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Articles

Triggers for a Mold Allergy

Posted on 13 April, 2020 at 15:00 Comments comments (1312)

By Autumn Frandsen N.D.

Originally published on the Ohio Naturopathic Doctors Association website 

The symptoms of a mold allergy are the same as with any type of respiratory allergy: sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes/nose/throat, nasal congestion, cough or post nasal drainage, headache, rash, even asthma. Only some types of mold spores actually cause a reaction but a mold allergy can be challenging because mold is common and thrives in so many places. A mold allergy can be year-round or flare up when the weather is damp and rainy or you are in a damp space.

What grows mold is moisture- but here are some other places to consider where you might see your mold allergy flare up: 

  • Large warehouse stores
  • Greenhouses, florists, farms, the “petting zoo”
  • Antique stores
  • Construction sites

Tip - Before you go back-to-school shopping, take your allergy medication or bring a dust mask. For those with a mold allergy or sensitivity, just touching or inhaling mold spores can provoke a reaction.

  • Outdoor sources of Mold
  • Piles of leaves (yes, you meant to pick them up)
  • Mowing over that pile of leaves from last Fall
  • Wood piles
  • Dirty gutters

Tip - Shower and wash your hair thoroughly after exposure and outdoor activities, especially before going to bed. Dirty gutters can be a breeding ground for mold so take advantage of the warm months and get out there and clean them.

Places in the house where mold can grow:

  • A leaky faucet, no matter how small the drip
  • Refrigerator drip pan
  • Door seals
  • Kitchen trash can
  • Recycling trash can
  • Damp bathroom
  • Cabinet under the sink
  • Damp basement- and what may be lurking there
  • Moisture in walls and carpet
  • Houseplants

Tip - Hanging out in the basement during the summer may keep you cooler but a damp basement can be a very moldy place. Lower the humidity in the house by turning up the thermostat or running a dehumidifier. And take a look at what you’re storing down there- Mold can grow on old papers, bedding, toys, and clothes. Keep things in air-tight, water-proof containers, so mold can't sneak in. Always run the exhaust fans to ventilate bathrooms and the kitchen. Choose flooring such as linoleum or concrete that doesn’t hold in moisture. Use high HEPA air filters on air conditioners and change them frequently.

Other sources of mold

Molds can grow on dirt in houseplants or on certain foods and wine.

Tip - Mold can be avoided by wearing a mask when taking off the top layer of the soil in a plant's pot where mold usually grows. Foods to avoid include pork, wine, mushrooms, jams, jellies, potatoes, coffee, sauerkraut and dairy products.

Once you identify the source it can be fixed, and one source of mold eliminated. There may be several different sources of mold and it is best to reduce your exposure to the mold. A patient can improve tremendously as we slowly identify and correct each mold problem over the course of months with mold allergy treatment. Allergies affect both the immune system and the autonomic nervous system. NIHA'S dual allergy testing and treatment strategy addresses both the immune system response and the autonomic nervous system response to allergens like mold and provide symptom relief.

Self Love: Fall and a Time for Introspection

Posted on 27 October, 2017 at 14:45 Comments comments (156)

By Cora Stover, N.D.


Years ago, I read a book called Staying Healthy With the Seasons by Elson Haas. It provided a great beginning to the road I would choose to travel, and provided me with this insight: Each season has emotions and thoughts that are very healthy to have. During each season, there is space to allow certian feelings and moments, just like yin and yang there is a little of everything in each of us, and we must keep the balance.


Fall is a time for introspection, it is a time that plants take their nutrients from their leaves and bring them down to their roots to protect the plant from frost, starvation, and destruction. So where one part appears to have died, there is another part that is thriving, preparing and growing. Life is surrounded by beauty and wonder, if we choose to take a moment, acknowledge it, and ponder it. Life may seem mundane should we not stop to smell the roses, or kick up the fallen leaves. Fall is the time to look inward instead of outward for contemplation, to reserve resources, to process death or change, and to start a different type of growth.


It is the time when we use our couches to hide under our blankets of warmth, to cuddle, or to read a book with a hot cup of tea in the cool air. We keep the windows open, even though we are covered in our warm and fuzzies. We inspire to have those last moments of longer days, the sunshine coming in through the leaves, and the fresh fall air filling our nostrils and lungs. With introspection and contemplation, many of us may experience a sense of sadness or become depressed. Emotions that we deem negative are necessary for change to occur. We must grieve in order to let people, places, and things go. This is so that we may embrace our existence now, to be able to move ahead and blossom come spring. It is important to have self love and care for ourselves. We must allow ourselves and others the space and time to heal, to contemplate or think about the way of life, to compare our deepest most hidden desires. If we are not happy then we must figure out what we need to do to change, so that we may feel fulfilled.


If negative feelings are overwhelming and you are trying to make sense of them, or perhaps you are just looking for other ways to keep fall interesting and healthy, we would like to help you. Please contact us at Velise Total Health to make an appointment. We are always here to support your health needs, no matter what season it is!

The Cheapest Cure for Anxiety

Posted on 21 January, 2014 at 16:55 Comments comments (1912)

By Autumn Frandsen, N.D.


Almost daily a patient rattles off a list of complaints with anxiety being included 90 percent of the time. Often, it is dismissed by the patient and his or her former doctors as a personality trait, a problem that has been with the patient for so long they have adopted it as part of who they are. For some, anxiety is a new phenomenon that hits them suddenly like a Mack truck.

 What Contributes to Anxiety

When I question the patient about when it began there is almost always a trigger, however anxietyinsidious it may be. Some may have experienced it for the first time when a challenging milestone is reached, such as entering high school or college. For some it crept up on them after moving into a new home or the birth of their children. Although all of these have different precipitating factors, they may not be handled drastically differently. For the women who slowly started to feel worse after the birth of a child they may notice that can no longer find time to exercise, or they are not eating as well as they used to. With the stress of pregnancy and birthing a woman’s body, i.e. the adrenals, may not be able to cope with the consumption of allergenic foods like they once did. Whatever the exact cause one thing is certain, exercise and an anti-inflammatory/elimination diet will undoubtedly help.

Food, Inflammation and Stress

When a person is inflamed, their muscles become tight, causing them to hold onto toxins and producing physical pain. The pain alone is enough to make someone anxious. That aside, the body is less capable of detoxifying and the recirculation of these toxins causes inflammation in numerous sites, stressing the body. When the body is stressed, it is in a sympathetic state which means that all parasympathetic functions are downregulated, such as digestion. When foods are not digested properly they can escape through the lining of the gut and cause a heightened allergic response, i.e. more stress on the body. Reducing the reaction-causing foods one eats will reduce the stress on the body, thereby reducing anxiety. Exercise can be just as important (and cost effective) in treating anxiety as it promotes bowel movements and detoxification, increases the parasympathetic (relax) response post workout and causes fat cells to release and anxiety causing toxins they may be holding onto.

 

So when you are feeling stressed or anxious, a cheap and easy cure may just be to slow down, assess your diet, and take a lovely walk around the block.