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The mould dodgers: How Australians are moving out of their homes and living in tents miles from civilisation to avoid coming into contact with fungus

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by Sly Saint, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Australians are going to extreme lengths to avoid coming into contact with mould.

    Known as 'mould avoiders', they are a group of individuals who become severely sick when they are around mould.

    Richard Barry, 32, has had to spend most of his days constantly aware of his surroundings in order to avoid a reaction.

    Mr Barry spent years of his life in and out of doctors' offices in an attempt to figure out why he was always feeling sick and exhausted, Nine News reported.

    A mould infestation inside his home was so intense that Richard Barry (pictured) began to notice concerning neurological symptoms

    Mr Barry first began to be affected by mould when his family moved into a home in Balgowlah, on Sydney's northern beaches, that was high in humidity (stock image)

    At just 17 years of age, he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and soon fell down a 'rabbit hole' trying to find a cure."

    'diagnosed with chronic fatigue' :yawn:

    full article here:
  2. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Has anyone attempted to systematically look at the condition or conditions triggered by mould?

    It seems to be there are a range of possibilities in how it may relate to ME:

    1. mould exacerbates pre existing ME, so it does not cause ME but does make the symptoms worse (avoiding mould would lessen symptoms but not eliminate the condition)
    2. mould exposure triggers the onset of ME, somehow comparable other triggers such as an acute infection (avoiding mould may subsequently have no impact on the ongoing symptoms)
    3. mould triggers symptoms that mimic ME (avoiding mould should eliminate all symptoms, though given we have no definitive test lab test for ME we may not be able to distinguish at present something that mimics ME versus something that triggers ME, unless symptoms can be shown to be totally dependant on the presence of mould, studying this may still be relevant to understanding ME)
    4. mould triggers symptoms that overlap with ME but the response is distinct from ME (careful case studies should find differences between the two conditions)
    5. mould has no significant health impacts, but is misinterpreted as a causal factor by people with a chronic condition, getting dangerously near a BPS approach (avoiding mould has no effect on level of symptoms)

    Studying this must be very difficult as how do you evaluate levels of exposure to mould in an individual's total environment that includes many different locations, how do you assess the impact of different species of mould or can you ethically expose people to mould in a controlled environment if there is a suspected or presumed adverse response to mould? Is whether mould is active or just dormant spores a relevant issue? Would it be necessary to somehow remove residual amounts of mould from a person's body even after avoiding all environmental exposure?

    I suspect the only option would be to try different groups in a totally mould free environment, comparing say those with a presumed mould intolerance/allergy/response, with people with ME resulting from an known non-mould trigger (eg an acute infection) and with people with a comparably disabling condition from other causes (eg MS). Possibly blinded by having three parallel identical conditions where mould has not been totally eliminated.
    andypants and Inara like this.
  3. Inara

    Inara Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I think point 5 can be ruled out. It is already known that mould is dangerous (of course not in nanograms...).
    andypants and Peter Trewhitt like this.

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