Tag Archives: Molds

NATURAL TREATMENT FOR SEASONAL POLLEN & MOLD ALLERGIES

 

AccuWeather 2019 US Spring Allergy Forecast

If you’re one of the one in five Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies and your sense is that your sinuses are making you more miserable each passing year, you’re not imagining it. The cause of all this misery is climate change. Rising average temperatures and wetter conditions lead to surging amounts of pollens and longer allergy seasons.
More pollen means more seeds and even greater amounts of pollen the following year. To make matters worse, warmer average temperatures across the year mean spring starts earlier and winter arrives later.
Researchers estimate that pollen counts of all varieties will double in large parts of the US by 2040. (Irfan, 5/21/2019)

Changes in tree pollen allergy risk by 2100 if CO2 reaches a concentration of 970 parts per million

Tree pollen allergy risk in the United States

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

“A recent study in the journal Lancet Planetary Health found that airborne pollen counts have been increasing around the world as average temperatures climbed. The majority of the 17 sites studied showed an increase in the amount of pollen and longer pollen seasons over 20 years.
“And the faster the climate changes, the worse it gets. That’s why residents of Alaska, which is warming twice as fast as the global average, now face especially high allergy risks.
“Taken together over the long term, seasonal allergies present one of the most robust examples of how global warming is increasing risks to health. Allergies are already a major health burden, and they will become an even larger drain on the economy.
“’It’s very strong. In fact, I think there’s irrefutable data,’ said Jeffrey Demain, director of the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska. ‘It’s become the model of health impacts of climate change.’
“And since so many are afflicted — some estimates say up to 50 million Americans have nasal allergies — scientists and health officials are now trying to tease out the climate factors driving these risks in the hopes of bringing some relief in the wake of growing pollen avalanches.” (Irfan, 5/21/2019)

Climate Change Projections for Pollen Production

Source: Climate Central

So pollens are making us feel miserable … then there are the molds!

Source: consumer Reports
The symptoms of mold allergies are similar to pollen allergies and bacterial infections of the sinuses. The difference is that mold spores breathed into your sinuses form biofilms in there to create warm, cozy protected spaces for the colony to live. If you spray a decongestant up your nose, the biofilms keep the spray from reaching the spores inside the biofilm. So if you’re having what feels like a cold that won’t go away no matter what you do or extra-terrible, long-lasting pollen allery symptoms, it could well be molds have made themselves at home in your sinuses.

 

Source: rtkenvironmental.com

WHAT ARE BIOFILMS?

Biofilms are communities of micro-organisms which adhere  to each other and often also to a surface. These  groups of adhered cells produce a slimy protective coating around themselves and like to embed themselves inside  warm, moist cavities like our sinuses where  they can keep themselves safe from other pathogens. (Nature.com, 2019) & (Wikipedia, 5/21/2019)
Source: PicsWe

 

BIOFILM OF MOLDS ARE A PROBLEM WHEN THEY EMBED IN OUR SINUSES

“Symptoms such as an inflamed nasal passage, body aches and a cold that worsens usually suggest a sinus infection caused by bacteria. However, sometimes sinus problems aren’t due to bacterial infections alone but are caused from molds.

“Sinuses are air-filled passages in the face and head that are lined with a mucous membrane, which is a thin, moist layer of tissue. A sinus infection from mold is a condition occurring when the mucous membrane becomes inflamed because a person inhales airborne spores released from mold, which is a type of fungus, usually growing in moist damp areas.

“A mold sinus problem and infection caused by molds can easily be overlooked . Exposure to mold in people who live in fungal conditions are likely to suffer from sinus infections yearly.

“Understanding the production of bio-film from mold,bacteria and yeast is key in understanding how to rid the body of pathogens from the sinuses, lungs and other parts of the human body.

“Bio-film is produced by certain species of fungus / mold, bacteria, and some forms of yeast. These pathogens secrete a slime, or protective coating around themselves protecting them from other environmental pathogens, which would attack or disable them. Since pathogens within the bio-film are protected by the bio-film they have no direct contact with the blood, therefore any anti-fungal, or bacterial medications rarely have an effect on those protected pathogens. This is why many people suffer multiple sinus surgeries, over and over again, as the surgeon failed to remove all of the bio-film from the sinus cavities allowing regrowth to occur and the continuation of the Mold Sinus Problems (emphasis added).

 – (Mold Victim, 2019)
This short video tells you perhaps more than you want to know about biofilms and why they cause us misery when nasty ones take up residence in our sinuses or elsewhere in our bodies. Gross but very interesting.

