DIY: Where and How to Start Investigating Mold in Your Home?
By Cesar Collado
It is often overwhelming when you are suffering from debilitating symptoms and your physician does not have any answers. Repeated visits, additional diagnostics, medication trials and still no progress. After some internet investigating, you ask the question: Can mold be making me sick?
When you google mold testing, you get a wide variety of potential solutions ranging from mold petri dishes, professional mold investigators, and everything in between. There are pros and cons to many of the solutions which include price as an important consideration. Unfortunately, precision is of the utmost importance and it does not correlate with price. In fact, an inexpensive petri dish can provide you with conclusive information that you have a mold problem as clearly, if not more so, than a professional investigator. The conclusion, however, is to have the mold remediated and hope you get better. That is a very expensive proposition!
Professional investigators have many technologies and protocols to follow to determine the quantity of mold (often spore counts), species (utilizing laboratory results), and in the end, they provide little conclusive information useful for your medical diagnosis. Bau Biologists and other professionals well versed in mycology have other tests that require instrumentation and can be more costly. Conclusive information will help you or your physician diagnose and treat mold illness.
There is a Solution for Consumers
I have the opportunity to interact with many professionals in the mold space including physicians, patients, mold remediators, building science experts, and laboratories. In my opinion, the solution provided by ImmunoLytics is the most cost effective and conclusive approach to getting important information quickly to you and your physician. Let me explain.
The Rosetta Stone was an ancient slab of stone that had 3 inscribed versions of the same ancient text with minor differences. Because it was inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics and both ancient Egyptian and Greek languages, it opened up an avenue to understand Egyptian History and interpret hieroglyphics. This was something that was impossible before its discovery in 1799.
The ImmunoLytics test plates are petri dish gravity plates. This means that you expose the opened plate and gravity will allow airborne mold spores to settle on the mold food source. The plates are then closed and incubated anywhere from 3-7 days. After the incubation period, you can visibly see mold growth. Counting the colonies provides an indication of the degree of mold contamination.
There are several elements that differentiate ImmunoLytics from other plate analysis. You can purchase several plates at a time; as it is recommended that multiple tests be done in different areas of the home to both assure that the mold problem is found, and to provide an indication of the potential source of contamination. It is important that mold test plates can be sent directly to the lab for analysis. ImmunoLytics then provides the results of your home test plates with the genera of mold found. This is where the key differentiation occurs:
- Candida can be identified and provides the physician the notion that the fungal infection is in fact a yeast overgrowth inside the patients gut which may cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, thrush (white tongue) and GERD where treatment and diet can be prescribed
- Lab results may Identify specific genera of mold that produce mycotoxins. the company provides a description of each of these mold genera and their associated mycotoxins.
- Determining genera can be instrumental in finding the source of the moisture and mold. Certain molds suggest wet drywall, some suggest HVAC, some suggest infected people or pets, while others are outdoor molds as examples.
- The mold test plates allow ImmunLytics to detect all molds that grow on the agar. This includes genera such as Alternaria, which create auto-immune symptoms in many individuals.
Why is This Solution So Critical?
Like the Rosetta Stone, the ImmunoLytics analysis is the first piece of conclusive evidence that ties several diverse sources of information together.
- The analysis determines if you have mold in your home at levels which could affect your health.
- The determination of genera can determine if mycotoxins produced by the genera may be present
- The presence of mycotoxins can provide a source of explanation for symptoms that are characteristic to toxic exposure via inhalation (Brain fog, headaches, fatigue, sinus infections, respiratory issues)
- The information can provide clues to mold remediation professionals on where to look for moisture and mold in your home.
- ImmunoLytics provides a free consultation to help with the interpretation of your mold results.
While many physicians do not acknowledge mold sickness because of their dated training, the evidence of mold and presence of potent toxins yields important information, whether positive or negative, to make progress in identifying the cause of your illness.
Cesar Collado is a former pharmaceutical
R&D senior executive, venture capitalist, and seasoned strategy consultant
in life-sciences, healthcare, and many new technologies across scientific
disciplines that impact numerous industries. He currently works as an advisor
to multiple technology start-ups across industries and advises several
companies that provide healthcare and other services for environmental illness. He has authored over 100 articles about mold
and environmental illness and collaborates with numerous professionals who
serve the environmentally ill.