Mold toxicity is a very prevalent and underdiagnosed condition that can consist of a variety of symptoms. Although anyone can suffer from mold toxicity, 25% of the population is particularly vulnerable due to a genetic predisposition that inhibits the clearance of biotoxins.
Because mold grows on organic matter, it is an increasingly common part of our environment and people can be exposed in a variety of ways. When conditions are right, mold is able to feed on the moisture of its surroundings, which leads to the release of mold spores and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Outdoor sources of mold include: stagnant water sources, forests, beaches, playgrounds, and sidewalks. Unfortunately, mold is also commonly found indoors, which is typically more harmful as mold spores can accumulate in higher concentrations due to a lack of airflow. Mold spores can enter homes, schools, and workplaces by attaching to clothing, shoes, or pets. Additionally, homes in climates where it frequently rains or that reside near the water are more likely to develop mold as they are exposed to moisture more often. It is common for mold to be found in damp bathrooms, basements, carpets, tiles, drywall, washing machines, and dishwashers. Some of the most common varieties of indoor mold are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Stachybotrys atra, all of which are considered black mold.
As mold is a common part of our environment, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mold toxicity. Oftentimes, when exposure is mild, the symptoms of mold exposure mimic those of allergy season. Symptoms include: wheezing, coughing, watery eyes, and skin irritation. Long-term exposure to mold leads to more serious health issues such as memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and brain fog. For those who are immunocompromised, mold exposure can cause primary and secondary infections as well as lead to the development of asthma.
In 2003, the Environmental Health Center-Dallas conducted a study with 100 participants in an effort to uncover how mold toxicity affects the brain. After examining the participants after mold exposure, 100% of the patients experienced observable changes to their nervous system. Moreover, brain SPECT imaging scans also identified abnormalities in a significant portion of the participants.
Mold toxicity is a serious condition that can lead to cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments. If you are experiencing symptoms of mold toxicity or are being treated for mold exposure and feel you are not getting the help you need, it may be time to find a different doctor and treatment plan. Locating an effective and knowledgeable physician can seem daunting and unending, but there is hope!
At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to provide you with cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to properly diagnose and treat your condition, optimize your health, and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to see how we can help you!