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Breaking the Mold: Mold Toxicity Symptoms and Solutions

0 2 years ago

Mold is a fungus found both outdoors and indoors. When certain types grow inside your home or workplace, you may develop mold-related illness.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of mold-induced toxicity are often vague — like fatigue, gut issues, memory problems, and muscle aches. So it’s easy to attribute them to other causes. On top of that, you don’t always know when you’re exposed to toxic mold. (1)

Due to these factors, mold illness often goes unrecognized and can be a barrier to overcoming complex, chronic health issues. If mold is an evil culprit for you, it’s crucial to identify and address it. (2)

What Is Mold Toxicity?

You may have heard of mold allergies. But mold toxicity, also called chronic mold illness, can cause problems that extend beyond common mold allergies.

Mold allergy symptoms tend to be limited to your eyes, respiratory tract, and skin (such as a runny nose and itchy eyes). Allergic reactions happen when your immune system overreacts to mold spores — dormant forms of the fungi. They’re lightweight and easily float through the air, under the radar. (1)

In contrast, mold illness results from mold growing indoors that produces toxins that trigger varied and widespread symptoms throughout your body.

Water-damaged buildings harbor mold toxins. This damage can result from any water intrusion, such as flooding, leaky pipes, or melting snow. Everyday activities like showering without good ventilation are a danger as well. Warm, humid environments also increase mold growth risk. (2)

Several molds have many different species or subtypes, and some of them are more problematic than others. (3)

Examples of the different insidious mold types include: (4)

Aspergillus

Chaetomium

Cladosporium

Fusarium

Mucor

Penicillium

Rhizopus

Stachybotrys

Wallemia

Toxic mold growth could happen in any type of building. The most problematic ones are those where you spend a lot of time such as homes, schools, and workplaces. Studies suggest that up to 50% of buildings in North America and Europe may have water damage. Just to be on the safe side, it’s better to suspect a building has a mold growth problem rather than to assume it doesn’t. (5, 6)

Toxins Molds Produce

What makes mold a fear factor is not the fact that it exists, but the toxins it produces. The two main types of toxins are mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs).

Mycotoxins hitch a ride on mold spores or fragments of mold so they can travel through the air. In contrast, mVOCs easily travel through the air on their own, as they are gases. (4, 7)

You take in these mold toxins by breathing, swallowing, or touching them. Plus, mold may form colonies inside you and produce mycotoxins. That’s a terrifying thought. (7, 8)

Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are poisonous chemicals mold produces to help it defend its territory from other microbes. But mycotoxins can be very harmful to you — even in low concentrations. (9, 10)

In fact, scientists say that mycotoxins are more harmful than pesticides. It’s also thought that some countries have attempted to use concentrated doses of mycotoxins in biological warfare. (10, 11, 12)

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