Thursday, 4 August 2016

Mold – how it is affecting your health and what you can do about it

You may be suffering a mold problem that you aren’t even aware of, realise or think about!  It is often insidious and not recognised by many healthcare professionals.  However, mold can play havoc in our lives.  With this winter being so wet, walking into the garden can have us stepping onto mouldy citrus fruits on the ground and mouldy fallen leaves that are lying on the ground.  Condensation can be a problem with temperature difference inside and outside the house and we can wake to a “sweating” window or ranchslider.  With doors and windows shut, this can be the perfect breeding ground for molds.

Mold is toxic, and can make you fatigue, out of breath, give you weak immunity, headaches and other respiratory or cognitive problems.  Toxic mold can occur in any colour but the most well-known is black mold.  It can grow in any humid or damp area and produce mycotoxins, which can enter our system through the air we breathe, spores on the food we eat and once it enters our system, can cause multiple or persistent symptoms in our health.

The first step to handling a mold problem is to get rid of it.  If an area of the house is affected, it should be cleaned out, if it is a small area, it can be cleaned with water, soap and a tea tree spray, and dried out.  If it is a large area, you may need an external party to help clear it.  Look out for water stains in the ceiling, wall and floor.  Remove any furniture or carpet that has been soaked in water for 48 hours.  Allow air to flow and keep a dehumidifier on.  Keep your shower and kitchen clean and dry.  Open the curtains and let the sun shine in!

When your immune system is regularly exposed to mold mycotoxins e.g. in a damp building, your immune system keeps firing and fighting in response to the exposure and this creates inflammation.  Mold disrupts our microbiome and creates an imbalance.  You also have to make your body a hostile terrain for the mold and that is by avoiding sugar, grains, processed food, mushrooms, cheese and alcohol. 

Increase your intake of garlic, ginger and turmeric to help with immunity and liver detoxification, and boost glutathione levels.  Increase your antioxidant intake like fresh fruits and vegetables to support your immunity.  I often prescribe herbs to remove and bind on to mold to kick start the healing process.  Each patient’s individual history is important to prescribe appropriately for personalised course of treatment.  Restoring the microbiome is also important to the whole healing process.

So if you have some persistent too hard to solve health issue, you could be battling with mold!