New Study Shows Mold Triggers Brain Inflammation and can cause Multiple Sclerosis.
Black mold is dangerous and living in conditions where spores are present can lead to serious health conditions. Often people do not put two and two together and realize that their health has declined to poor living conditions.
Estimates vary, but in the US studies have shown up to 85 percent of building inspected had past water damage.
A new study found that people affected by mold illness experienced:
- Brain inflammation in the hippocampus is the area of the brain that governs memory, learning, and the sleep-wake cycle.
- Decreased neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells.
- Impaired memory.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Increased anxiety.
Can dampness and mold affect my health?
The presence of mold in your home most definitely can cause you to become chronically ill. Dampness and mold are more likely to cause respiratory problems and autoimmune disorders as well as respiratory infections, allergies, or asthma.
Damp and mold can also affect the immune system which can cause multiple sclerosis and other immune disorders.
Some people are more susceptible than others, including:
- babies and children
- elderly people
- those with existing skin problems, such as eczema
- those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma
- those with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy, Lemtrada Alemtuzumab.
These people should stay away from dampness and mold.
How does it affect your health?
Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants, and, sometimes, toxic substances.
Inhaling or touching mold spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Molds can also cause asthma attacks.
By coincidence, asthma is something the tenant below me suffered from before moving out and ironically my daughter has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I highly doubt this to be a coincidence.
Causes of damp and mold
Mold and dampness are caused by excess moisture, such as poorly heated homes, and old houses. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes, rising damp in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around wooden window frames, which are single-glazed.
“So when the gas company stated I use more gas than the average household, it is to try and keep my home warm to stop the condensation from forming more mold which is a health hazard”.
Simply saying wash it down with hot soapy water and bleach it, is just a temporary measure because it will eventually come back. Besides the spores can be airborne and you may not necessarily see you have a problem until they start growing on your walls, windows, and furniture.
A newly built home may be damp if the water used when building it is still drying out – for example, in the plaster on the walls.
Excess moisture indoors can also be caused by condensation. Having your landlord tell you to open a window to release the condensation is not practical especially if it is cold and raining outside and in the winter months.
You must access where the mold or dampness is coming from and why you have excess moisture in your home. When you know what’s causing the dampness, you can make sure your home is repaired or take steps to limit the moisture in the air.
Remember if you live on a rented property, always take photographs of the mold and the damage to your personal belongings. This is particularly important for litigation evidence.
When removing the mold listening to your landlord advising you to wash it down with soapy water is a health hazard because he/she is telling you to deal with the problem rather than him/her dealing with it themselves.
If you have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease whilst living in a property covered with black mold there may be grounds to sue your landlord/lady, especially if you have made them aware of the issue and they have done nothing about it.
If the area of the mold is large you may need to get a professional to remove the mold for you, but if it’s only a small amount you may be able to remove it yourself, providing you are in good health. if your landlord/lady insists you deal with the mold by washing it down with bleach and soapy water and they are aware you have health issues you have grounds for litigation.
Invasive Mold Infections
People, especially those with weakened immune systems, can develop invasive mold infections days to weeks after exposure to fungi that live in the environment.
Exposure to indoor mold that grows as a result of water damage may increase this risk.
These infections are:
- Typically caused by Aspergillus, but can also be caused by other types of mold, such as mucormycosis
- Difficult to diagnose
- Often life-threatening
These include people who:
- Have had a transplant, especially hematopoietic stem cell transplants
- Have cancer, especially hematologic cancers like leukemia and lymphoma
- Are undergoing cancer treatment (chemotherapy)
- Are taking medications that weaken the immune system, such as corticosteroids and biologics
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms can vary depending on the patient, the type of mold, and the part of the body affected, but often include the following:
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus symptoms
- Dark scabs, blisters, or ulcers on the skin
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Brain Inflammation
- Skin Problems such as eczema
- Respitorary problems
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosing an invasive mold infection requires multiple diagnostic tests. The results of these tests should be interpreted in the context of each specific patient. These tests include:
- Culture of specimens from the affected area (such as bronchoalveolar lavage [BAL]), which is often used to detect lung infections)
- Biopsy of the suspected body part affected to obtain a sample for fungal culture and histopathology
- Imaging of the affected part of the body (e.g., chest computed tomography [CT] for respiratory symptoms)
- Blood tests (such as Aspergillus galactomannan), which are primarily used in immunocompromised patients
Starting treatment early can help prevent deaths.
Treatment includes antifungal medications and, in some cases, urgent surgery.
Consider consulting an infectious diseases specialist to help with diagnosis and treatment.
Prevention and Patient Resources
After major flooding or other exposure to water damage and mold, talk with your immunocompromised patients about how to protect themselves from mold:
- Mold grows where there is moisture, usually within 24-48 hours of flooding. Even if it is not visible, it is often present.
- Immunocompromised people should not enter moldy buildings or help clean up the mold.
- If it is impossible for people with weakened immune systems to avoid a moldy building, they should talk with their doctor and consider wearing an N-95 respirator inside the building. Remind patients that this will still not fully protect them from becoming exposed to mold, but may reduce their risk.
- If there is mold in your patient’s home, someone who is healthy and able should clean it up and fix any water problems.
- Healthy people who clean up mold or spend time in areas affected by mold should wear full protective clothing including an N95 respirator, gloves, boots, long pants, and long sleeves. An N95 respirator alone may not fully protect people from becoming exposed to mold and becoming sick.
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