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POSTED ON MAY 10, 2021 BY TORONTO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CENTRE
According to our clinic’s Toronto Naturopath, mold is a health issue to keep top of mind as it can have an impact on health.
Mold comes with the territory of living in a wet climate, whether it’s seasonal or year-round. From between your bathroom tiles to damp fabric or old bread, mold can seemingly appear anywhere. Maybe you’re already wondering if mold is, in fact, making you sick. So what are the symptoms of mold toxicity? How can we get tested for it? And what can the naturopathic approach and its naturopathic doctors offer in mold treatments? In this article, our naturopathic doctor explains.
Mold Toxicity Symptoms: Naturopathic Medicine Perspective
If you were to visit a Toronto naturopath for a holistic approach to mold concerns, you might be informed that mold toxicity is often overlooked. This is because symptoms can be diverse in the human body. An Archives of Environmental Health study of 100 people exposed to toxic mold found that all participants tested positive in some way to mold toxicity, such as immune cell abnormalities or antibodies. The most common mold species identified included Aspergillus, Penicillium, Myxomycetes, Fusarium and Cladosporium.
In particular, all 100 people in the study were found to have objective neurological problems in their autonomic nervous systems, which controls unconscious processes (i.e. heart rate, breathing, and digestion). Seventy percent of participants had other physical neurological problems, including short-term memory loss and difficulty walking straight with eyes closed. Almost two-thirds had respiratory problems, such as wheezing, runny nose, and inflamed sinuses. While some participants had temporarily left their homes for deep cleaning to occur, others moved permanently because they didn’t have other options.
Also, long-term exposure to mold might contribute to illness later in life. An article published in Brain Research explained that Finland’s high dementia rate is thought to be partly due to toxic mold, as the country has a cold, humid climate. Humidity provides optimal conditions for mold growth, and so do enclosed spaces, which are near-universal for keeping the cold out of homes.
Who Gets Sick From Toxic Mold?
Any Toronto naturopath would tell you that some people have a high sensitivity to mold, and some people don’t; this may be noticeable if you’re severely affected, yet your family members aren’t.
It is possible to have an HLA-DR/DQ genetic vulnerability to inflammatory triggers, including mold. In fact, mold-related illnesses appear in people who are genetically vulnerable but have no history of chronic disease. For example, an American Journal Case Reports case study describes the successful resolution of chronic fatigue syndrome and ulcerative colitis in a previously healthy (but genetically vulnerable) young man, after prompt and correct treatment.
As explained by a Frontiers in Immunology review, if you’re susceptible to mold-related illnesses, you may likely experience sinusitis or brain fog flare-ups upon entering mold-infested buildings. In fact, sensitivity to chemicals, including conventional deodorants, paint, detergent, and gasoline, is also associated with an advanced risk of mold toxicity. Even natural substances, like spices, can be irritating in some serious cases. You may notice smells easily compared to others too, especially if you smell mold. Long periods of mold exposure are linked with increased illness severity and lengthened recovery times; this is why mold toxicity in the body should be addressed as soon as possible.
Where To Get Tested for Mold
If you think you’ve been exposed to toxic mold, we advise getting tested to find a suitable treatment. Lab tests for mold toxicity are available. In fact, our Toronto naturopathic clinic uses Great Plains Laboratory, which offers a mold exposure profile that tests 40 species of mold, even detecting them at low levels. A positive test result means you know the cause of your illness; a negative test result means your illness may have other causes, or a species of mold that is not covered is responsible.
As for genetic testing, Quest Diagnostics provides HLA gene profiling to determine if you’re at risk of chronic mold-related illness.
Toxic mold and the illnesses it can cause are nothing to sneeze at (sorry, no pun intended!). Respiratory, neurological, and other problems are real consequences of mold toxicity, and they can worsen your physical health if left untreated. But appropriate testing and treatment can make a world of difference – and naturopathy and naturopathic doctors may offer you a new approach to health and everyday life.
Where Can I Find a Naturopathic Doctor Near Me?
Do you suspect that mold is playing a role in your health? Where can you find a Toronto naturopath to test you for mold toxicity?
We’re ready to support your well-being and healing journey. Our naturopathic clinic is located in Yorkville, a neighbourhood of Downtown Toronto that is easily accessible for patients across the Greater Toronto Area. You’re welcome to visit our practitioners who are eager to provide patients with mold testing and many treatment recommendations, such as botanical medicines, herbal medicine, supplement recommendations, pain management, clinical nutrition, lifestyle counseling, stress management, and more. Their mold treatments and natural therapies have been designed to help recover your quality of life and heighten longevity.
FYI: Did you know that naturopathic medicine can also be applied to other health conditions? Our natural solutions may also be applied to a wide variety of health conditions, including digestive concerns (irritable bowel syndrome), blood sugar issues, autoimmune diseases, nutrient deficiency, chronic pain, skin rashes, stress, adrenal fatigue, hair loss/hair thinning, weight loss/weight gain, blood pressure concerns, hormone imbalances, and other health concerns and chronic health conditions. Take note that our naturopathic clinic also offers IV therapies and functional medicine testing, such as the DUTCH test, SIBO test, food sensitivity and more.
Book your consultations with a naturopath in Toronto by calling (416) 968-6961 or send us a message here. Let’s help you reach your wellness goals and optimal health – see you soon!
Eiser, A. R. (2017). Why does Finland have the highest dementia mortality rate? Environmental factors may be generalizable. Brain Research, 1671, 14–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2017.06.032
Gunn, S. R., Gunn, G. G., & Mueller, F. W. (2016). Reversal of Refractory Ulcerative Colitis and Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms Arising from Immune Disturbance in an HLA-DR/DQ Genetically Susceptible Individual with Multiple Biotoxin Exposures. The American Journal of Case Reports, 17, 320–325. https://doi.org/10.12659/ajcr.896949
Rea WJ, Didriksen N, Simon TR, Pan Y, Fenyves EJ, Griffiths B. (2003). Effects of toxic exposure to molds and mycotoxins in building-related illnesses. Archives of Environmental Health. 58(7):399-405. https://doi.org/10.1080/00039896.2003.11879140
Valtonen V. (2017). Clinical Diagnosis of the Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome: Review of the Literature and Suggested Diagnostic Criteria. Frontiers in Immunology, 8, 951. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00951