 

The most northern parts of the globe are getting hardest hit by global warming and the resulting increase in allergies.
“Alaska is warming so fast that computer models have had a hard time believing the results. That’s having huge consequences for allergy sufferers in the state, and not just from pollen.
“Demain from the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska explained that rising temperatures are melting permafrost beneath Alaskan towns, causing moisture to seep into homes. This dampness then allows mold to grow, causing more people to seek treatment for mold allergies.”  (Irfan, 5/21/2019)

 

A NATURAL WAY TO BREAK UP MOLD & OTHER BIOFILMS IN YOUR SINUSES

If your sinuses have been making you miserable this spring, here’s a natural way to help yourself feel  a whole lot better – without taking any decongestants, other allergy meds or antibiotics.
Here’s a video of how to use a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses to remove any nasty allergens that have taken up residence in there:

 

A few suggested variations that differ from the way Ashley uses her neti pot in the video:
  • I recommend getting a ceramic rather than a plastic neti pot – much easier to keep it clean. The ceramic ones can be put in the dishwasher to sterilize. I’ve used the same white ceramic model for a few decades.
  • You can buy those more expensive packages of neti pot salt or get a big container of pure sea salt and use some of it. I like La Baleine Sea Salt (Fine).
  • Using warm, filtered water in lieu of distilled water should be fine too.
  • If you use your neti pot in the shower, you don’t have to worry about dribbling the salt solution on your shirt and can also lean against the shower wall to get your head at the right angle so the solution doesn’t run down the back of your throat.
So that’s the basic way to use a neti pot to get the gunk out of your sinuses – clean hands, warm water and sea salt.

 

ADD THE CONTENTS OF A PROBIOTICS CAPSULE TO GET STUBBORN ALLERGENS OUT OF YOUR SINUSES

You can break open any probiotics capsule you take in supplement form and add its contents to your neti pot along with the warm water and sea salt.
A warning: You’ll probably feel a burn as you pour the  resulting solution into your nostrils. I can only say a few minutes of mild to moderate burning is worth the relief you’ll feel when you realize you can breathe again.

 

OTHER THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR NETI POT TO BREAK UP BIOFILMS AND GET MOLDS OUT OF YOUR SINUSES

This is what I came up with when I had some kind of long-lasting fungal infection in my sinuses during the fall of 2016. Fungi are a group of spore-producing organisms that feed on organic matter – including molds, yeast, mushrooms and toadstools. I was pretty sure no mushrooms or toadstools were growing in my sinuses and nasal passages but was pretty sure the infection contained molds and/or yeast because it felt different and much more intense than any of the sinus infections I used to get  when I was younger, before I started tending better to my gut microbiome.
So I added the contents of these two supplements to the warm water and sea salt in my neti pot.
  • Allicidin
  • RepHresh
I already knew about the biofilm-penetrating property of a supplement called Allicidin because I’d taken it to break open the endospores formed by Clostridium difficile when I had that nasty bacterial infection living in my colon in 2010.
About Allicidin:
  • SUPPORTS BOTH CARDIOVASCULAR & IMMUNE SYSTEM: Allicidin features a full spectrum, botanical formula made from premier quality garlic extract with notable amounts of allicin to assist you and your family with exquisitely thorough immune and cardiovascular support, just when you need it.
  • ALLICIN, THE ACTIVE FACTOR IN GARLIC: Premier Allicidin is known for its Allicin OrganoSulfur Complex which yields the unique nutrient Allicin. Allicin is a legendary organosulfur immune compound found in garlic that is activated in garlic when the fresh bulb is pressed, causing it to release the catalyzing enzyme, alliinase, which quickly converts alliin to the immune-active compound, allicin.
  • OUR TOP IMMUNE SUPPORT PRODUCT: Premier Allicidin is our Top Product for all those people who are in need of immune and cardiovascular support.
  • 100% VEGETARIAN: Premier Allicidin is the realization of a breakthrough fermentation process yielding all natural vegetarian ingredients, and its incredible formula is verified by independent testing according to USP guidelines and standards.
  • UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY: At Premier Research Labs, we never compromise on safety, efficacy, or quality on any product. We go a quantum leap further by striving to produce products that are 100% excipient-free and made with solvent-free vegetable capsules.
You can buy this useful, high quality supplement on Amazon:

Premier  Research Labs Allicidin- Supports Both Immune and Cardiovascular Health (60 Capsules)

Then I chose the probiotic formula RepHresh as the probiotic to add to my neti pot because it contains two lactobacillus probiotics (L-reuteri and L-rhamnosus) to target vaginal yeast infections, a type of fungal overrun.

