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In this episode, you will learn about mold and mycotoxins as a root cause of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. 

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About My Guest

My guest for this episode is Beth O'Hara.  Beth O’Hara, FN is a Functional Naturopath specializing in complex chronic immune conditions related to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance.  She is the founder and owner of Mast Cell 360, a Functional Naturopathy Practice designed to look at all factors surrounding health conditions: genetic, epigenetic, biochemical, physiological, environmental, and emotional.  Her subspecialties are Mold Toxicity and Genetic Analysis in the area of Mast Cell Activation and Histamine Intolerance.  She designed Mast Cell 360 to be the kind of practice she wished had existed when she was severely ill with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Histamine Intolerance, Neural Inflammation, Lyme, Mold Toxicity, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue.  Her mission today is to be a guiding light for others with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Histamine Intolerance and these related conditions in their healing journeys.  Through her Mast Cell 360 Root Cause process, she discovers the unique root factors affecting each of her clients’ health issues, building personalized, effective roadmaps for healing.  She holds a doctorate in Functional Naturopathy, a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor's degree in Physiological Psychology.  She is certified in Functional Genomic Analysis and is a Research Adviser for the Nutrigenetic Research Institute. 

Key Takeaways

  • How common is mold as a trigger for MCAS?
  • What internal and external testing options are helpful for exploring mold?
  • What environments are common contributors to mold exposure?
  • What factors have created the perfect storm for mold toxicity?
  • Are some conditions difficult to fix or resistant to treatment if mold has not been addressed first?
  • What is the connection between mold illness and salicylate intolerance?
  • What role do chemicals and pesticides play in terms of toxicant contribution to chronic illness?
  • Does finding Actinomycetes in a water-damaged building change the course of treatment?
  • Are most clients stuck in a Cell Danger Response?
  • What are some seemingly good interventions that may backfire when one is stuck in CDR?
  • What is Beth's 8 step approach to addressing mold illness?
  • How important is a focus on the nervous system, vagus nerve, and limbic system in support of recovery?
  • Can most clients remediate, or do they need to move?
  • How important is a low lectin diet?
  • What are some tips for improving hydration and constipation?
  • What are some of her favorite tools for stabilizing mast cells?
  • Which binders have been most helpful for her clients?
  • How are detoxification and drainage supported?
  • What tools may be helpful for addition colonization?
  • What does recovery look like?

Connect With My Guest


Related Resources

MC360 Precision Mold Master Class Course
10% off code mentioned in the podcast at 01:30:50

Mast Cell Nervous System Reboot Course
10% off code mentioned in the podcast at 01:30:50

Interview Date

November 12, 2021


Transcript Disclaimer: Transcripts are intended to provide optimized access to information contained in the podcast.  They are not a full replacement for the discussion.  Timestamps are provided to facilitate finding portions of the conversation.  Errors and omissions may be present as the transcript is not created by someone familiar with the topics being discussed.  Please Contact Me with any corrections. 

[00:00:01.17] Welcome to BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts, empowering your better health. And now, here's Scott, your Better Health Guy.

[00:00:14.14] The content of this show is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or medical condition. Nothing in today's discussion is meant to serve as medical advice or as information to facilitate self-treatment. As always, please discuss any potential health-related decisions with your own personal medical authority.

[00:00:34.21] Scott: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode number 156 of the BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts series. Today's guest is Beth O’Hara, and the topic of the show is Mold as a Root Cause of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.

Beth O’Hara is a functional naturopath specializing in complex chronic immune conditions related to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and histamine intolerance. She is the founder and owner of Mast Cell 360, a functional naturopathy practice designed to look at all the factors surrounding health conditions, genetic, epigenetic, biochemical, physiological, environmental, and emotional.

Her sub-specialties are mold toxicity and genetic analysis in the area of mast cell activation and histamine intolerance. She designed Mast Cell 360 to be the kind of practice she wished had existed when she was severely ill with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, histamine intolerance, neural inflammation, Lyme, mold toxicity, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue.

Her mission today is to be a guiding light for others with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, histamine intolerance, and these related conditions in their healing journeys. Through her Mast Cell 360 Root Cause process, she discovers the unique root factors affecting each of her client’s health issues, building personalized effective road maps for healing.

She holds a Doctorate in Functional Naturopathy, a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor's degree in Physiological Psychology. She is certified in Functional Genomic Analysis, and is a research advisor for the Nutrigenetic Research Institute.  And now my interview with Beth O’Hara.

I believe this is Beth’s fourth time being a guest on the podcast, which is very rare. She is a personal favorite, a listener favorite. I’m super excited today to have her back to talk about mold illness and its connection to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Thanks so much for being here, Beth.

[00:02:39.07] Beth O.: It's always an honor, and a delight to be on your podcast. I think this is one of the most impactful podcasts. I get just, most of our clients will see your podcast. So I’m excited to be here, and I’m excited to talk about this topic because I think we can dive into some new information for people.

[00:02:57.08] Scott: Excellent, I’m going to learn some things too. When I think of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, I think of the top contributors being mold, for some people being parasites. I think electromagnetic fields are playing a bigger role.

I also feel like viruses can play a role in terms of triggering mast cells in some people. Wondering what you see in your client population, how common is mold as a trigger for mast cell activation. How is it actually triggering the mast cells, and then maybe we can shift into what are some of the less common triggers that maybe people need to consider, but may not even know about?

[00:03:34.18] Beth O.: Those are great questions. First of all, we don't know how common it's a trigger, but it's fairly common for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. One of the things that makes it hard to get this kind of data is for example in my own clinic, of course, people come in, sometimes they know they have mold issues, sometimes they don't.

But I have yet to test somebody for mold toxins that didn't have them. A lot of people incorrectly think they don't have mold toxins, because when they get a mycotoxin test, it might come back at low levels or under the lab cut-off.

But most of people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome are poor detoxifiers. So we have to remember that on those urine tests, we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg, of what's going on in the full-body burden. There was a study that was done with a hundred participants, half had mold toxicity, half did not, looking at whether everyone has some level of mycotoxins in the urine.

Concluded that other than a really minuscule amount, we should not be having these mycotoxins show up. When I say minuscule, I mean very minuscule, so it's a huge deal. I do think viruses are a trigger, definitely EMFs are a trigger.

Just the toxicity that we're exposed to between air pollution, we were talking about the fires and the kind of smoke people are exposed to, we're not used to being exposed to. That triggers the mast cells, that triggers the limbic system.

Then even just all the day-to-day things, there are so many people that I talked to and work with and they're still coloring their hair. Even the most, I did a deep dive into all the hair coloring, because my hair is going white, and I wanted to see if there were any truly safe options other than henna, and there aren't. I looked at every possibility that's called a natural hair color. They still have chemicals that are major immune issues that are toxic.

They're better, but they're not truly non-toxic. So many people still use fragrances, that's a huge immune disruptor and hormone disruptor. So we've got this whole complex of this picture, and then mold has become this epidemic level which I know you know, but a lot of people don't realize how huge of an issue mold is now.

Even beyond just 20 years ago, it's escalated since then. Mold triggers these mast cells through, one of those receptors is called the toll-like receptor, and that receptor is seeking or sensing viruses, bacteria, Candida, different kinds of molds. But that's just one angle of it.

These mycotoxins are just nasty, and for the course that I did on mold, I did a huge amount of research and diving into the literature on these mycotoxins, and it's been established as far back as the 1980s, how these mycotoxins trigger mast cells, how significant they are.

Then another piece that might be new for people, is that these molds, so we can have these mycotoxins in our bodies, and then we can also have mold colonization where the mold grows in our bodies. Just like we can get viruses or bacteria in our bodies, we can get these mold spores in our bodies, most frequently the GI tract and the sinuses, but I’ve had people who've had vaginal colonization, skin colonization, can get into the lungs not as common.

But when it grows in us, it's creating all of these digestive enzymes, a mold digestive enzymes like proteases and hydrolysis, there's a whole number of them. It's nastier than viruses or bacteria, the vast majority of viruses and bacteria that affect humans, because it actually has to decompose our tissues to get nutrients out of it.

So that's what makes mold toxicity so significant, and while there's a lot of triggers for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, when people have mold toxicity, that can be one of the biggest ones.

[00:08:21.20] Scott: Beautiful. Yes, I think when you say it that way, that really hits home how critical this is, and how much of an issue these molds, particularly those that colonize the system, can be. That essentially, their job is to recycle or as you said to decompose.

