Toxicity and the Impact of Our Environment on Chronic Illness With Dr. Neil Nathan
Published on Mar 15, 2019
Published on Mar 15, 2019
Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by Dr. Kelly McCann, a public health expert who discusses Lyme Disease, mold and environmental toxins.
Dr. McCann is on staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., and has been in private practice in Costa Mesa, Calif., since 2008. She founded Partners in Health at the Spring Center in August 2009.
Dr. McCann received a bachelor’s degree in music from Brown University and a master’s degree in library science from the State University of New York at Albany. She went on to receive her doctor of medicine degree and simultaneously earned a master’s in public health (MPH) in tropical medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. She completed both an internal medicine residency at Banner Samaritan Medical Center and a pediatrics residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix.
Dr. McCann practiced medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine where she worked and trained with renowned Dr. Andrew Weil as one of 35 distinguished fellows in residence throughout the world. After completion of the fellowship, Dr. McCann became certified in medical acupuncture through the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, studied environmental medicine and chelation with Dr. Walter Crinnion and biotoxins with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker and membrane medicine with Dr. Patricia Kane.
Dr. McCann is certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine and also Board Certified in Integrative Medicine by the American Board of Physician Specialties. Dr. McCann completed a master’s in spiritual psychology at the University of Santa Monica in August 2010. She was named to the newly created Board of the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness.
She lectures internationally on mold, lyme and environmental toxins. She lives in Costa Mesa with her husband, his daughter and their dog and cat. She enjoys yoga, dancing with her partner and traveling.
“© [October 10,2018] [https://drjaydavidson.com/mold-in-the-home/?inf_contact_key=bcb84d711f60d57a7d1c96dfe3f12451ae791a1d2419e622fbda3ee5db9bca9e] This content is distributed and reproduced with the permission of DrJayDavidson.com”
Humans and mold have always had a tenuous living arrangement. At times, mold has willingly obliged our efforts to make beer, wine, and cheese from grains, fruit, and milk, as depicted in ancient Egyptian art.
At other times, mold has invaded and imposed upon us, often with dire consequences. Mold was to blame for destroying the entirety of Ireland’s potato crop, resulting in the Great Famine of 1845-1849. Rightfully dubbed the Great Hunger, it left over one million people dead of starvation.
Mold’s harmful effects on human health and well-being are well-documented. Inspection, evaluation, and remediation of mold is an age-old and enduring need. A home mold management protocol, or “cleansing of defiling mold,” is outlined in the Book of Leviticus, from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. The Bible even recommends that when mold in a home is persistent and continues to spread, the structure must be torn down!
So why must we have a conversation about mold in the present day? One would think with all our sanitizers, fungicides, pre-treatments, and technologies, that mold would be a non-issue in the modern age. Still, mold continues to be a challenging issue, one that is highly exacerbated by the stresses of contemporary living. Certain stresses add a heavy load to the body’s toxic burden, including:
• Chemical toxicity. Thousands upon thousands of chemicals have been created, a very high percentage of which have never been individually tested for safety, and most definitely have not been tested for safety in combination with other chemicals.
• Digital toxicity from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are known to produce undesirable biological effects.1 WiFi signals, in particular, are known to exacerbate mold growth and cause the biological mycotoxins released by mold to be more plentiful, potent, and pathogenic.
• Emotional stress is an epidemic in today’s society. Demands and expectations required and put on individuals in our contemporary culture overtax our emotional and physical tolerance.
In the 1990s the Harvard School of Public Health, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO) coined the term “burden of disease,” which defines loss of health and death due to injuries, diseases, and risk factors. Sadly, mold in the home increases the burden of disease.2
So, think about it. The mold in your home that was hurriedly wiped off or painted and caulked over, maybe not by you, but by the previous owners, could contribute to illness and death for you and your family. Furthermore, this hidden, health-destroying mold danger is present in buildings where you work, worship, shop, or go to school as well.
Mold illness, also known as “mold mycotoxicosis,” has harmful effects on the immune system, the central and peripheral nervous systems, and the respiratory organs including the lungs, sinuses, and throat. It’s associated with an across-the-board inflammatory response and generalized irritation to many organs and systems.3 Mycotoxicosis can occur when molds are inhaled, ingested, or come in contact with the skin.
Mold illness has a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to:
Toxic byproducts, known as mycotoxins, are produced by many species of mold.4 Over 200 types of mycotoxin have been identified, and many more have yet to be cataloged through ongoing research.
Mold mycotoxins can cause disease and death in humans and animals.5 They range from mild to moderately irritating issues like athlete’s foot to critical and deadly cases such as invasive aspergillosis. The symptoms of mycotoxicity depend on:
Nutrient deficiency, infectious disease status, alcohol and substance abuse, caloric deprivation, and exposure to EMFs can increase the severity of mycotoxin poisoning. Additionally, mycotoxicoses can exacerbate and enhance the effect of malnutrition and microbial diseases like Lyme and related co-infections. Furthermore, they can combine synergistically with other toxins to overburden the body’s toxic load.
There are many well-recognized types of mold in homes and buildings. A few of the most common are:
No matter how old or new house is, it can have a mold problem. That’s because mold spores inhabit both indoor and outdoor environments, and their source is not age dependent.
Mold gets in the home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and cooling units. It also hitches a ride into the house on shoes, clothing, bags, backpacks, and pets. You can also bring mold into your home with clothing and furnishings obtained second-hand or from thrift shops.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends these measures to control mold:9
Recommendations and tips for moisture and mold prevention include:10
Evaluate mold in your home by conducting a thorough home walk-through. Take your time and inspect every part of your house. Look at places where water flows or could enter the house. Look underneath things. Pull out and look behind them, too. Think back and do your best to recall all previous water incidents.
Pay attention to these house-wide considerations:
Heating and cooling
Kitchen and bathrooms. Look for plumbing leaks around or under:
Attics or crawl spaces
Your home walk-through could leave you overwhelmed and wondering what to do next. You can seek help from professional mold evaluation, removal, and remediation specialists. Research thoroughly the services available in your locality.
There are a wealth of essential tips and supplement protocols in Dr. Jay’s At-Home Lyme Disease Program that can help you mount an offense against mold’s uninvited and unwelcome invasion. To receive one-on-one advice and support in your quest to remove toxic mold from your home and body, apply for the 1:1 Coaching Program.
So, while your living arrangement with mold may always be contentious, with a bit of help, some steadfast determination, and perseverance you can cleanse mold from your body and turn things around in your home.
Keep in mind that although your battle with mold may seem quite personal, it’s really just part of the human condition. Humanity has been dealing with the unwelcome intrusion of mold since day one.
Upcoming Toxic Mold Summit FREE and online. From Jan. 28-Feb 3, 2019.
Dr. Neil Nathan’s New Book: Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness.
Lauren Tessier, ND is a Naturopathic Physician licensed in the state of Vermont. She received her Bachelors in Premedical Sciences and Health Psychology from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston and later became a Naturopathic Physician at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington.
Her practice, Life After Mold, uses a patient-centered approach to help recover those that are suffering from mold-related illness. She combines naturopathic, functional, and integrative medicine to address the entire person. She is a Shoemaker Certified Physician specializing in the treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) which results from exposure to water-damaged buildings.
In 2011, Hurricane Irene created an unimaginable flood in Waterbury, Vermont, and she was unprepared for what she would see next in her practice. Patients were ill with unexplained rashes, allergies that did not respond to treatment, fatigue, breathing difficulties, neurological complaints, headaches, nausea, and immune system dysfunction. When her normal approaches no longer worked for these patients, she dove deep into mold-related illness.
Her practice is dedicated to helping those suffering with mold, biotoxin, and mycotoxin associated illness resulting from water-damaged buildings. As time passed, she came to the belief that the environment plays a role in all chronic illness. Environmental illness includes mold, heavy metals, glyphosate exposure, chronic infections such as Lyme disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Dr. Tessier is an Executive Board Member of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) which aims to advance medical knowledge surrounding environmentally acquired illness.
