Category: Uncategorized

16 Symptoms of Immune System Problems or Autoimmune Disease

From: https://www.webmd.com/

When your immune system is on point, it’s a lifesaver. But as good as it may be, it’s not perfect. Sometimes, this group of special cells, tissues, and organs doesn’t act the way it should.  This is an auto-immune system disease.

If it kicks into action too often, you may get a condition like allergies, asthma, or eczema. Or if your immune system starts to attack your body instead of safeguarding it, you could have an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.

At least 80 illnesses are caused by immune system problems. They can all cause inflammation. But do you know the other warning signs?

Keep in mind that these possible clues can happen for many other reasons. To figure out what’s going on with your health, you’ll want to see your doctor.

Auto Immune Disease Can Devastate a Family

Auto Immune Disease Can Attack All Ages of People

  1. Cold Hands

If your blood vessels are inflamed, it can be harder for your fingers, toes, ears, and nose to keep warm. The skin in these areas may turn white, then blue, when you’re exposed to the cold. Once blood flow returns, the skin may then turn red.

Doctors call this “Raynaud’s phenomenon.” Immune system problems can cause it, but so can other things, including smoking, some prescription drugs, and conditions that affect your arteries.

  1. Bathroom Problems

Diarrhea that lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks can be a warning sign that your immune system is harming the lining of your small intestine or digestive tract.

Constipation is a concern, too. If your bowel movements are hard to pass, very firm, or look like they’re made up of small rabbit pellets, your immune system may be forcing your intestine to slow down. Other possible causes include bacteria, viruses, and other health conditions.

  1. Dry Eyes

If you have an autoimmune disorder, that means your immune system attacks your body instead of defending it. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are two examples.

Many people who have an autoimmune disorder find that they have dry eyes. You might feel a sandy, gritty feeling like something is in your eye. Or you may notice pain, redness, a stringy discharge, or blurred vision. Some people find they can’t cry even when they’re upset.

  1. Fatigue

Feeling extremely tired, like you do when you have the flu, could mean something’s going on with your body’s defenses. Sleep is unlikely to help. Your joints or muscles can ache, too. Again, there could be many other reasons why you feel this way.

  1. Mild Fever

If you’re running a higher temperature than normal, it could be that your immune system is starting to overwork. That can happen due to an oncoming infection or because you’re starting to have a flare of an autoimmune condition.

  1. Headaches

In some cases, headaches can be related to the immune system. For example, it could be vasculitis, which is inflammation of a blood vessel caused by an infection or autoimmune disease.

  1. Rash

Your skin is your body’s first barrier against germs. How it looks and feels can reflect how well your immune system is doing its job.

Itchy, dry, red skin is a common symptom of inflammation. So is a rash that is painful or doesn’t clear up. People with lupus often get a butterfly-shaped rash across their nose and cheeks.

  1. Joints Ache

When the lining inside your joints becomes inflamed, the area around them is tender to the touch. It might also be stiff or swollen, and it can happen with more than one joint. You may notice that it’s worst in the morning.

  1. Patchy Hair Loss

Sometimes the immune system attacks hair follicles. If you lose hair on your scalp, face, or other parts of your body, you could have a condition called alopecia areata. Strands or clumps of hair coming out can also be a symptom of lupus.

  1. Repeated Infections

If you need to take antibiotics more than twice a year (four times for children), your body may not be able to attack germs well on its own.

Other red flags: Chronic sinus infections, being sick with more than four ear infections in a year (for anyone over the age of 4), or having pneumonia more than once.

  1. Sensitive to Sun

People with an autoimmune disorder sometimes have an allergic reaction to ultraviolet (UV) rays called photodermatitis. You may get blisters, a rash, or scaly patches after being in the sun. Or you may get chills, a headache, or nausea.

  1. Tingling or Numbness in Your Hands and Feet

It can be completely innocent. But in some cases it can mean that your body is attacking nerves that send signals to your muscles. People who have Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance, may have numbness that starts in their legs then moves up to their arms and chest.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy has symptoms similar to the demyelinating form of GBS, (called acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or AIDP), but while GBS lasts two weeks to 30 days. CIPD lasts much longer.

  1. Trouble Swallowing

If you have a tough time getting food down, your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach) could be swollen or too weak to work well. Some people feel like food is stuck in their throat or chest. Others gag or choke when they swallow. One of the possible causes can be a problem with your immune system.

