Jennifer asked me to write about some of the frustrations some people share with me in keeping up with their mold related illness; after they have reached wellness! This is really important concept that needs to be understood and internalized by all of us who suffer from mold related illness.
Mold sensitivity or mold related illness are more similar to other chronic diseases than different. Diseases such as diabetes, addiction, heart disease, and inflammatory diseases (Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, etc.), require significant behavior modifications such as nutrition maintenance. You see, once a patient recovers from the primary debilitating symptoms of the mold exposure, they will always be mold sensitive and “in recovery”. Diet, proper sleep, medication, supplements, exercise, etc. are all part of the formula for healthy living with chronic illness. For that matter, with environmental illnesses, your home will also be “in recovery” as well.
We call this Mold Hygiene and it is required to get better and stay well!
Simply coming home with medicine and/or supplements after detoxification or surgery will not allow you to achieve wellness and remove the most challenging of symptoms, especially chronic sinusitis and neurological & cognitive symptoms, which are the most disturbing and debilitating symptoms. Continuous inhalation of the mold or toxins that made you sick will not allow your body’s natural healing abilities to perform their job. A continuous inflammatory reaction from mold in your sinuses prevents your body from excreting toxins and healing.
What is Mold Hygiene
Mold hygiene is an expression I use to describe the activities required to stay well. The body needs time to heal itself. “Clean air, clean food, and clean water” is what one of my doctors always tells me. Because of the constant assault on the immune system, a moldy home prevents healing.
Mold Hygiene involves much more than following your physician’s treatment plan which likely includes diet, supplements, and medications. There are multiple levels to mold hygiene. Each element plays a role in keeping you and your family well. While it may seem like a lot of work, it can be debated if it is as laborious or expensive as treating another chronic illness like diabetes or other autoimmune diseases.
Mold Hygiene Includes What You Eat
You gut houses 70% of your immune system and the human microbiome contains candida in 70% of the population. While there are very specific diets that physicians may prescribe to help a patient heal from mold overgrowth, the Candida Diet or a anti-fungal diet are the most widely recommended. There is one specific food that when removed from the diet is a “game changer” in my opinion. That food is sugar(s) including refined carbohydrates. It turns out that some fungus, including candida, have a sugar receptor on the cell wall. When a sugar attaches, the mold morphs into a hyphae form. Hyphae are like microscopic roots that can grow into tissue and cause inflammation and tissue destruction. Hyphae penetration into tissues also makes it difficult for antifungal medicines to reach.
Starving the fugus in your body and taking probiotics are critical elements in getting better. By helping to manage the balance of fungi in our microbiome, fungal overgrowth and other problematic symptoms from fungal overgrowth infections (toenail, vaginal, thrush, etc.) will improve over time. Gargling with and Drinking CitriDrops Dietary Supplement mixed in water can help your body to prevent overgrowth and maintain that microbiome balance in the gut to ultimately feel better.
In addition, avoiding fermented drinks like wine and beer. Alcohol itself is a mycotoxin product from yeast. Avoid fungal foods and foods with a high mycotoxin load such as mushrooms. The Candida Diet by Dr. Dennis provides a very specific diet of protein, vegetables, and fruits with low amounts of fructose, such as berries.
Mold Hygiene in Your Nose
The vast majority of mold enters our bodies through inhalation. We breath in 16,000 Liters of air each day. Mold spores enter through your sinuses and often find a “home” in the dark moist passages of your sinuses. When that happens, the inflammatory reactions create mucous. Mucous becomes food for the mold and reproduction into a colony occurs. Surgeons refer to these as fungal balls when they remove them.
There is also a subset of molds that produce mycotoxins. These sticky chemicals are very toxic to the brain, neurological systems, and other organs. The effects are quite serious and can be debilitating.
