Category:

Mold

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Toxic Mold in Coffee?

Coffee is a lightning rod for conflicting medical studies. Every few weeks it seems, a new study comes out touting the benefits or risks of drinking coffee or drinking too much coffee — an amount which is also hotly debated.

(Photo courtesy of Kari Shea on Unsplash)

According to BlueCross BlueShield, here’s where the science stands regarding the pros and cons of coffee consumption:

Pros

  • Coffee may help protect against type 2 diabetes.
  • Coffee may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and may help control Parkinson’s related tremors.
  • Coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer and protects against cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Moderate coffee consumption (16 ounces daily) can help protect against heart failure.

Cons

  • Drinking too much coffee/caffeine can trigger anxiety symptoms, especially in those with underlying anxiety disorders.
  • Coffee/caffeine causes the release of adrenaline, which can lead to elevated heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Coffee can inhibit proper sleep cycles in some people, and even cause headaches for other users.

The latest round of studies has introduced a new concern for coffee lovers — the level of mycotoxins in coffee. Mycotoxins are poisonous substances produced by fungi, including continue reading

Moldy Brain Image

Psychiatric Illness or Moldy Brain?

Many people diagnosed with a mental illness or other psychiatric condition tell similar stories. They visit their primary care physician complaining of anxiety, overwhelming sadness, fatigue, joint or muscle aches and pains, brain fog, and other general symptoms. Their doctor orders a limited series of lab tests, examines the results, and finds “nothing wrong.” They are then either given a diagnosis on the spot or referred to a psychiatrist.

Ultimately, they are told they have depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or some other diagnosis that doesn’t reveal what’s really going on or how to cure it. They are sent home with one or more prescriptions for antidepressants, pain relievers, and other medications that, at best, provide only temporary relief. Sometimes the medications provide no relief or even make the condition worse.

Moldy Brain Image

The story changes only when a patient is fortunate enough to encounter a doctor who understands the effects of environmental toxins on the brain… a doctor like our own Dr. Matt Lewis, or one like Mary Ackerley, MD — a board certified integrative and holistic physician as well as a classically trained board certified psychiatrist who specializes in the natural treatment of chronic fatigue, mold and biotoxin illness, depression and anxiety. In addition to her education and training as a psychiatrist, Dr. Ackerley (as well as our own Dr. Matt Lewis) has specific training in diagnosing and treating environmentally acquired illness.

(Editor’s note: Dr. Lewis and Dr. Ackerley both attended the inaugural ISEAI Conference — International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness —in early-May of this year in Phoenix, Ariz., where Dr. Ackerley was one of the featured speakers.)

According to Dr. Shoemaker — a Roswell, NM-based pioneer in mold and biotoxin illness treatment — about 25 percent of the population is susceptible to biotoxins. Coincidentally, as Dr. Ackerley has been known to point out continue reading

Mody Air Conditioner

Reducing Mold in Your Home May Start with Your Air Conditioner

As recent news coverage here in Tampa revealed, a home is meant to protect you and your family from the outside elements, not expose you to a host of allergens, airborne irritants, and toxins that can make you ill. The biggest potential problem — as we covered through a post titled Responding to the Mold Outbreak at VA Bay Pines Center — is mold, but other airborne irritants can also pose a problem, such as pet dander, dust, and dust mites. In this post, we encourage you to reduce your exposure to indoor airborne irritants and provide guidance to reduce the levels of airborne irritants in your home.

Keep the Air Conditioning on in the Summer

Mold grows best in warm, humid conditions, so it makes sense that air conditioning is one of the most powerful weapons in the battle against mold. One of the most effective ways to prevent mold from getting a foothold in your home is to keep your air conditioner(s) running during the hot, humid days of summer. In addition to cooling your home, air conditioning removes humidity from the air, and low humidity (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) inhibits mold growth.

Mody Air Conditioner

Unfortunately, a poorly maintained heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) system can be a breeding ground for mold and facilitate the spread continue reading

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Other Waste-Basket Diagnoses

Many people who suffer chronic pain and fatigue find little to no relief from conventional medicine. At best, they are given what we refer to as a “waste-basket diagnosis,” such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, or depression. Worse yet, the doctor runs numerous tests and explains that all the results came back normal — the implication being that the symptoms are all in the patient’s head.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The problem with these waste-basket diagnoses is that they are unscientific. Conventional medicine has no test for chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or depression. Doctors arrive at these diagnoses in one of two ways:

  • They look at a cluster of symptoms and assign it a label. If the patient complains primarily of pain, he or she is likely to be diagnosed as having fibromyalgia. If fatigue is the primary complaint, the patient is diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome. If the symptoms are mood-related, the patient is diagnosed as suffering from depression.
  • They rule out other possible diagnoses and choose from among the remaining waste-basket diagnoses. For example, they may test for common infections, run an electrocardiogram, test blood sugar and iron levels, and when all the tests come back negative, conclude that the patient must have chronic fatigue syndrome or depression.

Comparing Symptoms

Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and depression have common symptoms, including the following: continue reading

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