Difficult to determine long-term effects of mould

Kali Simmonds
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Question: My daughter has asthma and it was aggravated by the mould at school. Are there long-term effects even after mould exposure has ceased?

Answer: According to Health Canada, health problems related to mould will cease once an individual is removed from that environment, in the same way that you observed she was better away from school.

As far as long-term effects, that depends on what changes occurred in her body when her immune system was affected by mould. For example, if she took an antibiotic for a bacterial infection she contracted because her immune system was compromised by mould or she was given one unnecessarily for symptoms that were mould- or viral-related and if her digestive system has never been the same since, then it may be hard to measure whether the effects are lasting or not.

Starting or increasing an inhaled steroid to control asthma has an immunosuppressive effect, making her more susceptible to infection. I have patients who describe their health as never being the same since they lived in a mouldy house or basement apartment.

Possible manifestations of this are new chemical sensitivities, being ultra sensitive to mould and smells and having weakened immunity. So ensure your home does not have elevated mould levels. 

I have seen a strong correlation between cow dairy or other food allergies, certain nutrient deficiencies (vitamin B6, B12, magnesium and omega 3) and asthma. Excess sugar impairs immune function by inhibiting entry of vitamin C into neutrophils (a type of white blood cell), so limit sugar consumption.

Organizations: Health Canada

Geographic location: Charlottetown, The Guardian

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    January 19, 2012 - 10:50

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