity can lead to more serious health concerns. Some doctors have found that up to 80% of their patients with CFS, fibromyalgia, and Lymes disease have mold toxicity as a main root cause.
If you have experienced exposure to mold, I recommend seeing someone who specializes in mold toxicity to create a health recovery plan. If you need more advice about this, schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me here.
I know in my personal journey, I lived in three houses that all had mold. This is notably a root cause of many of the health problems I was then diagnosed with and it exacerbated health problems I already had. It caused terrible migraines, brain fog, and fatigue and is suspected to be a contributing factor to my Lymes disease.
Healing from mold exposure should be taken seriously. Any house or indoor space can be infected, it does not matter how new the building is! If you think there is a possibility that there could be mold in a place that you are spending a lot of time, please have it inspected immediately.
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