MOLD – BEYOND THE SURFACE
It's important to be aware that exposure to mold can cause significant health problems both acute and long-term. Growing right along with mold are what's called 'gram negative' and 'gram positive' bacteria. Just like mold, they require moisture and organic material to thrive, and the synergistic action between mold and bacteria further increase and worsen inflammatory health conditions.
Positive And Negative Gram Bacteria
The positive gram bacteria consist of: bacilli, cocci, streptomyces, and actinomycetes. The actinomycetes contain different groups of bacteria, including mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can cause very serious lung infection. Negative gram bacteria are also extremely harmful. When they die, they release their cell walls known as endotoxins. These endotoxins are highly inflammatory and can severely aggravate asthma and other conditions. Recent research indicates the inflammation endotoxins cause can also affect the brain and other organs.
Illnesses Caused By Mold
Vascular – blood vessel fragility, hemorrhage from tissues or lungs
Digestive – diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhage, liver damage
Respiratory – trouble breathing, bleeding from lungs
Neurological – tremors, loss of coordination, headaches, depression
Skin – rashes, burning, sloughing, photosensitivity
Urinary – kidney toxicity
Reproductive – infertility, changes in reproductive cycles
Immune – suppression of the immune system
Mixed Mold Toxicosis
Environmental health experts are seeing increasing numbers of individuals with a complex myriad of symptoms directly related to mold exposure. This has resulted in the proposal of a new term to describe this multi-faceted syndrome – Mixed Mold Toxicosis.
To Take Drugs Or Not
There is no precise formula for rebuilding perfect health as treatment depends on many factors that include the type of mold, length of exposure, overall health, medications, allergies, genetics, and a host of other factors. The best approach is to find a well-informed physician with expertise in environmental medicine then together devise an appropriate treatment plan. That said consider four of the common drug approaches to treating fungal infections (of which mold is just one type) – nasal corticosteroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, and antifungal medications:
1. Nasal Steroid Inhalers and Cortisone
Steroids may temporarily decrease inflammation, which may make you feel better for a short period of time. However, steroids suppress your immune response. If your immune response is compromised, then the infection is actually encouraged, which perpetuates the underlying problem
Research suggests more than 90 percent of sinus infections are fungal in origin. Yet antibiotics target bacteria not fungi. Antibiotics then create a fungus-friendly intestinal environment. Along with killing the bad bacteria, they kill off your good bacteria and yeast that would naturally keep the pathological fungi at bay. Without these good bacteria, fungi like mold are allowed to spread, unchecked
Fungal toxins can affect your brain and alter your emotional state. Neurological symptoms are commonly seen with mold toxicity. It is not uncommon for people suffering from chronic mold-related health problems to be prescribed antidepressant drugs. However, antidepressants come with a slew of potentially serious side effects.
4. Antifungal Drugs
Antifungal drugs are quite toxic, especially to the liver. The reason most antifungal drugs are so toxic is the similarity between the body's cell membranes and fungal cell membranes. Fungal antibiotics attack the cell membranes of the fungus, and when they do, they also damage human cell membranes
The Alternative to Drugs
Cut off the fungal food supply. Fungi, including yeast and molds, need sugar in order to survive. Fungi will thrive on a diet high in fructose, sucrose (table sugar), lactose (milk sugar) and other sugars. Begin by eliminating the following foods from the diet:
- Alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is the mycotoxin of Saccharomyces yeast (brewer's yeast), and often contains other mycotoxins from mold-containing fruits and grains
- Wheat and all wheat products including barley, rye and sorghum
- Corn is universally contaminated with a variety of fungal toxins
- Peanuts are often contaminated with dozens of mold types
- Sugar from sugar cane and sugar beets
- Cottonseed and cottonseed oil
- Hard cheeses. Cheeses like Gouda are made with yogurt-type cultures such as lactobacillus, rather than fungi, so these are a better alternative
- Read Labels, There are often fungal components used in food manufacturing that are not necessarily listed on the label. For example authentic soy sauce is fermented by a fungus that gives soy sauce its distinctive flavor
What To Add In
- Stick to a basic diet of fresh organic vegetables, lean organic meats, and fresh, pure water while recovering. It's wise to avoid eating out because you can't control what is put into your food unless you prepare it yourself
- Vegetable juicing to accelerate the healing. Juicing helps alkalize your body, and for the most part, fungi can't grow in an alkaline environment. Juices assimilate very quickly into your system with very little effort or energy by your digestive tract. Juices should be consumed immediately after being juiced (within 15 minutes is best) as the enzymes degrade rapidly thereafter
- Probiotics are mold's worst nightmare. Probiotics help repopulate your GI tract with beneficial bacteria. The "good" bacteria help keep the "bad" bacteria (and other organisms like mold and yeast) in check. Without the proper microflora, fungi and their toxins can break through the walls of the intestinal tract and enter the bloodstream. Sensing this toxicity, the immune system reacts which results in systemic inflammation
- Garlic is a potent antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, immune system stimulant, and detoxification agent. Garlic also helps clean out the respiratory tract. The best form is raw, whole garlic, rather than a supplement derived from garlic, as it is the synergism of the whole food that makes it so clinically active. Eat the cloves whole, or run them through your juicer alongside your veggies
- Ginger is also an antifungal and antibacterial. It helps dislodge congestion in your respiratory tract, and is also a great digestive aid. Ginger also makes a great addition to fresh juice
- Cayenne is a catalyst for the other herbs
As you build your immune system it becomes less sensitive and over reactive and you will soon feel much better.