Gray mold exposure down under

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Photo by Editor B

When he walked into my San Francisco office in mid April of 2012 my first impression of PU, a 44 year-old Hungarian man who had lived in Australia for many years was very peculiar. Upon first glance he appeared to be very healthy with broad shoulders, good muscle tone, and an athletic build but something in his demeanor suggested that he was not fully present mentally. He moved his head in a strange nervous way and his words were jumbled and agitated as he anxiously described his symptoms to me.

For about a year he had been suffering from a tingling pressure in his forehead, which would transform into a sharp pain that moved along his left temple to the side of his head and lasted several hours. Since this started to occur he had also developed anxiety, poor concentration, dizziness, and chest pain on a few occasions. He had been under a considerable amount of stress since he worked as a high-level business consultant and he had recently cut back on work, which caused some reduction in his symptoms.

I took a very thorough history asking him about each organ system and everything else seemed to be fine. He had been tested for STDs and was negative for all of them so neuro-syphilis, herpes encephalitis, and AIDS were all ruled out. He had also had a CT scan of his head which was normal and had been to see a few different neurologists who told him that everything was fine and it was just stress. I asked him if he had ever been bitten by any ticks, thinking of Lyme disease, but he had never been in a Lyme infested tick area. I was totally stumped as to what could possibly be wrong with him and then I asked him what part of Australia he lived in and found out that he lived in Sydney, a coastal city that had had more rainfall and flooding this year than in 100 years.

I had not thought of mold before that because I had assumed that Australia was a dry arid country so mold was the last thing I was considering. When I asked him if he had seen any mold in his home his face lit up and he described taking his leather jacket out of the closet some months before and finding a large patch of grey mold growing on it. He took the jacket to the cleaners but they would not accept it so he scrubbed off the mold patch with a brush and then returned it to the cleaners but the stain still remained even after being dry-cleaned. He mentioned that the bathroom in his apartment had no window so all the humidity from the shower distributed into the rest of his apartment. When he was packing for his trip to San Francisco he took a suitcase out of another closet and it also had a large patch of grey mold on it.

I detected that he had a mold infestation in his sinuses causing the strange head symptoms and dizziness and found the mold in his lungs as well producing toxins that were disturbing his heart circulation and causing the chest pain. I also found that this grey mold was a neurotoxic mold producing mycotoxins that were damaging his brain causing the strange behavior, anxiety, and inability to concentrate. I suspected that he had been exposed to a mold called Chaetomium, which is normally grey in color and highly neurotoxic so I recommended for him to move out immediately when he returned to Sydney. In the meantime I instructed him to clean any visible mold with bleach using a mask and to purchase a dehumidifier and run it daily. I also instructed him to soak all of his clothes in a mixture of vinegar, boric acid, and thyme essential oil for a day to kill the mold spores and wash them with detergent 2 or 3 times.

At first he was totally disgusted to think that the grey mold he saw on his jacket and suitcase was inside of his body and he looked as if he was going to throw up when I told him. However, hearing an explanation finally for why he felt so bad brought relief to his face and he promised to take the anti mold formula I prepared him 3 months religiously and look for a new place to live as soon as he returned to Australia.

I heard from him 3 weeks after starting the herbs and he was already feeling much better with all of his symptoms, had bought a dehumidifier, cleaned up all the visible mold with a mask, and was looking diligently for a new place.

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