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Found Mold in Bedroom.. Been Sick SInce Moving to House. Advise Needed

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by chilove, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. chilove

    chilove Senior Member

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    Hey all,

    I've had CFS/Fibro for 15 years, was in a very successfull remission (worked full time, went to school, traveled) due to strict diet for 13 years until two years ago when I purchased my current home in a allergy prone city (Austin, TX). 6 months after moving in I ended up in the ER several times due to adrenal insuffiency. I also developed EMF sensitivity and histamine intolerance for the first time ever since moving into this home. My food allergies also became much worse.

    A few days ago I was moving some boxes in my master bedroom closet (that backs up to the bathroom fixtures) and I saw some patches of mold on the wall behind them.

    I called a mold testing company and it will cost around $500 just to get proper testing done.

    The real estate market here is Austin is really hot for sellers right now so I'm debating whether or not to even bother with getting the test done. I'm really tempted just to put the thing up on the market and get the heck out of here since Austin is very challenging to live in anyway with all the pollen and mold in the air outside.

    If it were you and you had somewhere else to move to pretty easily which is supposed to be better for seasonal allergies anyway what would you do?



    Thanks!
  2. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    I'd move!

    I've looked into the affect of mould on ME and how some people go about treating it. I have not heard positive stories about getting testing done and then getting a company to treat it - I think that opens a whole other kind of hassle. I've also heard that the mould spores get into everything and they also release bad toxins even once 'cleaned up'. From what I can tell, when mould is in a building it's almost impossible to get it mould free.

    Here in the UK we're used to mould as it's damp all the time.

    If you can move easily then do that.
  3. Artstu

    Artstu Senior Member

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    I was about to say what's the big deal? I can grow mould all over my house quite easily. Are you saying with have a mould tolerance over here? or something like that.
    Plum likes this.
  4. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    My guess is that you are talking about air testing, which is extremely unreliable. I suggest that if you decide to have testing done, you use the ERMI. It is less expensive ($300), was developed by the EPA, and has been upheld many times as reliable in court cases.

    If you know that there is mold in the home and if your health declined significantly since moving in, and if you can sell the home at a good price, then I don't see much downside to moving. In that case, you may not want to do any test, since that might make it more difficult to sell the house.

    When you choose a new home, you may want to do an ERMI on it to gauge whether it is safe.

    Depending on the mold involved and the level of illness, many people with this illness find that living in a bad place can cross-contaminate their possessions to the extent that they can keep them sick even if the next home they move to is good. As is the case with gluten, the inflammatory toxins made by some mold can have an effect on people with ME/CFS even in very small quantities.

    So you may want to try living elsewhere without any of your possessions for maybe a week or two (e.g. buying new clothes etc.). Then you can see if your possessions bother you, when you are re-introduced to them. If so, then you can see if washing helps. But many people (including me) have ended up getting rid of all of their possessions (and were very glad that they did in terms of the amount of health recovered).

    I will answer questions here, but if you want to get further responses from people who have recovered substantial amounts of health from avoidance, there is a forum for that:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Avoiding-Mold/378638055595495?ref=hl

    More information on the topics of toxic mold and ME/CFS is on this website:

    www.paradigmchange.me

    Lisa
    Plum likes this.
  5. Plum

    Plum Senior Member

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    No. If you look into mould and ME it is thought to have an affect. Mould is toxic to the body. In the UK we're just really used to it as it's everywhere! Some people get relief from removing themselves from places like the UK (damp ad wet) or living by the sea.
    Star-Anise, Artstu and slayadragon like this.
  6. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    @chilove
    I wouldn't hesitate, I'd just move.Too much going on with this illness as it is. Mould affects me instantly, terrible stuff, don't ever underestimate what harm it can do to you.

    Cardboard boxes are notorious for harbouring mould. as well so put your stuff into new boxes if you have to take it with you.
    Tristen, slayadragon and Star-Anise like this.
  7. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    I had mold in the last place I lived. I bought a really cheap test kit on Amazon to just get an idea and it came up positive for Asperigillis/Penicillum from just using the kit.

