In this episode, I am speaking with Bridgit Danner, a licensed acupuncturist since 2004 and certified functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner since 2015. After losing everything to toxic mold, Bridgit now teaches about toxins and coaches women on how to detoxify using a functional approach, as well as how to test for and treat mold. In this episode, Bridgit will teach you how to recover from the damage toxic mold does to your mind and body.
(Before going any further, make sure to sign up for FREE access to the new Mold Masterclass, where there are many amazing speakers on the subject of detoxification. I am also honored to be one of the speakers. Sign up for free access HERE.)
Table of Contents
- What is toxic mold? What causes it and how do you get exposed?
- How to look after your home, its air quality and prevent excess moisture
- What are the best tests for toxic mold exposure?
- The wide range of symptoms that mold can be responsible for (like chronic fatigue, brain fog, skin rashes, mood disorders, insomnia, gut disorders, multiple food sensitivities, ADHD, hormone issues, cognitive issues and more)
- Is potentially moldy food – like coffee – a real concern (or is that just a distraction from the real causes)?
- What kind of solid research on this topic is there? (How do some health professionals justify dismissing mold as a non-issue?)
- Bridgit’s top 5 strategies for solving mold infections and her top 5 supplements
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Ari Whitten: Hey there. This is Ari. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint Podcast. With me today is my friend Bridgit Danner, who is a mold specialist. She has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2004 and a certified functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner since 2015. After losing everything to toxic mold, she now educates about toxins and how to detoxify through a functional approach. She’s also the author of the brand new book, The Ultimate Toxic Mold Recovery Guide: Take Back Your Home, Health & Life. You can find her work at bridgitdanner.com and get the new book on amazon.com. Welcome, Bridgit. Such a pleasure to have you on.
Bridgit Danner: Hi, Ari. Always great to talk with you. Thanks for having me.
Ari: It’s been probably two years I’m guessing since I last had you on the show to talk about mold.
Bridgit: I think so.
Ari: You’ve been specializing in this area. You have been delving into all of the latest research and the latest protocols from all the latest top people in this field. We’re going to do an update on if all things mold and how to detoxify your body and home and life and everything. Clothing, how to burn all the books in your home and all of your clothing and furniture. [laughs]
Bridgit: Book burning encouraged in this case. [chuckles]
Ari: First, you get out some matches and then you light it all on fire and then move to a new home, right?
Bridgit: Lighter fluid. [chuckles]
Ari: Is that how you do it?
Bridgit: Pretty much, yes. I mean, that would make a great Netflix series. Just mix it with Breaking Bad and add some mold. These stories are really dramatic, often. I’m kind of being light-hearted about it but my own story was dramatic, and part of what I try and do in the book is give people some hope that even though you’re going through this thing that may be the hardest thing you’ve ever gone through, you can really come out on the other side ahead, actually. It’s going to take some time, but it’s possible.
Ari: Okay, so let’s sit back. Let’s assume people know nothing about this topic. Let’s assume we’re talking to people who, say two categories of people. One are people that have recently been exposed to mold or have mold in their homes or know that they have mycotoxin illness. The other category is people with non-explained symptoms, maybe chronic fatigue, brain fog, and some other symptoms, and they don’t know what’s causing it. They haven’t had luck with getting a diagnosis or getting clarity on the causes of their issues. Maybe now they’re willing to explore the possibility that maybe they’ve had a mold exposure. Those are kind of the target audience that we’re working here with.
Bridgit: Probably, yes.
What is toxic mold, and how does it affect your body?
Ari: Given that audience, explain to people the basics of what they need to know. What is toxic mold? How is this problem caused? What causes it and how does it manifest in the body?
Bridgit: Sure. What mainly causes it is exposure to water damage. It can also be your workplace or a boat or an RV, I’ve definitely seen that as well. Even though mold is in food, it’s usually really like 99% of the time not enough to cause toxic mold illness. It can maybe irritate it, but there’s been some studies that it’s really, even if you’re eating a standard American diet, it’s probably not going to cause it.
In your home, I’ll just say that, any building really is probably going to have some encounter with water in its course of its lifetime, probably many. There’s a storm, a tree falls on your roof and then water intrudes, or you run your washing machine when you’re not out and the hose fails and you got a big mess, or it’s behind the walls in a window that wasn’t installed incorrectly or a pipe that burst, something like that. There’s also issues with humidity in certain areas, poor air circulation, buildings built too tight. The probability that you’re going to encounter this in your lifetime is pretty high.