Let's talk a little bit about how you identify the potential for mold and mycotoxins as a contributor to your client’s health challenges. What are your favorite tests in terms of external looking at the environment, and then your favorite ways of testing internally, looking inside the person for potential clues?

[00:08:58.23] Beth O.: So there are a lot of options, and different practitioners have different preferences based on what works best for their own practice, their own population, their own protocols. So my own personal favorites are to do both the RealTime and the Great Plains urine mycotoxin test.

There are some other ones, some people really like the other ones, those are the two that I found the most helpful in my own practice. In those urine tests, it can help if people do just a really gentle provocation, where if they can tolerate it, not everybody with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome can tolerate glutathione.

But even like a few sprinkles of some kind of acetyl glutathione or liposomal glutathione, sometimes a little harder for sensitive people. But if they can do just a little of that, you don't have to get into these high doses, in the sensitive population, we're just trying to get some of those toxins out of the tissues into the bloodstream, so it shows up on the urine.

That's one option, but people don't have to use that. They can do some sweating, if they tolerate sweating with a hot bath, a shower, but not everybody tolerates that. So my super sensitive people just do some manual really gentle lymphatic drainage, and the trick to that is to stay on the surface level and just slide the skin.

There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to do lymphatic drainage. That's the combo that I like to use in the practice in terms of that internal testing. There are ways of testing antibodies, but what makes it hard for me with my protocols is I don't know what the actual levels are in the body at this point in time, have we totally cleared it, or have we cleared it, but the antibodies are still there.

So I find that urine testing are the most helpful for what I’m doing. The environmental testing options, again, there's a lot there. But I have my clients start with mold plates from ImmunoLytics, but I have them do it a little differently than what the lab says to do.

I have them put the plate on the floor, because mold spores are heavy, so you're going to fall to the floor and air testing is less reliable, because, by the time you have enough spores to circulate in the air, you've got a big problem. If you put it on the floor, you can capture a better picture there.

Then I have them, the lab says to only send it for analysis if there are four or more spores. I have our clients send it if they see even a tiny little speck, because that may turn into two specks by the time it gets there for the analysis.

Two spores of Aspergillus or Penicillium, Fusarium any of those toxic molds Penicillium that will show on a mold plate are too much for sensitive people. So I have them do that, and I have them do an ERMI. I know there are people using the EMMA, and that's a newer one. I know some of the really good environmental mold testing companies are using in combination with the EMMA and sometimes the mold plates. But sometimes, it shows up on there, and sometimes it doesn't. So we need this full picture is what we're looking for environmentally.

[00:12:28.04] Scott: So with the ImmunoLytics plates, what you're talking about with the two and four is actually the mold colonies, right? So they have a scale that if there's a certain number of colonies, that it's potentially an issue.

Dr. Nathan talks about the reason it's important to send these in like you recommend, is that about half of what grows on them is not necessarily a concern from a human health perspective. So we need to know exactly what is showing up on there.

Another thing that I suspect you do, and that I learned about recently and actually had a client that was exploring mold on her own, and she did the ImmunoLytics plates but did a tap test. Where she had taken like a pillow and tapped the pillow over the plate, and actually had more Penicillium on that sample than the lab could even count.

So that's another kind of neat way to try to maybe test some specific items from the ImmunoLytics plates. Have you done that tap testing method with your clients?

[00:13:22.18] Beth O.: Yes, definitely. I really like it on carpet, and shampooing carpets is a big problem, because you get the pad wet underneath and then they can suck the water out of the carpet, that they can't get it out of the pad.

So then that pad can be wet for like a week. So carpets are usually a place you really want to take a look at upholstery, particularly, some people like to do thrift store shopping, got to be careful with the upholstery make sure there's nothing in there.

People do their pets, and I have two bigger dogs and they're big dogs, they like to go outside, they like to roll in the grass. When it's wet, they roll in the mud and so they get mold in their fur. We use that to see how often we need to shampoo them with some of the mold-removing shampoo like the EC3 shampoo those kinds of things.

You were talking about the mold plates and what can grow on them, you made a great point. They also can colonize Candida, can colonize bacteria. It can grow, the soil-based molds like Cladosporium and Microsporum that aren't necessarily, they don't release toxins. They can be an issue with mold allergy, but they're not toxic.

So I tell my clients, if you see a lot of mold growth on that plate, or growth in general, don't panic because it could be Candida falling off. A lot of times it falls off my client's skin onto the plates, and it could be some bacteria, it could be the soil-based molds from kids running in and out with shoes on in the house. We try to take our shoes off when we come in the house, but you definitely want to know what's on that plate and ImmunoLytics has great analysis.

[00:15:11.02] Scott: The other thing on the other end of that spectrum is that these types of plates, as much as I also think they're a good adjunct to the ERMI, I don't think they're a replacement for the ERMI, and I don't think that's what you're suggesting either.

But there are some molds like Stachybotrys for example that are really critical, that we aren't going to find commonly on these types of plates. My understanding is the growth medium in the plates doesn't really support the growth of Stachybotrys, and so it's another clue, but it's not always going to show the full picture. You talked a bit about the real time test, the Great Plains test.

You talked about glutathione. I know there's been some debate about whether or not to use glutathione with Great Plains. I know Dr. Nathan originally did, I don't think that he does anymore. Are you finding with your clients that doing a glutathione provocation with the Great Plains MycoTox is something that is still helpful?

[00:16:03.21] Beth O.: It's hard to say. So I do ask them if they can tolerate it to do it before real-time, and not do it before great planes. So if they're running both, I have them do great planes, do some kind of sweating or lymphatic drainage, what they can tolerate, and then go on and do some glutathione if they can, and do the real-time.

I’ve had people who got confused, and they got it backwards, and they ended up doing the glutathione for the Great Plains and not the RealTime. With the way I look at it, in terms of I’m just looking for patterns across time, and how these levels are changing. I haven't found it make a huge difference here, but I try to follow what the labs are saying is the best protocol.

[00:16:53.18] Scott: Do you recommend that your clients stop the consumption of moldy foods before the sample collection? Or do you think it's better for them to stay in their normal routine? 

[00:17:03.11] Beth O.: So I have them stay in the normal routine. But it's also a little interesting in this practice, because the majority of our clients do a low histamine diet as well. That doesn't help everybody with mast cell issues, but it helps a lot because histamine is a trigger for mast cells.

So if you do a low histamine diet, you're going to be off of most the moldy foods anyway, as you're taking out your ferments, you're not doing leftovers, you're not doing cheese. They're not doing peanut butter, these kinds of things that tend to have mold in them. There was also a study that looked at whether molds and foods were increasing urine mycotoxin levels, and they had people eat a lot of foods with mold.

So they did a pre-test, then they had them eat a whole lot of foods that were moldy, considered moldy foods cheeses and peanut butter and leftovers and the ferments and all of this.

They didn't find increased levels, actually found the levels went down a little bit and that made me wonder if the fat tissue was storing more of the mycotoxins faster with that consumption. So things are a lot there we still don't know. If somebody has, outside of the testing general though, if somebody has mold allergy, that's a really good time to make sure to stop the moldy foods.

[00:18:27.07] Scott: For people that are interested in that study, I believe it was in the Townsend Letter. So you can find that it was done in collaboration with Great Plains and Dr. Neil Nathan if I remember correctly.

In terms of patterns of which environments you ultimately find are the contributors to your client’s illness when we're talking about mold. Do you find it's more the home or the workplace? Or do you find some clients where their home is actually really good?

Their workplace was really good? And it was some other place that maybe took longer to figure out that really was not suspected initially?

[00:19:01.06] Beth O.: Yes, it's been a whole combination. A home is where people think about the most, because that's where they are the most amount of time. But for people who work a 40-hour work week or more, that's a lot of time in the workplace.

I have had people who their homes were clean, it was at the workplace. Surprisingly, some of the worst workplaces have been hospitals. That's quite a concern for me, and for a lot of people, and for my clients who are hospital workers.

Another place that's a big contributor are schools, and schools close up usually for the holiday seasons, they close up for the summer, and then they will turn off all of the climate control. So you get those humidity levels building, a number of kids who were getting exposure at their schools. Sometimes churches, I’ve had people who their exposure was at church.