    I then did a swab and sent it to them for analysis and it tested positive for Stachybotrys. I never paid for expensive mold testing, I went ahead with the removal and then the clearance testing.

    I'm not sure you can sell without disclosing about the mold so there is that to consider.

    This is the kit I used. It might be cheaper from the company who has great customer service.

    Not sure who said it but even without ME black mold can cause serious health and neurological problems.


    http://www.amazon.com/5-Minute-Home...&qid=1384896167&sr=8-1&keywords=mold test kit

    http://www.iaqpronow.com/iaqpromoldtest.html
  8. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I would move to another city if you can move without overexerting yourself badly and causing a relapse.

    First if you you can afford moving help or get free help. In my opinion you have to be more cautious than us (who are not in remission). We feel symptoms if we begin to overexert, and I'm guessing you do not get as much.

    Consider all factors not just the physicality of moving and cost. Will you lose any friends or family who give you help? Will you have to find a new doctor? That can be difficult to find. In some areas there may be no good doctor for 100 miles or more.

    Will you be stressed if you have to learn new routes in a new city, and if they don't have some stores you like? Maybe you are healthy enough it doesn't stress you, but I would worry about a future relapse and not move away from key support people. Etc.

    Many houses have mold hidden somewhere. It is unlikely that a house has never leaked or had a pipe burst. And even with a new place during construction a lot of the wood gets wet frequently. But look for one with less serious problems.
  9. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    Having moved 3 times in 14 months, that would be my last option.

    The only reason I moved out of my place with the mold was because the landlord went into foreclosure and didn't give a rip.

    Spend a few bucks and buy that test kit and send a few swabs in for testing

    But I think you need to investigate what your responsibility is to potential buyers if you decide to sell without knowing vs knowing.

    If you feel you need to move, pm me. I have all sorts of suggestions on how to save energy.

    I was in a total crash during my 2nd move and recovered and then my 3rd move and I survived.

    It's hard to decide so weigh all your options and then make a decision as to what is best for you.

    In the meantime pit plastic over the mold to seal it in until you decide or seal of the area with plastic. 3m
    Makes masks specifically for mold which I wore.

    I've been through a mold removal while still there.

    Oh and if you move how will you know there's no mold there?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  10. dsdmom

    dsdmom Senior Member

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    I'm in the middle of serious mold issues and I will say MOVE! You are right, don't test because then you have to disclose when you sell. Just put it on the market as is and find a better place. And do a thorough testing & inspection of the new place.
  11. chilove

    chilove Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for all the responses! Wow, lots to think about. I would move to a dear family members house a couple of hours away in less mold prone area before deciding on next best option like the beach or something so that would be comfortable. I would miss my friends here but would probably have equal family (but minimal friend) support there. I've always wanted to live near the beach anyway since I've heard many allergy prone people do much better there.

    The biggest drawback about moving would be the emotional and physical stress of moving again only two years after moving here. I would have to hire someone to help for sure.

    Lisa, I understand about the belongings and could be ok with putting them sealed in storage but HOW exactly do you navigate getting somewhere else from your house without ANY clothes on without your car? :) LOL

    Thanks guys!
  12. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    Yes, that is a challenge about the logistics of removing yourself from your possessions!

    Basically we are going by the biohazard protocols that are taught in the military for things like chemical weapons or nuclear radiation.

    So the idea is that if you think that your clothes are contaminated or if you have been in a bad area that might have cross-contaminated your hair or body, then when you return home, you drop your clothes at the door (and bag them for washing) and then immediately take a shower.

    Clothes that have been long exposed to a bad place may not be okay even after washing. Usually (but not necessarily always) clothes that are just briefly exposed are okay after washing.

    The easiest thing with regard to new clothes is to just buy some via mail order (LL Bean seems to be basically fine) and have them shipped to the new, (hopefully) good destination.

    I do know a lot of people who have felt it necessary to replace their contaminated cars after reacting to them after getting clear. But some people have found that the cross-contamination of the car isn't that bad.

    In general, it is hard to know how extreme people are going to be to get clear, because some toxins are much worse than others and some people are much more reactive than others.

