pre-tox

Mastering Pre-Tox with Nafysa Parpia, ND Replay

Understanding the journey of detoxification is essential for achieving optimal health, and it begins with an often-overlooked step: Pre-Tox. This webinar, “Mastering Pre-Tox” with Nafysa Parpia, ND, helped to shine a light on the critical role of Pre-Tox in your wellness journey.

Dr. Parpia has been teaching about Pre-Toxing for some time, helping doctors and patients alike navigate this very important step before starting a more in-depth detox program. Dr. Parpia shared her Pre-Tox protocol, discussing toxin avoidance, optimal nutrition, and how to reduce symptoms and sensitivities to calm the system before embarking on detox.

Watch the replay and find the transcript below. Check out Dr. Parpia’s Pre-Tox Protocol for her step-by-step approach to getting started on your Pre-Tox.

This replay is available for one week, and then will live on Dr. Kelly’s Webinar Library.


Full Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:05):
Hello everyone. We are going to wait a few minutes. I’m Dr. Kelly McCann. Thank you for joining us today. I’m with Sarah, my assistant, and Dr. Nafysa Parpia. She’s one of my dear friends, and we’re so glad that you’re all here. We’ll wait a few minutes, as I mentioned for people to get into the webinar and then we’ll get started. We’re so excited today to talk about Pre-Tox and detox and what that all means. Dr. Parpia actually coined the term Pre-Tox, I think, right, Nafysa?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:01:05):
You know, Pre-Tox — I just found out when I was speaking to Chris Shade last month that there was another naturopathic doctor who talked about Pre-Tox a while ago, but I think I resurfaced it, thinking I made up, but actually I didn’t. Someone else had. But the way I’ve been thinking about it is different because I’ve been thinking about it in the context of complex chronic illness. So I’d say I coined the term for people who have that going on, but it’s been a term floating around for a while, turns out.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:01:33):
That’s very cool. And now you all who are participating in our webinar will understand what Pre-Tox means. So why don’t we go ahead and just get started and then people can watch the recording if they missed the beginning. We’re going to start with a PowerPoint presentation that Nafysa has put together. But before we do, Sarah has a few words for you all.

Sarah (00:01:59):
Thank you. Hi everyone. Welcome. This is going to be a really great talk. Just a quick little reminder that this is educational. This is for your educational purposes. This information is to be taken to your healthcare practitioners. It can’t be taken as medical advice, so we just want to make sure you know that this is going to be really good info for you and your practitioners moving forward. And then the second thing I want to let you know is we are definitely recording. There’s going to be a replay, so everyone who is registered, if you have to duck out early or you come in late, we’re going to email you a link with the replay and with the transcript. That will be early next week. So keep an eye out for that. And that’s all I have. I’m going to get off of video so that you two wonderful doctors can get going.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:51):
Thanks, Sarah.

Sarah (00:02:52):
Thank you. Thank you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:54):
Okay, so Nafysa, go ahead and share your screen. Let’s get started.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:03:01):
All right. One second here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:16):
Technical difficulties!

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:03:24):
Technical difficulties, but we’re working through them. One second here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:28):
That’s right. Mercury retrograde. I don’t know.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:03:33):
C’mon, one sec. Here we go. We’re almost there. Okay, we have it.

(00:03:38):
Welcome everybody. First of all, I just want to say thank you, Kelly, for inviting me to do this. I’m excited to share our audiences together, share our communities together. So it’s super exciting. Our communities have a lot in common. Actually, they both suffer with complex chronic illness. So this webinar is really speaking to both the communities.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:03):
Absolutely. And just so you know, we had 1400 people sign up for our webinar. I was pretty excited about that.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:04:13):
Yeah! It’s super exciting and it’s very often that we don’t have all the people show up when there’s this many, but then they’ll be watching our links. So I’m super excited about that as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:24):
Yes. Okay, go ahead.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:04:27):
Okay, so now I’m going to be talking about Pre-Tox as it pertains to people who have complex chronic illness. Now, most people who are here today watching probably do suffer for complex chronic illness, or maybe you have a loved one who suffers from it. So this is really for you and your loved ones. Now, most of the patients who have complex chronic illness, they’ve got diagnoses like long covid, Lyme disease, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, various autoimmune conditions, mast cell activation syndrome, of course. Now this patient population, it’s very often they do a detox and nothing happens or they do the detox and they have really bad reactions. So I’ve had patients come into me who’ve said, Dr. Parpia, I did a detox and it was the worst thing I’ve ever done. Don’t tell me you’re going to make me do that. And what I tell them is that it was probably the right thing, but at the wrong time, it was done prematurely.

(00:05:32):
What we need to do is set your system up to be ready for a detox. So when Dr. Kelly and I talk about cellular detox, we’re talking about removing toxins that have been bioaccumulating in the cells. So using substances like phosphatidylcholine or glutathione. So those two substances will actually remove toxins that are stuck inside the cells or stuck on the outer membrane of the cells. Now, when we are removing those toxins, we then use other herbs usually to flush the toxins out through the organs of elimination, the liver, the kidneys, the gut, the skin. Now, if we’re using substances to remove toxins from the cells, but the organs of elimination are not supported, or say the patient has mast cell activation syndrome, what’s going to happen? Those toxins are just going to recirculate and end up in other tissues, which is why people feel bad when they’ve had those substances, right?

(00:06:45):
I’ve had many patients say, oh, I do terribly with glutathione, or I can’t handle phosphatidylcholine. Well, there’s a reason for that. Your system was not ready for that. So there are certain things that everybody can do in general to prepare for detox, and we’ll leave that for the Q&A, but generally that will be to remove yourself from the trigger, to eat organic foods, to have appropriate hydration, to sleep, to move your body. What I’m going to be getting into today in the first 20, 30 minutes is how to make this personalized. When a patient suffers from complex chronic illness, they need to do a lot more than those simple things I just mentioned. So these are the tools for you to take to your functional medicine or naturopathic doctor when they want to put you on a detox therapy.

(00:07:42):
So most of my patients and Dr. McCann’s patients are stuck in a loop of chronic inflammation. Really I’m talking about cell danger response one. So inflammation is meant to be transient. We actually do want our mast cells to be able to flare. We do want to be able to have oxidative stress and inflammation at the appropriate moment to contain an insult. So when we have an acute infection, we need that to happen. We need that inflammation to take place, but then we also need it to stop. Now, most of our patients, their immune system doesn’t know what it means to have inflammation transient. Their immune system doesn’t know anymore how to put the brakes on that. So because they’ve got inflammation constant and ongoing, it’s no longer transient. It’s inappropriate inflammation. Now, when we detoxify, we do increase inflammation, and that’s meant to be transient as well. So if we have a patient who is highly inflamed, we know it. We know it from the way they present, we know it from their labs, we know it from these complex diagnoses they have, they’re inflamed. If we detoxify them, we’re going to just increase inflammation. And instead of that being transient, it’s going to add to what is already continuous inflammation. So this is why we need to have Pre-Tox that is personalized in our patients who have complex chronic illness, mainly because they’re already highly inflamed.

(00:09:25):
So on this slide, are signs that Pre-Tox should be considered. These are symptoms that you might have. Now, some of these symptoms — actually, I would venture to say most of these symptoms — are due to multiple root causes, and of course, having environmental toxins is one of those root causes. Now, some of these we can actually fix, or I’m going to say we can bring to a level of homeostasis before we begin detox to help bring that inflammation down. Constipation, for example, sleep issues, headaches, blood pressure issues, hormonal balancing. Now, the rest of these symptoms, once we begin detox and we begin the treatment of the infections, the inflammation will start to come down. The rest of these symptoms will start to resolve. Now, it’s true that when I’m treating the things that I can prior to detox, that is band-aid medicine, I’m going to say that, but we need that in order to set the homeostasis, right?

(00:10:29):
I tell my patients it’s like this, I am putting in new compact soil in your garden because there are some nasty weeds that I’m going to need to pull out. Now, when I’m going to pull those nasty weeds out, infections, toxins, I need to make sure that we’re not going to have runoff, but I need to make sure that we’re not going to have a landslide, right? So I’m packing the soil in by treating these things first that I can, and I’ll get into the details about those. So when detox is premature, patients are going to notice it. They’ll notice it by either nothing happening or they’re going to have symptoms like these ones here on this slide, but often they’re going to feel flu-like symptoms, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, for example.

(00:11:24):
So here are the circumstances under which detox is premature. So both Dr. McCann’s and my patients, I would say 90% of our patients have all of these going on at the same time. Toxin overload. We see this on the labs, and we know this when we do a thorough intake on you as well. Nutritional deficiencies. Well, we need adequate amino acids, minerals, B vitamins as co-factors for our detoxification pathways to be optimal. SNPs in our genes of detoxification. So when we’re looking at our patient’s genes, it’s very often we see that they have SNPs in their genes of detoxification pathways, inflammatory pathways, metabolic pathways even, or even the endocrine pathways. It’s very common in these patients. And when we look at it side by side with their, excuse me one sec, I need a sip.

(00:12:23):
We look at it side by side with their toxins, and we can see this is why their toxin load is high. Not only have they been exposed, but their genes are not optimal for removing detoxification. They have dysregulation of their organs of elimination. The gut, the liver, the kidneys, I’ll get more into this in the talk, their emotional state, their emotional state might be fragile or it might be highly volatile. That’s perfectly normal in this patient population because we’ve got inflammation that has crossed the blood-brain barrier, and the brain can be inflamed, and that’s going to amplify emotions that might already be difficult to deal with when you have complex chronic illness. And then these patients also have issues with structural integrity. Very often our patients will have tissues that are tight, so maybe their fascia is tight, when that’s happening, we’re not getting adequate blood flow, we’re not getting adequate oxygenation or adequate lymphatic flow.

(00:13:32):
When the ligaments are lax. I’d say this is the other half of our patient population. The ligaments are lax. Well, the chemicals that the mast cells release — and remember, these patients are releasing it constantly — are going to tenderize the ligaments. So the ligament that holds up the brainstem, a lot of our patients have that already, somewhat lax, but they’ve been able to deal with it throughout their lives. Well, when there’s mast cell activation syndrome happening, it’s going to tenderize the ligament and put pressure on the brainstem, craniocervical instability, and then we’re going to have a host of other problems due to that. So these are the things that when these are going on, we know that detox is premature. And again, as I said earlier, most of my patients, and I know most of Dr. McCann’s patients, have both. Both of us, both of the communities have these things going on simultaneously.

(00:14:27):
So this list over here is of the conditions that need to be treated prior to detoxification. So looking at the gut, a lot of our patients are constipated or they have diarrhea. Now, if constipation is an issue, then as we pull the toxins from outside of the cells and we try to flush them out, they’re not flush because the patient is constipated, the toxins are just going to be recirculated back into the tissues. If the patient has diarrhea or consistently loose stools and we try to detox, it’s just going to exacerbate that the patient’s going to be depleted. A lot of our patients, both mine and Dr. McCanns have consistent urinary tract infections. It happens a lot with women post menopause, or hormonal issues. So if we have constant UTIs, if we have interstitial cystitis and that part of our system is inflamed, then if we send toxins through the bladder, it’s not going to work very well.

(00:15:32):
We’re going to inflame that system further. MCAS, which Dr. McCann has been so great about advocating for our patients for, so you all know what that is. Now, when that is flared, again, we’re going to, the patients are going to have a reaction to the herbs and the medications we often use to detox. So when MCAS is in a flare, this isn’t the appropriate time to detox either. If someone has high blood pressure or low blood pressure, we can exacerbate those with detox as well. Headaches, again, for obvious reasons, if we’re recirculating toxins and you already have a propensity to headaches, it’s just going to flare that system more. Hormonal imbalances, we need to fix those first. And insomnia, this is a big one because our glymphatic system, that’s our detoxification system of our brain that’s most active when we sleep. So if insomnia is a problem, and I know it is for most of my patients and for Dr. McCann’s patients as well, we need to work on that before we begin a deep cellular detox.

(00:16:48):
So a little bit more on the factors that affect our efficiency of detox. So I talked a little bit about the genes and the genetic expression, but when we have more environmental toxins, it’s actually going to cause those genes to express more. So we’re really looking at the genes at the same time as the toxins to help us understand your genetic propensity. Now, the emotional state, this is a big one. A lot of our patients have experienced trauma, the trauma of being sick, the trauma of not being believed by doctors, the trauma of isolation when you’re sick. A lot of our patients have had adverse childhood events or even current traumas. We know that these things contribute to autoimmune conditions. They set the stage for other downstream illnesses. So it’s important that we work with the trauma piece, with the emotional piece, and Dr. McCann and I both really, really care for our patients as individuals. And so we’re really with you in your humanity as you’re going through this. And I think that having a doctor who listens to you, who takes you seriously, who understands you, is a big part of your healing. So we both strive for that as well.

(00:18:16):
Now, we can have a lot of environmental toxins, of course, that is actually going to affect our ability to detox. The higher the load, the more difficult it’s going to be to detox. We have to make that go – the detox process — go slower. I tell my patients, you’ve had these toxins. You’ve been accumulating these toxins for, say they’re 52 years old, right? For 52 years. So you’ve got this burden that’s really, really high. If I start to mobilize those toxins quickly, your body won’t be able to handle that very well. So we start slow. But here are areas where toxin load comes from, so it can come from within us, from our own normal metabolic processes. Some people due to constipation might not be excreting normal metabolic toxins optimally. We can also get toxins from bugs. So for mold, as you all know, probably we can get mycotoxins. We can get biotoxins from other infections. Those can accumulate in our system and exotoxins, these are toxins that come from the outside. So things like glyphosate, heavy metals, mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, for example, EMFs, even. The structural integrity piece. So I spoke a lot about this earlier. If you have more questions about that, you can ask us in the Q&A. But this is a big one, of course, for our patient population.

(00:19:57):
So this is a list for things that you can take to have your doctor do for you prior to putting you on a detox protocol. And there’s a list on the other side of the slide for you to do on your own. Now, it’s really important that your doctor takes a clear history. So your doctor, like Dr. McCann and I do, we spend a lot of time with you and we really get to know you thoroughly, getting to know you, the human being, getting to know your exposures and doing a lot of labs so that we can make the appropriate diagnosis. Because when it’s complex chronic illness, it’s never just one diagnosis. It’s never just one bug or one toxin, but it’s multiple root causes. And so we’re casting a wide net to understand what your root causes are and how they affect you. Once we’ve made the appropriate diagnoses, then we can begin the appropriate treatments.

(00:20:56):
And then of course, you’re going to want your doctor to evaluate and balance each of the systems that I talked about earlier, the structural integrity, hormonal balancing, the gut, the genito-urinary system. All of this needs to be taken into deep, deep consideration by your doctor. And then there are things here for you to do. Eat an organic diet, using a good air filter, using a good water filter, hydration, moving your body regularly, but not pushing it. A lot of our patients, they can’t push themselves like maybe they once were able to, because it’s going to cause them to have a relapse in their symptoms. So really just doing what you can in that moment.

(00:21:48):
And of course, the emotional and trauma work. So here are some basics on cleaning up the diet. I’ll save this for the Q&A. And about detoxing the home, we can save that for Q&A as well. I think that could be a good conversation for us to have in Q&A. Right? Moving the bowels. If people have issues with constipation or diarrhea, we want to make sure again, the bowels are not moving too much before we detox or they’re not constipated. We can save more for this on Q&A if you’re interested. These are common GI issues that will cause a patient to have either loose stools or constipation. Believe it or not, having a high parasite load often correlates with constipation. And so sometimes I have to treat people’s parasites prior to detox. It’s very often I’m trying to treat all of the gut before I begin deep detox for my patients.

(00:22:50):
Now, sometimes we can keep trying to treat SIBO, for example, and that SIBO just keeps coming back. That to me is a hint that they have environmental toxin in the mucosa of the gut. I wish there was a test for me to actually know that that’s true, but if I’m treating SIBO and it just, it’s not working, that’s going to be a reason for me to start detoxing slowly, gently, and hopefully then the SIBO will start to resolve once we’ve done that. So this is not cut and dry. It’s not black and white. It’s different for each patient, and it’s very much a dance with each patient. And this slide is more about moving your body. We can talk more about that if you like in Q&A. And the importance of emotional and mental healing. Like I said before, we know that you have a lot of trauma due to being sick, and when that trauma is unresolved, it’s just going to contribute more to being sick. So it is just key. I can’t stress this enough, and the mindset of healing, that’s really, really important. A lot of patients, it’s just so hard to even find a positive mindset because it’s hard to be so sick. So Dr. McCann and I will work with you very gently to come into another mindset, because I know this, our mindset does reflect into what happens to us in the physical form. So bringing those things together with compassion, with love, gentleness and strength, that’s very important.

(00:24:41):
And then this slide here is about the power of advanced testing. So when we cast a wide net and we can test for all of these things on this slide, then we can understand where you’re at prior to beginning a detox protocol. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me for my presentation, and now we can open up to Q&A.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:06):
That was wonderful. Thank you. You really encapsulated all of the major points for people, so that’s fantastic. Thank you. Okay, lots to dig into here. We’ll go through some of the questions, and I’m sure we can elaborate and talk some more. So I’ll just read you the question and then let you give your answer. Maybe I’ll have a few comments too. So if someone sees you, can they expect to receive Pre-Tox and detox suggestions after the first visit, or is it usually split up between a first and second session covering Pre-Tox and then a second session being detox?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:25:52):
Okay, if you’re somebody who isn’t sick, we can do this quickly, but usually people who enter both my practice and Dr. McCann’s practice have a lot of complexity going on. So Pre-Tox can last months. Some people who are highly, highly sensitive, it can last a year. So it depends on the patient. In our first intake, we’re really assessing you, we’re understanding who you are, and in that first intake, we’re deciding which labs we need to do in order to make our appropriate diagnoses. Then in the second intake, that’s when we’re going to understand, well, when the labs are back, we’re going to understand how much Pre-Tox do we need to do, and then how much detox do we need to do. So it’s different for each individual, but if you are highly sensitive and you do have these mysterious diagnoses, the ones we’ve talked about in the beginning, chronic fatigue syndrome, long covid, Lyme disease, chances are Pre-Tox will take some time and so will detox.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:26:56):
Yeah, I don’t think about it as this finite thing. I think it helps to really think about approaching your health from a global standpoint, and we’re looking for root causes. That’s where we’re doing all the diagnostic work, and then we’re looking to figure out what are the few things that we can start right away to help you feel better. We’re not going to wait ages and ages to start things. We’re going to try and calm down the mast cells if that’s going on, or treat your thyroid if you’re hypothyroid, things like that to help start the ball rolling so that you’re feeling better and hopefully able to start doing more detox. I talk about things like avoidance, which is really important when you’re trying to detox because you’ve got to do all the avoidance stuff too. So it’s that clean water, clean air, clean food kind of idea, putting people on an organic diet, cleaning up the diet, helping with the gut, all of those sorts of things. So I don’t really think about it as Pre-Tox and now we’re ready for detox. It’s all combined together.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:28:14):
It really is. It really is.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:17):
Okay, when are different bodyworks appropriate to introduce in, which popular massages or other exercises are often started too soon or should not be done with a detox protocol? What are you a fan of and what are you not a fan of?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:28:36):
Okay, so again, it all boils down to the individual. Some patients who have a very high toxin load, they do poorly with massage. I once had a patient who, she had a Maya Abdominal Massage. After that massage, she became ill for months and months and well, I checked her toxin load, her toxins were through the roof. So what I think is that massage released toxins that were stored in the visceral fats and in the omentum. So some people, massage is great. Some people need cranial sacral therapy to work more on the energetic systems, to work on the fascia. So it really depends on the patient and their needs.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:29:27):
Yes, I also really like fascial counterstrain. For people on the original mast cell summit, mastering — no, many manifestations of mast cell activation. I did interview Kelly Barnes, who is a physical therapist who does fascial counterstrain. You can learn more counterstrain.org, and it’s a very gentle form of craniosacral therapy that’s exceptionally good for patients who are very sensitive, patients who have EDS. So that is one therapy, but sometimes we have to start with a variety of other things. Again, it’s so personalized. It’s really hard to say, oh, this is the one thing that’s going to be great for everyone. Some people don’t like massage. Some people don’t like touch. Lymphatic massage may be fantastic for some people and it could just push them over the edge, somebody else over the edge. And that’s part of working with a practitioner who understands the subtleties of these different modalities and is able to tap into their own intuition to say, I think check out these couple of things so you can really continue to move forward. Okay. Can compression in the neck at C5 vertebrae cause nervous system agitation with major recurrence of anxiety and insomnia in someone with MCAS? And if so, how to calm things back down?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:31:12):
I would say it absolutely can. Compression in the neck can cause inflammation and agitation to the vagus nerve and really all of the other structures, the surrounding structures, and that can definitely lead to anxiety because you can have inflammation very easily crossing the blood-brain barrier, think of how close that is. Also anxiety because you’re now in pain that’s going to cause you anxiety for sure. And yes, I think it can flare mast cells definitely because when you have mast cell activations and your mast cells are on a hair trigger anyway, so pain and structure integrity issues are definitely going to flare the mast cells. And so I’ll put my patients on, excuse me, I’ll put my patients on a mast cell protocol personalized to them, and I’m also going to have talented body workers and healers work on the structural integrity.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:21):
Yes, I agree. And anywhere along the neck is going to contribute to those things. Depending upon how much anxiety is there or how much insomnia is there might shift how we proceed. So getting the appropriate neurological referrals if necessary, and body workers who know what they’re doing. And then we have so many different tools that are great for anxiety, great for insomnia, great for MCAS, and so working through those different options for people to help manage the symptoms while we’re working on the structural piece is super important as well. And which ones we choose really depends on the individual person. I love oxytocin, for example, becoming a huge fan of oxytocin, it’s great for anxiety, helps a little bit with insomnia, may not be great for pain, but then we could use LDN, and that might be something that would be really helpful. So there’s a lot of options that are good for a variety of different things. [Next Question.] I have horrible methylation genetic SNPs, unfortunately. Are B vitamins methylated or not? Are beets enough — the food beets — or are there more bases to cover?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:33:56):
So a lot of people who have a lot of SNPs in their detoxification pathways, including methylation, when they’re given the end products of methylation, meaning methylated B vitamins or glutathione for example, it backfires. It’s like pushing that system too fast. Now, the methylation cycle, think of it as — it is a cycle. It’s connected to the COMT cycle on there. So if we give too many end products of methylation in a system that is not optimal, what happens? It kicks that system into high gear, which then kicks the wheel of the COMT cycle into high gear, and that cycle produces your adrenaline. So it can make people feel angry, agitated, irritated, and it can also, at the same time as we’re kicking the methylation to high gear, it can send too many toxins out too quickly. So we can do a panel which looks at what the biochemistry of your methylation looks like, so we can see if your glutathione is oxidized, we’ll know if you’re under oxidative stress, we’ll look at your folate derivatives. We’ll get an idea of what is going on biochemically with you as it relates to methylation. A lot of times patients with a lot of SNPs like this, they need co-factor support first — minerals, amino acids, and then we could go on to the non methylated B vitamins and typically not glutathione or not phosphatidylcholine because those are the things that are going to engage in cellular detox like I was talking about earlier. So we have to set the stage for you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:46):
The other thing that I would encourage you to consider is a reframe. You don’t have horrible methylation genetics, right? Everyone is unique and beautiful exactly how they are, and we’re just given the opportunity to learn how to do things a little bit different from the norm, which is actually a beautiful thing because you can be unique. I have a homozygous MTHFR 6C77T gene variant. I’ve got two of those and two COMT, but it’s not the end of the world. It just gives you the opportunity to navigate the world in a different way. And I think this goes back to the whole emotional piece that’s really important for all of us to understand that we’re here on this planet to grow and to learn, and to have the opportunity to express ourselves as fully and completely as we are. And sometimes illness doesn’t have to be this terrible thing that we have to push away from and reject our bodies. We really want to come into a place of loving compassion for ourselves.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:37:09):
How beautifully said, Kelly. Absolutely. I agree with you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:13):
Thank you.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:37:14):
Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:16):
Okay. Next, what is your opinion of frequency devices, microcurrent, PEMF, bemer, rife and others in conjunction with natural foods, herbs — or in lieu of?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:37:31):
Well, frequency specific microcurrent is typically the one that I’ll use early on in treatment. It’s very gentle and it works very well with hands-on body work. Now, I’ve seen patients on a bemer or the PEMF machine, I’ve seen it do bad things because the patient isn’t ready for that level of frequency. So sometimes those can be great depending on the right person at the right time. As for rife machines, I’ve seen them be very helpful with people.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:10):
Yes, and same thing with rife. You can get a lot of detox and Herxheimer reactions. I had one patient who had mycoplasma pneumonia, and we were just struggling. IgM positive for years. We did all of the herbs, we tried the antibiotics, and finally I was like, okay, you got to go see my rife guy. And unfortunately it just blew her out of the water, so we had to back off and start again. These things happen, and yet I’ve seen rife clear covid like that. So it can be super helpful for a variety.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:38:47):
It all boils down to who you are and what treatment you’re approaching and at what time of your life.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:57):
What I’ve learned over the past few years with patients with complex chronic illnesses, the more that I can empower each individual and all of our listeners out there, the more that you can feel empowered yourself to really tap into your own intuition. Again, this idea that somebody out there has the answers is not really true. You may need somebody to tell you about something that you don’t know about, but then you can go inside of yourself and decide, does this feel right to me? Is this something that I really feel that could be of service to me? So I teach my patients muscle testing, and I think that this is part of the healing journey to reestablish that trust and faith that your body is not against you and you can learn to trust your intuition again. In fact, that is critically important for your healing.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:39:58):
I tell my patients the same thing. There’s a silver lining to this. All of this that you’re experiencing, it’s allowing you to tap deeper into yourself to really become your own master, your own healer, because ultimately you are. I’m here to guide you, but you’re tapping into your own clairvoyance, your own intuition to learn to trust yourself again. It’s really a huge part.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:28):
Yes. Okay. Going back to more concrete things like poop! Alright, if the bowels are not moving, pooping every week or so, would having lots of fiber powder or fiber rich foods and lots of water be safe?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:40:47):
Well, sometimes a lot of fiber rich foods can even gum you up a little bit more, so you don’t want to do too much of that. But yes, you do want to have fiber, you do want to have proper hydration, and there could be, your nervous system could be agitated, you might have parasites going on, you might need some magnesium. There could be so many reasons as to why this is happening. I think that increasing your fiber intake, but not overdoing it, increasing your water intake, making sure you’re having at least 8 to 10 cups of water per day. If that’s not helping you, then there’s something else deeper that you want your doctor to evaluate.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:33):
Yes, absolutely. Okay. How do you remove candida and should it be done after all the mold toxins are removed?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:41:44):
So when I’m removing toxins — it’s usually not just mold toxins, by the way, I know the same thing is with Kelly — we’re removing toxins and then typically we do go to infection treatment after we’ve begun to treat the toxins. So how do we remove candida? Depends on the person. Some people do — I think you’re talking about candida of the gut probably. So some people do better with Nystatin than they do with herbs. Some people do better with herbs. So it really depends on the patient.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:27):
And I do find now what I’m doing with mold patients, people who have been mold exposed and have mycotoxins and I’m suspicious of a colonization, they usually do have candida overgrowth. And so oftentimes we’ll start with treating yeast candida in the gut with herbs and/or Nystatin, and then I’m escalating up to more potent antifungals as they’re tolerating it.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:42:56):
Yes, me too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:57):
Eventually getting to the antifungals that will actually treat the mold colonization. So I’m sure we do that similarly. Yeah. Okay. I have tested extremely high at the hundredth percentile for most environmental pollutants on the GLP Tox. If I’m drinking and pooping well two to three times a day, I can move forward with — oh, can I move forward with herbs that work on the liver and other pathways safely? Or if my gut is leaky and my brain barrier is leaky, can those chemicals somehow enter my brain or other organs?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:43:36):
Some chemicals can, yes. And those chemicals, the chemicals bioaccumulate in the cells of the fat, metals bioaccumulate in the cells of the organs, and it’s true that chemicals and the inflammation they create can cross the blood-brain barrier. So we have to make sure that you are ready for that. Kelly, the question was about adequate pooping and adequate hydration, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:06):
Right. So they’re drinking and pooping two to three times a day, which is very, very adequate. That’s fantastic. So I think in terms of clearing out the organs of detoxification, at least having normal bowel movements, it sounds like that person would be ready.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:44:24):
I would think so. It depends. Now, we might give you something and you might just hate it or we might give you that same thing and you might love it. We just don’t know how the patient is going to respond. When, if you have mast cells flaring, then you’re not going to like it. So it really depends on the individual. You might be ready for it. Some people give them those herbs and they say, oh, I just love that. It really depends on you, your responses.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:54):
The other thing that I would say is remember that a urine — the GPL Tox, which is no longer available right now, is an excretion test. So it’s actually showing us what you’re dumping, which is fantastic. So what we don’t want to see, and part of the whole purpose for talking about Pre-Tox is if we know that somebody has had numerous environmental toxicant exposures and they’re not pooping and they’re not excreting, that’s a big problem. And that’s where all this Pre-Tox really comes into play. So for somebody who has high levels, yes, it’s important to get those out, but you’re already detoxing them. Your kidneys are working and dumping them as fast as you can. So in those instances, we really want to look at avoidance. So what are these things that are in your life? Are there hobbies [where you are being exposed to toxicants]? Are there exposures that you can clean up to reduce the ongoing burden and then start to detox slowly? So good luck with that. Okay. Next we can talk about your favorite stuff. Peptides! Can peptides like BPC 157 be used to help with the Pre-Tox stage, or is Pre-Tox needed before starting peptides for things like GI issues and SIBO?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:46:25):
Okay. I really do like to use BPC 157. I’ve noticed in very highly sensitive patients, it’s not the first thing that I’m going to want to use. BPC 157 also can wire some people. So I tell my patients, don’t take it after 2:00 PM. It might keep you up at night. There are other peptides I do use to help calm the immune system. First I might use TB4 first, TB4 calms the immune response, KPV calms mast cells, amlexanox also calms mast cells. So I might, depending on the patient, use those before I use BPC. Now, if the patient isn’t highly sensitive, but they have a lot of GI inflammation, I might give them BPC 157 or also larazotide. That’s another peptide that helps with leaky gut. So again, it really depends on the patient. Some people are so sensitive they just need a toothpick dip and they’re going to feel that. So it depends on you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:30):
Okay. The next question says, I have MCAS, Lyme, Mold, MTHFR gene and COMT and other SNPs. I’m sure I have parasites. How do you test for parasites? Do you use a stool test like Gut Zoomer?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:47:47):
Okay, so within two hours of pooping parasites send out an enzyme that make themselves disintegrate. So then we can’t find them on PCR tests, at least not very well. How are we going to get a stool sample to the lab and analyze within two hours? That’s not possible. But I like the Parasitology Center test. They have somebody there, and I tell my patients this, I don’t envy their job, but they’re looking through that poop manually with their equipment and they’re looking for the nematodes. Those are the eggs of the parasites. Those eggs don’t disintegrate within two hours. So if we find the eggs, then we know that the parasites are there. And I would say that I find that very, very often in my patient population. So I like that lab.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:38):
And it’s inexpensive and patients can order it directly themselves. So it’s parasitetesting.com. Do you just use the comprehensive stool test, I think?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:48:49):
Yeah, I think it’s called the Complete —

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:51):
Yeah, $176. Hey, it’s a bargain.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:48:55):
It’s, it really is. And then I like to pair it with Biome FX or GI Map in order to take a good look at the beneficial bacteria in their gut and the inflammatory markers and look at those two tests together.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:10):
Yes, I do find that the functional tests, like the ones that you mentioned or Doctor’s Data or Genova, although they’re excellent tests for other things, they’re not great for parasites. So it’s very unusual to find parasites there. Now another alternative is to do empiric treatment. So if patients are not exquisitely sensitive or they muscle test well for certain anti-parasitics, I will often use the pharmaceuticals because there’s less things in them, like parasitic herbs are usually chockfull of so many things. I call them kitchen sink supplements. They’ve got everything in them and they’re really tough for mast cell patients. But we’ll do a course of ivermectin, we might do a course of nitazoxanide, or Alinia, and see how people do with that. And then a couple other antiparasitics that are more readily available would be albendazole or praziquantel, and you just kind walk through those and see when you have resolution of your symptoms. Now there are certainly other anti-parasitics, but that gives people an idea.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:50:29):
Yes, I’ve got the same way of doing it as well. So a lot of the patients are sensitive to the kitchen sink herbs, and then you probably do, too. But I have a lot of patients say, I don’t want the pharmaceuticals. I’d rather have the herbs, but I actually, I have to tell them, you know what, those pharmaceuticals, those anti-parasitics are easier on your body than the herbs.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:53):
Yes, I agree. Okay. What types of labs do you run for environmental toxins, and what are the things that you’re seeing commonly in the screening?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:51:08):
Okay, so lately I’ve been doing the IGL 24 substances lab. That’s a German test. And it does look for, it looks for fungal metabolites. It looks for many, many different solvents and pesticides, chemicals. I use that one. Now, even though Great Plains doesn’t exist anymore, Mosaic Labs, I saw them at ILADS and they told me that they’re going to be bringing that panel back. So it still hasn’t come back. But I’m very happy with the IGL test.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:46):
And the IGL test is not one that is commonly available. You have to have a really highly skilled functional practitioner who has access to that test. Not everybody has access to that test. It’s a German lab and it’s not a screening test. It is really looking at what we call DNA adducts, meaning these are the toxicants that are sitting on your DNA. And not only do we figure out what toxicants are sitting there, we know exactly what SNP it’s sitting on. So what is the DNA that’s being affected. And it can also look at glutathione levels, phosphatidylcholine levels, phosphatidylethanolamine levels. It does have a leaky gut component to it too, as well as looking for these different toxicants and then how functioning your mitochondria are. So it’s a fantastic test if you have a practitioner who can order that test for you.

(00:53:00):
There is another lab that does — so Vibrant, does some environmental toxicant testing. I’m not sure about how valid they are, but they are available and many practitioners order those tests. There are a couple of other companies, like Real Time Labs does do a glyphosate panel, although in the dozen some odd patients I’ve ordered it on, I have not yet seen an elevated level. Whereas with Great Plains, we found glyphosate levels much higher. Although I was told by the lab that it’s the same technology, I haven’t really seen that come to pass. So there are some other options out there. Real time also has an environmental toxicant panel that’s run through another lab whose name is escaping me right now. So there are a couple company — oh, Biotech, US Biotech. So there are a couple, but there are not that many right now. The other possibility would be a heavy metal test, and I don’t know about you, Nafysa, I do blood, whole blood levels, whole blood mercury levels, and then I personally use Doctor’s Data to do my pre and post provocation chelation test to look at metals.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:54:33):
Me too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:34):
Okay. Let’s see. How do, well, we kind of already answered this. How do either of you use peptides in the Pre-Tox or detox protocols since recent bans on being able to get them compounded?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:54:51):
Okay. So yes, I do use them and I’m able to, yes, we use them and Integrative Peptides is a great source for the oral and the sprays. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:11):
This question feels incomplete. Detox protocol for high mercury load.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:55:19):
That’s a loaded question. Yeah, I’m going to defer right now because that is something that we do every day in our practice. I mean, I do, I’m sure you do, Kelly, we’ve talked about this. Yes, we detox our patients, but this is, there’s a lot to this. You know what, we should give another webinar on heavy metals in the future, Kelly. Let’s do that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:46):
Sounds like a good plan.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:55:48):
Yeah, we’ll do that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:50):
Okay. So stay tuned for that. What I would also say is, particularly for sensitive people, I don’t personally, I don’t touch metals until people are 60, 70% better because it’s just so hard on the body. And what you could do in the meantime is make sure that you don’t have any amalgams in your mouth, that you don’t have any other exposures. Limit your fish intake. Be careful with light bulbs. If it’s a fluorescent light bulb and it gets shattered, there’s mercury in there. You have to be careful with that. There are some mercury in tattoos. So lots of things that you can do in terms of avoidance in preparation for our next talk. Okay. What are the things that are most overlooked with those who have Ehlers Danlose Syndrome?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:56:50):
I would say that MAs cell activation syndrome is most overlooked in this population. Craniocervical instability also is most overlooked. I know that EDS is exacerbated by the chemicals from MAS, especially when they’re in constant flow and that the cranial cervical instability is typically a factor in these patients. So we want to look at ways by which we can help the patients with their CCI [craniocervical instability]. Often, I might use BPC 157 cream or GHKCU peptides to help stabilize the neck first. Sometimes wearing a neck brace for moments when you’re going to be on a bumpy car ride can really help. Traction with an over the door traction device can help with CCI. If it’s severe, then people need surgery for that. But we try to avoid that as much as possible. The surgeon himself tries to avoid that if it’s unnecessary. And then MCAS, you guys know all about that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:04):
I’ll add to that. Dysautonomia is of course, and perhaps getting the diagnosis of EDS is probably the most overlooked thing. Yeah, that’s probably — And so it was my intention and my hope with the summits to really educate practitioners to think about EDS in our mast cell patients, in our mold patients, because we recognize that there’s a relationship between these conditions.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:58:40):
Very common in our patient population.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:45):
How can you possibly treat MCAS and regulate nervous? Oh, yeah. Regulate nervous system prior to detox. When this is coming from the root cause and the person reacts to any supplements to treat this, even reacts to limbic retraining. Isn’t this a catch 22?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (00:59:04):
It’s absolutely a catch 22, but I don’t know if you recall me saying earlier, it’s, it’s like I’m putting compact soil into your garden before I start to pull out the nasty roots, right? Those nasty roots are all of the triggers. So what we’re doing is we’re setting the stage, creating a new homeostasis as much as we can. It is absolutely bandaid medicine to begin with until we remove the triggers. But we need those bandaids to prevent you from bleeding out, so to speak. So once we remove the triggers, then your new baseline is going to be established. Pre-Tox is not establishing your new baseline. It’s not going to resolve the issues. It’s stabilizing the issues and creating a safe homeostasis. And when somebody is in a place where nothing works, absolutely nothing works. Oh, we just honor that person and slow it down. Really, really slow it down.

(01:00:07):
And often we have to enter through what we call the back door, right? We can’t come barging in the front door with treatments. And entering through the back door really means working with your emotions, working at the energetic level with you, the soft, gentle, gentle ways because that’s what you need at this point. And then we can start to give you medicines. Usually with these patients, it’s like I said earlier, a toothpick dip. That’s it. Some patients do well with, they can feel that toothpick dip. You give them two toothpick dips of the medicine and it backfires. So it’s really finding out where you are at and what does work for you. And it’s different for each person.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:55):
And if limbic system retraining is too much, and it certainly is for some people, there absolutely are ways to calm the nervous system that you can do. Like Beth O’Hara talks about when she was super sick, all she could do was go lay on a blanket in a grassy area with her Lyme protective thing under the blanket to prevent from ticks. But she would just lie under a tree and ground herself, spending time in nature. So there absolutely are things that we can do, listen to beautiful music, that will help you reconnect and calm that nervous system down.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:01:42):
Absolutely.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:44):
Okay. I think we already answered this, but do either of you employ muscle testing, applied kinesiology or autonomic response testing [ART]?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:01:54):
I used to do ART back in the day. I don’t so much anymore, but I work a lot with my patients and their intuition. And if a patient wants me to do muscle testing, I’ll absolutely do that. I think Dr. McCann, I think you do it more than I do.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:10):
I do. I do it a lot actually. And I teach my patients how to muscle test themselves because I don’t want them to be reliant on me or anybody else. And I want them to grow that intuition, grow that connection with their intuition, and it’s really fun. It’s so exciting to see the empowerment as people feel more and more confident in their muscle testing. Okay, how can you even start Pre-Tox when you have an immune system that’s in dysregulation? It gets activated and never resolves. And the inflammation is always present. Heavy mold, I’m sorry, heavy metals, mold, viral, tickborne overloads, as well as TBI and three autoimmune.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:03:00):
Those are all the triggers. Now, the autoimmune, the autoimmune issues are downstream illnesses, secondary illnesses, including the mast cell. That’s also secondary downstream illness that started from the TBI and from the mold. And starting with immune dysregulation is really, really important actually. Just like with the nervous system, it’s very often I’m beginning with MCAS even before I can do anything else. So it all depends on the patient. Some patients, actually, they need their hormones balanced before I can do any immune dysregulation treatment. Some people, that needs to come first. So we know when we’re talking to you because we’re also using our intuition as we’re working with you. And we’ve got to find the best way to each patient. Each patient has a different key different door, and we’re using our own intuition to understand where to enter your system first.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:05):
Exactly. So I’m sure we do this very similarly. We’re looking at your history. Say a patient comes in, the one that we’re describing who’s asking the question, we’re looking at your history, doing a physical, looking at all of the testing and all of the things that you’ve done before you walk through the room. And asking, okay, how did this work for you? How did this work for you? And it’s going through all those little details to figure out what are the things that haven’t been tried that can be tried, and then dialing in there. Nobody is hopeless. Nobody is in the point where, oh, there’s just nothing. Everyone has a key that we can access. We just need to find it. And usually there’s more than one key. It’s not just one thing. We’re not looking for a needle in a haystack. We’re looking for several ways in. And once you get in the door and we start to make some progress, then we can open the door for more and more things that can be layered in to help people get better.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:05:21):
So beautifully said. It’s absolutely true. That.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:27):
Okay, what are the rules of thumb for hydration and mineral consumption that the doctors recommend?

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:05:33):
Okay, I have to go in a couple minutes. I’m going to make this the last. I know we’re almost out of time.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:39):
Darn.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:05:41):
So for hydration, I actually, I really like using, of course, filtered water, but can’t believe it just escaped me. Structured water, a structured water device that is very healing for the body when we’re using both structured and filtered water. So it’s called the Aqua Energizer. That’s the one I like for structuring our water. And usually we tell our patients to drink 8 to 10 cups of water a day. Depending on your size. When you’re drinking structured water, it hydrates you even more. So you don’t even have to drink as much, as a little bit less is fine. Appropriate mineralization is very, very important as it comes to detoxification. So I’ll look at my patient’s mineral status in order to determine how much I want to give them. I don’t want them to [have] too much either.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:39):
And of course, electrolytes are also really important, particularly for patients with autonomic nervous system issues, they may need a lot more salt and electrolytes. So we’re looking at all of those things. Oh my goodness. Nafysa, thank you so much. I wish we had more time.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:06:59):
Me too. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for having me.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:03):
And I know we didn’t get to everyone’s questions. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do about that, but we will hold onto them and maybe I’ll try again at some point to answer some of these questions. We’ll definitely talk about having Dr. Parpia back so that we can dive in deeper into detox and look at metals. Thank you so much.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:07:25):
Thank you so much.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:27):
Alright. Goodbye everyone. As Sarah said at the beginning, we will get the replay up to you as soon as we can and we’ll see you next time. Thank you so much.

Nafysa Parpia, ND (01:07:39):
Thank you. Bye.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:41):
Bye.


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:05):

Welcome everyone. I’m going to allow some time for people to come in and get ready, maybe grab a bottle of water, glass of water, pen and paper. I think you’re probably going to want to take notes. And Sarah’s in the background. The chat is enabled, so if people want to talk on the chat, you’re more than welcome to. What we would ask is if you have specific questions for Brian or myself, please put them in the Q&A so that we can answer these. I have a bunch of questions prepared, but it’s really open, so if you have questions, please put them in. We’ll try and get to all of them. In terms of replays, Sarah let everyone know that we will send the replay out with a transcript to anyone who’s registered. Ideally, that will be done next week. I do have my computer IT guy moving to Malaysia for a couple of months at the end of next week. So hopefully he will be able to get it all done before he leaves the country. If not, you will get the replay at some point. It just may be a little delayed. So sorry about that. I am going to give a few more minutes for people to file in and then we’ll get started. Thank you so much for being here.

Brian Johnson (00:01:45):

And there’s never not enough questions around this topic and it’s endless. So definitely write the questions down because I learn from all of you as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:00):

Absolutely. I learn from my patients all the time. That’s how we keep learning through adversity and challenges and obstacles, right?

Brian Johnson (00:02:14):

And new perspectives. Even though we specialize in what we specialize, even from our clients, we learn different new perspectives and how to ask questions differently.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:29):

Absolutely. Alright, so let’s go get started. Welcome everyone. Today I have as my guest, Brian Johnson. Brian is a builder, master construction person, biologist. How do you like to refer to yourself?

Brian Johnson (00:02:51):

Building science, contractor, builder, healthy home builder, healthy builder, healthy home builder is kind of the phrase that I’ve adopted. It makes sense. I love that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:03):

Yeah, that makes the most sense. That’s great. Fantastic. Okay, so we’re talking about building healthy homes, and of course, from my perspective, we can only have healthy bodies if we’re in a healthy home, healthy environment. So what does it mean to you to have a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:03:28):

A healthy home is, so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and Senergy means everything’s synergistic. And looking at it from a building perspective, all the materials plugged together, synergistically and 360. It’s the holistic overview of everything. It’s just not one thing. So for example, working with a professional like yourself, what are we looking for in the first place to help identify, is it from the home, is it from offices? What are these areas? So I took the approach in my background of health and performance and getting into the biohacking world, which opened me up to environmental, functional and integrative medicine, which was huge because all of that helped point me back to the direction of, well, what’s in the environment? And so within that envelope, I look at– the home should be a place of healing, not adding a toxic load back into the body.

(00:04:47):

And so for me, it’s just looking at all aspects of construction. We’re looking at the external environmental factor. Again, whether it’s office, whether it’s home, we’re exposing ourselves. And then two, identifying what’s in the home, how the home is built, and then of course our own personal health practices, eating and nutrition and those different types of things. So we’re looking at bringing everything together very in a harmonious way. It is just not all about medicine, it’s just not all about the house, it’s everything. So that’s how I look at what makes a healthy home. Of course, we’ll go further into that, but it’s the whole overview of everything, and then we dial it into the environment.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:39):

So it’s about the air and having healthy air. It’s about the water having healthy sources of water. It’s about avoiding chemical toxins, avoiding mold exposure, limiting EMF, all of those things.

Brian Johnson (00:05:58):

Yeah. So the first thing that I even look at is the environment. That’s the number one.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:06:04):

What do you mean by that?

Brian Johnson (00:06:06):

Everything that you just explained, where’s the water coming from? Where’s are homes located? From an electrosmog standpoint, we’re looking at the EMFs, right? We’re looking at the air quality because a lot of these things are kind of unavoidable, and these are some questions that you have coming up. So what do we do to help mitigate or reduce or protect us from that? I always look at the home as being the third layer of skin. So the first layer is our skin, and the second layer is our clothing. And then the third layer is the home. And the home is to help protect. Nature is the gold standard, and how do we mimic the nature within the home environment? But at the same time, nature can impose some pretty heavy duty environmental factors in itself too. And so the home is to protect us from the unwanted factors of what nature presents. So again, the environmental aspect is everything, the air quality, the exposures to electrosmog, different forms of EMFs, again, the water quality, and then using building materials, which that’s what opens up the realm of the exposure to toxic chemicals.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:33):

So what’s the difference between a healthy home and a green home? Because people throw that word green around a lot.

Brian Johnson (00:07:40):

Yeah, we refer to it as greenwashing. There’s a lot of good organizations out there that really started this approach early on, these different councils, and they started these programs. But it was what I found interesting. My background goes almost 25 years in the construction industry, both commercial and residential. And so it was really interesting to watch these councils and these programs. But it was interesting because early on before I understood what greenwashing was, I’m like, man, there’s kind of a flaw here because they’re looking at green just from an energy–a lot of people have heard of energy star rating, and from an energy star, energy efficiency, they’re calling that green, but they’re not even really addressing anything of the building materials and toxic building materials, or they’re really not looking at– it’s more on the commercial side. It’s starting to adopt over into the residential side, but they really, again, carbon footprint, the negative carbon footprint, like, hey, what can we to contribute to lessen the emissions? So there’s that aspect of it as well. So energy efficiency, world energy consumption on a global scale, which is huge. I mean, that’s really vital. But when it trickles down the line, especially into residential homes, they don’t look at residential as the same as commercial.

(00:09:17):

Then there’s that aspect of the disconnect of green. So what I like to refer to is non-toxic building, because if we’re building non-toxic in the residential realm, that would be green because we’re not using the chemicals, we’re not using the heavy practices and manufacturing. So by default, that would be considered green. So that’s when somebody uses the term green, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me because it could be energy efficiency or negative carbon footprint or different things like that. It’s not so much related to health.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:01):

That makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s important, it’s an important distinction for consumers to understand that green doesn’t mean healthy.

Brian Johnson (00:10:14):

Right. Yeah. No, it really doesn’t.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:17):

Green means hopefully sustainable, but what good is an airtight home if it’s filled with mold in other chemicals? It’s just…

Brian Johnson (00:10:26):

Well, and that’s a good point too, the sustainability too. It’s like then when we go so far on the sustainable side or so far on the green side and totally non-toxic, then you start to compromise on the sustainability aspect. And so for me, coming in as a performance builder, I’m always looking at for performance. So I kind of came from the extreme side of performance, but with that comes a lot of plasticizers, a lot of fire retardants, just a lot of different PCBs and all these different types of things, because it’s going to last for a thousand years,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:04):

Just what we want.

Brian Johnson (00:11:05):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So my mission early on was like, oh, I’m going to build these homes that are multi-generational and it going to last thousands of years, but yet I’m taking too far advantage of modern technology not being really mindful of the ancient practices In Europe. They have buildings that are a thousand years old today, and they’re built all natural

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:28):

And they’re a lot less toxic.

Brian Johnson (00:11:32):

Yes, absolutely. Correct. Yeah, right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:36):

So there’s this balance that we have to try and find you as a builder, me as somebody who lives in a home, everyone who lives in a home, we have to find this balance between what is sustainable and what is non-toxic, right?

Brian Johnson (00:11:55):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:55):

What are some of the biggest challenges people have in having a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:12:04):

Well, some of the biggest challenges is, I wrote this down. I think personally, this is just my opinion is just lack of education.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:16):

Yeah, that’s true.

Brian Johnson (00:12:17):

I think that’s the number one, because really, whose agenda are we following? Who do we listen to? Who do we follow? And that’s really what brought me forward going, look, I understand both aspects and I really need to get my message clear till I can help educate the architects, the designers, the builders, the clients to really change this. Because in the residential realm of production building, they don’t really want to hear this mission and the message too much. And so it’s all about smart homes and again, energy efficiency and all these things, but they’re not, when we start getting into the non-toxic and the safe way of construction, no one really talks about that. And so we have to have, first and foremost, we need to have education. Once we have the education, then we can take the approach. And also too, not taking a fear-based approach, because I hear a lot of that, and especially in the environmental standpoint, there’s a lot of fear around that. Okay, well, this is great. And 80%, they say that 80 to 90% homes are sick and diagnosed as what’s referred to as sick building syndrome.

(00:13:55):

So it’s like, okay, let’s be aware. Let’s educate, let’s be aware, and let’s take action on what we can do. The second thing would probably be, there would be a cost factor that would be limiting, of course. But again, without education, how do we know what actions to take that are from the least cost, getting into more elaborate types of renovations. And then speaking of renovations, it would be new construction versus doing renovation work. Remodeling, believe it or not, it’s easier to build a new home because then we could factor all the design. We could source all the proper materials into–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:46):

Avoid all the mistakes.

Brian Johnson (00:14:48):

Absolutely. There’s so many factors into that. So renovations can be a little bit more challenging again, but it can be done. I definitely want to stress that fact that hey, there are solutions and it is just, there’s protocols and there’s ways that we can do these types of things. So those are the top three challenges that I would see.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:11):

So lack of education, avoiding fear, and then kind of following that middle path. Was that the third one? Cost…

Brian Johnson (00:15:23):

Yeah, cost renovations, new build kind of really, if you’re going to do some renovation work, I mean now again, the contractor, it’s be educated. There’s not a lot of contractors out there. And thanks to people like me, we’re out there educating and spreading the mission and spreading the word. And so I feel people in the construction industry, they want, for the most part, they want to do good things. They want to contribute and make an amazing space for their client. But if their client doesn’t know how to ask those questions, how are they going to be able to accommodate that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:06):

Exactly. And I think when patients are dealing with ill health and now they’re learning, now I need to educate myself on my conditions and educate myself on all these supplements and all these things that I’m doing. And now I have to educate myself on how to have a healthy home that can get a little overwhelming. So what would be the cheat sheet, the Reader’s Digest version? The CliffNotes version of a way for clients to educate themselves? I mean, obviously this book is great [Prescriptions for a Healthy House]. Brian has this book. There you go, everyone take a picture and you don’t have to read it from cover to cover. It’s a great resource. Yes. But would that be what you would recommend? Are there other ways to help people navigate this so they don’t feel completely overwhelmed?

Brian Johnson (00:17:14):

Yeah, definitely. And I want to be here to give solutions. I’m only one individual across the globe. There’s other people that are like Paula LaPorte and John Banta. They co-wrote the book Prescription for a Healthy House. There’s a lot of people doing this movement, and that’s why the book is amazing. If you want to learn how to build a house, everyone buy that book and just, you don’t have to read the whole thing, just kind of brush through it. It gets into a lot of descriptions on building and things like that. However, it does prepare you to, when you go to your contractor, you can go to your contractor and say, look, I’m studying this book, and I highly recommend you study the book as well. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:06):

We buy you a copy.