I’ve had people who finally tracked down their ongoing exposures, because they weren't getting anywhere, they were just stuck and so sensitive. Tracked it down that it was the parents’ house they were going to every Sunday for dinner. So we've got to think about these things, and it's not that we can't ever have some exposure, but while we're healing, if we can get out of the exposure, it greatly accelerates the healing process. If somebody has daily exposure, it's almost impossible to get well. That's a hard conversation to have with people.

But if people don't have the bandwidth or the funds to do anything else, I tell them get out of the mold exposure, whatever that takes, so that your body can start to move forward. Now, I can have some exposures and I can be okay, but I can't do long-term exposures.

[00:20:59.02] Scott: I love that you mentioned schools, because I actually think that schools are probably worse than most homes and most workplaces.

Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of teenaged people that were recovered from Lyme and mold, and were doing really well and then went off to college, and had really serious relapses, had mold growing on the curtains in their dorm or in the classrooms, oftentimes in basements, things like that.

So, unfortunately, I agree schools are definitely one to be concerned about. What are some of the key factors that you think have created this perfect storm for mold toxicity?

[00:21:36.15] Beth O.: Well, I like to go to the people who are on the ground, doing the environmental mold detection. So one of my favorite people besides you to pick their brains is Jeff Bookout, and he's an environmental mold specialist.

He's really great with the understanding the level of mold that affects really sensitive people, that most mold inspectors are going to completely miss. When I’ve talked with him about this, and he's been in this field for a long time, so he's seen this change over time.

What he shared with me was that the first big change where the building code changes. We had building code changes in the 1970s, and then again around 2000, to make the houses more energy efficient. So by sealing them better, so we're not losing all this heat, we're not having to use all these resources to just heat the attic.

What happened there, and that was great for environmental improvement, environmental impact. But what happened there was that we started sealing in, when you seal in the air, you seal in the humidity, you're sealing the moisture.

So there's higher humidity in walls than there used to be, and anytime you have humidity over about 50%, there are mold spores there, you're going to get mold growth. That it just can draw the moisture out of the air, it doesn't have to be straight water.

So that was one factor, then another factor has been starting to use things like fungicidal paints, which also seem like a great idea. But there is a psychologist whose work I love named Clare Graves, and one of his famous quotes was ''when we solve one problem, we create new problems.''

So the fungicidal paints for solving some problems same with the building codes creating new problems, and with these fungicidal paints, they seem to be killing off some of the weaker molds like Cladosporium, Microsporum things like this, the mildews. But they're not strong enough for the Stachybotrys, the Mucor, the Aspergillus, the Penicillium.

So what's happening is you don't see it growing on the surface, but you're sealing it in behind the paint surface. Then the third big change, and I think this is why, if we look back, and I talked to my colleagues have been in this field for a long time, or my mentor, your mentor Dr. Neil Nathan, that we've seen these cases get more complex over time.

We've seen this huge bump, he's talked about seeing this huge bump in cases of mold toxicity and the complexity of it, particularly in the last 10 to 15 years. Even when I started over ten years ago, the cases have gotten more complex, they've gotten more challenging, people are way more sensitive than even ten years ago.

When we think back to that, well, that's when we started bringing Wi-Fi routers into our houses, Wi-Fi devices jumped, we started getting smart homes. I went and stayed in an Airbnb, and they had the whole house wired as a smart house. So they had Wi-Fi devices on every window, so they could monitor it remotely.

Make sure the windows didn't stay open or weren't broken open, all the doors had Wi-Fi devices on them. It was too much for me. I actually really struggled staying in the house. I spent my whole trip on the lanai, out by the pool. But we've got smart refrigerators, and thermostats and all these things. The Wi-Fi, what seems to be happening?

I know Dr. Klinghardt's talked about this, Jeff Bookout has noticed this on his own, a lot of people have noticed this. That the mold seems to be somehow threatened by the Wi-Fi, it doesn't understand or doesn't know how to register that other than it's a threat. In that, it grows, when mold is threatened, we know that it grows faster and it produces more toxins.

Sometimes, it produces even more toxic toxins as a defense or survival strategy. One of the questions I’ve wondered about is okay, so if we see that happening environmentally, is that also impacting the mold colonization in our bodies? I don't think anybody has an answer to that yet. I hope we can get some studies on this, both environmentally and internally.

[00:26:39.12] Scott: Yes, it would be great to explore further. I know Dietrich Klinghardt suggests that absolutely does happen, so we need to think about the threat that those external EMFs pose to the microbes within us as well, and if they're also upregulating their production of mycotoxins or endotoxins. I mean, it's a really interesting thing.

Unfortunately, I don't know that there's going to be a lot of people that are going to want to fund that exploration, given the participation, right? Such a big part of our lives now. But yes, that's very interesting. So are there conditions or issues where you would think it might be difficult to fix? Or they might be more resistant to, or recalcitrant to treatment if the mold isn't addressed first?

What I commonly see is people want to jump ahead, they want to start killing their Lyme, killing their co-infections. They don't want to worry about the mold. So what are your thoughts? Do we need to start there, and then what, maybe some of the conditions where you see jumping ahead really ends up being a mistake?

[00:27:39.05] Beth O.: So one, this depends on the population, right? But if there's mold toxicity, we have to remember that mold is such a huge disrupter to every system in the body. There are piles of research on it with disrupting the immune system, and the Th1, Th2 balance, where we need that Th1 balance to be able to kill off bacteria and viruses.

The Th2 side is going to ramp up the mast cell activation side. It's going to disrupt the gut significantly. It's going to disrupt our entire hormonal system. The nervous system, huge disrupter for the nervous system. Then people get opened up to all of these secondary things or things that then start piling on top. So people get Epstein-Barr virus, they can't get rid of and they have all of these elevated antibodies to Epstein-Barr.

I often wonder why there are so many people that get bitten by Lyme-ridden ticks, and they have Lyme in their bodies. You can detect it on blood testing. They never become symptomatic, and other people have significant Lyme symptoms. What's happening there with the immune balance?

Then SIBO, some people get rid of SIBO like that, they can do one round of SIBO protocol, and it's gone. I’ve had lots of people who've come in and they've done five, six, seven rounds of SIBO protocols, and they just cannot get rid of it.

I always, those are clues to me that we're missing something, if we can't get rid of something. I've had people come in have been on five years of IV antibiotics for Lyme, because they have to have eradicated most the bacteria in your body at that point.

But they're still have these symptoms, what's missing here. Repeatedly, I found that this mold toxicity layer has been a missing piece, either it hasn't been looked at, or it was discounted because understandably, a lot of times people look at the levels on those lab tests and if they look low, they say oh, mold toxicity's not an issue.

I’ve had a lot of people come in with these tests and said I was told mold's not an issue. I say well, wait a minute, I’m going to disagree here. Then we go through and we dress this mold layer. All of a sudden the immune system starts kicking in, they get on the other side of it.

They can get rid of the SIBO finally, they can start getting their hormones back in balance, they can clear the Epstein-bar. I have yet, this may change in the future, but I’ve yet to have somebody who've gone the other side of the mold protocol and had to do something specific at that point for Epstein-Barr.

Again, that may change, but that's just my practice so far. With Lyme, I found that in the practice, the population I see about 30 to 40 percent of people actually clear Lyme on their own as they go through the mold protocol, and that was the true for me as well. I had Lyme and Bartonella, Babesia on top of mold toxicity and SIBO all these other things and Epstein-Barr.

My body cleared the Epstein-Barr and the Lyme and the co-infections, I actually never had to treat it. But other people, if they do still have, they are still symptomatic, again on the other side of the mold issue and you don't have this, it's like this wrecking ball hitting you in the face every day.

You get on the other side, and I get this wrecking ball away, then the immune balance can start to be restored because we need that immune balance to kill these things off like Lyme and Epstein-Barr. Other things that you asked about, we do want to keep people comfortable as we go along.

A lot of times, I’ll work with people to help restore their sleep to the level we can get it. They may not get it fully fixed, but what can we do to help them sleep again? That may mean relying on a lot of supports in the meantime.

What can we do to get the hormones somewhat in balance, knowing that it's going to keep being this moving target until you get that wrecking ball out of the way? Absolutely got to work on the mast cells. There are some things like the heme dysregulation that we've dove into previously on podcasts, and that many times, people have to start working on that and calming that down before they can go a whole lot forward.