I think one thing I’m enjoying about doing all these interviews is just teaching people to be a better steward of their home and checking their home. Probably your listeners are super into taking care of their bodies, what they put into their bodies, what they put on their bodies but thinking about your home, which is equally important, is not totally on the radar as much yet, I think. I think there’s some awareness hopefully, about air fresheners and that kind of thing, but there’s a lot to know about your home to keep the environment better.
Our indoor air quality is worse than our outdoor air quality now. That’s just a fact. I think part of the problem is just we’re indoors a lot. I know Ari, you’re a fan of being outside, I’m a big fan of being outside too. I think it’s really important. That’s like actually as we get into what you can do about it, just being outside more is fantastic. We’re inside a lot. I think the question of EMF is coming up about mold as well. Mold’s actually been with us because we’ve been living in different things for a long time, so mold in buildings has been around.
Anyway, let’s say some water intrudes. Now, you’ve got materials like wood and drywall and carpet getting wet. It’s an environment where mold can grow. I just learned recently that there’s different stages, types of mold that come in. There’s the first responders and then there’s a second wave and third wave. Apparently, the third wave is more toxic. It’s a living thing. It’s growing and changing over time.
This expert I talked to, his name is Jason Earle from gotmold.com, he was saying that it doesn’t really matter the species, what really matters is that you have a water damage problem. I think in functional medicine, we’re seeing maybe a little too much focus on the species. We can talk about species, but it’s like in functional medicine, you look for the root cause not just focusing on the symptom. The root cause here is water damage to your home and then what’s spread from that because these molds emit mycotoxins and VOCs and other things that really lodge in your books like we talked about, your clothing, your couch, your mattress, so then becomes a bigger problem.
You do need to fix the water damage but if that water damage [inaudible 00:06:59] repaired within 48 hours and it stayed wet, now you potentially have these other objects in your home affected too. It becomes a big cleanup problem. As far as your question, what if you have mystery symptoms and you’re wondering what it is, I think it’s a big source of lots of mystery symptoms. We can go over them but what I have been talking about a lot is hormone issues. It’s really undervalued for that one.
I just had to post my book in Amazon, Ari, and I put it under the chronic fatigue category, which is your specialty because I think the biggest symptom is chronic fatigue and people don’t know that mold is involved. It’s also involved in skin rashes, mood disorders, insomnia, gut disorders, big time came upon the summit quite a bit that multiple food sensitivities is often a symptom of mold which many people have nowadays and then they’re just chasing around what to eat.
Potentially a lot of respiratory things, ADHD in kids, even things like erectile dysfunction, weight gain can be involved. It’s a toxin, then you’re getting exposed and exposed and exposed so there’s just inflammation building in your body. There’s just a lot of communication dysregulation, it’s suppressing the immune system. It’s almost the ultimate enemy of your body when you’re chronically exposed, it can do so many things. I’m just happy if people are listening, I just want to thank people for listening, and at least opening their mind like this could be a thing. This crazy-sounding thing could be a thing. I’m just loving that people are willing to get aware.
Ari: Nice. Okay. We have water damage in our home, let’s say, and we don’t fix it. We have mold growing and then weeks or months later, we discover the mold. I know this all too well because this is exactly what happened to me about two or two and a half years ago. I’ve been through this process myself. It’s very unpleasant to discover that a closet 10 feet away from where I was sleeping, the whole wall behind our clothing was covered in mold, covered for weeks and weeks and weeks without me even being aware of it. You have mold growing in your house, you’ve been exposed, what is the process through which mold growing in the walls, let’s say, then what is that doing to us? What is happening as far as the mechanisms of what’s going on? How does that mold affect our body?
Bridgit: Another fun tip that I learned recently is mostly we’re inhaling it. Let’s say we’re breathing through our nose, those mold spores, and the VOCs and the mycotoxins are really entering right there to the brain. The olfactory nerve is there, the limbic system is there. Mycotoxins can break down the blood-brain barrier. I really like that visual of just right away your body is taking in that enemy, basically, and there’s a lot of potential for issues just right there in the brain in that first initial hit.
This is why it can inflame your hypothalamus-pituitary and lower hormone production. It can fire up that limbic system and then you’re anxious, paranoid. Then it can actually, I just learned this from Dr. Mary Ackerley who’s looked at a lot of brain scans, it can basically atrophy or inflame different areas of the brain. Some people have a loss of motor skills, some people have short-term memory loss, definitely have trouble recalling, just feeling foggy.
I have to review what she said but she just talked about there just can be that inflammation and extra moisture in the brain can just slow down reaction time. I think it affecting that command center is an important thing to think about. That’s actually part of what affects the gut. It can slow motility, make you have less appetite, make you nauseous. That’s one way it can go.
