The adverse effects of some common fungi or mould on our health have been known for a long time. Back in 2004 the American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued a paper showing that among fungi-related health problems, the following symptoms are common:
Concentration difficulties, memory problems, headaches, anxiety, depression, irritability, vision problems, disturbed sleep, dizziness, muscle problems such as fibromyalgia, fatigue or weakness, numbness or pins and needles, joint problems or bone pain, sinusitis, IBS or other gastrointestinal problems, breathing difficulties, laryngitis, feelings of nausea, skin rashes, nerve problems like getting the shakes, heart palpitations, vasculitis, angio-oedema (swelling beneath the skin). Some of these symptoms may be surprising. If you look up vasculitis, for example, it is usually supposed that an immune system dysfunction causes the body to attack the veins and arteries. Few doctors would think a fungus could be responsible.
There is still a lot we don’t know about the effects of fungi on the body, since the causes of many common disorders remain unknown, or the symptoms may be treated allopathically without getting rid of or even diagnosing the cause of the problem. It may therefore be worthwhile occasionally self-treating for fungal infection in the same way that we do worming for pets.
One of the problems is that fungi are commonly not even considered as the possible infection agent and therefore not diagnosed. Many drugs are therefore taken in vain, simply to alleviate symptoms, when the really effective therapy would be to get rid of the fungus responsible. There are antigen test which look for a certain molecule that some fungi can shed into the blood, but these tests are often not performed. And many fungi can be found by growing a culture of a sample taken from, say, the patients saliva. Often, patient’s own research may discover a possible fungal cause after the medical profession has basically given up.
Another basic problem is that we do not seem to have developed a symbiotic relationship with any fungi other than those we deliberately eat, or use for baking or brewing, so the others may be harmful when they get into the body and can often multiply easily and spread systemically. Serious infections by fungi such as Aspergillus and Pneumocystis are common. Candida, Histoplasmosis, Crvptococcus, Blastomyces and Coccidioides can infect otherwise healthy people. Trichophyton and Malassezia commonly cause minor skin infections like dandruff and athlete’s foot.
The effects of a fungal infection can vary greatly from person to person depending on the patient’s immune system. Often, people with very healthy immune systems can fight off the fungal infection on their own. Others such as the old, weak, or immune-compromised can become very ill as a result of fungal infection.