Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel

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10 Symptoms of Mold Sensitivity – The Mold Series, Part 1 of 3

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) Do you live with chronic allergies, unexplained pain, and debilitating fatigue? Millions of people struggle with mystery symptoms their doctors can make no sense of. If you're one of them, hidden mold sensitivity could be the cause.

The most common types of mold include:

Cladosporium
Penicillium
Alternaria
Aspergillus
Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys chlorohalonata (Black molds)

Black molds are the most dangerous to your health and are commonly found in water-damaged areas of buildings and in wet basements. Black molds contain neurotoxins that have been linked to serious, long-term neurological dysfunction.

Research suggests that it is not the black mold itself, but rather the biotoxins produced by these organisms, that triggers a mold allergy.

In this three-part series, I will show you the symptoms of mold sensitivity, signs mold is lurking in your home, and how to get rid of mold naturally.

Let's get started by looking at the 10 most common symptoms of mold sensitivity:

1. Numbness and tingling

The neurotoxins produced by mold can cause numbness and tingling in the extremities. If you've ever had a foot "fall asleep" due to the circulation being cut off, you know how strange and uncomfortable it feels when blood rushes back to the limb. Numbness and tingling caused by neurological damage are felt on and off all the time despite healthy circulation.

Research has shown that patients with chronic exposure to toxic molds commonly develop a deficiency in vitamin B12. Your body needs vitamin B12 to make DNA, nerves, and blood cells. If you do not have enough of this critical nutrient in your system, it can cause serious neurological and mental impairment.

According to a case report published in the French journal, Encephale, patients with vitamin B12 deficiency can show signs of depression, mania, and psychosis.

2. Upper respiratory problems

If you're prone to chronic sinus infections, excessive mucus in your throat, (http://www.tbyil.com/Treat_Chronic_Throat_Clearing_Naturally_by_Jaime_A_Heidel.htm), have a dry and hacking cough, wheeze, or feel tightness in your chest, you may have a mold allergy.

According to the CDC, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found evidence that indoor mold exposure can cause upper respiratory problems for those susceptible to asthma. Exposure to mold has also been linked to respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

3. Learning and memory problems

Brain fog, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating are common, but often overlooked, signs of mold sensitivity. Many who experience these cognitive symptoms simply chalk them up to stress, lack of sleep, or age.

In a 2003 study conducted by the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, nervous system challenges were observed in every single study participant exposed to mold. That's 100 out of 100. A significant portion of the participants who were exposed to mold also presented with abnormalities in their brain SPECT scans.

4. Blurry vision

When toxic black mold mycotoxins come into contact with your eyes, they kill the cells within, leading to inflammation, injury, and vision problems.

5. Light sensitivity

Light sensitivity, also known as 'photophobia', is linked to a malfunction of the nervous system. As a matter of fact, if any of your senses are more sensitive than they used to be (e.g., lights are too bright, sound is too loud, touch is irritating), toxic mold could be destroying your nervous system.

 

6. Autoimmune disease

If you've been diagnosed with any type of autoimmune disease, it is critical that you check your home and work surroundings for mold. According to the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, molds and mycotoxins have been linked to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

An article written by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker of SurvivingMold.com published an article stating that the presence of mycotoxins could be more prevalent in those with chronic fatigue syndrome, leading to an imbalance in gut bacteria and increased susceptibility to the condition.

7. Recurring headaches

If you're sensitive to mold, your sinuses can become chronically inflamed and congested, leading to recurring headaches that concentrate in the forehead and below the eyes.

If you're a migraine sufferer, this may be a sign of mold sensitivity, as well. Research has suggested that immune system cells sensitive to mold will release chemicals that cause the blood vessels in your head to swell, triggering a migraine.

8. Skin rash

Recurrent skin rash is another telltale sign of mold sensitivity. When you come into physical contact with mold, you develop histamine bodies as a defense mechanism.

The most common way this occurs is when you're doing lawn work and are exposed to wet leaves and dirt. The rash usually originates at the point of contact and spreads from there.

9. Muscle and joint pain

Research has shown that the joint pain caused by long-term mold exposure is nearly identical to the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. This can lead to a misdiagnosis and a prescription for painkillers. As long as you remain in the mold-contaminated environment, your muscle and joint pain will persist. Meanwhile, your body will build up a tolerance to pain medication and, over time, the drugs won't work as well.

10. Fatigue

There are dozens of reasons you might feel exhausted all the time. One of them is long-term mold exposure. If you inhale and/or come into contact with mold on a regular basis, your immune system will be in a constant state of "fight or flight". Over time, this non-stop immune system response can lead to autoimmune disease and chronic fatigue.

If sensitivity to mold is what's causing your mystery symptoms, you're actually in luck. Now all we have to do to get your health back on track is figure out where it is and get rid of it!

See also:

10 Symptoms of Mold Sensitivity – The Mold Series, Part 1 of 3

And stay tuned for part 3 of 3: "How to Get Rid of Mold Naturally"

Sources:

http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/diffdx/mold2.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15029091
http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15143852
http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2009/06/oped1-0906.html
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35932711/ns/health-allergies_and_asthma/t/tired-depressed-it-may-be-hidden-allergies/
http://www.mold-advisor.com/mycotoxins-and-joint-pain.html

About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.

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