Then it’s getting into the gut as well. The gut is a big center for breakdown too. It just is upsetting the microbiome, making you more prone to different infections and overgrowth of the bad guys. That’s why we see so many gut issues. Then you can develop parasites, that kind of thing. It’s suppressing the immune system, so that’s why– I think you and I talked about on our interview what comes first. I really liked what you said, which is strength in the host.
The host has become weak, so now you see Epstein–Barr virus, now you see Hashimotos is the one you see a lot. Really those things are secondary to the initial suppressing of the immune system, this chronic inflammation, and that inflammation is really everywhere, it’s at the cellular level. Inflammation isn’t getting into the cell. Then it’s just systemic too, so you can have, I think chronic pain was one of my symptoms that really nobody could explain for a long time. As a patient, I was just being told I was too stressed again and again, which is a really frustrating thing to hear when you’re trying your best.
Yes, those are some of the mechanisms. Actually, it’s super fascinating, all the different ways it interacts in the body, because really, every organ, it has an effect on. The liver, it burdens, and then it can actually change the ability of the liver cells to function right when you need it the most is what I’m saying. It’s like the perfect enemy, it has every mechanism to break down your ability to fight it. Then it just grows and grows in its effect and then your symptoms are increasing, your diagnoses are increasing.
Ari: I want to do a very quick digression because this topic is very interesting. I read a paper maybe three months, six months ago on mold and mycotoxin illness, and it was a group of researchers who wrote this paper within the last couple of years, I think, that was basically arguing that mycotoxin illness is not even a real thing and that there’s no plausibility, physiological plausibility of how this could even happen because all that mold spores would do in the air is just irritate your mucous membranes. They would inflame your eyes or your nasal mucosa, or your mouth or something, or your lungs, and that’s the extent of the possible damage that could occur.
It’s interesting, we live in a world right now, with everything going on, there are so many people who argue, who are of the mentality that the science is settled, follow the science. It’s ironic because this is pretty much the most anti-scientific attitude that you could have. If these people had any real scientific literacy, they would know that even fields that have been studied and studied and studied by researchers all over the world for years and many times decades, there’s still a huge amount of controversy. This field is a perfect example of it.
You have everything from researchers arguing that this isn’t even a real thing, to functional medicine doctors who are seeing it every day in their practice and doing tests to actually analyze the mycotoxin load in people’s urine and track that back to mold exposure, so we know that those mycotoxins are in the body, we know that there’s ample research showing physiological plausibility of how that could lead to damage, and yet you still have that much controversy among actual researchers in the field that some people don’t even think it exists and other people think it’s a massive, huge issue that’s responsible for a huge amount of the illness, the chronic illness and chronic fatigue that we’re seeing in the world today.
Anyway, just a quick digression, just to point that out to listeners that it is almost always the case that if somebody is saying, particularly after just a few months or a couple of years of studying something, that the science is settled, we know everything there is to know, that we have all the science, you should run away very fast from anybody who is trying to say something like that because they clearly know nothing about the history of science, where that virtually has been proven wrong in very, very consequential ways, time and time again throughout history. Anyway, sorry for that quick digression.
Bridgit: No, I think that’s a great point. I just got interviewed, I think yesterday, on a mold podcast and they said we wish they would just come up with one protocol that we can all settle on, and I’m like, that’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen. That’s just the nature of inquiry in this growing field, things are changing. People are always asking me the best test for this or that and I’m like, well, I can give you my best opinion based on what I know at the time. If you asked me five years from now, I may have another opinion because this field is growing.
Ari: That’s just the nature of science. That’s always how science goes. If I look back on things I thought five years ago and things that the scientific community thought, I can point out, lots of examples of things that I was wrong about or the scientific community was wrong about five years prior to that. I can think again, of many, a long list of things I was wrong about, and that that’s the nature of our individual progression, it’s also the nature of science itself.
Bridgit: Yes. Someone was just telling me that Ritchie Shoemaker, who’s the father of a lot of the science and research in this field and early writer on it and has changed his mind on the mycotoxin thing, I haven’t really followed up on that. I will say to respond to this article that you found, I’d love to actually see it. I have cited like hundreds of studies on mycotoxins from the book, and there are so many, we just put them online because it would just make the book too heavy.
Because in the field of animal husbandry, this has been a big issue because animals eat feed and it’s been moldy because it’s cheap, right, so mold grows on it, and then the animals die, they become infertile. It’s a big issue. It’s been studied a lot, maybe a little less with humans although I would say that’s increasing, but there’s tones of study on it and there’s tones of study on binders as well from farmers looking for solutions to this. Again, I think there can- there’s always going to be arguments in this field that if you’re wondering is this something I just made up. No, there is a rich amount of research behind it.