But it won't go away until you get rid of what's causing it underneath, which a lot of time is mold, sometimes it's Lyme or metals. Another big factor for people with mold toxicity is the salicylates, not everybody has salicylate intolerance.

But if they do, they generally have a lot of trouble with plant foods, especially colorful foods like berries and broccoli, these things are really high salicylate, they have trouble with herbal supplements and there are some ways that we can support that. So I know that's kind of a long drawn-out answer, but hopefully, that hit what you were going on.

[00:33:11.13] Scott: No, it's fantastic, and it shows the complexity of this, and also reinforces why it's important to explore that wrecking ball or the mold piece early on.

I want to dig a little more into salicylates, and when we hear about mast cell activation, histamine, I think many people are becoming more aware of that. The salicylate intolerance piece though is a little less commonly discussed. I feel like it's another piece, kind of like hypercoagulation that just isn't discussed a lot, and maybe is a player for some people, and for those people where it is a player, can be a big player.

So why is it that we think certain people are intolerant to salicylates? I know aspirin is maybe another clue, if someone takes an aspirin and they react to it, that that's high in salicylate. Is there a direct connection to salicylate intolerance and mold illness?

Like what is it that makes us more sensitive? Then maybe just a couple of the ideas that you have for addressing or improving tolerance over time to the salicylates.

[00:34:13.27] Beth O.: I would say in, now my practice are very sensitive people. I don't get the people with mold toxicity who can take six charcoals a day, that's not who comes in the door. So I always have to preface it by this is who I’m seeing. In the population I’m seeing, I don't keep stats.

But I’d say maybe about 25-30 percent people, maybe 20 are salicylate intolerant. What can be going on there is salicylates are dependent on three major pathways that are detox pathways, one is glucuronidation and we did a whole podcast on that as well.

Glucuronidation is the primary phase II liver detox pathway for the majority of mycotoxins. A lot of times, glutathione is used, but glutathione isn't a heavy hitter in the phase two for molds. It will draw the tox out of tissues for phase one.

But think about how mycotoxins are going to be hogging up all of those enzymes that we need for this breakdown to happen. Another one is sulfation, and oftentimes you can get a clue into how that's working by looking at people's cholesterol levels, and then the hormone levels, because cholesterol has to be sulfated to be converted into pregnenolone and then down that hormonal cascade, has to be sulfated to get converted to bile. So if we don't have enough of the sulfation enzymes to be able to do that, and then we'll start to get some elevations in cholesterol.

So that's a common pattern I’ll stay with people with some salicylate intolerance. Doesn't mean if cholesterol is high, people have salicylates issues. It's just saying that if people have salicylates issues, they're more likely to have some elevation there, if that pathway, that sulfation pathway is affected.

Then glycine is another factor for salicylates in the amino acid conjugation. Mold toxins do use some of all of those. So that's that connection with mold, there are probably a lot of other biochemical connections that I just don't know about or maybe haven't even been studied yet.

Why do some people get salicylate intolerance and some don't? It may be genetic factors, it may be what else is happening in their body that's affecting that. People's then well, some of the symptoms people can get are significant ear ringing when they have salicylate.

So it'll come and go, as opposed to when the tinnitus they're ringing is that vagal irritation, then it'll usually be a little more steady. But it'll really kick up when they have something like aspirin or they have berries, or they have herbs. Herbs are, most herbs other than parsley and cilantro are very high in salicylates, things like rosemary and basil, and so on.

Now salicylates aren't bad, they have great protective factors in our bodies, and the reason aspirin works, is because salicylates are pain-relieving. But we can hit this threshold where we can't clear it. It can cause rashes, it can cause diarrhea, it can cause trouble breathing, tightness in the chest, asthma kind of symptoms.

One of the ways to work with this that a lot of people can easily start, even if they're very sensitive is to do bicarbonates. Things like sodium and potassium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda. So if somebody doesn't have high blood pressure, can do baking soda on empty stomach.

Bicarbonates help support these pathways that calm it down, they also support mast cells and some of the inflammation that gets triggered by the salicylate. Salicylates can trigger mast cells.

They can do Epsom salt foot soaks, and I have people who are really sensitive. They usually start way too high, and salicylates and oxalates often go together, because they also use some of the similar pathways oxalates need that sulfation.

So Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and that sulfate's going to help break down the salicylates, it's also going to help push oxalates out of the body. So you've got to go slow, you don't want to push the oxalates too fast. So people actually start with a teaspoon and a foot soak, many people start with a cup, and if somebody sensitive can send them over the edge with way too much.

Charcoal actually binds salicylates, so even if somebody's sensitive, they could start with some little sprinkles of charcoal if they tolerate it.

[00:39:13.26] Scott: So much gold in just that last answer, I mean that was fantastic. So things then like Alka-Seltzer Gold or Tri-Salts even could also be helpful. It sounds like Calcium d-Glucarate potentially; in fact the one Glucuronidation Assist formula that I know you formulated as one of my all-time favorites.

Looking at maybe molybdenum for supporting sulfation, and then you talked about the importance of supporting all of these phase two pathways using glycine. I mean, so many things in there that can be really helpful for people.

It sounds like it really is kind of the bucket overflowing, and that if mold is a major piece if the mycotoxins are consuming a lot of our phase 2 detoxification capacity, that if we can start to address the mold, the mycotoxins create some buffer in the bucket that we then just by doing that, oftentimes can become less sensitive to the salicylates or be able to process them better, correct?

[00:40:14.20] Beth O.: Exactly. I always think about to get rid of the wrecking ball, a lot of things are going to improve. I did want to just briefly touch on, I love the Glucuronidation Assist formula, but it's not the best for people who are salicylate intolerant.

Because it has things like pterostilbene, and that's going to be highest salicylate, it has the rosemary. So if with people are salicylates tolerant, I break those things out for them. Dandelion roots low salicylate, Calcium D-Glucarate, and astaxanthin, actually client had started that on our own and notice benefits with astaxanthin.

[00:40:53.13] Scott: I think the point you just made is another pearl that people should think about, is oftentimes in more sensitive people it's better to start with single-ingredient products, not use these combinations initially. So totally agree, for me that product is great, but for other people, it may be something that maybe is a later in the journey type tool rather than starting with it earlier.

You've done a lot of work in the realm of genetics, in the realm of Bob Miller's work, I know you're certified in that realm as well. How much of a role do we think genes actually play in mold and mast cell, versus our environment, environmental toxicants now essentially being negative epigenetic triggers that lead to unhealthy gene expressions? So can we blame it on the genes or is it really more the epigenetic influencers?

[00:41:43.18] Beth O.: Can I say yes? I guess to all the above. I think it's a combination, because we're all getting hit by these toxins, and these chemicals. But some of us are the canaries in the coal mine. That's definitely me, and that's the majority of the people that I work with.

Where what's happening environmentally is hitting us first, hitting us harder. So what somebody might be able to do blade plug-ins and fragrance, just perfumes and deodorants and all the fragrance in their shampoo. It may not catch up with them for 20 years, and that becomes maybe a cancer issue for them or some other major hormonal or immune dysregulation issue.

But for those of us who are the canaries in the coal mine, it gets us right away, we're the people who we walk in, if I walk into a house and they have a glade plug-in, I can calm my system now and be okay for a short amount of time.

But I can't be in there long term. So again if I stare in the Airbnb and they have the Glade Plugins, first thing I do is go unplug them all and stick them in a drawer. Why is that? I think there is a genetic factor to it. Then the other piece of it is going to be things like early childhood traumas. What happened when the nervous system immune system were developing?

So for example, I was kicked in the head by a horse when I was nine and had a traumatic brain injury. It was quite significant, not just the physical injury, but the ongoing neurological piece of it. I’ve had to work a lot on the PTSD of it, and I’ve had some pretty severe car accidents that I had to work on the PTSD side that affected that nervous system immune axis, that's so important how it's interwoven.

So I do think there are a lot of genes that are important. I think it's much bigger than we really realize. But if somebody has these genetics, and they're in a completely clean environment, they actually may be fine. I actually knew somebody with mastocytosis, which is a genetic mast cell disorder. It's one of the more severe mast cell disorders. She's the only person with mastocytosis I had ever met that did not have to do medications, but she lived out in the country, away from any farms.

So there were no pesticide spraying. She grew her own food, she had no EMFs in her home. She didn't bring in new clothes with formaldehyde, those kinds of things. She was chemical-free. So that shifted her genetic expression, she did huge amounts of meditation and nervous system type work.

