Updated: May 28
A few years ago I was not feeling well and stayed home to rest on the couch and catch up on nutrition research. I was resting and totally nerding out on liver function and supplement strategy when a lightbulb went on in my head.
I pulled back the couch and found the redwood paneling on the wall behind was covered in fuzzy blue mold. I had been having trouble sleeping, had increasing food allergies and histamine reactions. I was exhausted and struggled with brain fog and a disassociation that didn’t make any sense.
I switched gears, put on a dust mask and started scrubbing the wall thoroughly while listening to every podcast and interview available about mold toxicity, symptoms, removal and recovery. My second Ahha moment came when I bought a simple $100 HEPA air purifier at Coast Hardware. Within 10 minutes I could feel the air on the opposite side of my house – it was as if a veil of darkness had lifted. The mold dementors were letting go of my headspace. There are better air purifiers and I had wasted too researching the perfect one. The point is that we can always find simple, easy, inexpensive ways to improve our health and there is no such thing as perfection.
The Mendocino Coast is, unfortunately, the perfect recipe for mold to grow. We have very moist air without enough hot or freezing temperatures to kill the mold. Combine that with any water damage or uncirculated air in the house and mold can grow rampant – poisoning those of us who are susceptible to it. Only 1 in 4 people have difficulty detoxing mold – the other 3 people in my house can breathe it in and it’s easily removed by healthy detox mechanisms.
Mold causes inflammation, so symptoms can be attributed to any number of inflammatory problems without finding the real root cause of illness. There is a long list of symptoms common to many inflammatory condition – anxiety, depression, headaches, fatigue, body pain, irritable bowel, increased allergies and histamine issues, electric shock like sensations and other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. So how do you know if it’s caused by mold, gluten, heavy metals or something entirely different? If you live on the Mendocino Coast then mold is a good place to start.
Once you suspect mold could be causing your symptoms – get a simple HEPA air purifier, don’t wait for the perfect one! The rest of the journey can be long and inspiring to finally find the root cause of health problems. Our environment contributes to health and steals health in many ways and mold is one factor that’s particularly relevant here on the Mendocino coast.
Stay tuned as I discuss testing your home and your body for mold next. Foods and supplements to help remove mold and alleviate symptoms.
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My mold teachers
Nathan, Neil, MD Toxic: heal your body, Victory Belt Publishing, 2018
Crista, Jill, MD Break the Mold:5 tools to conquer mold and take back your health, Wellness ink Publishing, 2018