If you are like the majority of people out there, then you too have probably been spending more time than usual inside over the last year. For many, this has had some unforeseen ramifications. Spending less time outside in the fresh air and natural light and perhaps more time inside a water damaged building or living space has indeed affected our health. This has contributed to more complaints of fatigue and pain, fibromyalgia, within my circle of friends and friends of friends. Trying to explain the possibility of water damage and the mycotoxins people are likely exposed to from their homes is like trying to explain calculus to a third grader. It’s not the concept that is hard to grasp, but rather a true understanding that prolonged exposure to unseen molds could be the main underlying cause to their health challenges.
Most house cleaning is aimed at making the home look clean but is usually ineffective at removing small particles such as residual mold spores and fungal fragments. A hard pill to swallow is that up to 85% of buildings in the U.S. have had past water damage. Despite having fixed a plumbing leak in the bathroom, a busted water heater in the basement or a leaky drip pan from the HVAC system may leave you breathing in toxic mold spores called mycotoxins that are ramping up the inflammatory cascades in your body.
If, over the past year, you have felt a nagging condition like chronic pain and/or fatigue develop or worsen, it may be time to investigate a possible mold exposure in your home or workplace. I want to preface this by saying that it is very possible your general practitioner will not buy into your theory. Even if they conduct a blood draw, the chances of anything appearing abnormal are slim. This is because most physicians are trained to interpret blood chemistry for disease detection, not prevention. Additionally, a traditional blood work-up won’t reveal mold exposure. There are special markers to help identify possible clues for one to be diagnosed and treated properly. Most physicians are not properly trained in this area and this is why so many people suffer from CIRS(chronic inflammatory response syndrome). An in-depth health history is critical for practitioners to better understand a patient’s health challenge.
Blood Labs and Inflammation – TGFb1
Most of us have gone to our doctor for one reason or another and had our blood taken only to be told, “Well, everything appears to be normal.” Yet we stand there in awe because we feel fat, frumpy and frazzled! If you suspect or know that you are residing in a moldy environment, one marker to investigate is TGFb1 (transforming growth factor beta 1). This marker is not on your standard blood labs and you may have to do some convincing to add it on. It doesn’t tell you where the inflammation is occurring, but this marker is almost always elevated in people with CIRS from a water-damaged building.
Heart Attacks and TGFb1
Heart attacks are a major form of heart disease that lead to immediate heart muscle-cell death due to restricted blood flow. Eventually this leads to fibrosis, scar formation, further dysfunction of cardiac muscle and heart failure. If you have the genetic predisposition for heart disease, this important biomarker is critical for your preventative action plan, especially if you live in a moldy environment. The truth is that while the substantial majority are not permanently harmed by mold, 25% of the population are vulnerable to mold illness and develop CIRS because of their genetic make-up. So, if heart disease runs in the family, we need to take preventative action now! The takeaway here is that TGFb1 appears to share a large portion of the responsibility for heart failure.
The CIRS that people suffer when they are sickened by exposure to the interior environment of water-damaged buildings includes a dramatic rise in TGFb1. Rises in this marker from mold means that breathing problems and structural change of the heart can soon follow the constant exposure if not dealt with right away.
As always, we want to remove ourselves from the source of exposure as quickly as possible. This one step alone makes a huge difference in your recovery. Subsequently, getting the right labs to assess underlying causes is next. We want to create a bio-individualized program that is tailored to your specific health challenges. This saves time, money and frustration.
Consuming nutrient dense high in anti-inflammatory foods such as the NHD Paleo Mold diet lowers inflammation, balances blood sugar levels and your mood, improves mental performance, gives you energy, ends cravings, helps you lose excess weight, controls weight gain, and reduces your risk of chronic disease. Supplemental support is also critical to help with the removal of mycotoxins and lowering inflammatory markers like TGFb1.
In addition to optimizing your remediation and nutrition plan, making sure you have clean air is vital to your health. I recommend the Austin Air Purifier which has a 5 stage filtration process that removes allergens, odors, VOCs, and captures particulate matter like mold spores.
If you would like to have this kind of support, you can always schedule a FREE call with one of our health coaches to assist you in designing a plan!