Brian Johnson (00:18:08):

A hundred percent. 100%. Because it was interesting. I’ve been in the building industry for almost 25 years, and I came into it from a health-minded background. So I’m literally just merging the science and health and building all into one. So when I started several years back, I stumbled upon the Building Biology Institute, and that’s going to be a big takeaway for everybody. Huge. Probably the biggest recommendation I have is called the Building Biology Institute. And in the Building Biology Institute, there’s a lot of people that have gone through a lot of these different things, and they wanted to go through what is building science, and there’s different facets to it. There’s the EMF and what we’ll talk more about as we continue on. But from an EMF standpoint or an environmental consulting standpoint or new construction, there’s all these different facets.

(00:19:16):

And it’s a very extensive program. It’s not like somebody’s just going to pay a little bit of money and take a couple exams. They’re very passionate about what they do, and there’s a lot of guidance and facilitation to make sure people hopefully graduate the program and get their credentials. So it’s a very trusted source. So if somebody was to go to the Building Biology Institute website and look for an environmental consultant in their area, that’s beautiful because you can put in your zip code and it’ll find somebody close to your area. That way you can have them come out and do an assessment or help educate you or hopefully help navigate you through whatever the process, whether it’s a renovation or whether there’s some potential mold damage or maybe working with somebody professional like yourself. You know what? Maybe you might want to look into your home environment and see what’s going on.

(00:20:12):

There’s a lot of great, somebody I’ve seen on the text, somebody mentioned John Banta co-wrote the book with, he’s great. He’s an environmental consultant, and there’s so many great environmental consultants out there. So the building biology is geared more towards kind of building science a little bit around it, but working with environmental consultants is a great idea. The aspect that I bring, and I know I’m not the only one, but I’m [one of the] few, is I come into it as a builder. And so when I stumbled across Paula and her book, I was like, I was going to write her book when I seen her book. I’m like, oh, well, here it is. Now I don’t have to write it because it’s all right here.

(00:21:02):

So these are great resources for the audience, the book, the Building Biology Institute, working with a good environmental consultant that understands building background and building science and works close with, again, functional environmental integrative medicine, because that’s the link. I couldn’t do this without you because I wouldn’t have the education, what started my whole endeavor behind this whole thing. And then of course, you, you’re like, Hey, you want to help find your clients a sanctuary, a place to heal and not get sick. To be able to heal from all these symptoms and things like that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:48):

And so many of our patients are sick from mold or sick from environmental chemicals in a building that’s been poorly constructed, and it’s really challenging to try and figure that out. So let’s dive in a little bit more into some specifics. So what are some of the harmful chemicals that you see or that you are trying to help people avoid when you’re building or renovating? What are they? Where are they and what can people do about some of them?

Brian Johnson (00:22:26):

As far as chemicals? I’m going to just kind of be more just broad about it. It’s funny because again, coming in from the health background, we learn to read our labels. It’s no different in the construction. It’s the same thing.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:46):

That’s so cool.

Brian Johnson (00:22:47):

Yeah, because that’s what we’re doing, except for the labels in construction. Say for example, we’re using 8,000 different products or whatever, right now, we have to read, and the label isn’t just the back of the package. You have to know what you’re looking for. You have to educate yourself. We have to go in there. We have to look at what we refer to as the MSDS, which is the material safety data sheets and things like that, because that’s where we find the information. That’s where we find the hidden chemicals, because they have their workaround of what they, or some things are proprietary. They don’t have to claim it, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:29):

Just like supplements.

Brian Johnson (00:23:31):

It’s the same thing. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:35):

And there’s a whole chapter devoted to how to read your MSDS.

Brian Johnson (00:23:42):

Thank you for bringing the book, because again, when I came across the book, I’m like, oh my God, this really covers everything. And so understanding that, then it’s like there’s a section on biocides, there’s a section on fungicides, insecticides, there’s an understanding of–and this is where I’m going to get broad–is it’s understanding VOC, which is volatile organic compound, and there’s hundreds of VOCs, and they come from petroleum-based products. Again, now we’re kind of hinging back to a little bit of the green aspect again, because once we start recognizing all the VOCs, flame retardants, PCBs, all these different formaldehydes, solvents, hydrocarbons, there’s a huge breakdown of it. Now, again, let me add this piece, not bringing into the– because when I first started the whole thing, I’m like, well, pretty much, there’s nothing left I can build my home out of.

(00:24:54):

But again, it’s the balance, right? And even in the book, and I’m just throwing little examples in the book, Paula talks about plumbing, and it was a big thing for me because I wanted to know the difference between PEX, which is plastic, polyethylene type plumbing, versus copper. In the early days, we sweat the fittings. There were different chemicals involved. There’s things leaching out of the copper. PEX — there was a lot of early problems with PEX in the early days, BPAs and all these, and then they switched it to a different compound that was hard to recognize or read the label on, and then they had to change it again because they had these big class action suits. Oh, yeah. So you’re like, well, do I use copper? Do I use PEX? Do I use this? What’s the lesser of the two evils?

(00:25:51):

Types of things like that. And believe it or not, the construction industry is really cleaning things up. You just have to know what it is you’re looking for. And so me as a builder, it’s like I’m recognizing all these 8,000 different products, and then I’m breaking it down and I’m finding the middle ground on where we’re at. Even I’m just going to use the plumbing still for, as an example, if I was on a project in Texas and the local–and I’m working with a contractor and he has somebody that works with copper, well, then there’s going to be recommendations that I’m going to have around using copper because they’re going to be very effective and very efficient at it, or vice versa in another town. If somebody who’s working with PEX, we can make all of these components work very, very clean and nontoxic way to get the outcome that we’re going for.

(00:26:48):

There’s just protocols and there’s steps around that. It’s interesting, too, from the biocides and the fungicides and the pesticides, and going back to the environment outside of the home, it is pretty interesting, and I am sure you’re very savvy to this too. All of these crops and the dustings and things like this, they travel thousands of miles and they attach to all the dust spores. So then there’s the balance of creating a home envelope that’s sealed to protect us from the outside air. But then we’re not getting proper ventilation. But if we do get ventilation, how do we clean the air from that ventilation? Because the more dense in the bigger cities that you get, that’s where the indoo–or the outdoor–quality, IAQ, they rate it parts per million by 10 micron and 2.5 micron, 10 micron would be more like actual dust, right?

(00:27:50):

It’s heavier. It’s a heavier particle. And then the 2.5 is a smaller micron and it’s a smaller particle. Well, all these biocides and all these fungicides, they get attached to all these, and they’re just–so, again, if you’re like, say, I’m kind of going on down a little shoot here, but let me run with this. So say for example, we’re building a home downtown Denver, or downtown Phoenix, or even Tucson, Arizona. The air quality’s not far behind Phoenix. Now. I found building science, there’s ways to help to build a sealed environment, but to ensure that we’re getting good mechanical ventilation, but taking that or what we refer to as passive air, so it’s making sure we’re getting fresh air within the home, but we just don’t want to pump all that stuff that’s in the air, toxins into the home. So it’s important, and there’s ways, it’s real practical.

(00:28:48):

Again, this kind of goes from a commercial, a lot of things together, because then we’re actually bringing in passive airflow, and then we’re pre-filtering it in through our home filtration systems and our HVAC systems. So we’re cleaning that up. I know I kind went down a rabbit hole there, but I was just kind of giving different examples. There’s always a solution to something, even if it’s an area that we can’t control the external environment because these chemicals, and kind of going back to the building industry, when I’m going through all these 8,000, I keep using the word 8,000 because I think it’s even in Paula’s book, it’s just a number. So when you’re working with a contractor, again, it’s kind of even referencing that book, just being mindful because she does a really good job of referencing a lot of, there’s a lot of high performance building materials that are sustainable, that are non-toxic, that perform well, and they’re very effective at what they do.

(00:29:49):

And again, so at least you as the client, you’re empowered to select, even if it comes down to a budget, like, okay, hey, you know what? I’m going to use these products on the exterior part of the home, and I’m just going to focus on, let me talk about paint for example. There’s a lot of manufacturers out there that use non VOC paint, but then when you start looking at the labels and you start looking at little further into it, you’ll see certain products that are certain solvents that somebody with multiple chemical sensitivities that actually might create a reaction for them. So even though it’s classified as a non VOC, they could actually have an adverse health effect just from the paint inside. However, there’s manufacturers out there in the paint industry that are using more like Earth-based or just natural types of fillers and additives into their paints that truly make it not only non-toxic, but low odor as well, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:57):

We run into this in medicine too, where say you’re eating a gluten-free diet, but you can’t have almonds, so you have to have these different things. We’re always making choices, and it’s going to be that same sort of situation with building materials. There’s going to be trade-offs. You have to take your budget into account. You have to take the ingredients into account, and you have to educate yourself as best you can, and then work with somebody who’s knowledgeable to help navigate those pieces.

Brian Johnson (00:31:33):

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I kind of look at, again, I’ll just reference the building biology because it’s a great resource, but it’s kind of finding the environmental, integrative, functional aspect of somebody looking out for your home environment that has understanding that had to go through this rigorous coursework to understand that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:58):

Right? Yeah. Thank goodness for the building biologists.

Brian Johnson (00:32:02):

Oh, my God, absolutely. Yeah. And just kind of a little bit of a background, just a quick flyover. So the Building Biology Institute was formed post World War II in Germany, and a lot of their studies, I mean, their studies, it’s all scientific studies they’ve been doing for 60 years at that time even. And so that’s when the institute, it was called something different then, but it formed, and then it was adopted into the US in the early eighties. It was like, well, why? They’re building this way and they have these standards in Europe. Why aren’t we not following these standards here? And so it was the early eighties when one of the founders actually brought the Building Biology Institute into the US and they follow all kinds of great resources, like the bio initiative report, science based, it’s not assumptions, it’s not, “well, we think of…” no, this was all a factual thing. So all of the information that comes from the Building Biology Institute, it is science-based.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:09):

100%.

Brian Johnson (00:33:10):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:13):

Do you want to talk a little bit about EMFs too?

Brian Johnson (00:33:16):

Yeah, absolutely. So I talked a little bit about the electrosmog.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:24):

What do you mean by electrosmog?

Brian Johnson (00:33:26):

Electrosmog is just, it’s all of the interference outside that we really can’t control. The power grid, power lines, transmission lines, transformers. Now we’re into the era of radio frequency. The early days of radars could be pretty serious if you’re affected or close to a radar. But anyways, once we started coming from this 3G adopting into these multiple generations of radio frequency, they’re very high millimeter wavelength, and they can have a pretty big impact for a lot of people with constant exposure. So the cities are blanketed. So I look at electrosmogs from all the different aspects, all the different spectrums, and so I kind of blanket that. That’s what I refer to as electrosmog. But just a quick–this is a really important takeaway for everybody because EMFs, a lot of people just use EMF as just kind of a generalized term. And there’s four major components to of EMFs.

(00:34:51):

One is the electrical field. So it’s the electrons moving through wiring. It’s like plumbing. It’s almost just like plumbing. It’s like water going through a pipe. It’s electrons that travel. So we don’t get away from that. That just, that’s what power does. Okay. It comes in through your overhead lines or underground lines, goes into your home into a service panel. And then what we have, that’s the first. So it’s electrical field. That’s the first form of an EMF. The second form is the electromagnetic AC fields. So what happens is when you have current flowing in and going back, what it does is it creates a magnetic field. Okay? It’s called AC magnetics, alternating current magnetics driven by electrons traveling through, so you have the electrical field, and then you have the AC magnetic field, the constant exposure to AC magnetic field. That’s the low hanging fruit. That’s the one that’s actually, there’s a lot of studies around the dangers behind that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:56):

And that’s also the one that’s really hard to mitigate, is my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:36:01):

Well, it can be. Yes, it can be. There are limitations. So for example, you don’t want to definitely live around a transmission line or high tension power lines. It’s always kind like this intuitive, “yeah, it doesn’t seem like a very good idea,” right? Because it’s pulsing out massive, massive amounts of AC magnetics, and the fields are huge. And so as it comes in through local distribution lines and power lines into the home, they start grouping all the cables closer and closer and closer and closer together. Once those cables get closer together, they start to cancel out the AC magnetic fields. Not without getting too crazy, but what happens is–so say it’s outside of the home, and then you have your lines coming into the home. Well, what happens is when we get into the AC magnetic issues within the home, a lot of it’s from wiring errors, believe it or not, in the commercial world, they use different types of wiring. They use different types of grounding systems, again, for public safety and for fire code. And what’s kind of crazy is residential commercial codes are completely different. If we were to follow a lot of commercial codes, our homes would be a lot safer, in my opinion. What I’m doing, a lot of my techniques and building styles are more commercial.

(00:37:34):

So through different types of wiring, grounding systems, in the way that we have to run our circuits by default in the commercial, we’re going to have low AC magnetics, if it’s done right. What happens in the residential route, they don’t look at that. And so what happens, a lot of electricians, sometimes they’ll cut corners. It’s common. It’s done all the time, and they’ll cut corners. And once you start cutting corners and playing around with electric in the house, by default, sometimes if something’s not done, it creates an AC magnetic field within the home, but that can be repaired. Okay. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:11):

That’s good to know that it can be repaired.

Brian Johnson (00:38:14):

Yeah. Yeah, there’s solutions.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:16):

But it’s a tough solution potentially, right? Because it’s the electric coming in on the water pipes oftentimes. That was my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:38:27):

And that’s another thing too. So for example, and I’m just going to reference the Building Biology Institute, since we all have a dialogue of that. Now, some building biologists, they’ll study just on an EMRS, which is electromagnetic radiation specialist. And so when they’re coming in to look, they’re finding the current coming in, the AC magnetics coming in on your line, coming into your home or building, whatever, but you can isolate that. We can isolate our subs from the grid like that, and then we can fix all of the AC issues, magnetic issues within the home. What we can get away from is, if this is a good takeaway for everybody, if you’re in a room that hopefully doesn’t have the main electrical box–and it is crazy, I still see it all the time, you don’t want to be sleeping next to the main electrical panel coming into the house, okay?

(00:39:21):

Because by default, it emits a high AC magnetic field. And I’ll just kind of run with AC magnetic fields, another–refrigerators, motors, variable speed motors and things like that, and compressors–what they do is they actually–by default of just what they are, there’s no way of getting around it. But by default, they produce a high AC magnetic field. So I’m sharing that with everybody. So you’re just mindful of, Hey, I’m looking at buying a house, or, Hey, I’m in this room. Well, you might want to consider moving the bed away from, or going into another room from an electrical panel coming in, or the refrigerator, maybe it’s an apartment, maybe it’s a studio or something like that, and the refrigerator’s on the back wall of the bedroom where there’s a bed. Another thing, and I’ll just kind of run with this since we’re talking about, so we’re still talking about electrical fields and AC magnetic fields.

(00:40:16):

So with those two forms of EMFs, if your bed, these are just really simple takeaways. If your bed is up against the wall, what we’re going to have electrical outlets and their daisy chain around the bedrooms, right? It’s just for convenience and code. They’re there. So you can plug in your lamp. Well, hopefully you’re not plugging in to charge your phone while you’re sleeping anyways, but whatever, no judgment. But when you plug in a cord, okay, so now the power’s in the wall and the fields, they stay pretty tight to one another. So you could be 12 inches away from a field and not be too affected. So distance is your friend. Remember, distance is your friend. But what happens is if you take a lamp and you plug into the wall, well, now you’ve extended that electrical field from the wall to the lamp, and it’s right next to your head.

(00:41:14):

So that’s why extending things out, I know we want our convenience, but there’s other ways to do things. Like you could buy 12 volt lights with battery operated that are red light and all these different types of things for reading. I mean, there’s workarounds, simple workarounds, but these are the practicalities to understand. That’s just the nature of what electrical does. So once we’re like, okay, hey, distance is our friend. Okay, I’m going to get rid of everything that’s plugged in. I’m going to charge my phone in another room. Or you could even put alternating kill switches to kill all the power to the room. There’s different methods to mitigate that as well. Or having a metal bed frame–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:53):

A metal bed frame? That makes it better or–

Brian Johnson (00:41:55):

Worse. It makes it worse because with the metal, it’s a conductor, so it’s absorbing the frequency from the electrical field that’s in the wall, and then it’s extending it through the bed. And then of course, what we’re 80% water. So of course, we’re conductors. We’re absorbing that energy. So what it is, it’s just we’re absorbing this excessive energy. And where in nature, again, kind of back to nature, the gold standard, hopefully in nature, we’re going to be sleeping with the DC magnetic field of the earth and Schumann resonance and things like that. But now when we’re in a home and we’re exposed to all these, it’s just frequencies. It’s chaotic. How does the body recover in sleep? So these are just things to think about and be mindful of from the two main factors of electrical fields and AC magnetic fields. Okay. Those are two forms of EMFs. The third one is–did I cover, you feel like I covered?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:52):

Oh, yeah. Those are great. You did a good job.

Brian Johnson (00:42:54):

Okay. Okay, cool. Then it’s the RF, which is radio frequency. That’s the third. [Brian waves his hand and we see balloons floating up the Zoom screen.]

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:03):

Balloons, there are balloons that keep going up!

Brian Johnson (00:43:05):

I see the balloons.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:09):

I don’t know what’s happening. Every time you do this, the balloons go up. [Brian waves his hand again and we see balloons]. Yes, there, it is!

Brian Johnson (00:43:18):

I kept seeing the balloons and I’m like, oh, everyone’s really enjoying this because there’s a lot of balloons flying. Why?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:27):

I don’t know. It’s a setting in your [zoom], it’s pretty funny. Anyway, yes, everyone’s enjoying this. This is amazing. Keep going. More balloons.

Brian Johnson (00:43:36):

Yeah. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:39):

Okay. So let’s move on to RF, which everybody freaks out about, right?

Brian Johnson (00:43:44):

Yeah. And again, like we discussed, the AC magnetics for me is the number one thing that we want to look for. And then distancing ourself from the electrical field. So these are some, hopefully somebody could be writing this down, but we can follow up on it later on down the road or watch the recording. But then the third one is radio frequencies, and there’s all types of radio [frequencies] –AM, FM, like radar microwaves–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:15):

Your wifi, your router, your phone.

Brian Johnson (00:44:18):

Here we are. Yeah, cell phones. We’re just bombarded– Bluetooth. And again, I share this just to empower ourselves to understand, educate to know, Hey, okay, I’m cool. I’ll put my wireless earbuds in. That’s fine, but at least you’re aware and you understand it. I think a lot of people, it’s interesting too because you talk to a lot of people wearing wired versus the wireless earbuds. People intuitively feel like, yeah, when I wear my wireless earbuds for an extended period of time, I kind of get headaches or I get tension in the jaw and things like that. It’s like, well, I’ve measured and I use the formulation of radio frequency measuring everything in a millimeter wavelength. And it’s referred to micro watts per square meter. And according to the Building Biology Institute, and I’m going to take this to the practicality inside of the home, but if you could be under 10 micro watts per square meter is ideal for a sleeping environment.

(00:45:28):

And there’s a lot of great resources that we can share with the audience later on this. But just to go to the extreme part, I’ve actually measured the RF coming from the headphones, which is plugged into the ear canal and up to as high as 70,000 micro watts per square meter. It’s crazy. And I was guilty about it early on, but intuitively I’m like, something’s not right here. And then of course I measured them. But kind of taking RF back again, part of this whole electrosmog environment, there’s towers everywhere, and now they’re doing 5G, and 5G is a high millimeter wavelength, but it drops quick. So they have to put these repeaters and extenders. And now with wifi technology, 2.5 gigahertz and beyond that. 2.5 gigahertz, so that’s this high amount of frequency that’s flowing from these routers. And now we’re doing extenders because we want fast speeds.

(00:46:31):

We want to stream wirelessly throughout the whole [house], so now we’re coming out with all this smart technology within the home. So everything’s running on a Bluetooth device, everything’s running on wifi now. All of the appliances, washers, dryers, dishwashers, vent hoods, refrigerators, everything’s just connected to these. Everything’s smart, right? And there’s my powerful takeaway, and anyone’s more than welcome to adopt this, but what is a smart home versus an analog home? And that’s really how I’m taking everything back as a builder, is I’m building analog. I’m building homes that in the nineties, in the early two thousands, we had amazing automation and it was all hardwired before then. We had DSL and all these different internet services come out, and we had amazing automation systems back then. And so for me, I love my technology, and again, from a builder like, well, how can we build an analog home that performs like a smart home? And it’s going back to the basics. We’re hard wiring.

(00:47:50):

But what’s funny too is the more that we go wireless, even looking at security systems and security cameras, again, a lot of the automation, communication, telecommunication through the home, it’s hard to find contractors that will even go–it still exists though, and that’s why I want to share the message. So when I’m working with my contractors or whatever, we’re a hundred percent hardwired. There’s so many advantages, the speeds are faster, more secure. I mean, there’s just, again, now we’re eliminating the whole RF part. So wireless technologies within home, whether it’s Bluetooth, whether it’s wifi, wireless routers, again, microwaves, it’s crazy because microwaves and wireless routers, they put almost about the same amount. That’s why, in my opinion, if you’re going to use a microwave distance yourself from the microwave, just don’t stand right next to it. Right? Of course, all the microwaves are killing a lot of the enzymes and components in the food, of course, from that aspect.

(00:48:56):

But it’s the exposure to that microwave that you don’t want to have constant exposure, and you can be in the opposite end of the house and actually still be affected by the exposure in the RF from that microwave. Yeah, there’s a lot of studies out around that. So again, it’s just being mindful of all the different technologies that are used in these wireless capabilities, and going back to the basics of like, well, hey, we can hardwire. I can have an ethernet cable in every aspect in the kitchen or wherever you want to have ’em. You just got hardwire and you just got to plug in, right? Even with telecommunications and phones, there’s still hardwire phones out there, and it’s kind of beautiful because you can use these VOIP, which is voiceover internet provider, right?

(00:49:47):

Kelly McCann, MD: Have one right here.

(00:49:48):

Yeah. Well, are you in a commercial building or are you home?

(00:49:54):

Kelly K McCann, MD: I am in a commercial building.

(00:49:56):

Brian Johnson: Yeah, rough there. So there’s VOIP because again, in a commercial [building], everything’s hardwired. The servers, everything’s hardwired in a commercial building. That was my takeaway from that, is there’s no different–why we can’t have the commercial setting in a home application. Again, going more back to an analog–or let’s talk about potential. Okay, well, there’s these RFs, there’s a cell tower, there’s these smart meters, right of my home or whatever. What do I do? And there’s ways, believe it or not, RF is a little easier to mitigate because there’s shielding. There’s different types of graphene. There’s different types of screening materials, and what they do is they block those millimeter wavelengths, those high structured wavelengths coming through smart meters. What they do is they pulse every minute, 30 seconds.

(00:50:56):

They’re all different. They can pulse out to maybe 5,000 micro watts per square meter. So again, you don’t want, it’s not ideal to have the power supply outside of your bedroom, but then you turn around and you put a meter on top of that, and then they say there’s some coupling interference back into the system, into the home. There’s some talk about that as well, which I haven’t really tested so much for, but me, distance is a friend. So as me as a builder, I look at putting the electrical panel outside of a garage or away from the living area of the home. And if you can, opt out from a smart meter, a lot of power companies honor that. And you can do an opt-out program. I think you gotta pay $20- $30 a month extra for a meter reader. Those are some big things, but windows, low e[nergy] windows, even modernized low E, energy efficient windows by default, the window actually does cancel out and block RF. Yeah, there’s different faraday cages that you can put around your bed.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:03):

The Faraday cages have to be grounded properly too, so it is not just as easy as throwing up some copper or some drapes. You really need to know what you’re doing to ground it. Correct?

Brian Johnson (00:52:16):

Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. But there’s different fabrics too. So there’s some fabrics that just block the field, so it’s not like it’s a metallic. There’s some silver products and things like that, but it’s more of just an actual blocking material. But you’re absolutely 100% right. When we’re actually doing shielding within a home, those homes are graphite and it is basically you’re trading a Faraday wall, and that wall has to be grounded. So there’s definitely, it’s not like a DIY type of a thing. You definitely want to work with somebody that understands that. I’ll just throw an example, two examples. So say you’re in a town home or there’s a common wall and your neighbor’s blasting the wifi, and your concern is like, well, I don’t have the budget to actually shield the entire part of my condominium or whatever. But you could, simple things would be, you could just do–there’s a bed canopy, at least you’re getting that quiet time for sleep. From that, you can put ’em underneath because maybe you’re on a second level and it’s coming up from the neighbor’s floor underneath all the way to the point of where you can actually shield the whole environment. So it’s all cost prohibited on how far you want to go take it, right? But there’s definitely solutions around the RF. Okay, there’s one more.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:37):

Yeah, one more. Let’s do number four.

Brian Johnson (00:53:39):

There’s number four and I — sorry, oh, the time.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:43):

Yeah. So let’s do number four and then we’ll jump to some questions. We’ve got a long list of questions

Brian Johnson (00:53:49):

And sorry that we’re running over

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:54):

I’m okay to go for a little while longer if you are, Brian.

Brian Johnson (00:53:58):

Yeah, no, I’m good. Let’s keep it running, but I’ll tie it up for everybody too. The fourth one is dirty electricity. A lot of people, they hear about different dirty– what is their dirty electricity? It’s micro electrical surge pollution, and basically what it is, whether it’s coming from electrical, excuse me, photovoltaic, solar power panels, sometimes it’ll feed back through, like the inverters converting the DC to the AC, dimmer switches, just so everybody knows on the call right here, even if you’re running your awesome incandescent lamps that are going to be kicked out anyways, but there’s technologies that trump that, using LEDs in the right fashion. However, the old school dimmers, those put out a lot. The transformers you’re charging for your computers, again, just different electronics through the homes. What they do is they put out what’s called line noise, it’s actual noise, and it’s a harmonic.

(00:55:01):

And what these do is they dump it into the electrical system, and some people with sensitive hearing, they can actually hear a really high pitch sound, and it could even be pulsating. Some of us can’t hear it, but what it does is it really affects, has a big effect on the central nervous system because it’s this singing, it’s this noise, it’s this almost invisible noise, but you don’t even know that it’s bothering you and it’s in the background. So that’s what we refer to as MEP or dirty electricity. So that’s the fourth form of an EMF.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:31):

And you can measure the dirty electricity with a stetsor meter, correct.

Brian Johnson (00:55:37):

Yeah. There’s a lot of good companies have different, so if you look up how to measure dirty electricity, Stetzer meter is one, green wave meter is another one. Again, a building biologist or an EMRS person. Actually we use oscilloscopes and we can actually go in there and measure what that wavelength is doing and find the source right away. It’s a lot easier when I go into a house and I see dimmers all over, I’m like, okay, I already know that’s a source. So it’s just a process of elimination to find it, but it’s pretty easy to find MEP, dirty electricity in a home.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:13):

Great. Okay. Let’s do some questions. Ready?

Brian Johnson (00:56:16):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:17):

You can look at ’em too, but I’ll read them out loud. So what list should we have and where can I find one to use when assessing homes or potential homes? So like mold, actinomyces, proximity to Superfund sites, cell tower farms, where glyphosate is sprayed, radon, et cetera. That’s a great question, Lena.

Brian Johnson (00:56:46):

And what are some resources for that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:47):

Yeah, what are some resources? Is there a guide? Is there a list? Here’s the checklist for potential home buyers. Of all the things that you want to look at when you’re trying to figure out a home, is there some central repository where we’d have a list?

Brian Johnson (00:57:05):

Well, so in Prescription for a Healthy House, Paula writes that out.

(00:57:14):

There’s reading involved, but as time evolves and as we perfect these things, we’ll be able to make it more streamlined and more simple like, Hey, what’s this? Give me the 10 simple takeaways. My website, I’m doing some updates, as a matter of fact, on that. Hey, what are the main points to look at? Again, also, the Building Biology Institute. Again, these are really powerful resources, and so I know I keep bringing it up, but these are answers to the questions. Even working, consider consult with the building biologist in your area. They’re going to give you these lists because these are the things that we train for as a building biologist, because even me as a builder, I look at and as a builder perspective, and then it just breaks down to a client. But again, I’m looking at the environment, the external environment.

(00:58:13):

I’m looking at the building structure. I’m looking at electrical design. I’m looking at, we didn’t even get into climate and ventilation systems, which that’s a key one. I kind of did want to talk about ERV for ventilation and looking at the building materials again, so a building biologist is going to come through and do all the different types of testing. We didn’t even get into the mold testing and things like that, indoor air quality testing, measuring the VOCs, but it’s good to work at that. I recommend for everybody to consult with an environmental consultant or a building biologist to come in there at least to do simple measurements of EMFs, indoor air quality, do some inspections along with air, just simple air testing, which will test for mold spores in the air. I know I didn’t really zero in on that question, but there’s resources out there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:21):

I think there are resources out there, and I know I’m trying to put together a list too, because we want to be able to provide for patients, okay, this is where you look for Superfund sites. This is where you go to assess air quality. These are the different ways that you can do air quality assessments in your area, in your house, and then you can get a building biologist. So coming up with ways to do it both for somebody who can afford to work with a professional and then somebody who is a do-it-yourself, or trying to do the best that they can. Let’s see. How about crawl spaces and humidity levels and when to know you need a vapor barrier?

Brian Johnson (01:00:10):

Yeah, me as the builder, when you get into crawlspaces, there’s just so many variables and so factors there, and it’s a really good conversation and a question to bring because whether it’s an attic or whether it’s a crawlspace, I try to, I look at even preconditioning these areas.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:36):

What does preconditioning mean?

Brian Johnson (01:00:37):

We’re actually acclimating it, almost close to the temperatures within the home, because that way we’re not getting this rapid influx and swing of a high dew point in here, or basement, or the crawl space, and it’s different within the home, and it’s cooler here. It’s hotter down there, and if you don’t have breathable membranes, what happens is the water will get trapped and it builds condensation, which obviously is going to lead to potential mold and factors like that. There’s a lot of good companies out there. What they’re doing for crawl spaces, they’re completely going in there and they seal 100% of that area, and they stop– just depending on what’s in the crawl space or a basement. If it’s cementitious, there’s different materials that we can put that stop the vapor from coming through the moisture vapor. If it’s dirt, there’s different types of non-toxic materials that they can line 100% the walls, the floors, and then insulate all the duct work or whatever’s running under that crawl space to help control, to acclimate that environment along with proper ventilation too, because it’s good to have–it could be done mechanically with fans. There’s a science to that. Absolutely, and there’s a lot of great resources. Again, it’s sealing it, but it’s controlling, it’s sealing everything, but it’s controlling that environment to maintaining proper airflow. So we’re not getting those rapid–again, that’s what happens is the rapid humidity and air temperature influxes between inside of the home and underneath the home. That’s what creates the condensation. So the goal is, what is it going to take to acclimate that environment so you don’t have those major swings between the two areas, and its the same applies for an attic as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:39):

Okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Let’s see. What questions should we ask a professional? We are hiring to do an inspection to make sure that they can do a comprehensive check. So some people from the International Society for Environmental Acquired Illness, ISEAI, most of those folks are mold inspectors, and so they may not be able to do a comprehensive assessment looking at some of these other things like radon and VOCs. So how do we best assess the qualifications of a professional to assess these different things?

Brian Johnson (01:03:28):

It’s a good point of what you brought up too, because from an environmental consultant, they’re trained to look at specific conditions that are going to potentially lead to mold and things like that, versus again, what I like about the Building Biology Institute is they have a program, it’s called BBEC, and it’s a building biologists environmental consultant. And again, they’re really looking at the building science. So there’s even a lot of environmental consultants that they’ll go through, again, the Building Biology Institute, because they want to understand more, even more mechanicals or the building science of understanding the building. So again, they’re looking at the building at a full scope. So me from my background, I do a lot of assessments myself, but there’s just not a lot of people like me because if you’re, say you’re selling a home and you’re doing a roof inspection, and then you’re just doing an overall inspection from a real estate perspective, not to knock anybody, but they’re not looking at what we’re looking at from an environmental standpoint, not even close. So I always recommend working with a building biologist, again, an environmental consultant, because they’re going to look at the building science, they’re going to look at everything from the roof all the way down to the foundation, all the way to air testing that environment. And what I’m seeing a lot more now is even in real estate exchanges, sometimes you only have 10 days to come in and to do an inspection.

(01:05:16):

Matter of fact, I’m putting together a program for that, where we could come in there, expedite all the testing, go in there and do a full day, write up a summary evaluation, and have that evaluation into the client’s hand within that 10 day inspection period, and they’re getting a comprehensive inspection versus just relying on, again, I don’t want to knock any home inspection company, but they’re just not looking at it the way that we’re having a discussion here on this platform here today, not even close. And so that’s why I like working with an environmental consultant. Again, Building Biology Institute, because that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:55):

Is there a course that they offer for the general public or for environmental medicine doctors? So we don’t have to [garbled] everything?

Brian Johnson (01:06:05):

No, they do. They have a great–it’s called their advocacy. There’s two programs that they have, and it basically teaches the 101, and I recommend it for everybody that’s on this call today. I highly recommend it’s a simple course. You can do it on your own time, and you’re going to take away so much literature from that. So you’re going to get the support and a mentor through that just to help you feel good that you’re taking like, Hey, I actually learned a lot from here. But also too, you get that coursework. So having that 101 under your belt, even for you, Dr. Kelly, sounds great having that. Oh yeah, you’ll constantly always have a reference. Because the way that they broke it down in chapters, in the 101, they literally break it down piece by piece by piece, Hey, did we look at the environmental factor? Hey, did we look at the building factor? Now let’s go within the building factor and look at the EMF, the air quality and things like that. So it is a simple breakdown through the whole process.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:02):

That’s exciting. I can’t wait to take it. Yes, in all my spare time. Okay. More questions.

Brian Johnson (01:07:08):

And it’s fun. It’s fun too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:10):

It sounds super fun. What are the best practices you know if you have a mold problem, but you cannot yet remediate? That’s a tough one, I know.

Brian Johnson (01:07:28):

I always like to have an answer for everything, but if I have an answer for everything, everybody should be concerned. And I’m just joking, but let’s see here. Kind of putting on my environmental hat on, I think a lot of people are starting to become educated on the ways of, okay, the ways of cleaning, right? Like, oh, hey, I’ll spray bleach on it. Or, Hey, there’s present mold there. I’m just going to clean it up for now until, does that make sense to the question? I’ll clean up for now until I can mitigate it properly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:15):

I think so. Or can we use lots of air filters. Is there a way to wall–plastic it off? Or what are kind of the best practices? What’s reasonable? I say it’s tough, right? Say it’s in the bathroom. Well, you could not use the bathroom and plastic it off, but then you don’t have a bathroom. You can put an air filter in there…just ideas like that?

Brian Johnson (01:08:47):

Containment is definitely key and not spreading it. So the worst thing you could do is we’ll just eliminate, okay, hey, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to use bleach, whatever, and I’m just going to clean all this stuff off, right? Please everyone. Or Hey, I’m going to use an ozone generator or something. You sound like, obviously you have the knowledge in this, but it’s like you want to contain that area. You want to literally seal that area off, not only seal–say it’s an isolated area that you just can’t get to, our room or something like that. It would literally be plastic off that area, and the rest of the home it would be– here’s a big takeaway for everybody too. There’s different–3M makes different filters for HVAC systems. So if anybody here has a centralized system, I would changing the filters all the time, and they’re called Filtrete. 3M Filtrete, and they make different rated ones based upon the energy efficiencies. So you don’t want to take a really dense filter and put it in a non-efficient [HVAC system] because you’ll burn up the motor. Okay? So you want to match ’em carefully. But 3M actually was pretty genius around it because it’s and electrically charged filter–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:16):

Like electrostatic?

Brian Johnson (01:10:17):

Electrostatic. Thank you. And so what it does is it captures all of those additional mold spores, if you will, and you’ll want to run that if you have a circulation mode. So you’re constantly trying to scrub the air portable systems as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:35):

So I have a question, and I have this argument with my husband, so I am glad that I can ask this question. In a room that we know that there’s mold in the wall. Say for example, there’s a sprinkler system that’s hitting the wall. So that wall is a little bit moldy from the outside in. It’s a bedroom wall, so it’s not like there’s a leak, a pipe leak. And his argument is, well, if I put the air filter, like a portable air filter right next to it, I’m going to be pulling that air into the room and that’s a bad idea and I don’t want to do that. And my thought is, no, you actually want to put the air filter right there because then it’s going to grab more of the mycotoxin, well maybe not mycotoxins, but more of the mold spores to reduce the total burden in the room. What is your take on that?

Brian Johnson (01:11:34):

Yeah, I think what your husband might be concerned about is a negative pressure. So if you’re putting something in there and it’s constantly sucking and then it’s creating a negative pressure within that environment, then it would, but there’s–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:51):

The portable air filters can’t make negative pressure, can they?

Brian Johnson (01:11:56):

Yeah, exactly. Not from going one room to the next room where it’s pulling from one area to the–it’s literally just circulating within that environment. So I was just rolling out negative air pressure within the room because we’re not pulling it out of that source. So in fact, the portable filter will help filter just whatever’s in the air, kind of back to not disturbing an area that has that, until you, again, you can come back and address that. The home system, a portable system, isolating the area, and then the rest of the home, HEPA vacuum. I think everybody should own a portable–you can go on Amazon, they make more commercial type shop vac looking ones, but they also make Miele or whatever, that they make a really, really nice HEPA. They’re a little expensive, but you can’t–and it just kind of applies to everything.

(01:12:57):

And I’m going to kind of pull two pieces here together. So when we’re building a home, there is a lot of building materials that even come from facilities that have mold on it. There’s spores, even when you’re building and constructing the area, it’s getting in. It’s just the way it is. And so when we’re done building a home, the idea is to take full HEPA vacuum systems, vacuum everything. And then according to the IRC, we’re following certain types of guidelines for what we call microbial environmental cleaning, right? Because we’re cleaning all the physical dust, the heavy dust, and then, but we’re wiping the walls in a very specific fashion. I won’t go into the details of it. And then we’re discarding of all the media that we’re wiping these walls down. So the reason I share that is because if we were to go in and mold test after we do this full thorough cleaning, chances are we’re going to have very low numbers.

(01:13:58):

So I would even recommend that if there’s an isolated area, you contain that area, you make sure you’re not pulling any kind of a negative pressure and disturbing that area, treating it with ozone, wiping it down with any kind of a insecticide, biocide, fungicide, anything with a chemical in it. Because the chemicals that in fact can even kill these bacteria or mold and things like that, unless they’re the–now you’re putting a chemical in the air too. And then there’s this whole factor of what it does to mold, even ozone. Mold’s pretty interesting. It has a way to survive. So the idea is to contain it until it can properly get remediated. But the external areas around, you can keep those areas clean a hundred percent. Like I was explaining, I just gave just a quick little overview, but that’s what we do when we’re doing cleaning.

(01:14:56):

Because when I go in there to do any form of–I’m not so much of a remediator, I’m just a builder–but when we’re doing the work and I want to finalize it and hand it over to my client that’s super sensitive to these kinds of things, I’m going to make sure it’s fully cleaned thoroughly and tested to show, hey, the numbers are low. Now, that’s not to say that in six months without good housekeeping or just maybe you’re opening the doors too much and there’s poor air quality and it’s coming inside, we could turn around and test that in six months and actually have high numbers. Does it mean there’s a specific mold problem? No, it just means that’s the high mold spore count that’s accumulating in that area. That’s why cleaning is key. And I’m glad that I had the space to be able to share that with everybody. It gets pretty crazy, but if you truly want an area that’s mold free, so to speak, it requires a lot of cleaning, but a very strategic type of a cleaning, and we’re talking not using any chemicals. This is just mechanical cleaning, using HEPA and just using mild, non-toxic safe detergents. That’s it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:03):

Right. Great. Okay. I think we have time for just a couple more.

Brian Johnson (01:16:10):

Sorry, everybody. I wish we could answer all the questions.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:13):

I know. So what about a 34-year-old furnace? Can it get moldy if there’s no AC?

Brian Johnson (01:16:23):

So just a furnace.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:27):

Just for heat.

Brian Johnson (01:16:28):

Just for heat. So when we’re doing design for mechanical systems, whether it’s a furnace or an HVAC, I always suggest on using–I have to go further before I answer the question directly. We’re using what’s referred to as hard duct metal sheet metal plumbing ducts. And I would say at hopefully at that age, they’re all metal, which has its advantages. And the reason why I say that is over the years, more than likely, if we were to say, we were to do some kind of a surface test within the ducts of that furnace, chances are it is going to have been compromised once upon a time, bypassing the filters, maybe filters weren’t cleaned up, whatever. It’s just a lot of years. So I don’t know if they’ve been cleaned. But the good thing, it’s kind of a side note for everybody too, because if you have rigid duct work, sheet metal duct work, it’s easier to clean. And so I would definitely look into that and consider doing a thorough cleaning on that system. That’s really important. The thing about flexible duct work, it’s harder to clean. So at that age, I’m assuming the system could be cleaned. That would be my first recommendation is go through and do a full thorough cleaning on that. There’s companies out there, I’m kind of mixed on this whole thing, but if it’s somebody with mold sensitivities, there’s the whole fogging.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:18:16):

I’m not a huge fan.

Brian Johnson (01:18:18):

Totally against it? But, however, I’ve gone in on a lot of projects and I’ve actually tested post fogging and I’ll collect data from the client like, how’s the air quality, nosebleeds, dry air? Are they treating it with tea tree oil and all these different natural forms? And I haven’t seen any real big complaints from fogging. This is just my experience. Some people don’t agree with it, but I’ve actually tested and the test came back real minimal. There was hardly any mold count in the duct work. And we’re talking a year post having all the fogging done. So I’ve seen good results. I’m just trying to throw some things out there of cleaning, potential fogging, obviously, making sure that once you do that, you have good filtration, testing for leaks. Leaks is a big one, whether it’s an HVAC air handler system or furnace, whatever. Air leaks are a big one because in the wall cavity spaces or attics or, again, under crawl spaces. If there’s air leaks, you’re going to be pulling in the spores that are in that area, and it’s going to go right into that duct system. So I think it’s having a good inspection done on that to help be sure there’s no leaks, doing the cleaning, and then the fogging could just be an option.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:42):

Right. Couple last questions. So what would be your top two or three favorite portable air filtration units companies? Do you have some reputable companies that you really like?

Brian Johnson (01:20:00):

The one that’s being talked about right now is that Jasper unit.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:03):

It has an air filter?

Brian Johnson (01:20:05):

Yeah, portable, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:07):

Oh! Never heard of it.

Brian Johnson (01:20:08):

Is that the portable systems, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:11):

Right, portable systems.

Brian Johnson (01:20:12):

Yeah, the Jasper. A lot of people have been talking about, I haven’t had to use it personally, but in the building biology world and people that do environmental testing, they’re really promoting the Jasper, because I think what it does, is it actually measures– it gives you a light on VOCs and it’ll actually capture what’s going on with the air quality and notify you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:38):

So it’s a filter and a meter of sorts.

Brian Johnson (01:20:42):

Yeah. Yeah. It has some kind of a metering system on there. Very cool. I’ve heard good things, but I love the Air IQ.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:52):

The IQ Air. Yeah, me too.

Brian Johnson (01:20:53):

IQ Air.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:54):

I love the IQ Air.

Brian Johnson (01:20:55):

Yeah, somebody just posted on there. Yeah, jasper.co. Hopefully that person has had good experience with that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:05):

She’s our super researcher, Leyna. She’s putting all the information in the chat.

Brian Johnson (01:21:09):

Oh, Leyna, by the way, thank you for all your questions, because again, like I was saying, I learned a lot from you, and I actually wrote down the top things to look for like a checklist. But yeah, I love the IQ Air. Air Doctor is another one. Intelepure. Let’s just have a quick little piece on this. Less than one minute. So the UV, let’s talk about UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:36):

Okay.

Brian Johnson (01:21:38):

So some of these systems have UV. I think Austin Air is another one.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:44):

Oh, yeah. Austin Air is wonderful too.

Brian Johnson (01:21:45):

Right? Because those are true–the ones that we just talked about are true HEPA.

(01:21:52):

And they’re using carbon filters, HEPA filters, and they’re not UV, they shouldn’t–we’re not talking UV, we’re talking true HEPA. So the verdict’s not entirely out, but the science is really alluding to UV lights, by default create an oxidization process, a U–or an ozone. The byproduct, is ozone through this. Some of them are different technologies depending on what bulbs they’re using. It’s this hydroxyl process. But what they’re doing is they’re creating levels of ozone, and it’s breaking down the micron to fine particles. So in the building biology world, they’re like, okay, well, where’s it going? But I mean, some of them–NASA’s done testing saying, well, it’s evaporated. I don’t know. Scientists saying, well, where’s it evaporating to? But what I’ve seen is the complaint, this is what I wanted to share with everybody.

(01:22:58):

It’s aggressive. It’s aggressive. And so if you’re running constant UV systems in some type of a portable, it actually can create more asthmatic symptoms or burning in the throat or potential nosebleeds, a lot of irritation, potential headaches and things like that. So that is information–because I was really pro-UV again, because, as I talked about early in the beginning, I’m like all about the science and more is better, and I’m going to use the latest and greatest technologies, but latest and greatest technologies isn’t always the solution. And so through that, over the last several years, I’ve been doing a lot of understanding for myself, and personal experience with others using UV systems. And you know what? It’s back to the basics. Like I talked about a smart home versus an analog home, it’s relying on true air filtration, relying on HEPA, which is a Merv 16 and higher. It’s a score, a rated score that really assures that we’re taking everything down submicron into the air. And so that’s what we should really be relying on is true mechanical filtration and not using different UV systems to rely on that they work. But I think it could just be more issues down the road that we don’t need to go through.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:18):

Right? Yeah, there was a system called a high tech system that was recommended early on in the old days with Shoemaker, and it made me feel terrible. It was some sort of UV light system. But I think the other question that–so there was somebody who said the Air Doctor might not be true HEPA. I don’t know if you want to comment on that one. I don’t know.

Brian Johnson (01:24:48):

And I don’t want to really, I’m careful. I don’t want to knock it. I was just kind of giving some recommendations where–the Air Doctor, I can’t remember on that one, but I know the ones, the other ones that we talked about wasn’t UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:59):

The other ones are good. I’d love to do the same, ask the same question for water filtration. So portable under the sink. What are some of the top brands that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:25:18):

Water’s my game. It’s understanding–again, I’m a home builder, the idea of building–I’m a healthy home builder, excuse me. And the idea is that of every facet, every aspect of the home has some kind of a healing component to it. So we can use the NSF 42 standards of water filtration, but it goes beyond that too. What types of media are we using? What types of filtration? Like for example, and I’m just going to throw this out there. I encourage everybody to do their own research around it, but reverse osmosis, RO systems, I used to use them, but reverse osmosis is really aggressive on copper for one. And obviously I think a lot of us here probably understand it takes everything, all the impurities out of the water, including all the minerals. So you have to remineralize RO water. But the biggest thing, and there is all kinds of studies about this using different types of highly sophisticated equipment for measuring, but what it does is it deconstructs water, and I kind of mentioned it makes it very aggressive on pipes, but if you were to look at it through these different types of scopes, it’s very rigid and it loses its coherence.

(01:26:37):

They actually do it in some treatment plans too, because it’s a fail safe fit to really clean up that water, but it’s doing damage to the water just as much as it’s filtering everything out. So there’s a movement out, and it’s a big movement, and it’s water structuring. So structured water, there’s a lot of science behind it. There’s some companies out there that they might quantify using their own data. So then it becomes biased, but it’s becoming big enough now to where there’s certain equipment, ways that they measure, that they actually can capture how water is structured. So the reason why I share that is with good carbon, I’m a big fan of carbon block water filtration. So we use pressed carbon blocks. Then, and now they’re doing the treatment. No different, like the Filtrete, to where it has that same type of a reaction to where now it’s filtering water submicron, but it’s keeping a high flow.

(01:27:41):

Because what happens is if you’re trying to filter out fluoride and you’re trying to filter all these different, it’s submicron, you lose water pressure through the house. So I look at it as how could we have water that’s completely filtered out that’s purified and that’s clean and it’s structured coming out at the faucet versus just having a little portable piece. So what it comes down to is if we’re using, the simple takeaway is this, if we’re using carbon press block filters and we’re able to get it down to submicron size, then you might want to do that under the sink if you don’t want to drop pressure for the entire home, and then they have just a spigot like you see on top of a countertop. So the goal is to take it down to submicron, but you want to be able to find ways to structure that water. That’s why I don’t recommend RO. That’s me personally. Everyone’s going to have an opinion around that. But if you do the study around structuring, so there’s different devices that I use to filter this water coming into the home and then restructuring it through the entire home. And then if I want to take it–go ahead.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:48):

No, sorry. Do you have names of specific products or companies that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:28:55):

Yeah, there’s one, and I talk about it on my social media platform just because, again, I do a lot of research. I’ve been doing this for a very, very long time. And so I’m kind of careful. I don’t want to be so biased in one thing, but if I find something good, why would I not share it with everybody? And one of the systems that I talk about, you’ll see in my social media, it’s Natural Action Technologies, Natural Action Technologies, and they have carbon pressed filters, but then there’s a structuring device on there that actually structures the water. It’s amazing. We’ve actually done, we’ve installed a lot of systems. You could do whole house or you can do an under the cabinet. So if it’s just an apartment and that’s all you have access to, at least you can put a smaller system under the cabinet. Perfect. But if the budget allows and you want to do the whole house, there are ways to take it all the way down to submicron and still maintain a high flow and structure the water, which is ideal if you have that capability.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:02):

Oh, that sounds amazing. Yeah. So cool. Gosh, Brian, I think we gotta end. I have another engagement at three o’clock.

Brian Johnson (01:30:12):

Oh, no.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:13):

And I need to take a little break. This has been fantastic. So cool. I love all of the information and I love all the questions. And I’m sorry to all those who asked questions that we did not get to answer, they were such fantastic questions. How can people get in touch with you, learn more about you, find you on social media, things like that?

Brian Johnson (01:30:40):

Thank you. There’s so much more to share everyone. We just barely, I love talking about circadian lighting and all the lighting systems too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:50):

Yes. We didn’t get to lots of stuff.

Brian Johnson (01:30:53):

We’ll have to share down the road, but however, everyone can follow me or contact me through–so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and that’s spelled S-E-N-E-R-G-Y, Senergy 360. And you can follow me, synergy 360 on Instagram. You can email me at brian@senergy360.com. Of course, my website is senergy360.com. We’re going to start being a lot more interactive on current blogs and what we’re coming across currently instead of just right now, it’s all about general contracting, project management. But now we’ll start sharing a lot of the science and everything that we’re learning, everything that we talked about here, I’ll just start breaking it down and recycling that information and keeping it all current for everybody to follow that, Hey, what’s going? I talk about everything, water filtration, lighting systems, EMFs, air quality, ventilation systems, building performance, how to inspect windows, what to look for on the roof, what to look around the foundation, integrated pest management, pest control, proper draining around the house, plants that are low allergen counts. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. So definitely follow me for sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:19):

Definitely follow you. And someone asked if there’s any chance unanswered questions could be briefly answered via email.

Brian Johnson (01:32:28):

Absolutely, yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:30):

We’ll make sure you get the questions. And you’ll also get the list of all of the people who signed up, there will be a replay, as I mentioned at the beginning, that we’ll send out along with the transcript, so you’ll get to read through it. Maybe we’ll try and add the transcript of the chat because Leyna and Sarah, many others put such great information in there as well. And thank you again, Brian. This has been really fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime next year.

Brian Johnson (01:33:02):

We’ll have to do it again. And just one last thing. For all of the viewers and everybody that’s on the call in the upcoming recording, I’m happy to do a free consult with someone over the phone on any questions because there’s just so much there. And so I want to extend that to everybody. So just know that that’s there. We’ll just have to schedule it out. Okay.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:24):

Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian. Thank you everyone for listening, and we’ll see you again soon. Take care. Thank you. Bye.


Healthy Home & Body: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly & Bryan Johnson

Healthy Home & Body: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly & Brian Johnson

I’m a doctor, not a building biologist!

In all seriousness, it takes a team approach when it comes to your health, and having someone on your team to assess and help you create a healthy home is imperative. I’ve spoken to a few mold inspectors and building biologists before, but for the first time I got to have an amazing conversation with “healthy home builder” Brian Johnson from Senergy 360.

Brian shared a wealth of information, but in the world of healthy homes, our talk barely scratched the surface.

In our chat and Q&A Brian talked about:

    • Healthy home experts, from inspectors to consultants to builders
    • Some of the chemicals that healthy home builders steer clear of
    • Some of the simple, pre-remediation ways to deal with a space that has mold
  • Crawlspaces and how to keep them clean and healthy
  • HEPA, vacuums, water filters, air filters, HVAC systems, etc.
  • The 4 types of EMFs and some tips to protect yourself
  • And the book that you need if you’re thinking about remodeling or building a healthy home!

There were so many amazing questions and several people who participated had a lot to share in the chat! So we decided to include not only the replay and the transcript, but also the chat, so you can check out the websites and products that were shared from the community!

Check out Brian’s website and be sure to take him up on the free consultation at http://senergy360.com/.


Chat Transcript

00:06:14 Sarah: Welcome everyone! Feel free to say hi in the chat and let us know where you are. If you have questions for Dr. Kelly or Brian, please enter those into the Q&A (at the bottom of your Zoom screen)

00:06:49 Sarah: We will send out a replay with transcript to everyone who registered!

00:07:17 Jennifer L.: hello from snowy Toronto.

