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Mold is making us sick???

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Old 05-22-2008, 08:07 AM   #1
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Mold is making us sick???

This may be a long post... I'm sorry for the length... just trying to explain in detail. ANY help that anyone could provide would be appreciated!

My husband and I jumped at the chance to move into a 2 bedroom 1 bath house being rented by a distant family member. (We wanted out of our tiny apartment).

We moved into the house in February and about a month and a half later (mid/late March) we started noticing a faint smell in our master bedroom at the back of the house. It was a musty smell, but it was so faint that I just assumed my husband's wet towels he was leaving in the hamper was the cause.

Once we stopped leaving wet towels in the hamper in our room, we noticed that the smell progressively got stronger every day. It turned into a musty/midewy smell. It finally got to the point that when you walked into our bedroom, the smell could almost knock you off your feet! And breathing the air in there was almost difficult! I can only describe it as the air feeling 'thick'.

Over the course of this smell happening, I developed a small annoying cough that wouldn't go away, freqent sinus infections & headaches. I felt achy and tired all the time. My husband was waking up every morning with his head completely stuffed up, hardly able to breathe. It got to the point where one night, I told my husband we were moving out of our master bedroom and into the smaller bedroom at the front of the house. We moved out of our old bedroom about a week and a half ago and most of these symptoms have disipated. Overall, we are both feeling much better.

We immediately let our landlord know (she lives out of state) and she thought it could be between the wall of our bedroom & bathroom. She told us to put a hole under the sink to see if we could find any mold in there. We did so, and found nothing. She then thought that it could be in the walls of our bedroom and advised us to put two small holes in different sections of the wall. We did this, and still nothing. Her third thought was the attic, but we've gone up there, and still nothing. And the smell can't be coming from the ground - the carpet isn't damp (it's brand new) and our house is on a slab - not a foundation - and it doesn't have a crawl space.

Right now - we're at a loss as to where this problem is coming from and what's causing it. All I know is that when we're in that room - we feel completely sick - so it can't be healthy to live in the house.

Could this be toxic mold? If so - should we still even be living in the house while they try to find and repair the problem? It's difficult because we have no where to go and stay, especially with a large dog. I'm also concerned that since we've put holes in walls, if it is toxic mold, it could be spreading around the house.

We're not sure what to do. Has anyone ever had this happen to them? Have you ever had symptoms of toxic mold?

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China1976 (09-20-2011)
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Mold is making us sick???

Yes, I am a victim of toxic mold. Had the remediators 3 years in a row for different problems. There is a musty odor in our bedroom also -- has been for 2 years......last year we had the garage window taken out and remediation done as it was rotten and we thought that was where the smell was coming from as the remediator said the garage window mold was bad stuff. That was late in the fall and over the winter the smell goes away so we were horrified when it came back with the warm weather. Obviously the bedroom window is a problem as well. Since we own the house we are stuck and can't afford the remediator back but will have to. Everything has to be torn out from the outside and not a job for a carpenter as we had a carpenter 5 years ago to get the rotten wood out in that particular window and we had faith it was fixed. HA HA....... Carpenters rip out but don't treat so it never comes back.

As for symptoms -- they are from mold but it may not be toxic mold as any mold could give you those symptoms. Call an inspector to come out and check with his moisture meter -- that will let you know where the problem is so you can take care of it. It does not mean you have to move out of the house.....if it is done by a professional remediator you won't even have to leave the house for one problem room. They will plastic everything up and take care of it. Some will also rebuild.

Good luck

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China1976 (09-20-2011)
Old 05-28-2008, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Mold is making us sick???

I am glad I found your post. I am a victim of living in a moldy house. I rented a 100 year old farm house a couple of years ago. I should have known better moving into a house that old when I am an allergy sufferer.

It started when I smelled a musty/musky smell coming through the vents when the air would come on. I just passed it off. I knew the basement was old, dark and scary. Like out of a horror movie. It was literally an old undergound railroad at one time. I suffered on and off with my allergies for 3 years just thinking it was typical allergies. But I too felt an overall crumy feeling. I just wasn't in the best health. I had always had perfect health.

