Mold not only causes allergies and asthma symptoms but can also affect the functioning of multiple organs in the body according to a 2018 study by Tufts University School of Medicine. The common allergic reactions to indoor mold exposure include symptoms such as upper respiratory tract issues, coughing, and wheezing. However, there are other hidden dangers of mold exposure apart from allergies or organ damage. Few people know that mold can also negatively impact their mental health and derail their efforts to lose weight.
Mold may cause depression
Exposure to mold can cause depression according to the various studies researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine looked at while writing their study report. In one study that they looked at, researchers studied the effects of mixed colonies of toxigenic molds on 182 patients. After being exposed to these mold colonies, most of the patients reported depression. Another study they looked at showed that there was a connection between damp, moldy homes and depression.
The study did not find a direct connection between mold exposure and depression, but the researchers involved hypothesized that a combination of symptoms of mold exposure may be what caused the depression. In other words, a combination of mold symptoms such as anxiety, asthma, diarrhea, nausea, lethargy and headaches caused the depression.
In addition, people living in damp and moldy homes still experienced depression irrespective of the general appearance of their homes according to the study. This effectively rules out the idea that participants were just depressed because of the quality of housing or neighborhood. For this reason, keep all the surfaces in your home dry and mold free to protect your family from depression.
Difficulty losing weight
Another hidden danger of mold is inability to lose weight no matter how much you diet or exercise. Mold spores do this by tricking your body into producing auto-immunity or autoantibodies against its own nerves and brain tissue. These antibodies can damage the weight control centers in your brain and lead to weight gain. For instance, you may develop Leptin resistance, which increases fat cells in your body and insulin resistance in your muscle cells. Simply put, Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that you don’t need to eat because you have enough fat stored to keep the body energized. You have Leptin resistance if this hormone is blocked from “talking” to the brain. So if your brain can’t tell if you are obese it will only make you eat more than you need to eat, which can lead to health conditions like type 2 diabetes.
The first step for fighting mold is inspecting your walls, ceiling and floor for any sign of mold. You should also be more attentive to strange musty odors in your home, because they could indicate mold. If there is an area in your home with mold, find out what is causing it and fix it. For example, fixing a water leak under your kitchen sink or in your bathroom can prevent further mold growth. Another way to prevent the growth of mold is by getting rid of porous items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These include items such as carpets, upholstery, wallpapers, wood and so on.
Call the professionals
When you find large patches of mold growing in an area in your house, you may need to call professionals to deal with it. You don’t want to disturb the mold because it may end up releasing millions of spores and mycotoxins into the air. These spores can cause serious health complications for you and your family. Trained professionals have the necessary tools and knowhow to deal with the mold without putting your family’s health at risk.
If the mold keeps coming back even when you involve the professionals, it may be time to move out. Moving out may be inconvenient but it is worth it if it means not having to take your kids to the hospital every few weeks.