Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen. *Note we will be using both the British (mould) and American (mold) spelling throughout this article.
Let's explore what mould is, how to identify it, and why you should avoid it.
What is Mould?
Mould is a dust-like type of fungus that is made up of spores. These mold spores float through the air and spread. Once they land in wet or moist areas, they begin to grow.
Mould thrives in homes because of the warm weather and high humidity levels, which provides the perfect environment for moldy surfaces.
Without adequate ventilation, any excessive moisture such as heavy rain downpours or flooding, can cause the ideal habitat for mold.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, it's important to act quickly, because if left unchecked, mould can cause serious damage to your property and pose a serious risk to your health.
How to Detox From Mould Poisoning
If you have a mold allergy or you are at risk of severe mold injury - like people with weakened immune systems, chronic lung diseases, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), transplant patients, and fungal infections - mold toxicity should be taken extremely seriously.
Depending on the severity of your exposure, you may need to receive medical treatment. In addition, there are a number of things you can do at home to detox your body from mold poisoning.
1. Test for Mold Allergy
A specific blood sample will be able to check certain white-blood cells to see if you have a mold allergy and check on your immune system response.
A GP will be able to help diagnose allergic reactions or symptoms of asthma development - and medical guidance is advised as they may prompt you to take allergy shots.
2. Environmental Health Practice: Remove Yourself from Mold Exposure
Like any detox, it is just as important to prevent the exposure of toxins as it is to remove them. Either remove mold or remove yourself from the mold environment. In extreme cases, use an occupational hygienist.
If doing it yourself, wear protective clothing (such as rubber boots and gloves). You must also prevent mould from growing. Remove any excess moisture or indoor humidity, and limited the use of unflued gas heaters. Ensure that you fix leaky plumbing and check ceiling tiles as these can easily be overlooked.
3. Support Detoxification Pathways
Drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and get plenty of rest. You may also want to consider taking supplements such as vitamin C or glutathione, which can help to boost your immune system. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is made up of amino acids and its job is to detoxify free radicals and toxins.
This is especially important for people with weakened immune to begin with. The body is able to make glutathione in the liver, but low levels have been associated with several medical conditions. Foods high in glutathione are spinach, avocados, asparagus, and okra. There are certain low-mould diets available online that we recommend you follow.
4. Turbocharge Gut Health with Supplements
Gut health is key for detox because it helps to remove toxins from the body. The gut lining absorbs the toxins and moves them through the gastrointestinal tract. This is where binders come in.
They help to attract and bind to the toxins, which then move through the gut and are eliminated from the body. Binders can be prescription or nonprescription, depending on the specific product. Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are two types of nonprescription binders that may be recommended.
5. Infrared Sauna Detoxification Protocols
Detoxing your body from mold poisoning can be a challenge, but it's important to take action as soon as possible to protect your health.
The greatest tool for detoxing your body and getting rid of symptoms like a mold allergy or mold exposure is an infrared sauna. On top of the large range of infrared sauna health benefits they will also help you relax and remove any stress from your symptoms to drastically improve the results from any kind of mold detox.
Below are some resources to help you understand how infrared saunas are the perfect tool for detoxification, and how you can utilise them to detox yourself from mold poisoning:
When it comes to toxic mould, diet can play an important role in both preventing and fighting exposure.
There are a variety of foods that can help to fight against mould toxicity, including:
Berries: Rich in antioxidants, berries help to protect cells from damage caused by toxins.
Green leafy vegetables: Leafy greens are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, which help to boost the immune system. They also contain chlorophyll, which can help to detoxify the body.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a good source of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system. They also contain fatty acids that help to promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics help to balance the gut microbiome, which can be helpful in fighting mould toxicity. Foods rich in probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
By including these foods in your diet, you can help to protect yourself from toxic mold exposure and prevent the symptoms of a mold allergy.
Using an Infrared Sauna for Mould Detoxification
As mentioned earlier, infrared saunas are a great way to detoxify from mould toxicity. This is due to the far-infrared wavelengths heating deep into the human body and causing fat-cells to disperse, releasing stored toxins and heavy metals from these fat cells and releasing them back into the bloodstream to be excreted through the body's organs and lymphatic system.
How hot should your sauna should be? Roughly 50-50ºC for the time you are inside your sauna. Remember that the temperature of your sauna is not as important as your core body temperature, and your main focus should be raising your core temperature gradually.