00:09:19 Phillip Weaver: what is estimated turnaround time to get a reply from Brian’s website after contacting him?

00:22:58 Leyna Bautista: I love Banta! he’s great

00:24:23 Jennifer L.: Missed the name of Brian’s book.

00:25:04 Leyna Bautista: https://restconenvironmental.com/about-us/new-edition-prescriptions-for-a-healthy-house/

00:25:13 Leyna Bautista: @ jennifer

00:25:31 Leyna Bautista: https://buildingbiologyinstitute.org/

00:25:48 Leyna Bautista: https://buildingbiologyinstitute.org/find-an-expert/

00:27:12 Jennifer L.: Thanks Leyna!

00:27:51 Leyna Bautista: welcome!  I’ll post one other resource of John’s

00:28:12 Leyna Bautista: https://www.johncbanta.com/

00:28:40 Leyna Bautista: wealth of info!!!!!!!  I contributed 25$ to get access to a whole bunch of awesome articles but not sure if in book, could email to ask

00:31:50 Sarah: Leyna, glad you’re here today! Thanks for sharing those resources!

00:33:01 Leyna Bautista: https://iseai.org/education/ – another resource to look for inspectors / education – love this group

00:33:41 Leyna Bautista: https://emeiglobal.com/podcasts/

00:35:01 Leyna Bautista: Thanks Sarah!  These resources are excellent and reputable

00:40:13 Leyna Bautista: Info on lead – can off dust into the dust In your home from even your pyrex or be in your salt = https://tamararubin.com/

https://shopleadsafemama.com/

https://www.youtube.com/@LeadSafeMama

00:44:08 Leyna Bautista: Yes – no limits for VOC’s in residential buildings

00:48:04 Leyna Bautista: I shut the electricy off at night to all except fridge etc, I have a battery pack to charge phone if needed when electricity off, and can use the light from the phone if need to get up at night

00:48:36 Kourafas, Alexis: Is there anything you can put in your room to block or filter out some of these electrical currents/EMFs if you’re sleeping in the room where the electrical box sits? (i.e. something to put over the box)

00:49:18 Michael: Incredible haha!

00:49:37 Lynnea Wright: is # 3 RF?

00:50:40 Lynnea Wright: “Smart Meters” = RFs?

00:52:37 Leyna Bautista: recommended by Schrantz (from ISEAI) – https://www.emfanalysis.com/about/

00:53:32 Leyna Bautista: Jeromy Johnson’s website

00:53:41 Lynnea Wright: Hooray for Analog!

00:54:06 Sarah: @Lynnea, I’ve read that many or most smart meters contain RF transmitters, giving off some RF radiation

00:55:02 Lynnea Wright: Thank you, Sarah.

00:55:22 Lynnea Wright: Thought so.☺️

00:56:23 Lynnea Wright: Is an apartment complex a “commercial building”?

00:56:57 Leyna Bautista: residential  – no voc limit

00:58:50 Leyna Bautista: Will questions from the chat be answered?

00:59:29 Sarah: If you want Dr. Kelly and Brian to address a question, best to put it in the Q&A (at the bottom of your zoom screen)

00:59:54 Jennifer L.: Live in a condo which provides internet service . 16 months ago, they upgraded to a very fast wireless system.  I can’t tolerate wireless.  It took me 14 months and over 50 hours talking to a dozen “tech experts” at the provider to finally find a manager who said “sure, we can install the new modem with ethernet cables so you’re not wireless”.  Never give up!

01:02:23 Jennifer L.: what meter did Dr. Kelly mention?

01:02:53 Leyna Bautista: Yes ! list to make sure that we assess 🙂

01:02:56 Leyna Bautista: Thanks!!

01:04:37 Leyna Bautista: Need to look beyond the building – I’ll post some links

01:04:51 Sarah: @Jennifer, I heard it but it went out the other ear. Anyone else hear the name of the meter Dr. Kelly mentioned?

01:04:57 Leyna Bautista: https://www.homefacts.com/

01:05:16 Leyna Bautista: helpful thank you!

01:05:40 Leyna Bautista: https://projects.propublica.org/toxmap/

01:06:19 Jennifer L.: Sarah, I think it was somethingwave

01:06:58 Leyna Bautista: https://eia.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=bf5c5110b1b944d299bb683cdbd02d2a

01:09:54 Leyna Bautista: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/search-superfund-sites-where-you-live

01:10:53 Kelly McCann: www.iseai.org

01:11:18 Zoë: Sarah – Greenwave was one that she mentioned

01:11:39 Kelly McCann: Stetzer meter or green wave for measuring dirty electriciity

01:12:08 Leyna Bautista: awesome!

01:13:51 Leyna Bautista: https://buildingbiologyinstitute.org/course/mentored-home-study-course/natural-healthy-buildings/

01:16:43 Sarah: @Jesika do you mean hypochlorous acid?

01:16:45 Leyna Bautista: https://iseai.org/resources/   includes mold info

01:19:31 Leyna Bautista: awesome readhttps://neilnathanmd.com/how-to-clean-effectively-by-john-banta-cih/

01:20:44 Leyna Bautista: “Simple Change 2.) Always Use a Properly Functioning True HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

The most important single tool for cleaning mold spores or small dust fragments from soft or porous materials such as wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs, upholstered furnishings, and pillows is a quality “High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance” (HEPA) vacuum cleaner. Regular vacuums permit mold spores and many other irritating particles to pass right through regular vacuum cleaner filters and spews them back into the indoor environment. Some unfiltered vacuum cleaners are so bad they pump out more small

particles than they collect. This is because the particles are bounced around inside the vacuum cleaner which can fracture them into smaller fragments that exhaust back into the room air. A HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner has a specially designed filter which helps remove dirt, mold spores, and even smaller fragments.”

01:26:52 Michael: I would think the real-time monitoring Jaspr has adds to the EMF output

01:26:54 Leyna Bautista: https://jaspr.co/

01:27:04 Leyna Bautista: lol

01:27:15 Leyna Bautista: 🙂

01:27:45 Leyna Bautista: https://www.iqair.com/

01:28:40 Leyna Bautista: https://austinair.com/

01:30:12 Leyna Bautista: banta says just get plain heap – avoid PCO /ozone / uv

01:30:16 Leyna Bautista: hepa

01:30:27 Leyna Bautista: Also CALCULATE COST OF FILTER CHANGES/FREQUENCY 🙂

01:30:36 Leyna Bautista: into the total purchase 🙂

01:30:55 Leyna Bautista: air doctor only has 2 lb carbon filter – if need help with VOC’s it’s useless

01:31:53 Leyna Bautista: need one that gets out nanoplastics and does not make the water worse!

01:32:38 Leyna Bautista: https://www.pureeffectfilters.com/filter-units/pure-effect-ultra-disinfect.html

01:34:21 Leyna Bautista: cool info! don’t know that pure effects structures water … Lyn Patrick likes this one above so got it for mom

01:34:44 Leyna Bautista: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/water-filters-review/water-filters/ —-   zerowater filter added extra plastic to the water per this review

01:35:29 Leyna Bautista: https://naturalaction.com/

01:36:17 Leyna Bautista: Thank you so much!

01:36:21 Kourafas, Alexis: Amazing! thank you so much for all of this helpful information!!

01:36:22 Sheryl Moi (she/her/hers): Thanks so much

01:36:23 Michael: Thank you

01:36:25 Sarah: Thanks so much everyone! We will send out the replay — we hope next week, but our web person is moving, so we’ll get it out asap!

01:36:26 Jennifer L.: Thank you both, this was excellent!

01:36:38 Lynnea Wright: Thankyou so very much!  This is GREAT!

01:36:52 Sasha: this was awesome thank you

01:36:59 Sarah: Senergy 360

01:37:12 Leyna Bautista: https://senergy360.com/

01:38:00 Jennifer L.: any chance the unanswered questions could be briefly answered via email?

01:38:20 Jesika: Thank you so much!

01:38:25 mary: Thank you!!!

01:38:38 Michael: Would be great if those on the call all receive the answer snippets

01:38:53 Zoë: Thank you!

01:38:53 Leyna Bautista: environmental health in regards to mental health, may be more for clinicians – I like there webinars https://www.psychiatryredefined.org/environmental-health-toxicity-and-mental-health-disorders/

01:39:20 Leyna Bautista: other water filter info : Sources of information online include:

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/water-filters-review/water-filters/

https://www.ewg.org/healthyhomeguide/water-filters/

01:39:22 Leyna Bautista: thank you!!!!!!!!!!!


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:05):

Welcome everyone. I’m going to allow some time for people to come in and get ready, maybe grab a bottle of water, glass of water, pen and paper. I think you’re probably going to want to take notes. And Sarah’s in the background. The chat is enabled, so if people want to talk on the chat, you’re more than welcome to. What we would ask is if you have specific questions for Brian or myself, please put them in the Q&A so that we can answer these. I have a bunch of questions prepared, but it’s really open, so if you have questions, please put them in. We’ll try and get to all of them. In terms of replays, Sarah let everyone know that we will send the replay out with a transcript to anyone who’s registered. Ideally, that will be done next week. I do have my computer IT guy moving to Malaysia for a couple of months at the end of next week. So hopefully he will be able to get it all done before he leaves the country. If not, you will get the replay at some point. It just may be a little delayed. So sorry about that. I am going to give a few more minutes for people to file in and then we’ll get started. Thank you so much for being here.

Brian Johnson (00:01:45):

And there’s never not enough questions around this topic and it’s endless. So definitely write the questions down because I learn from all of you as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:00):

Absolutely. I learn from my patients all the time. That’s how we keep learning through adversity and challenges and obstacles, right?

Brian Johnson (00:02:14):

And new perspectives. Even though we specialize in what we specialize, even from our clients, we learn different new perspectives and how to ask questions differently.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:29):

Absolutely. Alright, so let’s go get started. Welcome everyone. Today I have as my guest, Brian Johnson. Brian is a builder, master construction person, biologist. How do you like to refer to yourself?

Brian Johnson (00:02:51):

Building science, contractor, builder, healthy home builder, healthy builder, healthy home builder is kind of the phrase that I’ve adopted. It makes sense. I love that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:03):

Yeah, that makes the most sense. That’s great. Fantastic. Okay, so we’re talking about building healthy homes, and of course, from my perspective, we can only have healthy bodies if we’re in a healthy home, healthy environment. So what does it mean to you to have a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:03:28):

A healthy home is, so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and Senergy means everything’s synergistic. And looking at it from a building perspective, all the materials plugged together, synergistically and 360. It’s the holistic overview of everything. It’s just not one thing. So for example, working with a professional like yourself, what are we looking for in the first place to help identify, is it from the home, is it from offices? What are these areas? So I took the approach in my background of health and performance and getting into the biohacking world, which opened me up to environmental, functional and integrative medicine, which was huge because all of that helped point me back to the direction of, well, what’s in the environment? And so within that envelope, I look at– the home should be a place of healing, not adding a toxic load back into the body.

(00:04:47):

And so for me, it’s just looking at all aspects of construction. We’re looking at the external environmental factor. Again, whether it’s office, whether it’s home, we’re exposing ourselves. And then two, identifying what’s in the home, how the home is built, and then of course our own personal health practices, eating and nutrition and those different types of things. So we’re looking at bringing everything together very in a harmonious way. It is just not all about medicine, it’s just not all about the house, it’s everything. So that’s how I look at what makes a healthy home. Of course, we’ll go further into that, but it’s the whole overview of everything, and then we dial it into the environment.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:39):

So it’s about the air and having healthy air. It’s about the water having healthy sources of water. It’s about avoiding chemical toxins, avoiding mold exposure, limiting EMF, all of those things.

Brian Johnson (00:05:58):

Yeah. So the first thing that I even look at is the environment. That’s the number one.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:06:04):

What do you mean by that?

Brian Johnson (00:06:06):

Everything that you just explained, where’s the water coming from? Where’s are homes located? From an electrosmog standpoint, we’re looking at the EMFs, right? We’re looking at the air quality because a lot of these things are kind of unavoidable, and these are some questions that you have coming up. So what do we do to help mitigate or reduce or protect us from that? I always look at the home as being the third layer of skin. So the first layer is our skin, and the second layer is our clothing. And then the third layer is the home. And the home is to help protect. Nature is the gold standard, and how do we mimic the nature within the home environment? But at the same time, nature can impose some pretty heavy duty environmental factors in itself too. And so the home is to protect us from the unwanted factors of what nature presents. So again, the environmental aspect is everything, the air quality, the exposures to electrosmog, different forms of EMFs, again, the water quality, and then using building materials, which that’s what opens up the realm of the exposure to toxic chemicals.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:33):

So what’s the difference between a healthy home and a green home? Because people throw that word green around a lot.

Brian Johnson (00:07:40):

Yeah, we refer to it as greenwashing. There’s a lot of good organizations out there that really started this approach early on, these different councils, and they started these programs. But it was what I found interesting. My background goes almost 25 years in the construction industry, both commercial and residential. And so it was really interesting to watch these councils and these programs. But it was interesting because early on before I understood what greenwashing was, I’m like, man, there’s kind of a flaw here because they’re looking at green just from an energy–a lot of people have heard of energy star rating, and from an energy star, energy efficiency, they’re calling that green, but they’re not even really addressing anything of the building materials and toxic building materials, or they’re really not looking at– it’s more on the commercial side. It’s starting to adopt over into the residential side, but they really, again, carbon footprint, the negative carbon footprint, like, hey, what can we to contribute to lessen the emissions? So there’s that aspect of it as well. So energy efficiency, world energy consumption on a global scale, which is huge. I mean, that’s really vital. But when it trickles down the line, especially into residential homes, they don’t look at residential as the same as commercial.

(00:09:17):

Then there’s that aspect of the disconnect of green. So what I like to refer to is non-toxic building, because if we’re building non-toxic in the residential realm, that would be green because we’re not using the chemicals, we’re not using the heavy practices and manufacturing. So by default, that would be considered green. So that’s when somebody uses the term green, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me because it could be energy efficiency or negative carbon footprint or different things like that. It’s not so much related to health.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:01):

That makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s important, it’s an important distinction for consumers to understand that green doesn’t mean healthy.

Brian Johnson (00:10:14):

Right. Yeah. No, it really doesn’t.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:17):

Green means hopefully sustainable, but what good is an airtight home if it’s filled with mold in other chemicals? It’s just…

Brian Johnson (00:10:26):

Well, and that’s a good point too, the sustainability too. It’s like then when we go so far on the sustainable side or so far on the green side and totally non-toxic, then you start to compromise on the sustainability aspect. And so for me, coming in as a performance builder, I’m always looking at for performance. So I kind of came from the extreme side of performance, but with that comes a lot of plasticizers, a lot of fire retardants, just a lot of different PCBs and all these different types of things, because it’s going to last for a thousand years,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:04):

Just what we want.

Brian Johnson (00:11:05):

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So my mission early on was like, oh, I’m going to build these homes that are multi-generational and it going to last thousands of years, but yet I’m taking too far advantage of modern technology not being really mindful of the ancient practices In Europe. They have buildings that are a thousand years old today, and they’re built all natural

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:28):

And they’re a lot less toxic.

Brian Johnson (00:11:32):

Yes, absolutely. Correct. Yeah, right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:36):

So there’s this balance that we have to try and find you as a builder, me as somebody who lives in a home, everyone who lives in a home, we have to find this balance between what is sustainable and what is non-toxic, right?

Brian Johnson (00:11:55):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:55):

What are some of the biggest challenges people have in having a healthy home?

Brian Johnson (00:12:04):

Well, some of the biggest challenges is, I wrote this down. I think personally, this is just my opinion is just lack of education.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:16):

Yeah, that’s true.

Brian Johnson (00:12:17):

I think that’s the number one, because really, whose agenda are we following? Who do we listen to? Who do we follow? And that’s really what brought me forward going, look, I understand both aspects and I really need to get my message clear till I can help educate the architects, the designers, the builders, the clients to really change this. Because in the residential realm of production building, they don’t really want to hear this mission and the message too much. And so it’s all about smart homes and again, energy efficiency and all these things, but they’re not, when we start getting into the non-toxic and the safe way of construction, no one really talks about that. And so we have to have, first and foremost, we need to have education. Once we have the education, then we can take the approach. And also too, not taking a fear-based approach, because I hear a lot of that, and especially in the environmental standpoint, there’s a lot of fear around that. Okay, well, this is great. And 80%, they say that 80 to 90% homes are sick and diagnosed as what’s referred to as sick building syndrome.

(00:13:55):

So it’s like, okay, let’s be aware. Let’s educate, let’s be aware, and let’s take action on what we can do. The second thing would probably be, there would be a cost factor that would be limiting, of course. But again, without education, how do we know what actions to take that are from the least cost, getting into more elaborate types of renovations. And then speaking of renovations, it would be new construction versus doing renovation work. Remodeling, believe it or not, it’s easier to build a new home because then we could factor all the design. We could source all the proper materials into–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:46):

Avoid all the mistakes.

Brian Johnson (00:14:48):

Absolutely. There’s so many factors into that. So renovations can be a little bit more challenging again, but it can be done. I definitely want to stress that fact that hey, there are solutions and it is just, there’s protocols and there’s ways that we can do these types of things. So those are the top three challenges that I would see.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:11):

So lack of education, avoiding fear, and then kind of following that middle path. Was that the third one? Cost…

Brian Johnson (00:15:23):

Yeah, cost renovations, new build kind of really, if you’re going to do some renovation work, I mean now again, the contractor, it’s be educated. There’s not a lot of contractors out there. And thanks to people like me, we’re out there educating and spreading the mission and spreading the word. And so I feel people in the construction industry, they want, for the most part, they want to do good things. They want to contribute and make an amazing space for their client. But if their client doesn’t know how to ask those questions, how are they going to be able to accommodate that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:16:06):

Exactly. And I think when patients are dealing with ill health and now they’re learning, now I need to educate myself on my conditions and educate myself on all these supplements and all these things that I’m doing. And now I have to educate myself on how to have a healthy home that can get a little overwhelming. So what would be the cheat sheet, the Reader’s Digest version? The CliffNotes version of a way for clients to educate themselves? I mean, obviously this book is great [Prescriptions for a Healthy House]. Brian has this book. There you go, everyone take a picture and you don’t have to read it from cover to cover. It’s a great resource. Yes. But would that be what you would recommend? Are there other ways to help people navigate this so they don’t feel completely overwhelmed?

Brian Johnson (00:17:14):

Yeah, definitely. And I want to be here to give solutions. I’m only one individual across the globe. There’s other people that are like Paula LaPorte and John Banta. They co-wrote the book Prescription for a Healthy House. There’s a lot of people doing this movement, and that’s why the book is amazing. If you want to learn how to build a house, everyone buy that book and just, you don’t have to read the whole thing, just kind of brush through it. It gets into a lot of descriptions on building and things like that. However, it does prepare you to, when you go to your contractor, you can go to your contractor and say, look, I’m studying this book, and I highly recommend you study the book as well. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:06):

We buy you a copy.

Brian Johnson (00:18:08):

A hundred percent. 100%. Because it was interesting. I’ve been in the building industry for almost 25 years, and I came into it from a health-minded background. So I’m literally just merging the science and health and building all into one. So when I started several years back, I stumbled upon the Building Biology Institute, and that’s going to be a big takeaway for everybody. Huge. Probably the biggest recommendation I have is called the Building Biology Institute. And in the Building Biology Institute, there’s a lot of people that have gone through a lot of these different things, and they wanted to go through what is building science, and there’s different facets to it. There’s the EMF and what we’ll talk more about as we continue on. But from an EMF standpoint or an environmental consulting standpoint or new construction, there’s all these different facets.

(00:19:16):

And it’s a very extensive program. It’s not like somebody’s just going to pay a little bit of money and take a couple exams. They’re very passionate about what they do, and there’s a lot of guidance and facilitation to make sure people hopefully graduate the program and get their credentials. So it’s a very trusted source. So if somebody was to go to the Building Biology Institute website and look for an environmental consultant in their area, that’s beautiful because you can put in your zip code and it’ll find somebody close to your area. That way you can have them come out and do an assessment or help educate you or hopefully help navigate you through whatever the process, whether it’s a renovation or whether there’s some potential mold damage or maybe working with somebody professional like yourself. You know what? Maybe you might want to look into your home environment and see what’s going on.

(00:20:12):

There’s a lot of great, somebody I’ve seen on the text, somebody mentioned John Banta co-wrote the book with, he’s great. He’s an environmental consultant, and there’s so many great environmental consultants out there. So the building biology is geared more towards kind of building science a little bit around it, but working with environmental consultants is a great idea. The aspect that I bring, and I know I’m not the only one, but I’m [one of the] few, is I come into it as a builder. And so when I stumbled across Paula and her book, I was like, I was going to write her book when I seen her book. I’m like, oh, well, here it is. Now I don’t have to write it because it’s all right here.

(00:21:02):

So these are great resources for the audience, the book, the Building Biology Institute, working with a good environmental consultant that understands building background and building science and works close with, again, functional environmental integrative medicine, because that’s the link. I couldn’t do this without you because I wouldn’t have the education, what started my whole endeavor behind this whole thing. And then of course, you, you’re like, Hey, you want to help find your clients a sanctuary, a place to heal and not get sick. To be able to heal from all these symptoms and things like that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:48):

And so many of our patients are sick from mold or sick from environmental chemicals in a building that’s been poorly constructed, and it’s really challenging to try and figure that out. So let’s dive in a little bit more into some specifics. So what are some of the harmful chemicals that you see or that you are trying to help people avoid when you’re building or renovating? What are they? Where are they and what can people do about some of them?

Brian Johnson (00:22:26):

As far as chemicals? I’m going to just kind of be more just broad about it. It’s funny because again, coming in from the health background, we learn to read our labels. It’s no different in the construction. It’s the same thing.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:46):

That’s so cool.

Brian Johnson (00:22:47):

Yeah, because that’s what we’re doing, except for the labels in construction. Say for example, we’re using 8,000 different products or whatever, right now, we have to read, and the label isn’t just the back of the package. You have to know what you’re looking for. You have to educate yourself. We have to go in there. We have to look at what we refer to as the MSDS, which is the material safety data sheets and things like that, because that’s where we find the information. That’s where we find the hidden chemicals, because they have their workaround of what they, or some things are proprietary. They don’t have to claim it, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:29):

Just like supplements.

Brian Johnson (00:23:31):

It’s the same thing. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:35):

And there’s a whole chapter devoted to how to read your MSDS.

Brian Johnson (00:23:42):

Thank you for bringing the book, because again, when I came across the book, I’m like, oh my God, this really covers everything. And so understanding that, then it’s like there’s a section on biocides, there’s a section on fungicides, insecticides, there’s an understanding of–and this is where I’m going to get broad–is it’s understanding VOC, which is volatile organic compound, and there’s hundreds of VOCs, and they come from petroleum-based products. Again, now we’re kind of hinging back to a little bit of the green aspect again, because once we start recognizing all the VOCs, flame retardants, PCBs, all these different formaldehydes, solvents, hydrocarbons, there’s a huge breakdown of it. Now, again, let me add this piece, not bringing into the– because when I first started the whole thing, I’m like, well, pretty much, there’s nothing left I can build my home out of.

(00:24:54):

But again, it’s the balance, right? And even in the book, and I’m just throwing little examples in the book, Paula talks about plumbing, and it was a big thing for me because I wanted to know the difference between PEX, which is plastic, polyethylene type plumbing, versus copper. In the early days, we sweat the fittings. There were different chemicals involved. There’s things leaching out of the copper. PEX — there was a lot of early problems with PEX in the early days, BPAs and all these, and then they switched it to a different compound that was hard to recognize or read the label on, and then they had to change it again because they had these big class action suits. Oh, yeah. So you’re like, well, do I use copper? Do I use PEX? Do I use this? What’s the lesser of the two evils?

(00:25:51):

Types of things like that. And believe it or not, the construction industry is really cleaning things up. You just have to know what it is you’re looking for. And so me as a builder, it’s like I’m recognizing all these 8,000 different products, and then I’m breaking it down and I’m finding the middle ground on where we’re at. Even I’m just going to use the plumbing still for, as an example, if I was on a project in Texas and the local–and I’m working with a contractor and he has somebody that works with copper, well, then there’s going to be recommendations that I’m going to have around using copper because they’re going to be very effective and very efficient at it, or vice versa in another town. If somebody who’s working with PEX, we can make all of these components work very, very clean and nontoxic way to get the outcome that we’re going for.

(00:26:48):

There’s just protocols and there’s steps around that. It’s interesting, too, from the biocides and the fungicides and the pesticides, and going back to the environment outside of the home, it is pretty interesting, and I am sure you’re very savvy to this too. All of these crops and the dustings and things like this, they travel thousands of miles and they attach to all the dust spores. So then there’s the balance of creating a home envelope that’s sealed to protect us from the outside air. But then we’re not getting proper ventilation. But if we do get ventilation, how do we clean the air from that ventilation? Because the more dense in the bigger cities that you get, that’s where the indoo–or the outdoor–quality, IAQ, they rate it parts per million by 10 micron and 2.5 micron, 10 micron would be more like actual dust, right?

(00:27:50):

It’s heavier. It’s a heavier particle. And then the 2.5 is a smaller micron and it’s a smaller particle. Well, all these biocides and all these fungicides, they get attached to all these, and they’re just–so, again, if you’re like, say, I’m kind of going on down a little shoot here, but let me run with this. So say for example, we’re building a home downtown Denver, or downtown Phoenix, or even Tucson, Arizona. The air quality’s not far behind Phoenix. Now. I found building science, there’s ways to help to build a sealed environment, but to ensure that we’re getting good mechanical ventilation, but taking that or what we refer to as passive air, so it’s making sure we’re getting fresh air within the home, but we just don’t want to pump all that stuff that’s in the air, toxins into the home. So it’s important, and there’s ways, it’s real practical.

(00:28:48):

Again, this kind of goes from a commercial, a lot of things together, because then we’re actually bringing in passive airflow, and then we’re pre-filtering it in through our home filtration systems and our HVAC systems. So we’re cleaning that up. I know I kind went down a rabbit hole there, but I was just kind of giving different examples. There’s always a solution to something, even if it’s an area that we can’t control the external environment because these chemicals, and kind of going back to the building industry, when I’m going through all these 8,000, I keep using the word 8,000 because I think it’s even in Paula’s book, it’s just a number. So when you’re working with a contractor, again, it’s kind of even referencing that book, just being mindful because she does a really good job of referencing a lot of, there’s a lot of high performance building materials that are sustainable, that are non-toxic, that perform well, and they’re very effective at what they do.

(00:29:49):

And again, so at least you as the client, you’re empowered to select, even if it comes down to a budget, like, okay, hey, you know what? I’m going to use these products on the exterior part of the home, and I’m just going to focus on, let me talk about paint for example. There’s a lot of manufacturers out there that use non VOC paint, but then when you start looking at the labels and you start looking at little further into it, you’ll see certain products that are certain solvents that somebody with multiple chemical sensitivities that actually might create a reaction for them. So even though it’s classified as a non VOC, they could actually have an adverse health effect just from the paint inside. However, there’s manufacturers out there in the paint industry that are using more like Earth-based or just natural types of fillers and additives into their paints that truly make it not only non-toxic, but low odor as well, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:57):

We run into this in medicine too, where say you’re eating a gluten-free diet, but you can’t have almonds, so you have to have these different things. We’re always making choices, and it’s going to be that same sort of situation with building materials. There’s going to be trade-offs. You have to take your budget into account. You have to take the ingredients into account, and you have to educate yourself as best you can, and then work with somebody who’s knowledgeable to help navigate those pieces.

Brian Johnson (00:31:33):

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I kind of look at, again, I’ll just reference the building biology because it’s a great resource, but it’s kind of finding the environmental, integrative, functional aspect of somebody looking out for your home environment that has understanding that had to go through this rigorous coursework to understand that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:58):

Right? Yeah. Thank goodness for the building biologists.

Brian Johnson (00:32:02):

Oh, my God, absolutely. Yeah. And just kind of a little bit of a background, just a quick flyover. So the Building Biology Institute was formed post World War II in Germany, and a lot of their studies, I mean, their studies, it’s all scientific studies they’ve been doing for 60 years at that time even. And so that’s when the institute, it was called something different then, but it formed, and then it was adopted into the US in the early eighties. It was like, well, why? They’re building this way and they have these standards in Europe. Why aren’t we not following these standards here? And so it was the early eighties when one of the founders actually brought the Building Biology Institute into the US and they follow all kinds of great resources, like the bio initiative report, science based, it’s not assumptions, it’s not, “well, we think of…” no, this was all a factual thing. So all of the information that comes from the Building Biology Institute, it is science-based.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:09):

100%.

Brian Johnson (00:33:10):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:13):

Do you want to talk a little bit about EMFs too?

Brian Johnson (00:33:16):

Yeah, absolutely. So I talked a little bit about the electrosmog.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:24):

What do you mean by electrosmog?

Brian Johnson (00:33:26):

Electrosmog is just, it’s all of the interference outside that we really can’t control. The power grid, power lines, transmission lines, transformers. Now we’re into the era of radio frequency. The early days of radars could be pretty serious if you’re affected or close to a radar. But anyways, once we started coming from this 3G adopting into these multiple generations of radio frequency, they’re very high millimeter wavelength, and they can have a pretty big impact for a lot of people with constant exposure. So the cities are blanketed. So I look at electrosmogs from all the different aspects, all the different spectrums, and so I kind of blanket that. That’s what I refer to as electrosmog. But just a quick–this is a really important takeaway for everybody because EMFs, a lot of people just use EMF as just kind of a generalized term. And there’s four major components to of EMFs.

(00:34:51):

One is the electrical field. So it’s the electrons moving through wiring. It’s like plumbing. It’s almost just like plumbing. It’s like water going through a pipe. It’s electrons that travel. So we don’t get away from that. That just, that’s what power does. Okay. It comes in through your overhead lines or underground lines, goes into your home into a service panel. And then what we have, that’s the first. So it’s electrical field. That’s the first form of an EMF. The second form is the electromagnetic AC fields. So what happens is when you have current flowing in and going back, what it does is it creates a magnetic field. Okay? It’s called AC magnetics, alternating current magnetics driven by electrons traveling through, so you have the electrical field, and then you have the AC magnetic field, the constant exposure to AC magnetic field. That’s the low hanging fruit. That’s the one that’s actually, there’s a lot of studies around the dangers behind that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:56):

And that’s also the one that’s really hard to mitigate, is my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:36:01):

Well, it can be. Yes, it can be. There are limitations. So for example, you don’t want to definitely live around a transmission line or high tension power lines. It’s always kind like this intuitive, “yeah, it doesn’t seem like a very good idea,” right? Because it’s pulsing out massive, massive amounts of AC magnetics, and the fields are huge. And so as it comes in through local distribution lines and power lines into the home, they start grouping all the cables closer and closer and closer and closer together. Once those cables get closer together, they start to cancel out the AC magnetic fields. Not without getting too crazy, but what happens is–so say it’s outside of the home, and then you have your lines coming into the home. Well, what happens is when we get into the AC magnetic issues within the home, a lot of it’s from wiring errors, believe it or not, in the commercial world, they use different types of wiring. They use different types of grounding systems, again, for public safety and for fire code. And what’s kind of crazy is residential commercial codes are completely different. If we were to follow a lot of commercial codes, our homes would be a lot safer, in my opinion. What I’m doing, a lot of my techniques and building styles are more commercial.

(00:37:34):

So through different types of wiring, grounding systems, in the way that we have to run our circuits by default in the commercial, we’re going to have low AC magnetics, if it’s done right. What happens in the residential route, they don’t look at that. And so what happens, a lot of electricians, sometimes they’ll cut corners. It’s common. It’s done all the time, and they’ll cut corners. And once you start cutting corners and playing around with electric in the house, by default, sometimes if something’s not done, it creates an AC magnetic field within the home, but that can be repaired. Okay. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:11):

That’s good to know that it can be repaired.

Brian Johnson (00:38:14):

Yeah. Yeah, there’s solutions.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:16):

But it’s a tough solution potentially, right? Because it’s the electric coming in on the water pipes oftentimes. That was my understanding.

Brian Johnson (00:38:27):

And that’s another thing too. So for example, and I’m just going to reference the Building Biology Institute, since we all have a dialogue of that. Now, some building biologists, they’ll study just on an EMRS, which is electromagnetic radiation specialist. And so when they’re coming in to look, they’re finding the current coming in, the AC magnetics coming in on your line, coming into your home or building, whatever, but you can isolate that. We can isolate our subs from the grid like that, and then we can fix all of the AC issues, magnetic issues within the home. What we can get away from is, if this is a good takeaway for everybody, if you’re in a room that hopefully doesn’t have the main electrical box–and it is crazy, I still see it all the time, you don’t want to be sleeping next to the main electrical panel coming into the house, okay?

(00:39:21):

Because by default, it emits a high AC magnetic field. And I’ll just kind of run with AC magnetic fields, another–refrigerators, motors, variable speed motors and things like that, and compressors–what they do is they actually–by default of just what they are, there’s no way of getting around it. But by default, they produce a high AC magnetic field. So I’m sharing that with everybody. So you’re just mindful of, Hey, I’m looking at buying a house, or, Hey, I’m in this room. Well, you might want to consider moving the bed away from, or going into another room from an electrical panel coming in, or the refrigerator, maybe it’s an apartment, maybe it’s a studio or something like that, and the refrigerator’s on the back wall of the bedroom where there’s a bed. Another thing, and I’ll just kind of run with this since we’re talking about, so we’re still talking about electrical fields and AC magnetic fields.

(00:40:16):

So with those two forms of EMFs, if your bed, these are just really simple takeaways. If your bed is up against the wall, what we’re going to have electrical outlets and their daisy chain around the bedrooms, right? It’s just for convenience and code. They’re there. So you can plug in your lamp. Well, hopefully you’re not plugging in to charge your phone while you’re sleeping anyways, but whatever, no judgment. But when you plug in a cord, okay, so now the power’s in the wall and the fields, they stay pretty tight to one another. So you could be 12 inches away from a field and not be too affected. So distance is your friend. Remember, distance is your friend. But what happens is if you take a lamp and you plug into the wall, well, now you’ve extended that electrical field from the wall to the lamp, and it’s right next to your head.

(00:41:14):

So that’s why extending things out, I know we want our convenience, but there’s other ways to do things. Like you could buy 12 volt lights with battery operated that are red light and all these different types of things for reading. I mean, there’s workarounds, simple workarounds, but these are the practicalities to understand. That’s just the nature of what electrical does. So once we’re like, okay, hey, distance is our friend. Okay, I’m going to get rid of everything that’s plugged in. I’m going to charge my phone in another room. Or you could even put alternating kill switches to kill all the power to the room. There’s different methods to mitigate that as well. Or having a metal bed frame–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:53):

A metal bed frame? That makes it better or–

Brian Johnson (00:41:55):

Worse. It makes it worse because with the metal, it’s a conductor, so it’s absorbing the frequency from the electrical field that’s in the wall, and then it’s extending it through the bed. And then of course, what we’re 80% water. So of course, we’re conductors. We’re absorbing that energy. So what it is, it’s just we’re absorbing this excessive energy. And where in nature, again, kind of back to nature, the gold standard, hopefully in nature, we’re going to be sleeping with the DC magnetic field of the earth and Schumann resonance and things like that. But now when we’re in a home and we’re exposed to all these, it’s just frequencies. It’s chaotic. How does the body recover in sleep? So these are just things to think about and be mindful of from the two main factors of electrical fields and AC magnetic fields. Okay. Those are two forms of EMFs. The third one is–did I cover, you feel like I covered?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:42:52):

Oh, yeah. Those are great. You did a good job.

Brian Johnson (00:42:54):

Okay. Okay, cool. Then it’s the RF, which is radio frequency. That’s the third. [Brian waves his hand and we see balloons floating up the Zoom screen.]

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:03):

Balloons, there are balloons that keep going up!

Brian Johnson (00:43:05):

I see the balloons.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:09):

I don’t know what’s happening. Every time you do this, the balloons go up. [Brian waves his hand again and we see balloons]. Yes, there, it is!

Brian Johnson (00:43:18):

I kept seeing the balloons and I’m like, oh, everyone’s really enjoying this because there’s a lot of balloons flying. Why?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:27):

I don’t know. It’s a setting in your [zoom], it’s pretty funny. Anyway, yes, everyone’s enjoying this. This is amazing. Keep going. More balloons.

Brian Johnson (00:43:36):

Yeah. Alright.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:39):

Okay. So let’s move on to RF, which everybody freaks out about, right?

Brian Johnson (00:43:44):

Yeah. And again, like we discussed, the AC magnetics for me is the number one thing that we want to look for. And then distancing ourself from the electrical field. So these are some, hopefully somebody could be writing this down, but we can follow up on it later on down the road or watch the recording. But then the third one is radio frequencies, and there’s all types of radio [frequencies] –AM, FM, like radar microwaves–

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:15):

Your wifi, your router, your phone.

Brian Johnson (00:44:18):

Here we are. Yeah, cell phones. We’re just bombarded– Bluetooth. And again, I share this just to empower ourselves to understand, educate to know, Hey, okay, I’m cool. I’ll put my wireless earbuds in. That’s fine, but at least you’re aware and you understand it. I think a lot of people, it’s interesting too because you talk to a lot of people wearing wired versus the wireless earbuds. People intuitively feel like, yeah, when I wear my wireless earbuds for an extended period of time, I kind of get headaches or I get tension in the jaw and things like that. It’s like, well, I’ve measured and I use the formulation of radio frequency measuring everything in a millimeter wavelength. And it’s referred to micro watts per square meter. And according to the Building Biology Institute, and I’m going to take this to the practicality inside of the home, but if you could be under 10 micro watts per square meter is ideal for a sleeping environment.

(00:45:28):

And there’s a lot of great resources that we can share with the audience later on this. But just to go to the extreme part, I’ve actually measured the RF coming from the headphones, which is plugged into the ear canal and up to as high as 70,000 micro watts per square meter. It’s crazy. And I was guilty about it early on, but intuitively I’m like, something’s not right here. And then of course I measured them. But kind of taking RF back again, part of this whole electrosmog environment, there’s towers everywhere, and now they’re doing 5G, and 5G is a high millimeter wavelength, but it drops quick. So they have to put these repeaters and extenders. And now with wifi technology, 2.5 gigahertz and beyond that. 2.5 gigahertz, so that’s this high amount of frequency that’s flowing from these routers. And now we’re doing extenders because we want fast speeds.

(00:46:31):

We want to stream wirelessly throughout the whole [house], so now we’re coming out with all this smart technology within the home. So everything’s running on a Bluetooth device, everything’s running on wifi now. All of the appliances, washers, dryers, dishwashers, vent hoods, refrigerators, everything’s just connected to these. Everything’s smart, right? And there’s my powerful takeaway, and anyone’s more than welcome to adopt this, but what is a smart home versus an analog home? And that’s really how I’m taking everything back as a builder, is I’m building analog. I’m building homes that in the nineties, in the early two thousands, we had amazing automation and it was all hardwired before then. We had DSL and all these different internet services come out, and we had amazing automation systems back then. And so for me, I love my technology, and again, from a builder like, well, how can we build an analog home that performs like a smart home? And it’s going back to the basics. We’re hard wiring.

(00:47:50):

But what’s funny too is the more that we go wireless, even looking at security systems and security cameras, again, a lot of the automation, communication, telecommunication through the home, it’s hard to find contractors that will even go–it still exists though, and that’s why I want to share the message. So when I’m working with my contractors or whatever, we’re a hundred percent hardwired. There’s so many advantages, the speeds are faster, more secure. I mean, there’s just, again, now we’re eliminating the whole RF part. So wireless technologies within home, whether it’s Bluetooth, whether it’s wifi, wireless routers, again, microwaves, it’s crazy because microwaves and wireless routers, they put almost about the same amount. That’s why, in my opinion, if you’re going to use a microwave distance yourself from the microwave, just don’t stand right next to it. Right? Of course, all the microwaves are killing a lot of the enzymes and components in the food, of course, from that aspect.

(00:48:56):

But it’s the exposure to that microwave that you don’t want to have constant exposure, and you can be in the opposite end of the house and actually still be affected by the exposure in the RF from that microwave. Yeah, there’s a lot of studies out around that. So again, it’s just being mindful of all the different technologies that are used in these wireless capabilities, and going back to the basics of like, well, hey, we can hardwire. I can have an ethernet cable in every aspect in the kitchen or wherever you want to have ’em. You just got hardwire and you just got to plug in, right? Even with telecommunications and phones, there’s still hardwire phones out there, and it’s kind of beautiful because you can use these VOIP, which is voiceover internet provider, right?

(00:49:47):

Kelly McCann, MD: Have one right here.

(00:49:48):

Yeah. Well, are you in a commercial building or are you home?

(00:49:54):

Kelly K McCann, MD: I am in a commercial building.

(00:49:56):

Brian Johnson: Yeah, rough there. So there’s VOIP because again, in a commercial [building], everything’s hardwired. The servers, everything’s hardwired in a commercial building. That was my takeaway from that, is there’s no different–why we can’t have the commercial setting in a home application. Again, going more back to an analog–or let’s talk about potential. Okay, well, there’s these RFs, there’s a cell tower, there’s these smart meters, right of my home or whatever. What do I do? And there’s ways, believe it or not, RF is a little easier to mitigate because there’s shielding. There’s different types of graphene. There’s different types of screening materials, and what they do is they block those millimeter wavelengths, those high structured wavelengths coming through smart meters. What they do is they pulse every minute, 30 seconds.

(00:50:56):

They’re all different. They can pulse out to maybe 5,000 micro watts per square meter. So again, you don’t want, it’s not ideal to have the power supply outside of your bedroom, but then you turn around and you put a meter on top of that, and then they say there’s some coupling interference back into the system, into the home. There’s some talk about that as well, which I haven’t really tested so much for, but me, distance is a friend. So as me as a builder, I look at putting the electrical panel outside of a garage or away from the living area of the home. And if you can, opt out from a smart meter, a lot of power companies honor that. And you can do an opt-out program. I think you gotta pay $20- $30 a month extra for a meter reader. Those are some big things, but windows, low e[nergy] windows, even modernized low E, energy efficient windows by default, the window actually does cancel out and block RF. Yeah, there’s different faraday cages that you can put around your bed.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:03):

The Faraday cages have to be grounded properly too, so it is not just as easy as throwing up some copper or some drapes. You really need to know what you’re doing to ground it. Correct?

Brian Johnson (00:52:16):

Yeah. Thank you for bringing that up. But there’s different fabrics too. So there’s some fabrics that just block the field, so it’s not like it’s a metallic. There’s some silver products and things like that, but it’s more of just an actual blocking material. But you’re absolutely 100% right. When we’re actually doing shielding within a home, those homes are graphite and it is basically you’re trading a Faraday wall, and that wall has to be grounded. So there’s definitely, it’s not like a DIY type of a thing. You definitely want to work with somebody that understands that. I’ll just throw an example, two examples. So say you’re in a town home or there’s a common wall and your neighbor’s blasting the wifi, and your concern is like, well, I don’t have the budget to actually shield the entire part of my condominium or whatever. But you could, simple things would be, you could just do–there’s a bed canopy, at least you’re getting that quiet time for sleep. From that, you can put ’em underneath because maybe you’re on a second level and it’s coming up from the neighbor’s floor underneath all the way to the point of where you can actually shield the whole environment. So it’s all cost prohibited on how far you want to go take it, right? But there’s definitely solutions around the RF. Okay, there’s one more.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:37):

Yeah, one more. Let’s do number four.

Brian Johnson (00:53:39):

There’s number four and I — sorry, oh, the time.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:43):

Yeah. So let’s do number four and then we’ll jump to some questions. We’ve got a long list of questions

Brian Johnson (00:53:49):

And sorry that we’re running over

Kelly McCann, MD (00:53:54):

I’m okay to go for a little while longer if you are, Brian.

Brian Johnson (00:53:58):

Yeah, no, I’m good. Let’s keep it running, but I’ll tie it up for everybody too. The fourth one is dirty electricity. A lot of people, they hear about different dirty– what is their dirty electricity? It’s micro electrical surge pollution, and basically what it is, whether it’s coming from electrical, excuse me, photovoltaic, solar power panels, sometimes it’ll feed back through, like the inverters converting the DC to the AC, dimmer switches, just so everybody knows on the call right here, even if you’re running your awesome incandescent lamps that are going to be kicked out anyways, but there’s technologies that trump that, using LEDs in the right fashion. However, the old school dimmers, those put out a lot. The transformers you’re charging for your computers, again, just different electronics through the homes. What they do is they put out what’s called line noise, it’s actual noise, and it’s a harmonic.

(00:55:01):

And what these do is they dump it into the electrical system, and some people with sensitive hearing, they can actually hear a really high pitch sound, and it could even be pulsating. Some of us can’t hear it, but what it does is it really affects, has a big effect on the central nervous system because it’s this singing, it’s this noise, it’s this almost invisible noise, but you don’t even know that it’s bothering you and it’s in the background. So that’s what we refer to as MEP or dirty electricity. So that’s the fourth form of an EMF.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:31):

And you can measure the dirty electricity with a stetsor meter, correct.

Brian Johnson (00:55:37):

Yeah. There’s a lot of good companies have different, so if you look up how to measure dirty electricity, Stetzer meter is one, green wave meter is another one. Again, a building biologist or an EMRS person. Actually we use oscilloscopes and we can actually go in there and measure what that wavelength is doing and find the source right away. It’s a lot easier when I go into a house and I see dimmers all over, I’m like, okay, I already know that’s a source. So it’s just a process of elimination to find it, but it’s pretty easy to find MEP, dirty electricity in a home.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:13):

Great. Okay. Let’s do some questions. Ready?

Brian Johnson (00:56:16):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:17):

You can look at ’em too, but I’ll read them out loud. So what list should we have and where can I find one to use when assessing homes or potential homes? So like mold, actinomyces, proximity to Superfund sites, cell tower farms, where glyphosate is sprayed, radon, et cetera. That’s a great question, Lena.

Brian Johnson (00:56:46):

And what are some resources for that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:47):

Yeah, what are some resources? Is there a guide? Is there a list? Here’s the checklist for potential home buyers. Of all the things that you want to look at when you’re trying to figure out a home, is there some central repository where we’d have a list?

Brian Johnson (00:57:05):

Well, so in Prescription for a Healthy House, Paula writes that out.

(00:57:14):

There’s reading involved, but as time evolves and as we perfect these things, we’ll be able to make it more streamlined and more simple like, Hey, what’s this? Give me the 10 simple takeaways. My website, I’m doing some updates, as a matter of fact, on that. Hey, what are the main points to look at? Again, also, the Building Biology Institute. Again, these are really powerful resources, and so I know I keep bringing it up, but these are answers to the questions. Even working, consider consult with the building biologist in your area. They’re going to give you these lists because these are the things that we train for as a building biologist, because even me as a builder, I look at and as a builder perspective, and then it just breaks down to a client. But again, I’m looking at the environment, the external environment.

(00:58:13):

I’m looking at the building structure. I’m looking at electrical design. I’m looking at, we didn’t even get into climate and ventilation systems, which that’s a key one. I kind of did want to talk about ERV for ventilation and looking at the building materials again, so a building biologist is going to come through and do all the different types of testing. We didn’t even get into the mold testing and things like that, indoor air quality testing, measuring the VOCs, but it’s good to work at that. I recommend for everybody to consult with an environmental consultant or a building biologist to come in there at least to do simple measurements of EMFs, indoor air quality, do some inspections along with air, just simple air testing, which will test for mold spores in the air. I know I didn’t really zero in on that question, but there’s resources out there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:59:21):

I think there are resources out there, and I know I’m trying to put together a list too, because we want to be able to provide for patients, okay, this is where you look for Superfund sites. This is where you go to assess air quality. These are the different ways that you can do air quality assessments in your area, in your house, and then you can get a building biologist. So coming up with ways to do it both for somebody who can afford to work with a professional and then somebody who is a do-it-yourself, or trying to do the best that they can. Let’s see. How about crawl spaces and humidity levels and when to know you need a vapor barrier?

Brian Johnson (01:00:10):

Yeah, me as the builder, when you get into crawlspaces, there’s just so many variables and so factors there, and it’s a really good conversation and a question to bring because whether it’s an attic or whether it’s a crawlspace, I try to, I look at even preconditioning these areas.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:36):

What does preconditioning mean?

Brian Johnson (01:00:37):

We’re actually acclimating it, almost close to the temperatures within the home, because that way we’re not getting this rapid influx and swing of a high dew point in here, or basement, or the crawl space, and it’s different within the home, and it’s cooler here. It’s hotter down there, and if you don’t have breathable membranes, what happens is the water will get trapped and it builds condensation, which obviously is going to lead to potential mold and factors like that. There’s a lot of good companies out there. What they’re doing for crawl spaces, they’re completely going in there and they seal 100% of that area, and they stop– just depending on what’s in the crawl space or a basement. If it’s cementitious, there’s different materials that we can put that stop the vapor from coming through the moisture vapor. If it’s dirt, there’s different types of non-toxic materials that they can line 100% the walls, the floors, and then insulate all the duct work or whatever’s running under that crawl space to help control, to acclimate that environment along with proper ventilation too, because it’s good to have–it could be done mechanically with fans. There’s a science to that. Absolutely, and there’s a lot of great resources. Again, it’s sealing it, but it’s controlling, it’s sealing everything, but it’s controlling that environment to maintaining proper airflow. So we’re not getting those rapid–again, that’s what happens is the rapid humidity and air temperature influxes between inside of the home and underneath the home. That’s what creates the condensation. So the goal is, what is it going to take to acclimate that environment so you don’t have those major swings between the two areas, and its the same applies for an attic as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:39):

Okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Let’s see. What questions should we ask a professional? We are hiring to do an inspection to make sure that they can do a comprehensive check. So some people from the International Society for Environmental Acquired Illness, ISEAI, most of those folks are mold inspectors, and so they may not be able to do a comprehensive assessment looking at some of these other things like radon and VOCs. So how do we best assess the qualifications of a professional to assess these different things?

Brian Johnson (01:03:28):

It’s a good point of what you brought up too, because from an environmental consultant, they’re trained to look at specific conditions that are going to potentially lead to mold and things like that, versus again, what I like about the Building Biology Institute is they have a program, it’s called BBEC, and it’s a building biologists environmental consultant. And again, they’re really looking at the building science. So there’s even a lot of environmental consultants that they’ll go through, again, the Building Biology Institute, because they want to understand more, even more mechanicals or the building science of understanding the building. So again, they’re looking at the building at a full scope. So me from my background, I do a lot of assessments myself, but there’s just not a lot of people like me because if you’re, say you’re selling a home and you’re doing a roof inspection, and then you’re just doing an overall inspection from a real estate perspective, not to knock anybody, but they’re not looking at what we’re looking at from an environmental standpoint, not even close. So I always recommend working with a building biologist, again, an environmental consultant, because they’re going to look at the building science, they’re going to look at everything from the roof all the way down to the foundation, all the way to air testing that environment. And what I’m seeing a lot more now is even in real estate exchanges, sometimes you only have 10 days to come in and to do an inspection.

(01:05:16):

Matter of fact, I’m putting together a program for that, where we could come in there, expedite all the testing, go in there and do a full day, write up a summary evaluation, and have that evaluation into the client’s hand within that 10 day inspection period, and they’re getting a comprehensive inspection versus just relying on, again, I don’t want to knock any home inspection company, but they’re just not looking at it the way that we’re having a discussion here on this platform here today, not even close. And so that’s why I like working with an environmental consultant. Again, Building Biology Institute, because that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:55):

Is there a course that they offer for the general public or for environmental medicine doctors? So we don’t have to [garbled] everything?

Brian Johnson (01:06:05):

No, they do. They have a great–it’s called their advocacy. There’s two programs that they have, and it basically teaches the 101, and I recommend it for everybody that’s on this call today. I highly recommend it’s a simple course. You can do it on your own time, and you’re going to take away so much literature from that. So you’re going to get the support and a mentor through that just to help you feel good that you’re taking like, Hey, I actually learned a lot from here. But also too, you get that coursework. So having that 101 under your belt, even for you, Dr. Kelly, sounds great having that. Oh yeah, you’ll constantly always have a reference. Because the way that they broke it down in chapters, in the 101, they literally break it down piece by piece by piece, Hey, did we look at the environmental factor? Hey, did we look at the building factor? Now let’s go within the building factor and look at the EMF, the air quality and things like that. So it is a simple breakdown through the whole process.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:02):

That’s exciting. I can’t wait to take it. Yes, in all my spare time. Okay. More questions.

Brian Johnson (01:07:08):

And it’s fun. It’s fun too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:10):

It sounds super fun. What are the best practices you know if you have a mold problem, but you cannot yet remediate? That’s a tough one, I know.

Brian Johnson (01:07:28):

I always like to have an answer for everything, but if I have an answer for everything, everybody should be concerned. And I’m just joking, but let’s see here. Kind of putting on my environmental hat on, I think a lot of people are starting to become educated on the ways of, okay, the ways of cleaning, right? Like, oh, hey, I’ll spray bleach on it. Or, Hey, there’s present mold there. I’m just going to clean it up for now until, does that make sense to the question? I’ll clean up for now until I can mitigate it properly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:15):

I think so. Or can we use lots of air filters. Is there a way to wall–plastic it off? Or what are kind of the best practices? What’s reasonable? I say it’s tough, right? Say it’s in the bathroom. Well, you could not use the bathroom and plastic it off, but then you don’t have a bathroom. You can put an air filter in there…just ideas like that?