  1. Unexplained Weight Change

You find yourself gaining extra pounds even though your eating habits and workouts haven’t changed. Or the number on your scale may drop for no clear reason. It’s possible this is because of damage to your thyroid gland from an autoimmune disease.

  1. White Patches

Sometimes your immune system decides to fight the skin’s pigment-making cells, called melanocytes. If so, you’ll start to see white patches of skin on your body.

  1. Yellowing of Your Skin or Eyes

Called jaundice, it may mean that your immune system is attacking and destroying healthy liver cells. That can lead to a condition called autoimmune hepatitis.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 05, 2016

 

If you have an autoimmune disease, contact http://InspectorLab.com    to locate a professional to test your home for potential triggers that could affect the disease

SOURCES:

University of Rochester Medical Center, “Disorders of the Immune System.”

Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, “Autoimmune Diseases Fact Sheet.”

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, “Recurrent Infections May Signal Immunodeficiencies.”

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “Autoimmune Diseases.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Hygiene-Related Diseases: Diarrhea.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Vasculitis Syndromes of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Symptoms Fact Sheet.”

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Pathology, “Autoimmune Disease Research Center: Frequently Asked Questions.”

The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center, “Signs, Symptoms and Co-occuring Conditions.”

University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, “Fatigue.”

National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

National Institutes of Health, “Red Itchy Rash? Get the Skinny on Dermatitis.”

World Allergy Organization, “Diagnostic Approach to the Adult With Suspected Immune Deficiency.”

University of Maryland Medical Center, “Photodermatitis.”

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, “Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS.)”

University of Florida Health, “Raynaud’s Phenomenon.”

University of Michigan Health System, “Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia.)”

The IBS Treatment Center, “Constipation.”

National Eye Institute, “Facts About Dry Eye.”

NIH News in Health: “Dry Eyes and Mouth?” March 2012.

Review of Optometry, “When Autoimmune Disease Initiates Dry Eye.”

Lupus Research Institute, “Lupus and Your Skin.”

Arthritis Foundation, “Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms.”

© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Stopping the Spread of Colds, Flu and Other Communicable Diseases Because of Touchpoints

Identifying and cleaning touchpoints is the best practice to control the spread of germs in homes, schools, and businesses. Touchpoints are the places where germs can sit and wait to infect the next person.

             The “handshake” is the ultimate touchpoint where we transfer communicable diseases to each other in the name of greeting each other. We do this ritual everywhere from the workplace, and grocery store to our houses of worship. In times of communicable diseases, the elbow bump makes a lot more sense than the handshake.     

Lets Try to Not Spread Colds and the Flu

Lets Try to Not Spread Colds and the Flu

Other common touchpoints are light switches, doorknobs, the back of chairs, restaurant menus, faucet and refrigerator handles. Less obvious touchpoints are the food storage container, the juice bottle, the top of a chair you pull out or the kitchen counter. Use the office microwave or use a grocery store cart?  Well, you get the picture. of an illness.

The good news is that there are some excellent disinfection systems and programs that were originally designed for medical facilities that are now available for use in any type of property. Once we identify a risk, we can implement effective solutions for just about every cause of Sick Building Syndrome.

Suggestions for Stopping the Spread of Illness in the Home

                It is really, really hard to pay attention to details and healthy practices when we are sick with a nasty bug. The only way this works in most households is to put these habits into practice before there is a sick person in the home. If you don’t have disposable plates and cups in the cupboard before illness, you are not going to the store to buy them after you are tending the sick.

  • Get available vaccines
  • Wash or disinfect your hands frequently
  • Use paper or disposable plates and cups
  • Use disposable tissues as opposed to handkerchiefs
  • Have ill household members wear a mask to protect from spreading their illness
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth (viruses can transfer from your hands and into the
  • body).
  • Have children only handle toys that can be easily disinfected before being shared

Suggestions for Stopping the Spread of Illness in the Workplace

                  The best solution is to have a plan in place before dealing with the illness and human resource challenges that a sick workforce can bring to a professional organization. There are consultants that can set programs in place that can work for just about any facility. It is a matter of their establishing a system of communicating responsibility and direction for the workforce.

