Mould is a toxin

I have just moved house and 4 days after I had the furniture moved in I had Pure Maintenance in to “de-mould” my house (and furniture). Why? Because mould is a toxin and can be harmful to health, especially brain health.

There was no visible mould in the house apart from a small amount in one of the bathrooms but most mould is not visible. I had already had a mould survey done in addition to a structural survey, and Pure Maintenance had identified several species of mould, a couple of which are known to be harmful to people. To me the financial outlay (it isn’t cheap) was a no-brainer. Protecting my health, especially my brain health, is a priority.

Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of moulds.Mycotoxins are commonly found in foods such as rotting apples. Mycotoxins are also found in homes and other buildings where there has been water damage, where there is high humidity and/or poor ventilation. These conditions create an environment conducive to mould growth, which then releases mycotoxins into the air.

Here’s a photo of the dry fog that was used in my home to treat mould.

Dry Fog Technology

Our environment impacts our brain health

Think about your home and/or office, the places where you spend the most time. Are they damp? Is there visible mould? Are you aware of any water leaks past or present? Has your bath or shower ever overflowed? Is your bathroom well ventilated? Long steamy showers leave bathrooms very damp which is why mould growth is common in bathrooms.

Three years ago I moved back to my house in Tunbridge Wells. It had been rented out for a few years while my husband and I lived abroad. Within about 3 months of moving into the house I started to suffer from histamine symptoms – rashes and hives on my legs, a nasal drip and nasal congestion, headaches and a really exaggerated reaction to insect bites. I was pretty certain the symptoms weren’t due to anything I was eating. I eventually sought help from a functional medicine trained nutritionist who identified from a urine test that I had mycotoxins in my body. She put me on a protocol to get rid of the mycotoxins. The protocol included a low histamine diet, supplements, and using a nasal wash. I also moved out of the house and into temporary accommodation – this was already planned as we’d sold our house and hadn’t found a new one! I knew our house in Tunbridge Wells had mould because there had been a bathroom leak while it was being rented. In this case, the mould was visible but what I didn’t know 3 years ago was that wiping it off and painting over it didn’t actually get rid of it!

The good news is that that protocol worked. I became symptom free after about 6 months and I am now keen to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Whilst histamine symptoms are unpleasant, mycotoxins can lead to other serious health conditions including Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s connection

Dr Dale Bredesen, U.S. neuroscientist, founder of Apollo Health, and author of The End of Alzheimers and The End of Alzheimer’s Programme has identified biotoxin exposure as a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disease and may have many different contributors. The chances are that someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or someone who is in the early stages of cognitive decline will be found to be suffering from a range of contributing factors with mycotoxins being just one of them. It is worth pointing out, that not everyone will be impacted by mycotoxins in the same way. Just as not everyone who eats donuts everyday will develop Type 2 Diabetes, not everyone exposed to mycotoxins will go on to develop Alzheimer’s.

Awareness around the impact of mycotoxins on our health is, at last, growing. As well as supporting individuals to make changes to their home and external environment, I want to raise awareness more generally of how various toxins, not just those produced by mould, can impact our longer term brain health. I am quite sure I will be writing more on this in the future.

Are you or is someone close to you worried that they may develop Alzheimer’s disease?

I work with women who have a close blood relative with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. I can share information but more importantly, I can offer guidance, support and accountability to help my clients identify the areas of their life where they want to make changes, and then support them to make those changes. I am currently studying with Apollo Health to become a ReCODE health coach. ReCODE stands for Reverse Cognitive Decline.

Please email me if you would like to know more.