We can always think about what also has a positive effect on our genetics? I have a significant amount of mast cell genetic variants and detox genetic variants. So I work on how do I improve the expression side of it. 

[00:45:04.22] Scott: So I’m going to put a plug in here for you, because I do think that your Nervous System Reboot course is fantastic. I took it when you first rolled it out now, seems like maybe it was a couple of years ago when that first came out.

I think it's great that really gets into all of the tools that you can use to work on the nervous system. I do think that setting the stage for healing requires calming down the nervous system. This is another one of those things, just like mold as a wrecking ball, so is being in sympathetic dominance and keeping the nervous system constantly in a hyper-vigilant, over-reactive type state.

I’ll put the link to that in the show notes, but I think that's a great resource for people. We talk a lot about mycotoxins as a major factor, a major contributor to poor health. Many people talk about heavy metals, my personal observation and opinion is that chemicals and pesticides are probably more of an issue than heavy metals for many people.

Maybe some of that's because we think about metals, and so we have binders and we do chlorella, we do other things maybe that are helping there. But it doesn't seem to me like there's been as much focus on the incorporation of detoxification strategies for chemicals and pesticides and things of that nature. I’m wondering if you find the chemical pesticide detoxification something that's important in working with your client population.

[00:46:32.12] Beth O.: That's a great question. Before I dive in there, thank you for the plug on the course. I just wanted to share briefly why that's so critical, because it's easy to think I’m not stressed or I don't have nervous system issues. But I have yet to meet somebody who didn't have some kind of limbic or vagal dysregulation, who has chronic health issues, and their mast cells at every nerve ending and the immune system and nervous system are interwoven.

Also, the nervous system, the state of the nervous system is going to govern whether our body will allow us to detox. If people are sensitive, it's absolutely critical, it's at least 50 percent of the healing process. 

[00:47:18.28] Scott: I 100% resonate with that as well. I mean, limbic system, vagal nerve, those were all areas that I needed to do a lot of work, and I think we need to do ongoing work, right? That work is never done.

It becomes part of our daily routine, lifestyle, just kind of maintaining the state of our nervous system with all the things we deal with every day.

[00:47:42.06] Beth O.: Absolutely. It's more than just finding a meditation video on YouTube. Now a lot of people come in they're like well, I’m doing these binaural beats on YouTube, and I do this breathing practice and I go to yoga.

I’m like that is great, absolutely keep doing those. But in what we're doing and where you want to go, we specifically have to work on that limbic and that vagal nerve and there are very particular programs that help with that. But general yoga, breathing practices, your general breathing practices, or videos on YouTube aren't going to reboot it.

So I just want to really encourage people that are often a missing piece. Going to the chemical and pesticide, I do check everyone for pesticides and different types of chemicals in their system. I like using the Great Plains, the GPLTox.

What I’m looking for is how much exposure are they getting particularly through the air, the water, and their lifestyle. So the first thing I always do is how do we get rid of the triggers. I had somebody who, she had a very high level of acrolein, which is quite toxic and it comes from burning things. So I don't work with very many smokers, but people who are smokers will have high levels of that.

But we figured out for her she wasn't a smoker, it was coming from her wood-burning stove. Then I started realizing these other high levels of acrolein that I was seeing on the west coast were coming from these fires that people were exposed to the smoke all summer long. There's so much that shows up in our water, I’ve even had people come in from Austria and the Netherlands and all kinds of European countries where they work hard to have clean public water, and there is no clean public water anymore. They're still having, even in those European countries as chemicals show up for them.

So having a really good water filter, having a really good some air filtration for most people is very helpful for their health, something that's easy to overlook. Then we'd recheck and see where those levels are. A lot of times, they'll clear out if people are drinking enough water because these are water-soluble, they're not fat-soluble like the mold toxins or the heavy metals. So they often will clear on their own. If not, things like humic and fulvic acid can help and those are nice binders for those.

[00:50:22.14] Scott: We have known for many years that mold is a small part of the toxic soup that's found in water-damaged buildings. Testing for mold I think has really become kind of a surrogate marker for water-damaged building sickness, rather than mold illness.

So I think there's become a little bit of a focus on mold illness, but what we really are looking at is something much bigger than that. So more recently, there has been the suggestion that mold and mycotoxins may represent a smaller piece of the puzzle than we originally thought, and that a bacteria called Actinomycetes, maybe is playing a significant role.

So I’m wondering do you have your clients test for Actinos. How commonly do you find them? Do you maybe have some clients where mold doesn't appear to be an issue, but maybe the water damage building kind of presented more with this bacterial overgrowth? Then if that is present, does that change your treatment approach at all?

[00:51:24.28] Beth O.: I’m really glad you asked this, it's a great question. It's something that we're not really talking about again. So we focus on mold because that's easier to test for. But when we've got water-damaged building, we have all kinds of other stuff growing the environment too. We've got bacteria that can produce different types of toxins that can be just as toxic.

I do have my clients do environmental mold tests for Actinomycetes as well. I have them do both the ERMI for the mold, and add on the Actinomycetes. I have had a few cases where I just intuitively knew somebody had mold exposure in their home, because of how stuck they were and sensitive and nothing was working. They'd had mold inspectors come out, this person had had three different mold inspectors come out, had ran mold plates nothing had shown up, had run two ERMI tests, nothing had shown up. I on a hunch said let's look at the Actinomycetes, this was the first time I’d looked at it about three years ago. It showed up on there, on the Actinomycetes.

That only grows in water damage. So if there's water damage that's going to grow Actinomycetes, there's also mold, you're just not picking it up on those tests. It was found to be under the carpet, and that's why the mold wasn't showing up, because the spores were all under the carpet.

So I think that is helpful. I don't know of any way to test our bodies yet for these biotoxins from the Actinomycetes, I’d love to know if anybody does know how to do that. But I’ve found that what we're doing for the mold toxicity seems to clear it in people, and it doesn't change the protocol going forward, but it helps us locate the environmental issues for sure.

[00:53:29.27] Scott: I’m going to throw out several questions now around Cell Danger Response, and then just let you kind of run with it for a couple of minutes. So wondering what have you observed in regards to the Cell Danger Response in your clients?

Are the majority of your clients stuck in one of the Cell Danger Response phases like CDR1? Is there something specific that you do to kind of move them through those stages or phases of the Cell Danger Response?

Then I want to hear a little bit about some of the things that maybe we might think are good things to do, but if we're kind of in this Cell Danger Response, that can potentially backfire.

[00:54:08.21] Beth O.: Yes. So I know your listeners are familiar with this Cell Danger Response, because you've done some great podcasts on this. For anybody that might be new, and just very briefly, this will only barely scratch the surface.

But Cell Danger Response is a biochemical process our bodies go through when we've crossed a threshold of what our bodies can keep up with from a toxic burden, from a viral or bacterial or pathogen burden, or chronic stress trauma or injury.

Any of those can push us into this what's called Cell Danger Response. Then we get this whole cascade of biochemical changes, it actually changes our methylation process, the cell membranes harden, our bodies increase histamine, increase mast cell activation, decreased vitamin d production, and all that's actually protective.

Starts to slow down, and some people dramatically impacts the heme pathway, which can cause that subclinical porphyria in some people. But we have to remember that this was a survival mechanism, cell membranes hardened to keep viruses and bacteria from getting in and infecting the cells, it's keeping somebody alive.

With the sensitive population, people are stuck in that Cell Danger Response, what's happening with these sensitivities or where people just can't seem to detox, if we can't detox if we're poor detoxifier, that's also protective. Our bodies want to put the toxins into the tissues, so they're not circulating in the bloodstream.

Another thing that happens is this heavy metals sequestering into the tissues, again so it's not circulating, so that's where we get these heavy metals building. The vast majority of people I work with, I don't know that I’ve, I mean, I’ve maybe worked with less than 10 people that weren't stuck in Cell Danger Response.

But how to support them first of all, is we actually have to communicate down to the cellular level that the body is safe again, to start to turn these pathways back on and be able to detox. That may sound bizarre, like how do you do that?

Well, one of the biggest ways that you do that is you get out of toxic exposures, you get out of toxic relationships and situations, and then you get out of anything else that might be harmful to you. Get out of the chemical exposures, that's why I look for the chemicals, because if we can get the chemical load down, then it's going to help the body feel safer.