How to test for mold toxins
Ari: Yes, absolutely. Let’s say someone’s, again, either been diagnosed or suspecting this might be an issue for them, how do they go about testing to figure out if it is an issue for them or to what extent it’s an issue? Do they test their home? Do they test their body, their blood, their urine? What’s the way to go about this?
Bridgit: I’m a fan of both People usually come to me at different points in the process. We can talk about both but in the body, urine testing is really the gold standard right now. Those tests weren’t always available. I do think I found some EPA site that said they’re still not valid because they’re whatever, experimental or not in some kind of mainstream, but they’re really effective. I’ve only seen one false negative in all the uses I’ve done on it. Sometimes I think the false negative–
Ari: Have you seen any false positives?
Bridgit: Not that I know of yet. I think sometimes marrying where it came from and in the urine is interesting. I’ve been surprised to see sometimes there’s old exposures from a long time ago and a person is still testing with mycotoxins. I have a client who just was positive the other day and I’m having her test the hospital she works in. It will be interesting to– I think since this is an environmental disease, you do want to marry where it came from with what’s going on in the body the best you can.
Occasionally we can’t so that’s kind of a sidebar, but yes, I think it’s really great testing. It’s an at-home urine test and in our practice, we help you interpret it because you can be off the chart or you can be on the chart, both will be symptomatic and we can watch those levels come down. I do think some of those levels are based on genetics. That’s a really easy test.
Then in the home, it’s a little bit more controversial so to speak because there are so many options. I think the biggest thing to start with is are you a renter or an owner? If you are a homeowner, you really want to get to the source because it’s something that you’re going to need to correct. I think often, a home inspector is a great way to start. Although you could start a little sooner with just DIY inspection for some of the things we talked about like are there signs of water intrusion? You can get a humidity reader, you can get a reader to see if there’s moisture in your wall.
If you want to save money, there’s always ways to do things cheaper to get started. Mold plates are also an imperfect but affordable and decent way to start. If you just want to spend 20 bucks, there’s a company we work with that is pretty good, and then there’s dust testing and air testing. I think generally, again, if you’re a homeowner you are going to probably want to end up with a mold inspector to get a better sense.
Maybe like you, you found there was mold in the wall, I don’t know if you opened it up or how you found it. You’ve got it at that point and now you need to hire a remediator who really knows how to do it right. I got sicker when we remediated wrong and the toxins really spread. There’s another anecdotal story about does it really make you worse or does it make you sick? I got so much sicker when I got exposed to more of the toxins. That’s kind of starters, I don’t know what you want to ask from there.
The most classic symptoms of mold toxicity
Ari: You mentioned chronic fatigue is one of the main symptoms. What are some of the other classic mycotoxin illness symptoms that someone listening might go, oh yes, that really sounds like me?
Bridgit: It’s a bit tough. I think the top two are brain fog and fatigue. I think those are the most common. Could those be from something else? Yes, unfortunately, you know lots of sources of fatigue. I think there’s different emotional reasons for fatigue too. I think there’s a lot of reasons, but I would say those are the top two and then again it can be hormone problems, gut problems. I would really say a big test for me is if symptoms are chronic and you’re really trying to do the right things.
I bet you know clients like this already who are going to bed by 9:30 PM and they get up and get sunlight and they eat really well and they do all these amazing things, and they’re still tired, can’t lose weight, what have you, and that to me is like something’s going on here beyond the obvious. It’s fine to work through those initial solutions like whole food diet and exercise and relationships and all that, those things could help but if you’re still in a moldy home, they’re ultimately not going to fix your chronic symptoms.
Ari: Actually, I wanted to do a quick digression. You mentioned at the beginning of this, you alluded to food, like mold on food or mycotoxins in food not being much of an issue based on the latest research. I’d like you to talk a bit about that because much has been made of that topic in some circles, for example, in coffee. We know that a lot of people have warned about trace amounts of– or I shouldn’t say trace amounts and belittle the topic, but people have warned about the presence of mycotoxins in coffee like it’s a very, very big deal. What does the research say on that topic?
Bridgit: Great Plains Lab who’s the lab we work with the most, and they really spearheaded a lot of the mycotoxin testing, they have done a pretty small group of testing on people who are just eating a normal diet but didn’t seem to have any water damage building exposure and were they testing in range for mycotoxins, and they were not. [crosstalk] Go ahead.
Ari: Sorry, just to clarify that what you mean by that is they were not testing positive, they were testing as having very low levels not indicative of a problem.
