Does the amount of mold a person is exposed to affect their memory? Research is beginning to help us better understand how mold effects the health of some people. Memory problems are an alarming problem to deal with. We dive into the subject of toxic mold and memory loss and the ways they are connected.
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Mold is not to be taken lightly. We have had many healthy problems triggered due to toxic mold exposure. There are factors that come into play as to whether person is susceptible to mold's effects and to what extent.
Each person is individual and there are a wide range of symptoms. Problems can escalate if the issue is not properly addressed. However, this is not the same for everyone.
It is scary and difficult to know where to begin. Although this is the case, becoming informed is vital and timeliness can become a necessity. There are precautions to take and ways to get help.
I researched the facts, but I must say I was more than disappointed when I saw sites taking the effects of mold so lightly or not stating the importance of digging deeper.
My father has impaired cognitive aphasia that is now turning to dementia. My entire family of 5 has had difficulties with cognitive-based functioning after intense mold exposure. There is a link that is life-changing for some people. This link needs to be properly examined.
Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, a qualified clinician or other qualified health care professional.
This post covers if toxic mold and memory loss are connected and if so, how and what steps to take.
Types of Mold Linked to Health issues and memory problems
- Stachybotrys, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold
Do Mold Toxins Affect brain Health?
It is controversial as to what extent mold toxins affect brain health. This is partly because it is difficult to determine if mold is the exact factor that causes neurological symptoms to develop.
However, there are studies that do raise alarm. This article shows studies that have shown a negative impact on the immune system, neurological symptoms as well as cognitive decline.
Although this is the case, the studies were not able to link mold as the sole problem. Therefore, mold may be attributing factor to cognitive impairments such as memory, but not the sole factor.
What is mold exposure?
Mold exposure is when you have spent time in some type of indoor space which has had an infestation of mold. The mycotoxins were in the air you breathed in, but it does not mean that mold was not filtered out of the body.
It has been shown that a little over one quarter of the people have a genetic disposition that does not allow their body to properly dispose of mold out of the body. Mold exposure may or may not lead to CIRS in this case which is also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response System. We examine CIRS more in depth later on.
What is mold toxicity?
Mold toxicity, which has been also identified as CIRS, and mold illness is when you have a cascade of mycotoxins and mold spores invade the body that are not properly excreted by the body. The problem arises when a susceptible individual is exposed to a harmful type of mold or a high amount of mold.
The body becomes ill and develops symptoms as a result. The mold may trigger other problems that already existed or increase vulnerability to additional health problems.
What are mold Exposure symptoms?
Symptoms of mold exposure include both an allergic immune response to mold as well as a chemical reaction from the mold in the body due to the immune response. These symptoms are associated with other health problems as well. This makes diagnosing a health illness due to mold difficult.
I took these symptoms from various doctors that are knowledgeable in the area of mold illness.
- Mood swings and mood disorders related to anxiety, depression
- Respiratory problems
- Asthma symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Joint Pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive problems
- Appetite swings
- Brain fog
Can mold cause memory loss?
Mold can trigger a cascade of health problems that eventually lead to a loss of memory. To answer this question further, we will first look at a term CIRS, also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. This was first named and defined by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, an award winning mold expert and physician.
According to Dr. Shoemaker, CIRS develops when people with weakened immune systems are unable to excrete mold toxins from their body. This creates excess inflammation in the body. These susceptible people also have a genetic profile prone to not being able to detox mold.
This chronic inflammation can cause neurological damage in areas of the brain such as the hippocampus. This part of the brain is where memory, learning, and sleep patterns take place. Therefore, one can see effects in cognitive abilities such as memory loss. There is help for this if appropriate steps are taken.
why does mold cause memory loss?
Constant inflammation in the brain has been shown to possibly lead to decreased neural activity in the brain. The networks stop functioning properly due to this inflammation. Therefore, the memory center of the brain is no longer able to make connections and neurological problems arise such as memory loss.
Is memory loss from mold reversible?
Getting proper treatment for Chronic Inflammation Response Syndrome as soon as you find out about it is critical to how well the brain will recover. However, the brain can heal and the effects of mold exposure can be reversed, but you will want to follow appropriate precautions to not be reinfected.
how do you test for mold toxicity in the body?
The blood tests that are used to identify the patients susceptible to CIRS from the patients who are not susceptible to CIRS include assessing a person's HLA DRB and DQ haplotypes.
In order to get proper testing done for mold you should find a certified doctor that is proficient in CIRS or mold Illness. The doctor will know which tests need to be given and will be able to read the tests appropriately.
If tests show certain markers for mold toxicity, then the doctor will be able to implement a protocol to begin alleviating your symptoms and bringing you back to a healthy baseline.
This is a vision test developed by Dr. Shoemaker that tests to see if you are a possible candidate for mold exposure. A person is not able to clearly see edges due to an increase in biotoxins in the brain. This test is a way to evaluate the problem. www.survivingmold.com/store/online-vcs-screening
Causes of Mold Exposure
- Damp Basements due to improper drainage, humidity levels, weather conditions, or water damage
- Exposure at workplace that has a mold problem
- Undealt with water leak
- Improper drainage
- Humidity Levels
- Improper ventilation
- Weather conditions and lack of sun/dryness
- Improper cleaning or build up of excessive materials
Who is at risk for Mold Toxicity?
People at risk for mold toxicity illness are those who carry the genetic disposition to not be able to discreet mold from the body. Additionally, these people are exposed to a moldy environment. Also, individuals that have weakened immune systems should avoid mold exposure.
Ways to prevent mold toxicity
- Make sure your living area meets the requirements listed below in the following section.
- Clean frequently - mold sticks to bacteria and contaminates left in the air and on surfaces. Cleaning gives mold less opportunity for breeding.
- Use an oil in a diffuser that does not require water. Also use the essential oil in a cleaning solution to purify air in both the home, car, and work area.
- Spend as little time in moldy buildings as possible to reduce mycotoxin exposure.
- Be cautious about bringing in used items into your home or space unless you know specifically that they came from a safe place not infected with mold.
- Keep your immune system strong - eat healthy, get appropriate exercise, reduce and learn how to handle stress, etc.
Ways to reduce chance of mold spores and mold growth in the home?
- Keep humidity levels down - Use a dehumidifier to do this in multiple rooms if necessary
- Repair a leak as soon as you become aware of it.
- Remediate the water issue properly and professionally if necessary
- Use exhaust fans in bathroom. Leave them running in the bathroom while bathing and at least 30 minutes after bathing. Also, wipe down bath area after each use.
- Use exhaust fans in kitchen
- Install proper ventilation
- Make sure all air conditioners are cleaned well and often so they do not develop mold.
- Use a high quality air filter for your HVAC system. See this guide for more information
- Use a high-quality air purifier - We have 4 of this brand and I swear by them. They are amazing. The less bacteria, dust, dander, and other contaminates, the less for mold to stick to.
- Reduce unnecessary paper products and cardboard boxes in the home.
- Keep the washing machine free from mold
- Clean gutters on a regular basis
how to find a certified doctor
This post covered if toxic mold and memory loss are connected and if so, how and what steps to take.
- Harding, C. F., Pytte, C. L., Page, K. G., Ryberg, K. J., Normand, E., Remigio, G. J., DeStefano, R. A., Morris, D. B., Voronina, J., Lopez, A., Stalbow, L. A., Williams, E. P., & Abreu, N. (2020). Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive and emotional dysfunction. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 87, 218–228.
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