Mold: The Phantom Menace:
We all have an immediate aversion to mold when we know it is growing somewhere that it shouldn’t be! When you pull that old bit of cheese out of the fridge and it’s more white than yellow! When you grab the last cherry tomato out of the punnet and it has a furry grey bottom! Unfortunately, many buildings in Australia have some kind of water damage that can then lead to mold growing in places that you would never think to look!! The high-density building boom has not helped, one estimate states that up to 70% of new apartments are susceptible to leaks, and therefore, to water damage.
The most worrying thing about this is that mold can actually cause a wide range of symptoms that may be diagnosed as ‘all in your head’ or worse still not picked up at all and the longer they are left untreated the more entrenched and far-reaching “mold-illness” will become.
Symptoms include things like fatigue, brain fog, respiratory congestion, muscular or joint pain or stiffness, eye issues such as excessive tearing, ringing in the ears, the list goes on. I am certainly not suggesting that if you have one of these symptoms you should automatically assume that you could have mold illness but if you have a few of these types of symptoms and you know or suspect that a building in which you spend a lot of time in could have suffered water damage you may like to investigate further. A cluster of these symptoms then becomes known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or CIRS. CIRS can be caused by toxins other than mold as well.
How to Find Out if You Have Mold Illness and More:
There is a strict protocol available for diagnosing and treating mold illness, however, it is still a largely unknown area in general practice, we really cannot expect our GPs to have an in-depth knowledge of everything, which is why it is very important to educate yourself. Don’t just rely on “Dr. Google,” though! I first heard about mold illness through Low Tox Life (LTL), there are many links through the LTL website www.lowtoxlife.com for further information.
I heard LTL founder, Alexx Stuart speak recently and was thrilled to have her sign my copy of her book! Although I am luckily not affected by mold myself, I was especially struck by the huge proportion of Australian buildings that have water damage and even more so by the fact that 25% of people are genetically unable to produce antibodies to mold. They, of course, are the ones who become very ill when exposed. Because the symptoms include some that nearly everyone complains about at one time or another, I thought it was important to do my bit to spread the message about this insidious toxin.
Non-Toxic Surroundings for Five Star Wellbeing:
Surroundings are one of the aspects of Evenstar 5 Star Wellbeing. If you do everything else right such as eat well, sleep enough, move your body regularly and look after your mental and emotional health but you spend a lot of time in unhealthy surroundings then your wellbeing will still suffer. We are all exposed to many, many toxins in the modern western world with pollutants from vehicles, chemicals, industry, electricity, and let’s not forget synthetic fragrances, coming at us from all angles whenever we leave our homes. In many cases, we may be exposed to these things in our workplaces and this is often outside of our control. Therefore, it is even more important to make our homes into non-toxic havens as best as we can.
Happy Home Surroundings:
There are simple measures that you can take to reduce the risk of mold and other toxins accumulating in your home.
Here are 6 Steps for Reducing the Risks of Mold:
Open doors and windows as often as possible, fresh moving air is the enemy of mold!
Vacuum, dust, and change linens.
If you live in a humid climate, or your home has been diagnosed as damp, a dehumidifier will help to reduce moisture.
Clean any build-up that mold loves to grow on.
Plants naturally remove toxins from the air and they also produce oxygen so they will make a big improvement on the quality of the air in your home or workplace
Use Essential Oils:
Do not use artificial air fresheners, they are literally adding toxins into your surroundings by masking unpleasant smells with chemicals. Tea tree oil is anti-fungal and has a beautiful fresh aroma, it is literally the holistic cleanser working on all energetic levels. Oregano oil is the strongest anti-fungal oil but should not be diffused. It is great to use when cleaning though you will probably want to combine it with a citrus oil for a more pleasant smell!
If you know or suspect that your home may be water-damaged, then a building biologist will be able to confirm this. You can also buy a simple testing tool called a hygrometer, but you will most likely need a professional to be able to determine where and how the water problem occurred, and what to do about it.
Do you have any tips for reducing the risks of mold and other toxins that did not get mentioned above? Please share them with us in the comments section below!
Feel free to contact me if you have any queries.