Rinsing sinuses with a nasal rinse system with anti-fungal properties is the single most effective way to remove the very spores that will make you ill. It is the only way, outside of surgery, to remove mycotoxins from your sinuses. If you are mold sensitive, consistent and regular nasal rinsing should be considered, or at least, when an illness is coming. Citridrops Dietary Supplement can be added to a nasal rinse system for this use.
Mold Hygiene In Your Home
The most important task in getting well from mold exposure (more important than any physician recommendations) is to find the source of moisture and the building materials or furnishings that combine with moisture for mold reproduction in your home. This involves fixing any pipes, leaks, or drainage or appliance that provide moisture. Since moisture is the issue, addressing humidity in your home is also essential. If the humidity is above 50%, there is enough moisture to for mold to reproduce. If you suffer from mold sensitivity, it is always a good idea to periodically test where you live with mold screening test plates. They are relatively inexpensive and provide conclusive answers to whether you have a mold problem. You can even purchase Immunolytics mold test plates if you want lab results and knowledge of mycotoxin producing molds.
Damp or wet drywall is a particularly bad issue. Gypsum and paper-based drywall absorb water and will maintain the moisture. Aspergillus and stachybotrys are two of many that produce mycotoxins and are frequently found indoors.
Areas and items in your home to pay special attention to include:
- Damp carpets
- Any moisture in the walls, floor, or ceiling
- Bathrooms and Kitchens
- Crawlspaces and Basements
- Any sign of water from leaks in pipes, HVAC, or the roof
- Visible mold or musty smell
The next important task is to reduce the mold count in your air.
The most efficacious recommendation I make to patients is to regularly fog or spray everything with EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate. The aerosolized solution can be spread to reach every corner and surface in a room including floors, furniture (Upholstery as well). EC3 is an all- natural and safe botanical, so it does not have the toxicity of chemical fungicides like bleach or ammonia-based cleaners. It also has no strong smell. The fogger is very efficient; and a single bottle of Mold Solution Concentrate will normally last a couple of months. (I use around 4-6 oz of the gallon tank to fog 4000 sq. ft.). You can purchase an EC3 fogger with supplies by clicking here.
When it comes to mold hygiene, it is important for everyone to understand that:
- The quality of the AIR you breathe in is 2 TIMES MORE IMPORTANT than your genetic code to your health.
- The quality of the AIR you breathe in is 5 TIMES MORE IMPORTANT than all the treatment rendered by hospitals, doctors and medications. 1
Removing mold and containing moldy areas when they form is the first part of the process of staying well.
Remove mold from your environment
- If the moldy area is bigger than 10 sq. ft., you should call a professional. If you can see it or smell it, it is likely a severe problem.
- If you are a capable DIY, take safety precautions such as protective clothing, gloves, and an N95 mask to protect yourself. When mold is disrupted it disburses mold spores into the air. They can contaminate the entire house if they enter the HVAC system.
- Make sure that the moldy area including all vents and registers are sealed with plastic and tape to avoid spreading mold throughout the home.
- If it gets into your HVAC, call a professional, but be sure they are trained in mold removal and health implications.
- Wood or tile floors are preferable to carpets. Carpets are essentially the largest air filters in your home and harbor dust and mold. When removing a carpet, it can weigh up to 8 times as much as new carpet.
Keep your home free of mold that can and will be tracked in your home
- Use a closed cannister HEPA vacuum regularly.
- Purchase an air purifier like this one to maintain clean air where you relax and sleep. You can also use EC3 Air Purification Candles to remove airborne mold and mycotoxins from your immediate air.
- Clean your clothes and linens with EC3 Laundry Additive.
Regularly rinsing your sinuses will remove the mold you encounter throughout the day.
- Citridrops Nasal Spray is a useful item to take out with you and use throughout the day. Remember, mold is ubiquitous and exists everywhere, especially outdoors.
1 Manchanda MD, Rishi, “What Makes Us Sick?” Ted Talk, September 15, 2014.
Sources for mold related information include but are not limited to: