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In this episode, you will learn about recovering from toxic mold illness.
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About My Guest
My guest for this episode is Bridgit Danner. Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDN-P was working as an acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon when her health started to deteriorate. She learned a lot, tried a lot of things and even completed a functional health coaching program in an effort to heal herself and become a better practitioner. Although several things kind of helped, nothing helped completely, and she hit rock bottom in the winter of 2014. Soon after she discovered toxic mold in her 100-yr old home and began the long journey of home and body repair. Bridgit got into the natural medicine field in 2000 as a young environmentalist. She practiced as an acupuncturist and integrative clinic owner for 13 years, performing well over 10,000 sessions, before transitioning to the online space as a functional health coach and educator. Bridgit loves to teach about everyday detox, functional living and toxic mold illness. She is the founder of a line of detox supplements called Functional Detox Products.
- Where is toxic mold most commonly encountered?
- What are the symptoms observed in those with mold illness?
- How does one find proper testing and remediation resources?
- What are the pros and cons of the EMMA and ERMI?
- How can the body be tested for mold illness?
- Does mold illness activate chronic infections?
- What are some items that damage energy production?
- What can one do if they cannot move?
- What belongings can be taken to a new environment?
- What are some common issues to be aware of when remediating?
- Can limbic system retraining be helpful?
- What are some key tools for supporting detoxification?
- How can sleep be optimized?
- How might healthy fats be supportive of healing?
- What binders might be helpful?
- What is the role of sauna in mold illness recovery?
- Are coffee enemas a game changer in mold illness?
Connect With My Guest
Book: The Ultimate Toxic Mold Recovery Guide: Take Back Your Home, Health & Life
March 1, 2022
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.
[00:00:00.27] Welcome to BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts, empowering your better health. And now, here's Scott, your Better Health Guy.
[00:00:14.09] 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.
[00:00:34.15] Scott: Bridgit Danner was working as an acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon when her health started to deteriorate. She learned a lot, tried a lot of things, and even completed a functional health coaching program in an effort to heal herself and become a better practitioner. Although, several things kind of helped nothing helps completely and she hit rock bottom in the winter of 2014.
Soon after, she discovered toxic mold in her 100-year-old home and began the long journey of home and body repair. Bridgit got into the natural medicine field in 2000 as a young environmentalist. She practiced as an acupuncturist and integrative clinic owner for 13 years, performing well over ten thousand sessions, before transitioning to the online space as a functional health coach and educator. Bridgit loves to teach about everyday detox, functional living, and toxic mold illness. She is the founder of a line of detox supplements called Functional Detox Products. And now, my interview with Bridgit Danner.
[00:01:39.15] Scott: Bridgit Danner is our guest today, and we'll be talking about recovering from toxic mold illness. Thanks for being here, Bridgit.
[00:01:46.10] Bridgit: Thanks for having me, Scott.
[00:01:48.04] Scott: You just finished hosting the Toxic Mold Masterclass, which was a fantastic online event with some amazing speakers. What were a few of the aha moments for you that you took away from hosting that event?
[00:02:01.20] Bridgit: Yes, a couple of things for me. One was that food sensitivities is a really common symptom of mold. So even though I was experiencing that and just tons of people out there experiencing that, I hadn't really put two and two together that that's a really common symptom. Another thing I really loved learning was more about the brain and how it's affected, and that it can recover. I don't know if I asked Dr. Ackerley if some things can't completely recover, but in my own journey, I’ve been worried that certain things I wasn't going to be able to get back, even though I’ve had a lot of gains.
So she really explained like the mechanism of what happens in the brain, and it gave me a lot of hope for myself and hope for my clients, so that was great. And then probably lastly was learning more about the limbic system, and how it gets affected. And even there seems to be a trend in changing the order of treatment to focus more on the limbic system first, and just visualizing for me, like what happens when we inhale mycotoxins?
Where they go in the center of the head there, right in that key area where the HPA axis is, in the limbic system, and there's a barrier there that the mycotoxins can break down. So I think understanding that for me was just like that's of course, it's so potent on the brain and the hormones right away, yes.
[00:03:33.14] Scott: Yes, and we'll talk more about the limbic system, but I agree. I mean, for me personally and many clients that I work with, incorporating that into a protocol really potentiates the healing potential in my experience. It's not the do this and that's all you have to do as you well know, but it can be really fantastic.
So let's talk more about your personal health journey, what was it that led you to becoming an expert on the topic of toxic mold? What was your personal mold story?
[00:04:01.12] Bridgit: So my story began, although you know who knows what other moldy homes I was in. But I moved into a moldy home when I got engaged in like 2006 or seven, and I didn't know it, but I lived in the pacific northwest in an older home, that's pretty much all the homes there. It's always humid. Yes, again, we didn't know for maybe eight years, ten years that we had an issue. Although, looking back, I can definitely see the signs were there. So really, I was struggling with my health even though I was an acupuncturist.
So I kept learning more, doing more, studying functional medicine, really dialing in my diet, and doing everything I could and it would just be up and down up and down, and then it got even worse. Like I really hit a low, I got a strep throat, I had to take antibiotics, I didn't recover. I had just started working exclusively from home, so there's another ding, ding. I was born tired, and I was getting iv therapy, detoxing like nothing was helping and I was just like there's got to be something else, like I’m doing everything I can.
Which I now kind of is one of my taglines and like if you're doing everything you can and you're just not getting better, or you're getting worse, like there's another element to look for. So luckily a naturopath, like collegiate, asked me about my home, which I think is a great question for practitioners or just body owners, has anything changed in your home?
And part of what came out of that conversation was we had some water intrusion in the basement, we had always had a musty basement, we got a mold inspector and that was the beginning of a big health journey, a learning journey which sucked. Some of the symptoms were really severe, suicidal thoughts like twitching eyelid, like just crazy stuff, was going on. But in the end, I’m actually thankful for everything I’ve learned and the trajectory it took my life on and my career on.
[00:06:10.12] Scott: Yes, that's beautiful. It's nice when you can take your pain and turn it into your passion, or your mess and turn it into your mission, right? It's just absolutely beautiful. In the book, the ultimate toxic mold recovery guide, take back your health, home, and life, you say that interaction with toxic mold comes from buildings, vehicles, food, and from the body itself. So which of these sources do you believe are the most health-impacting, and which buildings seem to impact your clients most commonly?
[00:06:42.23] Bridgit: Yes, so it's definitely buildings and it's definitely the home, because we spend the most time in the home. Even if you feel like you don't, even if you're just sleeping and eating, that's most of the day. So it is usually a home just by frequency, but it can be a workplace.
Some people literally live in a boat, in an RV, so those things can be affected. The food is quite secondary from what I’ve learned. In this day and age, we don't have a rampant, excessive amount of mold in food, that was more like outbreaks that would happen 500 years ago or whatever. So while mold in food is not our ideal, it's not usually going to bring you down to the level of like serious illness that the building can.
[00:07:31.12] Scott: Yes, I totally agree. It's been interesting during the pandemic to see as people were pretty much in their homes and not in their workplaces. Some people got a lot better, and some people got a lot worse, right? If the mold was from their workplace, then being at home all the time was great.
And then sadly for many people when they started being at home exclusively, they found that was actually increasing their symptoms, because they were getting additional exposures.
Speaking of symptoms, talk to us about the symptoms that you most commonly see in your clients dealing with mold illness. What tips you off? And then tell us about your mold quiz and how people can find that.
[00:08:09.19] Bridgit: Yes. I think the most two common are brain fog and fatigue, those are pretty easy to pick. Beyond that, it's a bit of a crap shoot. I think maybe that food sensitivities could be number three, I do think that is common. But it can be increased airborne allergies, skin rashes, hormonal irregularities, rapid weight gain, loss of muscle mass, it's just like a long laundry list which makes it hard to diagnose in a sense, similar to Lyme or Hashimoto’s itself.
And then frankly, people end up with several diagnoses too, and all the symptoms overlap because it's often caught so late. But yes, we have a quiz about symptoms in your home, so to speak, and symptoms in the body that are kind of attached to the book resource page when you buy the book. Because we couldn't, I didn't put for instance all the citations in the book because it just would have made it really heavy and long. So we just have a backend page to just keep exploring.
[00:09:16.06] Scott: I see too many people getting mold inspectors or even mold remediators that don't do proper testing, don't do proper remediation. So how do you suggest your clients find someone that knows how to properly test the first time? If there's an issue, how to properly remediate? Are there specific companies that you work most closely with or resources that you refer your clients to?
[00:09:39.01] Bridgit: Yes, there's a few I can mention. But mostly, it's being an informed consumer before you make those choices, and we were not. We got lucky by picking a good inspector, we didn't make as good choices with remediation and it cost us a lot. It cost us in money and health, and stress. So it's really just becoming informed.
Like say you want to buy anything, any big purchase. Like you want to buy a new phone, and there's certain things that are important to you. Like you don't want it to be too big or you want to have a lot of memory or whatever. Like it's the same thing with inspection and remediation, like what questions are you going to ask?
So one thing that is important if you get an inspector is a diversity of ways that there are testing, they can't just run one air test or they can't just visually inspect. It has to be a combination of a lot of elements, because one element could come out clean where another is just full of mold. So asking, like what kind of tests are you going to run?
What's going to be in the report? Do you have a sample report? It's usually going to be, I think fairly expensive, like at least a thousand bucks, because they are doing all that work. They are there for a few hours, they're running tests that they have to run to a lab, so it's thoroughness really. And then remediation is kind of similar, it's not just doing the work, it's doing it carefully and then really what are you as an owner doing about your stuff that gets displaced, that's a giant error that we made, was just displacing things to another area of the house, and now we spread the mold.
A lot of remediators don't understand the health issues and that your stuff is affected, they're more like well, I know how to like take out the drywall and run the air scrubber, and that's great. But if your health is affected, there's just a lot more nuance to it, and you just need to like get yourself informed.
Like I tend to do first and think later, unfortunately, you really need to think first and do second in this case, and it's tough because your brain isn't working right and it's a lot of decisions to make. So get help, get support, and yes, just make informed decisions.
[00:12:03.17] Scott: The one resource that I found helpful that listeners can potentially benefit from is the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness; it's ISEAI.org. If you go to their page there, they have a list of practitioners but also a list of IEPs or indoor environmental professionals that can potentially be helpful. You definitely want someone that understands mold illness, that has familiarity with SIRs or chronic inflammatory response syndrome, not someone that's just doing mold testing with air samples as Bridgit mentioned, that essentially, we'll say oh, everything looks fine here.
So really important to get that resource right, I can't tell you how many times people have said they've had their home tested, but when you get the right kind of testing, they find a very different picture, so totally agree. What are your thoughts in terms of the pros and cons of the EMMA versus the ERMI, and do you also utilize any mold plate testing?
[00:13:01.06] Bridgit: Yes. So again, with testing, there's just a ton of pros and cons, and we're going to talk about these three things you asked about. But there are even more options than that, right? So the EMMA test is a dust test for mycotoxins.
What I like about it as a health practitioner is the mycotoxins are an element that's really making you sick, so I think that's interesting to know about. I think the downside with that company right now is their reporting and interpretation is not helpful, it's not really what the person wants as far as knowing what to do next. Like they just aren't breaking it down really well. The ERMI was not really designed exactly for this type of thing, like residential home decision-making.
I definitely don't recommend just ordering an ERMI on your own and thinking now you've got it figured out, because you don't know where the mold came from. And it's more a test like not all the strains are toxic, actually very few of them are, maybe similar allergenic. But it's mostly measuring like the load of toxins indoor versus out.
To me, it's not a super helpful test. I think there are some people I forgot to mention companies earlier like Brian Karr has looked at so many ERMIs, like he can interpret that, his Instagram is @Moldfinders. I think he's developing like a software where you can enter your info and compare it. So that's awesome, and then play testing, I used to really pooh-pooh it, but I did learn more about the company ImmunoLytics, who will do an interpretation of your plate testing.
There are so many factors, and frankly, cost is one factor. So if you are renting or you have a job in a cubicle and you're just wondering, a plate testing can be a great place to start. It's not perfect, but it's very affordable. If you get like a super high positive on one of those tests, now you know to keep looking.
[00:14:58.00] Scott: Yes. And that site that you were talking about from Brian Karr, ERMICode.com, that is something that is available now. I agree with the EMMA, it's interesting. The downside has been that you cannot calculate a HERSTSMI-2 from an EMMA, so you get some numbers back, but it's not as easy to put it into an algorithm that you can then say oh, this is a real serious issue versus oh, maybe it's not such a big deal.
I do also like the ImmunoLytics plate testing, I tend to like to have an ERMI and the plate testing, because unfortunately, the plates themselves miss a lot of things like Stachybotrys for example. So it's kind of painting the picture using these tools. And then ideally, if financial resources are not a constraint, jumping right to a Brian Karr or Corey Levy or somebody like that that can really do deep testing. Yes, it's going to be more expensive.
Chances are you're going to save that money and more and lots of time in your health recovery struggle by investing that if you have that as an option. Let's get into some of the more debated areas, which is how do you test the person? How do you test the body for mold? Do you use the CIRS lab biomarkers? Do you like urine mycotoxin testing? Any preference on which lab has been most helpful for your clients? How do you evaluate the client that is sitting or virtually sitting in front of you?
[00:16:21.13] Bridgit: Yes. I actually find this to be less controversial in my mind than the home. I think urine mycotoxin testing is fantastic, it's accessible. I’ve only seen one false negative so to speak, and we can discuss why. I think it's great. I think we use blood markers when we didn't have the urine testing. I actually never run blood markers for any of this stuff.
So we can talk about other labs I do like, but I just feel like that's an old-fashioned unspecific way. They're mostly markers of inflammation, right? And you may want to keep an eye on those as you progress, it's just not something I feel like is the best use of my client’s money. So mainly, the two urine companies are great planes and vibrant wellness.
We use right now Great Plains because of the way you can add on some additional tests that can be also helpful for the client. However, I really like the Vibrant Wellness report, and they have a lot of other great tests like for Lyme and food sensitivities and stuff, so I think they're both good contenders.
[00:17:27.08] Scott: And RealTime Labs also has a urine mycotoxin test that I know some people really like. Another comment maybe that I’ll throw in, which really was tied more to testing of the home environment and I’m wondering if you've seen this. But over the last year, I’m seeing more testing being done on the bacterial side of things.
So we talk about mold illness, but really it's water damage building illness, and there's a lot of different bacterial endotoxins, there are actinomyces. Things that can also create this CIRS picture, that maybe you're in an environment where the mold test is actually very low, but the Actinos and endos are very high.
So that's an area that's still kind of emerging, and how validated that is not entirely clear. I know some practitioners look at it and some don't, but that's another aspect of testing that I’m seeing more people starting to do. Do you have any comments or experience with that?
[00:18:23.28] Bridgit: Yes. I think I had really just learned about it from a few of the experts in the Master class, and I was like oh, that's cool that you're doing that. Like yes, it's just another burden on the body. I think we can get a little too narrowly focused like about mycotoxin strains or this or that, and it's like it's not just a mycotoxins, that's just something we figured out how to test, right? There are also VOCs and like cell fragments, there's different stuff coming off.
The main focus and I love some of my new remediator friends point this out, it's like it's just like in functional medicine you have to go to the root, all these things are just still the branches. The root in your home is the water damage, right? And there's a whole cocktail of things, even like Candida count higher in the home because of it, which I think is really interesting.
So we can test for all these individual burdens potentially, or sometimes we can just say we know there's a problem here, because we see water damage and you're quite sick. I like testing, 100%, I like testing. But I have also been through this and I know how much it costs and the extent of it. Even for me, I didn't have a urine mycotoxin in the beginning, because my ex-husband had one and we're like that's enough.
Actually, I’m glad we tested him, but we only tested him so he could get a leave of absence from work, which we never really needed, because people don't really recognize this illness anyways. So it was just kind of oh, you have chronic fatigue. So I think with testing, I’m really excited about what's coming out, and I think 20 years from now we'll be having a really different exciting conversation. But at the same time, a lot of this stuff can be treated fairly broadly. Like your gut is going to be compromised, you are going to have more infections. You're a specialist in Lyme, EBV is probably going to be present, like lots of things are going to start to happen when the home's broken down and the body's broken down. So yes, it definitely is like a constellation of factors you're now dealing with.
[00:20:28.20] Scott: When you're attempting to get the full picture of what might be happening with your client's health, what are some of the other key tests that you might explore to paint that initial picture?
[00:20:38.22] Bridgit: So again, I would say with testing, magic wand, blank check, we could run a lot of tests. I think the GI MAP, gut test or similar tests is really helpful, because we can get more specific with gut protocols. Those don't necessarily have to come first. We run some blood labs on like thyroid, blood sugar, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, vitamin D status, those things have been really helpful. Sometimes what you think is the problem isn't always exactly the problem.
So something like red blood cell, recycling can be really damaged by mold. So it's just could be another reason you're fatigued as you're anemic. So I’m going to do that, we have to step back to some of the basics. So yes, I like some blood labs, you often have a thyroid issue and a Hashimoto’s issue. I like hormone testing; we use the DUTCH.
Again, it's more like symptomatic, but some of those symptoms and hormones being off can really affect your quality of life, so that's that can be interesting. We do offer organic acid testing that can be helpful to see how you're detoxifying and maybe some other infections you have. We offer the EnviroTOX test. We used to offer an EBV test and a MARCoNS test, now it's just sort of like as needed, it's not on our main site. Those are mostly what we use.
I mean, I think if I had to pick two, I might just say mycotoxin, GI MAP. But you had asked me beforehand about hormones and about when to kind of add those, and I actually think that would be a really fantastic piece for many people to add sooner, just because it's going to give you some energy to be kind of getting through this process if you can get your hormones working better.
[00:22:25.25] Scott: So when you're working then with the client with mold illness, do you commonly find that these infections are also stressing the body and that we need to address those to restore health? You mentioned Lyme, you mentioned EBV. What are some of the most common infections that you see, and is this the result of mold and mycotoxins leading to immune dysregulation, that then allows these chronic infections to activate and further stress the body?
[00:22:50.25] Bridgit: Yes. In my opinion, it's definitely, when mold weakens the immune response and creates all this rampant inflammation, breaks down the gut, you're just going to be more susceptible to infections. Either latent ones coming back, or new ones, all the things, parasites, EBV. So yes, they do usually need to be addressed, although, maybe not a hundred percent of the time.
Like you as the host need to get stronger, and that's I think something to focus on sort of first, because you need to have some fortitude to even like get through these protocols. They're not always easy, they're creating die-off, that kind of a thing. So you've got to have some strength to be able to do it, and then sort of pick and choose when you are ready to do it.
So I usually am having people do some killing protocols so to speak over time, but yes not all at once. I think as I get more seasoned as a practitioner, I do have more of a sense of like strengthening the host, doing the overall things. I’m really having an emphasis on that, versus killing. Although, I will say you your talk, or I picked your brain during the Masterclass, and I’m still having some histamine issues, and you're like well, you still have a trigger.
So I thought well, it's probably my gut, like I don't know really what else it would be. So I’ve been doing some gut reconditioning lately and it is intense, it's intense when you get in there and try to kill parasites. Like I literally passed parasites two days last week, and I didn't feel great. It kicks up inflammation in a big way.
So you have to be careful, and I really think that is probably one thing that's best supervised. I am a big fan of doing things on your own. But if I’m sick, first thing I need to do is kill parasites, well, guess what? You're going to probably end up hurting. So I think you just have to, just be careful to pick and choose the pace of that type of thing.
[00:24:57.00] Scott: I’m going to blend the next couple of questions that I was going to ask together, and those are on the topic of hormones and also on the gut itself. So when there's a hormonal issue, when there's maybe a gut issue, do you like to support those right at the beginning or do you first like to address the mold and mycotoxins?
I know Ann Corson says that mycotoxins are like throwing sparks on a silk scarf, in terms of their impact to the gut lining. So do you start right at the beginning with hormone support and gut support? Do you work on the mold and mycotoxin piece first? How do you organize the order of those?
[00:25:35.00] Bridgit: So mainly, how I organize is environment first, you can't get well in a sick environment. And then doing basics, I put ten kinds of, I’m going to say basic, but ten important things in the book. Because you can't skip certain things, you can't say I sleep two hours a night, but now I’m going to do this intense detox, that's not going to work out for you. Get those basic things in order, and then you can start doing some detoxing and see what you tolerate, everyone's quite different. Well, let me do the hormone question first.
Actually, you really sparked like some thinking when you sent me these questions, because I do think you could get into hormones pretty early on potentially with just good things coming out of it. And again, it's probably working with a practitioner, and it's for potentially doing some hormone replacement, so now you need someone who's licensed to do that. I know that could be a little controversial or whatever, but when I think back to my own journey and when I added hormones and how I did and when I refused to, I actually think I could have really benefited from working that piece a lot sooner.
A lot of stuff came back online for me, when I started to take hormones, and I did it really late in the process. So I think that's something that we can consider. I think people can get really hung up on like the order of things, I would say the thing I said be careful about killing protocols too soon. Whenever you start something new, if you start new hormones, I remember the first time a practitioner tried to put me on thyroid hormones which was pretty early, it was just like the wrong prescription and I was like sweating profusely and I was like forget it.
So anything new you try, yes, do monitor, do think about changes, not everybody fits everything. If I had switched to a different thyroid medication at that point, that would have been a fantastic idea. But I just was so unfamiliar and I was like I don't know about this, I’m just sweating. So I think the hormone piece could generally probably be added sooner. The gut piece, I think you can start reconditioning the gut in a gentle way, pretty soon switching to more whole foods that you tolerate. It's all about tolerance. Like if your gut is really wrecked, some people can barely eat any foods and it's a very slow process to get more foods in the diet.
But you could potentially be just increasing the quality of your diet, increasing fibers antioxidants, increasing fats, like let's not disregard how good those are for the gut, really powerful. Even when I was quite sick and still living in my moldy home, the peace of me having such a great diet I think it did help, it did help me survive like a tough time. So you can do that piece pretty safely I think early on if you tolerate it, and then later be working on more of the major like gut reconditioning and killing.
[00:28:28.22] Scott: So energy or ATP production in the mitochondria is really the currency of healing. What are some of the things that you see that damage our ability to produce energy?
[00:28:39.14] Bridgit: Yes. ATP are pretty sensitive; a lot of things can damage them. Under exercising, over-exercising, shallow breathing, all the toxins in the environment, certainly mycotoxins, nutrient deficiency. So they need a lot of love, but luckily, a lot of the things you do for them just overlap everything else you're going to do for your health about detox and clean living and that kind of thing.
So I think if you are new to the, if you're listening to Scott’s podcast, you're not probably new to these concepts. But let's say you were, all the things you're going to do benefit your mitochondria, and then you can potentially get a little bit more specific if you do feel like that's an issue for you. I think for me, Coq10 has been really helpful.
I learned from Dr. Kharrazian this like hydrogen tablets, you can put in your water. It's just like a high antioxidant, so if you have trouble exercising, that could be a way to tolerate that better. Exercise was a big needle mover for me, and I was really resisting the idea when I was at my sickest. I was like are you kidding me? Like you can barely walk, you want me to exercise? But I was amazed at how quickly I could build up and how much it did help me.
[00:29:58.00] Scott: There is more awareness today, thanks to Dr. Dale Bredesen on the potential contribution of Lyme and mold in terms of neurodegenerative conditions, Alzheimer’s for example. What have you observed in those being contributors to more serious neurological conditions?
[00:30:15.19] Bridgit: Yes. What I’ve mostly seen, because I think that people who come to us are a little younger, is that I see more like muscle wasting or like loss of motor function as far as neurological or like brain fog. Can't remember words, getting lost and I did do a little more research before we came on about one of Dale's articles and he's calling it type 3 Alzheimer’s, and it's like a cortical area of the brain, and it's super interesting. The guy is amazing, like kudos to him for how much he's contributed to this field.
So I think what I’m seeing is often more of the brain fog, and it's still very troubling, right? You can't do your job properly, you're afraid you're going to leave the stove on or whatever. I usually am not seeing people who are in full-blown Alzheimer’s personally. Not to say it isn't happening, they just aren't my clients right now.
But I think it's very interesting, Alzheimer’s is like then, I think it's like the number one health concern that people have about aging, and we don't want to lose our ability to think as we age, it really scares us, as well as sure it scares me too. And a lot of that work can be done now, right? Are we detoxifying our homes and our bodies? Are we eating real food? Are we doing the things to protect our brain? I don't really say make arguments about why people should listen to me about mold, but if you need some more reasons, yes, some of those long-term diseases are very much linked to mold exposure and that's scary.
So it's not just like oh, this inconvenient expensive thing, it's really like the rest of your life you're looking at. Like if I had stayed in that home, I would be in a bad way right now. Who knows what? I may have ended my life, I may be in a wheelchair, like serious stuff, like that's where I was going. So you do have to give it the gravity it deserves, because it's really serious.
[00:32:17.17] Scott: In the book, you talk about the fact that you cannot get well living in mold, I agree. So how do you counsel your clients that cannot create a safe environment for their healing? What can they do?
[00:32:28.24] Bridgit: Yes. A lot of people do have to move, and something I say and it's easier for me to say because I’ve been through it, is you often really have to humble yourself, inconvenience yourself, you can be a 50-year-old professional and feel like you're basically homeless, you have to like live with a friend, you have to live in a hotel. Like it's not a great feeling, it's hard on your ego. But that's not really what this is about, right? It's about your physical health and then like your long-term health like we just discussed.
So you have to make some tough decisions and that's easier for some people than others, I think personality-wise, it's easier for some people than others, and then you are literally sick and tired. So the idea of moving, I mean, I was this way, my ex-husband was really the one who helped push us along on the journey, because I was sicker and I was like I got all my stuff here, I’m working from home, like I don't want to deal with this, I don't want to move, like there's resistance, but you have to do it.
So people ask me well, what if I just have a little problem in my bathroom? Yes, maybe there are some cases where it's not a big deal. But if you're coming to me, or you're coming in Scott, you're probably quite sick. And if there's a mold problem in the home, you're probably going to have to make some radical changes.
So I don't know if you want to say like I’m a little tough love, I’m just being, I’m just honest is what it is. And some people listen to me, some people don't. I have clients who don't, frankly, they're like oh I got to wait till my son graduates high school or what have you, and I can only do what I can do.
[00:34:10.21] Scott: So do you find that proper remediation can allow some of your clients to remain in their home? Or do you find that the majority of those that are really significantly impacted generally need to move in order to move the needle?
[00:34:24.28] Bridgit: I think remediation is possible, it has to be very careful and very careful, and that's still quite expensive. Some people think oh, it's cheaper to remediate, maybe not. It's probably the same pretty much, because unless you're going to disclose, you've got to fix a home before you sell it and your stuff is all affected. If you move, it's the same boat. So I would say 80% people probably move if I had to pick a number, I’m not totally sure.
But you know yes, Mike Rubino, he probably follows remodeling some homes of the rich and famous, and yes, but it's costly, but some that they're staying in the home. But there's other, I just been getting to know Shemane Nugent, they literally tore down a multi-million-dollar home because they had mold in the wall. So anybody can be affected.
[00:35:16.23] Scott: Talk to us about the process of moving from a water-damaged environment to a new hopefully clean environment. What can you take? What can you not take? How do you minimize the risk of potentially contaminating a new space with personal belongings from the old space? How did you manage that process?
[00:35:33.01] Bridgit: Yes. So we made major mistakes. We moved stuff in cars and then lost those cars. We moved stuff into a temporary home, and then ruin that home. We made a lot of mistakes. But as we went along, we sort of learned from our mistakes too. In the end, we got rid of, Scott, like I literally have one Tupperware tub left of my old life, like I have almost nothing. Because as we would try to save this and that, we realize this isn't working.
So one thing you can do is put some things in storage that you really like to save. Make sure that storage unit isn't humid and then revisited it in a few months when you've been in new space, when you've had some healing, and see how those objects make you feel. If you are like me, you're going to have major mold rage as soon as that door gets opened, and that was basically our indicator.
Even still, there was a couple items I tried, I had a brand new $2,000 computer that I could never recover, and I kept trying, I kept putting it back in the box, cleaning it, digging it out, doing the air, pressurized air, it just never worked. So I boot that thing up and I would get sick every time.
So it is a little hard to answer, I would just err on the side of think that everything is compromised, like literally everything. Your clothes, your books, your computer, all your things really, unfortunately, I have to go a little extreme on that, because I think it's a slippery slope of thinking oh, well, I’m just bringing this, I’m just bringing that and the next thing you know you've contaminated your new space.
[00:37:10.27] Scott: So let's talk then a little bit about clothing, linens. Do you think that things like vinegar, essential oils, baking soda, borax, can those be helpful? Can we save some of these items? Are there commercially available products in that realm that you find helpful? Or would you say you know what, don't even attempt to do this?
[00:37:31.06] Bridgit: If you are quite sick, I would pretty much say don't attempt it. If you feel like there's some gray area, where you weren't that sick or this or that, yes, there's a company called E3 that makes some laundry stuff, I think putting your stuff out in the sun can be helpful after you've washed it. But Scott, you can literally contaminate your washing machine and your dryer, like you got to go do this at a laundromat.
Do you want to go be doing this like five times over at a laundromat for your whole wardrobe? Like it's a nightmare. So I think it's questionable. I think there are people who say I did save it, maybe their sensitivity was different. I think I saved about five items of clothing. So yes, unfortunately, I’m more on the side of just assume everything's going to make you sick and it's not really worth it.
[00:38:24.28] Scott: And you mentioned that you had lost some cars from moving contaminated items. Do you think that there are ways to improve the health quality of the car? Or do you think that once it's contaminated, not worth trying to mitigate at that, really you should get rid of it?
[00:38:41.01] Bridgit: Yes, similar to the clothes. If it's really affecting you, if you're just really triggered, if you're getting in that car. Again, we put a car in storage for a couple of months and went back to it and we're like, we had already gotten rid of one, now we're like this other one's gone too. By that point, we weren't compromising anymore.
Like we knew how we reacted to our stuff, we knew what a hassle it was to try to clean it, we knew how many things we had tried to clean and it failed, so we got to a point where I was just like forget it. So maybe you could use like ozone, and there's different these enzyme things and you're wiping it, but can you really wipe a car well? Like how are you going to get under the seat? How are you going to do any of that? So I think it's tough.
[00:39:28.21] Scott: What are some of the key issues that you've observed when remediating?
[00:39:33.10] Bridgit: Yes. People just taking a sledgehammer and opening stuff up without any cheating, error scrubber, that's a big mistake. I just ran into that recently. Hiring a remediator who's going to tell you to move all your stuff to another room, that's a mistake.
Being in the home while it's remediated, usually a mistake. If your health has been affected, it's going to kick stuff up. Even like the air system, like if you're DIYing it, you have to think about the airflow in the house, it's moving, right? So things are going to be moved around.
I think doing like a halfy job, like you've got to remove the drywall well beyond where it's been water stained. You certainly can't bleach things away; you can't paint over them. You really got to get deep, and that can get expensive. So redoing a shower stall with a leak issue could cost you five or ten grand, it's unfortunate. But unfortunately, like trying to cut corners, you can still have mold in the walls and you'll still be sick.
[00:40:38.18] Scott: When we think about that moving possibility, and looking for a new living environment. What do you recommend your clients do from a testing perspective to minimize the chances of repeating their prior mold experience?
[00:40:52.08] Bridgit: Yes. So for starters, you can use your senses. Smell for mustiness, look for stains under sinks, look for stains on the ceiling. Go into attics. Crawl spaces are hard to get into, but you can have your inspector do that. Really take a good look at basements, avoid basements, avoid crawl spaces, but those can be tough to avoid in some areas.
Ask about past water damage, mention your mold sensitivity, ask about when the roof has been replaced, look for how the house is draining. It should drain away from the house, never towards the house. So it also depends if you're a renter or owner. So owner there's more to look at in a sense, because it's a whole and usually a building.
There's more ability to ask questions and get some history. You can get an inspector who's going to do some, potentially do some moisture sensing, turn on all faucets, see what's going on. Usually, there isn't enough time to run a mold test in one, like right now it's a pretty hot market. You could potentially, especially if it's a slower market, get some testing and get it back. My ex went through this when he bought a house, and in the end, his test didn't come back, as long as the owners had given him. So he just did a lot of different things, this is a little older home, like he got a really nice air filter, he had the house really well cleaned before he moved in. It is a point of understandable paranoia, after you've been through it, it's better to move into a place that's temporary, even a couple rounds of that, because you could end up with another problem and now you're like man, I’m like how much money have I put in this house and that.
You don't want to feel tied, so it actually is better to, if you can have a year or two or things are kind of temporary where you're moving around, it's great. Like we actually took a two-month trip in a van like and kind of lived here and there, it's a short amount of time, but we did that right away once we sold our house, it was fantastic. It actually can become an opportunity to do things a little different. So yes, I would try not to get tied down, ask a lot of questions, and do testing if you can.
[00:43:11.02] Scott: So given that there is no mold-free environment, Dr. Klinghardt uses the term mold pore, that we're trying to minimize exposure as much as possible. Have you found in your clients or your personal journey that limbic system retraining work can help one to better tolerate lower levels of exposure in their environment, that are really unavoidable?
[00:43:35.00] Bridgit: Yes. I think it's three things potentially are coming to mind limbic, histamine and air quality. I think you can look at all those things, and I think they all are going to be playing a part. So I never did any of those specific limbic retraining programs, but I think I’ve sort of done a lot of limbic retraining, from other things I’ve done, which I’m happy to talk about. There are other options than just those programs.
A lot of things can help us with trauma, which is great news. So I think there's that aspect and I think that continued like histamine response to airborne anything, like I kind of redeveloped seasonal asthma after my mold exposure, which is the thing I’m trying to work on now. And with your feedback, I’m working on my gut to keep like bringing my histamine response down.
So I think if you can like work with that, that's another factor. You do need to keep thinking about air quality moving forward, so running an air filter in your bedroom, changing the filter in your HVAC often, getting that system clean, wet mopping, wet dusting, using non-toxic products, using non-toxic building materials or low toxic, these are all important considerations for all of us moving forward.
[00:44:50.13] Scott: Now we're going to talk about my favorite topic personally, which is detoxification and drainage. What are some of the foundations from your perspective in approaching detoxification?
[00:45:00.28] Bridgit: Yes. So make sure you're pooping, make sure you're drinking water, make sure you're sleeping. Some people with protocols kind of get those going first, with like I think there's like German like Homeopathics, or there's different things that, the different tools out there. But I would say kind of the basics without looking at some of those fancier tools. Yes, make sure you're sweating, getting sunshine, exercising, so that you are sort of able, you're a mover, before you get into actually detoxifying.
[00:45:32.22] Scott: So I think that's a great point, that the fluid flows are important, right? So doing something like rebounding or just walking can often facilitate a lot of good support for detoxification. So that's a great point. Constipation, definitely not supportive of detoxification, addressing that should be a top priority. What are some of your favorite strategies for addressing constipation?
[00:45:56.01] Bridgit: Yes. A lot of things can work is the good news. For me, taking digestive enzymes really helps, taking the mega pre helps me. Pro kinetics can help like ginger and like mega guard, and bigger bitters. I think that motility issue, brain down is under discussed in the world of mold. So we could talk more about that.
A lot of people rely on magnesium citrate, I think that's valid. I think it's a little overused, considering all the tools that are in the toolbox. If you're really stuck, coffee enema can help, it's not meant for that, but it can at least be getting things moving if you're quite stuck.
Castor oil packs can help people. In our binder we're coming out with, we have a pretty potent herb for that, that I don't even quite know how I discovered. I think I was just doing some research. So some herbal things can help as well, that's like a Chinese rhubarb we put in our formula.
[00:46:56.17] Scott: Let's talk about sleep. What are some of the items that you might explore to optimize a client's sleep? and what have you found most helpful in really supporting that deep restorative sleep that's so critical for healing?
[00:47:07.26] Bridgit: Yes. I find that many people in the health space client-wise tend to feel like they're cheating if they take a sleep aid, and I disagree with that. I think sleep is so important, deep sleep is important. I’m kind of like a flighty person who's been exposed to mold, so I definitely use sleep aids.
One thing a practitioner told me recently which I thought was great, she was just like because I was still kind of struggling sometimes with energy, and she's like take that every night, because the deeper you sleep, the more you're restored you're going to feel in the morning, and I was like that's a great point.
So melatonin is fantastic. I don't know why people are so afraid of it, we make less when we age, it's a huge tie-in to COVID. Some people may not react well to it, some of those people like 5-HTP, some may not like either, that's fine. But taking like three a night is three milligrams, it's very moderate, and we've been using much higher amounts with COVID and that sort of thing.
So I think that's great, I think a lot of herbals are great like lemon balm and ashwagandha, they're usually like in a mix. A product I’ve been loving lately is Qualia, I think it's called Qualia sleep or Qualia night and it's just a big mix of stuff, but it really seems to get me in a deeper sleep, because I dream hard.
[00:48:30.00] Scott: Me too.
[00:48:30.17] Bridgit: You like that one?
[00:48:31.15] Scott: My Oura ring definitely likes that product.
[00:48:34.16] Bridgit: I can imagine. I don't have an Oura ring yet, but yes, sleep quality is so huge. So I say don't be afraid. I also do like meditation music at night, that helps me. You can take a bath with Epsom salts; you can use aromatherapy. I think it's great to have a whole unwind time at night where you're reading or doing something like that.
[00:48:55.14] Scott: I always say that melatonin is my drug of choice, and I'm a 20 milligrams a night melatonin user, that really works well for me. Not something I would encourage people to do without working with someone.
But yes, that's a fantastic tool. We know that mold illness often will impact anti-diuretic hormone or ADH, drinking lots of water peeing it out still being cellularly dehydrated. What are some tricks that you have for deep cellular hydration when drinking water alone isn't doing it.
[00:49:18.29] Bridgit: Yes. This is one I wish I had realized earlier, because I don't think I knew this in my early mold journey. But electrolytes are great, you can buy clean electrolytes, awesome. Or you can kind of make your own with like sea salt and lemon and honey. And honestly, just adding a little something to water
Like I’ll buy that unsweetened cranberry juice, and I’ll just like add some to water. I feel like it just gives your body something to like hold on to when you're drinking. Yes, so you can just do like a little salt or you can. I live in Arizona, so I have so many like drink concoctions, because I always need to be hydrating. I think there's a lot of fun things we can do to make drinking more interesting.
I have like greens drink in the book that I like, to just get like a little nutrition and some of those essential minerals out of your drinks is great, because you are peeing out more of them, and you need those minerals for detox. So yes, I think there's a lot of fun options to kind of retain that hydration.
[00:50:28.09] Scott: You talk about the MATH diet in the book. So what is the MATH diet? And then, how might you adjust that diet for those with mast cell activation, histamine issues that maybe can't tolerate fermented foods?
[00:50:40.08] Bridgit: Yes, great question. So I think I was being asked what diet do you recommend for a lot of years, and I didn't quite know how to answer the question. I would say I was on like a Paleo template, but I wasn't maybe strictly Paleo or whatever., so I made this up. It means microbiome friendly, anti-inflammatory, time restricted and hydrating. There are a couple things I would maybe add about low carb, high quality, that kind of thing. We could go on. But microbiome friendly, yes you don't have to do fermented foods.
But the more fibers and the more variety of foods you can do, the better, because that makes more of a variety of bugs in your gut. Dr. Kharrazian has a fun way to do it which is like go to the store and get like as many vegetables as you can or definitely organic is preferred. Chop them up and freeze them, and like add those to a smoothie, so you're getting like a big variety.
Not everyone can tolerate that, because sometimes when our gut isn't happy, we have SIBO, we're not tolerating fiber. So I do talk about the fodmap diet in there in the book, I do talk about histamine in the book. Most high histamine foods are also inflammatory. So cheeses, alcohol that kind of thing.
As far as moldy foods, often those foods are quite moldy too. But I think for me in my body, what I mostly notice is those foods are inflammatory and many of those foods we can't tolerate when we have mold. Hydration, we kind of already talked about, time restricted eating I think is a great thing to get into can help rebuild your microbiome.
Not everyone can take that right away, when you're quite sick sometimes you do need to eat often, because you just need the fuel. But as you graduate, you can space out your meals more. I think as we age, most people I’m treating our midlife. We do metabolize differently and we need to start to be more aware of not snacking and the times that we're eating instead of just what we're eating.
[00:52:40.05] Scott: I like the tip that you gave us from Dr. Kharrazian. Dr Klinghardt has a similar one which is to take your fruits and vegetables, juice them, throw away the juice and eat the pulp, to get that fiber that you talked about. You mentioned bitters earlier, so talk to us about the value of bitters with meals to support bile flow and detoxification.
[00:53:04.02] Bridgit: Yes. Bitters are pretty cool, and I don't think they get their do so things like gentian and like citrus peel, ginger, they stimulate, like that bitter taste stimulates digestion to happen. You can also do like a bitter salad before you eat. It just stimulates everything going. That's how our bodies work, and we don't eat many bitter foods nowadays, we eat a lot of sweet tastes or bland tastes.
So yes, whether it's foods or doing a usually bitters common a tincture, but somebody can come in a pill too. It can be great for moving things along, for things like preventing SIBO, for nausea, for heartburn for constipation and then for detox too, because it's stimulating bile to be released as, because we just stimulate bile to digest fat.
[00:53:55.01] Scott: Yes. Ann Louise Gittleman was the one many years ago that turned me on to bitters, and I definitely think that they have a huge place in this realm. You are a proponent of a high healthy fat diet, I love my fats, so critical. So why do you find high healthy fats helpful in the context of mold illness, and what are some of your favorite healthy fats?
[00:54:16.26] Bridgit: Yes. I’m a big fan of fat, it's good for your brain and we're mainly restoring our brains. It's good for your hormones, it's good for satiety and having energy longer. I think we're still a little fat phobic in our culture, it's really kind of a shame. I’m super tiny and I eat tons of fat, so definitely fat doesn't make you fat.
I think the only exception is if you're eating like a trail mix with like nuts plus like berries and chocolate chips, you can end up eating too many nuts. But usually, you're not going to overeat fat because you get full. I have a lot of raw nuts in my fridge. I personally tolerate nuts really well, I’m careful with them, like I soak almonds for the morning, sometimes I put them in smoothies, I put them on salads. I tolerate them well, not everyone does I understand.
I have some like frozen chunks of coconut, like whole coconut in my freezer that I’ve been putting in smoothies. I’ve really been enjoying that one. I have coconut like powder that I’ll put in drinks. I do those cans of coconut milk or cream, and I’ll use those for different drinks. Eat a lot of butter for sure, if you can tolerate butter. I eat actually a decent amount of canned salmon, it's a really affordable way to get salmon and I just make it kind of like a tuna salad, so that's just like one little seafood idea.
[00:55:38.17] Scott: Yes, some great tips there. I personally have had my four tablespoons of fiber, and four tablespoons of fat already this morning, so definitely something that I think is really critical. Let's talk a little more about supplements and techniques for supporting detoxification, what are some of your favorite tools in that realm?
[00:55:57.21] Bridgit: Yes. For the sake of organization for the book, I picked my top five, it wasn't easy to pick. But for techniques I picked coffee enema, Epsom salt bath, dry brushing, sauna, I’m forgetting one, oh mouth taping which you mentioned.
Because those had the most impact for me. And then for supplements I picked Coq10, glutathione, electrolytes, broccoli seed and sprout. and binders. So not all those will work for everyone, but all of them have some great qualities. And I think if you're just trying to get your head wrapped around some of these concepts, those are great ones to start experimenting with.
[00:56:37.06] Scott: Let's dig a little more into binders, such a common conversation, so many to choose from. What are your personal favorite binders? And does everyone need a binder to recover from toxic mold illness?
[00:56:48.20] Bridgit: So not everyone's going to tolerate a binder, because some people are so sensitive. I think they are really important to at least be trying. You can try single ones, if a blend doesn't work for, you can try micro doses. Because of the bile recycling that our body does, we really want toxins to leave in the stool.
So I think it's quite important. But we just had someone on a live call recently say she couldn't tolerate them, and she just does all the techniques and she's gotten a lot better. So I think that's great to hear. But they are like the little garbage men of the body, there are many types, I don't know, if I had to pick a favorite, I might actually say charcoal. It's so affordable and it really gets the job done. I was trying to leave it out of the binder I formulated, because it does bind like vitamins and stuff. I just couldn't get the binder to feel like I wanted until I got charcoal into it, so that was interesting.
But I do have a mix of stuff in my binder, because different binders have affinities to different things. So having a mix is one way to go. But also cycling and trying different ones is another way to go. A gentle one is citrus pectin, can be used in like a powder for kids, it doesn't taste like too much. I think fulvic and UMIC acid are really interesting, because they can add some minerals while they're also detoxifying, so those ones are cool. I think they're all good, so to speak.
