Diet Modifications Helped My Son
Also see: Allergies
- Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Home
I think that diet is a very important, yet often overlooked factor in
mold allergy treatment. Besides trying to get rid of all of the mold and
mildew in our house, listed below are the diet tips and changes we made
that seemed to help my son get over the headaches and itching he would
get whenever he was around mold.
- We kept a food diary
of everything he ate and looked for patterns. From his diet journal
we found that he did better on low fat, acid producing, high protein
foods. (Click here to read my section on acidic
foods and alkaline foods.) He didn't have to stay on this diet for
ever, just a few months until he stopped having so many problems being
Foods that he especially
needed to avoid were:
- Hot dogs
- Most nuts, especially
pistachios and cashews
- Anything with yeast
- breads, bagels, etc.
- Raw vegetables and
- Saturated fats, including
- High vitamin A and high
provitamin A beta-carotene foods - especially carrots, liver and
- Fruit juices
- Refined grains
- Foods and supplements that
seemed to help him were:
- Probiotic supplements
- Chinese pickled cabbage
- Cooked vegetables
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sugar always made him especially
itchy. I think this is because fungus (mold is a subset of fungi)
tend to thrive in alkaline, sugary environments.
- Interestingly, my son's
foods to avoid list that we developed from his food journal ended up
coinciding with the lists of foods that are often mentioned as
migraine headache triggers. He had to avoid these foods for
about a month until his mold allergies subsided, and then he could start
eating them again without getting headaches or itches.
- For a good article on the
links between systemic yeast infections, and sensitivity to molds, dampness
and smells see Nutritional
Program for Yeast Syndrome by Elson M. Haas M.D.
- In my son's case, allergy
testing for mold wasn't very enlightening. I think that is because there
are thousands of types of molds and yeast, so any testing only covers
a very small portion of of the possible mold allergens.
- My son's health issues came
on the heels of a month long course of antibiotics for a chronic
sinusitis. Antibiotics can actually contribute to systemic mold
and yeast infections because along with getting rid of the pathogenic
bacteria, they also eliminate the body's good bacteria that keep members
of the fungus family in check.
- We had the whole family
tested for nutritional deficiencies. The one difference between our
son with the extreme mold allergies and the rest of us who were not
as bothered as much by mold was that my younger son had a magnesium
deficiency. Interestingly, he was also the only person in the family
bothered by frequent headaches and multiple chemical sensitivities,
other conditions which are commonly linked todeficiencies of this mineral
in the medical literature.
- We tried a liver detox
diet for my son and that seemed to help, too. From browsing around
on the Internet, it seems like itching issues are not only associated
with mold allergies, but also almost any condition that stresses the
liver (high amounts of vitamin A from high beta carotene foods like
carrots and pumpkins, being overweight, high levels of saturated fat,
hypothyroidism, ingesting a lot of dyes and other chemicals, etc.).
I think this is because when the liver isn't working properly or gets
overloaded, it can't handle the toxins produced by molds as well as
it would when it is operating at peak efficiency.
- When my son's itching from
mold and other allergies was at its worst, plus when I found myself
itching, too, we both noticed that the soles of our feet were bright
orange. I researched that condition on the Internet and found that
it can happen as a result of ingesting too
much vitamin A or beta-carotene. Interestingly, after reading up
on beta-carotene and vitamin A, we recalled that our son's first itching
episode had occurred right after he ate pumpkin pie. Initially, I thought
he was allergic to a preservative in the pie, but now I'm not so sure
that was the cause. I now believe it may have been just from all of
the vitamin A in the pumpkin.
He and I both used to eat a lot of carrots and other vegetables high
in provitamin A beta-carotene, which gets converted to vitamin A and
stored in the liver. In know now that one carrot has over 400% of the
daily recommended dose of vitamin A from beta-carotene, and we were
each eating several carrots a day. If
the liver gets saturated with vitamin A, then the skin begins to take
on a yellowish tint, especially in the palms and soles of feet. And
when the liver isn't functioning well, itching often occurs. So mold
may have been what triggered our itching, but it was not a singular
factor. An overloaded liver seemed to be part of our problems
as well as exposure to mold.
The people in our family,
my husband and older son, who did not eat a lot of carrots and did not
have orange feet, did not have the same problems with mold as
my younger son and I did, even though they were living in the same house
and were exposed to the same levels of mold and mildew. I think this
was because their bodies were just better able to deal with any mold
because their livers were working better.
Many medical processionals say that vitamin A overdose can only come
from taking too much vitamin A from supplements, but I question this
generalization based on our experience. My son and I certainly had too
much vitamin A in our bodies. I checked with my son's pediatrician and
she agreed that his feet were indeed orange compared to the average
patient, and she advised us to have him cut back on vitamin A and beta
carotene rich foods such as carrots until his feet returned to a normal
color. However, neither my son nor I ever ever
took any supplements - not even multivitamins. All we did was eat many
foods high in beta carotene like carrots and pumpkin.
In any event, one of
the things that we believe helped decrease our itching from mold allergies
was to cut out foods with beta carotene and vitamin A for awhile.
I think it helped to de-stress our livers, leaving them better able
to deal with the toxins from every day mold and mildew. We did notice
that the skin, and especially foot itching that happened around mold
decreased in conjunction with our feet returning to a normal color.
- During the time my son was
having mold allergy issues, he also had a lot of sinus infections. Recent
studies have shown that people with chronic sinus infections. See below to read my section on sinus infections.
Also see: Mold
Allergies - Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Home