    As cities go, I don't have a sense that Austin is nearly as bad as (say) Dallas. But there are better places too. Where does your friend live?

    Here is a website where people can share their experiences in different locations.

    http://locationseffect.proboards.com/index.cgi?
  13. Star-Anise

    Star-Anise Senior Member

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    @chilove

    I subscribed to this thread with interest because I too have mold in my house. One of our famous Canadians Mike Holmes, "Make it Right," says on his website that there is not a house without mold, and that one is better off spending money on fixing the problem than testing it.
    My husband is an ex-carpenter, & his dad is an house inspector, and they both have the same attitude as Holmes. Furthermore, as Holmes says on his website, that apparently there are only a few types of mold that are deemed harmful by the profession. Anyhow, I'm not sure whether I believe any mold is good, I also wonder whether you should ++panic about the mold, and worry about resale if you have taken care of the problem as much as you can, given that it can be quite a common, if not, pervasive problem in all homes in one shape or form.

    Being that you were in remission for so many years, and you became +++ill 6 months after moving into this area, it would make sense to me that the combination of potential increased mold exposure and environmental allergens tipped the cart per se and pushed you out of remission. The fact that you ended up in ER with adrenal insufficiency means that your body was exhausted & likely fighting something, whether that be internally or environmental pathogens. The histamine intolerance tells me that you were allergically responding to something. Hmmmmm, it may have just been the "perfect storm," if you know what I mean. I think you will drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out.

    Being a practical person that understands the need to conserve energy I would give you following advice:
    a) I would try to see if I could arrange a temporary solution that would give my body a bit of respite from pathogens (safe neutral area - maybe where you lived before & experienced good health).
    b) If this is impossible, I probably would move just like others have suggested. I agree, moving sucks & is +++resource demanding. I just think that unless I'm missing some information here, it sounds like this move was the start of a major downswing in your health & it is too precious to not look at the possibility that this house, and perhaps Austin is not the right place for you.

    That being said, you have been having some successes with getting your body back on track. In my case I had to accept living in a less than ideal situation (very dark, exposure to additional environmental toxins, oil sands!!!) in order to make more $ which enabled me to afford the treatments and help that I needed to get better. Remember a strong body doesn't necessarily react to these environmental toxins as severely. Where-ever you go it is going to be a trade-off of sorts, I guess it's about finding that place of balance for you and your body. Where is going to be the most supportive? If moving means you go back into remission, I don't think you would regret it for a second.
    xoxo
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
    Valentijn likes this.
  14. chilove

    chilove Senior Member

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    Thanks Star! I am planning on doing just that. I'm heading to some relatives house where I have recovered before successfully for a month or so to see if I do better there before I decide to sell or not.

    I started an at home DIY mold test kit last night. No mold growing on any of the samples yet. Interesting. The instructions said it could take up to 96 hours though.
    SickOfSickness and Star-Anise like this.
  15. Graeme

    Graeme almost there...

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    I've seen improvements in electrical sensitivity from taking Rifaximin. I also saw complete remission from this symptom while practicing extreme avoidance. And then upon re-exposure to suspected mycotoxins saw this sensitivity immediately return. As both LPS exposure and biotoxin exposure share the same innate immunological inflammation, I strongly believe this is a common pathway to developing electrical sensitivity.

    Since moving from a moldy house my electrical sensitivity, once severe, is now just a slight itchy feeling I get in my eyes from a few hours in front of the computer. I used to have to watch my mineral intake when I was in a bad environment as this would throw gasoline on the fire of this burning symptom. Particularly minerals that were easily digested like sulphur, sodium, zinc, and manganese. Now I can add salt to my food and eat a 18 eggs without a problem.
    slayadragon likes this.
  16. chilove

    chilove Senior Member

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    THanks Graeme. I'm going to go stay somewhere for a month this winter to see if it helps.
  17. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    "I subscribed to this thread with interest because I too have mold in my house. One of our famous Canadians Mike Holmes, "Make it Right," says on his website that there is not a house without mold, and that one is better off spending money on fixing the problem than testing it."