I went to the doctor and it turns out I had developed hypothyroidism. My thyroid was dying. No one in my family has ever had this. I was shocked and angry because I did more research and found out that other people who have lived with mold have developed hypothryodism and plenty of other health issues. My friend and his wife rented a house that they found out later had mold and they all had developed headaches, depression, mood swings and personality changes, and he developed hypothyrodism as well. He and others have a lawsuit filed against the landlord who knew this and rent to many people who now have health issues. My landlord refused to do anything about the mold. I even ordered a test off of the internet and caught air in petrie dishes, placed it in shoe boxes under my bed for a few days and it grew quarter size mold spores. I mailed it in and it tested positive for penicillan mold as well as other mold. I moved out without a notice. That is all the landlord offered me.

I can't prove that is what caused my health issue, but I am pretty sure of it. There are too many of us with this happening. Please, whatever you do try to move if you can or get it removed. It is making you sick!! It is extremely unhealthy and it comes on slow. Before you know it you can become very ill. I have permenant damage.

Good luck to you both!! Let us know how you are!

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China1976 (09-20-2011)
Old 06-28-2008, 03:48 AM   #4
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Re: Mold is making us sick???

Wow, this is all very interesting. I have seasonal allergies so suffer spring to start of summer and it's only when the Wattle trees are flowering (i'm in Australia) and there are so many varieties of this plant so feels like it lasts forever.

My mother on the other hand has never had allergies and about a couple of years ago began getting same symptoms as my hay fever allergies (sneezing, stuffy, runny nose virtually day and night). I kept telling her it was the same as what i suffer with, but hers seemed to go all year long with barely a let up.

She did the doctor rounds, tried various medicaitons, nobody diagnosed her for anything and finally she got some allergy tests which showed nothing, then she went to another doctor and more allergy tests and all they could come up with was "mold".

The problem is, my parents house is brick and double storey, the bedrooms are all upstairs. There is no moisture problem up stairs, she airs out the rooms pretty much every day, unless the weather is extremely bad, there is carpet upstairs, but she keeps that clean, dusts regularly. The downstairs area i believe is built on a slab, but have noticed at certain times of the year the area between the tiles gets damp in a few areas but not all the time, the windows are all aluminium.

We kept wracking out brains to find out what it could be. It wasn't from the chicken or the hen house. She has some parrots and feeds them in their avary but it wasn't from there either.

The only thing which has given her relief is washing out her sinuses with salt water every morning and progressively it has gotten better. She refuses to even believe that it's an allergy or reaction to mold. She keeps saying it's all due to her catching extreme cold a few years ago and believes she never recovered from it and it has affected her sinuses.

Even though she is much improved, she keeps trying new things. Recently she discovered that a little eucalyptus oil up her nostrils also cleared her nose and no sneezing or stuffyness.

I have no idea what is going. All i know is that for at least one and a half years she was sneezing, blowing her nose, not getting any sleep at night and now after using the salt water and recently eucalyptus oil she says she is so much better.

For those who have moved into a place and the problem started soon after then it's obviously something in the house i'd say. If you are only renting then it's better to cut your losses and move out rather than compromise your health any longer.

Old 06-28-2008, 10:17 AM   #5
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Unhappy Re: Mold is making us sick???