In this episode, you will learn about Bau Biologie, or Building Biology, and how to evaluate and improve the health of the external environment in order to improve overall health.
May Dooley, MS, MA, CMC (Council-certified Microbial Consultant) is a former middle school science teacher who loves to educate and empower people with information to improve their environment – and thus, their lives. She has been an environmental consultant for more than 24 years helping people make their home environment healthier.
She leads her clients through the basic steps to assess and create a healthy home which includes air quality, water quality, and reduced exposure to other stressors that may impact health such as electromagnetic fields. Her inspections are interactive, and her clients learn how to measure EMFs, reduce body voltage in their bed, use a laser particle counter to evaluate their vacuum cleaner, and to take samples to explore for mold. She even brings along her microscope and looks at the samples in your home. Once she has evaluated an environment using the principles of Bau Biologie, she provides an easy-to-understand series of steps to improve the environment.
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.
Many Lyme/MSIDS patients are finding they have a mold problem as well. Which came first, the pathogen invasion or the mold? Good question. The answer seems to be illusive, yet once this variable is discovered and dealt with, patients finally begin to improve on pathogen treatment.
Below is an extended preview of the documentary Moldy.
Go here to see the full documentary for FREE for a limited time: https://moldymovie.com/index
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/01/lyme-cdc-rally-may-4-2018/ According to Kathleen Dickson, Former Pfizer Analytical Chemist & whistleblower for the failed LYMErix vaccine:
“The case definition for Lyme disease was falsified in 1994; in the early Lyme vaccine trials the CDC discovered that the main ingredient in the vaccine – OspA caused Post sepsis disorder or the systemic disease we refer to as Chronic Neurological Lyme. The main ingredient of the vaccine – OspA or “outer surface protein A” is a fungal endotoxin and could never be a vaccine”.
By Jennifer Crystal
When I was in elementary school, I developed a barking cough every spring. Loud, disruptive and persistent, the cough drew annoyed looks from teachers and students alike. Hearing me coming down the hall, the school nurse would call out, “Drink water!” But a few sips of water were not the solution to this cough because its cause went much deeper than a simple tickle in my throat. After a visit to an allergist, I learned that I was allergic to a number of seasonal and environmental irritants, including pollen (hayfever), fresh cut grass, dust mites, and mold.
I was given two inhalers, and the cough subsided. Besides some lesser springtime sneezing, I didn’t think much of my allergies after that. I forgot about the mold allergy entirely until I was in my early twenties when the ceiling of the schoolroom in the building where I taught started to leak. Shortly after, the teacher in that room came down with fatigue, migraines and sinus issues. The leaky ceiling had caused mold, which in turn caused my colleague to get sick.
I felt lucky not to be in that classroom. It didn’t occur to me that my room could also have mold spores, and that perhaps a lot of places where I’d worked or lived had also been infested with mold, which tends to hide in unseen areas like behind ceiling panels and in basements. Like Lyme disease, mold can quietly cause damage and create a litany of health problems. Also like Lyme, mold toxins can cause systemic inflammation.
For Lyme patients and others with compromised immune systems, mold, mycotoxins and heavy metals can seriously impact recovery. In his talk titled “Mycotoxins and Chronic Illness: New Insights: The Role of Gliotoxin, the Immune System and Chronic Infections” at the 2017 Boston ILADS Conference, Infectious Disease Specialist Joseph Brewer (of Kansas City, Missouri) said that greater than 95% of chronic illness patients test positive for mycotoxins, and at least 90% recall prior exposure to mold. Symptoms can show up immediately or years later. Due to inhalation exposure, most of these molds live in our nasal cavities, causing infection of the sinuses and lungs. Mold and mycotoxin exposure, as well as exposure to heavy metals such as lead, might directly cause illness, or might suppress the immune system just enough so that a patient can’t fight off acute infection. Dr. Brewer studied two patients with mononucleosis who never got better, and found black mold in their houses.
