Welcome Interested Fungus Readers!

We hope this blog brings insight to the world of health and it's relationship to fungus. Comments are encouraged. Better health is a must.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hitting Home

A river runs through a community a few miles north of our main office. Many local people and tourists use the river, especially in the summer, to kayak, canoe, tube, swim, and fish. Activity on the river has been abundant since the discovery of the river over a hundred years ago.

A few decades ago, there became a pattern among a few residents and their pets. They acquired symptoms such as coughing, fatigue, mild fluid in the lungs, and fever, which resemble symptoms for a number of other diseases. Of course, doctors prescribed antibiotics with no luck, the symptoms persisted and evolved into more serious conditions involving the skin, bones, urogenital tract and central nervous system.

The mystery disease was Blastomyces, a fungal disease, which has often been misdiagnosed as tuberculosis, chronic histoplasmosis, or a bacterial disease. If not treated properly, the symptoms could become fatal. Humans and dogs acquire this from inhaling the fungal spores in areas with high organic content, such as along riverbanks.

Unfortunately, the only remedy for a fungal-related disease is an antifungal. Antibiotics amplify the symptoms because they are only effective on bacterial infections. Some of the best natural antifungals available are olive leaf extract, oregano oil, caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, neem, curcumin and apple cider vinegar. Probiotics, positive bacteria, also work against the fungus by multiplying in the intestinal tract, crowding out any negative microorganisms that have taken hold.

Blastomycosis has become a familiar name in this area of the United States, as have other fungal diseases. It can really hit home in a small community when some of these diseases affect so many people, and are the result of enjoying nature in your backyard.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Air to Crops to Humans

Grain crops have been associated with fungal disease for many years. Each type of grain seems to have its own battle against specific fungal disease, the rye plant with ergot poisoning, and the wheat plant with fungal head blight. There are also the fungal diseases carried by insects that infect plants in the fields and grain in storage areas. All of these can produce mycotoxins harmful to humans.

Fungal head blight, or Fusarium Head Blight, has been occurring on spring and winter crops of wheat, barley and durum in North Dakota and other areas of the United States. Yield of these crops are significantly reduced because blight can not be contained to a particular part of the plant or one section of a field. The wind rapidly spreads the spores of the fungus from crop to crop, or from flower to flower, rendering all exposed plants useless.

Insects may also carry viruses and fungal diseases from plant to plant, leaving traces of the disease anywhere it lands. Aphids are particularly harmful to crops by sucking the juices out of the plant, drying it up and taking the majority of nutrients, also spreading disease.

The majority of farmers in recent years have practiced a combination of preventative steps to prevent transmission of disease in grain crops - planting the most resistant type of grain, rotating crops, tilling to bury effected plant particles, planting high-quality seeds, and alternating planting times. This certainly decreases risk of acquiring contaminated grain products but is not full-proof.

Even though harmful effects of toxins in grain has been greatly reduced over the years, on occasion some may slip through the cracks of quality control and end up in a food product. Buying organic foods is probably the best decision to avoid potential consumption of grain products contaminated with fungus.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rye, Oh, Rye!

Fungus on rye crops has been a perpetual problem throughout history. Farmers and consumers of the contaminated grain were oblivious to its effects, which is why symptoms of gangrenous extremities and nervous dysfunction persisted for hundreds of years. Few people attempted to solve the mystery of these symptoms. All that was known was they occurred prominently among the poor, attacked children and weaker adults, and was without the normal, rampant spread that had been seen in plagues across Europe.

The fungus, ergot, which inhabited many rye crops since the 1st century A.D. was so prevalent on rye it was thought to be part of the plant. The plant was harvested, milled, and sold with the toxins in the flour, and then consumed. Consumption of the toxins affected people differently, with the most common being gangrene in fingers, toes, and other extremities, convulsions and hallucinations.

