Fungii or mold in food and the indoor environment can be very challenging to avoid, should you be one of those who become symptomatic upon exposure. Here is one family’s story that may be helpful.
Creating a healthy inside environment for yourself and an unhealthy environment for mold can be accomplished. The following guidelines will help decrease incidence of mold in your office or home:
- Decrease humidity. Mold growth is discouraged when humidity is kept below 45% with a temperature around 70-75 degrees, but it is better controlled if the humidity is below 30%.
- Keep temperatures moderate
- Increase light
- Keep air circulating with plenty of fresh air. Use fans if necessary
- Keep food cold or frozen when storing
- Regularly clean heating/air conditioning ducts and coils
- Keep kitchen and bathroom dry, well vented, and cleaned with mold retardants
- Keep closets tidy, and don’t store clothes or shoes that are damp
- Use HEPA/electrostatic filters in central system or portable ones in specific rooms
- Keep indoor plants to a minimum in mold-free soil
- Keep landscape clean. A filtration mask can help reduce mold exposure when working in the garden or yard. If tolerated, a 3-M mask with 99.97% efficiency at .3 microns will remove mold.
Foods to Avoid:
- All Sugars!
- Dried fruit; raisons, apricots, prunes, figs, etc.
- Aged cheese of any kind – Some cheeses are acceptable if milk is tolerable, e.g., cottage cheese, mozzarella, provolone, ricotta and farmer’s cheese.
- Mushrooms or fungi whatsoever, such as truffles, even avoid sprouts.
- Leftovers- Eat within 24 hours, unless frozen (microwave frozen food to thaw quickly).
- Breads. Malted means moldy. Dough conditioners are moldy. Sourdough or sourdough starter is the worst. (Sometimes labeled yeast-free) Bread develops surface mold within a day. Some tortillas, biscuits, muffins, cakes and cookies are usually yeast free, yet high in sugar content. You can buy sprouted bread with no yeast (Not sourdough) at the health food store.
- Sauerkraut. It has been fermented.
- Tomato Products; Juice, sauce, paste, ketchup, etc., are made from moldy tomatoes.
- Beer – The darker the beer, the more mold it contains.
- Wine & Wine Vinegar – White wine is least moldy; clear vinegar may be tolerated.
- Liquor – Vodka, tequila, clear rums are least moldy.
- Be careful of multi-B Vitamins – Many contain either yeast or mold (Rice hulls are moldy). Some are OK.
- Cider or fruit juice (juice contains mold as it is made with old fruit).
- Pickled and smoked meats and fish, including processed delicatessen foods, sausages, salami, bologna, frankfurters, corned beef and pickled tongue.
- Melons, except watermelon if very fresh and eaten same day.
Because so many things may contain mold/yeast, a strict diet such as suggested above should only be maintained for a short time, partly to confirm if this is a problem. Better to be strict for a while and discover if there is a connection for you, rather than haphazard / incomplete and remaining uncertain.
Fungal / Mold Avoidance can help with the following
The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, which is the species most commonly found in pillows, is also the most likely to cause disease. The resulting syndrome, aspergillosis, has become the leading infectious cause of death in leukemia patients. Fungi can also worsen asthma.
Both feather and synthetic pillows were examined for a study, and thousand of spores of fungus per gram of used pillow were discovered – well over a million spores per pillow. The pillows studied were ones that had between 1.5 and 20 years of regular use. Four to sixteen different species were identified in each sample looked at, with higher numbers found in synthetic pillows. Bread and vine molds, as well as fungi usually found on damp walls and in showers were found in addition to the Aspergillus.
Aspergillosis usually infects the lungs and sinuses, although it can spread to other organs such as the brain. It is very difficult to treat. Immuno-compromised patients can easily die of Aspergillus pneumonia or sinusitis.
Since Aspergillus can also worsen asthma and cause allergic sinusitis, constant exposure to fungus in bed could be problematic even for relatively healthy people. [University of Manchester October 14, 2005]
A high quality water, mold and spore proof pillow cover can be used under your pillow case that will prevent you from breathing any contaminants that are in your pillow. Conventional washing, even with boiling water, will not kill the spores in your pillow, so purchasing a new pillow and/or using a special cover is advised.
|Likely to help|
A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.