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The effects of mould on your child’s nervous system
There’s a lot of buzz about the negative health effects of moulds. This is because many types of mould emit toxins, known as mycotoxins. These substances can be an unsuspected cause of health issues.
They’re some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment, but they have traditionally received little attention.
In this article, you’ll learn about the health effects of mycotoxins, especially on the nervous system.
The toxic substances emitted by moulds can easily drift off into the atmosphere. Once airborne, they hang around waiting to be inhaled.
Once in your lungs, mycotoxins can pass into your bloodstream where they then travel all around your body. Therefore, their effects can be wide-ranging. They’ve been found to damage the immune system, lungs, digestive system, and liver. Plus, they can easily pass through the barrier between your blood and your brain. Once there they damage nerves and disrupt special immune cells in your brain. All this can lead to brain fog, anxiety, and low mood. Mycotoxins have even been linked with the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Mycotoxins can interfere with vision, reaction time, emotional management, and cognitive ability, too. Scientists used EEG tests to measure the activity of the brain’s frontal cortex. This is responsible for behaviour and personality, problem-solving, logic, decision making, language and the control of emotional behaviour. The researchers recorded changes to this part of the brain after exposure to mycotoxins. The frontal lobe seemed to be repressed, and this increased in line with the amount of mycotoxin exposure. The scientists likened the effect to that of a mild traumatic brain injury 1.
Because mycotoxins can interfere with the development of nerves, some scientists believe they may be implicated in conditions such as autism and ADHD.
The body has developed mechanisms to deal with and expel mycotoxins. However, if these processes can’t keep pace, they will build up in the body causing harm and promoting inflammation. Some people have a genetic predisposition to poor mycotoxin clearance. Those with immune issues or a build-up of toxic metals like mercury or lead in their bodies also tend to be poor at eliminating mycotoxins.
Airborne mycotoxins mainly emanate from the home environment. Moulds love damp places in your home where, given the chance, they’ll reproduce like crazy, Mould often lurks in bathrooms and around windows. But it may be growing unseen in your home’s insulation, too, as well as behind wallpaper, in carpets and of course your fridge and washing machine.
The other major source of moulds is from foodstuffs, particularly those stored for any length of time during or since production, such as grains. Mycotoxins can be found both in foods intended for human consumption and those fed to animals, which then make their way into the food chain. In one study, it was estimated a quarter of the world’s crop had mycotoxins lurking unseen inside them 2.
Because you can’t smell or taste mycotoxins, you wouldn’t know they are there. They’re not destroyed by heat nor by many types of food processing techniques, so they can be present in unexpected food sources. Other common culprits apart from grains include processed meats, dried fruit, condiments, coffee, peanuts, hard cheeses, and mushrooms.
You might have noticed your own or your child’s symptoms improve when they are away from home, or their symptoms increase during damp weather. This can be a clue that these health issues are connected with mycotoxins from moulds.
If this is the case, it’s crucial to deal with any dampness or visible mould in your home. The best way to do this is to use a solution of white vinegar and water. Or dissolve a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda in water and use as a spray. Think about using a dehumidifier in your home and open windows to encourage air circulation.
Although food-related mycotoxins can’t be avoided completely, it’s sensible to encourage your child to enjoy foods naturally low in mycotoxins. These include starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits like berries, leafy green veg, ginger, turmeric, and garlic. Eat food as fresh as possible and avoid storing it for long periods which can encourage mould to develop.
Our practitioners have access to the latest non-invasive tests to discover whether mycotoxins are present in your own or your child’s body. In this way, you can proactively identify and address any health issues caused by mycotoxins which are leading to unexplained or undiagnosed symptoms.
If mycotoxins are found to be contributing to health issues, a practitioner will recommend natural nutritional and lifestyle strategies to support your or your child’s detoxification systems and help to reduce their exposure. Contact us today to start your journey.
Do you need personalised natural support to improve your child’s exposure to moulds? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.
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