Brian Johnson (01:08:47):

Containment is definitely key and not spreading it. So the worst thing you could do is we’ll just eliminate, okay, hey, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to use bleach, whatever, and I’m just going to clean all this stuff off, right? Please everyone. Or Hey, I’m going to use an ozone generator or something. You sound like, obviously you have the knowledge in this, but it’s like you want to contain that area. You want to literally seal that area off, not only seal–say it’s an isolated area that you just can’t get to, our room or something like that. It would literally be plastic off that area, and the rest of the home it would be– here’s a big takeaway for everybody too. There’s different–3M makes different filters for HVAC systems. So if anybody here has a centralized system, I would changing the filters all the time, and they’re called Filtrete. 3M Filtrete, and they make different rated ones based upon the energy efficiencies. So you don’t want to take a really dense filter and put it in a non-efficient [HVAC system] because you’ll burn up the motor. Okay? So you want to match ’em carefully. But 3M actually was pretty genius around it because it’s and electrically charged filter–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:16):

Like electrostatic?

Brian Johnson (01:10:17):

Electrostatic. Thank you. And so what it does is it captures all of those additional mold spores, if you will, and you’ll want to run that if you have a circulation mode. So you’re constantly trying to scrub the air portable systems as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:35):

So I have a question, and I have this argument with my husband, so I am glad that I can ask this question. In a room that we know that there’s mold in the wall. Say for example, there’s a sprinkler system that’s hitting the wall. So that wall is a little bit moldy from the outside in. It’s a bedroom wall, so it’s not like there’s a leak, a pipe leak. And his argument is, well, if I put the air filter, like a portable air filter right next to it, I’m going to be pulling that air into the room and that’s a bad idea and I don’t want to do that. And my thought is, no, you actually want to put the air filter right there because then it’s going to grab more of the mycotoxin, well maybe not mycotoxins, but more of the mold spores to reduce the total burden in the room. What is your take on that?

Brian Johnson (01:11:34):

Yeah, I think what your husband might be concerned about is a negative pressure. So if you’re putting something in there and it’s constantly sucking and then it’s creating a negative pressure within that environment, then it would, but there’s–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:51):

The portable air filters can’t make negative pressure, can they?

Brian Johnson (01:11:56):

Yeah, exactly. Not from going one room to the next room where it’s pulling from one area to the–it’s literally just circulating within that environment. So I was just rolling out negative air pressure within the room because we’re not pulling it out of that source. So in fact, the portable filter will help filter just whatever’s in the air, kind of back to not disturbing an area that has that, until you, again, you can come back and address that. The home system, a portable system, isolating the area, and then the rest of the home, HEPA vacuum. I think everybody should own a portable–you can go on Amazon, they make more commercial type shop vac looking ones, but they also make Miele or whatever, that they make a really, really nice HEPA. They’re a little expensive, but you can’t–and it just kind of applies to everything.

(01:12:57):

And I’m going to kind of pull two pieces here together. So when we’re building a home, there is a lot of building materials that even come from facilities that have mold on it. There’s spores, even when you’re building and constructing the area, it’s getting in. It’s just the way it is. And so when we’re done building a home, the idea is to take full HEPA vacuum systems, vacuum everything. And then according to the IRC, we’re following certain types of guidelines for what we call microbial environmental cleaning, right? Because we’re cleaning all the physical dust, the heavy dust, and then, but we’re wiping the walls in a very specific fashion. I won’t go into the details of it. And then we’re discarding of all the media that we’re wiping these walls down. So the reason I share that is because if we were to go in and mold test after we do this full thorough cleaning, chances are we’re going to have very low numbers.

(01:13:58):

So I would even recommend that if there’s an isolated area, you contain that area, you make sure you’re not pulling any kind of a negative pressure and disturbing that area, treating it with ozone, wiping it down with any kind of a insecticide, biocide, fungicide, anything with a chemical in it. Because the chemicals that in fact can even kill these bacteria or mold and things like that, unless they’re the–now you’re putting a chemical in the air too. And then there’s this whole factor of what it does to mold, even ozone. Mold’s pretty interesting. It has a way to survive. So the idea is to contain it until it can properly get remediated. But the external areas around, you can keep those areas clean a hundred percent. Like I was explaining, I just gave just a quick little overview, but that’s what we do when we’re doing cleaning.

(01:14:56):

Because when I go in there to do any form of–I’m not so much of a remediator, I’m just a builder–but when we’re doing the work and I want to finalize it and hand it over to my client that’s super sensitive to these kinds of things, I’m going to make sure it’s fully cleaned thoroughly and tested to show, hey, the numbers are low. Now, that’s not to say that in six months without good housekeeping or just maybe you’re opening the doors too much and there’s poor air quality and it’s coming inside, we could turn around and test that in six months and actually have high numbers. Does it mean there’s a specific mold problem? No, it just means that’s the high mold spore count that’s accumulating in that area. That’s why cleaning is key. And I’m glad that I had the space to be able to share that with everybody. It gets pretty crazy, but if you truly want an area that’s mold free, so to speak, it requires a lot of cleaning, but a very strategic type of a cleaning, and we’re talking not using any chemicals. This is just mechanical cleaning, using HEPA and just using mild, non-toxic safe detergents. That’s it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:03):

Right. Great. Okay. I think we have time for just a couple more.

Brian Johnson (01:16:10):

Sorry, everybody. I wish we could answer all the questions.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:13):

I know. So what about a 34-year-old furnace? Can it get moldy if there’s no AC?

Brian Johnson (01:16:23):

So just a furnace.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:27):

Just for heat.

Brian Johnson (01:16:28):

Just for heat. So when we’re doing design for mechanical systems, whether it’s a furnace or an HVAC, I always suggest on using–I have to go further before I answer the question directly. We’re using what’s referred to as hard duct metal sheet metal plumbing ducts. And I would say at hopefully at that age, they’re all metal, which has its advantages. And the reason why I say that is over the years, more than likely, if we were to say, we were to do some kind of a surface test within the ducts of that furnace, chances are it is going to have been compromised once upon a time, bypassing the filters, maybe filters weren’t cleaned up, whatever. It’s just a lot of years. So I don’t know if they’ve been cleaned. But the good thing, it’s kind of a side note for everybody too, because if you have rigid duct work, sheet metal duct work, it’s easier to clean. And so I would definitely look into that and consider doing a thorough cleaning on that system. That’s really important. The thing about flexible duct work, it’s harder to clean. So at that age, I’m assuming the system could be cleaned. That would be my first recommendation is go through and do a full thorough cleaning on that. There’s companies out there, I’m kind of mixed on this whole thing, but if it’s somebody with mold sensitivities, there’s the whole fogging.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:18:16):

I’m not a huge fan.

Brian Johnson (01:18:18):

Totally against it? But, however, I’ve gone in on a lot of projects and I’ve actually tested post fogging and I’ll collect data from the client like, how’s the air quality, nosebleeds, dry air? Are they treating it with tea tree oil and all these different natural forms? And I haven’t seen any real big complaints from fogging. This is just my experience. Some people don’t agree with it, but I’ve actually tested and the test came back real minimal. There was hardly any mold count in the duct work. And we’re talking a year post having all the fogging done. So I’ve seen good results. I’m just trying to throw some things out there of cleaning, potential fogging, obviously, making sure that once you do that, you have good filtration, testing for leaks. Leaks is a big one, whether it’s an HVAC air handler system or furnace, whatever. Air leaks are a big one because in the wall cavity spaces or attics or, again, under crawl spaces. If there’s air leaks, you’re going to be pulling in the spores that are in that area, and it’s going to go right into that duct system. So I think it’s having a good inspection done on that to help be sure there’s no leaks, doing the cleaning, and then the fogging could just be an option.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:42):

Right. Couple last questions. So what would be your top two or three favorite portable air filtration units companies? Do you have some reputable companies that you really like?

Brian Johnson (01:20:00):

The one that’s being talked about right now is that Jasper unit.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:03):

It has an air filter?

Brian Johnson (01:20:05):

Yeah, portable, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:07):

Oh! Never heard of it.

Brian Johnson (01:20:08):

Is that the portable systems, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:11):

Right, portable systems.

Brian Johnson (01:20:12):

Yeah, the Jasper. A lot of people have been talking about, I haven’t had to use it personally, but in the building biology world and people that do environmental testing, they’re really promoting the Jasper, because I think what it does, is it actually measures– it gives you a light on VOCs and it’ll actually capture what’s going on with the air quality and notify you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:38):

So it’s a filter and a meter of sorts.

Brian Johnson (01:20:42):

Yeah. Yeah. It has some kind of a metering system on there. Very cool. I’ve heard good things, but I love the Air IQ.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:52):

The IQ Air. Yeah, me too.

Brian Johnson (01:20:53):

IQ Air.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:20:54):

I love the IQ Air.

Brian Johnson (01:20:55):

Yeah, somebody just posted on there. Yeah, jasper.co. Hopefully that person has had good experience with that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:05):

She’s our super researcher, Leyna. She’s putting all the information in the chat.

Brian Johnson (01:21:09):

Oh, Leyna, by the way, thank you for all your questions, because again, like I was saying, I learned a lot from you, and I actually wrote down the top things to look for like a checklist. But yeah, I love the IQ Air. Air Doctor is another one. Intelepure. Let’s just have a quick little piece on this. Less than one minute. So the UV, let’s talk about UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:36):

Okay.

Brian Johnson (01:21:38):

So some of these systems have UV. I think Austin Air is another one.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:21:44):

Oh, yeah. Austin Air is wonderful too.

Brian Johnson (01:21:45):

Right? Because those are true–the ones that we just talked about are true HEPA.

(01:21:52):

And they’re using carbon filters, HEPA filters, and they’re not UV, they shouldn’t–we’re not talking UV, we’re talking true HEPA. So the verdict’s not entirely out, but the science is really alluding to UV lights, by default create an oxidization process, a U–or an ozone. The byproduct, is ozone through this. Some of them are different technologies depending on what bulbs they’re using. It’s this hydroxyl process. But what they’re doing is they’re creating levels of ozone, and it’s breaking down the micron to fine particles. So in the building biology world, they’re like, okay, well, where’s it going? But I mean, some of them–NASA’s done testing saying, well, it’s evaporated. I don’t know. Scientists saying, well, where’s it evaporating to? But what I’ve seen is the complaint, this is what I wanted to share with everybody.

(01:22:58):

It’s aggressive. It’s aggressive. And so if you’re running constant UV systems in some type of a portable, it actually can create more asthmatic symptoms or burning in the throat or potential nosebleeds, a lot of irritation, potential headaches and things like that. So that is information–because I was really pro-UV again, because, as I talked about early in the beginning, I’m like all about the science and more is better, and I’m going to use the latest and greatest technologies, but latest and greatest technologies isn’t always the solution. And so through that, over the last several years, I’ve been doing a lot of understanding for myself, and personal experience with others using UV systems. And you know what? It’s back to the basics. Like I talked about a smart home versus an analog home, it’s relying on true air filtration, relying on HEPA, which is a Merv 16 and higher. It’s a score, a rated score that really assures that we’re taking everything down submicron into the air. And so that’s what we should really be relying on is true mechanical filtration and not using different UV systems to rely on that they work. But I think it could just be more issues down the road that we don’t need to go through.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:18):

Right? Yeah, there was a system called a high tech system that was recommended early on in the old days with Shoemaker, and it made me feel terrible. It was some sort of UV light system. But I think the other question that–so there was somebody who said the Air Doctor might not be true HEPA. I don’t know if you want to comment on that one. I don’t know.

Brian Johnson (01:24:48):

And I don’t want to really, I’m careful. I don’t want to knock it. I was just kind of giving some recommendations where–the Air Doctor, I can’t remember on that one, but I know the ones, the other ones that we talked about wasn’t UV.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:24:59):

The other ones are good. I’d love to do the same, ask the same question for water filtration. So portable under the sink. What are some of the top brands that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:25:18):

Water’s my game. It’s understanding–again, I’m a home builder, the idea of building–I’m a healthy home builder, excuse me. And the idea is that of every facet, every aspect of the home has some kind of a healing component to it. So we can use the NSF 42 standards of water filtration, but it goes beyond that too. What types of media are we using? What types of filtration? Like for example, and I’m just going to throw this out there. I encourage everybody to do their own research around it, but reverse osmosis, RO systems, I used to use them, but reverse osmosis is really aggressive on copper for one. And obviously I think a lot of us here probably understand it takes everything, all the impurities out of the water, including all the minerals. So you have to remineralize RO water. But the biggest thing, and there is all kinds of studies about this using different types of highly sophisticated equipment for measuring, but what it does is it deconstructs water, and I kind of mentioned it makes it very aggressive on pipes, but if you were to look at it through these different types of scopes, it’s very rigid and it loses its coherence.

(01:26:37):

They actually do it in some treatment plans too, because it’s a fail safe fit to really clean up that water, but it’s doing damage to the water just as much as it’s filtering everything out. So there’s a movement out, and it’s a big movement, and it’s water structuring. So structured water, there’s a lot of science behind it. There’s some companies out there that they might quantify using their own data. So then it becomes biased, but it’s becoming big enough now to where there’s certain equipment, ways that they measure, that they actually can capture how water is structured. So the reason why I share that is with good carbon, I’m a big fan of carbon block water filtration. So we use pressed carbon blocks. Then, and now they’re doing the treatment. No different, like the Filtrete, to where it has that same type of a reaction to where now it’s filtering water submicron, but it’s keeping a high flow.

(01:27:41):

Because what happens is if you’re trying to filter out fluoride and you’re trying to filter all these different, it’s submicron, you lose water pressure through the house. So I look at it as how could we have water that’s completely filtered out that’s purified and that’s clean and it’s structured coming out at the faucet versus just having a little portable piece. So what it comes down to is if we’re using, the simple takeaway is this, if we’re using carbon press block filters and we’re able to get it down to submicron size, then you might want to do that under the sink if you don’t want to drop pressure for the entire home, and then they have just a spigot like you see on top of a countertop. So the goal is to take it down to submicron, but you want to be able to find ways to structure that water. That’s why I don’t recommend RO. That’s me personally. Everyone’s going to have an opinion around that. But if you do the study around structuring, so there’s different devices that I use to filter this water coming into the home and then restructuring it through the entire home. And then if I want to take it–go ahead.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:28:48):

No, sorry. Do you have names of specific products or companies that you like?

Brian Johnson (01:28:55):

Yeah, there’s one, and I talk about it on my social media platform just because, again, I do a lot of research. I’ve been doing this for a very, very long time. And so I’m kind of careful. I don’t want to be so biased in one thing, but if I find something good, why would I not share it with everybody? And one of the systems that I talk about, you’ll see in my social media, it’s Natural Action Technologies, Natural Action Technologies, and they have carbon pressed filters, but then there’s a structuring device on there that actually structures the water. It’s amazing. We’ve actually done, we’ve installed a lot of systems. You could do whole house or you can do an under the cabinet. So if it’s just an apartment and that’s all you have access to, at least you can put a smaller system under the cabinet. Perfect. But if the budget allows and you want to do the whole house, there are ways to take it all the way down to submicron and still maintain a high flow and structure the water, which is ideal if you have that capability.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:02):

Oh, that sounds amazing. Yeah. So cool. Gosh, Brian, I think we gotta end. I have another engagement at three o’clock.

Brian Johnson (01:30:12):

Oh, no.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:13):

And I need to take a little break. This has been fantastic. So cool. I love all of the information and I love all the questions. And I’m sorry to all those who asked questions that we did not get to answer, they were such fantastic questions. How can people get in touch with you, learn more about you, find you on social media, things like that?

Brian Johnson (01:30:40):

Thank you. There’s so much more to share everyone. We just barely, I love talking about circadian lighting and all the lighting systems too.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:30:50):

Yes. We didn’t get to lots of stuff.

Brian Johnson (01:30:53):

We’ll have to share down the road, but however, everyone can follow me or contact me through–so the name of my company is Senergy 360, and that’s spelled S-E-N-E-R-G-Y, Senergy 360. And you can follow me, synergy 360 on Instagram. You can email me at brian@senergy360.com. Of course, my website is senergy360.com. We’re going to start being a lot more interactive on current blogs and what we’re coming across currently instead of just right now, it’s all about general contracting, project management. But now we’ll start sharing a lot of the science and everything that we’re learning, everything that we talked about here, I’ll just start breaking it down and recycling that information and keeping it all current for everybody to follow that, Hey, what’s going? I talk about everything, water filtration, lighting systems, EMFs, air quality, ventilation systems, building performance, how to inspect windows, what to look for on the roof, what to look around the foundation, integrated pest management, pest control, proper draining around the house, plants that are low allergen counts. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. So definitely follow me for sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:19):

Definitely follow you. And someone asked if there’s any chance unanswered questions could be briefly answered via email.

Brian Johnson (01:32:28):

Absolutely, yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:32:30):

We’ll make sure you get the questions. And you’ll also get the list of all of the people who signed up, there will be a replay, as I mentioned at the beginning, that we’ll send out along with the transcript, so you’ll get to read through it. Maybe we’ll try and add the transcript of the chat because Leyna and Sarah, many others put such great information in there as well. And thank you again, Brian. This has been really fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime next year.

Brian Johnson (01:33:02):

We’ll have to do it again. And just one last thing. For all of the viewers and everybody that’s on the call in the upcoming recording, I’m happy to do a free consult with someone over the phone on any questions because there’s just so much there. And so I want to extend that to everybody. So just know that that’s there. We’ll just have to schedule it out. Okay.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:33:24):

Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian. Thank you everyone for listening, and we’ll see you again soon. Take care. Thank you. Bye.


Post-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Post-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Join Dr. Kelly and co-host Beth O’Hara answer a host of questions from participants of the Mastering Mast Cell Activation Summit. Grab this replay to learn more about:

  • MCAS Testing
  • Taking Supplements
  • MCAS Stabilizations and much more!


Transcript

Beth O’Hara (00:00:00):

Know everybody’s here for the Q&A. So let’s hop in for the first question. So Kelly, the first question is, how long do I need to stop antihistamines? Cromolyn, anti-inflammatories, supplements, et cetera, in order to be tested for mast cell activation? My doctor was thinking three weeks. And then do you see the testing for mast cell improving in the future?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:24):

Those are very good questions. In actuality, you do not need to — that’s weird. My speaker view, just I still see Beth in my speaker view.

Beth O’Hara (00:00:37):

You might have me pinned.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:40):

No, I don’t know. Anyway, okay, so you do not need to stop cromolyn or antihistamines or even really anti-inflammatory supplements, although you can. You don’t need to stop those before you do the mast cell testing. And part of this is because remember, the way that antihistamines work is they block histamine at the receptor site. They actually don’t block histamine from being released by the mast cells. And so you’ll still have the opportunity to have that positive histamine on your testing. The only recommendations that Dr. Afrin makes is no aspirin and no NSAIDs. So no anti-inflammatory medicines prior to the testing and the recommendations are like a week or so. Do I see the testing improving? Gosh, who knows. Hopefully somebody will come up with a better test — as you know, not great testing right now. I find that sometimes the easier thing to do are the CD 117 stains, so that’s a good way to go if at all possible. So yeah, you don’t have to give ’em up. In terms of next questions, I’m going to ask a question for Beth.

Beth O’Hara (00:02:17):

There was just a little second part on there, which is do you see the testing improving in the future?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:25):

Do I see the testing improving in the future? My answer was, I don’t know. I hope so. There are so many molecules that are released by the mast cells, but they’re not always definitive for mast cells exclusively. And I think that that’s one of the challenges. If we’re looking at cytokines, there are multiple different cells that produce cytokines, so it’s harder to find mass cell exclusive molecules that we can capture in a lab. Not really my area of expertise, but my answer is hopefully, although I’m not certain. And then for Beth: phenols such as quercetin are great for many reasons. How much do these supplements add to an oxalate load and can they be taken safely if you address mold following a low oxalate diet?

Beth O’Hara (00:03:31):

That’s a great question. Interestingly, salicylate levels and oxalate levels don’t always correlate. They can, but they don’t necessarily. So there are some high oxalate foods that are low salicylate and vice versa. And the same with herbs. One of the most wonderful resources we’ve had in oxalates is the University of Wisconsin does offer testing, and if anybody’s interested, you can join the Trying Low Oxalates Group and they can tell you how you can sponsor testing. There’s been quite a lot tested and they do maintain a database. It’s a private database of results. I’ve sponsored quite a bit of testing including different herbs, and I tested — quercetin was tested already and I tested isoquercetrin. That’s a form that Integrative Therapeutics offers, and those came back as fairly low, quite low oxalate. Even the Pure Encapsulations vitamin A with carotinoids that has beet powder as a coloring agent and a filler came back pretty low oxalate because it’s such a tiny amount, knowing that beets are high oxalate, so often oxalate and salicylate issues will go hand in hand because they use some of the same pathways. There’s oxalate degradation in the gut, there’s salicylate degradation in the gut. Oxalates and salicylates both need the sulfur pathway to be working properly, but there’s differences.

(00:05:08):

Like, oxalates can get lodged in the cell membranes and so on, where salicylates can be an intolerance where other pathways in addition to sulfur glucuronidation needs to break them down. But we don’t have as much glucuronidation involvement oxalates. So that’s where I’m saying we’ve got some biochemistry differences in how they’re processed and how they affect people. So short answer, for people who don’t want the biochemistry explanation, the phenols don’t always add to the oxalate load, depends on which phenols you’re doing. The best thing is to look at our cross-reference lists on the website. And typically if it’s high oxalate in a food, depending on the quality, it may be high oxalate in that supplement. So our clients don’t do things with spinach powder as a main ingredient with beet powder as a main ingredient, like a greens powder, reds powder, if those are in there because they’re pretty high oxalate.

(00:06:02):

But if there’s a tiny amount for coloring, the testing shows that that’s not really adding to the load. Can phenols and salicylates be taken safely if addressing mold and following a low oxalate diet? So oxalates — a lot of people, not everybody, but a lot of people with mold toxicity have to lower oxalates if they have colonization. And this can be because candida and aspergillus are known to feed on oxalates as a food source. So we eat high oxalates, we can be driving that colonization with a food source just like sugar can drive fungal species. But the salicylates is really an issue if those pathways are affected. And about 20%, maybe 30% of our client base have salicylate intolerance, that doesn’t mean everybody with mold toxicity does. So hopefully that answers it. The short answer there is that most people with mold toxicity following a low oxalate diet can eat salicylates.

(00:07:09):

It’s a smaller percentage that have both issues, and it’s a bit of trial and error and exploration to find out what it is for you, or you can work with somebody who’s really knowledgeable in both and they can help you pin it down. The salicylates are the hardest, in my opinion, to determine as an intolerance because it mimics so many things. So people usually figure them out one by one. But if you don’t have to eliminate salicylates, please don’t. They have so many mast cell stabilizing properties, anti-inflammatory properties, then if you do have to limit them, you want to be working on repairing the pathway so you can get them back because they’re super important. Kelly, can you cover more information about mast cell and diarrhea?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:59):

Mast cell and diarrhea? So we know that mast cells line the areas of interface between our cells — [session interrupted by an unmuted participant]

(00:08:24):

Okay. Okay. Mast cells and diarrhea. There are definitely some interviews that you want to check out. I interviewed Dr. Lenny Weinstock, who’s a gastroenterologist as well as Dr. Allison Siebecker, who’s a naturopathic doctor, specializes in SIBO. And so there’s lots of potential reasons for mast cells to cause a whole host of gastrointestinal issues as well as manifest issues gut mast cell reactivity to the rest of the body, depending upon the differences in your mast cells, your cytokine profiles, your inflammatory mediator profiles and your presentation. But in terms of diarrhea, if somebody was coming in to see me with that as one of their primary mast cell symptoms, again, each individual would respond to a variety of different things. And so I usually start with making sure that I’m not missing anything else like SIBO, like intestinal dysbiosis, et cetera, and then start to try and quiet down the mast cells that are manifesting in diarrhea. In many ways, this question is almost so vague, I can talk for a long period of time, but depending on the person, I might start with some cromolyn or some quercetin to see if I can stabilize the GI mast cells. And then we walk through the different antihistamines depending upon how people are responding.

(00:10:23):

So I’m thinking about the cause, I’m thinking about root causes even more deep than the mast cells, which we covered extensively all throughout the summit. And then thinking about the treatment modalities, do you have any other things you want to add to that, Beth? Now Beth is muted.

Beth O’Hara (00:10:50):

Got it. Okay. We also see diarrhea and things that are, I always think like what’s the most downstream, what’s the most upstream? So what’s triggering those mast cells and thinking, we see a lot of diarrhea in mold toxicity. We also see constipation and how that can trigger SIBO. What flavor SIBO are we working with? Histamine intolerance can cause diarrhea or constipation, but more often diarrhea, salicylate intolerance can trigger diarrhea, excess oxalates can trigger diarrhea, gluten intolerance can trigger diarrhea. That’s good. And so I think we just have to kind of think about what’s triggering those mast cells in addition. And we sometimes — you just got to eliminate the most likely and then you go to the next likely. But a lot of times people get help with diarrhea. In my experience, adding in binders for mycotoxins if they’re ready for it, adding in some bulking fibers, making sure there’s some bulking fibers.

(00:12:01):

And then also sometimes we’ll use things like, I’ve had great success if people tolerate eggs with IGY powder. There’s not many companies that make that, but Moss Nutrition does. I think we carry it in our supplement store. And a combination of IGY, IgG, some probiotics if they’re tolerated. So sometimes we can get some big improvements there. And Tributyrin-X, if you guys haven’t checked that out, if you can start with a whole capsule and we got a blog post on that, if you’re going to look into that, make sure you read the blog post on Tributyrin-X, but that’s been a game changer in my practice for diarrhea and especially really chronic cases, that combo I talked about.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:47):

Yes, I find a lot of probiotics can really help too. It’s often a dysbiosis situation, so if you have a probiotic that you tolerate, you can actually increase the doses. So let me ask you, Beth, how should trauma be addressed? And if you’re hearing about soothing trauma and not revisiting it, how do you do that? And then as far as stabilizing mast cells, how do you know when they’re stabilized?

Beth O’Hara (00:13:26):

I think we should both take that second question. The trauma really, again, is so individual. It depends on what the trauma is, how extensive it is. However, if we’re going to talk generally soothing, the trauma is really about soothing the nervous system and coming into the present moment of safety, assuming that you’ve created a life of safety for yourself. And I find many of us who have extreme sensitivities have been in unsafe situations emotionally, usually sometimes physically. Sometimes I’m amazed. I work with somebody for two or three years and they finally tell me, “well, when my husband gets mad, he can get physically aggressive” or, “my wife” and I see that hidden a lot more with men. Men are more ashamed to talk about it, but there’s a huge amount of abuse that happens in this community, unfortunately. So step number one is we must be in a safe situation.

(00:14:30):

A lot of times we think about family situations, but I see this also in friendships. I see it in extended families. I see it in work relationships, and I’ve worked with a number of people, even people in C-suite positions who had an abusive employee or an abusive boss who was really holding them hostage. Sometimes it’s an ex-partner, so you really have to be safe, and that means emotionally safe. So that’s step number one. We’re not getting anywhere in trauma if we’re being PTSD triggered on a regular basis, then once we’re safe, then we can soothe and soothing can be doing things like — I love Primal Trust and we’ve got a discount over on the resources page. I’ll give you the links to both mine and Kelly’s summit resources page where you can get your discounts and all of that. But Primal Trust is a trauma-informed program.

(00:15:34):

I have done a lot of limbic programs and I’m just really impressed with what Kathleen King’s put together. Sometimes that’s too much for people to start and it means lying down on the ground someplace. I like to use an insect shield. I get their cotton sleeping bag and I cut it open so I get a big sheet and I lie down on the ground. Or you might have to bring cushioning or you may have to just sit in a chair that’s comfortable for your body. If you can’t leave the house, it may means you look out the window and watch the birds. Just watch the birds, watch the trees, watch the light change during the day. Those things bring us back to the present moment. There’s also a practice called re-parenting, but we can apply it also to other situations where we take scenarios that we’ve been in that weren’t safe.

(00:16:30):

You could even do this with medical trauma, and we rewrite the script, we get a redo, and sometimes it’s really helpful to do it as a role play like with a therapist or a safe person. So for example, what if we give a quick example, Kelly, and I’ll do it with medical trauma. Could you just be, we’ll do like a one minute example. So here’s my example is that I saw a physician in my twenties. I had extreme fibromyalgia pain and I have a very high pain tolerance. And I came into her because she did osteopathic manipulation and I had spine injuries and I thought she could help me, and my blood work was normal. And she had a idea in her head about what a sick person looked like, and it wasn’t a 26 year old. And so she told me that I wanted to be sick.

(00:17:24):

It was all in my head. And that was the first time I was told that. And it was very painful and shameful to me because I was working so hard. So I had to work with that for a long time because I slowly stopped believing myself, even that I was really sick, and then I was making bad decisions because if I wasn’t sick, I shouldn’t need this stuff. So my redo would be with somebody really safe like Dr. Kelly and to go, can I redo this? And it can take a long time, but for our short example, I’ll just say, I would just do a redo and say, can you stand in as that doctor? And I say, I’m having extreme pain. I can’t lie down to sleep at night. It hurts so bad. I just toss and turn. I can’t tolerate pain meds. Is there anything you can do to help me? And then she can respond.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:18:21):

I hear you Beth. I hear that what you’re experiencing is really real for you, and it’s extremely distressing to be in pain and to not be able to soothe yourself and know what to do. We did all this blood work and we looked and we saw that in actuality, all the systems in your body, all of your blood work looks really good. And so I do want to reassure you that many things in your body are working really well, just like they should be. And I want to acknowledge you, that you’re still experiencing things that your body doesn’t feel like it’s working. So let’s figure out how we can start to work with where you are.

Beth O’Hara (00:19:15):

And that’s just like, oh, that’s so healing to hear, even though — I mean even in this moment, even though I worked on that for so long in therapy. So that’s how we can soothe, is to ask somebody who’s really safe. And that’s why I love talking to you as you’re so empathic and knowledgeable, but we can do that with childhood stuff. My parents did their best. They tried really hard, but they were not equipped for the needs that I had in childhood. And there was a lot of extreme trauma that I haven’t talked about much because they’re still alive. I don’t want to hurt them, but I’ve done a lot of reparenting around that. I didn’t have school clothes. So then I do a re-parenting around, what do you need? And I took myself shopping and I got some nice clothes. So we can do these ways of soothing.

(00:20:12):

Then once we’re out of the severe chronic illness, then we can do things like EMDR and go back and revisit and do those more intense. But when we have chronic illness, we have to focus on feeling absolutely safe in the conversations we have, the people we spend time with, the ways we spend our leisure time, even where we live. I lived downtown or right outside downtown and there were gunshots every week. I had to move. It was too stressful. And so I had to move someplace that felt peaceful, peaceful, peaceful, peaceful. Even the movies you watch, the TV shows, the music, you listen to everything peaceful and safe. That’s how we soothe trauma. How do we know mast cells are stabilized? We start to get improvement of symptoms. We just have to watch how people are doing. And that’s relative. What’s stable for one person may be super stable, maybe a little stabilization is amazing for another person.

(00:21:16):

So I have to see what’s relative, what’s possible, and it’s a moving target. I’m way more stable than I was — with my mast cells — than two years ago. And two years ago I felt like I was doing pretty darn good. So you’re just looking for improvements in your symptoms. Alright, Kelly, let’s see what we can move through here. So this is, I have terrible muscle spasms from inhaled allergy, so I can hardly walk. I have mold reactivated, Epstein-Barr virus, gut infections, parasites. After the basic trio of limbic, vagus, and mast cells, it would help to know what order would you address these other problems?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:05):

That’s a really good question. I find that many of the symptoms of the allergies of the gut, infections, parasites, whatever else is there, do get better when we start to address the nervous system and the mast cells. But in terms of treatment, as people get to this place, usually we’re dealing with mold first. There are a lot of practitioners out there in the space that think that parasites are the first thing that people need to address. I don’t find that in most people, not to say that that’s not the case, but usually it’s the mold and we have to deal with that next. Oftentimes more often than not, there are other chronic bacterial or parasitic infections like Babesia that come underneath the mold. Long before we get to Epstein-Barr — I find that reactive viruses are much, much lower down on the priority list for the body.

(00:23:20):

In fact, usually by the time you deal with the limbic system and the nervous system, mold, and Lyme — sometimes even Lyme and Bartonella tend to improve on their own. But certainly if you’re dealing with those things the Epstein-Barr can resolve on its own. Now there’s always zebras out there that come into play. Like I’ve had patients with legionella or Q fever or brucella, many infections that people don’t even hear about, and have had patients with toxoplasmosis and other parasites, as well as interstitial cystitis. So bacterial infections in the bladder can play a huge role too. So it really does depend on the person. And then we just keep plugging away and making sure that we’re doing all the mast cell stabilizing things and the nervous system reboots. Okay, let’s ask Beth another question. So let’s see. This particular person had covid, tested for food sensitivities with a dermatologist and an allergist who only gave him Zyrtec. Okay, that’s really unfortunate. Further testing for MCAS and recommendations besides food sensitivities and environmental allergies. So what do you think about that one? We kind of talked about that a little bit, but…

Beth O’Hara (00:25:06):

Yeah, we talked about testing. I think I want to come back here to, especially since we’re on Zoom here, I’d like to actually talk about, we can talk about it on here and we’re not going to be censored. What I have seen, and I’d love to hear what you’ve seen, Kelly. So when the pandemic first hit, I was terrified for our client population and I really thought we were going to lose about half of them based on what we were seeing coming out of Wuhan, which is when I started following the research, and probably about when you did too, because I know we were both tracking that coming out of China, and I knew when it left Wuhan we were in trouble. So I was reading every article, I was reading articles 20 hours a weekend and I’m just terrified. And that’s how we started our Facebook Lives until the FDA started censoring.

(00:26:05):

My fears didn’t play out. And in fact, we’ve had a lot of people with long haul come in, as well as vast majority of the client population, had covid. And we can’t talk about any this publicly because the FDA is still after anybody talking about it outside of the standard repertoire. But I just want to share with people since this question brought it up, about having had covid, that we have had — except for two cases — complete remission in all the long covid that we’ve seen. And we’ve had some short cases of long covid in people that are in the clinic. And what I found in the patterns of following what people were doing and their outcomes is that people who were exposed to mold were having the worst outcomes, people who were still living in mold and the extent of the mold that they were exposed to.

(00:27:01):

Even people living in mold, though, when they had a lot of nervous system work on board and a lot of mast cell support, they were faring the best, and interestingly, super sensitive people suddenly when they caught the virus could tolerate mast cell supports at levels they couldn’t tolerate before. So we learned within a few months to — even for sensitive people — to support their immune systems by taking things up they couldn’t tolerate before very quickly because it seems like — the way Neil Nathan conceptualizes it that makes sense to me — is the immune system turns its focus away from hypervigilance of everything to going after this virus. And we have a window we can fit a lot in, support the immune system, get over it, but then the hypervigilant comes back so they got to come off of it again if they’re super sensitive beforehand. Sometimes the sensitivities were improving.

(00:27:58):

One of the biggest things I think we were missing early on was hypercoagulation and addressing that. So we’re putting a lot of focus on that kind of support now. And the other thing that people — really is important to know — is to have a kit on hand, start it as soon as somebody develops symptoms in your household or you were exposed, or as soon as you have that first sniffle or any symptom, start and go up as quickly as you can right away, get ahead of it. Those that have really shortened from clinical observation, really shortened duration and severity. Where I’ve seen the worst cases are when people reached out three weeks in and said, I was in the hospital last week. I haven’t done anything other than what they gave me in the hospital. And then it took several weeks to turn it around, but I have not had anybody hospitalized who really got on a hefty protocol at the beginning.

(00:28:59):

And so just be thinking about that. My source for a lot has been the FLCCC, which I think is doing fantastic research, strong supporter of them. And then I’m so sorry, I cannot release the protocols because of the situation that we’re in, and I don’t have the funds to fight them like Joe Mercola does or Jill Carnahan, but I just took it and made a mast cell version and call it a support protocol. And then on the coagulation, yes, people are putting in buoloke, nattokinase, serrapeptase, and the way I introduce those is buoloke, then serrapeptase, and then nattokinase because nattokinase comes from fermentation, but if there’s no histamine tolerance, it’s well tolerated. Nattokinase needs to be Allergy Research Group, and I know Kelly can speak to that probably more than I can. If it’s tolerated, low dose baby aspirin can also be helpful.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:04):

So all about covid, I will say I have a more broad functional medicine practice. The patients who were in my practice originally, I had no hospitalizations and no deaths, a thousand patients in the practice. And I can say that I had very few long haul covid patients, and my experience is similar to Beth’s. It was the people who were in mold. It’s the people who hadn’t quieted the nervous systems yet. And for the most part, people were sick for a couple of months. I’ve had one single long hauler who’s taken a couple of years to get better, but she also got sick in March of 2020 when I didn’t have any tools at that point.

(00:30:59):

Coagulation is absolutely a huge issue, and please check out my conversation with Ruth Kriz about that. She talks all about biofilms and hypercoagulation and it’s fascinating and really, really important. I’m actually doing testing on all of my patients now about the coagulation genes, the genetics and the way to really think about it is we’ve got two cascades — coagulation on one side, which is clotting, and breakdown of clots on the other side. And so there’s a bunch of different proteins, this very complicated dance to get you to the building blocks of clots, which are fibrin, and then the fibrin sticks together and it needs to be broken down. And most people think that you get clots when you have Factor V Leiden. They think about things like pulmonary embolism and DVT. But what was happening with covid was that people were getting micro clots because of localized inflammatory responses in somebody who may have hypercoagulability or a decreased capacity for breaking down clots. And that’s what I’m finding is that there’s a gene called plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, PAI-1, and close to 85, 90% of my patients whom I’ve tested so far have had PAI-1 gene mutations. That’s on the breakdown of clot side, meaning we’re not as good about breaking down clots, and that’s really important.

(00:32:46):

The proteolytic, or sorry, the fibrinolytic enzymes is really the lumbrokinase, which is buoloke and nattokinase. Serrapeptase is less of a fibrinolytic, but can be used as a proteolytic, and you can use combinations of those things. There are also genetics that Ruth goes — I’m sorry, not genetics. There are also blood markers that Ruth goes over that you can request from your doctors. Prothrombin fragment 1+2, or 1.2, is an active clotting marker that I find is really important to check. And if it’s elevated, people need to be on buoloke and/or nattokinase. The aspirin, the baby aspirin is going to block platelet aggregation, which may not be as relevant for the protein components of the coagulation cascade.

(00:34:01):

In terms of covid, I did the same thing that Beth did. I followed the FLCCC and was able to use more of the pharmaceuticals, and that was very, very helpful for many, many people. Additionally, I started recommending that people check out rife treatments. I have a local chiropractor who’s been treating Lyme disease with rife for decades. And when I got covid myself and was doing all the things, and was still feeling pretty crappy. I went to see my chiropractor colleague and one rife treatment made me 80% better, and I became a true believer of rife. Interestingly enough, it’s super easy to treat covid with rife frequencies. So if people have an interest in that, it can be very, very helpful. Three treatments, and I had no problems after probably a week, maybe 10 days. So it’s very, very quick to clear out that virus. But other things, if you don’t have access to rife frequencies, yes, it’s r-i-f-e. Some people talk about coils, but really it’s the frequencies that are important and getting that right frequency of the organism. The way that I describe it is when an opera singer is able to shatter glass with her voice by singing that perfect note that matches the frequency of the glass, it shatters the glass. So the rife is the same idea. If you get the right frequency, it will destroy the organism, whatever it is you’re targeting.

(00:36:05):

So it works really well. Let’s see. What else did I want to say? I guess I’ll move on, but those are some ideas for everyone. Okay, now where are we? Oh, how about this one, Beth? I’ve been doing Brain Tap off and on, and sometimes it causes a flare. I don’t feel well, super sensitive and more shaky. Should I attempt it anymore? Am I too sensitive? What do you think is going on? Breathing exercises sometimes flare me too. What should I do?

Beth O’Hara (00:36:51):

So, I’ve definitely seen this, and Brain Tap is one, is a fantastic vagal rebooting and brain rebooting program, but what can happen is that when our nervous systems are extremely shut down, which is where I was about 12 to 15 years ago when I had to wear sunglasses inside with the lights off, I couldn’t process conversation. When we are that affected with nervous system dysregulation, Brain Tap is too much. And at that period of my life, I couldn’t even listen to classical music. It was just too much to process. So Brain Tap wouldn’t be where we would start then. So that’s normally what we assess. And if you haven’t taken my nervous system course, you might want to check that out, it’s on sale right now through the end of the Encore weekend, and that’ll help step you through when and how you try things. But I never recommend somebody going to Brain Tap unless they can tolerate classical music.

(00:38:02):

Now, a gentler program, I’ve had some people who tolerate. Now, again, I would make sure you could listen to some gentle classical music — is NuCalm, N-U-C-A-L-M, NuCalm. They have restore and a deep sleep. Now they have some that are excitatory. The other thing with Brain Tap is even if you do want to use Brain Tap or you have a subscription, there’s a lot of Brain Tap recordings. So you got to make sure you’re doing the music only. They’re very meditative, not the ones with the voice, because Patrick Porter, he’s brilliant, but he has got a little bit of an auctioneer kind of voice. It’s very rapid. It’s too much for a lot of people. And so the ones without the voice are best for the Brain Tap. If you can’t tolerate any kind of audio support like that, what we talked about before, watching the birds, watching the sun move through the sky, watching the trees, things that are super soothing.

(00:39:02):

It may mean turning on some kind of ocean or fish tank thing on your television off a YouTube and just watching fish. I’ve watched live webcams of animals, things like that. You got to see what’s soothing. What are you drawn to? I love watching ocean animals. So coral reefs, things like that. For other people, it’s watching the grass blow in the fields of a plain, or watching the snowfall in the mountains. You can find anything on YouTube. And so the key is to find what works for you, find what your nervous system can handle right now, and just do something. For quite some time all I did was breathing. Some people can’t do breathing practices. They have to watch the Kathleen King talks, watch Kathleen King, watch her talk. She talks about what she did before she could handle even a limbic program. And that’ll give you some ideas too. Alright, Kelly, let’s jump into another one here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:08):

Sure. I just wanted to say also, when you’re having reactions to things that you previously were tolerating, you want to think about mold, you want to think about what’s really going on. Is your environment safe? Was there a new exposure or things like that?

Beth O’Hara (00:40:26):

Yeah, yeah. And also I think about acute Bartonella or really chronic Bartonella affecting that nervous system. Okay, Kelly, how about what’s your view? What’s your view on what is optimal in treating — [session interrupted by unmuted participant] Whoops. Let’s see if we can get everybody muted again here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:53):

I got her. I got her.

Beth O’Hara (00:40:54):

Thank you. Alrighty. What’s your view on what is optimal in treating by seasons? Meaning are there some months or seasons that are best for allergies versus other health related conditions? And if you have noticed wise decisions to avoid or medicate issues. I’m also thinking about with that question, how Lyme can flare in the cold months and parasites have a cycle. And I think this is an interesting question about seasons and cycles.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:29):

Yes. Yeah. I have one patient I saw recently, she gets hives in the fall and the spring, and clearly there’s a seasonal allergy component to things too. And I don’t think we talked a whole lot about low dose allergy therapy in any of these particular summit talks, but if you look for Dr. Darin Ingles, he may have some other resources available on low dose allergy therapy or the American Academy of Environmental Medicine is the academy that trains practitioners how to do low dose allergy therapy. One of the reasons that I’m bringing it up is it is a very gentle, very easy way for people who are not hypersensitive — but sensitive mast cell folks, or even just allergy and food sensitivity folks — to treat and calm down those reactions. And it can be very, very effective in terms of the seasons.

(00:42:51):

I also think about, what’s his name, Elson Haas, Healing With the Seasons. So this idea of, more from traditional Chinese medicine, that eastern philosophy of really eating with the seasons and that we should be eating different foods. You don’t want to eat berries in the middle of the winter. You want to eat what’s appropriate. So if you’re finding that there’s cycles where things are worse and things are better, just like oftentimes we see patterns with menstrual cycles, I think there are clues in those cycles. There are messages in those cycles and the flares that can really point you and your healthcare team — how to begin to navigate what’s going to be the best treatment options for you depending upon what those cycles look like. I hope that’s helpful. Let’s see, Beth.

Beth O’Hara (00:43:52):

I just want to share really briefly on that too — to listen to yourself. Listen, really pay attention. And sometimes, you may never know, I had for three years in a row, every January, February, I could no longer tolerate cooked foods. It would last three months. Everything had to be raw. If I ate even a bite of something that was cooked, I had extreme digestive distress that probably was linked to porphyria that I didn’t know about at the time that I have. And I have genetic acute intermittent porphyria, but I had no clue. Nobody had a clue. People thought it was crazy, but that’s how it rolled. And it was coming on after New Year’s Eve, and this was when I still drank alcohol and I think I would trigger with the alcohol because I wasn’t drinking hardly any. But I’d have two or three drinks New Year’s Eve, and then it would hit me a few weeks later. So listen to those because there’s a reason. And even if we don’t understand it, that doesn’t invalidate it. And it was really important for me to do that and listen to my body.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:01):

And there may be traumatic experiences that are associated with specific times of the year that allow you that opportunity to listen and explore and to really heal. I mean, I think one of the things I did want to share at some point was it’s really important to understand that your body is not against you. You and your body are one. It is not against you. It’s not a fight. It’s trying its best to protect you in the best way that it knows how based on the programming that you’ve received in your life. And if we start to reframe the way that we’re thinking of ourselves and our bodies as on our side, I think that that really can help shift the way that we hold the symptoms that we’re having. They may not be quite as terrifying, not be quite as disabling, because there’s a message in those symptoms that if you listen and you allow that opening and curiosity to guide yourself and your intuition and your line of inquiry, then you can really start to shift those experiences for yourself.

Beth O’Hara (00:46:28):

And I just want to refer people to your talk where I interviewed you and you talked about what we really need. This is in Dr. Kelly’s multi-prong approach to healing from MCAS. If you haven’t listened to that, please listen. Because what you talk about is it all comes down to are we going to love ourselves? Are we going to love ourselves? And that’s the foundation for all of it. If we don’t love ourselves, it doesn’t matter how many medications, supplements, food intolerance diets we follow, nervous system work we do. Love is the ultimate place of safety. And no one will ever love us more than we love ourselves. So please listen to that talk. That was so powerful, and it was so powerful and that’s the message I preach, and it just took me up another level on it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:33):

Thanks, Beth. Yeah. Okay. I’m going to ask another question. What is the best treatment for sensitivity to chemicals and odors if you can’t always avoid them?

Beth O’Hara (00:47:51):

Yeah, I get that one from so many times of holding my breath in the laundry detergent aisle or starting to get on an elevator and going, Nope, I can’t handle that. And walking out of offices because I was going to pass out. So I found the best is one, getting out of mold. Because mold, remember, the limbic system has a nerve straight to the nose called the olfactory nerve. And so when we are in mold, whether we can smell it or not — and remember, mold doesn’t always have a smell. Mycotoxins don’t have a smell. It’s other chemicals coming off of the mold that smell musty. But if we’re exposed to mold, that nerve registers it. And so what we do with smell is really important to the limbic system. And there’s a huge amount of research that came out of France on essential oils that calm the limbic system, smelling them.

(00:48:59):

So if you tolerate essential oils, not everybody does, but if you tolerate them, get good quality, and frankincense and rose, rose is very expensive. But if you get on eBay, you can find sometimes a sample bottle. And I’d get a really good brand. I love Rocky Mountain Oils, Young Living, I think Vibrant Blue oils might have a rose or they might have a rose blend. And theirs are my favorite oils, Vibrant Blue oils. And I think we’ve got a coupon code people can use. Rose and frankincense really calm the limbic system, particularly with sensitivities. But nervous system work, nervous system work, nervous system work, and a break. You got to give your body a break because when we’re constantly bombarded by any of these stressors, our nervous system can’t calm down, get a break, really soothe yourself. And then what I did was I practiced a lot of meditation techniques.

(00:49:58):

I did a lot of yoga. I did a lot of pranayama. Somebody — Misha — said vanilla also. Yes, vanilla is really good. Thank you, Misha. And you can even get a vanilla bean, get a raw vanilla bean, keep it in a little glass jar, open it sometimes and just smell it if you like. The smell of vanilla — and the smelling usually is not a problem for salycilates. But then when I would have an exposure, I would go into my meditative state or self-hypnosis — learn self-hypnosis — and I go, I’m safe. I’m safe, I’m safe, I’m safe. I didn’t force myself to stay. If I started flushing, I stayed too long. If I started getting lightheaded, I stayed too long. I would just stay and relax. And then if I got to a point where I couldn’t relax anymore, I had to leave. I didn’t force myself, because when I force myself, my nervous system locks down more.

(00:50:49):

That’s how our nervous system does when we try to push it. So you’ve got to be loving, loving, loving. And another technique I use a lot is imagining my favorite, who’s precious. And if my favorite three-year-old child in my life was dealing with what I was dealing with, how loving and soft and gentle, encouraging would I be? And that’s how loving, gentle, soft and encouraging I need to be with myself. And it’s easier to think about it with somebody else and then transfer it back to us. So that’s another one we can use. Also for soothing trauma. If you had a three-year-old, such a precious little angel in your life, how kind and loving and sweet? And then can you do that with yourself? Somatic focusing is another great tool for soothing trauma I just thought of. I just was seeing your comment, Jay.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:53):

Okay. Other ideas. That low dose allergy therapy that I mentioned does have a chemical antigen, which I found works great. I had a lot of mold exposures that led to chemical sensitivity. At one point I was walking around with a personal air purifier. It was Christmas time and I had to go to the mall and get gifts. And so the scents were just overwhelming.

Beth O’Hara (00:52:26):

I’m going to put a link in for the one, because I found, Dr. Dennis told me about a polarized one, polarized ions. That works really well. I’ll put that link in for people.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:35):

Great, thanks, Beth. Yeah, I mean, in the short term, if you have to go into places like that, but it’s oftentimes a combination of things. And so the environmental toxins, the different solvents and volatile organic compounds that are from chemicals, usually what happens is there’s a chemical exposure at some point earlier in somebody’s health journey, and you may not even really realize it. And then you get mold exposed. And the molds also produce volatile organic compounds that have an equal neurotoxic effect. And so you’re layering on all of these reactions. So the mast cells are just getting angrier and angrier, and usually what has to happen is detox. And of course if you’re super sensitive, that’s later on in the game. But there are ways to quiet down those reactions and to understand what’s happening. So those chemicals are the solvents and the VOCs. And so you can start to understand the trajectory of how you ended up where you are now. And Beth has some great tools. And then you can layer in things like LDA [low dose allergy therapy] for chemical and eventually start to detox so that you can get your burden down and have less reactions. Okay. Where should we go next, Beth?

Beth O’Hara (00:54:10):

Alright. Right. Let me just get this in here. I’m just putting a note about EMF shielding with EMFs on the personal air purifier. I dropped that link in the chat for you all [https://amzn.to/3tOPJye]. That’s the one that worked really well for me, but I did have to shield it a little bit. Alright, let me get back to our list here. So Kelly, this has come up a few times, is finding a knowledgeable practitioner about MCAS, both locally or not locally, but in the states, but also internationally? What kind of advice can you give people?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:45):

Well, on my resources page, I did put in a variety of professional organizations where we’re trying to educate other practitioners about it, about MCAS, and that includes the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness. We call it ISEAI. And there are a number of board members who were interviewed in our summit, including Mary Ackerley, Michael Schrantz, Nafysa Parpia. And so those are great talks, but that’s also a fantastic resource. So you can look for practitioners, who are ISEAI members on that link [https://drkellymccann.com/summit-resources/]. There’s also the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and they’re not necessarily mast cell trained, but they understand environmental toxins, they understand mold, and so they can at least help get you moving along on your treatment journeys. In terms of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and hypermobility, there is an international society for EDS, I think it’s called EDS International. And so those practitioners know more about the hypermobility piece of things.

(00:56:12):

There’s Dysautonomia International, which is going to have more understanding about the autonomic nervous system dysfunction, things like postal orthostatic tachycardic syndrome, and you may get lucky and have some folks who are knowledgeable about MCAS. Unfortunately, there is no real database of practitioners who are MCAS specialists. I tried to put it together, I think it’s really hard. Dr. Afrin has put together a listserv for practitioners, and there’s over 380 practitioners on that listserv. And so oftentimes reaching out to myself, to Dr. Afrin, sometimes we can figure out where there might be a practitioner in your area by querying that listserv. It’s not an ideal situation. I’d much rather have that list available to you all, so I don’t have to be the intermediary. But those other resources of practitioner databases are a good first step,

Beth O’Hara (00:57:35):

Right? I think I can do a couple, one question each left and then I’ll have to get some dinner. Almost eight o’clock here.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:46):

Okay, which one would you like to answer, Beth?

Beth O’Hara (00:57:49):

Let’s do this one about the mattresses.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:51):

Okay, let me see if I can find it.

Beth O’Hara (00:57:54):

We’re on row 20.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:59):

Okay. Okay. So this person knows that their mattress is probably the worst offender in a moldy house and that they’re wondering, they just bought a mattress and should they bring the mattress home or wait until after the room gets remediated running the risk of ruining their new mattress if it comes into a potentially moldy home?