Symptoms in humans were well documented, but the actual cause of ergotism, or ergot poisoning, was not known until the 1670's when a French physician studied commonalities among patients. The physician was able to treat patients, but wasn't able to convince the farmers of the problem and its consequences. Ideal climate conditions for growth of ergot continued, farmers continued to harvest the grain, and thousands of people suffered over the next two hundred years.

Professor Mary Kilbourne Matossian, is a current expert on historical correlation between consumption of grains containing mycotoxins and death in rats and humans. Her past studies include plagues, epidemics of madness, witchcraft and the Salem Witch Hunts in the United States.

Prof. Matossian studied reports of different age groups and of nervous symptom disorders and found innumerous similarities, including hallucinations, convulsions, compulsive bodily movements, reduction in fertility and spontaneous abortions. Matossian linked the Salem Witch Hunts and witchcraft to ergotism by studying where the incidents occurred, the temperature, rainfall, the crops grown in that area and who was affected. The areas where most trials occurred were areas conducive to growing rye, where the temperature was colder and wetter, and ergot fungus was prolific.

Crazy as it sounds, fungus can do just about anything to the health of humans. Ergot poisoning is pretty rare these days, but there is plenty of other fungus lurking in unwanted places to cause a person to wonder where their symptoms came from.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Historical Disease

In the 1960's over 100,000 turkeys died within a two month period on poultry farms in England. Ducklings and pheasants also experienced large losses. The cause of thousands of poultry deaths was determined by analyzing the feed for the animals, a peanut meal showing high levels of the fungus Aspergillis flavus. This particular fungus produces a toxin, called aflatoxin, and is not only harmful to animals but to humans as well.

Here is an example of an ear of corn with Aspergillus flavus:

Another well known fungal catastrophe happened in Ireland around 1845 and lasted approximately 7 years. It was the potato blight. During this time, approximately 750,000 people died because of their dependence on the potato for food. In 1845 an airborne fungus blew into the Irish countryside, landed on the leaves of the plants and turned them black. The fungal spores then multiplied, spread to the surrounding plants, settled in the soil, and infected the potato tubers, eventually turning the tubers to mush.

There have been other instances throughout history showing plant disease outbreaks with similar far-reaching effects - powdery and downy mildews of grape in France (1851 and 1878); coffee rust in Ceylon (starting in the 1870s); Fusarium wilts of cotton and flax; southern bacterial wilt of tobacco (early 1900s); Sigatoka leaf spot and Panama disease of banana in Central America (1900–65); black stem rust of wheat (1916, 1935, 1953–54); and southern corn leaf blight (1970) in the United States.

It is unfortunate for these natural disasters to occur, and for all the lives lost. Hopefully one thing learned from the past is the knowledge there was a fungal problem in food and other crops, and if any one of them reoccurs they can be stopped before becoming disastrous.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Its Not Just What We Breathe

According to the USDA, millions of foodborne illnesses occur each year with most of them being preventable. Foodborne illnesses are mainly due to improper storage, and cooking or handling of certain foods, however, other factors determine an individuals level of fungus contamination. The source of food and susceptibility of the individual - age and physical health - play a crucial role in being and staying healthy.

Definately pay close attention to foods purchased and their source. Doug Kaufmann, a national expert on fungus, recommends avoidance of grains, animal products from animals fed with contaminated feed, and certain nuts. The University of Minnesota - Extension explains why: "Fungal infestation and subsequent mycotoxin production can occur during plant growth, maturity, harvesting, storage, and processing of grains....In addition, grain that is damaged, immature, drought stricken, or otherwise stressed is more susceptible to mold growth. Molds may reduce the nutrient content and quality of the grain, but the toxic effects of metabolites are generally of primary concern."

Many of the food items contaminated with fungi are corn and other grains, peanuts, tree nuts, and soybeans. In this case, the fungus itself is not the harmful agent but the aflatoxin produced by the fungus. Aflatoxins have been linked to a slew of diseases, including cancer.