Our bodies are monitoring our nervous system, and our mast cells are monitoring everything we come into contact with. So every molecule of air that we breathe in and chemicals that we breathe in, every piece of food that we eat, all of that's being sensed and monitored. Then on the relational side, in terms of toxic relationships, sometimes people have to settle their PTSD.

I don't recommend that people go and do, go back to their past when they're dealing with these issues and chronically ill, because your limbic system doesn't know the difference between I’m telling you this trauma story again or I’m working on my trauma today, or I’m back in it and it's happening again.

So that can actually worsen people when they're going back to do trauma work when they're chronically ill. You got to get stronger, get your body healthier and then you can do that, but there are ways to settle PTSD without going back to the event.

All of that and doing a lot of nervous system work limbic and vagal communicates down to this biochemical level that we're safe enough now to start to turn these things back on and start to heal. So I support them with that nervous system work, support them with the mast cell calming as well. Get that settled down.

Then you asked what may not be a good option, or can backfire, so this is where some people do just great with things like methyl B12 and methyl folate and they feel amazing, they feel really good with phosphatidylcholine.

But other people, if they're stuck in that Cell Danger Response, even little bits of methyl folate, methyl B12 can backfire, because we're pushing against where they are in that Cell Danger Response. We're trying to turn that methylation process back on before the body is ready. Some people do terribly with phosphatidylcholine early in, and that can be because you're trying to soften the cell membrane, and push the toxins off the cell membrane while your body is intentionally hardening that to protect you.

Same thing with trying to do, some people do fine with heavy metal detox, but some people it's terrible. One of the first things when I was chronically ill, somebody tried for me was a heavy metal chelation, IV chelation and it made sense and it was what she knew to do and it worked for so many other people.

But I felt like I had acid coming out of every pore. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, and it went on for two weeks. That again is because I had too much toxin load, I couldn't handle it. I just couldn't handle anything else being dumped into my bloodstream.

So that's why this order of operations is so important to be really thinking about what order we're doing things in, why we're doing them and the right timing and swear of a lot of people they come in they're like why aren't we doing coq10 yet, and that's the mitochondria support. Well, we're not ready, not there yet, so we're going to get to that down the road, but it may backfire.

That said, as practitioners and notes the same for you, we have to either err on being too cautious or too aggressive. In this population that I work with, and you work with a lot of sensitive people, I’m going to always err on being a little more cautious than to take the risk of setting somebody back for a couple months, because we pushed too hard or we pushed against this.

[01:00:55.17] Scott: Yes, I think to your point, what we're sometimes doing is we're taking our human brain, and we're trying to outsmart the innate intelligence of the body, right? The body is doing what it knows to do to protect us at that point in time, and we're trying to do exactly the opposite. That's where we get into these problems.

So I like your approach of being very sensitive, being very cautious in this realm. Even things like the limbic system work with DNRS, that's another area I think it's really important for people to understand. Certainly, there are some people early on that benefit from doing some DNRS, so that they can tolerate more supplements other interventions.

But the real gains that you get from something like DNRS, that program is still built on a platform of environmental awareness. It is not the case that Annie Hopper would say well, if you're living in a moldy house, just start doing DNRS and don't worry about your mold, right? Her program is built on the fact that you are doing other things to make the environment also supportive of your healing.

I think sadly, that's one of the places where the DNRS message has gotten a little confused in the community where people think that oh, she's just saying if I just do DNRS, everything's going to be fine and I don't need to do other things like fix the mold in your environment, and that's not the case. So I think that's an important piece for people to understand.

So you've created this eight-step approach to mold that includes identifying the mycotoxins through testing, the nervous system support, low histamine, potentially low lectin diets. Improving elimination with a focus on hydration, addressing constipation, supporting the mast cells, using these targeted binders while we're also supporting detoxification, and then potentially incorporating tools for colonization and biofilms later in the process. So let's talk about some of these areas.

Do you find that people need to calm the nervous system, tonify the vagus nerve, start the limbic system work to increase tolerance to your treatment, knowing that the bulk of that work like we just talked about really still has to be done on this environmental awareness platform? What are maybe some of the clues that you look for to suggest that a client really would benefit from work in this area? What are some of your favorite tools beyond maybe DNRS?

[01:03:23.23] Beth O.: I do recommend that all of my clients do some nervous system work, limbic and vagal. I love for the limbic side either DNRS or Gupta Program and then on the vagal side, there are so many options.

That's the thing, is to hone that, what works for people. That's what I built in that nervous system course is a roadmap people can step themselves through and go okay, I have this many nervous system symptoms. I need a limbic program, and I need this many vagal programs and so on. But what I’m looking for is sensitivities, are there food sensitivities?

A lot of people think that these food sensitivities are immunoglobulins or histamines or things like that. Those may be in there, but a lot of our food sensitivities are the nervous system just getting hyper-vigilant. Then because there are mast cells at every nerve ending, the nervous system is constantly communicating the mast cells, mast cells back to the nervous system and they fire off of each other.

So look for sensitivities to that, to chemicals, I look for things like somebody who is going to startle, if you know you stood behind them and said hey, are they going to jump a little bit? There are all kinds of clues like how the uvula, the soft palate will go up and down when somebody says ah.

Then there are clues that I look for when I’m on with them, and I’m looking for things like the tone of their voice, and how constricted is their throat or relaxed. How soft are their eyes? How soft is their face? A lot of people are quite tense and rigid, and that's an indication of the nervous system, where they talk with their, their throat is really tight like this, so I look for any of that.

Because as the nervous system changes, you get these very visual clues in somebody and auditory clues about their voice, how do they move? How are they talking about things? How anxious are they about starting things that are quite easy and slow and simple? Then this 8-step approach, if somebody's sensitive this order is so critical.

I just really want to encourage people, some of my clients come in they're like when am I going to start binders when I’m going to start detoxing. I want people to, they usually come in flaring and they're pretty intense in their symptoms. So when you start detoxing, you're going to get some ups and downs.

People are having ups and downs when they're already at the top of what they can handle, just want to bring this down a few notches with the nervous system work, and the mast cell supports, I’m looking for it to come down to a level where then, the up and down waves with the detox is much easier for them and more tolerable.

[01:06:17.13] Scott: So then we move on to removing the source of the exposure as an early step. Wondering if you find that most clients can remediate, or do you find the majority of people need to move, to really move their healing forward.

Do you find that fogging solutions work? Or do we really need to get at the source of the mold as kind of the primary effort there?

[01:06:38.25] Beth O.: That's a great question, and it's very easy for people to become, I mean, I’m going to say traumatized with the environmental mold. I mean, a home is supposed to be a place of safety, and then we find out oh, it's not safe. I do find in my practice, about 99% of people can remediate, it's rare that somebody moves.

Usually, the only time they move would be if they're in an apartment building and the management's not going to do anything to improve that environment for them, or they live in an older home or the extent of the mold is so much it's going to cost more to remediate than to move, that makes sense to move. But most people remediate.

[01:07:28.24] Scott: All right. So then let's talk about the next piece here, which is a low histamine, low lectin diet trial. I think many people are familiar with low histamine, to reduce inflammation, that can really help with symptoms.

What are some of the maybe more commonly missed high histamine foods? Then in your experience with your clients, how much of a role do lectins really play?

[01:07:52.01] Beth O.: Histamines are one, I almost hate to say this, but most of the histamine lists online have a lot of errors in them. They say things like the walnuts are fine, the walnuts are histamine liberators. Or they'll allow fresh fish, but fresh fish, if it's been sitting in the meat counter is one of the highest histamine foods you can get.

There's actually something called Scromboid poisoning, that is histamine poisoning that comes from fish that has been sitting for too long, and fish has to be frozen on the boat, so that's a common one. I never order fish at a restaurant, unless my histamine bucket's quite low and I’m going to take about 10 to 12 DAOs. Then I might have fish or seafood at a restaurant, so that's a common one. Make sure if you're histamine sensitive, you're using a really well-researched list.

We have a good one, Dr. Janis Joneja is really good, there's a list called the SIGHI list, s-i-g-h-I, it's a Swiss list, Healing Histamine really good information there, those are great sources. Other commonly missed are leftovers, people don't realize how quickly histamine builds in leftovers and food from the bacteria. Beef and bison are generally aged, if you can get them unaged and frozen after slaughter.

