How Long Does it Take to Get Sick From Mold? [Video]
Written by Erin Porter
Mold is ubiquitous, so we can’t avoid it altogether, but have you ever wondered why two people who live in the same house react differently to mold? One may remain unaffected while the other may be at death’s door! I will cover the reasons in this article and in my interview below on PBS American Health Journal. I will also answer the question, “How long does it take to get sick from mold?”
Below: My interview on PBS American Health Journal discussing the devastating effects mold had on my health.
How Long After Mold Exposure Does it Take to Get Sick?
There are many factors determine how long it takes to get sick after mold exposure. These factors include the state of your immune system, the type of mold, a person’s ability to produce glutathione, gene defects such as MTHFR gene, and much more. I will expand on each factor below.
- Immune System – When our immune system is working correctly, it does a great job of protecting us from pathogens, including mold and their poisons (mycotoxins). When our immune system is compromised, our ability to fight off any type of pathogen is lessened. The reason for a weak immune system varies. Some of the common reasons is smoking, poor nutrition and chronic infections.
- Mold Sensitivity and Allergy – For some, the body will overreact when it comes in contact with mold spores. Many who have been diagnosed with mold allergies have chronic sinusitis as well as asthma.
- Glutathione Deficiency – if ones ability to produce glutathione is impaired, the body will suffer. Glutathione is the bodies master detoxifier. For those people, supplementing with glutatione would be crucial in order to detox the mycotoxins out of their body.
- MTHFR Mutation – A mutation can cause methylation to be disrupted. MTHFR is short for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase. The role of this gene is complex, but in short the mutation inhibits the bodies to convert folate as well as cripple its ability to detox properly. This is a simple blood test that can tell you if you have a MTHFR mutation. Taking supplements that help push the methylation process along can help those with the mutation.
- Prior Mold Illness – Mold exposure can cause severe damage to the body. Those who have had mold illness in the past tend to be more sensitive to mold than others and have to be aware of keeping their air as clean as possible.
In conclusion, varies factors determine how long it takes to get sick from mold exposure. For some it’s immediate. They will start to sneeze, have itchy, watery eyes, or asthma immediately upon inhaling mold spores. For others, it’s long-term exposure that will eventually make them sick. Again, the length of time before getting sick depends on many other factors, including the state of the person’s immune system.
How Do You Know if Mold is Making You Sick?
Fungus can invade any tissue or organ, making you sick. Doug Kaufmann, who is the host of televisions, Know the Cause, says blood tests are semi-helpful as they can detect antibodies to certain fungi you have been exposed to but urine tests are more accurate. They are, however, not typically covered by insurance. Doug says the best way to know if it’s mold that is making you sick is to think “FUPO” which stands for fungus until proven otherwise. This means eating an antifungal diet. Also, test your environment with inexpensive mold plates. If you have more than four colonies on your plate, you most likely have a mold problem in your home. Find the problem and fix it. I have made an instructional video on how to test your home for mold.
If chronic sinusitis is your issue, keep in mind most cases of chronic sinus infections are caused by mold as well as bacteria. I had a sinus infection (and four surgeries) for decades. I could not irradiate until my culture was finally sent away for fungus and it came back positive. All those years I was only chasing the bacteria with antibiotics instead of also addressing the fungus in my sinuses with an antifungal.
Below are mold plates from my son’s bedroom. We tested his room and found the high mold count was coming from his carpet. We ripped up the carpet and put down wood floors. Once we tested again, we saw that the mold issue was resolved.
Can You Recover from Mold Exposure?
I believe with a lot of work and commitment, you can recover. I wrote an in-depth article titled “Can You Recover from Mold Exposure?” In short, dedicating time and money to fixing any leaks or sources of mold in your home as well as following an antifungal diet is the first step. Remember that recovery is possible, but it also takes time and patience. Certain mycotoxins are incredibly destructive to the body so we need to eliminate them from our body as well as eliminate them from our environment. Once you have remedied your home, consider good quality air filters to keep the mold spore count in check.
Steps to Keep Yourself Healthy When Exposed to Mold
- Fix sources of mold exposure in your environment such as leaks, etc.
- Use a quality HEPA air filter, especially in the room that you sleep and/or spend the most time in.
- When cleaning mold, use gloves, googles and a mask to protect yourself. If you have a mold sensitivity, hire someone else to do it for you.
- Irrigate your sinuses with natural antifungals and wash your clothes in an antifungal laundry solution after mold exposure.
Long Term Effects of Toxic Mold Exposure
Mold and the mycotoxin poisons they produce have links to all kinds of diseases. Many of them include autoimmune disease, asthma, thyroid issues, neurological problems, chronic sinus infections and even cancer. If you think you may be sick due to the effects of toxic mold, speak to your doctor immediately. Finding a naturopathic doctor who understands mold sickness is important.
Check out the second edition of my book, Eat Pray Get Well – A Journey from Chronic Illness & Brokenness to Wholeness & Healing. As seen on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause and more. Foreword written by Doug Kaufmann – host of televisions Know the Cause.
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If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue, Sinus Infections, Fibromyalgia, Food Allergies, Auto Immune Disease, Acid Reflux, Candida, Depression – this book is for you.
I have been fortunate to be featured on national Television including PBS American Health Journal, Know the Cause, CTN, ABC, NBC, CBS and more. I was sick for decades, endured many surgeries, took over 100 courses of antibiotics, and then I changed everything and everything changed. My book Eat Pray Get Well is about overcoming a tumultuous childhood, decades of chronic illness, and finding God in the process. Includes exclusive interviews with renowned Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Supermodel Carol Alt, Doug Kaufmann, and many more. Plus 55 gluten free recipes woven throughout.
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