A good immune system should help prevent illness and disease, yet over time overexposure to aflatoxins in food can build in the body and break down a functioning, healthy system. Anyone with an autoimmune disease, young children, the elderly, and pregnant women are most susceptible to effects of fungus. This does not mean everyone else is exempt from aflatoxin exposure. They should be just as aware of food purchases that contain grains and certain nuts. Most communities have health food stores, although a little more in price, offer organic foods that are unparalleled for safety.

Along with mold exposure in the home, food contamination poses risk to anyone's health. The best course of action for both - eliminate them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What To Do!

There are people who are sick who don't realize their symptoms originated from mold exposure. Itchy, burning eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, rashes, respiratory problems, asthma, and other sinus problems are usually a result of exposure to some type of mold and can occasionally be pinpointed to a particular situation. Good examples of periods of exposure may be from past jobs like landscaping; remodeling the home; cleaning; repairing pipes, walls, or a ceiling; or rummaging in a basement or attic.

What does one do if they are exposed to mold in some way? Try to remember when symptoms started - deliberate day, time, and actions - and this will give a clue on how exposure occurred. Once this is known, plan a regimen for improving overall health.

The immune system will need to be boosted, so a good multivitamin/multimineral should be taken to give the body nutrients, such as antioxidants; vitamin A, C, and D; and magnesium and calcium. Also, start taking a probiotic to incorporate positive bacteria into the gut, crowding out negative microbials that cause damage to the immune system.

Probably the most critical nutrients for eliminating mold symptoms are antifungals. Very effective antifungals for this type of situation are olive leaf extract, caprylic acid, undecylenic acid, grapefruit seed extract, apple cider vinegar, garlic, oil of oregano, and curcumin. Four of these should be taken, alternating them to outsmart the fungus in the body and constantly attack the foreign microbials.

After the microbials are killed off, a fiber product should be used daily to remove the waste. The fiber products that tend to work best are flax seed, psyllium hulls, and kamut grass, because they not only offer help in excreting waste but add nutrients to the body.

Another important step to take is eat a very low carb diet, which will starve the fungus. Fungus, like mold particles, typically feeds on sugars ingested and will continue to spread throughout the body, excreting waste of their own, called mycotoxins. Studies show an antibiotic will also add to the fungal problem.

The best procedure to follow after mold exposure is start a plan of attack to get healthy again. Start an antifungal program which will rid the body of harmful microbials and provide much-needed energy to function better in life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Minor Mold

Mold easily becomes airborne if there is an overabundance present and is disturbed. For this reason, remediation can be difficult. Surface and airborne molds can cause health problems for anyone inhabiting the mold infested building, especially if someone is an infant, has a weakened immune system, or is susceptible to respiratory problems. Anyone falling under these categories should not be around when mold remediation is occurring.

To start, the moldy area should be assessed for severity. If the area is small, the mold may be eliminated by the owner, while taking precautions to protect himself from the mold by wearing rubber gloves, a respirator mask, and eye gear. All masks and goggles should fit snuggly for protection from airborne particles, and gloves should be long enough to cover the forearm.

Detergent solutions and water should be used to remove any physical signs of the mold. The area should then be allowed to dry completely. Check the area approximately 24 hours later to see if mold has grown back or a moldy smell is present. If mold is visible or a moldy smell persists, there is most likely a serious water or moisture problem that needs to be addressed.

Most water or moisture problems can be fixed by removing the infested material - wallboard, paneling, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpet - and fixing the water problem. Typically, the mold problem will not reappear if the water problem is resolved. The situation should be reassessed if mold reappears and a professional should be called.

Bottom line is: eliminate the water problem and the mold problem will be eliminated. And contain the mold! Moldy surfaces and airborne mold particles in a building can create ongoing health concerns for family members, friends or coworkers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Remediation - Caution

Starting in the 1970's and through the 1990's, there were changes in building construction which were probably intended to improve living or workspace environments, but unfortunately created problems with moisture buildup. Buildings became so airtight that ventilation and air flow had a negative impact on breathability and humidity, resulting in mold growth. In some cases, the mold problem is visible, yet in other cases it may only be identified by smell - an overwhelming moldy, musty smell.

