What Does Mold Have to Do with PMS and Depression?

Molds impact millions of people across United States. They are ubiquitous and non-fastidious fungi that can replicate rapidly in warm and moist areas of homes, offices, retail spaces and other buildings. They multiply and produce spores that damage the appearance of the walls of the building. They are also associated with a variety of health conditions related to the respiratory tract including asthma and allergic reactions. Recent studies have also linked molds to other health conditions such as premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, and depression. These lesser known complications are often misdiagnosed. You may not receive the right treatment which can, in turn, aggravate your symptoms and prolong your condition.

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How Mold Influences PMS

PMS manifests itself differently in each woman. The same woman may have a different set of symptoms each month. Common indications may include abdominal discomfort, breast tenderness, aggression, lack of focus, body aches, weight gain, fatigue, irritation, anxiety, mood swings and tearfulness. The causes are often unknown, although fluctuating levels of hormones may be responsible for at least some of the problems. Most patients and even medical professionals do not associate molds with PMS symptoms. Recent studies have, however, indicated that mold infestation in the surrounding environment at home or work can aggravate your condition.

Molds excrete toxic substances known as mycotoxins (link). While some mycotoxins are used to make medicines and add flavor to cheese, others lead to unwanted immune reactions in your body. They are powerful neurotoxins as well, and cause inflammation of the brain tissue. This can impact sensitive areas in your brain including parts that suffered from previous head injuries and traumas.

Depending on the area of the brain that is impacted, mycotoxin-based inflammatory reactions can impact your vision and speech. They can also impact your ability to focus and communicate. Mycotoxins can also alter the chemistry of your brain. Patients can experience chronic fatigue, brain fog, aggressive behavior, irritation, insomnia and anxiety among other things. Other mycotoxins may inhibit your immune system and cause sugar cravings in your body, which in turn, promote the proliferation of pathogens within your body.

mold2The livers of women with PMS symptoms are unable to degrade and excrete estrogen through the process of methylation. The mycotoxins will get accumulated in the liver and lead to elevated toxic stress. This will further reduce the efficiency of the liver and cause the accumulation of estrogen. Excessive estrogen levels can lead to PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, uterine and abdominal bloating, irritation, fatigue, headache and gastrointestinal disturbances. They can also increase your risk of estrogen-related cancers.

Feeling Depressed? Check Your Home for Hidden Mold

The relationship between molds and depression involves two different aspects – physical and psychological. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in the year 2007 has revealed that molds lead to a variety of physical symptoms such as allergies, asthma, fatigue, and wheezing. While the symptoms are inconvenient and stressful, most people feel helpless as they cannot identify the actual cause for their symptoms as well as a possible solution. This perceived lack of control can lead to psychological symptoms including depression.

As stated earlier, the mycotoxins produced by molds cause inflammatory reactions in the your nervous system, and disrupt the production of neurotransmitters such as gamma-amino butyric acid, serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine. The neurotransmitters control your brain’s ability to focus and stay calm, and to process information efficiently. Abnormal neurotransmitter levels in the brain can manifest as fatigue, depression, brain fog, anxiety, aggression, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficiency, impaired speech, vision, and poor mental processing. Mycotoxins can also impact the temporal lobe of the brain, and increase the susceptibility of the brain to secondary infections caused by Streptococcus and other bacteria, which can in turn, lead to other serious complications.

Mold infestations are a common problem. Many homeowners may choose to clean and remove the molds themselves. This may, however, increase your risk of mold exposure and worsen your symptoms. You should, therefore, seek the services of a professional mold removal company. Their trained technicians have the tools and expertise to handle even the toughest infestations with ease. You should also contact your health care professional if you experience any health symptoms related mold exposure. Immediate diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference.

Helen Marino

Helen Marino is a health writer working with a NYC mold removal company IAC Moldbusters. She is a former nurse who turned to writing, and is now on the mission to raise awareness about the risks of mold exposure.

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