Beth O’Hara (00:58:39):

That’s a good question. If your home is still moldy, you’re going to get mycotoxins in the mattress. The longer it’s there, the more you’re going to get. Here’s what I would suggest. If you know you’re going to get a mattress and you really want to use that sale because that 20% off doesn’t come very often, it’s normally 10% off. So that’s a special. It comes wrapped in plastic. I would get it and leave it in plastic. If you have a safe space, you can store it until you get out of the mold or get it remediated. You can do that if you don’t leave it in the plastic in your house. But when you move, you got to throw the cardboard away. Don’t take any cardboard, cardboard’s a huge harborer of mold, and I learned this year, I’ve always done no-till gardens and put cardboard down and stachybotrys loves cardboards.

(00:59:32):

So now my gardens grew stachy and my dogs like to roll in the mulch and the gardens and they bring it on their fur. So I had to block them from the gardens and don’t disturb it and don’t dig anything anymore. So I’m not doing — I think I’m going to switch to burlap for no-till gardens — but really think about getting rid of cardboard, no cardboard in the house, but that’s where I would go on the mattress. If you really need to take advantage of that sale, just don’t open it. So the plastic, and then when you move it, you’re going to do any kind of hard service remediation or non-porous remediation. You’re going to wipe it down really well with Borax. Or you can use those HavenWipes from BioBalance or something like that. They even had people use Seventh Generation wipes. I really like the BioBalance ones. And there’s a coupon code on those websites if you guys want. Okay, Catherine’s asking about coupon code for Primal Trust. So we’re going to get there. You guys, I want to share some resources before finished, but Kelly, let me ask you one more question here. Okay. And then Sarah, I hope my message to you made sense. I’m trying to get a shortened link of Dr. Kelly’s link to buy recordings. So I just need you–

Sarah (01:00:52):

I think it made sense. I just sent you a direct message with that shortened link.

Beth O’Hara (01:00:58):

Perfect. Okay. Hopefully that works.

Sarah (01:01:00):

It just goes to the order page.

Beth O’Hara (01:01:03):

Perfect. Okay, wonderful. Thank you. Can you text it to me, Sarah? It’s lost. Oh no, I found it. I got it. Thank you. Alright, Kelly, why don’t we wrap up about, do you have a preference for your last question or you want me to pick one?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:23):

Oh, you can pick one and then if I don’t love it, I’ll add something–

Beth O’Hara (01:01:28):

You can change it. Okay. Like that. Well, a lot of people are interested in peptides, so where can I learn about more peptides used to help with MCAS And what can you share about peptides and MCAS?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:42):

I do, let’s see. I know that Dr. Nafysa Parpia and I talked about peptides last year on my summit. I don’t think we talked so much about it this year, but she’s definitely an expert on peptides. And so there may be some lectures of her talking about peptides for MCAS out there on the internet. And peptides aren’t for everyone. They may not be the first place to start, but some of them can be super helpful. So for example, BPC 157 can be taken orally to really help heal the gut. I like that one a lot.

(01:02:31):

Thymosin beta alpha, I’m sorry — yeah, thymosin beta — Thymosin alpha. There’s a variety of other ones too. And Dr. Parpia does go through that a lot. So that would be my suggestion. I don’t use them a whole lot because I feel like many of my patients are on a variety of other things and they can be quite expensive. They are available as injections, but those are also very expensive, and you have to be conscientious about the sources. So in California, we can’t get them from compounding pharmacies anymore. There’s a lab that has them for R&D purposes, but you just don’t want to buy something on the internet. You really don’t know if it was cooked up in somebody’s garage or basement or who knows. In terms of oral peptides, there’s a company called Integrative Peptides and they make good quality products if you are wanting to learn as a patient. Again, there’s definitely resources on the internet from different compounding pharmacies. I think the state licenses are different across the country, so you may be able to access — Google “compounding pharmacy peptides” and see what you can learn that way. So that’s what I have about peptides.

Beth O’Hara (01:04:11):

What kind of message do you want to leave people with while I’m wrapping up some slides to put up with resources for people? And then Christine, I just sent you a quick text if you could please check it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:24):

Beth is excellent at multitasking.

Beth O’Hara (01:04:27):

I’m trying to get these slides done so we can give everybody the resources here.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:31):

Okay. Alright. Beth and I are so grateful for all of you and your interest in yourself and getting better. And we want to leave you with a message of hope. Always hope that there are ways to heal and there are so many tools out there, and I think when you’re looking for a practitioner, when you’re working with somebody, when you’re looking for somebody to work with, one of the qualities that I would encourage you to look for is somebody who has lots of tools in their toolkit, or if they don’t have the answer, they have a curiosity and a willingness to work with you to figure it out. Beth and I don’t have all the answers, but we have a lot of tools in our toolkit and we have colleagues that can help if we run into a block in helping people get better. But the truth is that you have many of the resources inside of yourself to get better. And sometimes the first thing that people need to do is have the hope that they can get better. And I can’t give you that hope, that has to come from inside, but it is our fervent wish for you that you find that hope, that little glimmer of hope, and you nurture it because you really can heal from this.

(01:06:16):

My interview with Beth was also about how, which I encourage you all to watch, was also about how mast cell and chronic illness offers us the opportunity not only to heal ourselves, but to heal each other and the planet and the planet certainly needs some healing. So I hope, we hope, that this will be the start of a transformation for you all. Yes.

Beth O’Hara (01:07:04):

And Sarah, if you could please make me a co-host. I’ll share a slide here in a second. That’s really what it comes down to is we talked about earlier — Dr. Kelly’s message of are we going to love ourselves? Because this world needs a lot of love and it’s beautiful. Misha — she says, put your hands over your heart and feel a hug. So yeah, I think maybe we can do that together. And that’s why we have community so we don’t have to do this alone. It was so terrifying to do this alone and to be the only sick person I knew, chronically ill sick person in my twenties, and to not know anybody with sensitivities. And what we can do with all of this is pay it forward. What we learn, pay it forward somehow, whether we can teach. It doesn’t matter if you have a website and a podcast and a clinic or if you just teach your children that they’re loved.

(01:08:09):

I think that’s the greatest service. Or if you teach someone else’s child that they’re loved, that’s the greatest service. And so we’re in this boat because we’ve forgotten how to love. We’ve forgotten how to love ourselves, how to love each other, how to love this only home that we have, which is the earth, the only home. We’re not going to go set up a colony on Mars or the moon and be okay. There’s massive amounts of money that goes into keeping astronauts healthy and they still come back wrecked. They don’t come back and get off that spaceship and go, oh, cool, I’m going to go do jumping jacks. They’re wrecked. We are only healthy because of this earth that we’re sitting on and the earth’s healing field and the love that we can generate. And so let’s generate it together for each other. Let’s heal by learning, remembering.

(01:09:08):

It’s not learning, it’s remembering. We already know how. That’s what Paul Berg, my teacher teaches. We already know. It’s just remembering we forgot. But it’s innate. It’s our birthright to know all of this. And so what’s happening for us isn’t a victim space. It’s not happening to me or to Kelly or to you. It’s happening to the planet because we’ve forgotten. And so we’re all poised, and that’s our real mission is to help you guys. We want you to get back to eating more foods and go out to eat with your families. And that’s great. We want that for you guys. We want you to feel good. But what we really want is for you to get your lives back so you can live your purpose and mission on this planet because it’s going to take all of us here, all of us here, to turn it around. And so our great-grandchildren and their great grandchildren aren’t in this boat that we’re in.

(01:10:12):

So I just want to share just briefly, just a quick reminder that, do I have the right screen up? Kelly, can you see the slide? Yes. Okay. Recording transcripts and additional bonuses. Is that what you want? Yeah. So I hate it. I hate it. I hate it when I am on the fence about buying something or I’m going to pull the trigger and then I go back and the price hops up $50. And so that’s what’s happening on Monday, and I’m just going to let you guys know we don’t set these prices. The summit company does, the recordings and transcripts are available for $79. If you have the budget, you’ll refer back to this for a long time to come. And I encourage you to print off the list of speakers and talks, keep it where you find it. And that way two years down the road, it’s like, oh my gosh, I didn’t know I had that talk right there by Ruth Kriz.

(01:11:10):

I’m going to listen to it and now I’m going to be educated about it and know what questions to ask, what to look for, and know the conversation to have with my doctor and so on. Oh, three years from now, I’m in the market for a mattress. What do I need to know? Or, Hey, I’m getting back to coffee, or whatever it is. Oh, I just realized I’ve salicylate intolerance, let me go learn about that. You’re going to have a whole library, a whole resource, and if you’re going to get it at the good price, at the $79 if you’re going to get it, it really helps Dr. Kelly and I if you use one of these links, that’s Dr. Kelly’s link to buy the recordings, and that’s mine. We’ve worked on this summit for a year. There’s no pressure, but if you want to support us back, it really helps us because we split all of the proceeds with the summit company and we really keep the price down for you guys. But this has been a well over a hundred thousand dollars. I don’t even know what the production costs are, Kelly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:11):

I don’t know either, but it’s a very expensive endeavor to put these on, and that’s not counting the hours and hours of Beth and I and our teams working on the videos and the resources and everything.

Beth O’Hara (01:12:30):

I think it was 230, maybe, to produce 230,000 just to produce without any of our time. So we’ve been working on it literally for a year. Dr. Kelly and I met right after my last summit in October and hers was in September. So if you’d like to support us, that’s a way you can support us back. Another way you can support us back is if you are going to pick something up, or even if you’re not, we’ve got a lot of resources for you, but if you want to pick something up, we’ve both got Summit Resources pages with links, there’s affiliate links in there [https://drkellymccann.com/summit-resources/, https://mastcell360.com/summit/]. There’s a small commission that comes back to us. If you buy through links, you buy a product from an affiliate link. It doesn’t cost you anything more, but that helps us keep putting out these free events and our blogs and our Facebook Lives and all the various things that we do for free for you guys.

(01:13:21):

So if you’re in a position to support us back, that really helps us to keep doing this because neither of us are wealthy and neither of us — this is a labor of love for us and we want to keep doing it for you guys. And we’ve got some sales going on of our own courses. You’ll find that on the summit pages if you’re looking to pick that up. And I believe you can find the waiting list for the practitioner training that’s coming up over there. Don’t forget, Dr. Kelly’s got a sale on her environmental exposure course, which is a great course. So check those out and your sales run through, I believe Monday on everything. But most importantly, we are so grateful that you’re here with us because we could sit on here and talk to each other and it would not make a lick of difference.

(01:14:10):

And we can here and talk with people who, it doesn’t really impact them, but we’re both real strong empaths and we feel your energy and your energy is beautiful and just, I came on so tired and it just filled me up. And I think probably the same for you, Kelly, and we’re so grateful for you guys for being here and just sending you a lot of love and keep going. No matter what, no matter how dark it gets. Put one foot in the front of the other and keep going. You will get there if you keep going. I don’t know where you’re going because it’s different for everybody, but you’ll get somewhere. But if you give up, you’re going nowhere. So let’s keep going together and let’s change the world. That’s what we’re doing.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:03):

Thank you everyone. We’re going to say —

Beth O’Hara (01:15:07):

You what?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:08):

We’re going to say goodnight so Beth can eat something!

Beth O’Hara (01:15:11):

Wait, wait, wait, wait. We got two more Q&As. I want to put the Q&As up–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:15:16):

So I’ll answer a couple of questions. When you buy the summit, you have lifetime access. As long as Health Means is still around, you will have lifetime access. If you get a jump drive for a little extra, you’ll have that access for lifetime. The Q&A here, you’ll, you have access to this through Health Means. And then eventually, I don’t know what Beth will do, but I’ll probably eventually put it on my website, but you’ll get it for free through Health Means in the replay. So if you want to watch it again or share it with other people, you’re welcome to do that. And then here we are with our live Q&As. We have two more. I’m doing a live Q&A tomorrow on Zoom, so it’ll be similar format. And there I’m going to share a little bit more about my story with mold and my journey with MCAS. So if that’s of interest to you, you can join me tomorrow.

Beth O’Hara (01:16:23):

And then you can join me on Saturday, October 28th, two o’clock Eastern, and that’ll be on Facebook. So mastcell360.com/october 28th. Take a screenshot of this with your phone. If you’re on a laptop, just take your phone and do click. Or if you’re on Windows, do Windows S and that’ll grab a screenshot. If you’re on your phone, do a screenshot real quick so you can grab those links. That way you got ’em easy to find. And then for anybody who didn’t get a screenshot of these others, I’ll just pop these up as we’re saying bye. I’ll pop these slides up for you guys. But I think that’s it, and we’re so happy to see you Friday and Saturday. If you can join us–

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:07):

And the summit runs through Monday, so be sure to watch all the interviews, any the ones that you didn’t get to see or want to see again. Okay. Thank you so much everyone.

Beth O’Hara (01:17:20):

Grab these links, I put ’em up and take care.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:25):

Bye-Bye now.


Pre-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Pre-Event Q&A - Mastering Mast Cell Activation 2023

Missed the 2023 Mastering Mast Cell Summit? No worries! We’re excited to offer you the chance to access the replay of our in-depth Q&A with Dr. Kelly and Beth O’Hara. This is your opportunity to explore the world of mast cells at your own pace. Whether you’re seeking answers to persistent health issues, eager to learn cutting-edge health strategies, or just curious about mast cell science, this Q&A has it all.


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:00):

Shall we get started?

Beth O’Hara (00:00:01):

Let’s get started. How about I read you a question?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:04):

Okay, sounds good.

Beth O’Hara (00:00:05):

Okay, so this first question was directed to you. What protocol does Dr. Kelly suggest for those who react to many or most medications? And in parentheses, it says, mentioned in last year’s summit.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:19):

Well, I think whenever you’re starting with medications and/or supplements, it’s really important to start things one at a time [and] to start with lower doses. And some of the medications have what we call excipients in them or inactive ingredients in them. And oftentimes it’s those inactive ingredients that are causing a lot of the problems that mast cell patients might have in terms of the reactions. So when I see a patient who comes in and they have an allergy to medication list that’s quite extensive, I am very suspicious of mast cell activation and also suspicious that it may not be the medications themselves, but more so potentially the inactive ingredients. And so oftentimes then what we can do is compound different medications. I have patients who are on compounded antihistamines, compounded benzodiazepines, and that really seems to help because the medications themselves are useful and then the excipients are the problem. And as people get better, those reactions come down and we can eventually use the less expensive ones with the excipients or find better cleaner options that are commercially available.

Beth O’Hara (00:01:47):

I just wanted to add too, if people have already done that route, because that would of course be the next phase, but then what if we’ve tried all that and we’re still reacting? So I’ve seen a lot of those cases, and I frequently find that in those cases where people are reacting to everything and it’s not making sense, and we’ve had people who couldn’t drink water and they tried every kind, reverse osmosis, and they finally found this one water in plastic bottles that they could tolerate, that there’s more going on. And I often find that the hands down again and again and again, when people get that sensitive, that they are either being exposed to, well being exposed to mold and or in some kind of toxic unsafe situation, usually a relationship, and not recognizing that it’s abusive or not being able to get out. So for you guys, you’re really sensitive, really tune into those talks on the summit if you’re struggling at that level.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:04):

Thank you. Okay. I’ll read the next question. Can MCAS go away if we address the underlying cause?

Beth O’Hara (00:03:17):

I think this is the theme of our summit, right? Because the whole summit is about mastering this, not about surviving. We didn’t want to use the word surviving because surviving is like, you’re just making it. It’s like we want to use, we want to thrive, and then we want to go on and take what we learned. And for me, it’s about paying it forward. And so how do we get there? I see incredible cases of people turning around their MCAS in sometimes two or three years when they really went after those root causes. And in my practice, the biggest things that are underlying there may be entero viruses, but there’s layers and layers and layers and layers to this. And so a lot of times I see people working more, if we think of this like a pyramid of health, and I like how Bob Miller has his genetic pyramid and kind of an order of operations.

(00:04:26):

And so we keep trying to pick off the entero virus or the Epstein Barr up here on the pyramid, but if we can pull out that base layer at the bottom of the pyramid, then the whole thing can fall down. Otherwise, it’s just like pulling out little Jenga blocks. And maybe someday you’re going to get enough blocks out, but you’re still going to have that base layer, right? So your MCAS isn’t going to be gone. So what’s that base layer? It’s different for everybody, and that’s what makes it challenging to work with. But I would say most commonly, in probably 90-95% of cases that we get in our clinic — and I can only speak from that, so that’s my limited view, and then of course, we have different populations, so I want to hear your take Kelly, too — I see over and over people exposed to mold or they’re colonized with mold and they got into a clean place, but they never got rid of the colonized mold. A big one that I’ve been seeing and really getting on my radar this year is living in a household with someone else who’s colonized or has actinobacteria infections on their skin and not treated. And so I learned this year that that person who’s not getting treated will recolonize the house and can recolonize other people by breathing the spores out through the sinuses, from the sinuses. So there’s the mold component, whether we’re talking about environmental or the mycotoxins, the colonization, and then the tickborne infections are huge.

(00:06:10):

I’m assuming we’re past poor diet, we’re past poor sleep habits. We’ve got all that. We’re not drinking, we’re not using drugs and things like that. So we’re already living a healthy lifestyle. Then the next one is stress and trauma. And I have talked to so many people this year who are realizing, oh my gosh, I’ve been spinning my wheels for five years and I’m in an abusive relationship, and I just realized it. And so that’s one. We’ve got to really protect ourselves because of how the nervous system and the immune system and the mast cells are so intertwined that we cannot, we can’t separate them. So if we feel emotionally unsafe, our mast cells feel unsafe, and they will constantly be trying to protect you, even if it’s an emotional threat, an energetic threat. And so many people are very empathic in this community. So that’s where I go. And there’s all kinds of other triggers we could go into and we can get nuance and nuance and nuance, but if we can take out those big blocks at the bottom, then that’s where I see the big breakthroughs. How about for you, Kelly?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:33):

Yes. I would say the same. I mean, I think that mold is a huge one for the vast majority of people. And it can also be layers upon layers. So it can be mold and Lyme and chronic infections. It can be EMF. And oftentimes my experience has been that people are so sick that they just want to feel better first. And so I may not have the level of sensitive patients that you do, Beth, but usually —

Beth O’Hara (00:08:13):

We see some really complex cases.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:08:15):

Yeah. Usually we’re working at the physical level first. And even having those conversations about trauma and the emotional piece, sometimes they don’t happen right away. And that’s okay because we need to build a rapport. You need to trust the process that I’m going to be there for you or what have you, that your practitioner is going to be there for you. And many practitioners don’t have the skillset to address the trauma, the emotional, spiritual aspects of things. And that’s okay. You can still work with a practitioner who has the capacity to help you on the kind of, what I call biochemical pathophysiology perspective, the body perspective. But we both, Beth and I, really see the patients who heal are the ones who are willing to look internally and figure out what are the hindrances inside? What is the lack of safety? What are the belief patterns that are no longer serving us?

(00:09:43):

I mean, I think the important thing to remember is our bodies and our beings, mind, body, spirit are for us. They are on our side and they are sending us messages. They’re not against us, and they’re sending us messages that if we’re willing to listen, we can start to heal. And I think if we think about it from that perspective, like your body’s not against you. It’s not fighting you, it’s sending you messages and it’s on your side. That can shift the whole paradigm of how we think about health and not having health, what we perceive as health. So I just offered that as a starting point. And yes, our whole summit was really not just about the physical body, but about the mind, body, spirit. Yeah. Okay, let’s move on. We could spend all day talking about, I know —

Beth O’Hara (00:10:51):

That’s our favorite topic.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:52):

All right, we’re on number three. Okay, here we go.

Beth O’Hara (00:10:55):

Let’s see if we can pick it up a little faster.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:57):

Yeah. Are there particular HLA or SNPs, genetic variants that are implicated for MCAS?

Beth O’Hara (00:11:06):

It’s interesting. There’s quite a lot. And the first gene that was really talked about around mast cells were the KIT genes, and Kit genes are really implicated in mastocytosis, which is a rare condition for anybody who’s new here. Some of you know all about it. That’s a really rare condition where there’s a genetic predisposition towards producing way too many mast cells. So that’s about a numbers issue. Some people have KIT variants that are not at the extremity to cause mastocytosis, but they could have some involvement in MCAS. So those KIT genes are ones that are well known. There’s a number related around histamine clearance that can affect mast cells. And then there are genes for all these different receptors. So I hope you’ll catch our many talks during the summit, everyone, because we’re going to give you all kinds of background for the talks, and you’re going to get lots of nuggets, whether you’re a brand new beginner or you’re a practitioner, I think you’ll get things out of those mini talks at the beginning of the day.

(00:12:14):

So make sure to catch those because they’re really important to help you get the most out of the talks. And they were really popular last year, but remembering that, so I mentioned that, because we go over some of the basics of mast cells, so I’m going to touch on that briefly. Mast cells have over 200 receptors on their outside, and so there are genes that code for all those receptors. And there are genes that code for the mediators, and there’s over a thousand. So we have genes for like interleukin-6 and interleukin-13. And so [we] really could go through hundreds of genes because then you go from the ones that are very specific to mast cells or to the cytokine signaling, and then you can go out from there to, well, anything that triggers inflammation, like problems with iron regulation, problems with detoxification, can trigger MCAS. And we did a great talk with Bob Miller on the genetics of MCAS. I’d really love for you guys to check that out. And I was just looking for his talk title here, Cutting Edge Genetics and MCAS. So that will be coming up here. I think he might be on day two. I don’t have the days listed in front of us, but make sure you check out that talk.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:13:44):

And then Carolyn Ledowski and I speak about some of the genetics as pertaining to histamine intolerance, but also the whole methylation cascade. And she’s got some fantastic information about MTHFR and the other methylation genes that are really pertinent to mast cell as well. Alright.

Beth O’Hara (00:14:12):

Let me get a question here for you. Okay. Any tips for newer practitioners wanting to master working with MCAS clients and/or more in-depth trainings?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:25):

Well, if you want to come to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s upcoming conference in San Antonio, the first week of November, Dr. Neil Nathan and I will be heading a panel about MCAS and its relationship to how our practices have changed over the past three years with the covid Pandemic. And certainly MCAS has come into the limelight with covid, but that’s one way. And we also teach low dose allergy therapy, which has been a fantastic way to help modulate the immune system and calm down many of the reactions to chemicals, environmental triggers, and food triggers. So that’s one plug for a professional organization. There’s also the international, I’m sorry, there’s International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, ISEAI.org, and we have our annual conference the second weekend in November, which is virtual. That one will be mold focused. But in answer to the question regarding MCAS, I would suggest watching all the videos and participating as much as possible in this summit because there’s a wealth of information there available to you. And we’ve got all the big name players, Dr. Lawrence Afrin, Dr. Tanya Dempsey, Beth and myself, talking about many different aspects of MCAS. And so those would be some of the ways that you can start to work with patients. The important part that I think both Beth and I would say is, one, you have to believe the patients that they’re experiencing what they tell you they’re experiencing, and two, you don’t have to understand all the reasons that it’s happening to be able to help them.

(00:16:38):

I suggest slow and steady whenever you’re working with patients. Many of the patients come in and say, I saw this naturopath and this practitioner and this practitioner and these practitioners, and I can’t detox. I just keep hitting walls and I feel worse and worse and worse. So the number one thing that you can do is don’t do that. Go slower. You have to start really, really slowly with people calming down the nervous system, working on the mast cells. Don’t go after heavy metals, don’t go after Lyme. Get people in a safe place. You can’t even usually go after mold. So all of the ways that you might have been trained as a practitioner to take care of patients, to do naturopathic medicine, to do functional medicine, you have to halt that and work on the dysregulation for patients. I hope that’s helpful.

Beth O’Hara (00:17:44):

And then I’m very excited. You’ll get more information about this in the many talks if you attend those and I think around day two or three, but we have the, as far as I understand, the first practitioner certification program starting in 2024, and it’s going to, we’re bringing in as many mast cell experts as I can get to teach. It’s a comprehensive program. It follows the order of operations that Kelly’s talking about. And so you can sign up for the waiting list to get more information. My team will drop in the link for you, but it’s just mastcell360.com/hcp. So that stands for Healthcare Practitioner — HCP. And Tanya Dempsey has agreed to teach, Dr Theoharides has agreed to teach, Neil Nathan, I’m hoping to get Kelly to teach, and we’re going to have just, I’m still reaching out and pulling a panel together and we’re going to have some incredible people coming together because my vision is to have a consolidated certification program.

(00:18:57):

So stay tuned for that and you’ll get more. I don’t want to spend too much time on that because we’ve got so many other questions, but check out the end of the many presentations and you’ll see a little more details on that and study as much as you can. It really is a fire hose. So go to the ICA conferences and go to the American Academy for — I lost it — Environmental. Environmental. I had it and I doubted myself. Make sure just everything you can get and make sure you keep getting current information because what we were doing two years ago isn’t what we’re doing now, and it’s changing continually as we’re learning. It’s an emerging field. It’s a really exciting time though. So much better than 15 years ago, we were in the dark ages. Okay, next question.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:45):

Okay, any medicine or treatments you can suggest to heal from extreme EMF sensitivity and the person listed a whole bunch of symptoms, but I think we’ll just talk about EMF sensitivity. Do you want to take that, Beth?

Beth O’Hara (00:20:06):

Yeah, I’m going to do a real high level, and then I just really want to encourage anybody with EMF sensitivity to listen to Roger Billica’s talk. I’m trying to find the talk title here. Roger Billica on easy and highly effective EMF protection. And so that is a great talk. Make sure you catch that. But high level, first you have to think about reduction. So don’t be sleeping in the same room with the router. Turn the router off at night. At least have a router that’s programmable. You can turn the wifi off at night if somebody needs to stay hardwired or you have it running, something that’s hardwired. Look for things like where the power lines come into the house. Is that where your bed’s sitting? Pay attention to. Do you hold your phone to your head? Don’t hold your phone to your head. So if you’re really sensitive though, I’m assuming you already know all of that and you’re working on mitigation. Mold toxicity does greatly worsen EMF sensitivity.

(00:21:17):

So you’re right on with that. The other thing is that if you have issues like I’ve had with a QR malformation here where your brainstem sits down in the hole, and that’s not uncommon. This population because of what happens with the ligament laxity, I mean the connective tissue laxity, then you can’t drain the fluid and pressure builds up. So there’s no room like other people have for this wax and wane of the pressure on the brain. And so that can cause these vice grip headaches, Laurie, that you mentioned here. And shortness of breath can be pressure coming down into these nerves that control breathing. I also really want you to check out Roger Billica’s talk because he’s going to talk about some devices, and I never got into pendants. I’m really, I’m not into the stickers that you put on phones and stuff. I didn’t find those work.

(00:22:20):

I didn’t find harmonizers worked, and I’ve tried a lot of stuff. Shielding helps some people, doesn’t help everybody, but he talks about these devices and you’ll learn more about these. And these creates a quantum field, creates a healing field, and offsets the EMFs. And these have scientific published studies on how they work and changing the electrical potential in the body when it jumped with a cell phone call and come back down. And there’s a necklace that I’m wearing that you guys can learn about. So let me refer you over there. In terms of just getting out of it, Lori, it’s really giving your body time to reset, making sure you get rid of the mold. Bartonella is also a huge trigger and really working on the nervous system and things like electrolytes, antioxidants, rosemary sometimes helps astaxanthin, bilberry and just time. I used to be so EMF sensitive that to go through an airport, I would have to be completely covered in shielding clothing.

(00:23:31):

And then when I would go under one of those big monitors, I would have to curl up in a little ball on the escalator. And the time that I didn’t, my legs gave out and I couldn’t walk because of the neurological issues that would come on. So I used to be extremely sensitive. This is not my MO. I prefer to be hardwired, but I just want to share. I went from that to I can now work off a wifi if I have to on my laptop, and I’m not being able to do that for 10 years. So things do change. I just want to give you some encouragement, Lori,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:24:06):

And if you’re needing to find somebody to help you mitigate, Building Biology Institute trains EMF professionals, building biologists, either look for how to build a healthy home or they do EMF mitigation. So you don’t have to do this all alone. You don’t have to learn all that there is to know about EMF mitigation. But that would be where I would suggest you start looking. There are dozens, if not hundreds of building biologists who are trained throughout the country that you can use as resources.

Beth O’Hara (00:24:48):

Oh, there was a question that came in real quick. I just wanted to answer briefly. Someone asked, can a mental health practitioner do these trainings that we’ve been talking about? So I’ll let you answer about the conferences you mentioned, Kelly. We will have an audit option for people who are either not working directly [with] biochemistry. The certification, you have to have functional medicine, some functional medicine training, either as a health coach or a licensed practitioner. But if you have functional medicine background, yes, if you don’t, you still want to take it. We have an audit option and you still get all of the same information. You just don’t have to go through the certification stuff at the end. So that’s all. How about your conferences? Can mental health professionals and can laypeople attend?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:40):

Yeah, so for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, laypeople can attend. So go to AAEMonline.org, I think — if that’s not it, it’s .com — but it is one of the oldest environmental medicine — it’s actually one of the oldest professional organizations that has been around since the early seventies. It was founded by Dr. Bill Ray who had the environmental health center of Dallas, and his specialty was multiple chemical sensitivity. And the amazing thing is mast cell activation syndrome was only really recognized in the medical literature in 2007, 2008, but multiple chemical sensitivity has been around for many, many years. And now Dr. Lawrence Afrin and Dr. Claudia Miller have come together and written a paper really showing that people who have mast cell activation often have chemical sensitivity, or people who have chemical sensitivity often have mast cell activation and they’re related if not the same thing. And so this is the organization that has been training physicians since the seventies and how to manage multiple chemical sensitivity, EMF, mold, et cetera. So it’s a fantastic organization and the conference is open to laypeople. So I would strongly encourage anyone who’s in Texas or wants to go to Texas to join us for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine Conference. And then online for the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness, there is a track for laypeople. If you go to their website, ISEAI.org, you can learn more about how to watch the lectures as a layperson.

Beth O’Hara (00:27:47):

Good. Okay, let’s do another one. This is for you, Kelly. What’s the correlation between mast cell activation and lipedema? And this is from Jackie and Bonnie.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:58):

So lipedema is an unusual accumulation of fat in the lower extremities. We don’t know exactly what is the cause or even necessarily the relationship between MCAS. My suspicion, however, understanding that fat gets stored in, I’m sorry, environmental toxicants get stored in fat, there may be an environmental toxicant exposure in the fat cells in particular areas of the body that can then go on and trigger MCAS. So that would be my hypothesis of the relationship there because we know that environmental toxicants can trigger MCAS. I have a conversation with Lynn Patrick, who is a wealth of information about environmental medicine that you can check out in the summit. Okay, let’s find the next question. If there is a very severe rash reaction on the skin after a minimum amount of glutathione as part of a detox protocol, the listener is assuming that’s a mast cell reaction. And then what is the best immediate action to take after taking a break from detox? And what other precautions are recommended when resuming detox?

Beth O’Hara (00:29:55):

So when I think about this, definitely a detox break that is going to include sauna. A lot of people forget to come off their sauna, but I would probably keep on the binders if you’re able to take binders. If you weren’t, I wouldn’t in this population — for most people, take glutathione without binders, but that’s really common. I see it’s really common, that this reaction to a tiny amount of glutathione. And so could be a reaction to excipient, could be over detox. However, something I learned from Jill Crista, and if you guys don’t know her, she’s an incredible naturopath. She specializes in mold. She’s got a great book called Break the Mold, and she’s very research-based like Dr. Kelly and I. And what she learned is that sulfur compounds, often called thiols, can activate gliotoxin. So sometimes if you’ve got this pattern of these sulfur — you have trouble with glutathione, but you’re also having trouble with glucosamine sulfate and alpha lipoic acid, these sulfur based things.

(00:31:07):

And it may be a gliotoxin issue. Sometimes I find if you tolerate water, drinking — I meant lemon — drinking lemon and mineral water is really helpful. Baking soda like a half a teaspoon. If you don’t, you’ve got to decide if this is right for you because some people have severe stomach pH issues. So if you’ve not used baking soda, start with a little sprinkle, build yourself up. If you’re really robust and nothing bothers you, you could do a half a teaspoon of baking soda, about eight ounces of water and drink that on an empty stomach two or three times a day. And that has a couple actions. It does help alkalize things, but also bicarbonates like the baking soda, they inhibit a pathway — this is for you practitioners, that pathway is called SIRT2, Sirtuin 2 — that drives inflammasome production, that drives mast cell activation. And then I’ll distill that down if that made no sense to you. If you’re not a practitioner, what you need to know is bicarbonates, like sodium bicarbonate and baking soda, reduce a pathway that triggers mast cells. So you can calm some of that down. And Jamie just said, Jamie finds lemon super helpful. Yeah, always. Even when I was down to 10 foods, Jamie, I could still do lemon for some reason. Some people can’t. Anything else or do you want to just keep going back and forth?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:32:47):

Let’s see. I mean, the other possibility is that the sulfur reaction is because there’s an imbalance in the gut microbiome and the body actually needs that sulfur. So there could be something going on there too with the glutathione, but we can move on.

Beth O’Hara (00:33:11):

Let me ask you this one. I’m an MCAS patient getting a colonoscopy in the next month. What type of premedication do you recommend? I’m only on one zyrtec a day. And also what type of anesthesia is the safest?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:24):

It’s a very good question. We don’t have a lot of medical literature about MCAS patients and anesthesia, but we do have more information about mastocytosis patients. And so what’s good for a mastocytosis patient and would probably be good for an MCAS patient, if you’re only on one zyrtec a day and that’s managing your symptoms, you’re probably in the pretty hardy group and will do fine. The usual conscious sedation anesthetics that are given for things like colonoscopies are propofol, which is very well tolerated even in the mastocytosis population.

Beth O’Hara (00:34:09):

Could somebody please mute, Jill? Or if you can make me a co-host, maybe Sarah, can you mute Jill’s iPhone 10 or Jill if you can? Yeah, thank you. Thanks so much, guys.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:34:22):

So there’s a great website that I often refer to. It’s the UKmasto.org. They have a whole pamphlet on mastocytosis and anesthesia for patients that can go through the different skin aesthetics, sorry, anesthetics that are good. The sedatives. Most of the benzodiazepines are very well tolerated by mast cell patients. So getting a colonoscopy when you only require one Zyrtec, I think you’ll do fine. For those of you who have more symptoms or are undergoing surgery, it tends to be my experience that it’s the surgery itself, it’s the inflammation because of the surgical intervention more so than the anesthesia that causes the problems with patients. And so sometimes people need to be pretreated with additional antihistamines. Sometimes people need to be pretreated with steroids too, although we don’t love to do that because that then can interfere with wound healing depending upon what procedure you’re undergoing.

(00:35:45):

So it’s really important to work with your anesthesiologist, to do your own research, and to share that research with your practitioners if you’re going to have a procedure or have a surgery, especially for a surgery. So those are my recommendations. Also too, with the prep, there are some colon preps that are less desirable. Depending upon your heartiness, you may be able to do colonics or even just coffee enemas in preparation to help. Or there’s something called Sutabs, which are “horse” tablets that you can take rather than drinking the polyethylene glycol products that are more problematic for most people. So I hope that was helpful. Okay, next question. Does mold cause mast cell activation or is it a trigger for MCAS? And if it is mold, if you remediate, does that cure the MCAS?

Beth O’Hara (00:37:03):

Well, that’s one of my favorites. Mold is absolutely a trigger for MCAS, and there’s a huge body of literature on this. I’ve got study after study after study after study on the effects. And these effects on the immune system, these studies, you guys, go back into the early 1990s, so this is not new. We’ve known this for 30 years. Why is it not getting traction? I don’t know. There’s a lot of politics wrapped up in that and just a lot of old guard that’s going to have to shift. But it’s absolutely a trigger and it’s a trigger — and different mold toxins have different types of toxicity. But if you have the general complement of mold toxins we usually see — so you have ochratoxin, gliotoxin, zearalenone, trichothecines, aflatoxin. So you have all of those. You’re going to have toxicity of almost every organ system.

(00:38:12):

But to think about this question, I want to pull back and go again. So what Dr. Kelly was talking about in the beginning, our mast cells are here to protect us. We can’t survive without them. And that’s why they’re so complex, why they have over 200 receptors, why they have over a thousand mediators, why they’re in every tissue in the body except the retina. And their job — what are they protecting us from? They’re protecting us from toxins, pathogens, stressors. Stressors can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and even energetic. That’s a whole other thing. But you might, if you listen to mine and Kelly’s talks, that’ll start to come through.

(00:39:01):

So anything that’s a toxin is a mast cell trigger, is what I’m saying, because the mast cells are involved in protecting you from it, surrounding it, trying to help get it out. They’re not the only player. There’s hundreds, thousands of players, but the mast cells are highly involved. If it is mold and you remediate correctly, does it cure the MCAS? Remediation is a very important, and one of the most important, steps in recovering from mold toxicity. However, you have to go on from that because you’re still going to have those mold toxins in your body, and 70% of adults are colonized. That means the mold’s growing inside of you. Where does it grow? Anywhere that’s dark and damp. So you think sinuses, it can be in the ears, but more often sinuses, and then it drains from the sinuses down and populates to GI tract. This is where we get all these intractable GI issues frequently where just things aren’t making sense. So you have to do more than that.

(00:40:12):

I have a talk on mold toxicity, and there’s a good bit on mold, but make sure you check out that talk on mold toxicity and MCAS special considerations. And then you may want to go on and check out our mold course, or if you’re a practitioner, Judy, you may be interested in the practitioner training or you’re an advanced person who does all these summits and everything. You might want that information. They’ll be way more in depth than the online course, but you’re on the right track. I just want to encourage you to keep going there. Okay, Kelly, here’s one for you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:55):

Okay.

Beth O’Hara (00:40:56):

Are any of these frequently used herbal treatments for tick-borne infections, mass cell stimulating? So she lists a number of them, cryptolepis, Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw, Biocidin, Chinese skullcap, sida acuta, houttuynia, andrographis, astragalus, cinnamon clove, oregano oil.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:20):

So the most important thing to understand about mast cell activation syndrome is that each person is unique and their mast cells are unique. The mast cells, the mediators that they release, the receptors that they have, as Beth was talking about, are unique for each person. They are unique in the different tissues. And so what one person can tolerate, another person may not be able to tolerate at all. There are certainly some things in that list that tend to be stabilizing for mast cell, like Chinese skullcap I find really helpful for a lot of people that’s scutellaria. Andrographis and astragalus also have some mast cell stabilizing effects. But that doesn’t mean that it might be safe for you, nor does it mean that it won’t be safe for you. So when you’re treating tick-borne illnesses with any sort of herb, there is the potential as you kill these organisms, that you are going to trigger a mast cell response or a Herxheimer reaction.

(00:42:41):

So we call these die off reactions, and if somebody is sensitive and already has mast cell, just triggering a die off reaction can trigger a mast cell reaction. So it may not even be that the mast cells are responding to the herb. They could be responding to the death of the organisms, which is really common and why people feel “I can’t detox, I can’t get better from Lyme” because the mast cells are reacting to not just the herb potentially, but the die off symptoms. So it’s much more complicated than saying, this herb is bad, that herb is good, this herb is bad, that herb is good. So that’s where working with a knowledgeable practitioner and some of the other things that we tried to cover a little bit in the summit would be starting to understand your own intuition. It is far better if you are able to start to learn the language of your own body, the language of your own intuition. If I have hundreds of different things that I can give someone for mast cell, how do I know what to give you? I’m starting with my clinical experience, my own intuition. But if we can tap into your intuition too, when we’re partnering together, that may really help hone in on what are the individual things that are going to be most helpful for you to move forward with stabilizing your mast cells, your unique mast cells, and then eventually layering in treatments for mold and chronic infections.

Beth O’Hara (00:44:30):

I can just add briefly here. The sida acuta is one that I’ve had experience with. I have had some reactions to Biocidin because probably the shiitake, sometimes, not always, but sometimes people with mold colonization end up reacting to a lot of fungal species. That’s a little rare because it’s akin to if you are allergic to lettuce, then you can’t have carrots and asparagus because they’re in the plant kingdom. That’s really rare, but this happened. But cinnamon and clove are histamine liberators, so that’s more on the histamine side. If there’s histamine intolerance, then people might have to be careful with the cinnamon and clove. But otherwise, the rest of those people tend to do well with when they’re brought in at the right time. And everything’s about order of operations in MCAS, and there is no one set order of operations. What’s the order of operations for this person for where they are in their healing journey at this point in time?

(00:45:40):

And that’s again, why skilled practitioners really helpful. I just want to encourage you guys as much as possible to work with somebody. And if you don’t have the finances for that, at least invest in something that gets you more information to guide yourself, whether it’s — and that’s why we made this summit. So low cost is really, the lectures that you get are typically given as a practitioner training for thousands and thousands of dollars. And you can get, if you take your first offer, it’s less than a hundred dollars, way less than a functional medicine appointment. So if you can work with a practitioner who’s really experienced, that’s your best way to go. If you don’t have the finances, though, Dr. Kelly and I are really committed to making sure there are options for people at all income levels. And multiple times in my life I was quite poor, and having access to those things really saved my life. So we will always have those kinds of access for people as well. So you can keep moving forward. Are we ending at 12 or 12:30?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:56):

We’re supposed to end at 12. I can do a few extra minutes.

Beth O’Hara (00:47:05):

Okay. And I just wasn’t clear. It was on my calendar until 12:30. Okay. Alright. You want to ask me this next one?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:14):

Sure. Can mast cell activation be a reason for histamine intolerance?

Beth O’Hara (00:47:20):

Yes. That’s a good question. And vice versa, histamine intolerance can trigger mast cell activation. So why is this? Well, mast cells have histamine receptors. They actually have four histamine receptors, H 1, 2, 3, and 4. So you might’ve heard of H1 blockers and H2 blockers, that’s referring to that blocking of that receptor. And so if you have MCAS, you have to remember too that the mast cells have histamine as a mediator as well, that they can release. And so if the mast cells are being triggered at a high level, they may be releasing more histamine than you can break down. And this is where it’s really important to do a low histamine diet, at least a six week trial. We’ve got all kinds of resources for how to do that, but you’re going to learn a lot about histamine intolerance. And Gail Clayton’s talk that — Kelly McCann interviewed Gail Clayton on managing MCAS and histamine intolerance from food to phenols to pharmaceuticals.

(00:48:26):

So make sure you check that out. And then histamine intolerance can also trigger those mast cells just by this buildup of histamine and triggering those histamine receptors. So not everyone with MCAS has histamine intolerance, and we’ve got a wide variety of people on here. So if your symptoms are really minor, you may just have histamine intolerance. If you have more significant symptoms, you may have just MCAS or you could have MCAS and histamine tolerance. So check out how to do a six week trial to find out if you’re histamine intolerant. That’s really important to do. And then you do a re-challenge with really high histamine foods. If you didn’t have any symptom changes through the trial or the high histamine foods, then you’re probably not histamine intolerant. That’s how you find out. So let’s get one more in. You can answer. How about this one from Laurie? Do you believe that MCAS is caused by SIBO or leaky gut? Could it be a contributing factor?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:37):

My answer is no. I don’t really think that SIBO alone or even leaky gut alone is going to trigger MCAS. Remember, we’re talking about a genetic predisposition. There’s so many more things involved than just SIBO. However, we do see SIBO a lot in our MCAS patients. And you can check out Allison Siebecker’s talk with me, as well as Jill Carnahan’s talk Functional Medicine Approach to MCAS, where she tells her own story. It’s actually really interesting, conversations with both of those practitioners. In my experience, and probably Beth’s as well, many times people who have SIBO, particularly recurrent SIBO, are in a moldy environment. And the mold is also triggering the MCAS. And so we see these combinations of presentations with people. And when we’re talking about MCAS, it’s a clinical diagnosis. There’s no one test that’s going to say, this is what you have. Because remember, we’re talking about thousands of mediators. We’re talking about dozens of potential triggers in somebody who has some underlying susceptibility, energetic susceptibility, nervous system susceptibility. And so when we’re peeling away the layers, it’s much more complicated than that. So when we’re trying to treat, we have to treat all of those things simultaneously to reduce the SIBO, to calm down the nervous system, to calm down the mast cells. It’s a multifactorial, multi-prong approach in order to help get somebody better.

Beth O’Hara (00:51:45):

I think we have to always think about, to me, SIBO is one of those upper blocks in the pyramid. Why is there SIBO? Why is the immune system dysregulated, not keeping it in check? And we frequently, frequently see SIBO with mold toxicity. Really, really common in there. We see it a lot with those tick-borne infections, the immune dysregulation and stress and trauma. And I tell you one of the most amazing things that I’ve found for SIBO was hypnosis. And I’ll just throw out a little tidbit for people. There’s a app, an IBS app called Nerva, and I’ve had intractable SIBO for seven years after drinking contaminated water. It was a water filter that was growing mold and bacteria, and I didn’t know it for three days, and my gut was better in four sessions. So think about the nervous system component, you all, with these GI issues. I think that’s all the time. Oh, go ahead.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:52):

And along those same lines, the nervous system dysregulation, we’re talking about the autonomic nervous system, right? So the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve that is coming from the brain, the central nervous system through the vagus nerve, and it is the wanderer, right? It is important for swallowing muscles, mastication, heart beating, lungs breathing, and all of the digestion. And if our vagus nerve, autonomic nervous system is off, the dysmotility is going to happen, it’s going to be a setup for SIBO. And we know that mold and mast cell and autonomic dysregulation are part of that picture. So it’s not surprising that we see SIBO so commonly.

Beth O’Hara (00:53:47):

And I just saw one other thing that came through — I loved on — I love this thread and how you guys are supporting each other and all the questions. This is why we do this is so we can come together as a community and be not be alone in it. Because when I was so sick, I didn’t know anyone else who was sick. There wasn’t a name for MCAS, and we didn’t know about mold toxicity. I never met anyone as ill as I was or as sensitive as I was. And many times I started to believe what I was being told that I must be making things up. We come together like this and we know that it’s not just me. I’m not some weirdo. There’s over 200 people on here and there are thousands of people coming to the summit. There are thousands of people that come to Kelly’s webpage, to our webpage, to our Facebook pages.

(00:54:42):

So stay with the community. It’s so important to healing, to stay in the community, and we learn from you guys. So it’s so important to us that you’re here too. It’s not a one-way street. We learned so much from you all. So I hope you’ll join us for the upcoming Q&As. And could Sarah or Christina let everyone know when those are coming up? And then again, don’t forget the summit opens on Monday. We can’t wait to see you there. We can’t wait to keep having these conversations with you. I think we actually have, if you can make me a co-host, I’ve got a slide I can share that’ll have all those Q&A dates. And then we have a couple other things, just quick announcements for you to watch out for and some real goodies for you.

(00:55:37):

Things that we got, our team pulled together for you guys that I wanted to show you here really quick that you can go ahead and start diving into. And if you buy, here’s the other thing is if you want to own the recordings — you don’t have to purchase anything — but if you would like to own the recordings, this is probably a summit to have. I know there’s a lot of summits, but this is the one that is going to have a lot of those aha moments for you. And you’ll probably want to go back again and again into the transcript. So if it’s in your budget, honestly, before I would apply to Mast Cell 360 as a clinic, I would buy these recordings and start working through them because you’ll keep coming back to it. And whatever you do beyond, it’ll still be a resource for you in your library. And you may say, Hey, right now I don’t really need to know about POTS. And then you realize you have POTS or osteoporosis and you’re like, there was a talk in that summit. Now I’m going to go back and listen to it. That’ll help you now. So think about that, you all, and I think I just about have some of these slides up for us. Any other announcements?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:52):

Yeah, I did see somebody ask if there was a hard copy. I think unfortunately, health Means has gotten away from making books of the transcripts sadly. But I do think that they are available electronically. Hopefully our team can help share that information with patients. I know it’s difficult if you’re not tech savvy. The transcripts are these huge books and the books are fantastic. But I don’t know, call Health Means and say you want to bring the hard copies back.

Beth O’Hara (00:57:30):

And yeah, and Sarah said they can do thumb drive. So what somebody could do is get the thumb drive and just take it over to Kinko’s, FedEx or something like a print shop, and they can just print it out for them. Okay, so just to remember that we’ve got these other Q&As coming up for you guys, and here are the dates for you. Okay, that’s a little prettier for you. So we have coming up Monday, October 16th, so the opening day of the summit, and I’m going to put all these up so you can grab a screenshot. Those are your links. So Monday, October 16th, 11 Pacific, 2:00 PM Eastern will be with me over on Facebook. So you can join us with this link here Friday, October 20th at 11:00 AM Pacific, two Eastern, Kelly’s going to be on Zoom, and that’s your link there for her Zoom room.

(00:58:38):

Then Kelly and I are coming back together to do a Q&A together for you all. That’s going to be Thursday, October 26th at three 30 Pacific, six 30 Eastern. And then Kelly’s going to have another one on Friday as we’re closing out the summit. And I’m going to have another one Saturday, October 28th. So I hope you can join as many as you can. We’d love to have you there with us. And so grab that screenshot, put it in your calendar right now so you don’t forget about them. And lastly, I just want to make sure Kelly people know how to get to their resources pages because — here we go. Because there’s already things, so many things you can access in there. So two resource pages for you. And you can take a screenshot of this as well with your phone, mastcell360.com/summit and drkellymccann.com/summitresources. And you’re going to find different things on each one. So lots of free downloads. We’ve got links to different resources mentioned in the talks. We’ve got discounts for you guys. We really wanted to put together something just to help everybody out because we know how hard this journey is having gone through it ourselves. Anything else?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:00):

No, thank you everyone for joining us. It’s been a joy to spend some time with you, to see some of your faces and hear your questions. And yeah, this is all from the heart for us to be able to help you find your path on your journeys.

Beth O’Hara (01:00:21):

We’re so grateful for you guys. Be really gentle with yourselves no matter what. Keep going, and we’ll see you in the next Q&A. Let us know what talks you like. We’d love to hear from you. All right.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:35):

Thank you so much. Bye-Bye everyone.


Mind Body Soul Healing: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly's & Amy B. Scher

Mind Body Soul Healing: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly's & Amy B. Scher

As a functional medicine doctor, I take a whole-person approach, which means that I take a step back to look at the patient’s symptoms, medical history, genetics, diet, environmental exposures, etc. This whole picture helps me really see what is going on with a person’s health.

One big piece of that picture, which is sometimes touched on but rarely deeply explored, is the person’s emotional or energetic aspect. When we talk about mind-body medicine, we often forget that it’s actually mind-body-spirit.

People go to their spiritual leader, clergy, or guru for emotional and energetic guidance, but it’s actually incredibly helpful to work in that way alongside your physical health work, and often we separate the two. Doctors don’t usually have a lot of experience with emotional, spiritual, or energetic healing, and spiritual leaders may not have the knowledge you need to address your physical health concerns.

But that doesn’t mean that energetic and physical work should be separated. Just as the body and the mind, or spirit, is one complete entity, working with that entity should encompass all those important areas.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with author and energy therapist, Amy B. Scher, for a beautiful conversation about releasing emotional and energetic blocks that can hinder physical healing. Amy told her chronic illness story and talked about the realization that to fully heal she had to dig deep into her soul and find out what it really means to love herself.

During this conversation we discussed:

  • A new way to consider symptoms–as the body’s unique language
  • How to overcome the labels of symptoms and diagnoses and instead explore those as experiences
  • Ways in which messages, from others and ourselves, get us stuck in harmful patterns
  • How to fully embrace our souls and our bodies as lifelong partners
  • New ways to think about illness, pain, and what our bodies are trying to protect us from and teach us
  • Plus we answered a few important questions about working with our inner selves to heal our bodies

I enjoyed every second of my time with Amy. I highly encourage you to check out her work, especially her book, How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. Find that and more information about Amy at her site: https://amybscher.com/


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:04):

Did it!

Amy B. Scher (00:00:04):

Yay. Hi, it’s so good to see you and be here with you today.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:09):

Thank you. So happy to be here. Very excited for this. We’ve been planning this conversation for a long time to share with each of our tribes and communities. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, Amy, and then I’ll do the same.

Amy B. Scher (00:00:30):

Okay, perfect. I love how, I feel like the universe has been planning this longer than we have because we both knew about each other for so many years, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that we actually connected. So I think this is extra special that there’s been so much momentum behind today, long before we even really knew each other. So my name is Amy B. Scher. I am an author and energy therapist, and I help people release blocks to wellbeing, to happiness, to just being their best, happiest and healthiest selves. I learned all of my work from my own experience with chronic illness, chronic Lyme disease, and an entire list of other diagnoses that took pages and pages to fill. I actually just shredded my list a few years ago. When I found it, I went, I don’t need this anymore. But one of my–or my biggest discovery through this sort of decade of my life where it was very debilitated from chronic illness, was that our mind, body, and spirit are all one.