The more times you sauna per week, the greater detoxification benefit you will receive, therefore, if you can sauna daily for mould detoxification, you will see greater results than if you only sauna twice a week or less.
What to wear inside an infrared sauna while doing a detoxification protocol is either a towel or nothing at all! This is due to the properties of infrared light and how they need to not be obstructed by any material.
Discover proven ways to supercharge your infrared sauna experience.
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Early Warning Signs: How to Prevent Mold Growth
While mould is a common household nuisance, it can also pose serious health risks, especially for young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions like asthma and lung disease, or those with weakened immune systems.
Here's what you need to know to be able to identify mold growth in your home:
1. Mould Poisoning Symptoms
According to Forbes, 3%-10% of the total population have mold allergies. Suspect mould contamination will cause mold allergies to worsen.
Mold allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on one's exposure to mold and previous health risks.
Mild allergy symptoms include an itchy or stuffy nose, skin rashes, wheezing and even headaches.
One of the most common signs of mould is its unsanitary musty smell. If you notice a persistent musty odour in your home that worsens over time, it could be a type of mold. The musty smell is caused by inhaling mould spores - most likely toxic substances.
Ensuring a room is properly ventilated with open windows, exhaust fans or an air conditioner may not fix the problem if there has been sufficient moisture over long periods of time and you have noticed the smell become progressively worse.
3. Mold Grows in Clusters
Mould often appears as spots or clusters of growth on surfaces with poor ventilation, like inside walls, ceilings, insulation material and hard surfaces like tiles or wood.
Different colours of mould exist, including black mold (the worst for your health), white, green, yellow, or brown.
In some instances, you may be able to control mold growth before it becomes unmanageable with proper cross-ventilation, cleaning products (beware not to mix bleach with household cleaners), and a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum cleaner.
4. Environments for Mold Growth
As we've mentioned throughout, there are several potential causes of mold growth in homes. Primarily moisture-damaged surfaces, dark and high humidity areas, poorly ventilated zones and old food sources.
If you are unsure, professionals can provide specialist mould testing where they may take dust samples of spores for examination.
If you have a combination of these warning signs, chances are there is exposure to mold.
What Mold is the Worst?
Not all mould is as toxic to human health as others. The reason for this is that some mold is "toxigenic" - meaning they produce mycotoxins.
It is these mycotoxins that cause mold related illnesses and severe health problems. Different types of mold species include:
Aspergillus Mold Spores
Aspergillus is a type of mold that is very common both indoors and outdoors, and produces harmful mycotoxins. It is found in soil, decaying vegetation, and stored food products. Most people breathe in fungal spores every day without any problems.
However, for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in Aspergillus spores can cause an infection in the lungs or sinuses which can spread to other parts of the body. There are approximately 180 species of Aspergillus, but fewer than 40 of them are known to cause infections in humans. The most common species that causes human infections is A. fumigatus. Other common species include A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger.
Cladosporium Mold Spores
Cladosporium is a type of mold that is common in areas with humidity, moisture, and water damage. The spores from this mold can be airborne, which is how it spreads.
This type of mold produces mycotoxins and can cause some allergy symptoms if the person around the mold is allergic. Cladosporium is not known to have toxic effects on human health, but it can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with odours.
Penicillium Mold Spores
One specific attribute of Penicillium mold is that it produces a mycotoxin called patulin. This toxin can be harmful to humans, potentially causing nasal allergies and asthma.
Additionally, Penicillium mold is commonly found in the environment, growing on various types of vegetation, decaying materials and foods. It can also be found indoors, often in moist environments such as basements and bathrooms.
Black Mold Spores or Stachybotrys chartarum
Stachybotrys chartarum(black mould) is a greenish-black mold that has garnered a great deal of attention in recent years as a possible cause of adverse health effects. This mold thrives in environments that are moist and have a high cellulose content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper.
Black mold exposure can cause respiratory problems such as nasal irritation, burning and congestion, cough, wheezing, chest tightness and dyspnea, as well as central nervous system issues like headache, irritability, lightheadedness, sleeping difficulty, concentration problems and mental fatigue. Alopecia, rashes, eye irritation and similar symptoms have been reported from black mold exposure.
Removing Mould from Your Home
Mould growth and mould exposure are common in many homes, and new developments on its adverse effects on the human body are coming to light.
While there are still very few reports on effective mold treatments available, ensuring a mold free environment and detoxification are the best ways to combat any symptoms.