- Healthy Homes, Mould

Brain Fog? It could be caused by mould!

Mould does not get a lot of respect as a health threat, generating much less notoriety than things like pesticides, heavy metals, processed foods and sedentary lifestyles.  Nevertheless, it should, particularly after the significant flooding.

“Mold is the biggest health problem in the country” declares Dr Rick Sponaugle, a functional medicine physician who specialises in the treatment of brain and neurological disorders due to toxins. “The research is out there from all over the world. I don’t know why we’re so far behind.”

Mould word collage

Mould can affect anyone’s health; about 25 per cent of us are especially vulnerable to the fungi’s toxins due to genetics.
Toxins can trigger a wide range of chronic diseases over time, including liver disease, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal issues, recurring infections, sleep disturbances, hormonal disruptions, and breathing problems.

Mould is also ubiquitous. It thrives in houses, workplaces, schools and any other type of building that has ever suffered any water damage.

Dr Alan Vinitsky, a paediatrician who specializes in disease related to moulds and other environmental factors agrees with Dr. Sponaugle saying, about mould “It’s a severely underappreciated problem”

And mould is not all you have to worry about. Dr Vinitsky reminds us “Where mould starts to grow, you also get bacteria and other kinds of organisms, They all generate a variety of harmful products.  How they affect a person depends on the kinds of organisms present and the susceptibility of the person exposed to them.”

Mould has microscopic spores with potent mycotoxins that can affect anywhere in the body when inhaled or ingested. Toxins cause many neurological disorders because they have an express route to the brain through the olfactory system and also target fat cells, which are abundant in brain tissue as well as the sheath that protects nerves.

Despite its widespread presence and harmful effects on the body, the mould is one of the last things primary care physicians typically check in trying to diagnose an ailment. However, if you have a chronic condition that standard medical care is not helping, the experts suggest consulting a mould toxin specialist.

Sponaugle says an effective urine test to detect the toxins is available. And there are a variety of treatments.

Since 2002, many scientific documents actually support the findings that mould has a negative effect on some people with neuropsychiatric effects such as visuospatial learning/memory, verbal learning, and psychomotor speed, in the case of house moulds, increasing in severity through short-term memory loss, executive function/judgement deficiencies, lack of concentration and hand-eye coordination through to immune deficiencies and autism spectrum disorder.

Mold affected brain activity
Courtesy of Spounagle Wellness Institute

The scientific evidence is so compelling the effects of mould toxicity even has at least one medical name, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) acquired following exposure to the interior environment of water-damaged buildings.  Symptoms associated with CISR-WDB include headache, difficulty with recent memory, concentration, word finding, numbness, tingling, metallic taste and vertigo.

So, If you have had a flood or recent moisture event get your home tested for mould by a qualified independent mould inspector and protect you and your families health.

Article submitted by:
Russell Loughrin, a Certified Home, and Mould Inspector operating in Southern Ontario.

Len Inkster, CCHI, CMI, IAC2 (Mould & Radon), OCRMI, OCIAQA, Ontario Association of Certified Home Inspectors.


About Russell Loughrin

University of Guelph graduate in Settlement Studies former developer, financier and builder operating in Southern Ontario. Since 1988 a building consultant for owner builders until 2008. In 2008 became a certified home inspector and in 2009 became Certified Mould Inspector, in 2014 become as a Certified Master Inspector.
Read All Posts By Russell Loughrin

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