(00:01:34):

And this was mind blowing to me because it’s not often discussed in the medical community. By no fault of the medical community’s, it’s just not something that comes up in that area of that sort of community. And so I discovered on my own that if I really wanted to heal, I was going to have to address the me inside of my body and not just all of the symptoms. And I went on a big journey to do that. I ended up finally getting and staying well after many false starts and tries and fits and spurts, thank you, and have gone on to help thousands of others to look at our emotional landscape, to see what could be misaligned in our body that is making our body unhappy and trying to get our attention. So I use energy therapy, which is a way of addressing mind, body, and spirit through various techniques to help people. And I’m just so happy to be here in conversation with you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:34):

Thank you. That was a beautiful synopsis of your journey and what you do now. So I am Dr. Kelly McCann. I’m a medical doctor. I am board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. I had always been interested in holistic medicine and what is now called functional medicine, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Originally I wanted to go to acupuncture school and I made a deal with myself that if I got into medical school I would go and if I didn’t, I’d go to acupuncture school. And I was actually really disappointed. I got into four medical schools and I was like, darn it, okay, universe, I guess I gotta go to medical school. So I did. And then along the way, trying to optimize my overachieving self, I got a Master’s [degree] in Public Health and Tropical Medicine along with my medical degree. I did two residencies, internal medicine and pediatrics concurrently. And then thankfully I was released from conventional medicine training and got to start to do what I had intended to do, which was really learn all the tools and skills for helping people as holistically as possible. So I learned medical acupuncture, I did reiki training and healing touch, had always been really interested in the mind-body connection was very powerful and important for me. Somewhere along the journey, I got trained in functional medicine. I spent time in Tucson with Dr. Andrew Weil and his program in integrative medicine.

(00:04:22):

Then I took a deeper dive into mold and chronic infections like Lyme disease, learned that many patients who were very sensitive had mast cell activation. And so I just kept putting more tools in my toolkit so I could help more and more people. And then somewhere along the line, I also got a Master’s [degree] in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. And that was probably the most useful and challenging degree that I have ever gotten because it really forced me to look inside of myself and to evaluate what are the things that I believe about myself and how are they serving me or no longer serving me. And it was a two year program. It was really intense. I remember initially feeling so disgruntled because it was requiring me to be vulnerable in a way that I was not used to being. I’m the doctor, I’m the expert.

(00:05:28):

I don’t get to be vulnerable. And yet I was able to see that only through vulnerability were people able to really connect and to have that level of intimacy. And so I learned some really powerful lessons about what it means to be vulnerable and how to show up not only for myself, but for my patients. And my favorite conversations with my patients are really about the bridge of the mind-body connection and how is our body speaking with us? And I think it’s really propelled the patients who are willing to go there to the level of healing that everyone is really wanting for themselves.

Amy B. Scher (00:06:15):

And I feel like we all, at least I did, I came to that last, it was like, well, okay, nothing’s working as fast or as well as I want it to. Let me try this thing that was here and free all along. But we come to it last. And I don’t know if that’s just part of the process. I often wonder what would’ve happened if I would’ve embraced this sooner. And now I think patients are introduced to it much sooner. When I would say this was in the early two thousands and this just wasn’t part of the conversation. Nobody was talking about this on the Lyme or chronic illness message boards. The doctors weren’t talking about it. I had one doctor that I remember asked me, so how is everything in your life? How’s your relationship and stuff? And I remember thinking to myself, why is he asking about that? I’m here for Lyme disease. Now I understand. He was wise enough to try to ask that question. I definitely was not willing to listen to it or answer it because I got defensive at least within myself. But the conversation has really expanded now and thank goodness because more people have access to this.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:25):

Yes, thank goodness. Yes.

Amy B. Scher (00:07:26):

Yes. And just to let everybody know, the chat is not working for some reason, but you can ask your questions in the Q&A. So if you look at the bottom of your screen, there’s a little Q&A button, and if you click that, you’ll be able to type your question in there. And we’ll watch this.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:07:45):

Yes, thank you. It is really amazing. What I’ve been thinking about recently is that when we have physical problems, we go to the doctor. So there’s something wrong with my anatomy. There’s something wrong with my physiology. I need to go to the doctor because it’s a mechanical problem. It’s a biological chemical problem. And then if we have emotional, mental problem, we’re going to go to our therapist or something like that. So we go to somebody to deal with this. If you think you have a spiritual problem, you might go to a rabbi or a minister or some sort of spiritual help.

(00:08:32):

We can’t think about the body that way anymore because that’s not how we’re designed. Our minds and our bodies and our spirit are linked. And hopefully more and more practitioners and patients will wake up to this idea that we really do have to treat the whole person and not just give it lip service. I mean, I do think that one of the challenges for medical doctors is we don’t have any training in this, really. So it’s not their fault if they don’t know how to ask these questions. They don’t know how to deal with the answers.

Amy B. Scher (00:09:13):

Yes, yes. I think that’s totally true. And I think one of the things that I’ve noticed over the years is that I’ll get emails from doctors, psychiatrists, saying, I don’t know what you’re doing, but my patient told me that they’re going to you. And after they started going to you, their liver enzymes regulated or now some of their immune markers are normal. So I think patients deserve a lot of credit for being courageous enough to try these things and brave enough to also share with their doctors. Because this is how doctors start to understand that while they may not be responsible for having this information and knowing how to do these things, that it’s available and that just to broach the subject or to then share with other patients that can be enough. Patients are so resilient and resourceful that they can go out and find this.

(00:10:08):

But so many people, like, I had no idea it existed. I didn’t know until literally nothing else was working. And I was kind of like, well, I’m out of money. I’m out of options. What can I do? And that was the only reason I ever turned inward. I don’t think I would’ve ever looked to the extent that I did. And I mean, I grew up as a hippie child and I read Ram Das and all the spiritual books, but I thought that positive thinking was what made a difference. And it’s not. It’s so much more. It’s really, I see it as illness is calling us to pay attention to our lives. What do we want? Are we living in fear? Do we have boundaries? All of those things. And I thought the whole time I had Lyme disease, well, I’m so positive, why am I not getting better? And it’s very different to force positive thinking than to actually feel good in yourself. And so I think we try our best, but it’s a journey to get to the right information as well.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:14):

Yes, absolutely. It’s really interesting that sometimes, I mean, I love your story in that you did everything that you could to avoid doing the thing that you needed to do the most.

Amy B. Scher (00:11:29):

I’m a Virgo. I checked everything off the list. I did it all right. I listened to everybody. Then I was like, oh no, I see where this is going. And I think we do. We get to it when we get to it. And I mean, I had been to therapy. I was happy to talk about things. I was happy to do the things, the steps, but I never was really willing to be honest with myself. I think that’s where true mind, body, spirit healing kicks in. What is going on inside of me? What am I so afraid of? In what ways am I people pleasing? Or what ways am I not being–I mean, it really comes down as I see it–in what ways am I not being my true self and why and how can I fix that? Either internally or then maybe in some relationships and externally. But yeah, I tried to avoid it at all costs and then eventually went, oh no, I think I’m going to have to figure this out. And it was the thing. It was the thing. And I am sure all of the therapies I did before that helped, but none of them actually did the thing. None of them actually, and we talk about this, no doctor, no matter how wonderful, no therapist, no matter how brilliant, can do the thing for you that you have to do for yourself,

(00:12:50):

It’s so annoying. We want someone else to do it, but they just can’t.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:53):

Just take a pill and make all that stuff get better.

Amy B. Scher (00:12:57):

It would be delightful, right? It’s not the point of life apparently, but it would be so much easier.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:13:04):

Not the point of life. No, I think that that’s really probably the crux of it is the journey of illness is a journey of exploration. It’s a journey of turning inward and really starting to allow the language of the body to show you where you need to do the work.

Amy B. Scher (00:13:26):

Yes, yes. And listen, I mean, we wouldn’t pay attention any other way until something comes and desecrates our life. I always say this, it had to be illness for me. There would be no other way [that] I would stop a life that I was micromanaging so perfectly to then change everything and throw everything up in the air, burn it all down and rebuild it. There just would be no reason I would’ve ever done that. And so I think when we see illness, not as a convenience, but a calling, we can use it. If this is going to be here, we should use the heck out of it and come out on the other side better. And I really feel like the whole time I was sick, all I wanted was to go back to pre-Lyme. And now in hindsight, I’ve been, well almost 15 years, I mean much longer than I was ever sick. And I think, oh my gosh, I wasn’t healthy before either. Now I am healthy. So I wanted to go back, but because we think, oh, I was healthy until I got bitten by the tick or until I got this autoimmune condition. But you can’t get chronically ill if you are perfectly healthy, mind, body, and spirit prior to that break. That’s how I see it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:39):

So dive a little bit deeper into that, Amy, because I think it’s really important for people to understand what does healthy mean, mind, body, spirit. Because I think a lot of people out there have this idea that, yeah, I’m healthy and then all of a sudden I got cancer or then all of a sudden I got this autoimmune condition or I got Lyme disease or all of a sudden out of the blue I got mast cell activation. No, let’s explore that a little bit more.

Amy B. Scher (00:15:08):

So I think it just brews for a really long time until your body just kind of goes, okay, that’s it. And really again, I think it comes back to not being who you really are, whether you’re contracting your body, spiritually or emotionally, because of fear. Whether you don’t–another thing is being really hard on yourself, being a perfectionist, being self berating. You will just destroy your body doing that. And I mean, I can be very, very hard on myself. I’ve trained myself much out of that because I realized that it just doesn’t help. But I think it really comes down to, in what ways am I not the freest, most relaxed, most expressive person I can be? If you want to really look at it, you can rewind to before you got that diagnosis, before the joint started bothering you, before the “whatever” seemed to come overnight.

(00:16:08):

And you can ask yourself, how was I not living in alignment with who I am? How was I stressed? How was I fearful? How was I trying to change myself for others? How was I not loving myself? All of these things cause, to just simplify it, a stress on the body, it’s stressful to live an entire life not being in your most relaxed, expressive state of being. That doesn’t mean we can be a million percent ourselves. Sometimes we have to go to work, we have to do things we don’t want. That’s all okay. But at your core, you have to feel like you are freely living as yourself. You really do. And I find that of course there are societal restrictions, there are all kinds of things we all have to deal with –financial [for example]– but the ways that we’re held back most is by ourselves.

(00:17:02):

We hold ourselves back more than anything else. And that is really a violation of your spirit. And that is when the body becomes really unhappy and you can only get away with it for so long. You can only get away with it for so long. You can only lie to other people for a long time. But it’s really hard to lie to yourself before your body goes, I really don’t feel good doing this. And it can manifest as physical symptoms. And I always like to say, that doesn’t minimize what your labs look like. That doesn’t minimize anything that shows up on any test. We’re not saying–I always like to say–this doesn’t mean that the physical stuff is not real for you, but we just want to look a little bit under that to kind of see where it might’ve been brewing. It showed up. And that’s sort of the journey that I really had to go on for myself.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:56):

Yes, I’ve been reading the four agreements recently and I just love that little book. And in that book he talks about the real human being, the two-year-old little child who is fully a real human being who’s not domesticated. And that’s what we’re talking about. It’s that little person who doesn’t filter when they’re happy, they’re happy, they can love everyone. When they’re upset, they cry, but they don’t have a filter. They don’t have to try and please anybody else. They’re just all about themselves and in love with the world and in love with life. And then we learn–we become domesticated, as I like his terms– we become domesticated because of our parents and our teachers and our siblings and the world, who tell us it’s not okay to cry. It’s not okay to laugh too loud. It’s not okay to do this, that and the other thing. And then that gets reinforced and then we start to domesticate ourselves and put ourselves into a little tiny box. And it’s the beliefs. It’s the beliefs from those experiences that will continue to reinforce the problems and the behaviors that aren’t allowing you to experience who you really are.

Amy B. Scher (00:19:40):

Right? Yes, yes. And I think–I always like to say too–you don’t even have to be perfect at it. You can still say a couple things to please your mother or go to work and put on a smile. You don’t even have to be perfect. You just have to become as much of yourself as you possibly can. And if you are cutting that off right now, even becoming 25% more yourself will help your body. And then from there you can become 25% more yourself. We don’t have to be perfect in our thinking and our feeling and our doing and our being. It’s not about getting it all right. It’s about really embracing this journey and understanding why our bodies are so unhappy. And I love that term, of that idea, of domesticating and what you’re saying is so true. It’s like some of that domestication may happen when learning the rules of life and we’re getting, we’re learning from our parents and our peers, but so much of it, again, we do to ourselves. And when we betray ourselves, it does far worse damage than when anybody else does anything to us. And not living as who you are is a self betrayal that you have to fix. You have to fix it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:20:57):

Absolutely. And I’m not suggesting that you get mad at your parents or you get mad at

Amy B. Scher (00:21:03):

No, of course.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:04):

So the domestication happens because that’s how we teach each other. That’s how the world is set up. Your parents did nothing wrong. You didn’t even do anything wrong. You learned what you were taught. And so now you have the opportunity to unlearn. So it’s really important to not get angry at your parents, to not rebel, to not get pissed off, that isn’t going to serve you either. It’s about uncovering who you are underneath.

Amy B. Scher (00:21:42):

I’ve seen, I mean, through working with thousands of clients, it’s been so interesting to me because people who had wonderful childhoods have a lot of the same deep wounds as people who had really difficult childhoods. And my mom and I have a joke because when I was growing up, my parents called me their superstar. They just, a child could not be more loved. And I’m so thankful. But when I went through my healing journey, I said to my mom, I feel like because you and dad always told me I was perfect, that I had to meet this bar, that I put this pressure on myself. And she always said, so what? I loved you too much and I screwed you up. But it’s a funny joke because it’s true. It’s like it’s not anybody’s fault. You’re so right. It’s not anybody’s fault. It just happens. It’s just life. And I think it’s really important for anybody who’s read my books or seen me classes, I keep things very lighthearted because the last thing you can do is go into the emotional work too serious or it’s pretty miserable. And so it’s true. It’s nobody’s fault. We all come out sort of needing to reveal and repair or rebuild certain things and nobody’s fault. It’s a product of life. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:22:58):

Absolutely. And I love that you lived this amazing loving childhood because it’s a testament to how we just get, we misperceive things. It’s all about misperception. So you had this misperception that you had to be perfect because your parents said, oh, you’re the perfect super child. Other people have a misperception that they’re unworthy because they experienced terrible abuse. None of it’s true. All of it is a misperception of our experiences. And so the opportunity is regardless of what you went through, know that everybody has wounds and everybody has beliefs that don’t serve us anymore. And we can all benefit from seeing where they’re coming from, learning how to listen to our bodies, which are telling us information about where we need to go, and then clearing those out because they don’t serve us anymore.

Amy B. Scher (00:24:10):

And I think some of us tend to, especially those of us that kind of manifest or feel things in our body, tend to be very sensitive, empathic people who internalize things. So somebody else could have grown up in my situation and thought nothing of it, thought great, my parents love me and if I screw up, they’ll love me too. Which was absolutely the truth for me. But because of the unique individual I am, and because I was kind of born a little bit of a perfectionist and a people pleaser, I took– I am a Virgo, definitely not my fault–I took that and I made my own meaning from it. And while I knew all of the facts, that was just one of the things that I misinterpreted, like you talk about. And so we have to just, so much of our programming happens before we’re seven years old. That’s where the subconscious programming happens. So I always joke with my clients, I say, so many of us are running around like seven year olds, but we’re adults in the world. How dangerous and how ridiculous. And so it’s just going back and undoing some of that stuff that we are programmed with because that’s just how it works.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:25:15):

Right, exactly. I’d like to touch on more specifics about symptoms because I think that that’s a language of the body that can be really, really useful at understanding where to go. And you mentioned in your book a variety of different systems like the chakra system or the meridian system, traditional Chinese medicine. Talk to us about that.

Amy B. Scher (00:25:48):

So I have sort of a whole encyclopedia about what each part of your body could mean if it’s displaying symptoms. And I think as a general way of figuring it out, I say that anything that has to do with pain is usually a pretty– a person is pretty tough on themselves. I think that the body, if the body believes that it should be punished, or if a person believes that they’ve screwed up or they’re not good and they believe they should be punished or they punish themselves, there is no worse punishment than pain as the body reads it. And so pain disorders, or pain, is a lot of self punishment. So there’s some–migraines are typically people who are really, really hard on themselves. I’ve never met somebody that had migraines that didn’t just constantly think of what they should have said, what they should have done.

(00:26:48):

There’s a lot of narrative going on in the head. Then there’s different parts of the body or different chakras. And I feel like there, there’s a lot around–so much has to do with the heart chakra, insomnia, when the heart isn’t settled either because something bad has happened and we haven’t resolved it internally or because we’re worried, our heart chakra can become really imbalanced and that can cause all kinds of things like shoulder pain and back pain and chest pain, also palpitations, which are scary. Then we get even more panicked because stuff in the physical body is really scary. I always say fatigue is people are tired of something. What are you tired of? What are you tired of dealing with? What are you tired of thinking about that you haven’t let go of? So there’s all these sort of cues that can point you in the right direction.

(00:27:49):

But I always say you kind of already know, if you really get honest with yourself, which is so hard to do because then we find out about a lot of things we don’t want to deal with. But if we really get honest with ourselves and just go, what is wrong? Why am I so unhappy? Or what is hurting my body so bad? Usually we know it takes a while and we don’t believe that we know, and we say we don’t know, because we’re not totally in touch with it. But I think we do know, and I think these guides in terms of what we can find in my book or the things that you can figure out about what means, what are all helpful in terms of pointing you to the right thing. But I feel like we know somewhere inside, we know.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:33):

We do. Of course we do because we have our intuition, we have our subconscious. Wherever you think about it in your body, we have our soul, our spirit that is hopefully propelling us. I mean, that’s what I believe. You don’t have to believe that, but that’s definitely what I believe. And it helps. We have to have a purpose.

Amy B. Scher (00:28:56):

We have to, and I just wrote about this actually today in my newsletter about purpose. And it doesn’t have to be mind blowing or we don’t have to save the world. Purpose is just something that drives us, something that’s bigger than ourselves. And it’s a great distraction from symptoms. Trying to figure out, even if the healing journey to get to a better place of wellness is your purpose for now, make it about that instead of figuring out symptoms, it make it about using this time to better yourself in whatever way you can. But yeah, it becomes so easy to be fixated on symptoms and unless we’re really trying to figure out what they’re telling us, I feel like it just instigates more fear, or at least that’s how I remember it for myself. Every new symptom was so terrifying.

(00:29:48):

I feel like sometimes too, when I talk to my clients, they’re like, and now I have a new thing or now this, whatever is happening. And I always say, we feel like we have 20 new things, but I find that most of the things are connected to the same core things. And so I always tell people, you might only have two or three things and then all those things are happening from it. And so if you can find the two or three core things emotionally or spiritually that you’re dealing with and focus on those and then have your doctor help you with all the other tent poles that you need to do to really try to be less overwhelmed, we feel like we have to figure out every little thing. But if your big goal is becoming more of who you are and being relaxed in that, that can help so many of the body systems, right? That can help the immune system, the nervous system, all the things we need to fix. If that’s the job of the patient, then that can do so much.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:30:44):

Absolutely. I also think that it’s really important for us to remember that our body is on our side. I think with chronic illness, we feel like our bodies have betrayed us. We feel like our bodies are against us, whether it’s cancer or an autoimmune condition, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease. My body didn’t do what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to defend me from this, and now I have this thing. And we need to reframe that as much as we can. We need to really repackage the way that we’re thinking about it because the truth is your body is always trying to protect you. It is always doing its very best to help you navigate and to survive.

Amy B. Scher (00:31:38):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:40):

When I think about it, I think about somebody who has sepsis, somebody who gets pneumonia, gets an infection, and they get so sick, the are in the bloodstream. And now they’re in the intensive care unit and their bodies are trying really, really hard to fight. And what happens is that the body gets flooded with inflammatory mediators. We’ve heard about the cytokine storm now. So you get a ton of inflammatory mediators, you might get edema/ swelling and the blood pressure bottoms out because the body is trying to push all this fluid there to dilute the infection, bring white blood cells and fighters to the source of the infection. Even in those moments, it is doing everything it can to protect us. And whether you’re dealing with migraines or chronic pain or whatever, your body is doing everything that it can. Yes. And if we can reframe that and start to see it as the body is trying to send you messages, it’s trying to get your attention. If you get another symptom, another diagnosis, it’s simply more information for you to point yourself in the right direction.

Amy B. Scher (00:33:08):

Yes. And I love that you talk about that because as easy as it is to hate our bodies or be mad at our bodies, it’s not effective either. It’s like trying to–right? It’s like anybody knows that in any relationship you’re not going to get anywhere when you’re fighting, you’re just not. It’s not going to work out. And so I think, I always say symptoms are the body’s only way of speaking. There’s no other way it can do it. That’s the language. That’s what it is. So your body is actually trying to talk to you. The fact that you may not know what it’s saying is not necessarily your body’s fault or your fault. That’s frustrating for sure. But befriending your body is really more important than anything else because you are just not going to get anywhere. If you hate it, you’re just not going to get anywhere.

(00:33:57):

And when you direct that hatred or that frustration or that anger, you’re directing it into the thing you want to heal. So it’s like throwing fire on it. And from an emotional standpoint, you’re talking about the inflammatory response of stress, which I also see as unprocessed emotions or beliefs. All this stuff can be read as stressed by the body, that causes inflammation. And so you’re only furthering that inflammatory process. And by working with the emotions, even if you have the physical thing going on, that can help calm some of the inflammatory process. Because if we’re looking at–any “stress” could cause inflammation. We want to look at the mold. We want to look at all of the things, we want to look at the stress we’re inducing on ourselves too. Because that’s sometimes the easiest thing to get under control. And so one stress you can take away is the stress of being mean to yourself.

(00:34:52):

The body doesn’t do well under that stress. And so even if you take baby steps, I remember when I was practicing this, I couldn’t quite get to self-love, but I got to self-like first, which was like–I used to be like, I’m the worst person in the world. I forgot to do X, Y, and Z. And then it was like, okay, I’m probably not the worst person in the world. There’s probably people who are doing worse than me, worse things than me right now. Maybe I’m not the worst person in the world. And I went from that to like, okay, I did most things right today, or okay, I’m learning. And I just baby stepped my way there. And I feel like just bettering the relationship I had with myself was a huge burden off my body. A huge burden.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:33):

Absolutely. I have this wall of diplomas in my office, not this office, it’s in another office. I didn’t want to look at it every day. And at some point during my journey at the University of Santa Monica, I realized that that wall represented my wall of shame. Wow. I was not good enough as I am, I perceived. So I had to go get all those degrees. I had to accumulate degrees, I got double degrees whenever I could because I needed to prove to myself, and the world, my family, that I was okay because I could do all these things

Amy B. Scher (00:36:20):

With your worthiness.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:21):

That I was worthy. So I guess, yeah, wall of shame slash worthiness, whatever.

Amy B. Scher (00:36:26):

Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:27):

I was not okay as I was. And I think that–I’m a Capricorn, so I’m right there with you.

Amy B. Scher (00:36:34):

You have problems too. Not easy for you either.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:39):

Not easy for me either. And Virgo rising. So yeah, I get you. And it doesn’t serve us. It doesn’t serve us.

Amy B. Scher (00:36:50):

It doesn’t. And those of us who take things really seriously. So when I was going to heal, I was going to take healing like a job. I took healing like a job. I made it somewhat–now I had a whole nother stress in my life. If I forgot a supplement now, now it’s all my fault again. And so I think one of the things I learned too, and I always share this with clients, is one of the best things you can do is just lighten up. I know this feels so serious and so urgent, but just mellowing out, chilling out into the moment and into the season you’re in, and just lightening up a little bit. Not everything is really as life or death as we feel it is, even when we’re sick. There’s very few things that today are life and death. And so I think we kind of, trying to bring that levity in, bring so much healing space into the body, but we’re so practiced at, we’re going to do this thing, we’re going to fix this thing, and it becomes another source of stress and we just keep piling ’em on. And it’s hard. And no wonder it’s hard to get better. There’s so much going on,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:58):

Right? It is really hard. And absolutely the more that we can laugh, the more that we can enjoy ourselves and participate in the things that bring us joy and happiness, the more we’re in parasympathetic and the better we will be able to heal. Right? Because then we’re not stressing ourselves out about it.

Amy B. Scher (00:38:20):

Absolutely.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:21):

One of the things I want to talk about too is the diagnoses and the labels.

Amy B. Scher (00:38:28):

Going back to my list that I kept.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:31):

That’s right. Let’s pay attention. So you want to share your list, or share your story about your list?

Amy B. Scher (00:38:38):

Yeah. I don’t even know why I had this list. What use was this list to me, I guess, that when I went to the next doctor, I could show them the list. I also had an Excel spreadsheet where I tracked my symptoms, which wasn’t totally my fault because every time I went to the Lyme doctor, they would ask me to score my symptoms like 1–10. So they had to know. So I think one of the things, and this is kind of a weird spin on worthiness, but I think one of the things we do is we carry this list or these diagnoses with us to prove why we feel the way we do and to show others that it’s real and it’s another way of people pleasing in a way. And then I also think it distracts us from really feeling into our part of things.

(00:39:31):

It’s because of this chemical or it’s because of this lab result, or if that’s all the reason we feel bad, then we’re off the hook. That’s so much better. I would rather have my list than look at why my immune system is freaking out. And that list is growing longer and longer. And so I think also it goes back to what I said before. New clients will often say, oh, and then I went to a doctor last week and said, do you know what to do about this diagnosis? Have you ever worked with this diagnosis? And I tell people, I don’t even look at the diagnosis. Not because I don’t care, not because I don’t believe you, but because my goal in doing the energy work with you is to release all that no longer serves you so you can lighten up and your body can feel better so that your immune system can be stronger, so that your nervous system can be more balanced.

(00:40:20):

If we release all the anger and resentment stuck in your liver, I promise your liver will have more bandwidth to do what it needs to as far as detox. If we can release all the stuff in your heart that’s been stirring around, I promise you that organ will just functionally work better because it’s dealing with less by releasing the emotional burden. So I never really care, to say it bluntly, about what the diagnosis is. It always comes back to healing the nervous system, the immune system. It really comes back to healing your heart and who you are. And that’s from where all the healing happens. And so now we have this, now we have this, now we have this, but I feel, and you’ll obviously know much better as a doctor, but I feel that many of these things have the same root, which is just discontent in the body. So it doesn’t really matter how long your list is or what’s on there because I do the same thing for everybody depending on the diagnosis, I help each person individually with their own stuff and where their stuff is stuck. But I don’t do it based on diagnosis because I don’t think that matters. We’re always just trying to help the person become more of who they are. And from that is sort of the wellspring of all the other healing.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:44):

And my take will be a little bit different because I take insurance and I have diagnostics.

Amy B. Scher (00:41:49):

Yes! Of course, of course

Kelly McCann, MD (00:41:50):

I’m going to have to do lab testing and all of that, but it’s part of the journey. So you go to these different doctors, they look at you with just the physical world, reality glasses, and give you the labels and do the labs. Those are important. They are important. And we need those milestones in part to understand where you need to go on a physical biochemical world level. But even on an energetic level too, as we talked about that illness and symptoms are the body’s way of speaking to you. Yes. And I think things become, the word is concretized, right? It’s like it’s in the energy field, it’s in the beliefs, it’s in the emotions. And then eventually it becomes more and more dense and into the physical body. If we think about the body as an energy body. So you’ve got your physical body, your mental body, emotional, astral, whatever, energy body, and we’re not saying that everything’s going to get better immediately when you start doing your healing with Amy or your emotional deep dive.

(00:43:13):

It does take this interplay because our emotional patterns, our mental patterns have become lodged in the physical body. And so you may have to lightly hold the diagnoses and the symptoms and recognize that those need to be addressed in the physical world reality. You may need to do chelation, you may need to do IVs, you may need to do antibiotics, mold detox protocols in order to help the physical body get to the point where you can continue to release things. And if you’re just going to work on the physical body, you may never get the a hundred percent vitality and life back that you want. I think what we’re also trying to encourage people is if you do them both simultaneously, it’s going to help so much faster, right?

Amy B. Scher (00:44:09):

Yes. I totally agree. And I think what I was saying is people are coming to me and saying, what is the energetic process for if I have fibromyalgia? It’s not about, there’s no specific, how do you do tapping for fibromyalgia? What I’m saying is you have to find the things within yourself where you’re misaligned. No, the diagnoses doesn’t matter to me as far as how I tell people. They still need to deal with the internal stuff. And I love that you say to do both, because people are always so shocked when they come to me and they say, I’m trying to avoid doing X, Y, Z, I want to do energy work. And I always say, do the medicine. And then while you’re taking the medicine, you can dive deep. It’s very hard to dive deep when one, you’re relying on only yourself to fix it, especially when there’s no need.

(00:45:06):

People always say, I never thought you’d be supportive of medicine. And I would say, oh my gosh, thank God for medicine. If I cut my leg, I wouldn’t sit there and do energy work. I would go to the hospital. It floors me how people have created this divide. I think you take the drug, do all of the things that you can do that only helps offer you some relief. And in that place, it’s actually easier to do the deeper work. So if that’s available, do everything that’s available to you that feels good, why put it all on yourself? Why? There’s no reason. Just like there’s no reason to put it all on medicine. It’s the combination that really, really works. And I think what you’re saying is, how I really feel is, if you’ve been doing all the physical for so long and you’re not looking at the emotional, that’s what we’re talking about. We’re not saying stop going to your doctor and start doing energy work. We’re saying add this piece in. This could be the piece that helps elevate everything you’re already doing with your doctor. It just works so well together. It really does.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:15):

Absolutely. And then I do want to say a little bit about languaging. Many patients get a diagnosis and then they say, I have this. I am this. I am a mold patient. I’m a mold patient. I have this. And when we’re talking about holding onto the diagnoses a little bit more lightly, let’s maybe change the languaging–I have been diagnosed with. So you’re not owning that thing. It isn’t an identity of who you are. It is something that you have that you’ve been labeled with. But labels we can pull off. And as Amy shared already, labels are somewhat helpful, but not really. We need to understand the root causes. In environmental medicine, we talk about the bucket or the sink, and how everything that you’ve ever been exposed to is in the bucket. And some people have huge buckets and big drains, and they can get rid of all the toxic exposures and deal with the infections because they have a lot of resilience. And then some people have really narrow sinks and little teeny tiny drains and they overflow and they have lots of symptoms. And what we think, what we tell ourselves, what we believe about ourselves impacts our sinks and our ability to get rid of environmental chemicals and toxins and all of those things just as much as our genetics and our epigenetics and our nutrition and our detox pathways, all of that. It’s all part of that bucket.

Amy B. Scher (00:48:11):

I like the word experiencing. I would say I’m experiencing an autoimmune process, or I’m experiencing. That sounds like it’s just right now. And this is just a moment. And I think that it’s really important language. We start to just subscribe to that stuff because over and over we repeat it and this is how things get stuck. This is how we become the list that I had. Because we know everything about every diagnosis, and it’s important to have that as a marker, but we can’t become it. We can’t make things more important than they need to be. That’s what I think it is.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:46):

Right. Absolutely. So shall we look at a couple of questions?

Amy B. Scher (00:48:52):

Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s look at some questions and everybody, again, you could put it in the Q&A at the bottom of your screen. We have a lot of questions, It looks like. A couple of people are asking where is the list of the sort of symptoms and what they can mean. So I think they’re in every single book, but they’re in How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. And this is my first book and there’s a whole section on it there if you want to find that list to give you some clues.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:21):

Yeah, Amy has great lists in there.

Amy B. Scher (00:49:24):

Thank you. I’m a Virgo. I like lists. I have lists of beliefs you might need to clear. I have lists of emotions, I have lists. I am a list maker.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:32):

Yeah, it’s a great list. And there are other resources out there too. There are other medical healers and intuitives who have put together lists and they’re not all the same. So I really love how you have structured it and encouraged people to really ask the questions because we can think, oh, well, this chakra here at the throat is all about self-expression, and if I have thyroid issues, I must not be expressing myself. But that might not be the problem at all. Yes. I think that’s really important.

Amy B. Scher (00:50:08):

Yes. And I always find too, it’s important to look at the chakra below. So I’ll find sometimes, and just because I have sort of this intuitive ability to kind of feel where things are, but someone will come to me with thyroid and I’ll feel all the energy stuck in their heart. And if it’s blocked there, it may be blocking the throat chakra. So you have to just really have to figure out what it is. But these lists can help you start to think, and I have questions about what you might discover and how you might address it, just so it kind of helps to have that starter material.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:40):

Absolutely. Okay.

Amy B. Scher (00:50:44):

Do you want to read a couple?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:45):

Yeah. Thank you, Wilma for being excited to be here. We are too.

Amy B. Scher (00:50:50):

Yeah, we’re so excited. We really got so many people interested and we’re so happy that so many people want to learn about this. So fantastic.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:58):

Absolutely. Can these techniques and energy sessions help with structural issues like cranial cervical instability and myofascial imbalances?

Amy B. Scher (00:51:08):

So the way that I say it is that releasing stuck energy can never, ever hurt. I never want to say releasing stuck energy will fix X, Y, and Z. But again, we’re looking at it as more of a global thing. So how can releasing stuck energy or changing old beliefs support your nervous system in whatever healing you’re doing? How can it help the function of your immune system? How can it help support your organs? And so your nervous system has a lot to do with your spine. It has a lot to do with with so many parts of your body. And so I always feel like I’ve worked with people who had structural issues in their back, and the release of the trauma or the stress really helped. How, I don’t know, but I always say it can never hurt to work on the emotional piece, especially because I believe that working on the emotional piece just allows the body to heal at a faster rate. And so if you can think of it as supporting the healing process instead of fixing something, I feel like it’s always worth doing in conjunction with whatever else you’re doing. How do you feel about that?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:17):

Absolutely. I completely agree. We think that structure can’t be changed, but people can get acupuncture and that can actually change the experience of that structure, and we can provide certain kinds of nutrients and that can change structure. I think that there’s the possibility of healing, and when we’re looking at it from this deeper, fuller perspective, mind, body, spirit and bringing in all the tools. I mean, I think the patients who are most successful and the practitioners who are most successful are the ones that have more tools. The more tools in my toolkit, the better I can say, well, I have these six things that you could try. Which one resonates with you? Are you attracted to number one or two or five? Well go do those. Yes. And I don’t have all the answers, but if you are able to tap into your intuition and follow the things that you’re attracted to, it may be that this spiritual path is going to work for you. It may be that you have to do something else. Some people need sound bathing, and some people need cranial sacral, and some people need acupuncture. So go after the things that you’re attracted to that resonate with you.

Amy B. Scher (00:53:48):

Yeah, I think that’s so important. And it’s easy to get overwhelmed too because it feels like especially when our friends are like, we’re doing this, we’re doing this. I always tell people like what you’re saying, go with what resonates and don’t feel like you have to do every single thing because that becomes its own stress. So I love that you–all of your patients always tell me, she’s helping me tap into my intuition. I’m like, she’s one of the only doctors I know who does that. And it’s so important because that is so good for your nervous system. Nothing’s better for your nervous system than feeling safe in your own hands. And I write about this in How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can, that it almost doesn’t matter. It does a little matter what modality you’re using, but the real healing effect of self-healing comes in learning to feel safe in your own hands. And so now, instead of being panicked with every symptom and waiting for your doctor to call you back or hoping that X, Y, and Z supplement will work while you’re waiting for all of those things, you have something you can do to put your body at ease. And that is more healing than finding the right thing. It’s the process of that that actually your body can respond physically to.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:03):

Absolutely

Amy B. Scher (00:55:04):

The resonance.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:55:06):

So for example, Betsy asked about chronic pain in the tops of her feet and the diagnosis is arthritis. She’s tried some physical things. And then how did she treat this from a spiritual perspective? I think we kind of answered that, but maybe add a few sentences for her.

Amy B. Scher (00:55:26):

So feet are often fear of moving forward. Sometimes they’re not, though, see, that’s one of those things that’s like, this is arthritis, it’s a pain thing. I find that a lot of people with arthritis micromanage their lives to such an extent that they’re just like this, that they’re fearful of letting go, that they’re very controlling, not necessarily of others, but of their own lives. And that tension in the body is one of the roots of arthritis if we’re going to look at it from an energetic standpoint that I see, or an emotional standpoint. So fear is a big one, and fear of losing control or not being able to micromanage or control everything is a big one I see with arthritis. And so that would be a place to start. How can I start bringing levity into that part of my life? How can I let go a little more?

(00:56:15):

How can I be a little bit lighter? How can I let people make mistakes on their own? What happens if I don’t? A lot of people with arthritis, and a lot of people with chronic illness or that experience chronic illness, believe that they can do everything better than everyone else, including worrying about everyone else. And I can vouch for that. I think I could worry about anyone else better than they could for themselves, but that pattern is really hard on our bodies. And so these are the kinds of things we want to look at. What if I just let someone else deal with their own thing? What if I just did that? Or what if instead of trying to do this thing perfectly, I just did 95% instead of 150%? What would happen? Those are the little things you can start doing right now. I have this phrase, which I always say, just aim a little lower, just aim a little bit lower. Okay. That I think really brings some levity into day to day. And also it just takes that pressure off your body.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:57:15):

I also think about feet as moving forward. And so if there is some real fear about how you’re going to do it, I think that not only letting go, but also just knowing that the more you’re able to tune into yourself, the more clear you’ll get about moving forward in your life. And that’s really, I love that. That’s what it’s all about.

Amy B. Scher (00:57:52):

And trust too. And trust that wherever you’re going, you’ll be okay. That’s another thing that’s hard for us to do, right? We want guarantees.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:01):

Yeah, there are no guarantees, but I really do think the universe has our back, right? Our bodies are on our side, and the universe has our back. Our purpose here is to be full expressions of the most beautiful, unique beings that we are.

Amy B. Scher (00:58:21):

Yeah, it seems so easy, doesn’t it? And it’s so hard to do. Why is it so hard to do?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:28):

Oh, I don’t know why it’s so hard to do, but it is. Somebody asked about Fredica’s NIKKI bioenergetic device for detoxification. Are you familiar with that one at all?

Amy B. Scher (00:58:40):

I’m not.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:42):

Me neither. Sorry.

Amy B. Scher (00:58:43):

There’s so many great resources. Now, I remember when I was sick, there were three Lyme doctors and three things you could do. And now there’s so many amazing things, and I have not heard of that one.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:54):

What about physical injuries, joint tears, energy healers have said that these conditions cannot be reversed. This person doesn’t believe that, but doesn’t seem to have the tools to affect change.

Amy B. Scher (00:59:09):

So I feel the same way about what we spoke about before is that doing the energy work to release any emotional stress or outdated beliefs or trauma from your body can only support the healing process. The body I see as a self-healing mechanism. And we can take supplements, we can do all kinds of things to support that healing and instigate the healing response in a grander way than we could if we did nothing. And I see energy work as a piece of that. It’s something you can do to help the body’s repair mechanism or to support the body’s repair mechanism. So I do believe that those things can be healed, but I would also say, do the ultrasound therapy your doctor recommends. Do the thing from the physical standpoint that you resonate with, and then do the internal work. And that’s like the magic sauce, I think.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:00:06):

Yes. So the next question is more about talking specifically how you help people overcome their mental emotional blocks.

Amy B. Scher (01:00:20):

So what I focus on is helping people reprogram outdated beliefs. Like, I’m not worthy. I have to be perfect to be loved. There’s nothing I can do to help myself. There’s all of these beliefs which are really easy to identify because they’re the things we tell ourselves all the time that if we just pay attention to, we’ll hear. So one thing is working on beliefs. The second thing is releasing stuck emotions from our body. Emotions actually get stored in the body, and they affect our chemical response in our body. They’re tied into our biology. And so having stuck trauma or emotions in our body can increase cortisol levels. It can mess with our insulin. It can do all kinds of things. And so releasing emotions is another way that I work. And then also really going deeper into some of these patterns that we talk about.

(01:01:13):

Perfectionism, people pleasing, not having boundaries, living in fear, having to control everything. So those are kind of the three things that I would say that I work on most with people. And you don’t have to work with me personally. I have lots of stuff on YouTube, and my book really walks people through it. This is one of the things that I really had to come to terms with was that it’s so great to have a guide or have a doctor, and you need all of those people, but you have to do the work yourself. And so I have this book that will allow you to do it all by yourself, or you can do check-in appointments with me if you need a guide. But you have to do the work. And it’s all pretty easy. People sometimes say, well, I don’t know. How does that work? It seems too easy. And I say, you want me to make something more complicated for you? It just works. And so my book, I think is the best place to start. How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. It’s at every library too, so if you don’t have the funds to buy it, you can borrow it and you could just start small. I tell people 15 to 20 minutes a day, that can do it. That can do it consistently.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:02:18):

Consistently. Yeah. I second Amy’s plug for her book. Thank you. I just listened to it on Audible and that was a great way to listen to all this stuff. And then I would recommend if you can get a hard copy so you can at least have the lists. The lists are great and you’re not going to remember them from Audible, listening to them. So that’s a really helpful way for those of you who commute like I do, to get all of the juicy information. And then you can dive in when you get home and you work with your book. So a fantastic way. Let’s see. Yeah, so that was basically the question. How do you recommend a patient start working with a mind-body connection and healing?

Amy B. Scher (01:03:08):

Yeah, so I think the book, I was just laughing because I have people who, my book is translated into many languages. I have people all over the world that send me pictures of their books and people put dividers in the books, colored paper clips, my books turn into workbooks, and I think it’s so funny, but I just say start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just starting to pay attention to some of these little things can signal to your body that you’re creating change. Don’t underestimate the power of doing this piece in little pieces. You need to be consistent and you need to be committed. But we don’t want you sitting on your bed crying for three hours, delving into your emotional stuff, reflecting on everything, writing down every thought. This is what you do in therapy and a lot of people for all the benefits therapy can bring, doesn’t always help you release it from your body. So this is sort of a different way of accessing, processing and releasing emotions. And again, we want you to be kind of easy breezy about it. This is serious stuff so we–it is serious, but to just say what’s here, just to be curious about what part of your body is talking to and what it might be saying, it’s enough to start.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:21):

How long did it take you to feel healthy after you started doing this mind-body work?

Amy B. Scher (01:04:25):

This is a great question. I think it took me about a year to feel like, okay, I’ve really got this. I’m really okay now. And I was talking to, I actually sent this out in my newsletter today too, about signs of healing because the month before I really turned a corner– and was like, oh my gosh, I think I’m like, okay, now– I had the worst month ever. I thought I’m never going to get better. And so I’ve been talking to a couple of clients who say, how do I know if I’m healing? It’s so frustrating. I’m doing all of these things. And I always say the signs of healing are really subtle. And a lot of them are things like, you have a crash, but you bounce back a little bit faster than you used to. Or your bad periods aren’t quite as bad as they were a few months ago, or you had an extra few hours in the day that you felt good.

(01:05:17):

Maybe you used to have to get into bed at 2:00 PM and now you get into bed at 5:00 PM It’s these little things along the way and it’s not linear. So what happened yesterday has no bearing on what happens today and how you feel today. Might have no bearing on what happens tomorrow. But I’d like to say that because I want people to know that that’s normal, that that doesn’t mean you’re not healing. We’re looking for the 1% improvement in mood or even feeling a little more hopeful is a good sign that energy is shifting in your body. And so I would say it took me about a year of really committing to feel like I am on the other side of this, but I also like to tell people that the month before that I thought I was dying and I was just having another bump with another layer to be healed. And I moved through it and I was better off for it. And so I also sometimes have clients that are like, I’ve had hip pain for 20 years, and then they do two sessions and they’re like, I feel so much better. I can walk again. And I’m like, how did you do that? I’m not one of these people. Even today, if I hit a rough time in my life, I’m like, I’m so frustrated. Why isn’t this going faster? But some people just, some people’s bodies just work a little faster than others.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:32):

Yes, that’s true. I have a lot of patients who will do along the same lines. They’ll do the Gupta program or they’ll do Annie Hoppers program or they’ll do some sort of program and they’re like, well, I did that program and I’m not any better. Alright, well you went through the motions, but you didn’t do the work, right? Yes. Can you speak to that too?

Amy B. Scher (01:06:56):

Yes. Oh my gosh, I can so speak to this because I feel like we just do things to check it off the list, but we’re not really doing it. And this is why it comes back to what you so wisely said before, which is that we have to do what we resonate with. It almost doesn’t matter. There are so many paths to healing. There really are. You have to pick the one that you can tolerate time-wise, energetic, the one you’re most curious about. And so I did many different things before. I created some of my own techniques and got into Emotional Freedom Technique, which is definitely not my technique. I did Donna Eden’s energy work. I also did the [Healing] Touch. I did more hands-on stuff, and I did them all and they just weren’t–I loved them. I loved Donna Eden’s energy work. But what I resonated with was really looking at the more spiritual emotional aspects than what energies are imbalanced in what parts of the body.

(01:07:55):

So a little less logistical and a little less body focused and a little more heart and soul focused. And so I think those two things, I think there’s so many techniques that can get you to the same place, but this was the path that I just was drawn to. And so I had to really say in my mind, I’m sure there other good things for my nervous system, but this is the one that I’m willing to do. And I did it with all my heart. I really explored every inch of my heart, soul, spirit. I dived in there. I did not like what I saw. I tried to rearrange everything and rebuild everything, but I was in it all the way. And that’s why I think it worked. And I don’t think that something else wouldn’t have worked. I just think this was the thing I was called toward.

(01:08:43):

And that’s why it’s so important. Even within my book of techniques, I always say I give you four or five techniques if you can find three that you really love. You don’t have to love everything, but you do have to go kind of full on in a light way because just checking it off the list and saying, I did the program, I finished it, I followed it. It’s not enough. Your body knows. I’m telling you, your body is so much smarter than we give it credit for. And these shortcuts, everyone wants a shortcut. And I wish I had one. I’ve never found one that works. Sadly.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:17):

No, I don’t think that there are shortcuts.

Amy B. Scher (01:09:21):

It would defeat the purpose of the journey, which is to learn to pay attention to your life. We would just go back to the old stuff and keep going.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:29):

Exactly. Well, I know we said we would go an hour and there are so many more wonderful questions in there. I just not sure, what are you thinking?

Amy B. Scher (01:09:43):

So how about, I just see one more that I think we should answer, and then how about maybe we do a follow-up at some point. This was so wonderful. I would love to do something else with you. And I think that it’s such an important conversation. It really is. And everybody who showed up today and everybody who listens to the recording should be really proud for showing up, not easy to show up for this kind of stuff. And I guess there’s maybe one more thing that I want to say, which is, I think in the world of self-help and the world of this, we can heal ourselves and we have a part in this, we can blame ourselves. And I want to just say a couple of things about that, which is at some point I just let all that go and went, you know what?

(01:10:27):

Maybe I participated in some of it. Who cares? I’m going to dive in. I think we can resist the self-healing because we’re used to being blamed for our symptoms or they’re not real. Or why don’t you just get over it? So we defend ourselves against it. And I think we can have a more sort of holistic view of, it’s not our fault, but we still have a lot of power in doing something about it. And so I just want to say to everybody who showed up, even though it’s so hard, it’s not your fault, but also it’s still within your power to shift some of these things in huge ways. And so to try to have, it’s not your fault, but you probably, even if just subconsciously participated in some of what’s going on in your body and your life and having that sort of balance can really help you. And I wanted to make sure that people don’t feel, sometimes we can start feeling like, oh, another symptom. I must’ve done something wrong. It’s not like that. It’s just, it’s all a little bit of a mystery and it takes a while to figure out.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:25):

Absolutely. I mean, I think about it like we develop all these fantastic coping mechanisms. That’s really what they are. We’re learning when we’re little. We’re learning how to navigate in the world, how to be a human being, what does that mean? And so we learn the tools that work at the moment where we develop them and they’re very, very effective at keeping us safe. Remember the body is always, and our beings are always, trying to keep us safe. And then the tools that we develop when we’re little don’t necessarily work as effectively when we’re adults. You’re not bad, you’re not wrong. You adapted in the best way that you knew how in the circumstances in which you found yourself. And now you’re in different circumstances. You have the opportunity to shift how you’re being in the world that will be more of service to you so that you can fully express who you are.

Amy B. Scher (01:12:33):

It’s a privilege.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:35):

It’s a privilege. Yeah, absolutely.

Amy B. Scher (01:12:37):

It doesn’t feel like it, but I think it is.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:40):

It is.

Amy B. Scher (01:12:41):

Somebody’s asking about Louise Hayy, You Can Heal Your Life. Have you read that? I love it. It’s one of my favorite books. I love it. It was the first book I read that really got me thinking, wait a second, maybe there’s some connection here. So I love that book.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:56):

Yeah, it’s a great start. And just like everything that we’re saying, if the metaphors that she uses resonate with you, fantastic. Use them, run with it. If they don’t, then move on because there are a lot of other ways of thinking about these metaphors and these symptoms that you’re having that might resonate better, that might be more accurate for your unique circumstances.

Amy B. Scher (01:13:25):

Yes, I totally agree. This was wonderful. This was wonderful. It really has. Thank you for spending time talking about this. You’re one of the few who I feel like really understands and encourages their patients, and it’s just so important to understand this connection and without you introducing it to patients, they may never–they will figure it out eventually, but not as quick. So I just want to honor you for that. And thank you. It’s really, really important work you do on all levels.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:13:56):

Thank you. And thank you for sharing your journey with everyone, the world, because it’s so powerful, the offering that you have created in your books

Amy B. Scher (01:14:07):

Thank you

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:09):

And your healing.

Amy B. Scher (01:14:10):

Thank you. And in hindsight, now when I look back, I go, oh, I get what that whole thing was about because now I’m able to talk about it and share. And this is something that I think is important to remember too. It all has meaning. And sometimes we don’t understand it when we’re struggling, but one day, one day, it all makes sense.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:27):

It does. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Amy, and thank you so much to all the participants. We’re so happy that you’re here. The replay will be available for the next week or so, and then you can find it on my website, drkellymccann.com. But please watch it if this was important to you, and share it with your friends for this week, and then we’ll do it again.

Amy B. Scher (01:14:53):

Sounds great. Thank you everybody.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:55):

Okay, bye-Bye

Amy B. Scher (01:14:57):

Bye. Thanks.


My Mold Story

Dr. Kelly’s Webinar - My Mold Story

Sometimes it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone in facing challenging health issues. And I would like to think that my personal experiences have helped me be a better doctor for my patients. I went through multiple mold exposures and learned how to heal from them. My story, and the treatments that worked for me, will probably be a little different than yours, but sometimes it helps to know that the person across the desk or screen has gone through the same thing.

Which is why it’s important to me to share this replay with all of you.

In this live Q&A, I shared my entire mold journey, from childhood to present-day, and I answered some challenging questions about mold and mast cell activation syndrome, discussing:

  • My favorite tests and labs for mold in the home and the body
  • How to start treatment when both MCAS and mold are present
  • The connection between environmental exposures (including mold) and MCAS
  • What medications and supplements I have found to be worth exploring
  • How genetic testing may (or may not) help you heal
  • And why it’s important to calm your nervous system and pay attention to your mind and spirit to help your body recover

If you haven’t already, consider investing in my MCAS: How to Regain Control masterclass for detailed information on MCAS and environmental toxins, more Q&A sessions, and my list of MCAS supplements backed by science.


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:02):

Hello everyone. Welcome. We’re going to wait a few minutes so people can get in and then we’ll get started. We need some music in the background. Does anybody have a good idea for a mast cell theme song? I haven’t really thought about it yet, so feel free to send a message through the chat. If you have theme song idea,

Sarah (00:01:15):

It’s a great idea. Yeah, if you have a good mast cell theme song, something uplifting though.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:01:24):

Yes, absolutely.

Sarah (00:01:29):

Well, as people are filtering in, I will keep, I’ll keep admitting people as they filter in. Just want to remind everyone just to keep yourselves muted. I think I actually turned off the option to unmute yourself, and this is being recorded, so if you turn off your video, that just gives you a little bit more privacy for when we have the replay link. So we will definitely email out the replay link. Someone asked in the chat if we can ask questions. So here’s how today’s going to go. Dr Kelly’s got some things she’s going to talk about. We’re going to keep it a little bit more focused today on mold and mast cell activation. So yes, you can ask questions, use the Q&A function to ask questions. The chat is a great place to just talk with each other. If you have clarifications or if you need me to repeat something or give you a link to something, you can ask it in the meeting chat. But use the Q&A to ask questions that you want Dr. Kelly to see. Yeah, I think that’s it as far as technological stuff goes. It’s a little easier if you change your view to speaker view. So at the top right of your zoom window, there’ll be a little area that says view, and if you click that and hit speaker, then you’ll just see Dr. Kelly when she’s talking. But that’s up to you. And then just last little legal thing. As always, the information that Dr. Kelly is providing today is for educational purposes only. This is not medical advice. So even though she may be answering your questions, this is not advice directly from her to you. So do take the information you get to your healthcare team so they can help you with your individual case. I’ve put up on the screens — you can see some links. You’re welcome to take a screenshot. I will throw that up again at the end, but it gives you some good little things to look at and to keep for current or future use. So I’ll go ahead and just give us just maybe one more minute, Dr. Kelly, to get some people in. Again, if you’re putting questions in the meeting chat, if you would just copy paste those into the Q&A. So if you actually go down to the bottom of your zoom screen, you may have to click the little button that says More with the three dots to see the chat and the Q&A. So use the Q&A for questions that you want Dr. Kelly to see if you would do that. Alright, I’m going to stop sharing so that we can see Dr. Kelly’s wonderful face and I’ll get off video too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:04:28):

Thanks Sarah. Alright, welcome everyone. Thank you so much for making time in your day. Sarah’s going to keep admitting people and we’ll just get started. So last week if you happened to check out the one last week, we talked with Julie Olson about hair loss and Sarah had the link for the replay. So if hair loss is something that you’re struggling with or you want to learn more about, that was a really fun Q&A. I did do a couple of other question and answers, but we really tried to keep it focused. And same thing today, I will focus a little bit more on mold and mast cell. I’ll certainly answer some of the questions that people throw up in the chat and I wanted to share with you, I mean some folks may know my history, but if you don’t or if you haven’t heard the whole story, I was going to share a little bit about my mold experience and how that impacted mast cell and then what are the different things that I did to help heal myself, just to give you some more hope and a pathway. Obviously my path is always going to be different than your path, but there may be some overlap.

