Get Mold & Toxin News!

Subscribe to get the latest content by email and a free PDF on the top 10 signs of mold in your home.

Wishing everyone the opportunity to "Dwell Well!"

© 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

More Questions?

Ask Cheryl yourself!


November 1, 2018




Health Effects and Symptoms of Mold Exposure



Problems of water damage in buildings along with mold growth are on the rise and so are complex health challenges.  Could there be a connection? 


Often times, water damage and related health hazards in buildings are completely concealed.  When water damage or mold does become apparent on surfaces or through musty smells, the problems have often been present for a long time.  Some mold species can also invade the human body, causing a multitude of health symptoms that may be 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, but there can be many more.  In fact, there may be more than 5 million species of mold, most of which have not yet been identified or studied.  With this number in mind, it is very possible that there are also toxic mold species that have yet to be identified so they can be tested even if they can be found.  


All mold fungi break down organic material, as a part of decomposition.  This is nature's recycling system and it is a good thing for creating soil.   We need quality soil to grow food, but the mold fungus found in soil, should not be in our tightly built homes, offices or schools, or in the air we breathe.   In human bodies, mold fungus can deplete the immune system, thus supporting and accelerating many diseases.  Breathing toxins like mold or bacteria can place a huge burden on the body's systems.  Since breathing is a critical function, it is possible the immune system becomes overwelmed and unable to fight other invaders, leading to the complex health issues we see today.   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.


It is also common that when people are exposed intensely to poor air quality in places that they spend lots of time, that it can take days, weeks or even months to notice improvements when those burdens are removed.




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






Diseases related to the immune system which may be related to mold exposure or made worse by mold exposure 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.



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.  I offer virtual inspections of test results, inspection reports and homes using photos and video links.


While stopping water damage and removing mold is always critical components to recovering health.  Essential oils are an additional protocol that I have incorporated for the benefit of myself and my family.  If you would like to try essential oils to see for yourself what benefits are available, then click this link:  


If you need help, I am happy to help answer your questions through a video or phone based consulting call. 
Click this link to request help:

Or click here to schedule an appointment directly:





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.




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


Please reload

Featured Posts


November 1, 2018

Please reload

Recent Posts

Please reload

Follow Cheryl
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon

© 2017 by Cheryl Ciecko, Inc.



The information contained herein 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 and the opinions represented do not constitute the practice of Architecture.  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.  Each project, building and location is unique.  The decision to use or not to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.  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 or a licensed building professional or Contractor.  Statements made herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.


We are not a medical organisation and we do not and cannot give or purport to give you any medical advice or assistance in whatever form. Nothing in the video, associated Websites or anything associated with it should be taken or understood as medical advice or assistance nor should it be interpreted in substitution for any medical advice or assistance or used or referred to instead of seeking appropriate medical advice or assistance from qualified practitioners for your particular circumstances and needs. You are solely responsible for evaluating and assessing your own health and well being and whether, in all the circumstances, you should access and use the Website and/or participate in the System and/or its products and services. We encourage you to seek appropriate medical advice or assistance before embarking on any use of the Website, program, plan, and/or its products or services.


You agree that neither we, nor any of our affiliates, service providers and/or suppliers, warrant or make any representation about the contents, products, services or offers referred to in the Website, Plan, or program, and specifically do not make any representation about the risks, results, reasonableness, or accuracy or otherwise of such contents, products, services or offers and your use of the Website, program, plan or any products and services, is at your sole risk.


Cheryl Ciecko/Cheryl Ciecko Inc./ Cheryl Ciecko Goethals Architect, Inc. information articles webinars and other resources or references are intended for professionals. The author and the publisher of shared information have used their best efforts to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. The author and publisher make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information contained in this article, document or resource link.


The information presented in all content on this website and related materials must be used with care by professionals who understand the implications of what they are doing. If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional shall be sought. The author and publisher shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising from, the use of the information contained within shared documents and links.