January 11, 2022
Mycotoxins Toxicity: What You Need to Know

What is Mycotoxin Toxicity?

Mycotoxin toxicity is a poisoning caused by mycotoxins found in mold (fungi) that grow on food like cereals, dry fruits, and coffee beans when left exposed to air for a long time. While the signs of mycotoxin toxicity vary depending on several factors, but acute poisoning symptoms include rashes and gastrointestinal issues. Chronic symptoms are manifested through kidney disease, liver failure, depression, and even cancer.

What are Mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxic compounds by certain types of molds (fungi) found in various food articles. These molds grow under warm, damp, and humid conditions. There are different kinds of mycotoxins that pose serious health risks to humans.

Common Signs of Toxic Mold Poisoning

The risk of poisoning may vary according to age, sex, prior health status, genetic structures, as well as the dose of mycotoxins, and the duration of exposure. Different mycotoxins target different organ systems, but the most commonly affected are the liver, kidney, brain, and nervous systems.

Here are a few signs of toxic mold poisoning:

  • Depression
  • Anemia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Kidney failure

Mycotoxins Commonly Found in Food and Why They are Concerning

Among the most commonly found mycotoxins, aflatoxins are known to be the most dangerous. Found in cereals, grains, spices, and nuts, large aflatoxin doses can be fatal.

The two other common mycotoxins include:

  • Ochratoxin A, found in cereals, coffee beans, and grape juice
  • Patulin, found in rotten fruits such as apples.

Also read : Genital Herpes: Symptoms, Causes and How to Treat It

How are Mycotoxins and Aflatoxins Different?

Aflatoxins are a kind of mycotoxin. The primary difference between aflatoxin and mycotoxin is the source. The former is only produced by aspergillus species, while the latter can be produced by many types of molds. Aflatoxins are the most poisonous mycotoxins which can cause severe health issues in humans and animals, including death.

Mycotoxins and Gut Health

The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is greatly affected by the ingestion of food contaminated by mycotoxins. Normally, the intestinal barrier in the GI tract acts as a filter against mycotoxins. However, some mycotoxins can severely affect the GI tract by altering normal intestinal functions like barrier function and nutrient absorption.

Trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins, and ochratoxins are some of the impacts of mycotoxins on gut health.

Also read : Mold and Dampness: How Mold Affects Your Health

How to Minimize the Risk of Mycotoxins?

We must keep in mind that mycotoxins can grow on any food product and can penetrate deep into them. To reduce the risk of mycotoxins toxicity, you should remember the following:

  • Examine the foods for signs of molds before eating, especially the types of food that are more prone to being contaminated with mycotoxins.
  • Avoid keeping food unattended in the open air for long before consuming.
  • Make sure to buy fresh nuts and grains always.

Key Facts You Should Know About Mycotoxins

  • Only a few kinds of molds create the chemical mycotoxin.
  • While acute mycotoxin poisoning is more evident through noticeable symptoms, chronic toxicity is more common and has long-term repercussions.
  • Mycotoxin molds grow on different crops and food items like nuts, cereals, spices, dried fruits, apples, etc., under humid conditions.

If you suspect mycotoxin poisoning, do seek immediate treatment. Schedule an appointment with us at (843) 572-1600. We have a group of expert doctors specializing in mycotoxins and mold toxicity treatments who can help relieve the symptoms and prevent further health damage.

January 7, 2022
Mold and Dampness: How Mold Affects Your Health

Household mold is more than just an eyesore, whether it’s the slippery black spots on your shower curtain, the fuzzy white patches on your basement floor, or the smooth orange film that accumulates on your kitchen drain. You may have health issues that could have been triggered by mold regardless of whether you are allergic or not. Here’s what you need to know about mold and dampness and how to protect yourself and your house.

What is Mold?

Mold is a form of fungus composed of microscopic organisms found practically everywhere. Molds perform a crucial function in nature by decomposing dead leaves, plants, and trees.

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold reproduces by producing tiny spores. They thrive in damp conditions and reproduce by dispersion through the air and water. For energy, they rely on organic matter.

What Can Mold Grow On and How Common Is Mold in Buildings?

Mold tends to grow on paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold may develop in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, cloth, and upholstery, among other things. As a result, they are highly frequent in buildings and residences.

