Now that the Biblical rains and floods have stopped in the affected areas of the East coast of the NSW we can start thinking about what next and what can we do. While charities, individuals and government authorities are focusing on assisting affected people I would like to focus on the impact of floods not only on the mental health of those people but also on the significant consequences of flood-damaged buildings on human health. You do not have to have a major flood event either as many dwellings, apartments, units can be water damaged due to poor building construction works or blocked gutters.
There is a lot of misconception among the general public that mould is not that really harmful to human health, animals or plants. People affected by mould and mould spores may have Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS).
What are the symptoms of CIRS?
CIRS can affect everybody’s organs and there are many symptoms mimicking other diseases. In the last few years I always ask every patient: Have you been living in mould affected house or working in mould affected building? Is there a mould at your children’s school or at your work?
The symptoms of CIRS are often in manybody systems at the same time. This is what is confusing not only for a patient but also for untrained in CIRS treatment health professionals.
A patient can come to the clinic with symptoms like food sensitivities only, or depression, or breezing difficulties, extreme fatigue and these are just a few symptoms of CIRS. Hardly ever a patient will admit that he or she or has been living in the mould affected house in the past or now. It is not usual for people to not link the two together. Some still cannot see anything wrong with mould or even worth mentioning it at a consultation. So I always ask about mastic smell in the house, mould on cloth, on books or behind the bed or mould on the walls and so on.
At the initial stage of CIRS, a patient can experience just a few symptoms of mould, which can range from mild to severe to debilitating. As the CIRS progresses and if untreated, symptoms can be severe in all body systems. These are:
Severe fatigue, CFS, being bedridden
Chronic pain, systemic inflammation
Allergies and food sensitivities
Slower recovering from preexisting health conditions
Difficulty in breathing /breathlessness/cough
Foggy brain/learning difficulties, mood swings
Flu-like symptoms, sinusitis, headache
Sore throat, swollen lymph
Fever, muscle pain
Numbness and tingling sensation, electric shock on touching objects
Low thyroid function
Sensitivity to light, blurred vision
What can you do to protect your, your family and your pet’s health from mould related illness?
A proactive rather than reactive approach is always the best option. After all your home is not only your asset and investment. The health of your home reflects the status of your health, your family and your pets. So here are some practical tips for mould prevention.
- Do not use bleach* to clean mould as that promotes mould growth
- Do not build air tide buildings
- Cross ventilate the house/office all the time
- Maintain the gutters, house, cellars, onsite drainage and, air-conditioning system
- Make sure that there is a sufficient onsite drainage system and on public land and notify the local council if there is an issue
- Regularly inspect the house for rising dampness and leaks, check carpets, furniture, food, art, curtains
- If mould begins to appear clean it with an 80% to 20% ratio of vinegar to the water, diluted tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, clove oil, oregano, cypress, pine or rosemary in water ( 10% of oil) and spray regularly on affected areas.
- Invest in ceiling fans and cold climate dehumidifier.
- Consult a natural health practitioner if you have health problems and a building biologist to assess what can be done in your house to remediate it.
* bleach destroys grout between tiles and allows water to penetrate deeper and mould to proliferate deeper.
If you would like to know more about how natural medicine can help you, please contact Danuta Hulajko on 02 4854 0205
Danuta Hulajko is a holistic practitioner, international speaker, the founder and the practitioner at the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au , Southern Highlands. She specialises in anti-ageing, autoimmunity, thyroid conditions, digestive disorders, cardiovascular health, heavy metals chelation and CIRS ( mould related illness). For more information please go to our website. You can follow Danuta Hulajko work, events, seminars, expos, latest health research, her health tips and advice on Facebook and LinkedIn