Mold is lurking around many dark corners and crevices in our homes. These unsightly fungi can not only wreak havoc on our furniture and fixtures, but it can also be incredibly harmful to our bodies. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know when you’ve contracted a mold-related illness. Since the symptoms are not specific to mold illnesses, they are often attributed to many different ailments. The correct cause of your condition could go undetected for months, leaving you in a rather dangerous situation.
Mold can be deadly if left untreated, so it’s important to know how to detect the symptoms yourself. The following 17 symptoms are the most common signs that you have a mold illness:
- Fatigue, post-exercise malaise, and general weakness
- Memory problems, focusing issues, executive function problems, brain fog
- Light sensitivity, blurred vision, red eyes
- Sinus problems, air hunger, cough, shortness of breath, asthma-like signs
- Static “shocks”
- Weight-loss resistance
- Muscle cramps, pain in the joints, aches without inflammatory arthritis, “ice pick” pain
- Persistent nerve pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, appetite changes, nausea
- Night sweats or temperature regulation issues
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Metallic taste
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you might have dangerous mold in your home. Mold thrives in warm, damp, and humid places. Rooms with poor ventilation or water damage, often from a flood or leak, are hotbeds for growing fungi. The most common sites include showerheads, furniture, books, pets, shoes, carpets, and paper. Our own sinuses can even betray us and store toxins produced by mold.
Mold is the product of a combination of fungi that grow filaments. They reproduce by creating tiny spores that sprout and fly away. These spores often contain toxic components known as mycotoxins that easily circulate through the air, which is why it is important to change out your HVAC filter every three months.
Even with a properly filtered HVAC unit, your home and office are still likely to be breeding grounds for mold. In fact, half of the buildings we live and work in are water damaged and, therefore, prone to mold. Considering how much time humans spend indoors, this leaves us all quite susceptible to dangerous mold-related illnesses such as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).
CIRS is an inflammation within the body that is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. According to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, author of Surviving Mold: Life in the Era of Dangerous Buildings, 24% of people are genetically susceptible to mold illness and cannot produce sufficient antibodies in response to the biotoxins found in mold. People who fall under this group are particularly vulnerable to 95% of mold illnesses due to their immune response gene HLA-DR. Because of their weakened immune systems, this chronic inflammation cannot heal on its own and could lead to a number of other illnesses if left untreated.
If you meet all four of the following criteria, you may be diagnosed with CIRS:
- Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) tests producing abnormal results.
- A genetic susceptibility to illnesses related to biotoxins, which can be determined by the presence of an HLA-susceptible haplotype.
- Indications of current or previous biotoxin exposure, as well as symptoms that are consistent with the onset or presence of CIRS.
- Biomarkers that indicate the presence of vascular, neuroimmune, or endocrine irregularities that are specific to CIRS.
If you believe you have a mold illness or that you have mold somewhere in your home, hire a professional to inspect your house. Don't wait until you're in the hospital to take action.
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H/T: Healthy Food House