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Today’s Mold Talks guest is Katherine Poulos, Licensed Cosmetologist, Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach, company founder, and exposure survivor. Kali's experience with mold exposure has been a long and painful journey, but one that has opened her eyes to how dangerous this indoor contaminant can be. While she was previously familiar with mold illness and some of the effects exposure can have, she never considered that it was her environment affecting her body so greatly.
After moving into an apartment, Kali began to experience a range of seemingly random symptoms but thought that it was a result of her Hashimoto’s. As her condition continued to worsen, she eventually ended up at the hospital and was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. That’s when the conversation turned to bone-marrow transplants, blood transfusions, and survival rates.
It wasn’t until her business partner mentioned her drastic health change immediately following moving into the new indoor space that she decided to take a look at what was in her environment. The results showed astronomical levels of chaetomium, the root cause of her degrading health. After the discovery, she immediately left the environment and began to feel her body slowly improving.
It took years, but she’s now well on the path to healing and is using this experience to help others who are suffering from exposure. After her experience in the cosmetology industry, she’s also focusing on helping these professionals who are suffering from various exposures, including mold. She's working on navigating healthy beauty products as well.
Kali’s journey shows how seriously environmental exposures can affect health and the need for greater awareness and research. She experienced firsthand just how little the medical world is aware of contaminants such as mold, leaving it up to those who are suffering to be their own health advocates. We’ve got a long way to go, but sharing stories like Kali’s will help shine a light on this issue and bring about the change that is needed worldwide.
"It’s crazy when you think back that your home can make you sick."
Kali’s experience with mold began after moving into a brand new apartment while working with her business partner on their new wellness company. Ironically, at the time, they both agreed that they did not want to specialize in helping mold patients and instead focused on other areas of health. Over time, Kali’s health slowly began to degrade, but she thought it was just a flare-up of her Hashimoto's.
It wasn’t until she got food poisoning that she realized just how drastic her health decline was. Her white blood cell counts were at alarmingly low levels
"It was my first experience in the hospital, but it really made me realize how much you have to be an advocate for yourself and really understand what's happening to you to take control of the situation too. So I had my business partner, who was a naturopathic doctor, on the line asking her about all these things that they were doing, and it ended up that I had a doctor call the hospital that I was asked to advocate for me."
After running a series of tests, she was later diagnosed with aplastic anemia. That’s when the conversation turned to bone-marrow transplants, blood transfusions, and survival rates. After getting home, she began to take a closer look at her bloodwork and consider environmental testing.
It wasn’t until her business partner pointed out the link between her new home and degrading health that she considered her indoor environment as the possible culprit.
"I tested myself first and I had chaetomium come up, which was over 200. That is astronomically high for the Great Plains Lab, and then I later tested my house and found that the place that I had just moved into that November had chaetomium in it in the shower and in the bathroom."
After finding out that the problem was her home, she immediately went to stay with her mom and instantly began to feel slightly better. The largest impact she experienced was no longer needing blood transfusions. That result was enough of a reason for her to never return home and have her friends move her out of that toxic environment.
"I do believe that every healer and those in service go through things in order to learn and be of service to others, and I know that this was part of my journey for that."
Her experience opened her eyes to just how neglected and misunderstood this issue is, and how many people are suffering from toxic indoor spaces. There are a myriad of issues leading to this problem, yet a massive lack of research and changes being made to resolve these problems.
Kali's now dedicated to helping bridge this gap and helping people heal from exposures to toxic indoor environments. She’s particularly interested in helping those in the cosmetology industry who are exposed not only to moldy environments but also to a number of other environmental chemicals and contaminants.
"Start with what you can. Don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t become a perfectionist because that will just inhibit you from making progress. Do the best you can with what you have and start with what you can do at home now. Even if it’s just drinking pure water."
Learn more about Kali at:
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