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© Cheryl Ciecko, 2017

Cheryl Ciecko, AIA, ALA, LEED AP is a licensed architect who improves the health of people by helping them avoid toxin exposure in their buildings.  Cheryl also shares information on a variety of other potential toxin impacts affecting health, including food, products, water quality, and air quality.  Individual consulting is available upon request.

 

Follow Cheryl on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, or contact her by email at cheryl@avoidingmold.com

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WARNING SIGNS OF MOLD EXPOSURE THAT OFTEN GET IGNORED

June 26, 2017

 

 

 

Health Effects and Symptoms of Mold Exposure

 

  

Problems of water damage in buildings along with mold growth are on the rise.  Often the damage and health hazards are completely concealed.  When water damage or mold does become apparent on surfaces or through musty smells, the problems has often been present for a long time.  Some mold species can also invade the human body, causing a multitude of health symptoms that are often associated with many common diseases or conditions.  If mold spores are visible, what you see might just be a small example of what lurks hidden elsewhere. 

 

Stachybotrys chartarum and  Aspergillus/Penicillium, are just two of the most common building-related molds that can cause serious health issues.   All mold fungi break down organic material, as a part of decomposition.  This recycling is a good thing for soil. However, in human bodies, mold fungus can deplete the immune system, thus supporting and accelerating many diseases.  This article focuses on the most common symptoms associated with mold exposure and mold illness, as well as solutions we can use to protect ourselves. 

 

 

The most common symptoms of mold exposure listed by major health organizations including the EPA and CDC include:

 

Headaches                             Allergies

Breathing Difficulties              Coughing

Colds                                      Flu-Like Symptoms
Aching Muscles                      Sore Throat

Nausea                                    Vomiting

Diarrhea                                  Constipation

Fever                                       Sinus Congestion

Runny Nose                             Sneezing

 

Since these symptoms are very similar to virus or bacterial infection symptoms, as well as the the common flu, possible environmental causes are often overlooked.  It is important to keep in mind that when one is exposed to toxic mold on a regular basis, the body can become hyper-sensitive and react everywhere, even though the cause may be from one particular location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are some more common symptoms of mold exposure which are often overlooked.

 

Fatigue, Malaise                        Nosebleeds

Eye and Vision Problems          Earaches

Dandruff                                    Hair Loss

Fatigue                                      Hearing Loss

Irritability                                   Memory Loss

Learning Difficulties                  Brain Fog/ Focus Challenges

Difficulty Speaking                    Seizures
Skin Sores                                 Rashes

Sleep disorders                         Dizziness

Light-headedness                     Vertigo

Weight Loss                               Weight Gain

Anger                                         Rage

Anxiety                                       Drug abuse

Headache                                  Ringing in the Ears

 

 

 

Many diseases have been scientifically linked to mold exposure.  Mold exposure compromises the immune system even more when other health challenges are a burden.  These diseases include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asthma                                Allergies

Bleeding Lungs                   Dermatitis

Weight Gain                         Weight Loss

Anger, Rage                         Eczema

Anxiety                                  Bi-Polar Disorder

Drug Abuse                          Addiction

Chronic Fatigue                    Fibromyalgia

Depression                           Alzheimer’s Disease

Multiple Sclerosis                 Insomnia

Neuropathy                           OCD

Panic Disorder                      Paranoia

Schizoid Syndrome              Hives

Kidney Failure                      Infections

Death                                   Heavy Metal Toxicity

Lyme Disease                      ADD/ADHD

Parkinson's Disease             Cancer

Hormone Disruption             Thyroid Disease

 

Can mold really contribute to all of these health challenges?

 

Once the immune system is compromised by mold fungus, additional damage by any number of toxins, bacteria or viruses can destroy our bodies, and affect even our brain.  Mold commonly enters the body through breathing in spores. However, it can also enter through the skin and even the eyes. Once inside, mold can reproduce itself often using our own bodies, organs, tissues, and even our blood, for food. 

 

More research is certainly needed, however, it is likely that mold fungus in the body creates irritation, which leads to inflammation. Once the body starts an inflammatory process, it often becomes a systemic condition.  We must stop the cascading inflammatory process by eliminating mold exposure and then rebuilding the immune system.  While more research is needed, it is very possible that mold and other toxins which affect air quality in buildings may even be a significant contributor to all immune disorders and immune system diseases.

 

INFLAMMATORY IMMUNE DISORDERS AND DISEASES

Cancer                                              Diabetes        

Rheumatoid Arthritis                         Heart Disease

Bursitis                                              Laryngitis

Gingivitis                                           Tendonitis

Gastritis                                             Celiac Disease

Diverticulitis                                       Sepsis

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

 

Unfortunately, few doctors or building professionals know or understand how environment and mold can impact health.  There are tests for mold in blood and urine, though these tests are not well known.  Thanks to the internet and many avenues of information sharing, more and the numbers of doctors who are becoming aware is growing.  Many of the doctors and other health professionals who are educated on mold and toxins have been affected themselves.  They have been frustrated by the lack of information and often this frustration becomes the source of their energy to research to protect their own families or their own health.

 

Antibiotics are the typical solutions many doctors have come to rely on regardless of symptoms.  However, mold fungus is not a typical bacteria or a bacteria at all.  In fact, fungus are their own species of living organism that can adapt to antibiotics.  Steroids are often prescribed to counter inflammation without considering the cause of the inflammation to eliminate the source.  Steroid use for mold exposure patients can have devastating results, as the steroids depress the bodies natural immune system even further.  Imagine, noticing that your car’s engine light is on.  Would you go to a dealership to have them cut the wire to the engine light so you don’t see the warning?  Or do we try to get to the root cause of the engine light alert to avoid further damage to the engine or other systems.  Why has conventional medicine become focused on eliminating symptoms without evaluating causes?

 

Both antibiotics and steroids depress the immune system, making the body less able to fight off mold fungus invasions, or other bacteria including Lyme bacteria, which is a disease commonly associated with mold exposure.  With a depressed immune system, other health challenges get worse and worse, and can adversely affecting more systems of the body. And the stronger the antibiotics, and the longer you have to be on them, the worse the side effects. Antibiotics and steroids make health effects from mold exposure worse, not better.

 

 

For additional information, there is more free information available on this website. Reducing or eliminating mold exposure is critical.  Know that often times, mold is completely concealed and there are NO SIGNS but only health effects.  Thorough visual inspections are necessary along with other tests that can be done even by educated building owners.

 

Essential oils are one of the protocols that I use.  And if you would like to try essential oils to see for yourself what benefits are available, then click this link:

 

https://www.avoidingmold.com/products  

 

If you need help, I am happy to help answer your questions. 
Click this link to request help:  https://www.avoidingmold.com/contact

 

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REQUIRED DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this presentation is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any disease, ailment or injury to the body. It is not medical advice. FDA regulations prohibit the use of medical claims in conjunction with the sale of any product not approved by the FDA. Statements made herein have not been evaluated by the FDA.  


Any products, techniques, and/or personal usage tips referred to are not suggested as a replacement for proper treatment from a licensed health care professional. I am not a licensed health care professional and the decision to use or not to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the listener and/or reader.

Everyone is an individual with different body types, different blood types, different body chemistries, and it is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another person.

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Looking for more information on effects of mold on health? Check out some of Cheryl's other related posts:

 

Mold and Mental Illness...Moisture Matters!

 

Genetic Testing for Mold Sensitivity - the HLA-DR Gene

 

Facts on Ozone Use...Beware!

 

Avoid Mold Podcast

 

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