But the meat, in general, is a big one for people. People are commonly aware of things like the strawberries the pineapple and so on. Then the lectins, that I think plays a bigger role than most people realize, but a lot of people are not interested in tackling it. Just working on lower histamine for some people is enough.

So when I’m working with people, I’m taking into account all kinds of factors including what's their lifestyle? How many kids are they cooking for? What can they take on right now? Lectins are plant proteins that are going to be in, the types of fruits and vegetables that are found naturally, that were found in North America, these are your night shades like your tomatoes, your peppers, your potatoes, your beans and legumes, squashes, pumpkin these all have lectins.

Most of the grains quinoa is a seed, but also wheat, corn, rice, white rice is lower but brown rice. It can definitely play a role when we have cardiovascular issues, autoimmunity, GI issues. So I might encourage somebody to do a low lectin trial.

It's a big deal for me, I get joint burning and pain with lectins. Other people don't notice anything, I don't know exactly outside of that what's what, but we do know those lectins also trigger the toll-like receptor that I talked about before on the mast cells. I think it's more of an issue and mold toxicity may improve when people get the mold toxicity handled.

[01:11:07.23] Scott: So in your steps, before we get into binders and more targeted detoxification. We really want to focus on hydration and resolving constipation. Both of those so critical, what are your favorite hydration and constipation resolving strategies?

[01:11:24.10] Beth O.: It's amazing to me. I asked everyone who comes into practice how much water they drinking, and many of my clients are actually quite health-savvy, like your listeners. They know a lot, they're already gluten-free, they're already dairy-free. Most of them aren't eating corn.

Then I’ll say well how much water are you drinking? Let's say they weigh 140 pounds, and they're getting in about 30 or 40 ounces of water a day. So hydration for me is really filtered, clean, good water. Can be herbal teas, anything that's not caffeinated counts, and half of our body weight in ounces of water. So if somebody weighs 140 pounds, you're looking at 70 ounces of water.

That's my big one for the hydration, I would love to be able to use trace mineral drops and things like that, but a lot of my clients don't tolerate those early in. When they do, I think that's a great way of improving hydration. Then later on, when you can address that cell membrane that's great at helping the hydration actually get into the cells.

On the constipation side, that's very common, much more common in the people I work with than loose stools. There's the obvious magnesium can be very helpful. Insensitive people, I actually have them start with magnesium oxide, and I’ve gotten a lot of flak for that, from other practitioners who we're on the same team and like why would you do magnesium oxide? It's not absorbed.

[01:13:01.25] Scott: That's why.

[01:13:03.19] Beth O.: Exactly, that's why, because they're really sensitive, and they're not tolerating magnesium getting into the bloodstream, and that's the one magnesium they can tolerate and it works for constipation.

Magnesium citrate's higher histamine, so in mast cell population, and some people do fine with it, but I don't tend to use it because it's more likely to be triggering. Things like those vagal nerve stimulations, both from a signaling perspective. I love brain tap, it's like safe and sound protocol.

The vagal exercises osteopathic cranial work, any of these things, frequency-specific microcurrent that you've got me into, these things can help. Then there's a product called Parasym Plus that's been very helpful for motility, it's fairly simple, there's not a whole lot in it. Doesn't work for salicylate intolerance, but it improves the vagal tone and can help. Those are some of my go-to's, along with the hydration fibers can help. There are lots of things people can do.

[01:14:10.26] Scott: Beautiful. Next step is to stabilize the mast cells, before we start getting into binders and we could do a whole podcast that's your wheelhouse.

But what are some of the maybe top two or three or four interventions that you're finding most consistently helpful for your clients in terms of stabilizing mast cells?

[01:14:30.16] Beth O.: Some of my favorites are perilla seed extract, the really good mast cell support. The bicarbonates, like the tri salt you mentioned or just baking soda, if the blood pressure is not high, potassium bicarbonate, that's one of my favorites.

Quercetin if people don't have the salicylate intolerance, I love a form called isoquercitrin, because it's 18 times more bioavailable than regular quercetin and people who are sensitive often will do better on that form, because they don't have to take the high amounts. Each capsule is 33 milligrams, but you're getting a great effect.

Most of my clients who are very ill do end up getting through their prescriber, some very low levels of mast cell stabilizing medications. I used to be very opposed to this, if we could at all avoid it. What I’ve learned is in the mycotoxin detox, people get through so much faster, so much better.

They're easy to come off, and those can be things like famotidine that's generic for Pepcid, Ketotifen, works for a lot of people at low dose, which would be more like 0.1 milligrams or 0.25 milligrams, and an H1 blocker, if somebody could tolerate something like Claritin or Allegra, sometimes they have to get Claritin or Xyzal as a compound, if they have trouble with those inactive ingredients.

[01:16:13.02] Scott: Now we talk about binders, back in episode 122, we talked about precision binders. Wondering if that's still the general strategy that you use for figuring out the right binder for the right client, what are some of your favorite tools there?

Then if someone is still constipated, do they need to hold on the introduction of those binders? What if they maybe can't tolerate the binder? So talk to us a little about your current binder strategies.

[01:16:40.18] Beth O.: Well, we did a full reboot of the binders and went back to the research again. I put that in the mold course, but some of my favorites, I start people usually with activated charcoal, because most people can tolerate it, and it's gentler.

But I have people, sensitive people, I never have them start with a whole capsule of something if we can get around it. Have them do sprinkles, and for me, sprinkles mean a few granules on food or in water, just a tiny bit.

Charcoal works for aflatoxin, it works for the Enniatin B seems to work for Chaetoglobosin, works for Ochratoxins, Sterigmatocystin, Trichothecenes, so it works for a good number. Doesn't get Zearalenone, doesn't get Gliotoxin from the research we found. I like bentonite clay, it works for most of the mold toxins.

I just recently found some research evidence that it probably works for Ochratoxin, but it's stronger. I have people start with again tiny sprinkles, or if they're using the Yerba Prima liquid, do a little drop. A tip on bentonite clay and chlorella, don't just buy anything, those easily can contain toxins. From the bentonite clay, the Medi-Clay is a good brand.

The Yerba Prima is a good brand, you might have some others that are good. Then the chlorella, Biopure has really clean chlorella. I use a company sometimes called Lidtke. But you've got to make sure that chlorella was grown indoors, and sometimes I’ve seen people get in a lot of trouble getting chlorella from a health food store, and it was grown outdoors and then it can contain mercury.

People often will do fiber called propolmannan, and that's in products like, there's one called Colon Protect, there's a couple other Xymogen makes one. Saccharomyces boulardii is one of my favorites, well, call zeolite and then L. rhamnosus.

They all have these different targeting because these chemical structures of the mycotoxins are quite complex. Some of them are weaker binders and some of them are stronger, and if you can really target all of the binders, if you tolerate them for that mycotoxin.

You're going to clear much faster and do much better, than if you, I don't see anybody clear mycotoxins just doing one or two binders, unfortunately.

[01:19:25.02] Scott: I love that. You can tell your depth of knowledge with the binders is so deep, that when you talk about each binder, it's almost like you're talking about your children and their personalities, all of the details.

So another area that you get into in your steps then is exploring the phase two detoxification pathways, supporting detoxification, opening the drainage pathways to support excretion of toxins, optimizing our inherent ability to detoxify. Talk to us about a few of your favorite tools for supporting detoxification and drainage.

[01:19:59.04] Beth O.: More frequently, well drainage definitely the lymph supports, things like, and we had you on my Facebook live and you talked about so much information on drainage. So people should watch your talk on that, you're really an expert there.

On the drainage, things like some manual lymphatic drainage, movement, castor oil packs, those are all very helpful. If people can tolerate even some massage, but a lot of mast cell people don't do well with massage. In the phase two pathways, my favorite supports are the glucuronidation supports.

So if somebody, like we talked about before, has salicylate intolerance, we'll do Calcium d-glucarate, we'll do some dandelion root extract. We will do some astaxanthin. If they can tolerate it, then the Glucuronidation Assist, it was formulated for glucuronidation support.

The thing with glucuronidation is some of the herbals upregulate, there's 13 glucuronidation enzymes and the research showed some in the herbals will upregulate, some will down regulate it. So we pick the herbals that will support up-regulation of glucuronidation across the board, and the others, other than what we just mentioned with rosemary, pterostilbene, and Ellagic acid are helpful for that.