  • Create and communicate an infection control plan.
  • Use signage to remind visitors and co-workers of best practices
  • Wipe and disinfect all touchpoint surfaces and workspaces each day
  • Provide soap, sanitizing wipes and boxes of tissue at convenient locations
  • Put hand sanitizer and masks at the entries to the facilities
  • Remove magazines and papers from waiting areas or common rooms
  • Verify that ventilation and air filter systems are working properly

To find someone who can create a plan to control the outbreak of contagious diseases, go to http://www.InspectorLab.com

To Clean or Throw Out Moldy or Flooded Stuff

The Most Often Asked Questions are:

What Can You Keep or Clean after Flood or Mold Problems?  and What Needs Thrown Out?

Mold On Cabinets

Mold that needs properly cleaned

Food items that have been in contact or stored in areas with mold or water damage should be thrown away. Add a period and exclamation point to this statement.

Pool table needed felt top professionally cleaned

Expensive pool table that was loaded with mold under the table

Materials that have a solid surface such as plastic, glass or metal and no electronics or foam padding are easily cleaned and preserved. Soap and water or a commercial disinfectant is the simplest cleaning method. A mixture of 1/4 cup of Clorox to a gallon of water is another way to disinfect the hard-surfaced materials. Warning: Do not use a higher concentration of Clorox as it can result in injury to people, pets and the items the mixture contacts.

The short story is if contents are porous and flood contaminated or moldy they will probably need thrown away. This includes cardboard, carpet, padding, stuffed animals and upholstered furnishings. Mattresses and box springs are on that list.

The paper materials that did not get wet or damp and do not have visible mold or damaged may be preserved with simply HEPA vacuuming. Most paper products including books will need thrown out once moldy or wet from flooding.  For very valuable items such as a family bible, there is an expensive, but effective freeze-drying process that can preserve those items.

Clothing is eadily saved by washing in regular laundry detergent unless the fabric has been damaged. Mold will clean out of machine washable material. but damaged clothing is not restored to its original condition by washing.

Major and small appliances that have mold exposure but have not been under water may be saved with a professional cleaning.  Consult a professional about these items. As an example, a hard drive may be removed from a computer and salvaged but could be damaged if the powered on with moldy electronics.

All appliances both big and small that have been under any water will need replaced. The cost of cleaning some of these items will often exceed the cost of replacement. Failure to clean these can result in fires, health hazards or recontamination of the home.  Furnaces, hot water tanks, washing machines and the like are total losses if any part of the components have been under water.

When the Problem is “Just Mold, not Flooding”

Forced air furnaces can redistribute mold through an entire home after the property is cleaned. Furnace ductwork, blowers, cabinets need cleaned as a part of any mold remediation.                   Mold can and will live behind walls. Removal of house wall finishes may be required to get rid of the mold.  If you do this work yourself, learn and follow the principals of containment, negative air and air scrubbing.  Handling of mold contaminated materials should be done with personal protective equipment such as gloves, eye protection and masks.

There are materials used in the construction of homes that will require replacement as opposed to cleaning. Fiberboard, carpet and pad are examples. Some types of HVAC ductwork and insulation are other common examples.

Water events and ice buildups can result in damage to property, contents and occupant’s health. Professional advice that can save these materials is a bargain.  Contact   Inspector Lab      to locate a mold expert near you.  For a PDF print article on this subject, go to: https://goo.gl/FJvmDj

 

 

 

The Story of Cody The Mold Dog

Buddy is Not a Mold Dog

Pictured above: “Buddy the Sheltie” With Best Friend Noah, Buddy is a Handsome Dog, But Refused to go to Mold College

This story is serious and true.  There are mold dogs in many part of the country served by InspectorLab.  In fact, “Cody  the Mold Dog” was quite the competition for mold professionals in this author’s Pittsburgh PA market, at least it seemed at first consideration.  Other InspectorLab customers across the country have had similar experiences. Let me start with a little background. Then I will tell you my personal story of competing with “Cody, The Mold Dog”.

Background Story on Mold Dogs and Mold Dog College

Mold dogs are specifically trained to detect up to 18 types of mold. This should not surprise you. We have dogs to search for drugs, bombs, money, weapons, accelerants, and termites. Makes sense that dogs can be trained to detect mold too. According to the website http://www.mold-dog.com/about_us_detail.htm, hunting type dogs are best suited for this use. That would include Labs, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, Aussies, Beagles and combinations of these breeds.