Bridgit: Exactly. Yes. I’ve asked a couple of people on our team about this. They’ve seen thousands of tests come through their lab. I think they hear the backstory on different clients, so they haven’t seen it. I think what I’ve observed as being more of the issue is if you have been exposed to a water-damaged building and now you are sensitive, exposure and food can blow you up. I will also say that most of those foods are also inflammatory and high histamine foods. Maybe not coffee, but wine, cheese, deli meat, stuff like that. A lot of those foods on that list could be irritating you for other reasons than just mold, especially when you’re already in a chronically inflamed state.
I think a lot of those foods are grains. Many people in our community aren’t eating those anyhow. For coffee, I was at a coffee farm in Hawaii, and I asked this question because I’m curious about it, too. I was like, “Is mold a big issue when you’re drying the coffee?” She’s like, “You got to be just a real dumpster coffee girl [chuckles] to be letting mold get all over your coffee and then thinking that’s okay.”
There could be trace amounts, I suppose, but she was explaining in the way you process it, and this is like this beautiful boutique coffee farm, but she’s like, “No, that would not be an issue if you’re doing things correctly.” I would think some real junk coffee, you shouldn’t drink that. It’s probably full of pesticides and stuff too. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I’ll do organic, just cleaner coffee. I do have some Bulletproof coffee in the house right now. [crosstalk]
Ari: I actually just had Dave Asprey on the podcast, and I don’t know if I’ve released the episode. I think it might be coming out in the next couple of weeks. I don’t know if you know this. He split with Bulletproof. I guess he’s still a part owner of it but he’s kind of doing his own thing now and he’s about to release his own new brand of coffee, mycotoxin-free coffee.
Bridgit: Did not know that.
Ari: I know the topic is quite controversial because I’ve actually seen some analysis of data where they’ve looked at mycotoxin levels in many, many different brands of common coffee brands. I think even like Folgers and typical store-bought coffee, nothing special, and I think the mycotoxin levels in all of them are extremely low from what I understand and something about, I’m not a coffee expert by any means but what I remember reading, this was maybe five or eight years ago, something like the part of the standard processing that they use to process coffee beans or the roasting process or the drying process, whatever it is basically destroys mycotoxins, so levels are typically low in the vast majority of them and not of much concern. The person presenting this data in this article is basically making the case that the whole fear of mycotoxins and coffee is largely overblown.
Bridgit: I think from what I’ve gathered, that’s fairly true too. I don’t think mycotoxins can be destroyed from heat from what I’ve learned, but I don’t think it’s as big of an issue as it’s been made to be. Again, if you have foods that bother you, whether it’s coffee or cheese or kale or whatever it is, don’t eat it right now, try it again later, it’s kind of like the short answer. [laughs]
Ari: Yes, yes. Thank you for that digression. Let’s talk about just some of the mechanisms of what is going on in the body to cause problems, to cause some of these symptoms like fatigue. We have the exposure to mold, we’re breathing it in, what’s it doing in our bodies?
Bridgit: One aspect we haven’t covered yet is how well it travels, so it’s lipophilic, hydrophilic, it sometimes depends on the mycotoxins, some of them are both so they travel everywhere. Since you’re an energy expert, one place they travel this into the cell and even into the mitochondrial area cell and damage its ability to make mitochondria and basically let that cell be energetic and thriving.
I think a lot of the fatigue that comes from mold exposure is that cellular level fatigue but it also seems to not be very friendly to the thyroid. When I ran a mold event some years back when there was a hurricane, a lot of people were writing in and saying I have Hashimoto’s and mold, so that seems to be a big factor. Then I mentioned how it suppresses immunity. If you are dealing with Lyme, we can talk more about Lyme, Lyme and EBV that are flared up. I think this is what I was dealing with for a long time. I was living in a chilly climate. I would have to take a hot bath twice a day just to survive and drink tea all day. I had chills all winter long, that’s just not normal. That’s going to really kick your ass. You’re not going to have a lot of energy when you’re dealing with that all day.
I think another thing, I mentioned that it’s suppressing immunity so things come up. Lyme and mold are super common to come together. Some of these people find the Lyme first and later they find mold. I interviewed Scott Forsgren from BetterHealthGuy and he explained that. It was super interesting. Again, lots and lots of mechanisms within the body. You’ve got to get out of the exposure from wherever you are and that’s a whole mess to deal with. Then you really need to rebuild your body system. You need to support detoxification and then rebuild those systems.
I just was interviewed yesterday and someone was really advocating from just nature immersion, maybe that’s enough and all these other bells and whistles aren’t necessary. I think that can be true, but not everyone is going to choose or be able to choose just total nature immersion for months on end to heal. I think some people, I was thinking about my own case and in a sense that is what I’ve done. Because I moved from a cold climate where I had to be indoors a lot, to a sunny dry climate where I can be outside a lot. It has helped my healing, but it wasn’t the only factor by any measure.