[00:58:18.03] Scott: And for those people that can't tolerate binders, Dr. Jill Crista talks about using foods that are more natural binders, and so that's another tool as well. I know some people will ask about your binder, so tell us how can they find out more about the binder that you formulated?
[00:58:36.02] Bridgit: Yes. It's coming out I think April 1st, and it's going to be called Mi Toxin Binder. It is kind of specifically for mold and moving the gut. It is more of a structural chemical binder. I will also mention there are other things that are binders, like immunoglobulins and Saccharomyces boulardii.
I think there's a whole world there, and I’d actually later like to make a second binder, that is more of like a gut based immune kind of binder. So there are other things that bind, chlorella too is another one. So we tend to talk about the kind of structural binders, but there are some other interesting things out there.
[00:59:13.17] Scott: What is the role of glucuronidation in mycotoxin detoxification? And how do you prefer to support it?
[00:59:20.17] Bridgit: Yes. So this is interesting, I really kind of learned about this, it was highlighted for me from Beth O’Hara on the Mold Masterclass. And I spent some time researching this morning, because it's something I’ve learned about and incorporated a bit. We already sold broccoli seed and sprout which I love for detox, it detoxes a lot of chemicals, it supports the liver and so it's just a nice bonus that it also helps for mycotoxin detox.
However, while I was looking up this morning and lots of different pathways detox mycotoxins and it depends on the mycotoxin. So well, I think it's great to support glucuronidation and I looked up some interesting things that support it that are pretty simple like fish oil. I know that there are other pathways in effect so to speak, taking sulfur, Epsom salt baths and that pathway is also beneficial. So I think I was excited to learn that one pathway, but it's not the only one at play.
[01:00:20.17] Scott: Personally, I’ve always been a little hesitant to incorporate sauna into a protocol too early before the drainage pathways are open, that we don't want to redistribute toxins, which definitely is not an ideal scenario. Do you find that most of your clients tolerate sauna even early on, and how do you optimize the benefits but reduce the potential downsides of sauna use in those with mold illness?
[01:00:45.12] Bridgit: Yes. I think what comes to me Scott, client-wise, is people who basically have already done the basic work, right? They're already eating well; they're already taking care of those things. So they usually take sauna well, they already own a sauna by the time they find me. The people I see don't tolerate are the ones who are very sensitive, and I think that they have a real antioxidant deficiency. So as soon as the pot is stirred, they can't handle it.
So those hydrogen tablets I mentioned earlier I think are a way to go, I think all the antioxidants are a way to go. Like if I do a second book, second summit, it'll probably be on antioxidants and these liver pathways because I think there's just a lot more to dig into there. Even if you can take the sauna for five minutes, take it for five minutes.
Do your binder, do antioxidants that you can tolerate, do glutathione if you can tolerate, just get in where you fit in. I think something I learned from Dr. Neil Nathan is like something is better than nothing if you can do it, and it doesn't necessarily mean you're getting better slower, it just means you have a different path.
[01:01:56.14] Scott: We are both big believers in coffee enemas as really game changers in the mold arena. Why do you find them a game changer? And I find it's hard to get people to really consider it, so how do you approach that conversation with your clients?
[01:02:11.00] Bridgit: Yes. For me, it was just, the days I would do them, sometimes it'd be the only day or half day I’d feel normal, like I had energy. That's I’m getting almost like a little teary-eyed to say, because I’m remembering back to how bad I was. I’m sure you've told me your story Scott, I’m sure you can relate. But a lot of people say oh well, can you just drink coffee? You got to do it to feel that it's not quite the same, it's just a different kind of energy.
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of study and proof behind coffee enemas, it's just not there, which is a bummer. But I think those of us who have done it, have seen our clients do them, we see the changes it's making, it's helping. I don't really make anyone do coffee enema, I just sort of educate, and again, I’m shocked at how many people come to me already doing coffee enema, and they love it, they do it all the time. Some people I’m like you need to stop doing it. Actually, if it's working for people, every day, it could be fine. But I think that can get a little irritating to your tissues to do it that often.
But yes, I think it's great, I think it can be irritating, those tissues it can be difficult if you have mobility issues. You have hemorrhoids, you have fissures. So it's probably the biggest one where I’m like don't just take my word for it, like do some research, talk to your leading case manager about it.
[01:03:43.14] Scott: You're one of the few people that I’ve talked with that uses mouth taping, which I’ve also done for a couple of years now. So tell us about the benefits of mouth taping and why you think that's so critical.
[01:03:53.04] Bridgit: You know, it has some benefits for nitric oxide production and oral health, but the biggest one for me is that I was a mouth breather at night, I didn't know it. So I would get a dry mouth, a dry throat, and that's an environment where little bugs can thrive and inflammation comes up. So literally, hundreds of days, Scott I woke up with a sore throat that maybe would last till 2 pm like hundreds of days, it sucked and I just didn't know what it was coming from.
Until a friend of mine had an Instagram about mouth taping and I was like I need to try that, it was huge for me. I could see as my immunity was compromised, and then I was having this dry throat every day, just didn't know that basic thing.
So for me, it made my top five because for me personally, like I kind of wanted to put castor oil back in there because logically it makes more sense. But for me, personally, mouth taping was a huge game changer.
[01:04:55.01] Scott: Lymphatic massage is another tool that you cover in the book that I also think can be very helpful, have experienced it personally and found it helpful. Have you found it a really helpful tool in your personal mold journey? And is it something that you use with clients?
[01:05:10.10] Bridgit: Yes. So I think I had three sessions, so not a ton. But the first one, I went to, I hadn't taken a binder, I didn't even think to, and I got really hit. So I know it moved a lot of toxins, because I felt horrible afterwards. So the next couple times I did do a binder, but I think my body was just sort of accustomed to it by then. I think it's a great technique.
We have so many tools that we can use. It's a little maybe more costly than a regular massage, and a little harder to find. But it's nice and relaxing, and if you kind of need the touch and it's a very light touch too, so if you don't tolerate massage, it could go well for you. So yes, I think I’m a fan of like all the lymphatic moving techniques, they all work for me and it's really up to the budget and the person what they want to try.
[01:06:03.14] Scott: Let's talk about colonization from exposure to fungal organisms in water damaged buildings. In your clients, how often do you believe that mold colonization occurs? Is it something you commonly, see? Is it more sinus, more gut, how do you approach addressing colonization? What are some of your favorite tools and how does Biocidin play a role in your strategy?
[01:06:26.17] Bridgit: Yes, great question. I think there's still a lot we're going to learn about colonization that we don't know. It can potentially be in all sorts of tissues. I think I have a section in the book in it. Like can be in lung tissue, potentially, I think if you said like bone tissue, like crazy stuff. So I think what gets talked about the most is gut colonization and nasal colonization. When we've run nasal colonization's tests, it's often positive and it's hard to fix, sometimes.
So I’m kind of hearing more of a trend in mold illness treatment, where we treat that last or sort of not at all potentially. I do have a protocol, I’ll give you for that, because I think it's so common, I think it is a good one to address and I think it's kind of just irritating because it's in that same region where you're breathing in irritants, the brain's been affected.
You've got colonization in the sinuses; it just creates a burden. For me, it was creating a lot of post nasal drip, which just added to that freaking throat problem I was having. So I was back in the day, twice a day using a NeilMed saline rinse, it was a big help to me. I don't really do it anymore. I do more often my little silver nasal spray, it's a lot faster, and our protocol is to add either liposomal Biocidin probably that's better or the Biocidin tincture I think is fine too into the bottle, 30 drops and then you use the spray and nostril, two sprays, each nostril, three times a day for like two months. It's not guaranteed, Scott, to solve it in that time span, but I think it's possible. It just seems to be very stubborn, and I think it has to do with the whole like kind of host issue and how long have you been out of mold and how's your immunity. But I think that protocol, or even just the silver alone can potentially work.