[01:21:24.11] Scott: In our last few minutes together, let's talk a little bit about the colonization and biofilm piece. How do you determine if a client is colonized and potentially needs some support, and then what are your favorite tools for fungal colonization?

Then do you always need to get into the biofilms or do you find that for some people, that's not necessary? How do you approach that as well once you've addressed the colonization or while you're addressing colonization?

[01:21:51.11] Beth O.: So again, for people that are familiar with this term, colonization is where you can breathe in or swallow the spores, they can even colonize in the ears. I didn't mention that before. Colonize in the vaginal canal, where it's actually growing, it can grow on the skin.

Some ways to figure this out. One is to have people do the microbial organic acid test, or just a full organic acid test either way. There are some markers on there for Aspergillus and Fusarium colonization. But that's not fully comprehensive, so it can miss it.

It only has a few markers on there that can show that kind of colonization, you may not have those metabolites that it's testing and there's no way to test for some of these other ways of colonization. But about 70 percent of the adults that I work with have mold colonization, about 30 percent of the children though, it's less common in children, they've had less exposures, they haven't been hit multiple times.

One of the other ways to tell is if somebody is, they get the binders on board, they've stuffed themselves through. So they do the nervous system, they do the mast cell work, they get the binders on board, they're targeted for what they're doing, they've done those for about six months, and they do a little this phase 2 detox support. They do some drainage, and they're feeling remarkably better, just significantly better.

Then they're probably not colonized, and we just finish out, and they don't go on. But if somebody gets there, and you maybe have some improvements, sometimes they don't have any improvements at that point. We have to remember that mold growing inside us can be releasing all kinds of mold toxins.

So even if we're in a completely clear environment, we've become internally a mycotoxin factory. Then if there's mold allergy, that's a whole other layer, and the immune system is reacting to the mold growing inside. So then we do have to go on and do the anti-fungals.

There are herbals that are helpful, holy basil is very gentle, things like garlic, there are combo formulas like Candibactin, it's been helpful. There's the Biocidin that's helpful, although, in the sense of population, they sometimes can't do that bigger blend.

Most of my clients do work with their prescriber. I’m not a prescriber, I just do consulting, but they work with the prescriber to get some prescription antifungals. Things like Amphotericin B is an oral form is not absorbed, it's not concerning like the IV form, but a lot of practitioners aren't familiar with the oral form, they get nervous about doing it orally because the IV form is quite toxic.

But it's not absorbed, it's like nice statin, it's not well absorbed and it usually helps with the gut, it's not systemic. Things like Sporanox sometimes are helpful for people, if it seems more systemic, and those are some of the more common ones if there's Candida, nystatin, and Diflucan are often used.

[01:25:08.23] Scott: Then how commonly do you feel like you do also then need to address biofilms? 

[01:25:14.00] Beth O.: If they have the colonization, then I’ll do some really gentle biofilm supports. I may start them with something easy like lumbrokinase. I love Holozyme, it's my favorite enzyme, and that can be done for biofilm as well, and start really gently. Then as they get stronger, they might do something like interphase.

[01:25:34.05] Scott: Beautiful. Yes, you introduced me to Steven Wright, and his products I think are fantastic as well. So one wrap-up question before we then talk about the course and then get to my final question, because I know you have clients to get to.

What does recovery look like for clients? Can most people get back to a normal life? Do they need to always be careful about mold exposures? Then what is the average recovery time? What percentage of people do see improvement in their health following this program that you've put together?

[01:26:03.25] Beth O.: Those are great questions, I’m so glad you asked them. Recovery usually is quite significant for people, I have had everywhere from people who were just brain fogged, run-down, they were achy, they were tired, the guts were a mess.

They were able to get the other side of it, and really feel great. I remember one person, in particular, got back to running marathons, which was one of her loves. I’ve also had a lot of people who were significantly affected. I remember a young woman who was having 20 seizures a day, she was in a wheelchair.

She could not make full sentences, she could not handle more than 15 minutes of listening to words, and she wanted to go to college. She was able to get the seizures entirely stopped, out of the wheelchair, speaking, talking, communicating cognitively at her age which was early 20s, and able to go back to college.

So there's a lot that people can do. It's not everything for everybody, sometimes it's 100% of puzzle pieces, sometimes it's 80%, sometimes people have other things they have to go on and handle like Lyme. I’ve had this significant neck injury that was affecting my nervous system, and my cerebral spinal fluid drainage, that I had to get fixed and addressed.

So there's always for some people other pieces, but it's usually a game-changer for people, big game-changer. Many people fully recover. I would say, I mean percentage of people that are successful, I’d say the vast majority.

I don't keep stats, but the big linchpins on whether people are going to recover aren't actually the program itself, it's usually whether they can get out of environmental mold, and they're diligent and they do that. How much do they attend to, and how much do they put into working on their nervous system. Have they had significant traumas?

Are they going to do what it takes to calm down the PTSD side of that? I find that those are the big pieces. If people, as far as do people need to be careful about mold exposures? It depends on the mold allergy. They can use things like LDI, I think you've covered that on here to help with the mold allergy, and then we don't want to get sick again.

But I did have to rent an Airbnb in Florida to get some of my neck issues handled with procedures I had to get down there. I was down there twice and there was mold in there. I was more inflamed after the second trip, but I did fine, I did it. But I’m not going to choose to go someplace that's super wet like that if I don't have to.

[01:28:53.26] Scott: So many good things in this conversation, this is one I’m definitely going to go back and listen to and take some notes from. This is a tip of the iceberg of all the information you put together in your Mast Cell 360 Precision Mold Master Class.

Super excited about that. I know you have a discount offer for people that are listening to this show, and just want you to tell people a little bit about the course and what they can expect to learn from it.

[01:29:18.18] Beth O.: Well, thank you so much. This is one of my children I worked really on this for about three years, and laid out, step by step with sensitive people. People with mast cell activation, people who are getting stuck and they're just having trouble detoxing. How to step yourself through, step by step in this eight-step process. It's a big course, this is not a little course, it's going to take several weeks to a few months for people to get through.

We had a lot of requests for two levels, so we made it in two levels. One's the basic level, it's for people who are real beginners, they don't know this stuff, they don't know where to start, they get overwhelmed easily. It's about four hours of materials, there's a workbook that you fill out as you go along, to help you get your stuff organized and it teaches you how to customize that program for what you have going on.

Then I have an advanced level, that's for more like your listeners, people who are much more savvy. They know some things about themselves, they're looking for a breakthrough. They understand some things about how these pieces work together, their podcast listeners, they love the summits and things like that, and that has over nine hours of material.

Lots of in-depth information, stuff that I’ve never released, way more detailed than what we went into here today. Also has a workbook to step yourself through, a lot of practitioners also do that course.

We're doing ten percent off for your listeners, it's a special for you. So I believe your coupon code is BETTERHEALTH.

[01:30:59.07] Scott: My last question, what are some of the key things that you do on a daily basis in support of your own health?

[01:31:05.20] Beth O.: Well, I have my Frequency-Specific Microcurrent hooked up right now, that you got me involved in. I do something for my nervous system every day. I do some limbic work, and then I do something for my vagal nerve every day.

Might be BrainTap, might be Safe and Sound Protocol. One of the biggest things that I’ve really integrated this year Scott is spending some time in nature every day, and I’m blessed to have this beautiful woods behind our home. I go back there and sit and listen.

I’m not just sitting, but I’m listening to nature. That's deeply calming on a way that some of the other nervous system supports don't actually get to, they do other things. Then slowing down, I’m actually, now that the mold course is out, I’m slowing down and that's helping my health a lot as well too. 

[01:32:03.09] Scott: Beth, this is such a great conversation. I admire you, I respect you and your work. I just have so much love and appreciation for everything that you do, you really do make a difference in the world and in this population of people that are really struggling with these conditions.

To really help minimize their struggle, minimize their suffering and just really honor and respect you so much, so thank you.

[01:32:29.03] Beth O.: Thank you, you'll make me tear up. You're one of my favorite people, and your podcast has changed my life. So I appreciate you having me on.

[01:32:37.17] To learn more about today's guest visit Mastcell360.com.

[01:32:51.00] Thanks for listening to today's episode. If you're enjoying the show, please leave a positive rating or review, as doing so will help the show reach a broader audience. To follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or MeWe, you can find me there as BetterHealthGuy.

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