In June, 2018 I attended a seminar on the rapidly expanding area known as Functional Medicine that was sponsored by Methodist Hospital down at the Texas Medical Center. Functional Medicine is very science based dealing with chronic diseases and exploring their underlying causes. There is emphasis on biochemistry, enzymes, genetics as well as how to regulate our inflammatory response.
One of the speakers was Dr. John Trowbridge from the Humble, Texas area. The title of his presentation was “The coming health crisis in 2022”. The basis for his concern was the extensive flooding in the greater Houston area following her Hurricane Harvey in 2017. His premise was based on previous studies showing extensive flooding causes mold growth that gets worse as time passes. We know that the amount of rain dumped on this area in 2017 worked its way into many homes, offices and other buildings and could never fully be removed.
Every week in my office I see patients who have nasal, sinus and other respiratory difficulties due to mold exposure. Some of it is simple allergy but other problems are harder to resolve. Simply put, the small crevices in our nasal passages often provide a home for microorganisms known as fungi (mold) to grow. This rarely may be a true invasive infection but often is what is known as a colonization where the mold persists. It is not harmless as it leads to chronic inflammation which usually manifests as nasal congestion, drainage or headache.
The recent catastrophic freezing left many of us with power outages, burst pipes and water leaks in our homes. It made me think of the lecture from Dr. Trowbridge warning of the severe effects from her Hurricane Harvey of 2017.
I strongly recommend each of us take whatever measures to make sure that our homes are fully dried and treated to prevent inhalation of mold. People of all ages including small children and the elderly can be terribly affected.