Once the mold problem is evident, remediation should be considered. A careful plan should be made, along with precautionary measures, before attempting removal. Always remember the primary goals are to control the amount of mold and mold spores that become airborne, to eliminate all affected areas, and to eliminate the cause of the moisture to prevent future mold growth. Here are some key points to consider BEFORE deciding who will attempt the actual mold remediation:

1) Determine the size of the exposed area. If the area is small - less than a 3' x 3' area - consider doing the removal yourself. Larger, more severe areas should be done by remediation specialists.
2) Removal will result in debris and possible airborne particulates. This should be contained to prevent the dispursement of harmful microbials.
3) Has the mold caused any health problems for the occupants? If so, consider relocation until the mold has been thoroughly removed and building air is safe.
4) Type of material affected is also a determining factor. Will the housing materials be easy to remove and replace? Should it be done by professionals to ensure proper removal and repair?

The epa also has some extremely important safety tips to follow if considering removal of mold yourself:

Safety Tips While Investigating and Evaluating Mold and Moisture Problems
Do not touch mold or moldy items with bare hands.
Do not get mold or mold spores in your eyes.
Do not breathe in mold or mold spores.
Have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and follow containment guidelines.
Consider using PPE when disturbing mold. The minimum PPE is an N-95 respirator, gloves, and eye protection.

And, for more information, go to the CDC website.

We cannot stress enough how much caution should be taken when dealing with mold growth. There have been too many serious health problems in the United States from persistent mold exposure and improper removal.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mold Woes

Type in the words 'hazardous mold in homes' in the Search box on the msn home page and you will receive pages and pages of credible websites discussing the health hazards of mold in a home, home remediation, home buying and how to prevent mold from developing in a home. According to the number of websites listed, mold can be a common problem not only throughout the United States but the world. In the last few years mold has become an increasingly troublesome issue in the United States due to the number of hurricanes that have pummeled the South and the flooding problems throughout the Midwest. Homeowners in the crossfires of one of these natural disasters may not realize the potential affects extreme moisture may have on their health.

Here's what the CDC had to say about this worldwide problem:

"Problems of indoor air quality are recognized as important risk factors for human health in both low-income and middle- and high-income countries. Indoor air is important also because populations spend a substantial fraction of time within buildings. In residences, day-care centres, retirement homes and other special environments, indoor air pollution affects population groups that are particularly vulnerable due to their health status or age. Microbial pollution involves hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi that grow indoors when sufficient moisture is available. Exposure to microbial contaminants is clinically associated with respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma and immunological reactions."

The EPA states:

"Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth."

And FEMA released this information:

"MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- One of the worst effects of water damage comes in the form of mold. Following a hurricane or severe floods, mold may develop, causing serious health problems. The state and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working to inform the public as to the health hazards associated with mold, what can be done to minimize mold, and what ways can be effective in cleaning up mold.

If your home has water damage, mold could develop in as short of a time as 24 - 48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it may continue to grow until steps are taken to thoroughly dry out the premises and eliminate the source of moisture. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that you may recognize mold by the sight-wall and ceiling discoloration, and smell-a musty, earthy odor.

Although mold is a naturally existing substance, it can be harmful to humans. When airborne mold spores are present in large quantities, they can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and other respiratory problems. Continued exposure to mold may result in nasal or sinus congestion, eye, nose, or throat irritations, and adverse effects to the nervous system."

Don't take mold lightly. Mold woes can develop quickly - 24 to 48 hours after water exposure - and can produce serious health problems if not effectively prevented or remediated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That Bogged Down Feeling

Anyone who pays close attention to their body and how it reacts to foods know the difference between feeling "light as a feather" and feeling "bogged down." Once again, this is in reference to bowel movements. A person with regular bowel movements tend to feel lighter, clothes fit better, and general mood is more positive. The bowels have more of an effect on overall health than some people realize.

