660: Toxic Mold Recovery Guide to Take Back Your Home and Health With Bridgit Danner

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Toxic Mold Recovery Guide to Take Back Your Home and Health with Bridgit Danner
Wellness Mama » Episode » 660: Toxic Mold Recovery Guide to Take Back Your Home and Health With Bridgit Danner
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The Wellness Mama Podcast
660: Toxic Mold Recovery Guide to Take Back Your Home and Health With Bridgit Danner
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I’m here today with Bridgit Danner, a licensed acupuncturist and certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner. And the topic today is all about toxic mold, how to know if you’ve been exposed, and how to recover if you have. Bridgit lost everything to toxic mold and has made it her life’s work to educate others on how to recover. She’s also the author of The Ultimate Toxic Mold Recovery Guide, Take Back Your Home, Your Health, and Your Life.

While many of us think of respiratory and allergy type symptoms when we think of mold, that isn’t always the case. Bridgit covers the most common and noticeable symptoms of mold exposure (like brain fog, fatigue, and gut health issues), as well as lesser known ones. We go deep into how toxic mold develops, how to test for it, and how to remediate it without making yourself sicker.

Toxic mold is a topic that’s not often talked about or widely accepted in conventional circles, but it’s an important topic to bring light to. It can be in someone’s home, but it’s also lurking in workplaces and schools. Bridgit gives us plenty of practical tips and advice for how we can heal from mold, detox, and protect the liver. I hope you never have direct experience with toxic mold, but if you do, Bridgit Danner is an amazing resource!

Episode Highlights With Bridgit

  • Her experience living in a rice farming village for a year
  • What toxic mold is and how it develops
  • Mold is a natural part of the world and it serves a purpose but can be problematic when it thrives in our home environment
  • The most common and most noticeable effects of mold exposure and the lesser known effects
  • Why mold is really hard on the gut
  • How to test for mold in the home and in the body
  • Ways to do remediation in the home
  • How to actually heal from mold and strategies to detox
  • Tips to keep your liver healthy
  • Benefits of sauna, coffee enemas, dry brushing and other interventions for mold
  • Ways to actively support detox from mold or other exposers

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and this episode is all about toxic mold and how to know if you’ve been exposed and what to do about it and how to recover if you have. And I’m here with Bridgit Danner, who has been a licensed Acupuncturist since 2004 and a certified Functional Diagnostic nutrition practitioner since 2015. After losing everything to toxic mold, she now educates about this on how to detoxify with her functional healthcare approach and her online community, and all of that is available bridgitdanner.com. She’s also the author of The Ultimate Toxic Mold Recovery Guide take Back Your Home, Your Health, and Your Life, which is available on Amazon.

And we go deep on this topic, talking about what toxic mold is and how it develops, how to test for it, and what the remediation process looks like, how it’s part of the natural world that serves a purpose, but it can be problematic if it thrives in our home environment. The most common and noticeable symptoms and effects of mold exposure, as well as some lesser known ones, why mold is especially hard on the gut, and how to test for mold both in the home and in the body. We talk about how to actually heal from mold and strategies to detox, including ways to keep your liver healthy. We go deep on things like sauna and coffee enemas and dry brushing, and other interventions, as well as two ways to actively support that detox process that are also generally helpful across the board for health. So, very fact packed episode. This is a topic I hope that you never have direct experience with or need to recover from. But if you have, or if you do, she is an amazing resource, and we get to go deep on these topics today. Let’s join Bridgit. Bridgit. Welcome. And thanks so much for being here.

Bridgit: Thank you, Katie. I’m so happy to be here.

Katie: Well, I am excited to learn from you about mold and so many other things today. But before we jump into that main body of this episode, I also have a note from your bio that you lived in a rice farming village for a year, and I would just love to hear a little bit about what that experience was like.

