Oct 08 2017

Harvey leaves behind a health danger that lasts long after the water recedes

Published by at 1:58 pm under General

Harvey leaves behind a health danger that lasts long after the water recedes.
Mold caused by wet and humid conditions inside buildings pose a threat to public health.

Hurricane Harvey was one of the wettest weather events in US History. It brought over 50 inches of rain to Texas, and we all saw what that water did to homes, businesses and streets. Now that the flood waters have receded, what’s left behind are soaked drywall, rugs, furniture and more. It is not easy to clean up water damage, and one of the scary culprits that can grow from this moist, warm environment is mold. 1*

Molds are a fungus with an unknown estimated number of species. Estimates range from tens of thousands to three hundred thousand species. They can be found both in and outdoors and thrive in warm, damp, humid conditions. They reproduce and spread by making spores, which can survive harsh environments, including dry conditions that don’t support normal mold growth. They digest that which they are growing on, be it carpet, wood, paper or food. In cases of excessive water, as in the homes affected by Harvey, this is the prime place for mold spores to grow…especially if the water problem is not cleaned up and soaked materials cleared away. In areas with continuous moisture, as in an area with a slow, constant drip, mold will multiply like crazy. The best way to control indoor mold growth is to control the moisture. (2,3)*

Some of the common indoor molds according to the CDC are: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus 3*

So what is the difference between mold and mildew?  “Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.  Molds can thrive on any organic matter, including clothing, leather, paper, and the ceilings, walls and floors of homes with moisture management problems. Mildew often lives on shower walls, windowsills, and other places where moisture levels are high. There are many species of molds. In unaired places, such as basements, they can produce a strong musty odor.” 3*

The reason it is so important to control mold growth is that it can be very dangerous to your health. People living in homes with toxic mold can get extremely sick. (Remember the story of Suzanne Somers?) She and her husband became very ill after leasing a black mold infested house. She ended up writing a book called about her experience.5*

As stated by the EPA,  “…Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash…”2*

The health problems that can arise from toxic mold exposure can vary from person to person so not all cases look the same. Depending on one’s current health, and the type of fungus, toxins produced by the fungus and length of exposure, it will affect people in varying ways and degrees. Most commonly, the symptoms are:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Visual disturbances,
  • Depression
  • Memory loss,
  • Immune disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • GI problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Shortness of breath3*

In extreme cases, it can lead to  liver damage, bleeding from lungs and vascular fragility resulting in hemorrhage.3*

If you suspect you have been exposed to environmental mold, the best first step is to seek out the advice and care of a health care professional with a strong background in environmental medicine. Beware of the most commonly used conventional treatments for mold-related symptoms such as steroids, antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs. These can actually make the situation worse. *

Here are some actions you can take immediately if you suspect you have mold toxicity.:

1.Avoid ALL SUGARS! (and other mold-loving foods). Just as with candida and other bad bacteria, mold loves sugar and anything that turns to sugar in the body. This includes grains, refined white flour and processed foods. Additionally, eliminate milk and most fruit as fungi thrive on diets high in fructose, sucrose and lactose. Also, leave out alcohol, peanuts, cottonseed oil, corn. *

  1. Secondly, and most importantly, take of Body Biotics Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia. And please don’t wait until you have a health issue. Prevention is truly what it is all about. Having a healthy gut and digestive tract will be your best prevention and defensive mechanism against mold and its dangerous toxins. When your microbiome is teeming with good bacteria, your immune system is strong, and it is less likely that mold will penetrate your system. *

The “good” bacteria help keep the “bad” bacteria (and other organisms like mold and yeast) in check. Earlier, I mentioned that antibiotics can make matters worse when you have mold toxicity and this is why. They kill off the good bacteria leaving you more susceptible to a fungal infection. When the gut is healthy and populated with good microflora, it makes it harder for mold and its toxins to penetrate the intestinal lining and enter the blood stream. *

In extreme cases, a toxic gut will result in your immune system firing back to try to overcome what has entered the blood stream, leading to systemic inflammation. Once mold toxins get into your blood stream, every system in your body goes into overdrive fighting that which it does not recognize.*

  1. Use pancreatic enzymes, taken on an empty stomach. This works because enzymes eat debris, such as mold which acts as a food source for the enzymes. Normally, you would take enzymes in conjunction with a meal to help digest the food. But without food present, they will digest the mold instead. This will take time as they hunt down the hidden mold in your digestive tract.*
  2. Additionally, you can try extract of artichoke leaf which was found to be toxic to many types of fungi, including both molds. Your health care practitioner may suggest other herbal remedies, as well as colonics.*

The best way to avoid getting mold toxicity is to pay attention to your environment and if you notice black mold growing anywhere, have it checked out. Use a solution of bleach water to clean suspected areas. Remove all moisture from the area and any items that have mold on them. Don’t directly touch the mold. Use gloves. And if need be, call a professional. If your home has mold, it is a bad day all the way around as most insurance companies will not cover it. So avoid, avoid, avoid and keep things dry and clean.*

Good luck, and healthiest wishes,





  1. http://www.startribune.com/half-decent-holiday-weekend-weather-harvey-was-a-storm-like-no-other/442241903/
  2. https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-and-health
  3. https://iaq.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/202370458-Mold-and-Moisture
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
  5. http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Suzanne-Somers-Threes-Company-house-mold/2015/04/17/id/639298/


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