Mold exposure, specifically black mold can cause serious health problems. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states that mold growth is very common in homes and will grow in any place that has moisture including the shower, bathroom, kitchen, basements, HVAC systems, etc.
The symptoms of mold exposure are not pleasant but it is important to know that you can recover from exposure and there are natural lifestyle strategies that can be done to prevent mold from growing at all.
Black mold, scientifically known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra is a fungus that grows spores that can spread on damp environments, it can produce toxins that can be poisonous.
Mold is typically found on porous surfaces and it can also have a green or gray color with a smell that is mildew or musty, it grows in both warm and cold climates. With all the flooding in Florida and the East Coast this year, a mold is becoming a major problem and often goes undiagnosed.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure Include:
- High temperature
- Chronic headaches
- Skin irritation
- Coughing and sneezing
- Inflammation of the sinus cavity mouth, or throat
- Inflammation around the eyes
- Inflammation around lungs
- In severe cases nausea, vomiting, and even bleeding in respiratory cavities
- Depression, new research shows that household mold exposure can increase risk for depression tendencies.
- Mold exposure has been related to death.
If you want to find out if you have been exposed to mold you can get an immunology laboratory test that tests urine samples for exposure to toxins. You can also get a mold testing company to come to your house.
Those at higher risk for mold exposure include any house inspectors, insurance claims agents especially those who have to analyze damage from catastrophe floods, etc. Lower income families who live in public housing exposed to water damage or poor upkeep, and those who work or live in older buildings that have had water damage and poor upkeep or follow up on the mold risk after the damage.
Natural Strategies to Fight Mold Exposure
Reduce your consumption of sugar, mold thrives on sugar and actually requires it to survive. If you eliminate your consumption of sugar you will essentially “starve out” the fungi that molds and even yeast need to thrive.
Drink one half your body weight in ounces of Hydroxide water every day. Mold causes inflammation and its spores are often toxic. The combination of inflammation and toxic substances can block or slow our natural detoxification pathways. Hydroxide water (water with extra OH-) will combine with H+ in the body forming water. H+ ions in the body cause acidity which causes acidosis which causes inflammation. Eliminating this excess acid will reduce inflammation. It also forms extra water (called ultra-hydration, this combined with the reduction of inflammation opens up the detoxification pathways helping the body eliminate the toxins from the mold.
Increase your consumption of dark leafy green vegetables. Dark leafy green vegetables contain chlorophyll which protects our cells from toxic damage including mold toxins. Adding a scoop of spirulina to your diet regularly contains a potent amount of chlorophyll.
Garlic tablets and Charcoal supplements can also fight off the toxins from a mold that reside within the body. These two powerful supplements help kill off fungi, or molds and flushing them out of the system naturally.
Consume radishes, ginger and onions. These foods are naturally anti-fungal, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory. Experts agree that the stronger the flavor the better, go for the most potent onions and radishes.
Consume the herbs and spices cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, cayenne pepper, all spice, and sage. These are all spices and herbs that will aid in dealing with the symptoms of toxic mold poisoning, reduce inflammation, improve your digestion, strengthen the immune system and some directly fight fungus.
Coconut oil and olive oil are fungus fighting powerhouses. Both oils can be applied topically, some people swoosh coconut oil in their mouths to remove toxins and the healthy fats also fight inflammation allowing the body to fight off and flush toxins produced by mold.
Avoid cheese, mushrooms, sprouts, and dried fruits, yes normally these would be healthy food options but they are exposed to fungi or prone to mold exposure due to preparation techniques.
Avoid gluten, specifically bread because the malt, dough, starters are all at high risk for developing mold. Even healthy sprouted grain bread with no preservatives are not approved because they are more prone to developing mold if they are left out even for a few hours.
Avoid most alcohol and fermented foods including sauerkraut because they are produced from fermented foods that are a higher risk of mold exposure. There are several health benefits of sauerkraut but if you are suffering from mold exposure it is best to limit it for that time period. The least moldy alcohols include clear rum and vodka.
Avoid leftovers unless they are cooled properly and eaten within 24 hours of initial preparation. Leftovers are a breeding ground for fungi, the CDC recommends consuming leftovers within three days of initial cooking but if you are fighting mold toxins within your system I would avoid leftovers or consume them within 24 hours. Ensure that you are heating up to a temperature above 140 or below 40 degrees. Try to shop more frequently and buy in small quantities to reduce the possible mold production.
Increase vegetable consumption, the fiber in vegetables binds to the toxins on mold helping the body naturally get rid of the toxins through waste.
Follow a healthy diet. A sound nutrition regimen is very powerful, the body will function at its optimal level and the immune system can fight off disease or toxins faster and more efficiently. Eat whole unprocessed organic foods as much as possible, consume protein at your meals, along with a variety of vegetables, fruits and anti-inflammatory low mold risk healthy fats.
Clean mold areas in your house with natural cleaning agents. Bleach will kill black mold but the unhealthy respiratory side effects are not worth it when tea tree oil, vinegar, or grapefruit seed extract has the same ability to kill mold and fungi without the nasty side effects, and it is safe for children.
Combine three teaspoons of tea tree oil in three cups of water and shake in a spray bottle, apply to any black mold area and let sit and re-spray as needed. Get rid of anything thing that is porous and has been exposed to mold, it is almost impossible to get rid of the mold in porous items like a rug or clothes, etc.
Mold exposure and the toxins associated with being exposed to mold are dangerous especially if you are exposed to them regularly. Try to find the source of mold you are exposed to and get it tested, take steps to clean and remove the mold if possible.
See a qualified health professional to get your body testing for toxins related to mold exposure and implement the above fungus fighting foods and hydroxide water into your diet and eliminate the ones that increase your risk for additional mold exposure. A strong healthy immune system will be your number one ally in getting rid of the mold and the terrible symptoms that go along with it.