Also read: Mold On Food: Is Moldy Food Dangerous?

How Does Mold Affect the Surfaces It Grows On?

Mold consumes the materials it grows on, causing those materials to be damaged or deteriorate. Mold may cause aesthetic damage, including discoloration, unpleasant smells, and even structural degeneration of surfaces if left unchecked.

Can You Get Fungal Pneumonia from Mold?

Aspergillus, a mold present in many indoor and outdoor habitats, is one of the most common airborne fungi. Aspergillosis, the resultant illness, frequently affects patients with severe immunodeficiency.

What Types of Mold are on Exterior Surfaces?

It’s very difficult to identify the type of mold, but some of the most common ones are;

  • Aspergillus – Found almost everywhere.
  • Penicillium – Found in vinyl, paneling, wood, painted masonry, and poured concrete foundations.
  • Cladosporium – Found on external surfaces like vinyl siding, glass surfaces, windows, many types of wood, and paneling.
  • Trichoderma – Found in untreated lumber, pinewood and boards, decaying wood, and textiles.

How does Mold Affect Your Health?

Molds create allergens (compounds capable of causing an allergic reaction), irritants, and, in certain cases, poisonous substances. Mold spores can produce allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash if inhaled or touched. Molds can also trigger asthma episodes.

Also read: OSTEOPOROSIS: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, PREVENTION & TREATMENT

Mold Reactions: Who’s at Risk?

Allergy sufferers may be more vulnerable to mold. Fungal infections are more common in people with a weakened immune system or underlying lung disease. People with chronic respiratory illnesses may have trouble breathing when mold is present.

How Can You Keep Mold Out of Buildings and Homes?

    You can control the development of mold by following these points:

  • Regulating humidity levels;
  • Repairing leaking roofs, windows, and pipes as soon as possible;
  • After floods, thoroughly clean and dry the area;
  • Shower, laundry, and culinary spaces to be ventilated.

If you are looking for an expert on mold illnesses and mold poisoning treatment near you, call us at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment today. At the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, we have a team of professionals who have solutions for all your health-related problems.

December 24, 2021
Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, also known as ‘porous bone’, is a disease in which bones get so brittle that they get fractured easily with the slightest stress or a fall. This disease occurs due to low bone mass and less bone turnover. Osteoporosis predominantly affects the hip, wrist, and spine, and though it is a multifactorial disorder, some underlying causes can be ascertained.

December 16, 2021
Mold On Food

Food can be spoiled by mold. Moldy food has undesirable texture and taste and can even have apparent physical changes. Some of the molds are dangerous for your body as they produce harmful toxins, which can cause respiratory problems and various allergic reactions.

December 9, 2021
Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections around the world. It is a health problem that affects the patient’s whole life and occurs with relapses and remissions.

December 3, 2021
Panic Attack

Panic attacks are abrupt surges of overwhelming fear or anxiety. The person having a panic attack experiences symptoms like profuse sweating, palpitations, trembling or shaking, chest pain, trouble breathing, or stroke. Panic attacks are sudden and often without an identifiable source. The symptoms are intense and may result in unconsciousness.

November 29, 2021
Preconception Care and Fertility

An estimated 74 million United States women between 15-44 years are of reproductive age. However, the newborn mortality rate has been greater than in most other high-income countries in the past decade. It’s estimated that most infant deaths in the United States stem from prematurity and congenital disabilities. U.S. women aged 18 to 44 face various preconception risk factors that impact maternal and infant health. Almost 50% of these females are regarded as overweight, 19% are active smokers, 10% have hypertension, and 3% are diabetes patients.

November 23, 2021
Eczema and Gut Health

Eczema is a condition in which patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, cracked, rough, and sometimes even cause blisters. Scientists are now slowly understanding the role of the human microbiome in the appearance of chronic conditions like eczema.

Posted in Blog
November 8, 2021
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a widespread neurodevelopmental disorder in children. It is usually detected in childhood and mostly continues into adulthood. Children with ADHD may find it challenging to pay attention, control their impulsive behavior, or be extremely active.

October 28, 2021
Menopause

Our bodies go through many different changes throughout our lives and, for women, menopause is just one of them. Menopause is completely natural and normal, but it’s still important to keep yourself educated and prepared for this new life chapter