Headaches, sinus, coughing—the tell-tale signs that you might have a mold infection.
It might sound like something out of a dystopian novel or movie, but you might be living with mold that could be having a very insidious toxic effect on your body. Mold toxicity is often misdiagnosed or not caught at all. The usual symptoms are sometimes so mild and similar to other underlying issues, that the medical fraternity might miss it entirely. And yet, it’s very much a part of daily life, whose presence can be a serious detriment to your overall health and wellbeing.
What is mold toxicity?
Mold toxicity is caused by mold, a fungus whose spores have mycotoxins that can have detrimental effects on the human body. Mold is different from the fungi we eat. It appears outdoors on rocks and indoors on walls or even food, as a spongy black/green/yellow or white, sometimes slimy mass on the surface in question. You can identify mold from its smell too—it’s a distinctive damp smell, especially as it grows and thrives indamp and humid conditions. Not all mold is toxic to humans, and even among the toxic variants, not all humans are allergic to it. However, some Molds are human pathogens, and these can have toxic effects. There are studies that have shown that a sizeable portion of the population can experience neurological or immunological damage from mold toxicity.
What causes mold toxicity?
There is a belief that mold toxicity and adult-onset asthma are related. When the mold spores colonize the sinus (through your nose) or the gut, it can remain persistent and make it more difficult to treat. And a leading cause for mold toxicity is toxins released from water-damaged buildings. The carcinogenic effects of food-borne mold contamination have also been noted. Mold is not easily detected, and therefore careful attention must be paid to buildings and sites that might show signs of mold. Regular checks will also keep this danger at bay.
How can I identify mold toxicity?
One of the main problems of mold toxicity is that it expresses itself in individuals as symptoms that are easily mistaken for other illnesses. The main symptoms are:
• Coughing (3)
• Itchy nose (2)
• Watery eyes
• General malaise
Exposure to mold can trigger the immune system causing inflammation that works against us. Mold toxins can also make their way into the blood stream through a leaky gut and cause neurologic symptoms. These neurotoxins can exhibit various symptoms through neuroinflammation like:
• Mood changes, like depression
• Panic attacks
• Brain fog
• Cognitive impairment
• Difficulty with focus and concentration
• Difficulty finding exact words
There have been many instances when patients were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or asthma, which were not responding to conventional treatment. However, after performing specific tests and working with a doctor who is familiar with mold, they were diagnosed with mold toxicity. Upon receiving proper treatment, their conditions improved tremendously. There are studies that show that mycotoxins can be extremely harmful to certain individuals and exacerbate underlying neurologic/pathologic conditions—therefore leading to an incorrect and premature diagnosis.
It is important to understand that Mold toxicity is not the same as candida overgrowth. Candida is a fungus that exists naturally in our gut. Sometimes due to poor lifestyle choices, there is an overgrowth, with symptoms that are similar mold toxicity. To make matter more complicated, mold toxicity may also lead to candida overgrowth. One-way to differentiate is by determining a person’s environment and the individual risk factors. Yutopia’s approach to study each patient’s lifestyle in detail therefore helps to make this crucial difference. Additionally, a urine Mycotoxin test is the most reliable test, that looks for presence of an inflammatory cause of illness.
Is Dubai susceptible to Mold toxicity?
Dubai’s weather makes air conditioners a necessity in all households. Mold thrives in humid conditions, and homes cooled by air conditioners are particularly susceptible to the growth of Mold. Especially if there is poor ventilation. Mold spores created in the vents are circulated by the air coming out of the AC, falling on furniture, carpets and growing there.
What are the treatments available for mold toxicity?
Treatment includes a process of detoxing the body. However before proceeding with that, it’s important to see if the body is ready for a detox. At Yutopia, pre-treatments prepare the body to make sure toxins can mobilize to these areas and be excreted successfully. Then, treatments with binders can be given for long periods of months starting with short doses that will make sure a patient is not overwhelmed with the effects of the toxins. If mold is still present, advanced treatments are available, usually a combination between prescription medications and alternative treatments.
Additionally, preventing mold from growing in your home is also a smart approach. There are several companies in Dubai that specialize in removing mold from air vents and walls. Make sure the walls, carpets and desks don’t show signs of humidity and mold.