I was a little disappointed that I moved to Arizona and still was dealing with so many symptoms so I really saw in my body that I had to rebuild body systems. Maybe if I had just done nothing and waited, it would’ve happened too but I definitely saw progress based on different interventions I did, so that’s generally what I promote. I think if people want to be active in rebuilding their body systems, there are ways to do that.
How to detox for mold
Ari: Let’s talk about how to do that. I’ve been exposed, I’ve done urine testing and I now have tested positive for high levels of two or three, let’s say, different micro-toxins, that was the case for me. What do I do? There’s lots of the different protocols from different practitioners. Some people are saying I have to burn everything in my house and ditch it all. Other people are saying, no, that’s not necessary. You can remediate and clean things. Maybe let’s not spend too much time on that topic but how do I detox my body?
Bridgit: For the sake of the book, I had to organize it. I’m not the most organized. [laughs] I’m more of a circular person, but I had to put it in a format. First, I listed 10 foundations which we talked about, like getting outside, having healthy relationships, making sure you’re pooping, making sure you’re sleeping. I go through that first because if you skip three of those, you’re going to have trouble with the rest.
Let’s say you’ve checked those all off, you’ve worked on your few weak points on that, now you can move into detoxification. For this, I narrowed it down to my top five techniques that benefited me and my top five supplements that benefited me. I love detox techniques. I sell supplements, but I love, love, love the techniques. They helped me the most. Being in a sauna helped me the most right away when I was at my sickest. Dry brushing helped me a lot. I don’t see people talk about that much in this space. These things move lymph, move toxins.
I just feel like they’re just hanging out. I also talked about how well they travel, they’re hanging out everywhere. Your lymph is getting congested. When you get this stuff moving, as long as your detox organs are working and you’re taking some of your foundational supplements and getting a good diet, you’re going to be clearing them and you’re going to feel better quickly. It’s pretty amazing. It may not be lasting, but you’re going to get a little boost is what I found.
I said my top five were sauna, dry brushing, Epsom salt bath, coffee enema, and mouth taping made the list. Mouth taping helped me a lot because I was dealing with a lot of postnasal drip and sore throat. I was just mouth breathing at night, and since my immune system was so sensitive and weak, there’s probably hundreds of days that I had a sore throat that would last to the afternoon. I would feel chilly and have this malaise, so a little piece of tape helped me a lot. That made the list and then supplements for me– [crosstalk]
Ari: Real quick before you get into supplements, just a quick digression. On the same thing that we talked about earlier of how certain topics, there will be on the one hand, maybe thousands of people swearing by them and how amazing they are, and on the other hand, other people saying, oh, this is total nonsense and pseudoscience. Just even things that have been around for decades still have that level of controversy in the scientific community.
Bridgit: Coffee enemas, is that what you’re going to bring up? [laughs]
Ari: Coffee enemas are a good example of that I happened to have been reading about literally about 20 minutes before we started recording this podcast for a couple of reasons. I just did an interview with a doctor who’s doing Gerson therapy for cancer and they’re a big advocate of that so I was curious if there was any research on it, and I also have several friends who are in the health space who absolutely swear by coffee enemas and how miraculous they are, and yet I went into the literature just now and there’s almost nothing.
Bridgit: It’s crap literature. [crosstalk]
Ari: It’s literally close to nothing and what is there says there’s no evidence of benefit and it could cause colitis or it could cause harm, or there’s even some cases where someone has I think punctured the lining of their colon and caused life-threatening infections, maybe even people who have died from it. I have friends who are trying to get me to do this and I’ve always been resistant to it because I’m like I’m generally averse to sticking anything up my butt. I prefer other methods, but–
Bridgit: Many people feel that way. [chuckles] Many people feel that way. [crosstalk]
Ari: There better be really amazing, compelling evidence if you’re expecting me to put anything up my butt and so far I haven’t found it but I know many, many people that absolutely swear by coffee enemas.
Bridgit: Yes. I totally agree. I had to put in the book, there’s not much I can say here to support it. There isn’t much research and much of it is inconclusive or negative and there are some risks. I purposely don’t sell a kit on my shop because of the risk and I just say, ask your doctor. If you have hemorrhoids, fissures, mobility issues, there’s a lot of nos, but again, like many people for me, it was amazing. I still do it once a week. I have a bunch of clients who started doing it on their own because they were dealing with chronic illness and they swear by it too.
I have had one client have a weird issue and I was nervous, so this is why I do not hardly recommend it and I say, please get a second opinion, but at the same time, I have to just be honest with other people going through what I did that it made a huge difference. I’m a big fan so, that is one question.