Throughout my battle with Lyme, I suffered constant sinus infections, ear infections, and bronchitis. I wonder, now, if mold and mycotoxins also played a role. They could have been culprits of these infections, or perhaps they weakened my immune system, making it difficult for me to fight off Lyme, Babesia, Ehrlichia,mono and other acute infections.
Though it took a long time, treatment for tick-borne illness did finally work for me. Other people, though, don’t respond to treatment. They may wish to consider whether mold and mycotoxin exposure is perhaps getting in the way of their recovery. As Dr. Richard Horowitz writes in his book Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme & Chronic Disease, “Some patients, whether due to their genetics, their total load of these toxins, or their inability to properly detoxify, become ill when the load of toxic substances reaches a certain level.” They might experience symptoms such as “fatigue, fibromyalgia, joint pain, paresthesias, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, loss of balance and/or incoordination, abdominal complaints, urinary symptoms, visual symptoms, auditory symptoms, changes in weight, increased susceptibility to infection and cardiac symptoms.”
So how does a patient determine if they’ve been exposed to mold or toxins? If they have, what do they do about it? It’s really important to talk to your Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) about testing for mold, mycotoxins and heavy metal exposure. Your doctor may recommend intranasal anti-fungal therapy. I use a nasal spray every other day which keeps my allergy symptoms at bay and helps stave off sinus and other infections. A cool mist humidifier during these cold months also helps, but you have to be very careful about cleaning it, or, ironically, it will grow mold!
While most mold lives in our nasal cavities, D.O. Thomas Moorcroft (of Origins of Health in Connecticut) said in his ILADS talk, “The Glymphatic System and its Role in Brain Detoxification,” that 70% of brain detox and drainage comes out of the nasal cavity. To be sure, brain detox is a huge part of recovery from neurological Lyme; once the bacteria has crossed the blood-brain barrier, it causes inflammation and build-up of both live and dead toxins in our craniums. Dr. Moorcroft talked about the importance of glymphatic drainage, also known as deep cervical lymphatic drainage. My integrative manual therapist often uses light pressure of his hands to open up drainage from my brain to my neck. There are also more traditional detox methods, including diets and supplements. Talk to your doctor about what might be best for you, and remember that those big culprits can live in dark, unseen places.
Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.
Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. She is working on a memoir about her journey with chronic tick-borne illness. Do you have a question for Jennifer? Email her at email@example.com
In my experience, the mold/mycotoxin issue is significant with Lyme/MSIDS patients. The mention of heavy metals (chelation & supplements like chlorella and DMSO/MSM: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/02/dmso-msm-for-lyme-msids), infected nasal cavities (intranasal anti-fungal sprays), systemic inflammation (diet, supplements including Systemic enzymes, MSM, & LDN: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/05/how-proteolytic-enzymes-may-help-lyme-msids/, https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/02/dmso-msm-for-lyme-msids, https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/12/18/ldn/), allergies (MSM & LDA/LDI: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/05/30/new-kids-on-the-block-ldaldi/), detoxification (lymph massage, epsom salt baths, DMSO/MSM, & Systemic Enzymes: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/09/29/epsom-salts-for-lymemsids/, https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/24/top-3-lyme-detox-myths-busted-dr-rawlsl, https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/02/dmso-msm-for-lyme-msids/, https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/05/how-proteolytic-enzymes-may-help-lyme-msids/).
One statement by Master Herbalist Stephen Buhner has alway stuck with me – paraphrasing, it went something like this: A sophisticated treatment is one which does many things simultaneously.
If you notice there are treatments repeated above that do many things simultaneously, thereby lessening your cost and effort. Make sure to talk to your doctor on anything you wish to add or delete from your treatment.
Patients with Lyme/MSIDS are often sensitive to many things and have to remove them before they begin to heal. Mold is one such item on the often long list.
My own personal experience with a reaction to mold happened pre-Lyme/MSIDS, thankfully, so I was aware of how devastating it can be for many people. I was sick a lot. Finally, we discovered mold and moved but the next place had it as well. Once I got out of the moldy environment my body no longer was susceptible to every little illness. I couldn’t believe the difference.
Published on Oct 27, 2017