To get the system into a regular routine, use fiber instead of laxatives. Laxatives may help temporarily but if overused will cause weakness in the bowels. Laxatives don't help the bowels move waste through the system naturally, they have more of a quick flushing action which confuses the natural contracting rhythm of the gut.

There are quite a few fibers on the market that are good for bowel movement regulation. Personal preference usually determines the decision. There are psyllium hull powder capsules that are taken orally, go through the system and expand in the intestines and colon. The psyllium, derived from seeds, works like a scrubbing sponge in soaking up toxins and will help push waste out of the body naturally. It is essential to drink plenty of water if taking psyllium.

Ground flax seed, rich in soluble fiber, can be taken in combination with psyllium hull powder. The flax seed has a large number of vitamins and minerals, and contains nutritious fats. It has been known for its positive cardiovascular, colon, immunity, and healthy skin properties too.

Another unique fiber that combines organic kamut grass leaf powder, slippery elm, and FOS is the Green Sweep. It is a powder which is mixed in water, V8, or other juice, and taken daily to create just the right consistency of stool. It has vitamins and minerals, the antioxidant-rich chlorophyll and is pleasant to drink (at least I think so).

So, get your bowels in natural working order with a fiber product like the ones listed above. Wouldn't you prefer the "light as a feather" feeling rather than "that bogged down feeling?"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

High Fi---ber

This is definately not the most pleasant topic to talk about but may be one of the most important. There's a general saying that goes, "What goes in must come out," so make sure its high fiber foods with plenty of nutrients. Bowel movements tell a person a lot about their health. There are specific signs to look for in a bowel movement to know if it is healthy.

Frequency of bowel movements is number one. There are discrepancies in how often a person should have a bowel movement among healthcare professionals, but at least know that once a day would be healthier than once a week. It's all about the elimination of waste. The sooner the waste is eliminated from the body the better.

Color of the stool is important. A medium brown is the proper color. If the stool is dark, this means it has been in the intestines for longer than necessary and some of the byproduct gets absorbed into the system. Pale stool could be due to a decrease in bile output, affected by an infection, gallstones, or other illness, or from too much undigested fat in the diet.

Size and consistency of stool reveals much about an individuals diet. Large, hard stools, or constipation, means lack of fiber and water to help loosen waste. Constipation increases anxiety if stool is large and hard in consistency because it can be painful. It is fairly common for people with infrequent bowel movements to develop hemorrhoids and fissures that can add to the pain. A consistent, long term high fiber diet is the best solution to ease constipation and its effects.

And the last sign pertains to the olfactory organ - smell. All stool will have an odor, however, on occasion a foul smell may emit from the stool. The foul smell tends to be from different foods in the diet, but could also be from an overabundance of bacteria, a parasite, or fungi in the intestinal tract.

Even though this topic is an uncomfortable one, it should be of high importance in a person's health regimen. Pay particular attention to frequency, color, consistency and smell of the stool and adjust your diet accordingly. You'll be much healthier for it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowel Highlights

Okay, just thank my boss for the play on words in the heading. The idea obviously came to him since last night was the annual football game of football games - the Super Bowl. I have to admit it was a pretty good game.

Well, what do a lot of people do if they are at a Super Bowl Party? Eat junk food, maybe have a few beers or sodas, possibly put a few dollars down for potential four quarter winnings. The first two have more effect on the health of an individual than the last, unless of course, you easily become obsessive-compulsive, you become addicted to gambling and then your mental health goes downhill.

If your diet is consistently good, then your digestive system probably retaliated after the junk food frenzy. Many of the Super Bowl foods don't contain fiber, are high in sodium, and don't contain many positive nutrients to keep your system functioning properly. There are a few answers for keeping the internal organs functioning properly on a regular basis.