“Buddy the Sheltie” Would Not Go to Doggy Mold College

Sadly, our dog, Buddy the Sheltie (Border Collie), never expressed the desire to be a mold dog and join me in the environmental profession. But then again, neither did any of our 6 children. It’s not for a lack of effort on my part. I did mention to Buddy the Sheltie that he was a breed that was well suited to being a mold dog, but that suggestion fell on deaf ears. The training for mold dogs is rigorous and a little mean, and Buddy is a lover, not a workaholic or gluten for punishment.

“Cody the Mold Dog” earned his Mold Dog Degree and Went into the Mold Business

Let’s get back to my personal story about “Cody, the Mold Dog”. I am sure you have had an occasion that during dealing with someone, you have gotten to a point where they sheepishly admit to having dealt with someone else other than you. That would be “kind a, sort a…umm” like explaining to your friend from grade school why you are trading in a Chevy to purchase a Subaru from them, after calling upon them to give you a good deal because you ?go way back together”. (AWKWARD)

Picture this: I am working with a client with some serious health issues.

As is the practice with good environmental professionals, I explain the test results, why the mold is present and what needs to happen to make sure the mold goes away and does not come back again. All important information for the long-term health of the client and their family. They had serious health problems, and I had his full attention.

Then came the sheepish admission by the client that is the root of this story

Client: “Ummm, ahhhh, I need to admit, I had “Cody, The Mold Dog” here before I called you.

Me: “OK, how did that work out?  I have not personally met Cody”

Client: “Well, I’m very glad I called you. Cody charged me more than you did, and he didn’t talk to me.”

Moral of the Story

Detecting mold is not enough! The how, why, what, and pathway to a resolution are all important. Remediators who view their job and telling a client: “Yep, ya got mold and for $xxx. xx I will make it go away” are the real competitors to “Cody the Mold Dog”, not competitors to InspectorLab  mold professionals. You need to have a healthy home and deserve the help and advice they can give you.

Another Morsel of Wisdom in This Story

By the way, in the long run, the “Cody the Mold Dog” type of mold remediators may even cost you more than the real professionals. That is especially true when the mold comes back and you need face the health risks of mold exposure and then pay to have the job done again.

The professionals InspectorLab recommends for mold testing are trained to investigate the type and source of mold and then its solution.  They are also good at explaining the issues, listening to client concerns and TALKING with our clients and addressing their concerns. We believe that you deserve more than Cody the Mold Dog or a salesman only interested in making a sale, not helping and educating you.

For more information, go to www.InspectorLab.com

 

InspectorLab Cutting Through the Babble About Environmental Health

Personal environmental health is the combination of all the exposures we have each experienced, our genetic makeup and our past health history. By the way, we need to keep in mind that our family and our beloved pets share our environmental health exposures.

Outside Influences:      The air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the things we touch can all affect our health. Other exposures such as the medicines we ingest are another major factor in our environmental health. Residual effects of toxins that are part of our exposure past history may affect us  decades after our exposure.  Smoking, working with asbestos and living moldy conditions are a part of our environmental exposure history.

Personal Influences:   The combination of our genetics, health and disease history, and the exposures we have had across a lifetime can influence our health.

The combinations of each and every one of these factors is a complex puzzle that is difficult to unravel.

Where the Journey Starts for Each of Us The journey starts with identifying factors that are risks to ourselves and the people we care about

Some of those factors will be easy to identify by a professional during an assessment of a building. Other risks and hazards will require testing.  Identification helps us to avoid exposures.

We have learned about avoidance as a part of health care. If heart disease and high cholesterol are a genetic factor,  a patient  needs to avoid the sources of cholesterol.  Similarly, if asthma is a health risk  in your family, for mold, allergens or other triggers for Asthma is a very good idea.

The importance of having an InspectorLab Certified Professional test your home is one component of our environmental health. Testing is well worth consideration as  a tool in our “Keeping Healthy Toolkit.”

InspectorLab provides the highest quality in laboratory testing and the most readable report in the industry. It is the only lab that provides a MoldSafe Guaranty  

For more information on maintaining a healthy home, follow us on this blog or contact an Environmental Sales Consultant at InspectorLab today at 1-888-854-0477 or email us at ask@inspectorlab.com

© 2021 InspectorLab Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