Black Mold Symptoms Overview

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Of all the molds pervading our homes and public buildings, perhaps the most pernicious is stachybotrys chartarum or black mold. Approximately one-fourth of all U.S. homes are believed to have black mold growing somewhere inside them. Wherever it’s growing—the basement, bathroom or elsewhere—the mycotoxins, or microscopic spores black mold produces, are released into the air and travel throughout the home via heating and air conditioning systems. These mycotoxins deplete the body’s nerves of their myelin protective coating, thereby exposing the nerves and possibly causing them to function improperly or not at all.

Black mold is highly toxic and the symptoms it produces vary greatly in the degree of harm they may cause. The list of black mold symptoms is long and the range of symptoms wide, covering many parts and systems of the body, including the gastrointestinal, immune, nervous and respiratory systems and the skin. At their most extreme, black mold symptoms can even be fatal, particularly for kids with allergies to mold.

One of the most common black mold symptoms is a choking feeling, especially one that wakes you up in the middle of the night. Other common black mold symptoms include the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • abnormal pap smear results
  • acid reflux
  • allergy reactions (such as runny and itching nose)
  • anaphylaxis
  • anemia
  • anxiety, depression, dementia and other disorders of the central nervous system
  • asthma
  • bad taste in the mouth, either metallic or like dirt
  • balance and coordination difficulties
  • blood pressure irregularities
  • bloody nose (esp. if recurring frequently)
  • breathing difficulty/respiratory problems, wheezing
  • bronchitis
  • bruising easily
  • candida infection
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cholesterol irregularities
  • coated tongue
  • cognitive disorders
  • cold and flu type symptoms
  • congestion in the chest
  • cough/dry cough (esp. ones which medication doesn’t help)
  • coughing up blood/bleeding lungs
  • dandruff (partic. if chronic)
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • digestive trouble
  • dizziness
  • droopy or puffy eyes
  • eyes irritated, red, itching, watery and burning
  • fever (esp. without apparent cause)
  • fibromyalgia
  • food allergy symptoms
  • fungal infections
  • hair loss
  • headaches
  • hot flashes (more common in women)
  • hypersensitivity to odors
  • immune system complications
  • indigestion
  • infections (esp. frequent/chronic)
  • intermittent facial flushing
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • irritated mucous membranes and related symptoms
  • itching chronically, anywhere on the body
  • low sex drive
  • lung issues
  • memory loss/forgetfulness and poor concentration
  • mild heart attack
  • mood swings and irritability
  • mouth and throat burning
  • muscle aches, pains and cramping (esp. prolonged)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • night sweats (more common in women)
  • nosebleeds
  • numbness of the limbs and face
  • open skin sores/lacerations
  • open sores on the head
  • pain in the internal organs (esp. the liver and spleen)
  • physical weakness
  • poor appetite
  • premature menopause symptoms
  • pulmonary hemorrhage (occurring in infants)
  • shaking and tremors
  • sinus congestion
  • skin rashes and hives
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • spitting out mucous
  • tiredness/fatigue/lethargy
  • triglycerides irregularities
  • urinary tract infections/painful urination
  • vision troubles

Another condition believed by some doctors and scientists to be associated with black mold is Acute Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemorrhage (AIPH)—bleeding in the lungs that occurs in infants. Yet another is hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a fairly uncommon disease resembling bacterial pneumonia associated with both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) exposure to black mold. It is also believed that high levels of black mold exposure could lead to infertility.

Still other black mold symptoms are those associated with organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS), or fever, flu-like symptoms and respiratory symptoms that appear abruptly shortly after a singular exposure to a large concentration of mycotoxins. ODTS is most commonly found among farm workers and building material remediation professionals dealing with mold contaminated items. ODTS symptoms ordinarily dissipate within 24 hours following exposure. People living in homes and buildings contaminated with black mold are unlikely to develop ODTS.

It is also currently a topic of debate among health care professionals whether or not extreme exposure to toxic black mold, or exposure to large amounts over a considerable length of time) can cause neurological damage. Neurological damage caused by black mold is particularly troublesome for children, whose brains and organ systems are not even fully developed yet.

Besides infants, the other groups of people at higher risk than most in the general public of developing mild to severe toxic black mold symptoms are the elderly, recipients of organ transplants, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and people with bronchitis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, and other ailments of the respiratory system, including seasonal allergies, asthma and emphysema. Additionally, pregnant women can experience multiple black mold symptoms at once, even so much as to lead to miscarriage.

In trying to identify the type of mold you have growing in your home, be aware that, while stachybotrys chartarum is actually greenish-black in color, it is not the green mold you would find on old cheeses and breads. Mold that has a musty smell is also probably not black mold.

If you believe you or any member of your family is experiencing health symptoms as a result of exposure to black mold, seek out a doctor’s help immediately. In addition, get straight to work removing and replacing the mold contaminated materials in your home. As soon as you do so, you should find your black mold symptoms beginning to dissipate.