A moldy home constitutes a common exposure to spores and mycotoxins; here’s why it’s important to make sure your home is mold-free.
A moldy home is one thing but for most people, the first move when you realize that fungus may lay at the root of your health problems is to address any sort of dietary changes that should be made. This often includes removing sugar and most carbohydrate rich foods from the diet, along with eliminating foods that are known to be contaminated with mold and their poisons, such as corn, wheat, other grains, peanuts, alcohol and soy (among others). Removing any foods containing yeast or fungi (such as mushrooms or myco-protein) is critical, as well. Next usually comes adding in some specific anti-fungal supplements and addressing other lifestyle factors that may have contributed to you health problems, such as exercise, sleep routines and stress levels.
These are all important steps towards ridding your body of pathogenic yeast and fungi, and being healthy in general. They are all key tenants of The Kaufmann Diet and lifestyle. However, when it comes to the virulent effects that yeasts, mold and fungus can have on our bodies, these steps are incomplete without addressing one more factor: the quality of the air in your home.
It is well known that moldy air in indoor spaces poses an imminent threat to certain aspects of our health. Poor indoor air quality is known to exacerbate allergies and asthma, and is suspected of causing or contributing to other serious health problems as well. Despite this, it is often written off as a problem, but a less than serious problem. However, it is something that might be more than just serious; un-remediated mold in indoor spaces might be a primary factor in why you are experiencing odd and difficult to treat health problems.
Often times, the factors that might precede a moldy home are obvious: a flood, a broken pipe, a water leak or a leak in the roof can all provide the moisture needed for mold to grow on building materials such as drywall, carpet or wood. Older homes are often more susceptible, but new homes are not immune, either. New homes have the added complicating factor of being tightly sealed an preventing the free flow of air, which is beneficial for home efficiency, but unfortunately this characteristic can facilitate mold growth in the right conditions. Often, even the cleanest homes might have mold lurking behind drywall, near air vents or anywhere moisture is allowed to sit. Sometimes, even a small, unseen leak in a pipe can facilitate the development of a mold colony.
As molds flourish, they release their spores into the air, which can irritate breathing problems. It may, however constitute a way for different types of fungi to gain access to your body. Once inhaled, the potential for illness exists. Furthermore, airborne mycotoxins can also potentially be inhaled, causing miserable symptoms.
Making sure your indoor spaces are as free from mold as possible is an important, but often overlooked, part of the Kaufmann Lifestyle. Ultimately, it is possible for you to be doing everything right and still experience health problems, as your indoor environment is continuously exposing you to spores and potential toxins.
What You Can Do
Making sure your air is as clean as possible is just as important as other factors like diet. Knowing this, it is important to take steps to ensure that 1) your home is free of mold and 2) you remediate any mold problems if you discover that they exist. All homes will likely have some sort of spores present as mold is ubiquitous, but what is far more concerning is colonies that flourish on drywall, in carpet, in ducting or anywhere else in the home. The inside of cabinets that house sinks can also be prone to growing mold as they are usually one of the first places water usually leaks unknowingly.
Often, it is obvious if a home has a mold problem, because you can smell a musty odor. Other times, though, it can be more difficult to determine without testing. The easiest way to determine if you do have a mold problem (and what species have colonized) is through a mold test kit, usually available at any hardware stores.
If you do determine you have a problem, it is best to locate it and remediate. Often, mold problems will not be visible; sometimes it is necessary to pull up carpet or remove drywall or look inside ducting. Remediation may be as simple as cleaning with natural cleaners like citrus-based cleaners (or bleach can be good for this purpose), but it may often require replacing carpet, drywall or ducting.
Professional remediation services are available for indoor spaces that have experienced significant mold infestation. Often after a flood or other catastrophic event, these types of services are necessary to ensure the air quality in your home or place of work is not contributing to your health problems.
Preventative maintenance on homes can be an important step towards making sure mold infestation doesn’t occur in the first place. Regularly checking your roof for leaks, or addressing any sort of visible water damage is key for keeping the problem from growing into a much larger issue. Other steps you can take include having a quality air purifier in your home. It is important to change the filters in your air conditioning system regularly. Keep the windows open when possible, and try to keep every room in the house well-ventilated. If you see visible mold, carefully clean it up. Dehumidifiers can be beneficial for bathrooms or laundry rooms or other rooms where ambient moisture is regularly a problem.
Ultimately, if you have struggled with health problems but failed to find the underlying problem––even if you are doing all the other things right––it is time to address a potential mold problem in your home; no more moldy home. With that piece of the puzzle addressed, in tandem with an anti-fungal diet and healthy lifestyle, you may finally find relief from problems that have plagued you for years. Certainly, it is a healthy step to maintaining your health in the long run.