You can also buy RepHresh on Amazon:

RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Supplement for Women, 30 Oral Capsules

 

A few comments on this two-step attack on fungal infections in the sinuses and nasal passages:
  • If you’ve got a heavy duty fungal colony living in biofilms inside your sinuses and nasal passages, try using Allicidin alone in your warm water and sea salt solution for a day or two to give the biofilms a chance to be truly penetrated.
  • Then use Allicidin the following day with the addition of RepHresh in your basic solution so the probiotics in the latter can ggain good access to the fungi to do them in.
  • You’ll experience a mild garlic smell inside your nose after the Allicidin solution has  run through your sinuses. There’ll also be some small black specks inside your nose. Changing the solution in your neti pot to just warm water and sea salt will get both out.
  • The Allicidin and RepHresh solutions will both likely burn a bit as they come in contact with the delicate mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses. Again – that short discomfort is worth getting rid of the fungal infection so you can breathe again and feel like your old energetic self.
  • You might need to repeat the two-step process one moretime if you’ve got long-established bacterial and fungal colonies growing in your sinuses.

 

Please let me know if you have success with these neti pot treatments or come up with useful modifications of my suggestions.

 

OTHER POSTS ON SINUSES

Sinuses

Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection

What I Did for Sinus Misery

Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them?

Yerba Santa for Sinuses

 

TO CHECK THE POLLEN AND MOLD COUNTS IN YOUR AREA

If you’d like to know which particular pollen and mold counts are high in your area, you can check the National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Reports issued by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. You can also sign up for personalized email alerts from them.

BREATHING FREELY

Source: footage.framepool.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (5/26/2019). National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Reports. See: https://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts?ipb=1

Hardin, J.R. (2013-2014). Sinuses. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/sinuses/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/09/18/probiotics-sinusitis-sinus-infection/

Hardin, J.R. (2016). What I Did for Sinus Misery. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/10/09/what-i-did-for-sinus-misery/

Hardin, J.R. (2017). Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them? See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2017/05/16/want-just-suppressyour-allergy-symptoms-actually-fix-whats-causing/

Hardin, J.R. (12/24/2017). Yerba Santa for Sinuses. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2017/12/24/yerba-santa-sinuses/

Irfan, U. (5/21/2019). It’s not your imagination. Allergy season gets worse every year: Pollen allergy seasons continue to get longer and more intense as temperatures rise. See: https://www.vox.com/2019/4/8/18300342/pollen-season-2019-allergies-climate-change

L. H. Ziska et al. (3/2019). Temperature-related changes in airborne allergenic pollen abundance and seasonality across the northern hemisphere: a retrospective data analysis. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3:3. See: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(19)30015-4/fulltext
Mold Victin. (2019). Mold Sinus Problems & Bio-Film in the Body. See: http://moldvictim.org/mold-sinus-problems-bio-film-in-the-body/
Nature.com. (2019). Biofilms. See: https://www.nature.com/subjects/biofilms
Wikipedia/ (5/19/2019). Biofilm. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm

 

 

© Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved. 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Climate Change Impacts Allergies and Asthma

 

 

images

 

 

Extreme weather events, from coastal flooding, intense heat, record amounts of rainfall in some areas and historic droughts in others, are becoming increasingly common as the Earth’s average temperature rises. The World Meteorological Organization has linked some of 2013’s most extreme weather events – think back to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as well as flooding in central Europe and record high temperatures in Australia, Asia and Africa to human-induced climate change. “There’s been a general disruption of nature,” says Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s health and environmental program. In may, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) released a comprehensive report on the impacts of climate change. It bluntly states: “Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, and in some regions, more severe droughts.”

– Claire Cagne, Wild Weather & Our Allergies, Allergic Living, Summer 2014

 

This is very bad news for people with allergies and asthma – more moisture and higher temperatures mean increased levels of mold, pollen and air pollution.
Temperatures across the U.S. are projected to increase anywhere from 5-10  degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century so the challenges we encounter from climate change are likely to get worse. (Gagne, 2014)

 

 

 

 

allergies

 

AIR-BORNE ALLERGENS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

According to the EPA’s report on climate change and air-borne allergens, A Review of the Impact of Climate Variability and Change on Aeroallergens and Their Associated Effects (EPA, 2011):
  •  Aeroallergens include pollens, which can be produced by weeds, grasses and trees,   as well as molds, dust particles, ash and indoor allergens.
  • Aeroallergens such as dust, ragweed, pollen and molds impact half of all Americans.
  • Treatment for allergies in the US costs $21 billion annually.
  • Three major allergic diseases have been associated with exposure to aeroallergens: hay fever, asthma and eczema.  Collectively, these three allergic diseases rank sixth for annual expenditures among chronic health conditions in the United States.
  • Beyond the direct cost of medical care are the indirect, but substantial, costs associated with lost time at work, school and play.
  • Increases in temperature, carbon dioxide and precipitation will cause the proliferation of weedy plants that are known producers of allergenic pollen.  Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere act as a fertilizer for plant growth.  Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation will cause some plants to grow faster, bloom earlier and produce more pollen.
  • Climate-related temperature changes are expected to increase the potency of airborne allergens, increasing the concentration of pollen in the air, the length of the allergy season and the strength of airborne allergens.
  • Climate change will allow allergen-producing plant species to move into new areas.
  • Wind-blown dust, carrying pollens and molds from outside of the United States, could expose people to allergens they had not previously contacted.  Exposure to more potent concentrations of pollen and mold may make current non-sufferers more likely to develop allergic symptoms.

