Mold is found everywhere in our environment, and humans have coexisted with it for thousands of years. But when it comes to mold, there are both good and bad varieties.
The good kind is beneficial and produces bacteria-fighting antibiotic medications such as penicillin. Mold can also be edible – this type of mold is used for some of your favorite food and drink items such as cheese, wine, beer, and mushrooms.
Unlike the safe edible molds, bad mold poses a serious potential health hazard that can be present where we least expect it – at home, work, or other frequented buildings. This type of mold can be hiding in walls, under paneling, in carpets – particularly in places with water damage. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Mold thrives in places with lots of moisture, and on materials it can digest, such as wood, paper, or fiberboard. The dangerous part of bad mold is not the mold itself, but the toxic compounds that they produce.
Mycotoxins, are toxic chemicals produced by certain fungi or mold. They can be harmful to both humans and animals. When humans are exposed to these mycotoxins, the immune system often reacts triggering a histamine, or allergic response.
In more serious cases, the body experiences what is called a cytokine-driven response a.k.a. CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). This is when the mycotoxin pathogens attack our cells and their ability to make energy, thus causing a great deal of inflammation in the body. This inflammation creates illness in the body that is responsible for a wide range of symptoms that can vary from person to person.
Diagnosing and treating mold exposure can often be challenging due to the complexities of the illness. This is because the symptoms of mold-induced illness often mimic many other conditions such as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Mold exposure can also worsen the symptoms of various illnesses such as Lyme Disease, food allergies, and viral infections. Some common symptoms of mold exposure/allergy/toxicity include:
If you experience one or more of these symptoms and suspect that you’ve been exposed to mold, Naturopathic medicine has a lot to offer. This distinct system of medicine emphasizes prevention and natural remedies which allow the body to heal itself.
Addressing the illness begins with a thorough examination of the patient’s medical history, current and past symptoms, and analysis of daily environments. Naturopathic medicine uses a comprehensive, multi-step approach which includes supporting your immunity and detoxification systems to treat mold-related illness.
When treating mold exposure the 4 major goals of Naturopathic Medicine are:
Exposure to mold must be ceased in order to fully recover from mold-related illness. Isolating the source of the mold and completely removing it from the environment, along with eliminating common dietary sources of mold (coffee, grains) will help the body to heal.
Mold illness increases inflammation in the body. Naturopathic medicine takes the necessary steps to calm an overactive immune system and lower inflammation. Treatment may include nutritional IV therapy, following an anti-inflammatory diet, mindfulness and stress management, as well as adopting changes to your overall daily lifestyle.
CIRS can affect many organ systems of the body including the gastrointestinal and immune systems. A key part of healing includes supporting the body’s ability to bind and eliminate toxins – bringing balance to organ systems. To accomplish this, treatment may include a combination of antioxidants, herbs, and botanicals.
Treatments are tailored to the individual due to unique medical, genetic, and lifestyle factors. Diverse health issues may be contributing to one’s symptoms or recovery and need to be addressed on an individual basis. This is why a more integrative approach can help to maximize recovery; Naturopathic medicine treats the individual and not the disease.
The healthcare providers at OWM Integrative Wellness are thoroughly trained in the diagnosis and treatment protocol of mold-related illnesses. Using cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic tools, our expert team creates a tailored plan to not only address symptoms but also build long-term health, wellness, and immune strength.