    I agree with that, unless you are lucky or build your own house in a smart way. Also, I don't think you have mold because you're in Austin. Mold grows in homes because of the way they're built. They get water intrusion, slow leaks, big leaks, condensation in wall cavities because of temperature differentials, hvacs with flex ducting, swamp coolers, flat roofs, etc. Then the insulation or drywall is easy mold food. Austin is a nice city, especially the hill country to the west of it which is somewhat drier...

    Also, if it's an extremely toxic mold that's really destroying you (mainly imho stachy) you are best doing a purge, but frankly, a total purge will theoretically have to be done again and again because you will encounter mold elsewhere, and mold in stores, classrooms, buildings, offices, hotels. I know too many stories like that. I continue to have mold exposures all the time (in hotels we stay in, stores we go in, etc) and one will always be fleeing, frightened, if one takes a "total purge" approach and I am not sure it's a reasonable way to live. I'm definitely mold reactive, and can smell it when other's don't, and feel effects when others don't. But I see it as part of a picture of reactivity to many things due to underlying Lyme in my case. Now, this was not so with my apartment in NYC, which had three serious floods where ceilings and walls fell in, and which became totally toxic to me. That was so bad it made me much sicker and I improved immediately on leaving, so I did a big purge, keeping some favorite things in my friend's storage. And my favorite purse, never gave that up :).

    But a sensible approach is one of moderation. Moving if you feel significantly sicker in a new place and think it's mold and find mold is reasonable. Purging everything may not be, unless it's black mold--which is so deleterious to health and the toxins seem to really stick to things. I used to be much stricter about mold on the premise it was so very bad but I now approach all exposures to toxic or unhealthy substances with moderation. I am at this moment writing you from a moldy one bedroom suite, where I smell the mold in the bathroom, and see the evidence of a former leak, and I *do* react, but it doesn't feel worse or better to me than reacting to ragweed or heavy pollution from air inversions or a brand new toxic building. Of course, this is my view, YMMV.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
    chilove likes this.
  18. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

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    I'd like to say "abort", but we all know that's a bit rash, yet a worthy consideration. . Obviously mold was not the cause of my me/cfs, but living in a moldy home/enviro most certainly aggravated it to significant levels. After moving from the moldy enviro, I saw approx 20% improvement in my me/cfs. I now avoid it like the plague.
    chilove likes this.
  19. Graeme

    Graeme almost there...

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    @chilove

    If your house is badly infected with a more problematic strain you might have to ditch all your belongings to see any improvement. This wasn't the case for me. I kept a lot of my old stuff but changed houses. I guess this is what could be called moderate avoidance. I've enjoyed a 90% reduction in EMF sensitivity, and pharmaceuticals now work in my system for the first time in 4 years. This latter phenomenon of drugs not working is something I've only ever heard addressed by Drs. Rea and Nagy. This has changed my life. Definitely look into the work of these docs. They speak of food, chemical, and EMF intolerances following from mold exposure 70% of the time. I've learned of this phenomenon occurring so many times with people suffering from our disease and it's lamentably not covered by any of our mainstream CFS thinkers.

    I had a recent experience that further drove home the point. My girlfriend runs a charity and takes in donations from all other houses in our community. With the whole house filled with cardboard boxes, clothes and other people's crap, my EMF sensitivity came back full bore and my pharmaceuticals ceased working. We moved half the stuff out again and everything returned to normal. Even with some of my old clothes and a couple guitars from the old house I've had no real problems, but something bad came in here for about a week that upset everything for me. I think your best strategy is to continue with what you're doing. If the EMF sensitivity (a great indicator of toxin exposure if you have it) doesn't abate consider jettisoning the stuff from your old house. Just put them somewhere away from you for safe keeping. This should give you a pretty good idea of how you need to proceed.
    slayadragon and SickOfSickness like this.
  20. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    EMF sensitivity can also be specific to neighborhoods, though. Especially with above ground powerlines, or the larger type powerlines that have more EMF. Also I don't know if Austin has smart meters yet but those can bother people. I do agree basically though, that a few really toxic strains may need a purge (depends on the person).

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