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MOLD EXPOSURE SYMPTOMS

Mold can make you very sick, but most people don’t realize how insidious it can be. Mold can cause health issues ranging from severe allergic reactions to mental health problems. Come learn more about what medical symptoms are associated with mold exposure and how to correct a mold problem.

DISCLAIMERS:

Blog information is NOT intended to provide or replace medical advice. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

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Suggestions for products to use are just that, suggestions. You know yourself and your home best. Please do your own research on any product you use in your home or on your skin, and learn all the facts for yourself. Thank you.

WHY IS MOLD A HEALTH PROBLEM?

Mold is an insidious, invisible predator in your home. It hides in places no one ever thinks to look like under cabinets, in crawl spaces, and behind furniture. People may spend weeks, months, and even years fighting illness, and never know what they are really fighting…mold. Many of our customers find us after a recommendation from their doctor, indicating that they may in fact have a mold problem, and not just an illness.

Mold is most often associated with allergies, but mold is much more menacing than people know. While all molds have the potential to cause irritation and allergy symptoms, molds can also cause much more dangerous health problems including: fungal poisoning from mycotoxins and mental health issues.

SO WHAT IS A MYCOTOXIN?

When Mold is More than Allergies - Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins, literally ‘fungus poison’ in Latin, are secondary metabolites that can be produced by molds, and are not living organisms.2 Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold. Not all mold spores produce mycotoxins, but some do. So the molds that produce mycotoxins are the ones that could be categorized as toxic or poisonous.

WHAT DO MYCOTOXINS DO?

These chemical substances can cause many health problems ranging from mild to severe. Even if you are not allergic to mold, you can be affected by mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins can be absorbed by the body a number of ways including: through the skin, the airways, and through the intestinal lining. Detrimental health effects caused by mycotoxins can range from “acute poisoning to long-term effects such as immune deficiency and cancer.”2 Chronic disease sufferers, such as people with immunosuppressive disorders or underlying lung disease may be more sensitive to molds and mycotoxins in their environment.4

One of the main ways people become poisoned by mycotoxins is through eating contaminated foods.2 Foods such as apples, cereal grains, coffee beans, nuts, spices, and more can become contaminated with fungi that produce mycotoxins.2 To learn more about mycotoxins in foods see the World Health Organization’s article: Mycotoxins.

MOLD EXPOSURE SYMPTOMS

Even for people in good health, exposure to large amounts of mycotoxins and molds can overwhelm the immune system and cause symptoms of poisoning. Mycotoxins can be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms that are associated with allergic reactions are highlighted in italics.

Headache - Mold Exposure Symptoms

Some of the symptoms associated with mold and mycotoxins can include:

  • Chronic burning in the throat and nasal passages
  • Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
  • Eye irritation – red eyes, blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Skin rashes
  • Reduced color distinction
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of balance
  • Dizziness and Disorientation
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Light sensitivity
  • Vertigo
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Morning stiffness, joint pain and/or muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slower reaction time
  • Poor memory, difficult word finding
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unusual skin sensations, tingling and numbness
  • Appetite and mood swings
  • Body temperature regulation problems
  • Increased urinary frequency, increased sweating (especially at night), or increased thirst
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
  • Metallic taste in mouth

Information gathered for this list is found in resources 13 through 20 at the end of this article.

As you can see, the list is quite long! It is also not a list of symptoms that would immediately point a doctor to a specific illness. Some symptoms (like the symptoms associated with allergies) manifest immediately, but others such as poor color distinction, dizziness, fatigue, poor memory and difficulty word finding may take months or years to develop

Please remember that this blog is NOT intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

Always talk to your doctor about symptoms of any medical condition you are experiencing. It is unlikely to experience all the symptoms listed, but many of these symptoms could be cause for concern. An open dialog with your doctor is important for any medical condition. Ask questions to be sure you understand your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process.

LONG TERM MOLD HEALTH PROBLEMS FROM MOLD EXPOSURE

sneezing mom and child

In the long term, mold can lead to dangerous health problems including mental health problems in both adults and children.

Adults

Adults that have been exposed to mycotoxins can exhibit symptoms such as disordered brain function, changes in balance, slower blink reflexes, slower reaction times, color discrimination problems, and depression. 19 To learn more about how mold affects the brain check out our post: Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults.

Children

Children that grow up in homes with mold are more likely to suffer from allergies and asthma than children that live in homes without mold. 26, 27 Mold also appears to affect cognitive development in children.31

A scientific research group from Poland studied the effects of mold on children’s IQ development from birth to six years old.31 IQ scores were used to determine intelligence level at 6 years old.31 Study participants were compared to children who lived in homes without mold.31 They found that children who lived in homes with mold, especially those who were exposed to mold for longer periods of time, had triple the risk of low IQ scoring.31 Even accounting for differences in maternal education level, students who had lived in homes with mold for longer periods of time had a much higher risk of lower IQ scores.31

As you can see, living in a home or working in a school with mold growth is detrimental for the health of both adults and children. Studies have shown that once buildings are repaired the health of the people begins to be restored.26, 27 Without remediation, it is difficult to improve your health if you live or work in a building with mold.

SO, WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT MOLD GROWTH?

Here at Branch Environmental, we believe that nobody should live or work in a building that makes them sick! We want you and your children to live your best life in your best health.

When To Clean. When To Call.

person confused

Indoor mold growth can be prevented by controlling moisture and controlling humidity levels indoors.

To learn more about how to prevent mold from growing, see our posts titled: Basement Mold PreventionTop 6 Types of Water Damage and How to Avoid ThemMold’s Top 5 Hiding Places, and How to Prevent Bathroom Mold.

Ready to Clean!

You may be able to clean surface mold on the walls, ceilings or floors of your home that are less than ten square feet by using gentle detergents, vinegar, and water. If you see areas larger than ten square feet, or there is a musty smell you can’t identify, it may be time to call a professional.

To learn more about cleaning or removing mold, see our posts titled: A Simple Guide to Cleaning MoldBranch’s Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning GuideDisinfecting, Sterilizing, and Sanitizing. Is there a Difference?

WE’RE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US

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Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants, we can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good. So you can get back to living your best life!

Branch Environmental – Because nobody should live or work in a building that makes them sick.