Mold Impacts the Entire Household in Many Intractable Ways
By Cesar Collado
For the past 5 years, I have written about the devastating impact of mold illness. During this time, I have spoken to countless professionals who have dedicated their careers to helping mold sick people trudge through the efforts required to reach wellness. These include many physicians who specialize in mold illness, ENTs, integrative medicine and naturopathic specialists, homeopathic practitioners, and chiropractors. Many of the individuals have suffered from environmental illness themselves or in their families, helping them understand the many challenges. I have also spoken and exchanged emails with countless patients whose lives have been devastated by mold. Finally, I work with building scientists, HVAC professionals, mold remediators, and other companies that serve this population.
They discuss the heartbreaking stories encountered when treating the devastating illness. The stories are overwhelmingly sad, and patients often lose hope. The illness is not just physical, it can permeate through their entire existence. Today, I would like to focus on the different hardships these people go through with their personal situations. It is not just a malady. It can consume a life, career, relationships, and impact entire families. What makes it worse is that traditional medicine pays little attention to all of the consequences, and insurance seldom pays for these illnesses.
7 Medical Consequences of Mold Exposure
- Inflammation is the cause of many symptoms’ patients suffer from. This can be experienced through chronic sinusitis (>12 weeks a year), headaches, pain, gut and digestive issues, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular events, blurred vision, and Candida overgrowth. Candida overgrowth can cause oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and toenail fungus. Any single symptom, or combination of symptoms, can render a person debilitated. Mold patients have trouble functioning well in their lives when inflammation attacks the body.
- Pain. Many types of chronic pain are experienced by mold patients. The pain is often diagnosed as fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and neurological problems that can impact the motor function of people, migraines and sinus headaches, and tremors or limb disfunctions. Some people may have trouble standing or walking. Vertigo and Tinnitus can also render an individual debilitated.
- Brain Dysfunction: This is often the most disturbing of symptoms. Brain fog, memory issues, and motor function issues like tremors are disturbing symptoms that leave patients anywhere between frustrated and paralyzed with fear.
- Toxicity: Mold producing mycotoxins are typically inhaled or ingested. When inhaled, these toxins can go straight to the brain due to the proximity of the sphenoid sinuses and the blood brain barrier. Toxins impact brain function and are harmful to many human organs, causing organ failure in some cases. Detoxification through binding and excreting the toxins takes time, effort, and patience. The road to wellness is difficult, even with a physician’s help.
- Referrals: Since people often begin with their family doctors, it is unlikely that treatment will be a one stop endeavor. Most general practitioners are not trained in diagnosing and treating environmental illnesses. The symptoms can be similar to many chronic diseases. This results in referrals to psychiatrists, rheumatologists, neurologists, internists, ENTs, and endocrinologists. There is no promise that any random physician will be versed in environmental medicine and may diagnose and treat the patient symptoms rather than identifying the cause. Since mold illness is often a diagnosis of exclusion, patients are often treated with antidepressants or anticonvulsive medicines that require lengthy trials and create side effects that may add to the symptoms without resolution.
- Diagnostics: Because a mold illness manifests in so many ways where symptoms mimic other illnesses, expensive diagnostics are often used in searching for the cause. MRIs and CT scans are common. There are also endless non-conclusive blood tests that physicians may prescribe to provide clues to many diseases that may be unrelated to mold illness. This takes time, effort, and can be expensive, even with medical insurance.
- Anger: This can be a lengthy and difficult process where people can lose patience, being severely ill the whole time. The lengthy, expensive, and non-guaranteed path of physicians can test a patient’s resilience. It is difficult to not feel angry, because mold illness is not in their control. Often, the patients and their loved ones are more than inconvenienced by the time and effort required to seek solutions. Patients often feel guilty that the sickness limits their ability to participate in their work and family life normally.
Much More Than A Malady
Mold illness impacts the entire family! The inability to function normally puts strain on many other aspects of your life. A patient might not be able to work and thus, put financial constraints on the family, requiring sacrifices. Resentments ultimately develop when the partners do not believe or understand the illness. I have heard many cases where divorce results.
4 Severe Consequences of Mold Illness:
- Depression and Anxiety: This is very common amongst mold patients. Falling into a deep depression and having anxiety can make life much worse. Symptoms may include panic attacks, lethargy, sleep disruption, eating less or too much, and general sadness.
- Family Issues. The inability to participate in family activities, perform household duties, and possibly losing an essential second income can lead to resentment by the family. It is not uncommon that only one person is ill leading to a lack of understanding or empathy from family members. When the spouse or family member does not believe in the sickness because they are not sick (roughly 25% of the population has the HLA-DR gene defect that makes them unable to metabolize mold and mycotoxins), tensions can arise. Sarcasm can be especially hurtful and contribute to conflict amongst spouses and other family members. These issues in themselves can be devastating to any individual.
- Financial Stress: Healthcare costs can be significant, even with medical insurance. These costs can be catastrophic for people who don’t have adequate insurance. Furthermore, getting a home fixed, having to move, or loss of any income, can create paralyzing financial situations for a family.
- Hopelessness: Any combination of the above consequences can overwhelm the best of us making keeping a positive outlook impossible. Many people reach the point where they just give up. This is the saddest of the consequences. Some people lose hope, quit trying, and let whatever happens happen. Hopelessness is contagious and can last a lifetime. I have spoken to patients who have been ill for decades without resolution or even confirmation of their illness. Life can become a burden in a patient’s mind.
Mold sickness can destroy the will of a person and the bonds of a family. Financial stress can be all consuming.
What Can You Do to Begin Addressing Your Mold Sickness?
- Begin by Testing. It is always best to gather evidence to share with a physician ImmunoLytics Customized Mold Testing can help you gather the information to confirm the presence of mold or mycotoxin producing molds throughout your home.
ImmunoLytics mold testing just became much easier.
- Find a Doctor who treats environmental illness. You can simply Google “environmental illness physicians” to find practitioners who treat environmental illness. Spending some time reading about the practice will speak volumes about the practice’s dedication and commitment to treating for mold and other environmental toxins.
- Try to educate your family about environmental illness. Ask them to review websites or articles that explain the malady and its impact. It often requires a family commitment to weather the path needed to get better. Expectations can be clear with a positive wellness outcome as the goal over time. As an additional resource recommend the book Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness by Dr. Neil Nathan.
- Follow any prescribed protocol precisely, to address the situation step by step. Like many complex issues, following specific directions is essential. A “weak link” in your wellness protocol can sabotage the significant efforts required to seek help and resolve the underlying cause of your illness.
What Can You Do to Begin Addressing Mold in Your Home?
- Inspect your home to find any water damage, leaks, or moisture source in your home and get them fixed. Learn more about DIY inspecting of your home HERE. It is not difficult and takes minimal time.
- Thorough, cost effective testing by ImmunoLytics will provide signification to validate your belief and can streamline the diagnostic process for physicians and remediation vendors. This can also be a cost-effective alternative to home mold inspections and prevent being overcharged for remediation. Learn more about navigating professional mold testing and remediation HERE.
- Fogging you home with any of the Bio-Balance solutions is a good way to reduce the fungal load in your home air. If you feel better, you have some evidence that mold in your home is your issue. While I am not a physician, if you suspect, smell, or see mold, this is a quick way to determine if mold is your issue. Physicians most often prefer to do an overall examination and perform normal diagnostic tests prior to considering mold as the cause. Diagnostic blood tests can be costly. This approach can be cheaper and faster to test a mold hypothesis. All of Bio-Balance solutions are non-toxic, all-natural, and safe for the entire family and pets. Learn more about Bio-Balance DIY fogging HERE.