<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Mold Misery - Allergic Reactions to Fungi - Asthma - Penicillin







Those who have yet to discover the truth about mold will attribute most of the symptoms people have to allergic reactions.  Even the harshest skeptics of mold dangers do not deny that many people are allergic to mold. Allergies are only the tip of the iceberg; however, since there is some level of concensus regarding these unpleasant signs of mold contamination and exposure, this is a good place to start the medical discussions.

Mold Spores and Hyphae

As anyone who has picked up a moldy orange knows, just a little motion causes a nasty odor and some ugly dusty particulates, aka spores, to become airborne.  In the indoor air quality profession, the action of moving the orange is called a "disturbance" and it means that a mold colony has been affected in such a way as to cause dissemination of spores and hyphae. 

Unlike colonies, individual spores are invisible, microscopic in size, but they can have dire effects on those who susceptible.  This would include small children and small animals as well as anyone with compromised immunity or a respiratory condition.

Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms include sneezing or wheezing, coughing, and sometimes difficulty breathing, but an allergic individual may also have itchy eyes, runny nose, stuffy head, migraine headaches, or even life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

According to Jeffrey C. May, a property inspector and author of a highly recommended book, given to me by the man who cleaned my ducts, My House is Killing Me, some people can be so sensitive to mold that they are threatened by someone else eating contaminated peanuts or walnuts—or any other moldy food—in the same room.

Take heed, allergies are not a simple matter for those who are this reactive to molds.

What is an Allergic Reaction?

Basically, there are some very simplistic as well as more erudite explanations of allergic responses.  On the unconscionably ill-informed end of the spectrum, there are scientists, including often your own doctor, who believe that allergy symptoms are caused by hypersensitivity to a particular allergen that triggers the immune system to "overreact."

If you do some superficial research on allergies, you will probably find some textbook definitions insulting, certainly condescending.  The emphasis is normally on some kind of inappropriate response to a harmless substance.  The problem is that the body possesses the intelligence to know what is dangerous and what is not.

So, let's forget overreaction to nothing!  Sure, there are some pollens and ragweeds that trigger reactions in some people, but it is usually because those people cannot metabolize the proteins they are inhaling.

Basically, the immune system targets something as dangerous and "overreacts" so as to destroy that something.  To this end, the body produces specific types of white blood cells to go after the allergen.

Before I had my own encounter with mold, I had already been researching stored memories in the psyche for more than two decades.  What I discovered is that every individual has a historic reason for every like and dislike, not to mention allergy.  Moreover, it takes almost no imagination to realize that bizarre fungi can remind people of all sorts of strange experiences, from psychotic departures from reality to death.

The point is not everyone hates Roquefort cheese and/or mushrooms, and not everyone exhibits allergic responses to penicillin.  The same can be said for bee stings and countless other toxins that affect people differently.  The fact that there are so many differences between people does not mean either that (1) allergic people are having "inappropriate overreactions" or (2) that those who are not allergic to mold are unaffected by it.  Those who on the surface appear not to be suffering may have a different kind of compromised immunity: the failure of the body to produce sufficient warnings.  I am saying this because mold is, in fact, dangerous, so neither naïveté or asymptomatic co-existence with mold are safe.  Such persons could still be hugely affected by mycotoxins.

Unfortunately, because people react so differently to mold, there has been a tendency among medical professionals to lump mold allergies together with seasonal allergies or food allergies and to neglect many of the facts about mold.  This is, however, bad science, even when the opinions are sometimes sincere and offered in a spirit of compassion.


Please note:  this section of the site is divided into three main parts:   allergies, immunity, and toxicity.  This site is very new and the pages are going up as fast as I can write them.  To stay informed of new posts, please subscribe to the site.


Ingrid Naiman
30 October 2005



Notice:  The material on this site is based on the personal experiences and research of Ingrid Naiman, the site owner.  While every effort has been made to present accurate information, neither the site owner or web service provider claim the material will prevent or cure any medical condition, and no responsibility for the application of the information on this site is assumed by the any of the parties providing the content on this site.  None of the statements made on the site are intended to replace the services of health care or mold professionals.

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