Ari: Tell me the five things again that you, oh, mouth taping was the other one. That’s another example of this, that I know tons of people that absolutely swear by mouth taping. Of course, I did a program recently with Patrick McAllen who is one of the foremost advocates of that. I did a program with him called Breathing for Energy and that’s one of the strategies we’re recommending. If you go into the literature, you won’t find much if anything, and probably what you will find will be people saying, there’s no evidence to support this and it’s a potentially dangerous practice, da da, da, da. Anyway, just more examples of things that have been around for a long time that still are hotly debated within the scientific community.
Bridgit: Yes, and it’s interesting. I could have picked a top five that had more research or I could have picked castor oil packs for example, instead of mouth taping, that was a tough decision for me, but just personally, what really moved it for me were these things. I just felt like let’s just be honest and let people try it or not try it, based on their own research.
The best supplements for mold
Ari: Yes. Okay, so let’s talk about supplements. I know that binders are a big deal. I was prescribed by the doctor, the functional medicine doctor that I was working with, colestyramine, and that is a drug that is problematic because the pill form of it has all kinds of dyes in it and other nasty compounds and so then I was prescribed a powder form of it. To be honest, I absolutely hated taking it because the powder would get lodged in my throat. No matter how much water I would drink with it, it just stayed stuck in there and I just hated that feeling and then it would cause me to cough a lot.
I do know some practitioners who are not a fan of colestyramine, some who say it’s the best thing, others say it’s totally not the right thing and that you should use other binders and plant compounds instead. What’s your take on all of that?
Bridgit: I personally never ended up taking colestyramine. I was told it might be a little too harsh for me. There’s a ton of natural binders. They are generally safer and easier to take. A lot of these protocols were based on Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, who was the MD and he used different pharmaceuticals, and I think because he was the dominant person in the space for a long time, his protocols were the gold standard because there wasn’t much else. I used to get in my mold group people saying, how do I find a Shoemaker-trained person or an MD? I don’t think you need pharmaceuticals almost ever in your mold journey unless you have an acute thing.
My immune system was so depressed that I had a UTI and I had sore throat, so I took antibiotics for the first time in 20 years for both of those things, and I am glad that I did. Except for that, I really haven’t needed– well, now I’m on thyroid medication too, which I put in a different category, but, yes, I generally think it’s good to be open to it. I’ve definitely done different hormone therapies on and off through my journey that I first resisted out of philosophy and then it really helped me, but for the most part, for binders, for just generally supporting detox, rebuilding your body systems, you don’t need any pharmaceuticals.
Examples of binders are charcoal, zeolite, folic anemic acid, chlorella, some immunoglobulins are really potent binders, Saccharomyces boulardii is a binder. I think there’s a lot of richness that still can emerge in this binder space where we just developed a binder that’s coming out soon. I want to develop a second binder that’s more of a gut immunoglobulin binder because binders bind up things, you can’t put certain things together.
We have one now that’s a pure binder. It’s a blend which other companies have done too because different binders have an affinity for different mycotoxins. That’s the more study that’s come out. Or you can binder rotate. Some people like that better, especially if you’re supplement-sensitive. Then our binder has some things to soothe and move your gut because binders can be constipating which when you’re detoxing, you definitely want to be pooping.
Ari: Got you. I’m curious about the immunoglobulins. I haven’t heard that before. Are we talking IgG from colostrum? What are we talking about?
Bridgit: Yes. I actually need to research this. I just interviewed Kiran Krishnan. I’ve been selling his products for a long time. I’ve known him a long time and I’m like, “What? I didn’t know that.” I don’t have a lot to follow up on there but he was saying their IgG product is really good for mycotoxins. I also recently learned broccoli seed and sprout and that family is quite good because that pathway detox is mycotoxins. It’s not a binding pathway, it is a detox pathway. I think there’s still a lot we’re going to learn in the next 10 or 20 years about what are the best things for mold. Honestly, that list is still emerging for me, but just based on what’s worked in my body and what’s worked for clients, I have my top favorites right now.
Ari: Cool. Any other tips that you want to give or maybe just words of encouragement for people dealing with the situation given the pain that you and I know all too well. I think you had a much worse experience than I did with this whole thing, but it can certainly be exhausting and debilitating and frustrating, and at times probably feel like there’s no hope in recovery. Any last words that you want to offer people with or leave people with?
Bridgit: Sure. I’ll say two or three things to that. One is you want to stay in this healing, relaxed space as much as possible, even though you’re dealing with this stressful thing. You want to ground, you want to not be up till 2:00 AM researching. All that striving and grasping is generally not going to help. You’re just going to get overwhelmed and overworked. I would say instead, just let the universe drip in different solutions. If you hear one thing that really intrigues you be like, “Oh, I’m going to follow up on that one thing.” You don’t have to go search so hard.
