Mold is not something to take lightly in your home. You should monitor for mold in your house on a weekly basis and take precautions to kill any mold on sight, mainly to avoid any life-threatening mold illnesses.
That’s right, mold doesn’t just look nasty in your bathroom, it can be devastating to your health, too.
And the worst part of all? You may not even know you’re suffering from a mold-related illness.
To keep you and your family safe, check out this mini-guide on how to get rid of mold and, most importantly, how to tell if you’re suffering from a mold illness.
HOW DO YOU GET RID OF MOLD?
So you’re doing your weekly sweep for mold – checking any moist spots like under sinks and in bathrooms, corners, and near windows – and you see a big black spot. Gross.
The two best options? Spray the mold with bleach or a designated mold killer.
Spray the molded spot with your weapon of choice. Let the chemicals sit for a while before scrubbing the mold away with a bristle brush. We highly suggest opening some windows to air out the room, because either product will stink up a room easily.
Also, invest in some protective face masks to wear when you’re handling mold. The last thing you want is to accidentally ingest mold when trying to clean it away.
WHAT IS MOLD ILLNESS?
Mold illness is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of bio-toxin illness called “Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.”
You are most prone to mold illness if you live in a home where mold is most rampant. Mold tends to thrive in damp, dark, and humid places, like in typically warmer environments or in basement level apartments.
Summer is a terrible time for mold in your home as well, and water damaged homes are even more at risk.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
There are many symptoms you could experience that might indicate you’re suffering from mold illness. These are just a few symptoms you should be aware of:
1. Fatigue or Weakness
Are you suddenly feeling constantly tired? Weak, maybe, like your body needs constant rest? While this could be because of a stressful work week or poor sleeping habits, a sudden change in your overall physical state is always a red flag.
This symptom could also mean that the mold is suppressing your immune system, exposing you to various other illnesses that otherwise may not have bothered you at all.
One of the most well-known symptoms of mold illness is a constant headache that gradually comes out of nowhere. If you’re not prone to chronic headaches, this is an easy sign to identify.
However, too often people will brush frequent headaches off as not drinking enough water or allergies. Put simply, you ARE having an allergic reaction – but of a more severe kind. The mold in your system is inflaming and irritating your sinuses, causing headaches and often serious light sensitivity.
3. Chronic Cough
Another seemingly obvious symptom, but another one that can easily be brushed off as a minor cold. Inhaled mold will commonly root in the lungs, causing sinus issues, shortness of breath, and a chronic cough.
This side effect can become very restricting on your ability to breathe and can potentially prove fatal if not addressed by your doctor.
4. Stiff Joints
If you find in the mornings that you’re waking up stiff, especially with sore joints, you might be surprised to hear this is a common symptom of mold illness. The mycotoxins in the mold will often affect your joints and muscles, causing all-over pain and stiffness.
Often this is misdiagnosed by medical professionals as other, more common conditions, so if you know you have mold in your home with these symptoms, make sure to mention this crucial detail.
5. Urinary Frequency
If you’re going to the bathroom A LOT more than usual, trace this back to why. Most likely, you’re taking in a higher-than-average amount of water. Why? Most likely because you’re insanely thirsty…do you see where we’re going with this?
Mold in your system can lead to lower production of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which can lead to your chronic thirst and then to your frequent urination. So the more you have to go, the more desperately your hormonal system may require medical attention.
6. Abdominal Pain
Mold can be easily absorbed into the blood system, which means it can influence many of your internal functions negatively. One that you might not expect is your digestive system.
Do you have sudden bouts of diarrhea, bloating, cramps, and sharp stomach pains? This may not be just bad tacos, you may be suffering from a much more serious medical issue, possibly induced by the presence of mold in your system.
7. Unusual Skin Sensations
Because it is an allergen, it’s less surprising that mold would cause external issues, too. Mainly, rashes will appear for people who are very adverse to mold.
But you don’t just need to see a red rash to know there’s an issue. Other sensations on the skin, like tingling, itching, and numbness can also mean you’re suffering from mold illness.
8. Appetite Swings
Weird cravings? Starving one day and not hungry at all the next? This surprising mold illness symptom goes back to the neurological disruptions mold can sometimes cause.
Mold illness may influence your appetite as well as your body temperature regulation and your thirst. Often, those suffering from mold illness will have sudden hot flashes and abrupt chills, as well as an abnormally intense thirst. Which, of course, leads to…
9. Poor Memory
Scary as it is, mold can even affect your nervous system. This means some brain functions can be compromised when mold is in the equation. Memory is often a brain function affected by mold.
With this mental symptom, you’ll find your short-term memory is disrupted, you have little to no concentration, and that you have trouble finding basic words to use.
10. Blurred Vision
Another external irritation that often happens when we come in contact with mold is irritated eyes.
You’ll find that you have red, tearing, itchy eyes, that most people would relate back to “allergy season.” Again, you’re not wrong. You ARE having an allergic reaction, just a very serious one that you need to speak with your doctor about ASAP.
11. Mood Swings
Like the strange changes to your thirst and appetite, having abrupt mood swings is another sign that your neural system has been compromised by mold illness. If you’re noticing that you’re feeling or acting in a volatile way, especially if there is no apparent cause for your emotions, it’s best to consult your doctor right away.
12. Metallic Taste
One of the stranger, but more well-known, symptoms of mold illness is a frequent metallic taste in your mouth. Although most of us don’t eat metal often (I would hope), we all know what that sharp, sour taste is like on your tongue.
If you’re finding that you cannot get rid of this taste in your mouth, consult your doctor immediately. This is a serious symptom of mold illness, specifically involving black mold, which can often have the most devastating health effects.
13. Static Shocks
Another strange symptom, but one to be wary of regardless.
That decrease in production of your antidiuretic hormone (ADH) (the same one which can lead to thirst and frequent urination) can also cause more-severe-than-normal electric shocks from static electricity. At the very least, this is a very obviously unusual symptom, so it may be easier to identify that something is out of the ordinary.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or ANY unusual health symptoms that seem out of the norm, make sure to consult your doctor right away.
Mold illness IS curable, mainly with anti-fungal and antibacterial medication, but there are ways to avoid your health from worsening due to mold. First and foremost, you have to be aware of the presence of mold in your home and any strange changes in your body, so this way you can immediately bring this illness to the attention of your primary doctor.