 

 

Wildfires in Colorado, 2012
Wildfires in Colorado, 2012

 

 

Drought in California, 2014
Drought in California, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

HEAVIER, MORE FREQUENT RAINS PRODUCE MORE MOLD

 

 

Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012
Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012

 

Molds can cause serious health problems in susceptible individuals. Here’s information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the city’s health crisis following Hurricane Sandy (RebuildAdjustNY.org, 2013):
  • Toxins produced by mold, known at myotoxins, can cause headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, inability to concentrate and memory loss.
  • Chronic exposure to mold can lead to permanent lung disease
  • According to the Institute of Medicine, “There (is) sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.”
  • According to a World Health Organization-cited study, building dampness/mold increases the occurrence of respiratory and asthma-related health incidents by 30-50%.
  • A second study estimated that 21%of the cases of asthma in the United States could be attributable to dampness and mold in housing, for a total annual national cost of $3.5 billion.
  • Sandy-impacted neighborhoods are especially vulnerable to health effects from mold.
  • According to then Mayor Bloomberg, 70,000 – 80,000 homes suffered water damage due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • About 180,000 – 210,000 New Yorkers could be currently exposed to Sandy-related mold.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for 45,000+ children under the age of 5 and senior New Yorkers who are considered highly vulnerable to mod-related ailments.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
  • Sandy-affected neighborhoods reported more than 30,000 asthma-related emergency room visits between 2008 and 2010.
  • Children and seniors comprise about 25% of the population in Sandy-affected neighborhoods.
  • Asthmatics comprise more than 25%of the Sandy-affected neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

 

 

Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy
Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy

 

Mold damage is not always as easy to detect as in the photo above. It can be growing inside walls or behind wallpaper so not necessarily be visible.
Mold growing behind wallpaper
Mold growing behind wallpaper
And dead mold spore can still cause allergic reactions in some people so killing the mold may not be sufficient – it must also be removed. (EPA, 2012)

 

 

 

 

SO HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR CHANCES OF INCREASED SUFFERING FROM ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA?

 

 

immune-response

 

We know that 80-90% of our immune system resides in the mucosa of our guts. An unbalanced, impaired gut microbiome produces chronic inflammation in the body. Over time, this inflammation produces autoimmune conditions (such as allergies and asthma) – as well as gum disease, repeating UTIs, heart disease, nail fungus, some cancers, and much more.
Mast cells located in our skin, connective tissues, and the mucosal linings of our stomachs and intestines, are an essential part of our immune defenses. These unique cells are tasked with activating the immune system to defend us from harmful invaders.
In people with allergies, the immune system misidentifies innocuous substances as dangerous pathogens and sends out mast cells to combat them – as if Attila’s Huns were at the gate and needed to be attacked at all costs, even to the point of destroying the body in the process.
The real solution for both allergy and asthma sufferers isn’t just treating the symptoms but working to restore the health of the friendly bacteria living in the gut with the goal of normalizing the immune system. A healthy, balanced gut immune system will stop producing inflammation and allow a return to health.
As climate change exposes us to increasing numbers of molds and other allergens, we’re all going to need immune systems that are up to dealing with the challenge.

 

 

Boost-Immunity-Healthy-Smoothies

 

 

 

For more information on allergies, asthma, autoimmune conditions, the role of inflammation in these problems, and how to strengthen your immune system, see:

GUT SYMBIOSIS VS DYSBIOSIS

INFLAMMATION

ALLERGIES

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

ASTHMA

SUPER IMMUNITY

PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS

SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII

KEFIR

THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET (SAD)

HOW TO REVERSE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

ADDICTIONS – GLUTEN

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS – OUR FOOD

TRANSFER FACTOR

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Cagne, C. (2014). Wild Weather & Our Allergies. Allergic Living, 4:2, 32-37.

EPA. (2012). A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home: Hidden Mold. See:  http://www.epa.gov/mold/hiddenmold.html

RebuildAdjustNY.org. (2013). Mold: NYC’s Health Crisis Post-Sandy. See:  http://www.rebuildajustny.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Resource-Post-mold-remediation-Sandy-Mold-Health-Fact-Sheet2.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Allergies Getting Worse? See: http://www.epa.gov/research/gems/scinews_aeroallergens.htm

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.