Mold is a microscopic organism or fungi that grows in damp environments. Most molds are not harmful to humans, but certain species are considered toxic or harmful to humans. Some mold can cause mycotoxin spores, which are dangerous chemical products created by fungi, to spread. These spores can interfere with cell and DNA function and can cause serious health risks, while other cause different allergies and illnesses. Toxic mold symptoms can affect vital body systems, including the immune system, the nervous and respiratory systems, the gastrointestinal track and the skin.
Skin irritation is one common toxic mold symptom, and redness or rashes, hives, dermatitis or inflammation, and chronic dandruff are common signs of exposure. In more serious cases, skin lesions — open skin sores or cuts — can develop. They eyes may become red, and the person may experience general irritability and itching of the skin, especially of the eyes, nose and throat. Symptoms that disrupt the gastrointestinal tract, on the other hand, can cause vomiting.
Respiratory problems associated with toxic mold include things like coughing; recurring colds or cold-like symptoms, including discharge from the nose, sneezing fits, and chronic cough; sinus problems; and breathing difficulties, such as asthma. In severe cases, hemorrhagic pneumonitis — inflammation and bleeding of the lungs — may occur and the individual may cough up blood.
Toxic mold can also cause problems with mental capabilities and energy. Exposure to some species can lead to memory loss, general irritability, or personality changes, while others can create sleep disturbances, difficulties with speech patterns, general flu-like symptoms, and general malaise or fatigue, a feeling of illness, discomfort, and extreme tiredness. Toxic mold is also capable of causing inflammation of the joints which produces a general, chronic all-over pain, tremors or unintentional body movements, and headaches and vertigo.
Extreme toxic mold symptoms are capable of disturbing the central or peripheral nervous system. This means that any body system can be affected. In severe cases of toxic mold exposure, more serious and life-threatening illnesses, including kidney failure, seizures, brain damage, and certain types of cancers, can strike.