One is to take Green Sweep. This is a powder with organic kamut grass leaf powder, slippery elm, and FOS combined. Mix this with either water, juice or V8, drink it down and you're on your way. Take the Green Sweep consistently as directed for a few days to see how the bowels react to it, then reanalyze the effects to determine if you need more to produce a bowel movement. Remember, this also contains vitamins, minerals and a prebiotic to increase the health of the bowels by increasing the amount of positive bacteria and nutrients in your system.

The second thing to do is drink plenty of water. It has been stated, by doctors and nutritionists, that a person needs to drink at least half their body weight in ounces, of water a day. Water is a purifier and will replenish any lost hydration from overly salted foods and alcoholic beverages.

Those are the day-after Super Bowel highlights. Hope they work well for you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Don't Feed It!

Fungus. Most fungus will proliferate if the body continues to function on a diet high in carbohydrates and simple sugars. Any body will retaliate if subjected year after year to this kind of diet. This is not natural and not meant to be the food of choice for humans. And the general public and medical practitioners wonder why there are so many health problems in this world today, specifically in the United States?

Its bad enough when a person eats poorly, but then add environmental exposure to chemicals, molds, and airborne microorganisms, and the use of medications, and the perfect haven for fungus in the body is created. Its no wonder people acquire fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, migraines, skin conditions and stomach disorders.

Address the real issue, the real cause of these conditions and start the recovery process. Start a diet with little or no carbohydrates, eliminate peanuts and grains, and fruits high in sugar and the biggest step has been taken. Within the first week there will be a positive difference in sleep patterns, weight, digestion and mood. Continue with this diet and also follow an antifungal regimen to eliminate the toxins in the body and your body will definately thank you.

Stop feeding the fungus inside you today and start feeling better than ever before!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mold Exposure

Suddenly, everything falls into place. The reason family members, friends or coworkers have been experiencing ill health is due to mold. This person has been persistently sick for an extended period of time with the most common causes being ruled out. Some day the question of exposure to mold at the doctor's office will be in the top ten list for diagnosis. Until then there are many people suffering without knowing the cause.

The following article excerpts are from "Doctor's Prescription for Healthy Living" magazine.

...Harlem, Georgia - something in the home of Iris Harden was making her sick. "I wasn't educated," she says. "I didn't know it was mold. All I knew was that something in that house was doing it to me."

Her headaches and burning in her eyes were so painful she had to move out of her home.

Eventually an environmental testing firm found elevated levels of mold spores in her kitchen and bedroom. Confirming the diagnosis of fungal infection, Immunosciences Lab, of Beverly Hills, California, found extremely high levels of two toxic molds, aspergillus and stachybotrys, in her bloodstream. Her levels were in the top one percent that the laboratory had seen out of the more than 20,000 tests they had performed.She probably took in the molds by breathing them and they diffused into her bloodstream, according to Dr. Aristo Vojdani, an expert in immune-related illnesses....read more.


Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated many homes in 2005. What was also traumatic were the homes left standing, saturated with water for days, that developed black mold on the interior. Many of the people affected were relieved to have their homes but found an unknown nightmare lingering.

FEMA followed evacuation protocol. It didn't occur to a particular family of four that a few weeks in a mold infested home created the onset of illness. They were relocated yet were still ill over time. Doctor after doctor told the husband "he must have gotten into something horrible in Louisiana," and gave him antibiotics to treat the so-called bacteria. He got worse. It took one year and a coincidence to learn his family was sick due to exposure to mold, and the antibiotics prescribed to help were actually making the illness worse.

Mold exposure is not uncommon. It occurs wherever there is toxic mold present, which can grow in any moist, damp areas, and so easily become airborne if disturbed.

So, the next time you are sick, take a look and smell around the home and office. If there is any question about the presence of toxic mold - check it out. You'll be much healthier because of it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Serious Molds

There are so many species of molds in the world. Some we know as common mushrooms or the type you find on foods in your refrigerator on occasion. Some molds have such extravagant names we dismiss them from our minds, or just throw them into the general category of molds. Here is a little bit of background about specific molds.

