Unexplained Neurological Symptoms Can Be Caused by Mold
By: Cesar Collado
While it is obvious that inhalation of mold can lead to sinusitis, the location and sensitivity of our smelling system provide direct access to our blood stream and brain causing systemic disease that oftentimes not considered or even recognized by traditional medical practice. Yes, mold spores can enter through our noses to our sinuses. There they can find moisture and food to reproduce or colonize, causing a fungal or bacterial infection (Sinusitis). In some cases, mycotoxins, secondary metabolites of some molds, can also reach the brain. If the fungus is not removed and the sinuses are not cleaned regularly, susceptible people can then develop chronic sinusitis (>12 weeks or multiple times per year), a troubling disease state that affects up to 50 million people in the US alone.
As a direct result, sinusitis can often present neurological symptoms such as headache, dizziness, brain fog, memory loss, depression, anxiety, and others. Physical symptoms that may not appear obvious to the condition including pain and tingling in extremities. Consequently, other systemic chronic diseases can be misdiagnosed as these symptoms often overlap. This often leads to unnecessary diagnostics, medical treatment, side effects, and extended human and financial costs.
Here’s what is really happening.
The Nasal Mechanism
The nose is a complex, multifunctional organ. The nasal cavity and nasal hairs provide a barrier to shield our bodies from microscopic particles in the air we breathe. The nasal mucosa acts as a sticky blanket that prevents foreign particles from reaching our respiratory system. It is the mucosa where mold stores can settle and colonize in the food and moisture rich environment. The sinuses also filter and humidify inhaled air, prior to its reaching the lower parts of the airway. Thus, the nasal mucosa is one of our body’s first lines of defense, filtering more than 500 liters of air per hour.
Due to rich vascularization, the olfactory and respiratory systems may serve as efficient delivery mechanisms of medications as well as foreign particles. The prime location of our nasal openings on our bodies also provides direct access to cerebrospinal fluid, which, in turn provides direct access to the brain. In addition, foreign particles and other molecules inhaled through the nose can reach our blood systems directly, without having to be digested or metabolized (broken down) by the liver, prior to being pumped to the rest of our body by the heart.
In fact, there are numerous pharmaceuticals that utilize intranasal delivery to take advantage of the fast absorption and bioavailability of this delivery method. In addition to the obvious (nasal decongestants), there are other nasal delivery drugs to treat migraines, pain, and epileptic attacks. More recently, hormone medications and other proteins like human growth hormone, insulin, and calcitonin have been designed to deliver their effects via nasal delivery.
Mold Spores in Our Noses: Infections
Airborne mold spores have direct access to the sinuses, where they can find a home with moisture and food (mucous) to reproduce and colonize. When this happens, a sinus infection can develop. The body’s immune system then responds, creating localized inflammation, which manifests as mucous production and pressure. This sinus inflammation exacerbates the Sinusitis condition. The presence of fungi in the sinuses also creates an environment conducive to bacterial infections. The back and forth bacterial and fungal infections create a chronic sinusitis cycle.
Systemic Mycotoxin Poisoning
There are numerous molds that produce mycotoxins. These sticky chemical substances are secondary metabolites that are extremely toxic to humans. Common mycotoxin-producing molds that are found in homes include aspergillus, penicillium, cladosporum, fumarium, etc. When these mycotoxins enter the sinuses, they can find themselves just a few microns away from cerebral spinal fluid and thus can cause serious neurological symptoms. This is why many mold sufferers exhibit numerous debilitating neurological symptoms, such as brain fog, memory problems, headaches, pain, light sensitivity, and tingling of the extremities. These symptoms are alarming and difficult to diagnose.
Unfortunately, patients with these symptoms are often referred to neurologists that are likely to perform expensive diagnostics (MRI, CT scans, ect.) as part of a trial and error method of prescribing medications to see what works. This is because the symptoms can partly mimic or be similar to classic neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, including pain syndromes, movement disorders, delirium, dementia, and disorders of balance and coordination. This sometimes takes a patient’s path to wellness off-line for months or even years.
In my article, Systemic Mycotoxicosis: A Layman’s (Plain English) Discussion and Review of Dr. Thrasher’s Final Publication with Dr. Dennis MD, (http://www.sinusitiswellness.com/must-read-article-on-mycotoxin-poisoning/), I describe the methods these two physicians utilized to identify mycotoxin poisoning in the sinuses of patients with neurological symptoms. Ultimately, irrigation with a potent antifungal, Amphotericin B, in a topical fashion was the key to remediating the mycotoxins. Continued usage of Amphotericin B nasal drops (taken upside down) and nebulization then had to continue post-surgery for the patients to finally get well.
Why is this information Important?
Many patients and physicians “overlook the obvious” when treating sinusitis and mold sickness:
1) Mold and Mycotoxins primarily enter our bodies via inhalation
2) Mold spores that take up residence in our sinuses make us sick
3) Our sinuses provide a direct path for mold and mycotoxins to reach our bloodstreams and brains.
Mold Hygiene and Prevention
Patients can empower themselves to prevent mold accumulation in the sinuses and infection using readily available products. While all patients may not require this level of vigilance, if you are reading this article, it is likely that you may be a mold sufferer and could benefit from this type of Mold Hygiene. The regular cleaning of mold from our sinuses, clothes, and homes is likely the most impactful way we can help ourselves to treat and prevent mold infection.
Micro Balance Health Products has a suite of products to help battle mold at every source. Sinus irrigation with saline and CitriDrops flushes the mold spores out of the sinus cavity. Vigilant patients often take CitriDrops Nasal Spray with them to provide relief when encountering mold throughout their day. In addition, the following infographic outlines steps that can be taken and products that can be used to diligently keep our homes, clothes, and bodies clear of dangerous levels of mold.