I think I have finally figured out the actual cause of the onset to my M.E.. I have always thought it was a combination of things, which it possibly was, however, I am now 99% certain that a reaction to mould played a huge part in it.
In 1997, my best friend and I moved into rented accommodation. I became quite seriously ill, being diagnosed with Post Viral Syndrome and asthma. It was not until towards the end of our occupancy that we discovered that the flat had a rather serious mould problem (the landlord had hidden it behind furniture). Mysteriously, when I moved in to new accommodation I recovered from both diagnoses. I forgot about it, as you do.
Three years later, I moved in to another house with two friends. This house also had a mould problem. As it happens this time it was my own fault. I was bored, so decided to decorate the living room; pulling the wallpaper down revealed a huge patch of mould on the wall. The landlord assured us that it had been treated. However, treated or not, the spores were now released throughout the house, and my health deteriorated as a result. This is when I became severely ill, developing M.E..
The reason this has come to my attention is because I have been doing some research over the last few days. It has become apparent that the house in which I am staying, C's house, has a mould problem. In at least one room we believe the walls to be mouldy. In another room we discovered mould riddled old wood underneath the floor. What else there could be we are not yet sure, but need to find out rather urgently. I am once again bed-bound, I can barely support my own weight. I am having headaches, constantly coughing, I've become sensitive to light, sound, the cat, all because I've been exposed to spores again.
I have learnt that I probably suffer from a condition called Mycotoxicosis. Mycotoxins are produced by moulds. Mycotoxicosis is a severe reaction to prolonged exposure to mycotoxins (or moulds). The result being that when one is exposed to moulds again, the reaction is a lot more severe than that of an ordinary person. This would be why I can tangibly taste mould in the air when I walk in to a room with mould present, but most other people cannot. I am a lot more sensitive to it, presumably the bodies mechanism of protecting itself.
I have read in several places that prolonged exposure to mould can cause chronic fatigue. Most simply say 'chronic fatigue', one or two have been more specific and said CFS or M.E.. Bingo! I believe I have my answer.
Below you will find a list of symptoms associated with mycotoxicosis. The website from which I have taken these is linked in the blog posts title for you. It states that you should expect to meet eight of the 36 symptoms listed if you have mycotoxicosis. I display 27. Admittedly, the majority I now meet may well be because they are part of the M.E. that I have developed as a result.
"The following are a list of the most common symptoms of fungal exposure (bear in mind, people never fit all of below criteria). Most people with some forms of Mycotoxicosis meet at least 8 (recent symptoms) of the following criteria:
- Fibromyalgia/mps (and several correlated symptoms)
- Respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, sinusitis
- Difficulty swallowing, choking, spitting up (vomiting) mucous
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Burning in the throat and lungs (similar to acid reflux and often misdiagnosed as such)
- Asthmatic signs; wheezing, shortness in breath, coughing, burning in lungs, etc.
- Irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, diarrhea, sharp abdominal pains, stomach lesions
- Bladder, liver, spleen, or kidney pain
- Dark or painful urine
- Dirt-like taste in mouth, coated tongue
- Food allergies/leaky gut syndrome/altered immunity
- Memory loss; brain fog, slurred speech, occasionally leading to dementia
- Vision problems
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Large boils on neck (often a sign of anaphylaxis)
- Yellowing of nails, ridges, or white marks under nail
- Thyroid irregularities, sometimes leading to complete dysfunction; adrenal problems
- Anxiety/depression, heart palpitations - confusion, PTSD
- Extreme blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides irregularities
- Ringing in ears, balance problems (very common), dizziness, loss of hearing (aspergillus niger)
- Chronic fatigue (also included under this classification directional confusion)
- Intermittent face flushing; almost always systemic, Called the Mylar Flush (neurological))
- Night head sweats, and drooling while sleeping, profuse sweating
- Multiple chemical sensitivity; only upon exposure to Stachybotrys and Chaetomium
- Nose bleeds (stachybotrys)
- Bruising/scarring easily; rash or hives, bloody lesions all over the skin (Often systemic, see images; skin)
- Reproductive system complications; infertility, changes in menstrual cycles, miscarriage
- Sudden weight changes (Detoxifier genotypes tend to gain weight, non-detoxifier genotypes tend to lose weight)
- Hair loss, very brittle nails, temporary loss of fingerprints (in rare cases)
- Joint/muscle stiffness and pain
- Irregular heart beat/heart attack
- Seizures, inadvertent body jerking, twitching, inadvertent facial movements or numbness in face
- Hypersensitivity when re-exposed to molds, which can lead to anaphylaxis
- Anaphylaxis upon re-exposure to mycotoxin producing molds
- Death, in extreme cases"
It is alarming. I think most people are aware that moulds can be dangerous, but I don't think people realise how serious it can be. The reason this house currently has such a severe problem is because C went underneath the floorboards here and dragged out a lot of wood that was absolutely covered in mould. I had told him what the protocol for doing such a job was, but he did not follow it. As such I can only conclude that he did not believe the severity of the situation. And I am now bed-bound. Again.