What is Mold Sensitivity?
Mold is a type of fungus that decomposes organic material, such dust, dirt, wood, and paper. Exposure to mold can cause a number of health problems. Mold sensitivity is chronic non-allergic response to mold exposure. CIRS or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome is caused by exposure to mold and other biotoxin producers.
Mold is found in nature and is present both indoors and outdoors in great numbers. In order for mold to grow, it must have oxygen, a food source, moderate temperatures (between 40 and 100 degrees F.) Most importantly, moisture must be present with humidity levels above 60%.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Those suffering with allergies, asthma, respiratory issues or with a weakened immune system are at an increased risk of CIRS or mold related illnesses. For example, the following symptoms may indicate a biotoxin illness or mold toxicity:
- Skin irritations- rashes, itchy skin and redness
- Eye irritations- itchy eyes, watery eyes and red eyes
- Respiratory Disturbances- coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks and difficulty breathing
- Hay fever symptoms- sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion
- Unexplained fatigue and Lethargy
- Memory loss
- Hoarseness and Sore throat
Ways to Reduce Mold Spores
Although it is almost impossible to keep mold spores out of your home, there are things you can do to decrease the number of those spores in your home.
- Plug in a dehumidifier to decrease the number of mold spores in your home.
- Use exhaust fans to vent steam from your kitchen and bathroom, and ensure your clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors.
- Inspect roofs, windows, and plumbing pipes for leaks and fixed.
- Check the areas under your sinks to ensure they are dry.
- Have your HVAC system and ductwork cleaned regularly.
Natural Treatment Options
Detoxification – While the offending mold is being removed, you can start healing your body. Detoxification programs use a variety of herbs, supplements, and food choices to restore the body’s natural process of clearing toxic chemicals. Detoxification has three steps:
- Restoring the healthy function of the internal organs.
- Moving the offending agents from the tissues where the body has stored them.
- Transforming the toxins into a form that can be eliminated from the body.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture is an East Asian approach to healing the body that is now an accepted medical treatment throughout the world. Thin sterile needles are placed at particular locations on the body can correct nerve and electrical responses and alleviate pain. Further, it increases energy and improves immunity. For this reason, acupuncture is helpful for those suffering from headaches, fatigue, digestive disturbances, hormone imbalances, and allergies among the many symptoms of mold toxicity.
Osteopathic Manual Therapy – Traditional osteopathic treatment is about loosening muscles and joints. Equally important, these treatments also seek to restore the free flow of body liquids circulating in the blood, lymph, and spinal fluid. Since these fluids are where toxic waste products and environmental toxins can get “stuck”, osteopathic treatments help move toxins from the organs and tissue where they have been deposited.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes – Typically, recovering from a more long-term health problem such as CIRS/Biotoxin illness requires changes in diet, lifestyle, and emotional stress management (mindfulness) to support a more vigorous recovery. For the best results, these should be planned in consultation with your integrative medicine practitioner.
Detoxify To Remove Mold Toxins
Mold specialists help you detoxify by using a combination of binders to help remove toxins from your body. Specifically, some of the common binders used to help remove mold are:
- Activated Charcoal – Activated charcoal must be carefully administered because it will bind to everything, including toxins, vitamins, minerals, and other medications. To this end, when using activated charcoal, your integrative physician will carefully monitor your nutrition, and add supplements to keep you balanced and healthy.
- Bentonite Clay – Bentonite clay comes from volcano ash and has been used around the world for many years to help detoxify the body. It absorbs heavy metals, toxins, and other harmful materials. Additionally, it provides the body with a variety of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and sodium. At the same time, Bentonite clay provides the body with antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Chlorella – Chlorella is an alga that does a great job of detoxifying the body. Chlorella binds to toxins and heavy metals in the digestive tract and helps transport it out of the body. In contrast to other types of binders (activated charcoal, bentonite clay, etc.), chlorella does not remove minerals and nutrients from the body. Because of this, chlorella helps boost immunity naturally. Not to mention, there is no risk of nutritional deficiencies with long term use. As a result, it is a popular binder used by integrative practitioners.
Other Natural Detox Options
- Pectin – Pectin is found in a variety of fruits, including citrus, apples, and plums. It is dehydrated and used as a fiber supplement, which sweeps away biotoxins found in the gastrointestinal tract and binds with heavy metals. Pectin works well with other binders and is inexpensive. At the same, however, pectin can cause gastrointestinal issues like gas, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. For this reason, always consult your practitioner before using this product.
- Zeolite – Zeolite is a powder comprised of several natural minerals. This popular detoxification powder binds with heavy metals and toxins and draws them from the body. For this reason, functional medicine often combines zeolite with other binders to provide a balanced detoxification plan. Since there are 49 forms of Zeolite, seek out the help of a knowledgeable integrative practitioner who is familiar with detoxification and binders.
Below, you will find out Toxicity Screening Questionnaire, which can help identify symptoms that may indicate a Mold Sensitivity, CIRS, or Inflammation.
We Can Help
Our functional medicine practitioner specializes in natural treatment of mold issues for adults and children of all ages.