Home Treatment for Mould Allergy
By Dr Diana Samways MBBS
Treating mould allergy is a bit like learning navigation from the deck of a sinking ship. Too many moving targets. The mould count varies daily and seasonally; one’s immune and other systems vary, and it is difficult to distinguish a ‘healing crisis’ from the another relapse. However some of these suggestions may help. I am both a doctor and a (recovered) mould allergy sufferer and these are some of things that helped me.
Unfortunately GPs are not trained to diagnose a mould allergy that causes the flu-like systemic reaction with depression, energy loss, cold shakes etc, so sufferers have to become their own ‘Sherlock Holmes'.
If you regularly wake up, terrified, at 3.15am, sit up, eventually go back to uneasy sleep via Radio 4 and the Shipping Forecast (I can still recite the sea areas in order) and then wake up in the morning acutely depressed and certain you can’t cope with the day - and this happens night after night - this is how you may be able to deal with it.
The cause is probably a mould which sporulates (throws out huge numbers of spores or breeding particles) at 3am. (However those with Electrical Sensitivity (ES) may also wake at 3am and ES should be tackled differently.)
Emergency Action to Abort an Attack of Mould Allergy/Candida
1. Don’t eat (temporarily) as this reduces ‘total load’. Drink water; some people find tea helps.
SolvingThe Chronic Problem
Moulds multiply by means of spores which settle on suitable surfaces and send out a network of filaments called mycellae which spread through the material and draws nourishment from it. The spores are very small particles (>3 micron) and there may be millions of them in the air.
Moulds are everywhere and without them we would be 200ft deep in dead leaves and have no wine, cheese or yeasted bread. They are a mixed blessing, this autumn the mould season for rotting down leaves came early. Moulds can cause allergic and toxic reactions. We inhale them or ingest them in food, they require moisture and prefer dark unventilated places.
They are the black dots you see on damp walls, or white mildew visible on food, walls, shoes etc. Mostly they are invisible. You can smell their presence in damp houses.
Common moulds which can cause allergies:
Airborne moulds cannot easily be measured. Indoor mould count varies directly with ambient humidity level. Use a cheap humidity meter and temperature gauge. Reducing relative humidity from 55% to 40% or less will alleviate symptoms for many patients.
Houses and Air
Throw out old carpets. Bare floors or new synthetics are better for mould allergics. Bedding and mattresses eventually go mouldy; consider a waterbed and duvet. Pillows and duvet should be synthetic, cheap and regularly disposed of, or enclosed in dustproof cover. Beware hotel beds. Remove all houseplants.
Avoid garden sprinklers, proximity to grass or hedges being (or that have recently been) cut, compost, greenhouses, etc. Worse in high winds and autumn, in April (grass cutting) and August (harvest) and just before a thunderstorm. Many sufferers feel much better in a hot dry climate.
Basic anti-candida diet (avoiding sugar and anything fermented or mouldy). This can be adjusted for ‘food combining’ rules as in the Hay diet, which reduces total load. Avoid food with visible mould or visibly wilted and anything made from mould: Quorn and other myco-proteins, soy sauce etc. or fermented foods: vinegar, alcohol, yeasted bread and most cheese (ripe cheeses owe their delights to moulds…) Remember ‘Total Load Effect’ of a meal.
Herbs and Supplements etc.
Be Optimistic, Mould Allergy can be Overcome ...
I qualified in Medicine and worked in General Practice. I escaped and now run a holistic medical practice in Surrey specialising in mould allergy, Electrical Sensitivity and much else. My book: 'I’m a Patient…Get me out of Here…' (the paper-back equivalent of rescue remedy…) is available through www.allergydoctor.org.uk or 01428 643021 and gives further details of mould allergy treatment.
Ed: The Healthy House have ready made packs of products and de-humidifiers etc to help reduce mould levels that you might find helpful.
First published in 2011
• If this article was of interest you will find many other articles on unlikely allergies and allergy connections here – and links to many relevant research studies here.