(00:05:58):

I grew up in upstate New York and my parents built a house at one point and I was in the basement. You know, teenager, you want to be away from your parents as much as possible. So I was in a renovated basement and it was definitely musty and I’m sure there was mold there. We lived in the middle of the woods in upstate New York, so there was definitely a mold exposure there and I was a pretty allergic kid. So if you think back in your own lives, many of you, and I hear this in my patients too, many of you might’ve had an allergy history and then with each exposure things might get a little bit worse. I lived in New Orleans in an older home for medical school and then moved to Oregon where I know I was exposed to mold and my office was a flat roof building in Oregon, in eastern Oregon where it rained all the time outside of Corvalis, and was definitely sick there, developed chronic fatigue, some fibromyalgia, significant depression to the point where I actually had to leave that job because I just couldn’t function at the level that was required of me in order to keep making enough money.

(00:07:19):

And luckily I was able to leave and did a bunch of locum tenens, so temporary jobs for doctors for a while, and then got to the point where I went to Tucson and did the fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil and got better. I was able to really heal from that mold exposure and I didn’t know why I had gotten sick in the first place and then moved to Southern California where I’ve been exposed to mold multiple times over. Now every single house that I’ve lived in Orange County, that’s probably 10 houses at least, have been somewhat moldy, and two were extremely moldy where I lost everything that I owned the first time I was living by myself. And I remember I figured out that there was mold, I had a mold inspector come and I wanted them to be thorough because I really needed to understand how sick I was and how moldy the place was.

(00:08:28):

And they did cavity samples as well as air samples. So let’s just say the air sample outside had about 1400 spore count. And then inside essentially on every wall was between 50 and 70,000 spore count, even when there was no visible mold. This was in the bedrooms as well as the bathrooms, and then in the master bathroom along the wall that was opposite my closet, it was between the sink and the toilet– oh, I’m sorry, between the shower and the toilet along that wall, the spore count was 700,000 and that wall backed up against my closet. So all of my clothes were contaminated with a high amount of mycotoxins and these were mostly aspergillus and penicillium species of molds, producing a ton of mycotoxins. And I remember my sister came over trying to help me pack and she literally couldn’t go into my closet. She got so sick she couldn’t understand how I was able to live in this place.

(00:09:53):

And every single weekend I had to take a nap. I was working four or five days a week and then would sleep for extended periods of time on the weekends just to try and get through what I was experiencing. And I remember having a conversation with my colleague Ann Shippy about moving from mold. She’s actually hosting a mold summit this past week too. And I realized that I had to get rid of all of my belongings that move, and I was doing it later that day. So I put the belongings that I wanted to try and keep in storage. I had beautiful Chinese antiques, I got rid of my bed, my couch, my carpets, all of my bedding, all of this soft stuff. I just threw it away and then tried to clean my clothes and maintain some of my belongings, but minimal amounts, most everything went into storage if I wanted to try and keep it or I threw it away.

(00:11:10):

And it was pretty devastating to have to do that as I’m sure some of you can relate. And the things that I just wasn’t willing to part with went into storage and I tried and then I moved into a new house. I had nothing in the new house, fortunately I knew that I was going to throw out the bed. So I had purchased a bed and had it delivered to the new house. I bought a couple of beanbag chairs and that was what I sat on while I was waiting for my couch to arrive and slowly started rebuilding my life, rebuilding my closet. I remember I moved and I had one outfit that I was moving in and the next morning I went up and I got up and I went to TJ Maxx and I got a new outfit and I came home and I got undressed and threw my clothes outside, went into the shower and showered and put my new outfit on that was not moldy. And I slowly rebuilt my entire life.

(00:12:21):

And then unfortunately that house had some problems too. I remember one night my husband and I were sleeping, so somewhere between then he moved in with me and we got married, and then we were sleeping and it was raining and then the rain started literally coming in through the window. The window was closed, mind you, the wind was closed and the rain was coming in at an angle. And we realized that there was a problem with this house too. We managed to have some of that remediated, but then we had to leave that house because the landlord sold it. So we moved into yet another house and my husband over the next three, four years that we were there got sicker and sicker and sicker. And so finally I couldn’t ignore the fact that there was something wrong and called my favorite mold Inspector Anna Branch, who is a member of the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness.

(00:13:29):

And she came up and she did some testing in the house and she did both air testing as well as cavity sampling, which is critically important if you’re trying to figure out where the problem is. And at this point, I didn’t need to know everything. I just needed to know should I stay or should I go? And I think it’s really important when you’re thinking about mold and trying to assess your situation. It really depends on do you own, do you rent? What is the question that you need to answer? So in this situation, I needed to know because we were renting should we stay or should we go? How bad is it? So she needed to do enough testing to be able to give us an answer and assess the situation. If somebody owns a house and they intend to remediate, no matter what, you want to know as much as you can about the situation that you’re living in, you want to know more details about more of the places that could be water damaged.

(00:14:49):

I’ve had unfortunately, a number of patients who have used mold inspectors who don’t really get it, they don’t do a thorough assessment, they get an inspection. The inspector points out a handful of places that need remediation or even just one place that needs remediation. And you take care of that and then you find that you’re not well. And so the struggle is really trying to figure out how much to assess and how much to renovate. Most of the time you can’t get everything a hundred percent. We’re not looking for perfect. We’re looking for is it habitable for you currently where your immune system and your nervous system is in a situation where you can calm down and feel safe. And if it’s not safe, as perceived by your immune system and your nervous system, you’re going to have to do something about it. I do believe that it is possible to be in a moldy situation and eventually heal, but it’s really hard to do. And I think it takes a very unique person to be able to make those shifts inside of themselves when they’re in a situation where their nervous system and their immune system and their mast cells perceive danger.

(00:16:28):

So we can talk more about it and I’m sure there’s questions in there that I can further elaborate. But at that moment in time with Anna and my husband, we made the decision that this house was not safe and that was because the sprinkler system was hitting the front of the house three days a week for years on end. There was stachybotrys in that front part of the house. And in southern California and other places like Arizona where they have sprinkler systems, it’s very common. We like to make our houses look like we live on the east coast and we live in the desert. So that was a huge issue. Fortunately, she was also able to help us find another house that was safer. It’s not perfect, but the house that we’re in currently, the landlord was willing to turn off some of the sprinklers and make sure that this house was safer.

(00:17:35):

Is it perfect? No, it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely better than where I was before. So that’s my story about mold. I’m going to open the Q&A and start to answer some of your wonderful questions and then I’ll keep going. Alright, do I recommend both serrapeptase and lumbrokinase for hypercoagulation and yes, one is a fibrinolytic and one is a proteolytic. So the lumbrokinase is actually the fibrinolytic and serrapeptase is a proteolytic. And for some people with hypercoagulation, you may be able to get by with just the lumbrokinase. Boluoke is the brand product that I prefer and then serrapeptase a lot of different brands that are out there. It depends on the level of hypercoagulability and whether or not somebody is actively clotting. The best way to assess clotting from my perspective is to look at a couple of markers. One is called a fibrinogen activity.

(00:19:04):

The fibrinogen activity ideally would be less than 300. And then the other probably more important marker is one called prothrombin fragment 1.2 If you’re using Quest or 1+2, if you’re using LabCorp – it’s the same marker. And that marker should be less than 720, sorry, less than 372. I’m a little dyslexic– 372. That is the reference range provided by each of those labs. And it’s an accurate reference range. So if somebody has a prothrombin fragment 1+2 that’s greater than 500, they need to be on Boluoke. And the serrapeptase may or may not be helpful at getting that number to be lower. So it really is personalized in that we track the numbers and we adjust accordingly. Couple other blood tests that you can ask for include D-dimer. Now D-dimer is not necessarily a marker of active clotting. It is a marker of byproducts, as is the prothrombin fragment, but it’s a byproduct marker. And the other fourth marker that most clinicians won’t know about, but if you have somebody who’s savvy they can order, it’s called alpha 2-antiplasmin. And that one is the fibrinolysis side of things. So the breakdown of clot side of things, and if that is over 125 people need more Boluoke. Okay, let’s see. Moving on. How do you increase BH4? Is there a good supplement for it?

(00:21:13):

That’s a really good question. I will say I’m not an expert. I have had that question come up. At one point there was a company called Ecological Formulas. They still exist, but they had a product called BH4, bioptin. I do not know if they still have that product. Maybe Sarah can check it out. That would be one way to do it. Other than that, I haven’t really re-looked at that, so I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you. The next one is about air purifiers for mold. Yes, this is very complicated. Someone asked about ionizers and then Beth and Dr. Dennis had talked about using an ionizer.

(00:22:11):

So the ionizer’s ions are like electrons, and so sometimes they can be okay for people who [are] sensitive. I used a personal air purifier that was an ionizer when I had a lot of chemical sensitivity due to mold exposure –actually in a different home, I didn’t even tell you about that home! Anyway, so it can be really helpful. I don’t think for long periods of time I would use it. It was used for short periods of time. And I’m assuming I haven’t listened to Dr. Dennis’s interview, but I’m assuming that that’s what they were talking about was using it in a personal air purifier ionizer. In terms of air purifiers, air filtration systems, I tend to use things like the IQ Air or Austin Air. I think that those are the best quality air filters out there. I also do use Air Doctor and Blue Air.

(00:23:21):

Those are some other ones that have been effective. Some people like the Molekules – Molecule with a K – I’ve used those too. I don’t know if the technology hype really lives up to it. And then there are some air filters, machine type of things. And here I’m not the technical person, I’m the clinician. So there’s an Air Oasis which produces some byproducts. There’s a Hi Tech air solution. Some people have found that that’s very effective at breaking up some mold spores. I couldn’t ever tolerate any of them, so I’m not sure. I think again, with people like yourselves who may have mast cell as triggered by mold in particular, you may not tolerate those devices. So I’m not sure if I would put them in my bedroom, in my living room, places like that. I hope that helps answer your question. Okay.

(00:24:53):

Yesterday we talked a little bit about genetic information for treating MCAS and whether or not I look at specific genes or SNPs and how relevant it can be. I do think that there is a place for understanding our genetics in detoxification in even whether or not I treat and how I treat somebody with mast cell. So for example, if I find that somebody has ABP gene variant, that gene codes for the DAO enzyme. If the DAO enzyme is deficient because of a gene variant, I’m going to be more likely to add a DAO enzyme to somebody’s regimen simply because I know that they probably don’t have as much DAO enzyme based on the gene variant. Now, it’s really important to understand that our genes are not our destiny and that expression is not the same thing as our genetics. And so if I give somebody a DAO enzyme and it doesn’t do anything for them despite the fact that they have the ABP gene variant, I’m not going to make them continue to take it, right?

(00:26:29):

If it’s not clinically helpful, we just move on. But it might — knowing that genetics incentivizes me to do things differently with my treatment plan. Many people have recognized that methylation is important in detoxification. And I’ve had patients get very upset, I have MTHFR gene variant, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. And the truth is it’s not really true, right? Methylation happens a billion times a second in every single cell in our bodies. If we’re really that bad at it, we’d probably be dead. So you’re doing well enough that you’re alive, and if you’re still alive, then there’s a lot that we can do. And I was really struck one time, I was at an autism conference with Amy Yasko, it was her conference, and she, for those of you who aren’t familiar with her, she’s a PhD who was very strong in the methylation movement, particularly for autism. And she would have the moms put the kids’ methylation genetics up on the screen. I had my methylation genetics all in front of me, and the moms would share about how their child didn’t have language and they had all these issues and what they were doing with the supplements. And every single kid that was put up there, I had worse genetics than they did. And here I was, I’m a physician, I have language (sometimes), and they were really struggling, and it made it very clear in that moment it was not about the genes.

(00:28:36):

The environmental exposures that my mom had were clearly less than what these moms had. The world is a different place when some of us were born versus others of us. And those things are hugely impactful, much more impactful than our genetics. Do I take some B vitamins to help support myself? Yes, but it’s not the end all, be all of everything. And I think that that’s really important to understand. Okay, let’s see.

Sarah (00:29:08):

This next question, Dr. Kelly, infection and gum. I have the full question here for you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:29:13):

Will you read that for me?

Sarah (00:29:14):

Yeah. So this is someone from Denmark. They said they don’t have myco testing, mold testing for the body and they’ve got an infection in their gums. They had an injury, it says over body and head, so some kind of injury. And for two years they had pain in their jaw. So they’re wondering if it’s possible the trigeminal nerve got injured and can’t supply blood nutrients to the teeth and gum anymore.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:29:44):

Hard to say, of course, without being able to have a conversation and more thoroughly examine someone. And when you’re talking about the gums, where in the gums are the problem and then kind of what to do about it. So if the dentist doesn’t have a clue, if the ear, nose and throat doctor doesn’t have a clue and you’re seeing a neurologist and they don’t have a clue, that gets a little tricky. But I mean those would be the specialists that I would suggest seeing. If you can find a biological dentist, they’re going to be a lot more helpful at identifying whether or not there is an infection or a cavitation in and around the teeth and the gums. Being in Europe means that you have access hopefully to places in Germany or Switzerland where I know that there are biological dentists that can do that sort of assessment.

(00:30:55):

If you don’t have one where you are, and there’s not just the trigeminal nerves, there’s the autonomic nervous system too, which is also going to impact all of these muscles. So thinking about things like vagus nerve stimulation exercises, anything that’s going to calm the nervous system from the clenching, you have to think about things from multiple different levels. Is it nerve? Is it infection? Is it vascular? So those are going to be different, or is it the microbiome in the mouth that’s causing issues or is it that there’s mast cell activation syndrome going on in the mouth because of these imbalances? One of, if you haven’t listened to Dr. Afrin’s talk with me, he shares about his very first patient who had burning mouth symptoms and that was the patient when he was able to really discover that it was a mast cell problem and started him, and all of us, on this journey of understanding mast cell activation.

(00:32:20):

So it’s really a beautiful story of inquisitiveness and curiosity on the part of both the patient and the practitioner to really uncover what was happening. And so my encouragement, when you, Floris, or any of you get stuck in a situation where things just don’t make sense, you have to start thinking about it from all levels and all perspectives and have curiosity about the possibility of what it could be when we’re thinking about a specific body part and think about it not just from the physical world reality, but also is there a metaphor that may fit in there too, because it could be physical, it could be energetic, even usually when it’s going on for a long period of time, it’s more physical. But I hope that you’re starting to think a little bit more broadly about the possibilities of how things can present. Okay, I hope that was helpful. Let’s see.

(00:33:51):

The next person asked about, for MCAS due to mold, doses of resveratrol I recommend. I actually don’t know the dose. The doses, with any supplement, with any medication, really vary by the person and their own unique sensitivities. We have doses in our head of things like quercetin can be 250 milligrams up to a thousand milligrams four times a day, but the dose that’s best for you as an individual can vary greatly based on your genetics and your sensitivities and all sorts of things. And so this is where I love muscle testing because I don’t know the answer. I have lots of different things that we can do. And if you learn a skill like muscle testing, what you’re doing is tapping into your own intuition, tapping into your own subconscious and being able to get the answer for yourself. And then you can certainly still work with your healthcare team and your medical team, but you can feel empowered. I know the answer to this, I know what makes me feel good because the truth is you do know what makes you feel good and what you should avoid. When I first started muscle testing myself, I would ask about things like potato chips — and potato chips, I know are not great for me. I didn’t actually get a no when I asked. I got a side to side, which means not going to be good, not going to be bad. Well, that’s probably true. It’s not terrible for me, but it’s really not good for me.

(00:35:56):

So the more that you’re open to the possibility that you have the resources inside of yourself, and you can answer this question because the truth is both of them might be good, one of them might be better, whether you use resveratrol from Japanese knotweed or resveratrol from another source, and then the dose. And for most people with mast cell, you want to start out with a little teeny tiny dose and the gold dose may be 250 milligrams or it may be 125 milligrams. It will be whatever you can tolerate. Okay, done. The next person asked about what to do when H2 blockers cause digestive issues like bloating, burping and gas, even when also taking betaine. What options do I recommend, trying to continue or discontinue the famotidine? Take it only on occasion, et cetera? So anytime you take something that doesn’t make you feel good, it doesn’t make sense to me, even if physiologically it makes sense to take it, meaning you have heartburn and therefore you should take pepcid or compounded famotidine. If it doesn’t make you feel better, it’s time to move on. That would be my thought about it. I really want you to take the things that work for you, and that’s one of the beautiful things about having lots of tools in the toolkit, right? You have a ton of things that are possible and we want to find the things that work best for you to help manage your symptoms and help calm the things down that you’re struggling with.

(00:38:05):

And so I would just move on. I would move on and try something else and then keep asking the questions, why is this happening? So if somebody has bloating, burping and gas and famotidine doesn’t work, have you checked a SIBO test? Have you thought about small intestinal fungal overgrowth? Are you living in a moldy house? Kind of going through the list. What are the triggers? What are the other things that could be present? Are you on chromolyn? Does chromolyn help? Because is it a mast cell presentation? And then there are plenty of other nutraceuticals that may help too. So walking through the possibilities, remembering that we have to pay attention to the triggers. Is it a food sensitivity?

(00:39:05):

What is it? So that’s what I would bring to your awareness. Okay. What are my favorite tests for testing your body and house for mold? My favorite tests for testing the body are the urinary mycotoxin tests. The companies that I prefer are RealTime Lab, and the lab that was Great Plains, now known as Mosaic. They have the best science behind their kits. I tend to use RealTime Lab more because one, they’re covered by Medicare, and two, they tend to be a little bit more sensitive in terms of what shows up in a test that we can track over time. Interestingly, they don’t really have a normal reference range, so we’re not looking at mycotoxin testing compared to normal people who haven’t been exposed to mold because how do you find that cohort of people who are not exposed to mold? So it really works best in comparison– comparing the person to themselves, as we look at it over time. The technology of Great Plains/Mosaic is very good. It’s excellent, they have high quality scientists there, but it’s not very sensitive. So somebody could be in a super moldy place. They’re not capable of detoxing very well and letting the mycotoxins out and we don’t see very much as a result in the testing, so it makes it harder.

(00:41:12):

I also do use My Myco labs, which is Andrew Campbell’s lab, and this is looking at an IgE allergy, IgG sensitivity to mycotoxins. Sometimes that can be helpful. Sometimes it’s not helpful. So I do use that on occasion as well. In terms of testing for the house, testing for the house really comes back to what is the question that you want to ask and answer about the house, the situation? Are you renting? Do you just need to know should you stay or should you go? And then how much money do you have to spend on answering that question? How thorough do you need to be? How dire is it a situation in terms of your health? What is your financial capability? ImmunoLytics, which is the company that uses mold plates and mold swabs, they can be very helpful and pretty inexpensive. A good resource is the ISEAI website.

(00:42:30):

I think Sarah has put it in the chat a couple times. That’s ISEAI.org. They have a resources page where they go through mold testing, what it means and how to interpret it. So least expensive is mold plates. And the nice thing about ImmunoLytics is that you can have a consult with one of their staff and get an interpretation. So it’s not just like you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and you buy a mold plate and you stick it out and you see if something grows, but then you don’t know what it is. It’s really important to know what the heck is growing on those plates.

(00:43:14):

In terms of next steps, there are a couple companies that do DNA qPCR, which is the ERMI test or the HERTSMI test. This stands for Environmental Relative Mold Index Tests. There are two main companies that do that. One is called Mycometrics. And then the other one is EnviroBiomics. I’ve mostly used Mycometrics, but mold inspectors can use those. You can do those yourself. They run around 300 bucks. If you have a mold inspector do it, they can often upcharge. And so you could pay $450 for what should be a $300 test, but the interpretation is really important. You don’t want to just look at the score, you want to look at the numbers of the individual molds. So the score represents the “Type 1” molds, the bad molds versus the good molds, but you really want to look at the numbers of the bad molds to interpret that.

(00:44:35):

I don’t often recommend that people do the mycotoxin testing for the house. It seems like a lot of money and I very rarely get a positive test. You always want to correlate, like if I have mycotoxins in me and I can prove that my house has mycotoxins in it, then we know that that’s where it came from. It doesn’t always work that way, and I hate to have people spend money on testing. That’s not always helpful at changing the decision that you’re making. So that would not be my suggestion. I think a combination of air testing and cavity sampling plus a good inspector is probably the best way to go with the house. Okay, here’s a really good question. Do you cure mold first or MCAS first and how? Well, that’s a loaded question, how? That’s the hard part. But typically in order to tolerate most mold treatment, we need to calm down those mast cells because they’re often so hypersensitive that any treatment we do for mold is going to get in the way. So how you manage the mast cell is what we’ve been talking about the entire summit. So please check back with other episodes of the summit to figure out ways to help to manage the MCAS.

(00:46:20):

You can start with nutraceuticals, botanicals, like quercetin, luteolin, resveratrol, I don’t know, dozens and dozens out there. If you watch my last summit or if you are interested, all the resources from the last summit that I did are available somewhere on the website, I have how to get your mast cells under control when we’re looking at environmental toxicants. And there’s some live Q&As I did last year, as well as some handouts on the botanicals and the nutraceuticals that are available in that course. So you can see that course. [https://drkellymccann.com/mcas-how-to-regain-control/]. The other thing is to just go through the different pharmaceuticals. So the H1 blockers, that’s your quercetin, I’m sorry, that’s your Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Zyzal, the H2 blockers, and then you have to work with a prescriber for chromolyn, things like that to calm down the mast cells. Absolutely. You need to calm down the vagus nerve as well and work on some limbic system retraining for calming down the mast cells. And as things are starting to calm down, then we layer in treatments for mold. My favorite treatments for mold include phosphatidylcholine. So I use a lot of Body Bio phosphatidylcholine [PC]. Here’s my big bottle. I take on a regular basis because essentially what it does is it helps take the mycotoxin, which is embedded in the cell –here’s an analogy.

(00:48:15):

You remember from cell biology that you have a lipid bilayer in your cell. So you’ve got an outside layer and an inside layer, on the outside layer is phosphatidylcholine. So if you have a mycotoxin inside of your cell, and imagine that my pen is your mycotoxin sitting in the cell, you can take phosphatidylcholine and it pulls out the mycotoxin and heals the cell. Now the mycotoxin is hanging out in what we call the extracellular matrix outside of the cell, and we need to get it from the extracellular matrix out of the body. How does that happen? Well, glutathione can grab it in the extracellular matrix, and it can be brought all the way into the liver, collects in the gallbladder, dumps in the bile, and then when we eat a fatty meal, all those mycotoxins in the bile and all the other toxins that the liver have filtered end up in the bile and we dump it in the gastrointestinal tract.

(00:49:21):

This is where the binders come in. So the binders then are taken — things like charcoal, clay, chlorella — can be taken orally and they bind the mycotoxins and other toxins in the gastrointestinal tract hopefully before they are reabsorbed by what’s called the entero hepatic recirculation, because making bile is energetically expensive for the body and we don’t want to have to make any more than we need to. So we recycle it. And what we’re doing then is trying to grab the toxins out of the bile, out of the gastrointestinal tract, and get them all the way out of the body before they get recycled back into the body. So that’s the purpose of the binders. Now, I find that many mast cell patients have a hard time with binders, and it’s not usually where I start with people. It’s not the end of the world. If you take PC and you take glutathione and you don’t take a lot of binders, there will still be mycotoxins that get out of the body. So I have some patients that are like, “I’m not on binders, it’s terrible”. No, you take the binders when you can. Your body is still pretty smart and it does still get rid of stuff.

(00:50:44):

But if you can tolerate binders and we start to add those binders in very, very slowly because many people have trouble with binders, because I think what’s happening is it sets up a gradient. This is my theory, how it works. So as you’re pulling stuff out of the GI tract, it sets up a gradient where there’s more in the tissues than in the GI tract. And so the ones that are in the tissues then mobilize out of the tissues into the bloodstream, lymphatics, and eventually make their way into the liver so that it can be dumped in the gallbladder. So if you take too many binders too quickly, you mobilize things out of the tissues too quickly, you’re going to feel sick, not because the binders are directly making you sick, but because it’s pulling, there’s a pulling action. That’s just my theory. I don’t know if we have science to back that up, but that seems to be the case in how people feel and when they reduce the amount of binders, they reduce what they’re excreting and they don’t feel as sick.

(00:51:55):

So if that image helps you, then I’m glad for that. And then what I found is really important in treating mold is oftentimes we have to treat a colonization. So I think what happens is we live in a moldy situation. We’ve got mycotoxins, we’ve got all these other fragments and allergens and inflammagens, and we also have mold spores that we can inhale and get colonized with. I know it’s kind of a gross concept, makes me think of The Last of Us. Anyway, I digress. So you inhale the mold spores and they can be colonized in the sinuses, they can colonize in the gastrointestinal tract, and then we have to kill them and we kill them with antifungals. So again, depending upon where you are in your progress, layering in antifungals to help can be extremely helpful at lowering the burden of those mycotoxins because now not only are there mycotoxins coming from outside, they’re coming from inside. So that’s been a huge game changer in making sure that we treat the mold and colonization as well. I’m going to keep moving.

(00:53:27):

Let’s see. The next question is about possible mold triggers. And if somebody is considering purchasing a new stove, how should they weigh the potential hazards of a gas stove compared to an induction stove? That’s a good question. I mean, I really think it depends on the level of chemical sensitivity. If somebody is able to discern, is it VOCs, which is in the natural gas, that are a huge trigger? So if somebody has chemical sensitivity, if they feel worse when they’re using the stove and there is that volatile organic compound, the VOCs or the gases, the solvents, if those things trigger a lot of the symptoms, then it may really be worth it.

(00:54:24):

I’m not sure about the EMF amount of exposure with an induction stove. So you could always work with a building biologist who specializes in EMF to see, I mean, I have to admit, I love my gas stove. I am not looking forward to the day when we can’t get them in California for these reasons. But that’s how I would think about it at this point is are the VOCs and the solvents really a driver for your mast cell when having histamine issues and/or mast cell? Can somebody consume digestive bitters as they contain alcohol? Sometimes. Sometimes people do fine with that. A lot of the homeopathic remedies have some alcohol in them, and there are ways to help get rid of the alcohol. So for example, you could use some boiling water or super hot water and put the digestive bitters or a tincture in that, and it will help get rid of the ethanol so that you’re taking in something that has a lot less percentage alcohol.

(00:55:39):

So that would be, and I’m sure that there are YouTube videos on how to get alcohol out of tinctures. That’s what I would look at. Okay, let’s see. The next question is connected to something else. Oh, and then how to treat the autoimmune conditions linked to mold and mast cell. Good questions. So when I see a patient, I am trying to get as much information as possible. What’s the inflammation like? What is the autoimmune system– are there autoimmune issues? How are they doing in terms of kidney function, liver function, lipids? Are there clotting issues? So I’m looking at all of that even before I get — not before I see them, but as the starting points of working with somebody. So we know that mold can trigger mast cell activation. Mold can trigger oxidative stress and inflammation, which then can lead to autoimmune conditions. Lyme disease and co-infections can do that.

(00:57:04):

Environmental toxicants can do that. So not only do I want to treat the autoimmune issue, I want to pay attention to what might be triggering it, and sometimes it’s multifactorial. So as we’re going through the process of calming down the mast cells, treating the mold, looking at autoimmune conditions, things often will get better simply by working on the root causes. Essentially, what I do for patients with autoimmune conditions is, we got to clean up the diet. No more gluten, oftentimes no more dairy, minimal sugar, and sometimes cleaning up the diet alone can be enough. Sometimes it’s not. And then I use low dose naltrexone. Oftentimes, if people can tolerate that, I find that works really well for autoimmune conditions. It also can stabilize mast cells, works fantastic in some people but not everybody. And then, yeah, it’s really working on those root causes. I’ve had one woman, her autoimmune issues went away. Her Hashimoto’s got substantially better treating metals, so doing chelation for heavy metals made the Hashimoto’s that she had had for 30 years basically go away. I had one woman who took ivermectin for prevention for something, and her Hashimoto’s went away. So it really depends on the root cause for what the autoimmune condition is. Okay.

(00:59:02):

The next question asked about using chlorine dioxide gas for eliminating mold in the home. I’m not familiar with using that. What I would say about that is if there is a water source, water intrusion, and that’s not dealt with, no amount of gas or fogging is going to make a difference, whether it’s chlorine dioxide or just fogging because you still have a water source. The other thing is if the moldy material is not removed from the house, you’re going to still have a problem because the mycotoxins are not being removed. It’s really important to understand that the mold is the living organism and the mycotoxins are not alive, therefore, we cannot kill them. We cannot destroy them. I think the only thing that really destroys mycotoxins are gamma rays and we don’t have access to that — makes me think about the Hulk. But yeah, so we don’t have access to anything really that can destroy mycotoxins, and so no amount of fogging is going to get rid of that problem. We just have to try and lessen the burden and then work on lessening our reactions to things and cleaning up the mold as best we can. So fogging alone, it’s a bandaid, whether it’s with chlorine dioxide or any other substance when having mold. Should we follow a low carb diet? Probably.

(01:00:59):

And part of that is because I think people become colonized with mold and candida, and so you don’t want to feed it more. So eating as clean a diet as possible is going to be usually what’s best. Of course, if people have mast cell activation and then they have oxalate issues and salicylate issues and lectin issues, it gets really, really complicated. Some patients have to go on a carnivore only diet in order to get by, so you have to look at your own situation. But yeah, cleaning up the diet is critically important. Dr. Richie Shoemaker used to put people on a low-amylose diet, which eliminates corn but not anything else. Or wait, it didn’t eliminate corn. So that didn’t make any sense to me either because corn is very moldy, it’s a very moldy food. So low carb, no grains, kind of paleo diet would be best for a moldy person. And then plus or minus the vinegars, some people tolerate them well, some people don’t. I think individualizing things as best as possible. That being said, if you’re somebody who is very underweight and you’re worried about losing more weight, then you have to take this recommendation with a grain of salt and really work with your healthcare team to make sure that you’re on the best diet that you can be for yourself.

(01:02:38):

What are the most effective measures to implement if a person is financially unable to move out of a moldy environment? Really good question. I know it’s very scary when a practitioner is like “you have to move out and you have to get rid of everything that you own”. That’s overwhelming. And I’ve done it twice. It sucks. I refuse to do it again because it’s just devastating. So I get it. I do. The things to do, if you can’t afford to move, are you need to have fresh air as much as possible. So if you’re in a situation where you can open up your windows, open up your doors, getting fresh air in as much as possible, and then if not, using good air filters would be super important. So at one point I was living in that super moldy house with the 700,000 spore count and I had two IQ Airs and I kept my windows and doors open whenever I could, and I was able to still work and function and do my life, thankfully, until I was able to get out of there. So you can get by with doing the best that you can.

(01:04:04):

Some of my patients have had to pitch a tent in their backyard and live in the tent temporarily, whether spending the majority of the time outside, and that has worked for people too. You still have access to a kitchen, you still have access to a bathroom, but you’re spending as little time as possible inside, and then it’s really about finding that sense of safety. So part of the reason that the mast cells get pissed off and hypervigilant and hypersensitive, and are dumping all their mediators and causing all this inflammation, is because they do not feel safe. They do not perceive that they’re safe and they’re trying their best to protect you.

(01:04:51):

What we need to do in those situations are calm them down, and we can do that with medications and supplements, but we will only get so far with modulating them. We have to retrain them just like we have to retrain our nervous system. And so this is where working on the vagus nerve and shifting that sympathetic overdrive into parasympathetic so you can start to heal, is super important. On top of that, calming down the limbic system, the ancient part of the brain where we take our memories and those get shifted into hypersensitivity. We have to work on that. So if you are in a situation where financially you can’t move out, but you have the resources to choose a program like Primal Trust and work the process and remember that no program is going to fix you. No device is going to fix you. No supplement is going to fix you.

(01:06:06):

That it’s a concerted effort and part of it is that your body, your being, your subconscious does not feel safe in the world. And so the work becomes not only calming down those mast cells and shifting from sympathetic to parasympathetic and calming down the limbic system, it’s figuring out where this message of lack of safety came from in the first place, and healing that. We have this perception that we go to the doctor for our physical wellbeing, we go to the therapist to talk about our emotions and our thoughts, and we go to our clergy person, our minister, our rabbi, our priest, to talk about our spiritual wellbeing. Well, the truth is we’re like this, right? Our minds and our bodies and our thoughts and our emotions are all linked and there are messages that our body is telling us, and sometimes this is hard to hear when I’m working with a patient, this is not the first conversation that we’re having. I want to make sure that we’re calming things down, that I’m working on the physical level. That’s why they’re coming to me because I’m a doctor and there’s something wrong with the body.

(01:07:36):

And the truth is there’s nothing actually wrong with you. We just have to figure out the messages that the body is sending so that you can be the best version of yourself. I didn’t mean to go there on that question, but here it was, guys. Okay, I’m going to go back to more solid things. Let’s see. What kinds of remediations do I recommend for someone who is renting and can’t afford to move? Okay, person is mildly affected by mold and can invest a couple thousand dollars in remediation, but not more. So ideally, you want to work with your landlord to identify what is the biggest source of the problem and see what you’re going to be able to do. Usually it’s in the bathroom or the kitchen. And so also working with the inspector, because the inspector is really the one who’s going to be able to say, okay, this is the biggest problem.

(01:08:47):

These are problems, but they’re minor and they’re going to help you be able to utilize your resources most effectively based on what their perception is of the mold situation in the house. So that’s what I would suggest. And if you’re not sure, and you don’t want to have a mold inspector come to the house because that’s a couple thousand dollars right there, potentially. There are a couple of mold inspectors who will do a virtual video walkthrough. For example, Mike Schrantz, Michael Schrantz, my colleague on the board of ISEAI, has a virtual practice as well as a boots on the ground practice, and that’s a lot less expensive for him to walk through with you and look at the different places that may be moldy, have a conversation about how to test and what tests to do, and how to really utilize your resources to the best of your ability.

(01:10:07):

Along the same lines, this person asked about a past summit where I made an agreement with the landlord and that her daughter lives in Santa Cruz, which is a pretty moldy place too, and manages to go from one moldy place to another. I wish I could. Well, how about this? Who finds that they move from one moldy place to another? Raise your hand. Your daughter’s not alone. And I’m sure I’m not alone in moving from one moldy place to another. There’s some sort of attractiveness that moldy people have from moldy places, so I’m sure it’s an energetic thing that we need to clear out. But yeah, I happen to be really blessed with the current situation because the landlord owns the house. It was his mother’s house and he and his brother manage it and he’s in real estate. So it was just a perfect situation where he understood the importance of having a mold less house, or not mold-free, but to be aware of these things. And so it was a conversation. Some landlords are going to be open to it, most aren’t. So I got really lucky. I’ve also had landlords that thought I was a kook because it was important to me to not be in a moldy place.

(01:11:51):

I think being as scientific as you can about it and not being attached to things is really important. Like, I want to be in this house. This is the situation. Does that work for you or not? If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you kind of move on. It’s the best I can say. It’s tough. Okay. Another question based on my clinical experience. What is the ideal diet to heal from MCAS and mold? And does it differ much for individuals and every individual should need to find the right diet for them? If somebody told me I had to be a vegan, I don’t think I would want to stay on the planet. I think it would be really difficult for me to do that.

(01:12:40):

Some people really need to eat low histamine. Luckily I don’t have that problem. I don’t have to eat low histamine, but some people do. So I think, again, using your own internal wisdom, paying attention, working with your healthcare team, finding the diet that works for you, if something makes you feel bad, even if it’s not on the diet that you’re starting with the framework that you’re starting with, let it go. I mean, we start with a framework, whether that’s a low histamine diet or a paleo diet or autoimmune paleo, and then you personalize it and there’s no one right diet for everyone, no matter what your health issues are. Done.

(01:13:34):

I don’t know which mast cell stabilizers to start with. Can’t calm down the hives and antihistamines are not working. So if you have hives and antihistamines aren’t working, then it’s not histamine that’s really driving the hives. And I think that this is something that western medicine, sometimes even allergists, don’t really understand is that your mast cells are filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of mediators, and everybody’s compilation of their different configurations of those mediators are different from person to person, and sometimes from tissue to tissue. And so if something isn’t working, let it go and move on. What’s next? It’s hard to say. If you’re working with a practitioner and you have access to pharmaceuticals, I would want to know more about your history. I would want to know how are the hives related? Are they related to food? Is it related to your menstrual cycle?

(01:14:48):

When do they show up? Is it related to exercise? Because that might change my decision-making. I’m tapping into my intuition all the time when I’m making suggestions to people. How sensitive are you? Maybe I’m going to give you chromolyn and ketotifen. Or maybe people have an aversion, they don’t want to take pharmaceuticals. So then we go down the supplement route, and honestly, if you were in my office, we’d be muscle testing. The easiest way to try and figure that out, and then at least we have an idea. It’s like starting with a food, with a specific diet, and we have an idea of what is going to work and then we have to personalize it. So if I’m muscle testing with somebody and we have an idea of something that’s going to work, then we start with those and we see how much benefit we get when we keep going. Right? Someone is asking about a product called Concrobium Mold Control from Home Depot. Be worthwhile for killing some mold spots on a bathroom ceiling?

(01:16:07):

My concern about killing mold is that then you’re going to have dead mold particles that may be just as allergenic as other things. So the important part is that whatever you’re doing, if you’re doing this yourself, you have to protect yourself. You have to wear a respirator ideally, you want to wall things off, plastic things off so that any work that you’re doing, you’re going to be protected from and you’re going to protect the rest of your house, the rest of your belongings, the rest of the people who live in your house. And I’m really not a mold inspector or a mediator, so I’m sure that there are more educated experts out there that can make some suggestions. But I would also check out the ISEAI website. I know we have a handout there for remediation, and they also have a handout on how to keep your air clean on a budget. So there’s some really great resources there.

(01:17:22):

Okay. Let’s see. In terms of somebody else, asked a follow-up question about the ionizers. I’ll admit I don’t know a whole lot about ionizers in air filters, so take my answer with a grain of salt. And then in terms of UV systems and HVACs units, I think that can be really, really helpful. Again, not an expert. I know that Mike Schrantz has worked with a number of my patients on making sure that they have adequate filtration and UV lights and things like that built into the HVAC system so that the HVAC systems are less likely to get contaminated with mold and mycotoxins. So I’ll defer to my indoor environmental professional colleagues for some of those.

(01:18:29):

This one’s a little long. Give me a second. So this person is struggling from grain molds and stachybotrys and trying to keep pace with IQ Airs and cleaning, but barely treading water. And the question is, even with the HLA dreaded genes, the “Shoemaker genes” that I mentioned, is it possible to get benefit from limbic retraining? And then the second part of that question is, does that dampening down of the response, the limbic response of the body’s alarm bells, to a point where it could be dangerous for those of us who are multi-susceptible? And I hear this too, if I’m calming down my nervous system, how do I know if a place is bad for me? That’s a really great question. So I’m going to start with the first one.

(01:19:43):

I test hundreds of my patients for those HLA haplotypes, and I have them too. But what most of my colleagues found, and I found myself, is that the dreaded genes did not equal a dreaded outcome. So they’re not really accurate. And I think unfortunately, it puts a lot of fear in people that, “oh, I have these dreaded genes, I’m doomed.” Please don’t think that. I do not think that that’s accurate. It should not define you, don’t allow your genes to define you, whether you have MTHFR, you have “Shoemaker’s dreaded genes,” or you have Factor V Leiden, your genes are not your destiny. Or you have APOE, right? “APOE, I’m going to get Alzheimer’s.” No, you don’t have to go down that path. If you have APOE, please watch my interview with Dr. Dane Goodenow. It’s fascinating stuff talking about plasmalogens, but I digress.

(01:20:58):

So everyone can benefit from limbic retraining. Everyone can benefit from learning how to shift from sympathetic overdrive, whether you’re in fight or flight or freeze, and getting yourself over into parasympathetic. And you can do these things even if you are still in a moldy place, because what it’s trying to do is retrain your body so that you can feel safe in the world. And mold is bad for us. Environmental chemicals are bad for us. We know this. And I think that, again, it’s really an opportunity for us to recognize that we need to feel safe in the world. We need to feel free to be ourselves and to express ourselves. And that is our, that’s our God-given right, if you believe in God — I can say it a different way, if you don’t. To be ourselves and to be fully ourselves. And that means no matter where we are on the planet, and when we have that sense of safety and we have that connection to our subconscious and our connection to our intuition, then we can discern: This place smells moldy, I’m going to leave now. This place, there’s toxic chemicals here, I’m going to leave now. This relationship is toxic for me, I am not going to stay. I’m not going to put up with that abuse anymore.

(01:22:44):

So I don’t think that there is a risk for developing a sense of safety inside of ourselves because along with that comes discernment. Let’s see, how many more do I have? Oh, main differences between mastocytosis versus mast cell activation in terms of symptoms and treatment, and does one diagnosis carry a different life expectancy? Okay. Mastocytosis is when– it’s a form of a cancer, meaning there are more mast cells. The mast cells– so you have more numbers of mast cells. So the bone marrow has turned on the production of mast cells and you have an overabundance if the bone marrow turns on the production of lymphocytes. If it’s an acute situation, we call that acute lymphocytic leukemia, ALL. So it’s along those same lines that it’s an overgrowth situation. The symptoms may be very similar in terms of a patient with mast cell activation and a patient with mastocytosis. I do have one patient with mastocytosis in my practice. His symptoms are very similar. It’s a little bit more difficult to control his symptoms because he has a lot more mast cells degranulating and causing inflammation. But the symptoms are pretty similar. In terms of life expectancy, Dr. Afrin always says that patients who have mast cell activation have a usual life expectancy compared to the other people who don’t have it.

(01:24:40):

There’s nothing inherent in mast cell activation that’s going to reduce your life expectancy, which is a good thing. In terms of mastocytosis, I don’t know the latest details on that. Typically the rates of mastocytosis are one in 10,000, so it’s a very rare condition, whereas mast cell activation is 17% in the population, probably higher, more like 25% post covid. So I hope that’s answers part of your question at least. Can mast cell present with only digestive symptoms or would SIBO or histamine intolerance be more likely? Yes. I really think that mast cell activation is going to present in more systems than just the gastrointestinal tract. So if it is just GI symptoms and you don’t really have symptoms in other systems, you don’t feel fatigued, you don’t have insomnia, you don’t have depression, anxiety, you don’t have any other system involved, palpitations, muscle aches and pains, headaches, et cetera, then it’s a histamine intolerance with a SIBO component. It doesn’t mean that it couldn’t progress. If you move into a moldy house and you don’t really pay attention to things, you could have progression of your symptoms if you have a history of allergy. But hopefully with all that you’re learning here, that won’t happen.

(01:26:31):

How long does mold exposure stay in the body after removing yourself from the main exposure? And can you recover without treatment, if the main exposure has been removed? Those are very good questions. I think for those of you like me who have had multiple moldy experiences over the course of our lifetime, I think you can recover over time. I think the rate at which you recover depends on the burden of exposure, depends on your total load. So if you watch some of my mini presentations on environmental chemicals, I talk about total load a lot. And I think that the environmental chemicals, the mold and all of those use similar pathways to get out of the body. So it depends on your detox capacity and how much your total load is. Yes, you can recover. It may take a lot longer and it really does depend on how sick you are, how sensitive you are. When I left Oregon, I didn’t know about mold, and got better on my own by moving to Tucson and doing something that I loved and taking up yoga and doing yoga five days a week, six days a week. So yes, you can get better, but it can also take a long time.

(01:28:02):

Okay, best sources for learning muscle testing? Good question. There is a book that I love called How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can, written by my colleague and friend, Amy Scher, spelled S-C-H-E-R. She does teach about muscle testing in there. She teaches what she calls the standing test. I happen to call it the sway test. There is also, she also teaches an arm test method. Many people are familiar with chiropractors or other allied health professionals who will do muscle testing. I really do think it’s most important that you learn how to do it for yourself. There is a organization called Touch for Health US. They offer applied kinesiology courses and they do teach muscle testing there. I haven’t taken their courses yet. Some of my patients have. Most of the time you just need to practice. So some of my patients will use a pendulum. Some of my patients use the ring test with their finger, where I’m asking the question, a yes would be my finger is strong. So yes — no might let my fingers go apart, but yes is strong. No, I can break the seal so you can practice different things like that. A lot of it is suspension of disbelief, right? You just have to do your best to assume you can do it. But I find that the sway test is the best way to learn to start. Okay.

(01:30:00):

And can you muscle test to find the origin of the gum infection? And the answer is yes, you can. Muscle test. And this is one of the reasons why I love Amy Scher’s book. She uses muscle testing to help figure out the blockages that people have in their healing. So I won’t bore you with a story, but yes, you can use muscle testing to find the origin of the gum infection. And you have to ask yes or no questions because your body can only give you yes or no [answers]. You can’t ask why. So how you formulate the question is really important and you have to establish that yes is yes and no is no. And Amy talks about that in her book, and I’m sure you would learn that in a course, maybe next Q&A we’ll do muscle testing. But yes, you can absolutely do that. It’s pretty cool.

(01:31:08):

Let’s see. Someone asked about fogging a home and best products. I’ve already mentioned I don’t love fogging in a home. I think it’s a bandaid and you’re adding more chemicals to the environment. And I definitely don’t suggest candles. I mean, some people will use diffusers with thieves oil. You want to make sure that they’re pure essential oils and that you tolerate them. A lot of patients don’t. Candles are actually pretty toxic. So I don’t tend to use– especially scented candles. I don’t tend to use those very much. And I don’t know how much they’re really helping. You’d probably be better off investing in an air filter. Okay, can mold appear as infection? And yes, you can have a fungal infection that looks like a bacterial infection.

(01:32:07):

Let’s see. I’m going to jump down a little bit and kind of wrap it up here. Paradoxical reactions to Benadryl, would ketotifen do the same? Not necessarily. I had a paradoxical reaction to Benadryl too and did fine with ketotifen. Everyone is unique. It could have been a paradoxical reaction in that you were reacting to the inactive ingredients in the Benadryl possibly. And so with ketotifen it’s compounded, so it’s less likely to happen. Most people have very different reactions to all the different antihistamines. Okay, let’s see. I’m going to do maybe one more and okay, let’s see.

(01:33:27):

Lots of great questions here. I’m sorry. I’m not going to get to all of ’em. Okay, I’m going to do two more. One person asked about fatty liver and the relationship between MCAS and non-alcoholic fatty liver. And the best way I can describe fatty liver is it’s a reaction to environmental toxicant burden. So if somebody has MCAS, they [may also] have hypermobility and POTS. What can be driving the MCAS in a person who has a susceptibility with hypermobility and dysautonomia, is what’s driving the MCAS is likely what is driving the fatty liver. So it’s not like they’re a one-to-one correlation. It’s more the root. The root causes of each of those things are similar. That’s how I would think about it. And so it may be that you want to start exploring again those root causes that we talk about. Is there mold? Are there environmental chemicals? Are there other things that you’re exposed to? Look at the genetics. Do you have glutathione SNPs? Are you deficient in glutathione? What’s kind of gumming up the pathways?

(01:35:18):

The body gets metabolically imbalanced when it can’t handle the environmental toxicant burden. So that’s where I would really look towards. Okay, I lied. I’m going to do two more. So someone asked about hives being around a menstrual cycle and for women who are menstruating, one of the things that I’ve observed is that when they’re in a moldy environment, the mold triggers the mast cell and it can also cause endocrine disruption. Many of the mycotoxins are estrogenic, particularly the zearalenone. And in fact, there’s actually literature linking mycotoxin exposure with premature breast development and premature menstruation in little girls. So it’s really kind of crazy how [disrupted] hormones can be.

(01:36:46):

I have a number of patients who are in their twenties and thirties who have stopped menstruating because of mold exposure. And what we’ve learned is that they have sensitivities to their own hormones. Just like we can get allergies from mold, we can get autoimmune conditions triggered by mold and environmental chemicals. We can also get sensitivities to our own hormones, our own neurotransmitters. We can get sensitivities to histamine. It sounds kind of crazy, but it exacerbates the normal fluctuation. I had one young woman, she had hives every menstrual cycle to the point where she had to stay home from school, she would be covered in hives, head to toe, terribly fatigued, couldn’t get out of bed. And this happened four days a month, every month. And we figured out that she was sensitive to her own hormones and were able to give her immunotherapy drops with Dr. Ingles and reduce her sensitivity. So she took these immunotherapy drops under the tongue every day, slowly restoring the tolerance to the body so that she could have her menstrual cycle and not have issues. And now she’s normal. She has no PMS, she’s not even on Zyrtec and her hives have gone away. So my suspicion for those of you who find that your symptoms get worse with the fluctuations of your cycles, that’s something that you want to explore. It’s a little tricky because not too many practitioners do it, but I think it’s super important to evaluate that. And then the last question I’m going to end with is what are the spiritual resources that I have had, that I found most helpful in my journey with mold? And thank you for asking that question.

(01:39:03):

There’s been a lot. I mean, I think I grew up really interested in all sorts of things. Spiritual along with the metaphysical and the physical, and recognizing very early on that they were all connected. So my encouragement to you would be follow your heart. Follow what interests you. That’s the most important thing when you’re exploring the relationships between spirituality and your health because that will lead you in the path where you need to go, where your being is pulling you towards. I love the Amy Scher book. I think that’s a great way to hear from somebody who’s been in the trenches, who, somebody who has had chronic Lyme, who’s had chronic pain, who’s really, really struggled, and to hear what she did as a workbook to really give yourself some tools to move forward on this journey.

(01:40:24):

If you find that you’re attracted to the idea of the body as metaphor, and you’re coming at this from a very, very academic perspective, I would read or listen to Gabor Mate’s, the Myth of Normal. He’s a Canadian physician, Hungarian-born Canadian physician who wrote a book, I’m listening to it on audio right now. It is a — he’s much more wordy than I would ever be, but it’s excellent and filled with lots of research about the kind of mind-body connection and what we perceive as normal, and justification. The books by Louise Hay, looking at, again, the metaphor and the language of the body. There’s plenty of medical intuitives who have written books over the years. The older work of Caroline Myss, MYSS is excellent. Donna Eden wrote a number of books about energy and spirituality.

(01:41:44):

Let’s see, there’s a couple more. Mona Lisa Schultz wrote a book and kind of going through the different chakras and the information that is coming forth with understanding those energy centers in the body. And one that my mentors at the University of Santa Monica wrote was called Loyalty to Your Soul, which is a beautiful book. So there’s a lot of resources out there. And again, I see Sarah is putting the different information in the chat for everyone. So if something resonates with you, explore it. Learn. This is really your opportunity to grow. It’s not just about healing your physical body.

(01:42:42):

I think if you take anything away from this summit, that’s really my hope for you is that you recognize that not only can you heal your physical body, but you can heal your entire life. I have a woman in my practice, and when she came in and every time she came in, every single system in the body was off. We have this sheet — the check-in sheet of review of systems — and there’d be check marks all over that thing. And she was oxalate sensitive and she had terrible menstrual cycles. Actually, no, she had stopped menstruating. She was one who had stopped menstruating and [had] lots of moodiness, lots of upset, pain, et cetera. She was just kind of a mess, as I’m sure many of you could relate. And very slowly over time, we were able to get her hormones balanced by using hormone replacement, dial down some of the reactivity, clean up her diet.

(01:43:53):

And then when I felt she was ready, talked to her about Amy Scher’s book, and she just took off like a shot and started listening to different speakers and podcasts and doing the internal work, right? The answers are not out there. I don’t have the answers for you, Beth O’Hara doesn’t have the answers for you, your practitioners, your therapists. We don’t have the answers. We can be guides, but the answers are in here if you’re willing to look and willing to explore what’s there. Be curious. And that’s what this patient did. And I saw her a couple of weeks ago now, and she had two check marks. Oh, a little bit of constipation, like one other thing. It was so minor and she was just beaming from ear to ear, so happy with her life, so happy with her daughter, and so many things were just beautiful. And what she shared was that when she was beginning the journey and she started with the Gupta program and they’re encouraging her to find joy, and she’s like, what are you talking about? There is no joy. I have no access to that idea of joy. It’s just gone.

(01:45:31):

It’s hard to get started, but there’s this little glimmer of hope, the fact that you guys are here, you have that. So nurture that and it will grow. It will grow. Thank you very much everyone.

Sarah (01:45:57):

Thank you, Dr. Kelly. Really quick, before everyone goes, I’m just going to share my screen again so that you can get the links that we put together. This is so amazing. We will make a replay available. So do be aware of that. Let me share my screen so that you can see. Can you all see the links there?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:46:23):

Yes. Thanks Sarah.

