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MOULD RELATED ILLNESS

What You Need To Know
WHAT IS MOULD RELATED ILLNESS?

People facing mould-related illnesss often encounter significant challenges within the healthcare system. The difficulties arise due to a significant gap between practitioner understanding and published literature regarding mould toxicity and its management. 

Understanding the basics of mold toxicity is crucial. Mold thrives in damp environments, commonly found in buildings with water damage and high humidity. Individuals with chronic illnesses often report feeling worse in specific environments, such as their homes, where they experience symptoms that improve when they are away. 

MOULD AND MYCOTOXINS

Individual reactions to mould and mycotoxins can vary greatly. Mould releases mycotoxins which trigger inflammatory responses in the body. Immune tolerance, lung barrier integrity, and genetic factors contribute to the variation in individual responses.

Mould allergy or sensitization refers to the development of immune reactions, measured by antibodies called IgG, which indicate exposure and immune response to toxic mould species. Over time, individuals may shift from an IgG immune response to an IgE allergic reaction, resulting in immediate symptoms upon exposure to mold-contaminated environments.

Repeated mould exposure can lead to the breakdown of lung barriers, akin to leaky gut syndrome but within the lungs.

Regular mould exposure induces inflammation, causing the breakdown of pulmonary tight junctions. This renders individuals highly sensitive to airborne pathogens and irritants, potentially leading to chronic inflammatory conditions or autoimmune diseases.

TESTING FOR MOULD AND MYCOTOXINS

Blood tests can screen for mold antibodies, and urine tests can measure mycotoxins in your system.

  • Specialised tests like the Cyrex Labs Array 12 Pathogen screen can help identify if mould is triggering an immune response by looking at antibodies to common mold species and other pathogens.

  • The GPL-MycoTOX is a comprehensive mycotoxin test that can evaluate the presence of eleven different mycotoxins and assess the presence of forty mold species. This test utilizes a single urine sample for screening purposes.

  • IgE allergy blood testing can be used to identify allergies to molds. This type of testing measures the levels of IgE antibodies specific to mold allergens in the blood. By analysing the IgE response, it helps determine if an individual has an allergic reaction to molds and can assist in identifying specific mold allergens that trigger their symptoms.

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SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
  • Respiratory Issues: Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, asthma-like symptoms

  • Allergic Reactions: Sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, skin rashes or hives, itchy throat or ears

  • Neurological Symptoms: Headaches, brain fog or cognitive difficulties, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, dizziness or vertigo

  • Sinus and Nasal Issues: Chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, recurrent nosebleeds

  • Digestive Symptoms: nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, changes in appetite, food sensitivities or intolerances

  • Skin Issues: dDry, itchy, or flaky skin, rashes or dermatitis

  • Fatigue or lethargy

  • Muscle aches and joint pain

  • Night sweats

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CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH
MOULD RELATED ILLNESS

Mould-related illness or mold toxicity has been associated with several health conditions, such as

  • ALLERGIC RHINITIS: Mould allergies can trigger symptoms similar to hay fever, including sneezing, itching, runny or stuffy nose, and nasal congestion.

  • ASTHMA: Mould exposure can worsen symptoms in individuals with asthma or contribute to the development of asthma in susceptible individuals. It may cause wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

  • CHRONIC SINUSITIS: Prolonged exposure to mould can lead to chronic inflammation of the sinuses, resulting in symptoms such as sinus congestion, facial pain, post-nasal drip, and recurrent sinus infections.

  • HYPERSENSITIVITY PNEUMONITIS: Also known as "mould lung," this condition occurs when the immune system reacts to inhaled mould spores, leading to lung inflammation and flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

  • ALLERGIC BRONCHOPULMONARY ASPERGILLOSIS (ABPA): ABPA is a hypersensitivity reaction to the fungus Aspergillus. It primarily affects individuals with asthma or cystic fibrosis, leading to airway inflammation, coughing, wheezing, and production of thick mucus.

  • CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: Some individuals with mould-related illness report symptoms similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, including severe fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive difficulties, and sleep disturbances.

  • FIBROMYALGIA: Mould exposure has been suggested as a potential trigger or exacerbating factor for fibromyalgia, a condition characterised by widespread pain, fatigue, and tender points.

  • MAST CELL ACTIVATION SYNDROME (MCAS): MCAS is a condition characterised by an abnormal and excessive activation of mast cells, leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. Mould and mycotoxin exposure can be triggers for mast cell activation in susceptible individuals.

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MOULD, MYCOTOXINS & AUTOIMMUNITY

There is evidence between mould exposure and the development or exacerbation of autoimmune conditions.Mould exposure can trigger immune system responses and inflammation, which may contribute to the dysregulation of the immune system and the onset or progression of autoimmune diseases.

  • IMMUNE DYSREGULATION: Mould exposure can activate the immune system and lead to chronic inflammation. This chronic immune activation can disrupt immune tolerance and contribute to the development of autoimmune responses.

  • INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY (OR LEAKY GUT SYNDROME): Mould exposure has been associated with increased gut permeability, which can allow the passage of toxins and potentially trigger immune reactions that contribute to autoimmune processes.

  • MYCOTOXINS: Some moulds produce mycotoxins, toxic substances that can have various effects on the body. These mycotoxins have been shown to disrupt immune function and may contribute to the development or progression of autoimmune diseases.

  • GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY: Certain genetic factors may increase an individual's susceptibility to mould-related health effects, including autoimmune conditions. Genetic variations related to immune function and detoxification pathways can influence an individual's response to mould exposure.

  • MOULD ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS: MoUld exposure has been implicated in conditions such as chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), which involves a dysregulated immune response to biotoxins, including those produced by mold. CIRS has overlapping symptoms with autoimmune diseases.

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HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

A Functional Medicine Approach to Mould Related Illness

Our approach to helping our clients suffering from mould related illness includes the following:

  • TESTING: Blood tests can screen for mold IgG (sensitivity) or IgE (allergy) antibodies, and urine tests can measure mycotoxins in your system.

  • REMOVING OR REDUCING EXPOSURE: The primary factor in addressing mold toxicity is removing or reducing exposure to mold. If possible, take steps to remediatemould in your environment. Improve ventilation, use air purifiers with HEPA filters, and consider a hygrometer and dehumidifier to monitor and maintain indoor humidity below 50 percent.

 

  • IMMUNE SUPPORT: Enhancing immune functionand maintaining the integrity of the pulmonary barrier are crucial. 

  • DIETARY CHANGES: Some foods have the potential to promote fungal overgrowth within our bodies or belong to the fungus family themselves. By avoiding certain foods, you can minimise the overall burden of fungal-related substances within your body.

  • SUPPORT DETOXIFICATION PATHWAYSThe capacity of an individual to detoxify, biotransform, and eliminate mytoxins substances is vital for maintaining optimal health. The body's ability to process and remove toxins plays a crucial role in overall well-being.

  • SUPPLEMENTS: Some natural compounds with antifungal properties, such as tea tree oil, cloves, and thyme, may be beneficial. Biofilm disruptors and binders are other options that we consider.

To take a proactive role in managing your health, we encourage you to reach out to our team. We have extensive experience assisting individuals with complex conditions such as mould related illness and Muriel also has personal experience.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US TODAY. 

 

 We offer a range of appointments in-person or online. 
You will receive the same service and expertise from us through our virtual, online clinic, just as you would if you visited us at our London clinic.

To discuss how we can assist you, call us on 020 3886 1339, or email us at  hello@autoimmunecliniclondon.com.

 

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