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Diagnosed with migraine and stress. After moving to new apartment have been ill. Suspect black mold toxicity?

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Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 1677 Questions
Hi. I am a 44 year old female. I moved into an apartment on the 17th of August. I have been very ill with numerous symptoms. I have been diagnosed with migraines and stress but I suspect black mold toxicity.
Posted Wed, 2 Oct 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Environmental exposure is possible!

Detailed Answer:
Assuming that you were having none of these symptoms BEFORE moving into the current apartment, and now you are experiencing:
1. Difficulty concentrating
2. Headaches
3. Nausea
4. Dizziness
5. Muscle fatigue
6. etc.

...then by all means this could be related to an environmental exposure. You need to talk to your landlord about having the building inspected and I would also recommend that you call the gas company to make sure there is not a low level natural gas leak - I have seen this with a patient and her symptoms were the same!

But consider that this might also be coincidental, and something else might be going on, especially given the disruption of your cycles. You need testing for thyroid levels, prolactin and adjustment of your medications if needed.

I hope that this helps and good luck!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with migraine and stress. After moving to new apartment have been ill. Suspect black mold toxicity? 15 minutes later
I have been tested for thyroid levels already, also a basic blood work up and everything is normal. The landlord just informed me she knows everything there is to know about mold because she has been to 2 mold workshops. She also owns a heating/air company and says mold does not grow in ducts. I am seeing black fuzzy stuff in the ducts and intake, on the registers, ceiling and walls around the vents.
Also, my downstairs neighbor, who is blind (but not stupid) took her air intake off to clean it and noticed it was very dirty. I looked at it later and it was covered in black fuzzy mold looking stuff. I got a numb feeling on my tongue when I inhaled as I was looking in the intake area. She moved in the same time as I did as developed a bad cough after the onsite manager cleaned the "dirt" from the intake area. She has also had nose bleeds.
Also, I have a carbon monoxide detector. Would this not catch a possible natural gas leak??
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Get an independent evaluation

Detailed Answer:
Given that this sounds like mold, I would recommend that you contact the health department, explain your situation, and ask for recommendations from independent inspectors. You may have to pay for this yourself, but if there is actually a problem, I am sure that you might be able to convince the landlord to reimburse you for the expense (rather than losing all of their tenants!!)

Also, call the gas company and say that you are concerned about a gas leak - they HAVE to respond to the call.

Good luck!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with migraine and stress. After moving to new apartment have been ill. Suspect black mold toxicity? 3 minutes later
I have already contacted the health department. They referred me to the city. The city referred me to an independent company in Little Rock. I am in a Podunk town in Arkansas where everyone seems to just want to give me the runaround. I am in the process of using a couple mold detection kits I got at the local hardware store. Thank you for your concern.
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You are very welcome!

Detailed Answer:
Assuming that you are kind of stuck in your current living situation, I would continue to pursue this until it is sorted out. You do have rights as a tenant, and you might also review the fine print of the lease agreement regarding these issues.

Good luck!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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