Sarah (01:46:25):

Perfect. So take a screenshot of this and a lot of people were asking about the summit, if it was going to be gone. We had talked about last year’s summit, which, if you didn’t buy it, it’s not available. We don’t even have it anymore. It belongs to Health Means. So we really do suggest if you haven’t bought this summit, Health Means will raise the price on Monday. So I know it’s a little chunk of change, but this is information you can have forever. So that middle link, that purchase Mastering Mast Cell Activation link, that’ll take you to where you can order it. But that’s it. Yeah. Otherwise, we’ll get you this replay out. Hopefully by next week. It might be mid to late next week. Yeah. Thank you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:47:18):

Thank you so much, Sarah, and thank you everyone for your attention and your love. We appreciate you. You can do this. You got this. Yeah, so the replay will be all weekend. I think it starts tomorrow morning and runs through Monday morning. So be sure to watch any of the videos that you want to see. Again, take your notes and yeah, the prices go up. They don’t advertise it, but $79 is nothing if you have this in your library, and even if you don’t watch it all now, at some point you might want to go back and say, I really want to watch that oxytocin lecture with Dr. Ackerley because I want that — love in a pill. So there’s some great lectures in there. You don’t have to watch them all. You can take the pressure off yourself to watch them all tomorrow. I think that would be really smart and loving for you. Okay, thank you so much everyone. Have a great weekend. Thank you, Sarah.

Sarah (01:48:29):

Thank you. Bye everyone.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:48:31):

Bye.


Discover the Secrets to Reversing Hair Loss: A Masterclass with Dr. Kelly's & Julie Olson

Dr. Kelly’s Live Q&A with Special Guest, Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP

Hair loss. Many people experience this troubling symptom but not a lot of folks know why. It is often seen as an unfortunate fact of life – a person starts developing a bald spot, and anyone they talk to about it chalks it up to genetics and age.

But what if I told you that hair loss is a downstream symptom of something much deeper? And in most cases, hair loss can be reversed by finding that root cause and making some important lifestyle changes?

But don’t take it from me, take it from functional nutritionist and hair loss expert, Julie Olson, founder and owner of Fortitude Functional Nutrition. Julie has been helping people recover their hair by pinpointing underlying issues and addressing the four key root causes of hair loss: inflammation, gut dysbiosis, stress, and hormonal imbalance.

Julie joined me on a special Q&A about hair loss and mast cell activation syndrome, offering tips and ideas to help people address their hair loss through addressing those four root causes. Our time together was so enlightening and Julie has a lot of great information and wisdom to share, plus we got a ton of thoughtful questions. That’s why I’m thrilled to present the replay here!

We covered:

  • The four main root causes of hair loss
  • The connection between mast cell activation and hair loss
  • The hormonal component of hair loss and how that affects both men & women
  • Nutrients and treatments that can help you regain your mane
  • How integral gut health is for the scalp microbiome
  • And so much more!

To follow Julie for more hair health info: >https://fortitudefunctionalnutrition.com/

Looking for a hair-boosting formula? Check out Healthy Hair Formula today!


Transcript

Kelly McCann, MD (00:00:00):

Okay, so I’m Dr. Kelly McCann. Thank you so much for coming. Really happy that you guys are here. And I was communicating back and forth with Julie Olson, who is a functional nutritionist, and I was actually a guest on her summit earlier in June this year, and it was on hair loss, and she did a fantastic job and had so many different speakers and all this information about hair loss. But one of the things that we both learned for me being on her summit was that mast cells and mast cell activation syndrome is a huge part of hair loss. And so I was remiss in not having Julie be on my summit. So this is actually an amazing opportunity for you all to learn about the relationship between hair loss and mast cell activation because I think it’s a really important issue. And we’ll definitely have to have Julie on our next summit when we do it again next year, but in the meantime, you’ll have her at your disposal to answer questions. So let’s talk a little bit about hair loss. Tell me what you learned and what your understanding is, Julie, so we can share that with the folks here today.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:01:24):

Well, it begins at the cellular level. So our hair follicles are part of a niche of cells involved in proper immune function, and right next to the type of cell that grows our hairs, there’s a number of immune cells including mast cells, but also macrophages, basophils, neutrophils. And so when there becomes an inflammatory response or an overload of histamine, a number of cytokines signaling molecules can generate unwanted cell responses that tend to progress hair loss.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:02:06):

Very interesting. I think one of the things I have forgotten from medical school and I learned when I was preparing for our lecture was the different cycles of hair. So can you walk us through the cycles of hair and how that all works?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:02:23):

Well, yeah, there’s about three different cycles and a growth cycles, but the third cycle is where it’s the resting phase, and that’s what is often actually what happens with mast cell activation. It pops you prematurely into that resting phase. It’s called intelligent effluvium basically. And that’s even the type of hair loss that the covid shed is, is it chronic inflammatory, stress-induced type of hair loss? And that’s also where the histamine response that you get with mast cell activation comes into play here because it really does put a stress on your body and it makes it so that hair follicle not only goes into that resting phase prematurely, but it can destroy it.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:03:31):

Yikes. That doesn’t sound good. So yeah, there’s the antigen phase where it’s growing and our hair is supposed to be 85% of the time in that phase, and that should go on for two to six years. It really is a long period of time that the majority of the hair foles are there. And then there’s a short catagen phase, and then it goes into the telogen phase, which is the resting phase. It’s only supposed to last three to five weeks, but when there’s significant stress or inflammation. The other thing I think talking about covid is a great way to think about it because so many people who had covid had hair loss. So when there’s that huge stressor of covid and all the inflammation that the body makes with covid to try and deal with the virus that has a side effect of impacting the hair follicles, pushing them into the telogen phase where they’re not supposed to be, and then all the hair sheds. Does that sound about right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:04:49):

Right, exactly. When humans experience stress, the body tends to release histamine in much larger amounts, and this excess histamine is believed to affect hair follicles and act as part of a pathology of stress-induced intelligent effluvium. And they’ve done some studies and it showed that people with intelligent effluvium had significantly higher numbers of mast cells and the enzyme tryptase-

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:18):

Tryptase

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:05:18):

Yes, you pronounce that, which is actually involved as in the deregulation of proteins, which our hair needs is basically our hair is made of protein and it removes the lysine, histidine, and arginine. So higher tryptase is a hallmark of

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:41):

Tryptase. Yes.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:05:42):

Tryptase is a hallmark of mast cell activation and part of this whole conversation.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:05:49):

Right. And people can have all of these things without having high tryptase. It’s not necessary to have a high tryptase, but it’s certainly one of those markers of mast cell activation. And then histamine as an inflammatory molecule can trigger more mast cells to react and have more inflammation. The other thing that I think it’s really important for people to understand about mast cells is that they really have three different impacts that they have in terms of the mediators. So they have allergic responses, so that would be your histamine and some of the different other molecules. And then they also have an inflammatory response. So all the cytokines and chemokines, that’s often mast cell reaction, like when we’re thinking about covid as kind of a hallmark of exploration of thinking about mast cell. So you’ve got the allergic component, which many patients who have mast cell are familiar with. You’ve got the inflammatory component. And then the third component that mast cells produce is that they produce these different growth enzymes. And these growth enzymes could be modulating changing the structure of the scalp. So that is one of the possible mechanisms that’s happening too, is when we have an inflammatory response, the mast cells are reacting on the scalp. Not only you’re creating histamine, you’re creating these different growth molecules that can change things so that the scalp becomes more fibrous, which then will damage the hair follicles further and reduce the amount of hair follicles changing the structure. The elastin is changing, the structure of the scalp is changing, leading to more permanent kinds of hair loss.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:08:10):

Right. More the scarring. And both androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata show signs of dysregulated histamine signaling, which induces pro-inflammatory cascades like you were talking about, and causes the premature death of cells, especially as it relates to the cells around the hair follicle on the scalp. And it makes it really difficult to regrow hair since these stem cells around the scalp are no longer present.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:08:43):

Right. I mean, maybe people can envision from biology. I remember the little teardrop looking follicle and then the hair that came out. And it’s really the health of the follicle that determines the health of the hair. Correct?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:09:01):

Exactly. Exactly. I mean, that’s why 49% of hair transplants don’t work because their hair follicle is not healthy because something in their body is not healthy, or out of balance. I mean, you can’t grow a garden in clay.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:09:19):

Right. That’s a perfect analogy. That’s a perfect analogy. And from the literature, we know that there are a lot more mast cells on the skin, and it turns out there are more mast cells in the area where there’s hair loss, probably because the mast cells were drawn there due to something that they needed to fight, something that they needed to address. So for example, it could be that the bacteria, the microbiome of the skin was at a balance. The body had to react in a certain way to try and fight that imbalance and then called in all the mast cells, and then that caused the inflammation that led to the situation where people now have hair loss. Sound about right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:10:14):

Absolutely. And then you throw in the loss of immune privilege.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:20):

Tell us about that. What does that mean? Do your best. I’ll jump in.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:10:25):

Well, especially alopecia areata,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:10:31):

Which is the autoimmune component, right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:10:35):

Right. There’s usually a large change in the immune function due to the loss of immune privilege. And immune privilege is really a mechanism the body uses to keep immune systems out of certain sensitive tissues. So this lends itself to the hair follicle tissues. And so when the hair follicles experience a collapse of the immune privilege, then they’re going to experience a dramatic increase in a variety of different immune problems and factors that can also trigger and the histamine release from mast cells and just cause even more that inflammation. And inflammation is at top root cause functional root cause of hair loss. There’s over 50 causes of hair loss, but I put them into four categories: inflammatory, digestive, stress induced, and hormonal. So this pretty much

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:37):

50 different causes of hair loss. Wow, that’s crazy. And so now we’re talking about mast cell, which would be in the inflammatory component. Right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:11:49):

Right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:11:50):

Okay. I guess it could be diet too, potentially, but

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:11:56):

It’s kind of a matrix. It’s a vicious cycle. If you have that stress and then you don’t eat well, it is a chicken or the egg. I mean, you don’t sleep well, you don’t eat well, it just keeps going on and on. But

Kelly McCann, MD (00:12:15):

Food sensitivities develop leaky gut because of mast cell activation. Now you’ve got gut inflammation malabsorption, that’s a nutrient depletion triggering more inflammation. So yeah, super crazy about how these things are all linked together. I’m curious, what were some of the other beautiful nuggets that you learned? Maybe not so much about mast cells, but just about hair loss and how people can really, what are some good takeaways that you have? What’s your favorite thing to tell people about if they’re coming to you and they’re worried about hair loss or they have hair loss for certain reasons? What is your favorite thing to tell people? I’m putting you on the spot!

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:13:07):

I have to tell ’em, it’s not a death sentence. There’s hope, and you can reverse this as long as you don’t have scarring of the hair follicle. I did. I didn’t have scarring of the hair follicle, but I reversed it naturally, and I was told over and over there was nothing they could do about it. But it is very complicated and there are different overlapping causes. I mean, the four functional root causes I just mentioned. Again, there’s just so much overlap, but there is a lot you can do if your patient gets some good functional labs and start digging and getting your body back into balance. I mean,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:14:00):

Yeah, so whether you have extreme mast cell activation or you have post covid hair loss, many of the steps that you’re going to go through to get your health back are very similar, right? You have to address the diet. You have to calm down the inflammation, do all of the things that we’re, we know in functional medicine to do. There may be a few things that are unique about mast cell and hair loss. So there was some research that came up about topical cetirizine. Do you want to speak to that at all?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:14:40):

You know what, I really take a natural approach. I have not dove into that. And actually I did come across that and want to give a shout out to a colleague and friend of mine that does incredible hair loss research. That’s Rob English. And I think that’s some of the research I shared with you, Dr. Kelly.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:15:05):

Yes. Yeah, was great stuff. So what would be some of the natural things that you would suggest people try for hair loss, whether it’s mast cell related or not. You had a list of information that you shared with me.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:15:22):

Sure. Well start with your lifestyle and the food you consume. I don’t like to call it a diet, but do everything you can do to have an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and food choices. Get the rest you need. Get any environmental toxins out. You need to first remove whatever toxins are stressing your body. And it might be internally within your GI tract or externally. I mean, it could be a stressful relationship or job or something. I mean, it all plays a role in your health. People don’t realize that. And it’s really important for me to say that as a nutritionist, because if you don’t have that stress out and you’re constantly in the fight or flight, it’s really hard to absorb your nutrients.

(00:16:19):

And then of course you’re going to lose hair because any nutrients you have are going to go to your vital organs first, and then you’re going to get inflammation, and then you’re going to get hormonal imbalance, and then it’s just a vicious cycle. So it’s pretty much down to the basics to start out. And some good nutrients that help, back to the mast cell activation. And I know you have a really great list too, but especially as far as hair loss is concerned, is vitamin B6, copper, vitamin C, iron, vitamin D, ginger, garlic, and MSM.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:02):

Can you run that list again, Julie? I think that’s a really important list.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:17:08):

And really they’re just key co-factors for the proper function of the enzymes involved in the histamine deregulation. Sure. So vitamin B6, copper, not too much,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:22):

Not too much.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:17:23):

Balance it out with zinc.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:25):

Yes, absolutely.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:17:27):

Or else you’re going to get some anxiety issues. Vitamin C, iron, vitamin D, ginger, garlic, and MSM.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:17:41):

MSM, yes. Love MSM for all sorts of things. It provides sulfur molecules for detoxification, it helps with gastrointestinal healing. It’s really the glue that helps stick things together too. So I love MSM. All right. Just because I brought it up, I’ll finish the conversation. So there were some studies where they looked at people with hair loss. I think they were mostly the androgenic hair loss, and then maybe some telogen effluvium, and they used the topical cetirizine, otherwise known as Zyrtec, 1% cetirizine plus or minus the minoxidil. Or they did a comparison study with minoxidil 5%, which is a typical medication that gets used topically for hair loss. And they compare the two, and they were actually fairly comparable, which is quite impressive that you can use an antihistamine for hair loss, for androgenic hair loss. So really maybe combining the two in addition to doing all the other lifestyle factors would be possible, making sure that you’re getting all those nutrients, reducing your stress, things like that. How does that sound to you?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:19:08):

Absolutely, because I mean, there really is a clear rationale that the induction of mast cells in the pathology of possibly all forms of hair loss, including the connection to the immune deficits, like telogen effluvium and mast cells, play a critical role in the feedback loop from the scalp microbiome, which we do have a scalp microbiome to our scalp cell niche. The cells explained at the beginning of this concept,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:38):

The cells that are around the follicle. Right,

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:19:43):

Right.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:19:43):

Yeah. Okay. So I’m looking at the Q&A. So for those of you who have joined after Sarah gave us the introduction, if you could put the questions in the Q&A, we can look at them, and then Julie and I will go through and answer. And for those of you who didn’t get to meet Julie, this is Julie Olson. She was the host of the hair loss summit back in June. She did a fantastic job. And so today I took the opportunity to invite her on to join us to talk about hair loss since I overlooked it in putting together the whole summit. So we have a primer on hair loss and mast cell today with Julie Olson. And then I’ll open it up to a little bit more broader mast cell questions towards the end of our time together. But why don’t we take a look at some of the questions. So the very first question is, that I see, is can there be hair loss after years after having covid? Can there be hair loss years after having covid? What do you think about that?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:20:57):

I would answer that…you could have it, I’d say up to a couple years after having covid. It depends how your body is resolving that inflammatory cascade storm or not. If you’re still dealing with that, yes, it could carry on.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:18):

Yeah, a lot of people may have. We have this idea that long haul covid is finite. I do think that people, sometimes when people get covid, it triggers the mast cells. And so it’s quite possible that you could have this longer lingering symptomatology due to covid, including hair loss. But I would think if it was multiple years removed and you don’t have any other symptoms of covid, you want to investigate that. It’s not something else. Right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:21:58):

Sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:21:59):

Absolutely. And then how about this next question? Let’s see, I just answered that one. So are there differences in hair loss and mast cells between men and women, given the hormonal profile differences? So you mentioned that there are four main categories of hair loss. One was nutrition, or not enough nutrition, one was inflammation, one was hormones, and the other one was stress. Right? So now we’re asking about the hormone piece of it, correct?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:22:39):

Sure, sure. And that’s a really good question. And the answer is males usually get what’s in the category of androgetic alopecia, which is driven by a hormonal response of elevated DHT,

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:01):

Which is a metabolite of testosterone,

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:23:04):

A type of testosterone. Women can get that too, but it’s mostly men usually experience it. And the thing is, you go back to genetics, a lot of people just think, oh, well, it’s genetic that the male hair loss is genetic, or even female pattern hair loss is genetic. And that’s not necessarily the case because even elevated stress can drive up that DHT, even drinking a lot of coffee can elevate DHT. So there are a variety of ways to get past all that. And I don’t even think I’m answering the question.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:23:59):

Yeah, sure you are. So I mean, I think it’s really important to recognize that androgenic alopecia is about the hormonal differences or the hormonal dysregulation of, so we call it male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. And because men have more testosterone, that gets metabolized into DHT dihydrotestosterone, more men are going to suffer from androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. But women can get it too. Women can have higher levels of testosterone, or even if they have normal levels of testosterone, but the metabolism is such that they make more DHT, they’re going to have more androgenic alopecia. And yes, some of it can be a genetic predisposition, but we know that with everything, the genes load the gun, the environment fires the trigger. And so if somebody has that genetic predisposition plus stress, plus malnutrition, plus inflammation potentially due to covid or whatever, then they could be more likely to have that androgenic alopecia, that sound about right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:25:20):

Right. And also when DHT is elevated, it can lead to an overproduction of elastin leading to the feeling of the hard tissue, often referred to as fibrosis of the scalp. And this is when the hair follicles and the hair itself starts miniaturizing. And that is also considered androgenic alopecia. And that also can lend itself to scarring of the hair follicle. When you see those shiny scalps, that’s usually scarring of the hair follicle. That is, it’s very difficult to reverse that. So if you’re losing more than a hundred and 150 hairs a day, month after month like I did, you want to do something about it because you don’t want it to get to the point of the fibrosis or the scarring of the hair follicle.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:26:27):

And the other thing about the relationship with mast cell activation and hair loss is that not only do mast cells produce histamine and inflammatory mediators, they also produce elastin. So sometimes why people get changes in their connective tissue. So people can get more laxity in their joints, but they can also get more fibrosis or scarring there as well as in the case of the androgenic alopecia or even some of the more extreme forms of alopecia areata the autoimmune condition. Right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:27:14):

It is complicated. Hang in there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:27:17):

Hang in there. A couple other things to say just about mast cells in general is remember that everyone’s mast cells are different, they have different mediators. That’s what makes mast cell activation so difficult sometimes to identify is that each of your mast cells are unique to you, and then you may have different mediators being released in different tissues. So it just gets super, super complicated when we already have thousands of mediators that you could do. I think about those people who do computations. So you’ve got hundreds of mast cells in a tissue say, and thousands of mediators, and they can all be different combinations of those mediators. It’s just a little mind blowing. Alright, I think that was enough on that question. Okay. Are you looking at the questions? Do you want to take one?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:28:16):

I can’t get access to the questions.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:28:18):

Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s okay. It’s alright. I will just read them. So next one, I’ve had covid twice, but hair loss supplements were able to help with the hair loss. I started detox supplements since January and now even the hair loss supplements don’t help. Please advise. That sounds kind of complicated. Do you want to take a shot at that or do you want me to take that one?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:28:47):

I’ll take a shot and then I’m sure you can add to it. So hair loss supplements aren’t going to work. Supplements don’t work. I think it’s food first and foremost, but again, if you’re stressed out or inflamed, it’s going to be really hard to absorb those nutrients, let alone any supplements. And not all supplements are the same. There’s only a few hair loss supplements out on the market that I will even recommend. So that being said, it’s taking a deeper dive. I would suggest some functional labs to see what else is out of balance in your body that is manifesting, especially in hair loss with you.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:29:36):

And then I think the key in the history and the question that this person started doing detox, and if people undergo detox too aggressively, a lot of people feel that binders for mold exposure, for example, are the primary thing that they’re going to focus on. Well, you have to be very careful with binders because you can bind up your nutrients in your food, in your other supplements, and it’s quite possible that you’re not getting the benefit of all the things that you’re eating and all the other supplements that you’re taking if you’re taking too many binders for detox. And also when you’re detoxing, oftentimes the body can become more inflamed, even though you’re trying to get yourself less inflamed if you’re being too aggressive with it. So absolutely, I agree with Julie. Make sure you’re going back to the basics and dialing in the diet and reducing inflammation, but you may need to really back off and dial back on the detox that your body is clearly telling you it’s too much.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:30:53):

And that being said as well, I mean if your pathways, your drainage pathways are not opening or not open per se, and you’re detoxing, then like Dr. Kelly said, it’s too soon for you to be doing some detoxification protocol and it can backfire. And it sounds like it has. I’m sorry.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:19):

I guess we can also explain a little bit what do we mean by blocking detox pathways and what does that look like?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:31:25):

Well, I mean, make sure your liver function is optimal, your methylation pathways are working. Tudca is a really good supplement for that to help get those pathways going and any of the nutrients to help optimize your liver function. What is your take on that, Dr. Kelly?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:31:48):

Yeah, I mean, with folks who have mast cell, I think it’s really important to just, as I said, dial back what you’re doing, make sure you’re having a regular bowel movement. If that’s not happening, then your pathways don’t have a pathway out, so you’re detoxing and getting stuck. And for some people, they really have to practice avoidance. So you can go back and look at the pretox handout that I had, which is really focusing on avoidance and opening up those pathways and preparing yourself for detox. So that’s a great resource that’s available to all the registrants of the Mast Cell Summit. And then there’s the detox handout. So I think there are ways and resources that you can help figure out where are you, and as I said, your body’s giving you feedback. Okay. Please explain immune privilege for the lay person. Thank you for asking that question. I’m sure you’re not the only one that had that.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:32:58):

Yeah, that’s a tricky one.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:33:00):

So the way that I would think about it is there are some parts of the body that are more protected than others. So we think about the blood brain barrier, that’s one where the brain has immune privilege. It’s separated from the rest of the body and the rest of the immune system, or at least it’s supposed to be in a healthy environment. Same thing with parts of the eye, the retina is the one place that we don’t have mast cells. So it’s privileged in that it’s separate from the immune system. Same thing with a healthy hair follicle. From what I understand, I didn’t remember this, but Julie brought this up, that the hair follicle itself has some privilege and that there are only supposed to be certain amount of immune cells that are there to help protect it. But if there’s an inflammation reaction or the body’s trying to deal with unwanted bacteria around the hair follicle that might be causing issues, that immune privilege gets lost. And some mast cells can get in, some other inflammatory immune cells can get in there to do their job, but then that privilege and that safe space is lost. Is that how you would think about it or explain it?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:34:30):

Yeah. That’s great. It is. It is a difficult concept to grasp though. I think you did a marvelous job explaining.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:34:41):

Thank you. Okay, so this one’s definitely for you. What are the tests and the order of investigation of the 50 causes of hair loss that are at play?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:34:54):

The order of investigation and the test? That is a really good question. So it starts with you, with your intake questionnaire, and no one size fits all. I recommend tests depending on that person. I like to see their prior labs, and then I make some recommendations. Some of my favorite ones though, is a stool test. There’s a couple great ones on the market.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:26):

What are some of the things that you would learn in a stool test about hair loss?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:35:31):

Oh, wow. A ton of stuff. I mean, just what type of, I’m sure if someone has hair loss, they’ve got dysbiosis, but you couldn’t figure out the extent of the dysbiosis.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:43):

And then there are some people who are really new to functional medicine. What’s dysbiosis?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:35:47):

Oh, it’s an unbalanced unhealthy gut.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:35:50):

Right? So it could be that there’s yeast overgrowth. It could be that there’s not enough good guys, too many bad guys.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:36:00):

And there’s a couple markers on there for sibo. And then secretory, IgA, calprotectin, which is an inflammatory marker, anti-gliadin to see if you have an issue with gluten or not. It’s a really, there’s so many great markers on there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:21):

Yeah, it’s a very useful test.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:36:23):

H pylori. Yeah.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:24):

Yeah.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:36:25):

Even H pylori, there’s some published studies showing that can cause hair loss, and once you get rid of it, your hair grows back. So you have to do some investigative work. And then I also like organic acids and even the NutraEval.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:36:48):

That’s great.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:36:51):

It has the organic acids test on it. And it also has testing for nutrient surpluses and deficiencies because you get too much of a nutrient. Even biotin, people think, oh, biotin, biotin for hair growth and biotin doesn’t even help hair grow. Biotin only helps, so your hair doesn’t, oh gosh, why do we use it? That’s another reason all these supplements really bother me. They put too much biotin in it. And you can really mess up your system if you get too much biotin

Kelly McCann, MD (00:37:23):

Good to know. And I think along those same lines in helping people understand this is, you really have to break it down into those categories. I love how you’ve categorized them, Julie, because it’s really easy to remember four things. It’s nutrition, stress, hormones, and inflammation. And so if a person is a 48 year old female or 50 year old female who’s like the in-between phase managing her parents’ healthcare and her kids’ health and their lives, and gee, some stressors, maybe not eating enough, maybe not sleeping enough, and there’s your whole list of potential causes right there.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:38:16):

Right, right. Definitely. It’s definitely going to trigger things. I mean, we even know that lack of sleep and night shift workers not only would trigger something like mast cell activation, but type two diabetes and certainly hair loss because when your circadian rhythm gets off, and so again, it’s complex. No one size fits all. There’s not an approach and test for everybody for hair loss. It’s case by case.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:38:54):

Absolutely. Okay, let’s keep going. Does shingles cause hair loss?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:39:03):

Wow, that’s a great question.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:39:06):

Yeah. So shingles is caused by the virus, the chicken pox virus, otherwise known as varicella. I would think that it’s possible everybody experiences shingles differently because of where it hibernates. So it goes into what’s called the dorsal root ganglion from when you have chicken pox as a kid, depending upon where it shows up, that will go into what’s called the dermatome. So that’s why oftentimes it’ll be– always it’s on one side of the body and it will show up in a certain position. You could get a dermatomal pattern here, and it would be right here. But I would think that if it happened to be on the face or the scalp, you could have some hair loss there. If you have hair loss, I wouldn’t necessarily suspect shingles. I think shingles is a pretty clearly defined entity in of itself. So that would be my answer to that. But shingles could exacerbate a mast cell situation if somebody had mast cell also.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:40:29):

Well, the whole inflammation that undermines shingles, right?

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:34):

Absolutely. Yeah. So knowing that there’s inflammation going on with any infection, there’s a potential relationship there. Probably wouldn’t be highest on our 50 causes list. Might be 51, right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:40:54):

Sure, sure.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:40:55):

Okay, I’ll take this one. How do you test for mast cell activation? So mast cell activation syndrome is really a clinical diagnosis, first and foremost, but that clinical definition is multiple symptoms and multiple systems that are typically allergic, inflammatory and potentially growth related. And that growth can be like fibrosis or forming cysts, things like that. And then in terms of laboratory testing, there are probably eight to 12 different mediators that we can test for in blood and urine. They’re very difficult to get those tests done properly. And then the other potential things that we can do is stains. So typically you can’t stain skin because we know that mast cells exist on the skin in greater numbers, but we can stain tissues like biopsies from an endoscopy or colonoscopy or cystoscopy (which would be bladder) and those special stains can identify numbers of mast cell. So that’s how we would test for mast cell activation. Okay. I have another one for you. Although my MCAS was pretty under control beforehand, I experienced hair loss following endometriosis surgery this year. Are there specific things that I can do to encourage hair growth? Again, what would you encourage that person to do?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:42:42):

Go back to the basics. Get your nutrient status up. Maybe do some functional labs to see what is out of balance since your surgery. Look at your gut. Look at even maybe to get a thyroid panel, an iron panel, something is out of balance if you’re experiencing hair loss. I mean, the trauma of the surgery I’m sure played a major role. But that’s where I start.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:43:15):

And certainly we know that we’re talking about this so far this morning is there’s a relationship between mast cell activation and hair loss. And so it’s not surprising that the stress of a surgery, the anesthesia would trigger mast cells, and one of the results could be hair loss, it could be more global inflammation. So as Julie says, going back to the basics and what are the things that have helped your mast cells stabilize when you flared in the past would be other things that you could do to help calm that down and making sure that you’re getting all the nutrients that you need for your hair. I think those are great ideas. I heard that using castor oil with a carrier oil like lavender or peppermint oil and applying it to the hair helps with shedding and hair growth. What do you think, Julie?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:44:18):

I think there is some truth to that. I also know that emu oil can help. And then some essential oils that can help with circulation are rosemary and peppermint.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:33):

Okay. So peppermint and rosemary would be good for circulation and emu oil. Where do we get emu oil?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:44:44):

You can go to my website. I have a source there.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:44:46):

Great. Perfect. Okay.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:44:48):

Under Favorites. But that being said, it’s something we didn’t mention is that another reason hair loss has become quite the epidemic is because people aren’t moving much, and you need that circulation to get nutrients and blood flow to your scalp. I mean, it needs it. That’s how hair grows. It needs its nutrients. So that’s why rosemary and peppermint are helpful because they do stimulate circulation and topical caffeine actually can help with that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:27):

Oh, that’s very interesting.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:45:29):

And olive oil. I like olive oil too.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:45:30):

So I’m going to put my emu oil and my coffee. Caffeine. Do we do the coffee by itself? No. No more coffee enemas. I’ll just put coffee on my scalp. I’m kidding. I’m not recommending that. But how would you do the caffeine with the hair to stimulate the hair?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:45:53):

Oh, well, there’s shampoos. It has caffeine in it. There’s some serums, even though I’m not big on serums, but there are some serums that have caffeine. Yeah. That’s probably better than just pouring some coffee on your scalp.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:08):

I know. I was really kidding. But the bottom line is circulation requires movement of the blood. So we’re stuck at our desks in front of our little computers. We got to get up and move or at least getting standing desk. Sure. Okay. So with the castor oil, is the castor oil itself going to do something or, because then you have that hot pack with the castor oil. Would that be helpful?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:46:39):

I think so. I’m going to be doing a session like this with Marissa who owns the castor oil pack-

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:46):

Oh, the Queen of Thrones.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:46:48):

Yeah, Queen of Thrones.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:49):

Okay. Well, there you go.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:46:51):

Yeah, so watch for that.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:46:55):

All you wanted to know about castor oil packs and more.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:46:58):

Yeah. We’ll be doing a YouTube on it. Coming soon.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:03):

Super cool. Okay, here’s another one. I was diagnosed with androgenic alopecia 20 years ago. It started when I was 14 after I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time on purpose, and became anorexic for a short time. I think I mess up my thyroid and everything else. Now, I’m 42 female. My hair is getting worse and worse every year. Do you think there’s still some hope? Thank you.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:47:32):

Oh yes, of course. Absolutely.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:47:36):

Always hope.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:47:37):

Yeah. I mean, I had an eating disorder in my senior year of high school, so I overcame that, but I think probably had played a role in my hair loss. I’m 60 years old now. It can happen. You can regrow your hair, hang in there, do what you can. And there’s definitely hope. It’s, not a life sentence unless you have scarring, but if you still are growing your hair, I don’t think you have scarring.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:48:11):

Right. And go back to those four pillars. Look at your diet, look at your stress, look at your nutrition, look at the inflammation. And there’s always hope. And that goes for all folks with mast cell activation. That goes for anyone who’s dealing with a chronic illness. As long as we’re still here on the planet, there’s always hope. Okay. With male and female hair loss, what do you consider the point of no return when it’s no longer possible to grow hair from those areas on the head?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:48:47):

Scarring of the hair focal. But you know what? I have a published peer-reviewed abstract you can find on my website, and there’s actually two subjects on there that had alopecia universalis. They were told they would never grow their hair back. They had scarring of the hair follicle. And guess why it’s on my abstract? Because they did what I call the gut reboot. They took a fecal microbial transplant.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:18):

Interesting.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:49:20):

And sure enough, their hair grew back not only on their scalp, but over their entire body, which they had lost, because that what – again, alopecia universalis is over your entire body.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:49:31):

Wow.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:49:33):

It’s really exciting. It’s very exciting that, and those are PubMed studies. It’s not something I did. Those are published studies. There’s four subjects, not only these two younger men, but a woman. And then my favorite is an 86 year old man who had this alopecia bald spot in the back of his head, and he had colon cancer and depression and like a miracle.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:03):

He did a fecal microbial transplant. And those all went away?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:50:06):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:08):

Wow. It really highlights how critically important our gut microbiome is to our health, doesn’t it?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:50:20):

And that’s why I call “Healthy Hair Fix” a whole new approach, because that’s how I am approaching it. And no one else is approaching hair loss like this.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:31):

Right, right. Yeah. It really has to be a whole body approach. It’s not just an appendage.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:50:37):

It’s not

Kelly McCann, MD (00:50:39):

A dead appendage to the top of our head, right?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:50:43):

And don’t let that multi-billion dollar hair industry fool you, because as I mentioned earlier, there’s plenty of pricey procedures and a plethora of products that don’t work because they’re not getting to the root cause. Yes. Pun intended.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:04):

Right? Right, exactly.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:51:06):

You spend a fortune on, and women do.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:51:09):

Yes. Yes. Women do. Well, we spend a lot of money on just making ourselves look beautiful anyway. Right. That’s another topic for a different day.

(00:51:20):

And then if people are wondering what the heck is a fecal microbial transplant? That is literally where they kill off the microbiome and you get colonized with a brand new microbiome. It’s usually done at a specific facility. There are a number of facilities. There’s one in England, one in Germany, who uses the same process as the one in England that I’m aware of. There are ways to kind of do it at home, one that I don’t necessarily recommend. I think in order to have a real clinical success, you want to seek out the best care. And yes, it’s going to be a little bit pricey, but it’s not like a lifetime of procedures that don’t work, as Julie was saying.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:52:22):

But keep in mind, like Dr. Kelly just mentioned, you need to go to a professional facility. I mean, that’s the best because you need a fecal transplant from a healthy donor, because if you don’t, then you’re going to get the unhealthy things from an unhealthy donor. But here’s a caveat. Say you do a successful fecal microbial transplant, but if you go back to your old ways of bad lifestyle choices, bad food choices… you’re going to revert right back to where you were.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:52:59):

Exactly. And I know that the facilities that do this screen the donors extensively and usually have multiple donors from various ethnic backgrounds. So there’s a huge diversity in the microbial implants that are given. So you start out with a much greater, broader microbial flora, and then it dwindles over time, depending upon your lifestyle choices. And so the idea is that you have to learn how to change your lifestyle in order to keep those little critters as healthy as possible. Okay. What dose of MSM would you recommend for someone who has alopecia? And would it depend on the root cause of the alopecia?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:53:58):

Yes, and yes. I would have to see the person. I mean, if you’re going to go out and get it, just get it from a good source. Don’t go like a Whole Foods or natural groceries or something and follow the instructions on the bottle. Or Dr. Kelly, you probably have some MSM you sell.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:54:23):

I do, not on my website right now. So my suggestion would be, particularly if you have gut issues and you’re sensitive, you want to start with little teeny tiny amounts of MSM. It’s very safe, but for some people, they can have a change in the gut microbiome so that they have more sulfur producing bacteria, in part because you’re deficient and the microbiome and you are working in conjunction to try, and they’re actually trying to help you make more sulfur to utilize in your body. And if you give them the MSM, they will be very happy. And you’ll also have really stinky gas. And so you probably want to give them just a little bit and then allow them to die off because you don’t need them quite so much. And that will allow the healthier sulfur producing bacteria to come back into balance, and then you can slowly work up.

(00:55:35):

So that’s the main caveat for people with some gut dysbiosis or sensitivities to sulfur. The amino acid, which is different from sulfa drugs, for example, they’re not the same thing. So just because you might have a sulfa allergy to Bactrim or something like that, doesn’t mean that you can’t have MSM. It’s the eighth most important element in the human body. You already have it in you. And I have a blog on my website, drkellymccann.com, about MSM and sulfur, and you can read all about it there, if this is of interest to you. Alright, let’s move on. Ready? I’ve had Hashimoto’s for a number of years, but only in the last year have I been experiencing alarming hair loss. I’m in perimenopause and my naturopath helped me to bring down my high testosterone, but my hair is still thinning. My scalp is itchy, and I get little red bumps. I’m already doing an anti-inflammatory diet lifestyle. My ND is out of suggestions. What do you suggest I try next?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:56:50):

Functional labs.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:56:54):

Chances are they’ve done them. So let’s see what else we could suggest. So the testosterone is down, but the other hormones are down too. The scalp is itchy. I mean, it could be psoriasis, it could be eczema. It could be that even though that naturopath is working on doing those dietary and lifestyle things, there might be some more root causes that they haven’t fully fleshed out yet. It sounds like there’s still some reactions happening. So I agree, actually. Functional labs, if they haven’t been done, absolutely must be done to really look at the gut and the microbiome. It could also be mast cells, so you have to look at all the other symptoms that are happening. Maybe you need some more anti-inflammatories, maybe you need to tweak the diet a little bit more. Even if it’s anti-inflammatory, maybe it’s not personalized enough and you need to get out some of the foods that you’re sensitive to. I find that that’s a common symptom of food sensitivities.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:58:07):

Especially gluten. Gluten and Hashimoto’s are not friends at all.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:10):

Yeah, absolutely.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:58:11):

Gluten, 100%.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:14):

I find that dairy is a big problem in most autoimmune patients as well. So no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, and that goes a long way for people.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:58:26):

Yeah, the protein in dairy is very similar to the protein in gluten, so.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:31):

Yeah. Okay. What functional labs are most useful for stress-induced hair loss? Which labs do them?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (00:58:45):

Well, again, stress comes in. Go ahead if you want to.

Kelly McCann, MD (00:58:51):

Sure. Yeah, I could take that one. So you could start with just an adrenal stress index or a cortisol stress assessment looking at is your cortisol high in the morning and low at night like it’s supposed to be? And there is a whole host of labs that do that sort of a test. You could do that with saliva, you can do that–Quest and LabCorp, the commercial labs will do those, although I don’t find that they’re as accurate. Genova has that lab. I happen to use one called DiagnoTech because it’s pretty inexpensive. You can also do a DUTCH test, which will give you a little bit more information. That’s a dried urine test. Tells you about the cortisol-cortisone ratios and checking them throughout the day.

(00:59:50):

It gives you some anti-inflammatory nutritional markers, almost like an OAT test, a couple markers, and it gives you hormone metabolism, particularly if somebody is perimenopausal or if they’re a man. You want to see what the metabolism is of the testosterone, the androgens, and what’s going on with the female hormones. I think that those can be helpful because those get off with stress too. And then making sure that your thyroid is fine. If the adrenal glands get depleted, the thyroid is next in line to have some impact. So got to look at that too. Did you want to add anything to that, Julie?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:00:46):

Sure. Those are absolutely the first ones. But then if you need to dig deeper, layer in the stool test, the nutrient testing, you mentioned the organic acids, maybe an iron panel to see the saturation of iron.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:06):

Oh yeah, that’s a great idea.

(01:01:11):

Okay, no, that’s good. I was going to move on whenever you’re ready. Okay. So if one has a scarring alopecia, is there any way to reverse this? I think we already answered this question, but we can say it again. For those of you who just showed up.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:01:32):

Well, it’s very difficult, but if you would want to do a real radical approach there is the fecal microbial transplant option.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:01:43):

Right. Okay. Can you please repeat how the Zyrtec was used for hair loss? Well, I don’t think Julie recommends this, and this was a medical paper that I found where people, the researchers looked at a 1% solution of cetirizine or Zyrtec. So if you take Zyrtec orally, it’s going to impact the whole body, which is oftentimes what you need with mast cell. But if we’re really trying to target quieting down the mast cells in the scalp because they’re inflamed, that you could use a topical approach and you could either get that compounded through a compounding pharmacy. If you want to talk to your physician about that, there is a possibility that you could grind it up. I think Julie has a blog about that on her website that you could find. I haven’t done it myself, I will admit. So I’m not sure how easy it is to do. It sounds fairly easy to crush up a Zyrtec, but I’m not sure how much medication you’re actually going to get in that blend. So you’re probably better off approaching a compounding pharmacy to see if they can really make something that’s going to work better for you. Putting it in some sort of solution would probably be the best carrier method rather than a paste, depending upon how much hair you actually have left. So that’s my thought about that. That next question. Can the Covid booster cause hair loss?

(01:03:44):

I’m not sure I want to go there! If you want?

(01:03:48):

Yeah, I mean, we know that covid can cause hair loss. There’s clear, clear literature that documents that it’s pretty significant. In one study, 28% of people who had post covid had hair loss. In other studies, it’s been 44% and upwards. What are some of the higher percentages of people with post covid hair loss? Have you read?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:04:18):

66%?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:04:20):

66% is huge. Huge, huge. So we’ll make a big leap and say that it’s quite possible that the vaccine, which is the spike protein, could also cause hair loss. There’s a structural similarity between covid and the covid spike protein that’s in the vaccine. We’ll just leave it at that. But there’s plenty of documentation for post covid itself. And then the treatments would be similar, that you have to calm down the inflammation. You have to reduce the stress, you have to do all the things that we’re talking about. Treat the mast cell activation, which often gets triggered by covid or things related to it. Okay. How can you tell if there’s scarring in the scalp or the hair follicle? That’s a good question.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:05:19):

It’s shiny. You touch it and it’s real smooth and shiny.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:26):

And if you really wanted to have a biopsy, the dermatologist, the dermatopathology folks could tell you that there’s absent hair follicles. But from a clinical perspective, yeah, it depends on how shiny it is. All right. Can using a derma roller on the scalp help reactivate hair follicles?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:05:54):

Yes.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:05:56):

Okay.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:05:58):

There’s a certain way to use it though, and you need to get a good quality derma roller and you have to clean it every time you use it. Yeah. But there is some research that it can be helpful, especially if you do it on a regular basis. But there’s more to the answer than that. That’s a general answer. I mean, there’s a way to do it correctly, and I don’t want to go through that now.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:31):

Do you have a video how to do that or instruction?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:06:35):

Yeah, I can get that to ’em.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:38):

Okay. Alright. How much B6 do you recommend daily?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:06:45):

It depends on that particular person. You don’t want get too much, I mean, you can’t get over, wouldn’t you say over like 40 milligrams or 50 milligrams? It’s going to be too much. Right?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:06:57):

It really depends on the person and it depends on the circumstances. So there is a condition called pyroluria, which where you

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:07:06):

Where you need more B six

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:07):

Where you need a lot more

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:07:08):

Just for like three months until you get it-

Kelly McCann, MD (01:07:14):

Right. And Trudy Scott, who was also on our mast cell summit this year, interviewed by Beth O’Hara, my co-host, and then I talked to her last year on my summit. Let’s see. She was using 400 or 500 milligrams of B6 for shorter periods of time to help people with social anxiety. You can also use P5P, which is the active form of B6, which may be better tolerated. The best way to approach any of those B vitamins, particularly B6. You want to start with lower doses. You may even want to start with the active forms and increase the dose over time, seeing for tolerability, and then knowing what the parameters are that you’re wanting to help shift or do testing with your provider. Okay. What co-factors are needed to be sure that copper is bioavailable? I’m not sure I know the answer to that. What do you–

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:08:34):

I can give you some high copper foods. Let’s start there.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:08:40):

That’s safe.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:08:41):

Yeah. Oysters, organic grassfed beef, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and I’m doing in the order of the highest to lowest. So oysters, first and foremost, adzuki beans, wild rice, peanuts. I wouldn’t recommend peanuts though, just because they harbor mold, pine nuts, cashew nuts, navy beans, white beans, sunflower seeds, black beans, teff, split peas and lentils.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:13):

That’s a great list. I need a copy of that list.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:09:19):

That’s also zinc. Here’s some other sources of copper: liver, sesame seeds, oysters, cacao powder, soybeans. Again, don’t recommend [soy]. Cashew nuts, lentils, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts. I mean, they’re so similar. Kidney beans, white beans, hazelnuts, mung beans, buckwheat and pine nuts.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:40):

So I think people would be really interested in hearing that list or getting a copy of that list. Maybe we’ll take out the ones that we don’t want people to have, like soy. We’ll skip that one.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:09:55):

Yeah, I mean I’m not real big on all those beans

Kelly McCann, MD (01:09:57):

Oh, Sarah got it. Sarah got it. There it is in the chat. Okay.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:10:04):

Sarah. Rockstar. I’m glad I talked about the high sources of the foods high in zinc because you really want to balance out your zinc and copper. They compete with each other and you don’t want your copper elevated. So eating foods especially that contain both zinc and copper really is the best choice.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:26):

Right. Okay. Let’s see. So we got that one. What could help the scalp biome? My husband has an itchy scalp, and I wonder if it may be contributing to hair loss.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:10:41):

Yeah, that’s an indication that there’s some inflammation, but scalp is itchy and just actually all the things we just talked about, are they asking for a serum or something?

Kelly McCann, MD (01:10:56):

No, no. Just how to adjust the scalp microbiome. What would help the scalp biome? We take probiotics for our gastrointestinal tract to help our gut microbiome, a diversity of foods as best as possible. Right.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:11:18):

It’s the same deal. Our scalp biome is the same as our gut biome, so we have to treat it with the same nutrients, the same holistic approach.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:11:31):

So we don’t have to put kombucha on our heads for our scalp microbiome. We’re going to get these letters: “so I tried the coffee on my scalp and then I tried the kombucha on my scalp.” No, no, no. That’s not what we’re saying. I mean, maybe, but I think the better choice is work on the gut, work on healing the gut. Work on identifying what’s causing and driving the inflammation in the first place. Okay. What is the most effective and efficient way to diagnose the state of the hair follicles? So if it hasn’t yet gotten to the point where it’s shiny, how do you know?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:12:22):

Well, how many hairs are you losing a day? I mean, Rob English, he says to put a stopper in your shower and really manage it so you can really get a good idea of how many hairs you’re losing a day. But that doesn’t always work. I mean, when I was losing hair, I was losing it here, there, and everywhere. It was on my pillows, at work, it was everywhere. But that’s a place to start. And there are some dermatologists that can look at it.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:12:59):

So some dermatologists can take a close look and try and count the hair follicles in a certain area and give you an idea. Okay. All right. I guess I should be clicking done once I’ve done these. Okay. I’m a little worried about trying Rogaine 5% for fear that once you start, there’s no going off or you’ll lose a ton of hair. What about cetirizine? That’s what we’ve been talking about. Mast cell hair loss seems reasonable to me because I’ve noticed since starting treatment for mast cell, there’s hardly any hair loss. Oh, good. Hey, so congratulations. She’s hoping she doesn’t have scarring and can grow it back. Ah, yes. That sounds like good job. Okay. This person is 72, healthy, mostly gluten-free, vegan, taking supplements, but I’ve been losing a lot of hair. I got off my T3 because I didn’t want to do it. Any suggestions? I will listen to this again. The hair loss is the only symptom I have. I’m active, limber, and don’t know what to do to stop it. What do you suggest?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:14:14):

Okay, I’m going to speak here. You’re probably not going to like this, but on a vegan diet, you don’t get the protein that has not only the essential amino acids, but the branched chain amino acids, and they’re vital for hair. So if you want to keep eating a vegan diet, you need to supplement with a good essential amino acid, branched amino acid supplement. I mean, that’s probably the root of it from what I see here. Right.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:14:48):

Not knowing you, knowing your history, knowing anything else other than the information that you provided. Yeah, I would say too, I mean, I’m dealing with often a different population, and with my patient population who have more issues, vegan diets are very difficult to recover without adequate protein. So you have to really supplement a great deal. Whereas if you were open to the possibility of eating more animal protein, that might make your situation better regardless of where you are on the spectrum of health and healing. So just some things to think about. What about other nutrients for scalp, like stem cell formulas? And the person said I’m unable to eat or take sulfur. I feel really bad with sulfur or thiols of any form. So what do you think about stem cell formulas for hair growth?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:16:02):

I don’t get into that research, so I can’t answer that.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:16:06):

Okay. Yeah, I haven’t looked at the literature either. It’s a big business though. So I mean, the whole idea here is that we’re really trying to do things functionally. We’re trying to get to the root of the problem in the hopes that if we address the root of the problem, that the issues, whether it’s hair loss or mast cell activation, or any of the other number of things that you could be experiencing, that those things are all going to get better. So do you have to use stem cells to get better? No. Is it an option? Sure. It may also be a lot of money, and if there’s still inflammation, if there’s still an infection, then you may be throwing good money after something that’s not really ready for those stem cells. So I do think that understanding there’s not a quick fix and a bandaid out there that’s going to make it all better, that there really has to be some preparation before you make that investment. That would be what I would pay attention to.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:17:27):

Very well said. Thank you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:33):

How do we discern whether hair loss is from pattern baldness, thyroid, mast, cell, scarring, et cetera? My hair loss is severe. I have dysautonomia, Lyme, Babesia, SIBO and more.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:17:51):

They’re probably all playing a role.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:17:54):

Yeah, potentially. I mean, that’s where working with a functional practitioner who can really look at the whole picture is going to be critically important. And you may need multiple people on your team to help, working with a functional nutritionist alongside your practitioners, looking at all of those things. And sometimes you need–one practitioner, one nutritionist is not enough. You may need an endocrinologist, you may need your cardiologist or a neurologist to help manage the dysautonomia. I think the important thing to remember is that there’s always hope and there’s always the chance for improvement of all of these things. Just because you get a diagnosis doesn’t mean you own that label forever. Right. And I think that that was really one of the big take home message.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:19:07):

Wait, you just went on mute or something? We can’t hear you. I can hear you.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:19:13):

Is that better? Okay. Not sure what happened. My computer decided to mute me. What I was saying was that there’s always hope and that you are not defined by your diagnoses. Those can be changed. And it’s important to pay attention to your own intuition about things, to not just assume that your doctors are going to do the work, or your therapists are going to do the work, or using this supplement or this serum, or this program is going to fix you. It’s you doing the work alongside your healthcare team that are going to move you from where you are to where you want to be. And we talk about in medicine that the body’s over here. I go to my doctor and I talk about my physical stuff and I go to my therapist and I talk to them about my mental- emotional stuff. And I go to my nutritionist and I talk about my diet and I go to my pastor or my synagogue and I talk to my church people about my spiritual self.

(01:20:44):

And the truth is that we’re all one. Our body, mind, and spirit is all the same thing. It’s all intertwined and interconnected. And so when we’re talking about stress, when we’re talking about nutrition, when we’re talking about these labels, those labels are not who you really are. Just like if you have a belief about yourself, it may not actually be true. So there are ways to explore what you have going on in your life that can move you from where you are to where you want to be. And there are lots of tools. I think the key is to keep accumulating more tools. The more tools that you have in your toolkit, the more tools that your practitioners have, the more likely you’re going to find the right tools for the specific job that you want to have done for yourself so that you can really start living the life that you want. Alright?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:21:50):

And also, be patient with yourself and with others because it took you a while to get here and it’s not going to be a quick fix to get back. And so it’s a process and just love yourself and give yourself that space and time to heal.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:22:11):

Right. Julie didn’t grow her beautiful long hair overnight.

(01:22:13):

It’s not that beautiful, but it’s mine.

(01:22:21):

Okay. Alright, I digress. Let’s keep going. So I guess somebody else wanted to ask about itchy scalp with very small red bumps in addition to hair loss explanation and interpretation. Any ideas about that one?

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:22:43):

It’s so hard without seeing it and knowing the person, I mean, it sounds like there’s definitely some inflammation going on that’s manifesting in the itchy scalp and red bumps and then of course the hair loss. But what I like to tell everyone is, and this person is, that, you know what? This is a gift for you. So your hair loss is a gift to figure out what else is imbalanced in your body and before it gets worse. So dig in there, take advantage of all the tips and so forth we’ve been talking about today, and go at it and realize, again, this is an opportunity for you to dig deeper and figure it out.

Kelly McCann, MD (01:23:40):

Absolutely. I think… I love that. To think about what we’re experiencing as a gift. I know a lot of times people feel like their bodies are against them, my hair is against me, it’s falling out. Why is it leaving me? But truly, it’s an opportunity to say something may be going on, something may be wrong that is incentivizing me to investigate more. I love that. And I think we might have to end on that note, a positive note of, Hey, this is an opportunity for you to use hair loss, to use all your supplements for your highest good to figure out along with your healthcare team, what are the things that you need to do to truly heal yourself, body minded spirit. Okay. Yes. There’s some amazing questions and I’m so sorry that we didn’t get to all of the questions, but I feel like we did a really great job at answering the ones that we did have. And thank you so much to Julie for participating and answering some of these really tough questions. It was really great to spend some time with you.

Julie Olson, CFMP, CN, BCHN, CGP (01:25:10):

Oh, you too. Maybe we can do it again since there’s a lot more questions we are not able to answer this time,

Kelly McCann, MD (01:25:18):

So we’ll be sure to grab the questions and see if we can put together answers for them. Maybe we’ll start off with answers to those burning questions that we didn’t get to. If people are interested in transcript, we can look at doing that. I know Sarah, and I don’t think we talked about that beforehand, but we could certainly put together a transcript for people and we will certainly send out the replay if people had to jump off or they missed parts of it in the beginning. We’ll be definitely sending a replay there. Sarah. Yes, we’ll definitely put the transcript with the replay so this information will be easier to find those great lists of and nutrients that Julie shared with us. So thank you so much everyone for joining us. And if you’re from Julie’s community and you want to sign up for the Mast Cell Summit, Sarah has put the link in the chat so you can sign up. There’s still a couple more days of the Mast Cell Summit, and then next week is the Encore weekend where all of the interviews will be available for free. So you can check that out and participate.

(01:26:42):

All right everyone, thank you so much.


Webinar: Mold & Mycotoxins

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MCAS & Environmental Toxins Webinar

Webinar: MCAS & Environmental Toxins

I got so many great questions from those who attended, and because of that, I want to make this available to anyone who wasn’t able to take part during the live event.

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MCAS: How Do You Regain Control?

MCAS: How Do You Regain Control?

MCAS How to Regain Control

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