by Gabriel Ariciu, DC

Each climate is different and here in the Ozarks it can be very humid. The abundance of water brings a great deal of blessings. Massive forests, rolling hills of green grass, and lots of wildlife. But the humidity and combined with our living spaces can create a great breeding ground for mold. The dangers of mold have been covered on the news quite frequently especially black mold. Now not all molds are equal and mold is everywhere. We often encounter mold spores (essentially, how the mold grows or spreads) in household dust. Mold for the most part doesn’t cause any problems. It is a normal everyday thing that we come in contact with, but given the right environment it will proliferate.

Mold loves warm, dark, and moist places. Hence, in the Ozarks it can be a big problem. There are many climates and regions that are prone to mold infestation.  We can further complicate our environment with poor ventilation and disrepair of our houses. Older homes are often more prone. Many do not replace the air filters as often as they should and they often buy the cheapest ones. This is totally understandable because costs add up. But so do health care costs. Health care costs are much harder to determine because they are not often immediately seen. Another issue is we often do not open our windows anymore or go outside. I remember growing up my mom during Spring cleaning would open all the windows of the house and let fresh air in. Often we had the windows open throughout the summer too because we did not have air conditioning until I was older. Letting fresh air in helps ventilate the house and keep mold populations to a minimum.

So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Investigate your house. See if there are any damp areas on the floor, carpet, or walls. Look for mold it is often very apparent in bathrooms or basements. Check behind furniture. If you have a basement, do a thorough investigation because basements are especially prone. Lastly and most importantly, evaluate yourselves and see if you have any of the following symptoms.

  • Aches and Pains
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat issues
  • Eye issues
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fungal infections of skin and digestive tract
  • Headaches
  • Hypersensitive
  • Immune suppression-sick often
  • Intestinal hyper-permeability or leaky gut
  • Nausea
  • Neurological issues
  • Rashes
  • Sinus congestion/infections
  • Sugar addiction
  • Wheezing

A common issue for me has been frequent fungal infections of my sinuses. I will get severe sinus pressure, congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, running nose, and fatigue. It will wipe me out for days. This happened a lot due to the environment I was in as a student. I lived a poor ventilated, older mobile home. I would get them a few times a year, which is frequent for sinus infections and frankly, you should not be getting them.

So what do you? Do the best you can with what you have up to and including relocation. Prevention is key. Quality is critical.

  • Look into getting a dehumidifier
  • Replace air filters often with high quality products.
  • Use a bathroom fan (commonly called the fart fan) when showering.
  • Open the windows as often as you can, temperature permitting.
  • Properly insulate all pipes especially cold water pipes
  • Check the foundation and basement for leaking and make sure the ground slopes away
  • Check the roof for possible leaks

But if you already have mold or you suspect that you do, get an inspection immediately. Sometimes it is hard to find. A qualified person can locate it effectively and efficiently.

I realize that many of you may already have some of the symptoms listed above. Maybe you have already seen several practitioners about it. Of course, the root cause is the environment and that needs to be addressed. It may not even be your house. You can get fungal or mold infections from other sources. It could be your workplace or maybe from a recent vacation. I love spelunking and caves can be another source for infection. If you think you may have a fungal infection you should seek out a competent holistic practitioner. Someone versed in rooting out the underlying cause. You want to get it taken care of as soon as possible because it can get worse and maybe it already is. I see this all the time with my patients, including myself as I already mentioned. So I am going to give a few more recommendations.

A change in lifestyle is a must. For awhile I have been saying eat well, move well, and live well. I highly recommend changing to an Ancestral/Paleo diet. It will help reduce inflammation provide you with the proper nutrition for healing and optimal health. Secondly, is get out a move. Get outside. Go for a walk on a trail if you can. Being in nature is very beneficial. You can try certain supplements as well. I test these in office to make sure my patients need them but you can try them. I find Melia Supreme and Morinda Supreme to be very helpful. These are herbs that have antifungal properties and very effective in treating fungal infections.