Why Should I Bother?
By Cesar Collado
Mold or fungi, are the most widely distributed element on earth and are of immense medical and environmental importance. It is ubiquitous. Meaning, it exists everywhere and is constantly encountered. There are approximately 99,000 known species of fungi that live in all temporal conditions. Scientists estimate that there are 2-5 billion species that share the earth with us. We breathe in most mold spores harmlessly. Only around 300 molds are known to impact human health. Many of these particular toxic molds are found indoors and are most likely so toxic because of their direct exposure to common building materials such as drywall, adhesives, and furnishings like carpet. Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys are often found with indoor water damage.
The study of molds, mycology, is still in the relatively early stages of science. Prior to genomic and sequencing technologies developed in recent decades, the study of molds was limited to fungi that could be cultured and studied under a microscope. To that end, there remains much to learn about the roles of fungi and its potential importance to many elements of human.
Mycology was historically considered a branch of botany, the study of plants; however, because fungi plays critical roles in creating and controlling diseases in plants and people, medical mycology has evolved into its own science.
Fungi are necessary for life on the planet. They perform many important roles:
- Fertilizing soil for plant growth;
- Interacting with “good bacteria” in our gut microbiome to help us digest food;
- Creating antibiotics and other life-saving medicines;
- They break down complex organic matter to make woods more durable;
- And, the list goes on.
The reality is that we share the planet with fungi. We celebrate its role in the making of breads, cheese, and wine. Mushrooms and truffles are examples of fungi that people enjoy eating.
There are three types of fungi that impact our immediate health:
- Allergenic molds can cause an allergic reaction in some people, especially those with existing allergy sensitivities or asthma.
- Pathogenic molds are types of molds that can cause infections, especially in those with a suppressed immune system.
- Toxinegenic molds, such as black mold, are the molds that can pose serious health threats and have been linked to diseases such as, respiratory disease (asthma), neurological problems, extreme fatigue, and cancer.
Allergenic Molds and Allergies
Molds are distributed widely outdoors, and a relatively large portion of people have a genetic predisposition to mold sensitivity. Genetic testing for the HLA DR gene has shown that up to 24% of a normal population is susceptible to mold sensitivity or allergy. When the body is exposed to mold and other allergens (pollen, ragweed, grass, dust mites, and pet dander) the body may respond with a histamine release into the system which causes symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Antihistamines are available OTC that address these symptoms.
But antihistamines are not the only substances released. There are several inflammatory mediators that are also released. Intranasal steroids are often prescribed by physicians to control this inflammation. They are available OTC as well.
When these medicines do not work to manage the allergic symptoms, inflammation occurs resulting in mucous production. The pathogenic molds become opportunistic in this case and find a warm, moist, and organic “food-filled” environment in the sinuses. In this case, the result is fungal sinusitis. This is somewhat different than bacterial sinusitis which is treated with antibiotics.
Here is the confusing part, antibiotics can disrupt the bacterial/fungal balance, creating an opportunity for fungi or mold to reproduce. This causes the ongoing cycle of chronic sinusitis that many people suffer from (> 4 months in a year).
In fact, severe fungal sinusitis can lead to the formation of a “fungal ball” that has to be surgically removed.
There are some molds that produce secondary metabolites called mycotoxins. These potent toxins are extremely damaging to human health. Some common mycotoxin-producing molds (aspergillus, penicillium, stachybotrys) are much more common in indoor environments. Water-damaged homes, in particular, can grow these toxic molds. In these cases, a simple water leak can become a significant health hazard if not fixed. Gypsum and paper product drywall (common in most homes) can absorb and hold water for long periods of time. The drywall becomes food for these specific species of molds. Once present, these molds emit mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are sticky, chemical substances and can attach to dust inside the home that can then be inhaled. In this case, serious and scary symptoms like cognitive, neurological, and motor function capabilities can be impaired to the point that a person living in a home with these molds becomes totally debilitated. They are also incredibly toxic to many organs. People exposed to them for any prolonged amount of time can take years to heal from the damage.
Candida yeast and other molds exist in or on in most humans. Common fungal infections occur like toenail fungus, ringworm, yeast infections, and thrush (back of the tongue).
Imbalanced body chemistry, overuse of antibiotics, and/or a diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates can contribute to such fungal overgrowth infections. These fungal infections are commonly diagnosed and can be treated, partially because of local access to the infection.
Most physicians do not have the training nor the time to diagnose other mold-related illnesses. Physicians schedule very little time per patient, and the environmental line of questioning is viewed as too time consuming for busy physician practices. To learn more, click HEREto read “Its Time To Open Your Doctors Eyes To Mold And Mycotoxins”. Because immune system and mycotoxin poisoning symptoms are very similar to many other diseases, patients can also be referred to rheumatologists, internists, and other specialists to find the diagnosis. In the end, many are often diagnosed with “catch all” diagnoses of unknown cause such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and other diagnosis. You can read about “A History Of Unexplained Chronic Illness” here. Some patients are even referred to neurologists and psychiatrists for treatment, because their illnesses seem to be “all in their heads.” Unfortunately, the burden of suggesting mold or mycotoxin illness as a possibility early in the process falls on the patient in most cases.
Solutions for Mold Allergies and Illnesses
Microbalance Health Products has a portfolio of products to aid people with their own mold hygiene. I’d like to provide some explanatory information to help you understand the role each product plays in helping your body to heal and fight mold allergies, infection, and mold in your bloodstream (mycotoxicosis). Again, these products can be used in conjunction with allergy antihistamines and steroids to improve coverage for all of the allergen, antigen, and pathogen possibilities.
Clean Your Nose
Removing the fungi and mucous from your sinuses daily is the single most effective way to provide your immune system relief from continued inflammation while you are resting and healing.
Employ Your Innate Immune System, an Immediate Non-specific T-Cell Response.
Your innate immunity fights antigens in your bloodstream much quicker than your adaptive immune system, which takes months to be effective in producing adequate amounts of antibodies to target specific allergens and antigens.
Boost your Macrophage production to significantly increase the body’s ability to remove dead cellular debris.
Provide hormonal support to speed healing and relieve yourself of adrenal fatigue.
These cost-effective individual treatments work together to provide maximum therapy to remove the mold spores that have entered your sinuses prior to inflammation or by reducing the continuous inflammation of chronic exposure from inhaling mold to both heal and prevent fungal infection.
Chronic Sinusitis patients experience pain, headaches, and allergy symptoms as well as serious debilitating symptoms that prevent them from living a normal life of wellness. These products are very affordable and effective when compared to the pharmaceutical alternatives that do not address the mold component.
Remember, mold is a year-round antigen and can coexist with other allergic reactions. Dr. Dennis told me that mold is often the “master antigen.” His experience tells him that addressing the mold allergy issue can decrease the body’s reaction to other allergens as well, eliminating the need for some medications and immunotherapy.
The products offered by Microbalance Health Products can also be paid for with your FSA and HSA accounts, if your doctor will write a prescription to provide to your insurance. This offers a triple tax savings. They are paid for with pre-tax dollars, can also be deducted from taxes, and the money in the HAs account grows over time. The result is a 30+ percent savings to you.
For questions, comments or to share your story, please comment below.
Cesar Collado is a former pharmaceutical R&D executive, venture capitalist, and seasoned strategy consultant in biotechnology and technology industries in general. He currently works as an advisor to multiple technology start-ups and advises several companies that provide healthcare and other services for environmental illness.