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Allergies

Is mold making me ill?

01/08/2008

Question:

I have been experiencing swollen lymphnodes(back of head, under arms, etc.). Blood screening showed CRP and SED rates well above normal, with no signs of infection or fever. I have worked in a building that has recently been condemned because of mold. I have had a chest Xray and my sputum checked for mold. Both have come back negative. Could swollen glands be an indicator of mold exposure? What futher tests would you recommend?

Answer:

It is not typical to have swollen lymph nodes in response to mold exposure unless there is an infection.  Mold can cause an infection and this will cause the immune system to strengthen, common as we fight infections.  Increase in the size of lymph nodes is a common sign of an immune response. 

However, with elevated ESR and CRP, I would talk with your doctor about causes of your symptoms and the cause of the swollen lymph nodes.  These tests indicate inflammation and can go up with many, many causes.  You will need to work through causes of lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes) with your doctor.  Your symptoms will direct future tests, I can't recommend any tests with this information.

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Response by:

David  Hauswirth, MD David Hauswirth, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Crtitical Care & Sleep
Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University