Mold and Children
Concerned about your children being sick from mold toxicity..
(A word before digging into how mold can affect children:
You may feel a little overwhelmed and stressed after the recent Toxic Mold Summit A great line up of both clinical types and environmental remediator types took the stage for several day offering a smorgasbord of information about mold toxicity. Now, what do you do with all that information? Should you run out the door screaming in your underwear and leave everything behind?
Short answer…. NO! You should simply keep coming back to Sanctuary’s Facebook Live sessions every other week about mold toxicity and read our regular blog posts about mold toxicity and a ton of other chronic health issues. Bring your questions. Hear from myself, Dr. Eric Potter Functional MD, who has walked both sides of the mold toxicity line in caring for my family and for hundreds of patients. While I can’t diagnose or treat non-patients by Facebook, I will do my best to educate and empower you in the journey of healing from mold toxicity. Over the coming weeks, I will review several of the Mold Summit’s sessions with additional information from our experience and study.)
Now for the meat of today’s blog.
My children’s health decline is what opened my eyes to mold toxin’s effects on my family’s health. My daughter’s anxiety episodes and obsessions leading to tears and insomnia resulted in an ERMI test that showed mold in our rental home. It also clicked that her food sensitivities were likely caused by mold as well.That led to realizing another child’s math skilles were suffering from the same. Then another daughter’s random pains and night terrors became suspect as another symptom of mold in our midst.
Hearing Dr. Shetreat talk about her own children’s neurologic and food sensitivity challenges hit home. I felt for her as a parent watching their children suffer and not getting help from conventional medicine. I am thankful she eventually received real help. So many of our patients at Sanctuary get the same run around. Some are even laughed at by conventional doctors for asking if mold might be the issue.
I would second her description of children often presenting with allergic symptoms such as eczema, asthma, hay fever, or food allergies. Adults also experience many of these symptoms, but children are more allergic while adults are more sensitive. The allergic symptoms come more from IgE antibodies and the sensitivities come more from IgG antibodies. Both can experience mast cell symptoms leading migraines, hives, random pains, and GI symptoms.
The other common presentations for children are the neuro-psychiatric symptoms such as Attention Deficit, behavioral changes, Obsessive Compulsive symptoms, and school problems. For children, they may present with PANS or PANDAS. These are Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuro-psychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep respectively. Strep or other infections can trick the immune system into attack the children own brain tissue. Mold toxins can produce similar antibodies and symptoms triggering acute onset anxiety and OCD symptoms. Adults with mold toxicity may have neurologic and psychiatric symptoms but present differently than the children.
Something Dr. Shetreat did not discuss in-depth is how children are treated for mold toxicity and how they respond differently. First the good news… children often get better a lot faster than adults, sometimes in a few months although sometimes the neuropsychiatric symptoms take longer to resolve. Otherwise, their treatment is very similar.Once we confirm that mold toxins are behind the symptoms, we focus on separating the child from mold. The first step is always to remove the patient from the toxin source.
As the source is identified,support therapies at reduced doses versus adults are given. A gluten free diet is important to lower inflammation and lower any possible gluten antibodies that mold toxicity may have triggered. After optimizing nutrition with supplements and a low inflammatory diet, we work on removing toxins from the child with binders. Care must me taken to keep bowels regular, but between stool binders and urinary binders, the toxins can be lowered over a shorter time than adults. Adults have often had years of exposure and therefore require longer detox programs.
And again, kids often do well with detox. Although our current society is filling our environment with toxins,they fare better than the more common multi-toxic adult patient. It is so exciting to see children bloom out of the darkness of mold toxicity. We thank God that we get to be part of restoring health to children and their families.
Comeback soon for our next overview of the Toxic Mold Summit. If you have questions about this or other sessions of the summit, leave them here for our biweekly Q & A.
For anyone you know that doubts how severely mold toxicity can affect one’s health, here are a few links regarding the effects of mold toxins on brain health. Follow our page for more weekly resources.
Clin Ther. 2018 Jun;40(6):903-917. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 Jun 5.
Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes.
Ratnaseelan AM, Tsilioni I, Theoharides TC. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29880330
Doi, Kunio and Koji Uetsuka. “Mechanisms of mycotoxin-induced neurotoxicity through oxidative stress-associated pathways” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 12,8 (2011): 5213-37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179161/ FREE ONLINE
Hope, Janette H and Bradley E Hope. “A review of the diagnosis and treatment of Ochratoxin A inhalational exposure associated with human illness and kidney disease including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis” Journal of environmental and public health vol. 2012 (2011): 835059. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3255309/ FREE ONLINE
Shoemaker RC, House D, Ryan JC. Structural brain abnormalities in patients with inflammatory illness acquired following exposure to water-damaged buildings: a volumetric MRI study using NeuroQuant®. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2014 Sep-Oct;45:18-26.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.