Did you know that excessive mould could be the surprising culprit behind some of your health problems?
We know it’s gross, gives you the ick and seems to make every small cold a thousand times worse.
But we’re not talking about the classic respiratory issues – sneezing, coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, worsening asthma and allergies etc etc – but conditions you’ve probably never connected to mould before.
Apparently, if you have a lot of mould (you know, that fungus that grows in damp and human environments) could affect your very hormone balance.
That means your periods could be out of whack, or you could suffer from erectile dysfunction.
The online pharmacy Chemist Click explained that some mould which grows in human climates and grows on water-damaged buildings, furniture and upholstery, can have estrogen-like properties.
That means it can affect your own hormones, as its spores are released into the air and can then be inhaled or touch the skin.
Superintendent pharmacist Abbas Kanani, MRPharmS, said: “Low testosterone levels can cause erectile dysfunction in men.
“This can also impact sleep patterns, mood and testicle size, as well as cause loss of armpit and public hair and low or zero sperm count.”
Women are also affected by low testosterone levels, possibly resulting in weight gain, low libido and mood swings.
Hormone changes also put pressure on adrenal glands, so you can get an increase in cortisol levels.
This is the main stress hormone. It can trigger a response which disrupts the maintenance of your metabolism, immune system and reproductive health.
High cortisol can lead to decreased sex drive and irregular menstrual cycles, too.
Kanani added that mould also disrupts your endocrine system, which is how your body coordinates metabolism, energy levels, reproduction, growth, development and response to injury, stress and mood.
If there is an imbalance in this system, fatigue, weakness, weight fluctuation can follow.
Of course, many of these conditions can be triggered by things other than mould, including physical or psychological factors.
But, between 120,000 and 160,000 out of the four million social homes in England face damp and mould, according to the Regulator of Social Housing.
So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to keep the humidity levels in your home as low as possible, with adequate air flow and checking for leaks to prevent mould infestations.