[01:08:29.22] Scott: Yes, and to your point, depending on how long you've been out of mold. A lot of times I see people jumping into these colonization treatment strategies when they're still living in their water damage building, and to me that doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense, like they're probably just going to get recolonized.
So again, coming back to the fact that the environment needs to be addressed as early as possible in these programs. A few years ago, I did a two-week continuous glucose monitor to explore some potential contributors to my sleep issues at the time. How was a continuous glucose monitor helpful for you? And what did you learn from that experience?
[01:09:04.02] Bridgit: Yes. I thought it was really interesting, I think everyone should do it at some point in their lives. It did not fix for me so to speak what I wanted to potentially fix. So I was writing my book, I still got a lot of sort of mental fatigue I would say. So I was wondering is my blood sugar playing a part in it, and even though I made a lot of changes in my diet, I wouldn't say it for me made a difference in my mental fatigue.
But what I did learn about was all the things I was doing wrong with timing my carbohydrates, the amount of protein I was having, shocking. I thought I was doing pretty good. My body mass is very normal, my hemoglobin a1c and fasting glucose looked fine, totally fine. And then here I was, having these major spikes, especially with like any dinner carb. So it was just incredibly informative to me. I did it for three months this fall, and then it was the holidays I feel like crazy off the way.
I would say I’ve retained some of what I’ve learned, but it's hard, because I was doing those habits like my whole life. But I think some things like have stuck with me that I learned and yes, I think it's really great, because I think blood sugar and metabolism are huge issues with how well we're going to age and those chronic diseases, and I think us health nuts think we're doing fine, because we're not like eating McDonald’s and super overweight. But there's actually a lot still to optimize at midlife and beyond about your carbs. Probably at any point in life, but especially midlife and beyond.
[01:10:50.00] Scott: I think it's going to be really interesting once we have an Oura ring or some kind of wearable that can measure blood glucose without having to wear those patches that are actually a small needle in the skin. I think they'll be much more widely utilized, and I do think that the insights people get will really lead to some shifts in their food choices and behavior patterns.
And sometimes it's surprising, sometimes it's not the things that you would expect that actually spike the blood sugar, and sometimes it's the things that you're actually reactive to or allergic to or sensitive to as well.
The last section of your book is about how to live our best next chapter, what are some of the things we need to consider longer term to optimize our health and our lives?
[01:11:34.05] Bridgit: Well, earlier we talked about histamines and limbic and air quality, and in a sense, that still plays in with like a bigger picture about what our habits like ongoing. You're never really going to go back to like standard American diet, you're not going to want to, but also, you're not going to feel good on that.
You still need to think about air quality and that kind of thing. And then limbic system, really thinking about what brings you stress, what brings you joy, what thought patterns, what beliefs spin you out. That's really what I’ve been working on pretty hard in the last few years, and it's really made a difference especially lately with the way I make choices and what I like stew about versus not. Like I really watch my thoughts.
And then in a bigger sense, it's like what do you want out of life? Especially say we're midlife you're going through a mold crisis, the snow globe got shaken, and you get to kind of choose where you want next. I think it can be your instinct to keep everything the same. Like I just want everything the same, pretend this never happens. I mean, I would just push that and say what do you want to leave behind? Even if you have a great family dynamic and what have you, you probably still have some beliefs to leave behind, some ways you think.
Or maybe you really aren't happy with a lot of things in your life if you really are honest. Are you happy with where you're living? The people in your life? The work you're doing? This is a chance to boldly step into something different. And again, I think it's our instinct to not want to do that. But I really encourage in the book to just start with assessing, are you really happy? And what would you like to be different? And trust that if you start to move in that direction, it could be bumpy, but I think the universe also tends to reward you moving towards the best version of yourself.
[01:13:48.22] Scott: You say if you're experiencing a setback, feel the feeling, but don't make a big story about it. And it seems to me that one of the things that prevents us from healing is being stuck in our story, not being able to create a new reality. Do you find that being able to move past our story is a key element of healing?
[01:14:09.18] Bridgit: I think it's huge, it's huge and it's not spoken about enough. And those words were even difficult for me to find, but like I’m glad I found them for the book, because I think it's super important. I don't know that aspect of your story, Scott, but I bet there is an aspect there, because it they kind of go hand in hand.
That if you're going to evolve your health, you're probably also evolving your story, because who you were got sick, and who you're going to be next, who isn't sick, it's going to be different. Just the way you think about things. To be completely honest, like I went through mold and then pretty soon after went through a divorce, and probably the divorce more shook me up about who am I, where is my life going?
It was hard. It took me a long time and but I really sat with all of it, like what I believed about what marriage was and who I was and my identity, and questioning those things is a big one. But on the other side of that, is a belief with a lot more like love for yourself and tolerance for yourself and others too, because whatever you're going through, I feel for you, I don't judge you. So I think that story piece is huge, and yes, a great opportunity to write a new story, or just edit your story with a mold shake up.
[01:15:36.24] Scott: So you recently wrote the book “The Ultimate Toxic Mold Recovery Guide: Take Back Your Health, Home & Life”. Tell us a little bit about where people can find it.
[01:15:45.18] Bridgit: Yes, it's on Amazon. We have a Kindle, a paperback and soon we'll have the audiobook, so you can buy it with an Audible credit. Which I think is not a bad way to go, because you can take it all in in the big picture, and then if you want a paper copy, to see the dosages and stuff, I think that combo, even though it's a little more expensive, could be a great way to go. As I got the book in the mail, I was like well, this is a big book for someone with brain fog.
So maybe hearing it all and picking through the pieces you want or thinking where you're at. Since it's on Amazon, it'll be on our website BridgitDanner.com later. Yes, I’m just really excited about it, because this field is still emerging and there aren't a ton of resources yet. I think that will change, but I’m happy to be one who's kind of like this is where we're at right now, this is what we know, and here's a book for you.
[01:16:39.13] Scott: My last question is the same for every guest, and that's what are some of the key things you do on a daily basis in support of your own health?
[01:16:46.10] Bridgit: I’m outside a lot. I get a lot of sunshine; I barely wear sunscreen. I get a lot of exercise, I do like ten different sports, so that's really important to me and it brings me a lot of joy. I think we talked about moving toxins, but also, I think when you're feeling kind of stuck with work or problems, moving is really important. I get a lot of sleep; I need a lot of sleep. I’m really protective of my sleep time, and I would say maybe the last thing I’ll mention, well, one other thing I’ve really worked on and improved in value in my life is like my relationships.
I really like make time for friends and fun and adventurers and family and just realize like I used to be kind of like a workaholic in my clinic, and I just didn't have much left to show at the end of the day, at the end of the week, I was just tired. So even though I sometimes want to slip back into that workout, which I’ve probably done a bit lately. I really think that's an important part of health, is having great relationships and laughing. So I do plenty of that.
[01:18:01.04] Scott: Such good information, just appreciate all that you do to help people in this community, appreciate that you put this book together, that you put together the Toxic Mold Masterclass summit, that was a fantastic event. So thank you so much for being here, for sharing all of your knowledge with us, and just appreciate all that you do, Bridgit.
[01:18:20.07] Bridgit: Well, thank you. Honestly, one of the favorite people I met in this process was you, we really didn't have a relationship and you are so thorough, you guys if you're on the video, like Scott sent me like all these details. You probably read my book more than any other human. You're just so thorough, and you're such a resource and I’m just so thankful for you as well.
[01:18:41.23] To learn more about today's guest visit BridgitDanner.com that's BridgitDanner.com.
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