I am so happy to have found this site and your article. I bought a home 4years ago. My parents would sometimes smell a musty smell in the house and also on my clothes. I myself could never smell it, I guess due to just being use to it.
With in the last year I started to feel horrible. I had fatigue, sore joints and muscles. I had a lot of tests done and all they came up with was I have a lot of inflammation in my body, no one cares why or where, and that I have bad Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then around March of this year I gained a bunch of new symptoms and the old symptoms got severely worse. I started having these attacks, which resembled seizures, at work. Turns out they were not seizures but again no one cared to see what they actually were, just that they had nothing to do with my brain.
In the afternoons I would fall asleep at work, become so confused, and had memory loss. I am at the point where I am on Family Leave from work because I can not stay awake the 8 hours. I also have such memory and concentration problems that by the afternoon I couldn't remember how to do the work I have done for the past 8 years. I had every test done and nothing.
On day I tripped on a website that listed 10 common reasons for chronic conditions. Well, mold was one of them. This site listed about 35 symptoms of mold toxin and I had 20 of them. Fibromyalgia is a symptom of chronic exposure to mold, among many other things.
I began to really believe I have either a mold allergy or toxic mold in my body. My doctor told me it was far fetched. I know my basement has mold because it gets flooded often but I also think there may be mold in the air vent at my work. Other employees have suggested this before because they have had illnesses they never had before until working there. I bought one of those at home tests, used it in my basement and was about to send it out when I realized I best just make an appointment with a professional to have my whole house checked. Mold can be anywhere and can be any size. It may not even be visible to the human eye and maybe that is why you can not find it. I researched mold and mold toxins extensively , since I am at home with not much to do. I would like to tell you that if you are having a problem in only one room, from what I have read, it is still a big problem. I guess the spores from the mold of whatever kind can become loose in the air and settle on anything, clothes, hair, etc.
I don't mean to make you worry, and I am no professional, but from the good will of the internet you can learn a lot.
I suggest getting a professional to test your home. I am so sick at this point that I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I am afraid I let this mold issue go to long and that is why I feel so awful. I even had a lung test done and it showed a nodule that was classified as no big deal but I come to find out from my informative internet that it may be mold growing in my lungs.
I am sorry this is so long but if I can help one person from getting to the sick point I am at, by telling some things I have found in the extensive studying I have done on mold, it was worth it.
My doctor told me that my illness being caused by mold was far fetched. and that I should not be reading medical things on the internet. I think he may not know enough about it, so don't listen to anyone who thinks you may be crazy. They may just be uneducated on the illness. If it is mold that is causing your illness, it may only gets worse.
Good Luck and take care of yourselves. My your health return to normal.
P.S. I am only 33 years old, which to me is to young to be having as many problems as I have.

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China1976 (09-20-2011)
Old 07-15-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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Unhappy Re: Mold is making us sick???

I am glad I found this site too. In March I came down with some sort of bronchitis or something. I was very, very sick. I was put on antibiotics and ever since I have had issues with my mouth. But here's the thing... we do have mold in one of our apartment's bedrooms. I am wondering if some of my symptoms aren't caused by that at this point.

I have been to the doctor 4 or 5 times, had every blood test known to man, chest x-ray and even an upper G.I. My latest symptoms are burning tongue, excess mucous in the back of my throat, I can hardly swallow and there is a coating on my tongue. I am at my wits end. It has been over 4 months now. I would like to hear more specifically the symptoms that anyone else is having so I can compare notes. My doctor thinks I am luney tunes now and so do I!

Old 07-18-2008, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: Mold is making us sick???

Fancydancer - if you have been on either strong or long term antibiotics you could have an overgrowth of candida in your gut and this can spread to other parts of your body. Do you take a probiotic with your antibiotics to help replenish the good bacteria which the antibiotics kill off?

My doctor used to have me on antibiotics all the time until i had my tonsils removed as an adult. I went through the worst symptoms at one point. I thought i had chronic fatigue, no motivation, could sleep 8,9,10 hours, it was never enough, i was losing weight even though i was eating like a horse i had extremely bad irritable bowel. No doctor was able to help me and i felt i was losing my mind at one time.

In the end i found a doctor who could help and he diagnosed me with chronic candida. I went on a very strict diet of no caffiene, no dairy, no alcohol, a lot of fruits were out too, no sugar/honey, no sweets of any kind, no yeast, no wheat. He put on me on a multivitamin as yeast in the gut will inhibit nutrient absorbtion as does irritable bowel and i was also told to take acidophilous or any good probiotic. I was on this for about a month and i had never felt better. I felt as though i was superwoman.

Antibiotics can cause havoc for a lot of people, but if you have a mold issue that could be affecting you too. Just thought the above might work for you just in case it is a candida issue as well.

Hope you feel better soon

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