Molds are actually fungi, and according to Wikipedia, there are approximately a thousand different species. They get their energy from residing in organic matter, and are typically unseen by the naked eye. It is when molds multiply into colonies that we witness their existence, and is a time when they are harder to eliminate and have become hazardous.

Each species rely on different levels of temperature and moisture. The most common found on foods is Aspergillis, which tends to grow where there is oxygen. One species of Aspergillis multiplies readily on nuts, and produces aflatoxin - a toxin and carcinogen. Other species can be found on grain products and are just as harmful to humans and animals if ingested.

Cladosporium is a common household mold that turns green or black in the presence of moisture, however, is not as detrimental to health as Stachybotrys. This mold is also known as 'black mold' or 'toxic mold'. It rapidly multiplies in moist areas of the home exposing the inhabitants to mycotoxins that affects the lungs, skin, eyes, and mucous membranes of the mouth.

These are just a few species of mold that can cause minor to serious health concerns. The more serious symptoms are chronic fatigue, severe headaches, vomiting, disorientation, depression, rapid heart rate, upper respiratory problems, neurological problems, and even death.

To find out more information on molds and health hazards, go to the following websites:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Moist Living

In general, moisture in the home, office or public building should be balanced like many other areas in life. There are living and working environments that should be checked for oversaturation - bathrooms, basements, dark corners, laundry rooms, kitchens. These are the most obvious. Moisture can also accumulate where a structure is weakest or creates an unusual juncture, such as where two sections of the roof meet, creating leaf or ice buildup, harboring moisture. A crack in the external or internal part of the home may also be a magnet for water to settle without notice until someone becomes sick or the discoloration of mold develops.

Environmental conditions play a huge role in whether a building ranks high for moisture. Questions to ask yourself are: Do I live or work in a humid climate? Has there been a flood, hurricane or other storm that has affected the building? Has there been a plumbing leak anywhere in the building? Does the building receive adequate ventilation? Is the measured humidity between 30 and 60 percent?

These are all concerns. Look in susceptible areas for moisture and mold. If there is mold, a percentage of it has affected the air quality and has been inhaled. Wear a face mask if mold is significant before cleaning these areas thoroughly with detergent and water, then dry completely. Extreme moisture and mold may require expert removal so concentration of airborne particulates don't increase and cause health problems.

Some of the health problems from mold are from mycotoxins produced, and appear as lack of energy and appetite, changes in sleep patterns, and changes in the senses. These minor health problems may lead to larger conditions if the mold is not taken care of properly. The immune system becomes weaker as more mold and mycotoxins build in the body.

There will never be an answer to how much mold contributes to our health, but there has been enough evidence to say mold attacks healthy human beings according to the amount of mold present in a building. A number of episodes of 'House', a medical television show, ended with a patient's diagnosis of ill health due to exposure to moldy conditions. Even mainstream t.v. can see that 'moist living' is detrimental to human health.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Food for Thought!

Food can be the enemy to someone who may have a stomach or intestinal disorder, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The time may come when adjustments have to be made to the diet otherwise a person suffers. The effects from food may be gas, constipation, cramping, diarrhea, or a diverse number of other problems. Once the balance in the intestinal tract and stomach are disrupted, it could take months to reverse the damage, or determine what specific food may be the cause. The damage in the intestines affects proper absorption of nutrients to supply all cells in the body.

Some people are able to improve the health of the intestinal tract by eating the proper foods for their condition, however, there are people who have a different understanding of 'proper foods'. There are packaged foods available in a grocery store that promote good health but still need to be scrutinized for nutritional content. Over time some of these foods may help with an intestinal problem yet hurt other functions in the body.

The best action is to eat fresh. Buy fresh foods available at the local grocery store. Some stores carry organic produce and meats which are always best, yet may take a toll on a person's budget.

Try not to think of food as the enemy. There are plenty of foods that will make you feel good and will taste good. Just conquer that enemy - use willpower - the next time you step into the grocery store.