You are going to get different opportunities for help and support. It may not feel that way but when you’re looking for them and appreciating them, I think they come to you more than just feeling negative and you have every reason to feel negative, it’s very hard, but things will be presented to help you and have to be open. Sometimes I’m telling people yes, you might be literally staying on someone else’s couch, and you’re a grown adult. It’s humbling but take that couch, somebody gave you that couch. Don’t be in the home, being all stubborn, go get better somewhere else.
Then I would say though, yes, the long term is that you can really come out ahead. It’s going to take some time, but it’s an opportunity to, like the snow globe, it’s shaking up your whole life. What do you want to keep? What do you want to get rid of? You may have some really great things in your life you definitely want to keep, there’s maybe some things that are just going on autopilot that you haven’t even thought about, that now you can get rid of. Get rid of your stuff, get rid of your space. Do you even really like where you live, stuff like that?
For me, I ended up moving a thousand miles and selling my clinic and it was a lot and I’m so thankful that all of that happened. My life is so much richer for taking up that snow globe and making some different choices.
Ari: Yes, awesome. Thank you so much, Bridgit. I really appreciate it. This was great and I think very useful updates on all the material that we covered in the previous episode a couple years ago, and you have a new book that’s coming out.
Bridgit: Yes, I have a picture, I don’t have the actual book. [crosstalk]
Ari: The title of it is, there you go The Ultimate Toxic Mold Recovery Guide: Take Back Your Home, Health & Life. People can get that on Amazon.com as of what date?
Bridgit: As of today it’s up, it’s live. We’re going to do a bigger promotion after the masterclass. [crosstalk]
Ari: What date is it today because this isn’t live so you got to tell people.
Bridgit: It’s 2/10 right now.
Ari: February 10th, okay.
Bridgit: Yes, it is up, was a little off the schedule. We’ll promote it more later because we have this toxic mold masterclass that you’re in right now that starts 2/21. We want people to experience that and get it while it’s live. We have many great speakers on remediation and treatment and all that. Yes, just a lot of great affordable resources we’re putting out there for people on this process.
Ari: Excellent. Where do you want to send people to get that resource that you just mentioned?
Bridgit: That is called Toxic Mold Masterclass, and your team can share a link with the notes because Ari is a speaker, he’s in about the middle of the event. All the speakers are friggin– I’ve done like seven summits and this is by far the best one. It’s definitely worth checking out– [crosstalk]
Ari: It’s the best because I’m in it, right? [chuckles]
Bridgit: I think you’ve been in two so I guess we have to say two are the best.
Ari: Okay. Well, it’s definitely better than the one that was before, for sure.
Bridgit: I’m always begging for Ari– Ari has the team, his team is a steel wall and I’m always like, [knocking] “I want Ari. Can you give me Ari?” [chuckles] Eventually I get through.
Ari: It’s actually not even because I’m that busy with work stuff, it’s more just because I just love spending time with my family, with my little kids.
Bridgit: Totally, guard your time.
Ari: I cherish it so much that I try to prioritize that over work most of the time-
Ari: -and so I have very limited time slots to get stuff done. Then I’ve been slammed with getting all the book stuff done, which has been far more work than I anticipated. I inform everybody to be like no interviews and grumpy Ari has come back who doesn’t want to do any– [chuckles]
Bridgit: Oh I get it. I know. I get that way when I’m overworked. I’m just like, “Don’t even bother me with this.”
Bridgit: You’ve been very gracious. I get very persistent [chuckles] with your team and I usually eventually get through because you’re just such an amazing speaker and I just love to connect with you. so I just keep knocking. [laughs]
Ari: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I definitely highly recommend everybody tunes in and we will provide a link to that on the web page for this. If you’re watching it on YouTube, there’ll be a link in the YouTube description below this. If not, go to theenergyblueprint.com/podcast and it’ll be on the page for this episode with Bridgit Danner. Thank you so much, Bridgit. I really, really appreciate it. This was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing so freely such wonderful practical information so that people can get themselves well again.
Bridgit: Well, you’re welcome. Please let me know when your book is coming out because I’m super excited about that as well.
Ari: Ah, thank you so much. I appreciate it. All right, my friend, I’ll talk to you again very soon.
What is toxic mold, and how does it affect your body? (03:10)
How to test for mold toxins (18:32)
The most classic symptoms of mold toxicity (22:14)
How to detox for mold (32:30)
The best supplements for mold (39:27)