Erik Johnson, the very first mold warrior, has been seeking to educate researchers and the general public about the dangers of toxic mold since 1985. He has devoted his life to this cause, and I applaud him for his efforts and the groundwork he has laid for the mold community. He teaches mold avoidance and how to survive mold illness. Erik most often can be found climbing mountains, or teaching others how to climb the mountains in their lives. Listen to his story. He will be heard, he is Somebody.
Erik Johnson knew toxic mold was a significant factor in his illness. He found clusters of mystery malady in locations where toxic mold was lurking and told researchers to study the link between CFS and toxic mold way back in the 1980’s. Erik served as a prototype for the Holmes CFS definition, as he was one of the 160 who became ill in the Lake Tahoe incident.
Erik walked out of the ampligen program, an experimental immune modulating drug treatment for CFS, to try mold avoidance instead, and within six months, climbed Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA, to demonstrate his level of recovery. In the years since, has taken many people with CFS on a “CFS History Mold Tour” and showed them how to do the same.
We polled 144 Facebook Toxic Mold Support Group Members
91% of those polled believed that their exposure to toxic mold played a significant role in their development of ME/CFS.
8% Percent was unsure if mold had played a significant role
1% percent felt that mold was not a significant factor in their development of ME/CFS.
Of course this does not mean mold is ALWAYS a significant factor or the ONLY factor in ME/CFS. What it does tell us is that mold CAN be a cause and needs to be considered by those who have ME/CFS. Toxic mold can be hidden and despite what many think toxic mold can even be lurking in new homes, it can be behind walls, and it can be directly affecting your health. Have you tested your environment to see if it is causing your symptoms? It could be just that simple..
A NY University delivered a low dose of toxic Stachybotrys into the noses of mice three times per week. After three weeks, the mice didn’t appear sick, However, they had difficulty remembering a fearful place and were more anxious than normal counterparts. (Science News, 2014)
In 2003 a study on molds and mycotoxins in building-related illnesses found that 70 percent of patients had physical signs and symptoms of neurological dysfunction (e.g., inability to stand on the toes or to walk a straight line with eyes closed, as well as short-term memory loss). (Environmental Health Center Dallas, 2003)
A groundbreaking Brown University study found a link between damp, moldy homes and depression. This came after a few UK studies discovered a link. (Brown University, 2007)
Face Book Groups Reveal Their Symptoms
Based on all of this it should be no surprise that the vast majority of you experienced Memory Loss just like the mice. What was interesting about the poll results is that it is clear the brain is deeply impacted by toxic mold exposure. When the majority of you also experienced depression it only strengthens this conclusion. When number three and four are dizziness and headache again we are dealing with brain symptoms. Mold affects our cognition, and our our overall physical well being. This poll causes me to ask how many patients who are seeing Mental Health Doctor’s are not really suffering from mental illness, but rather from toxic mold or other toxic environmental exposure? The studies have been in for years, and now our poll is in. Real victims, telling a real story…. We are not crazy!! It’s not just in our head. Mold profoundly impacts brain function, maybe more than we ever realized.
There are so many others to add. We will need to re-poll the groups with all these great answers. One that was on there and may have been forgotten by other groups was suicidal thoughts. I hear many talk about this, but sometimes when picking symptoms we forget.. (I mean we are moldies, check the number one symptom, if you have already forgotten what it is) 😉 I would like to re-poll in the future so that we are all picking from the same list and can get a more accurate count.