Bridgit: I totally don’t even remember writing that. It’s so funny. Yeah, I did. I lived in Guyana in South America. It’s country not many people have visited. It’s definitely not a tourism country. I lived there and volunteered for a year. I think I was 22. So it was a big wake up call on other things happening on this planet. So I think it was a really good, informative experience for me. I taught English and literacy and a little bit about the environment, actually, which we’ll get into today. And, yeah, didn’t have running water and electricity most of the time. So I think it was a really good thing for me as a young person.

Katie: I love that, that’s something I’ve been encouraging my kids to do if they want to, is to take a couple of years in their late teens and see parts of the world they haven’t seen yet and experience other cultures. I think that can be such a valuable teaching experience. And I think I’ve learned more from travel than from any class I’ve ever taken. So I love that you got to really immerse and do that for a year.

And you also now have a deep body of knowledge around a topic that we’re going to talk about today, which is toxic mold and all of the implications that come with that. And I’m sure people have heard of mold, and I know this is no secret that this exists and that there are health consequences. But to start broad, maybe define for us what mold is and how it develops sort of in a setting where it will impact humans.

Bridgit: Yeah, sure. We’ve all seen mold, like on bread or the forest or what have you. So there’s lots of species of mold. It is a natural part of the world. It’s meant to decay things really, like, that’s its purpose. So it does have its natural, normal purpose. The trouble is when we are living with it in a way where it’s thriving like, more than we are thriving in an environment. I specialized in a book I wrote on about a dozen species of mold that releases toxic metabolites to humans and mammals. Any load of mold that’s too high in your home or a space you’re in frequently is like a burden on the immune system just because you’re dealing with it kind of relatable to people who are dealing with allergies it’s just irritating to the immune system.

But certain species of mold do produce something that just happens to be very toxic to humans and mammals. So that includes, like, your pets and these toxic metabolites called mycotoxins are great travelers in the body. They can enter a cell membrane, they can affect mitochondria, they can enter the brain, do all sorts of trouble in the brain, make certain areas inflamed or atrophied, so they’re really potent, and the effects can be really anywhere in the body. I think people think of mold as just respiratory, and it can be respiratory, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. You could go through a big, long mold ordeal and never experience any respiratory symptoms. So that’s kind of what I focus on.

It’s something I went through in my own health journey. And so, yeah, the issue of being having it in your home, we can use the home is like the main example. It’s where we spend the most time either through water damage, humidity. There’s all sorts of ways, frankly, that water can enter our home, right? We can have leaks, we can have things that weren’t installed correctly. We can have something up with the roof. It’s not well maintained. We can have gutters clogged. We can have the foundation around the house not draining properly. We can have storms. I think probably where you live, there’s a lot of storms that can cause damage, water entering the home. And some of it we just don’t realize has happened. So we don’t address it. And then sometimes we just don’t know enough on how to address it properly. If we do have a big incident with water intrusion.

Katie: Yeah, I think that’s important context to understand that mold exists in the world and it serves a purpose. I think that’s really valuable to understand and that in nature, of cours,. I’m sure humans have come in contact with mold in different forms forever, but we just weren’t living with it in high concentrations in our home environment. Or that’s when it can become problematic. I think of that as far as, like, we would encounter all kinds of things in nature in small amounts. It’s always sort of the dose makes the poison. And to your point, people, if I’m sure, seen mold on food in their kitchen, or even certain cheeses, from what I understand, have mold spores in them. So it’s not that humans can’t handle some mild exposure to mold. It’s kind of if that threshold is too high, is when we start to see problems, basically.

Bridgit: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. That’s some of the argument people will make who really aren’t as informed but say, oh, well, mold is everywhere, and mold is common, and it’s really kind of minimizing some of the really dangerous effects of it. There’s people who are literally like wheelchair-bound because they’ve gotten so sick. So, yeah, it has a little bit to do with your own health history and your own body when you come into the environment. But then the environment itself has a really strong effect. So some people may be more affected sooner, some people later. But if you’re living in it, unless you have some kind of extra special rock star liver that can process anything over time, if you’re still in it and in it, it’s going to likely affect you.

Katie: And you have personal experience with this as well. If you’re willing, will you share your own experience and what led you actually to now know so much about mold exposure?

Bridgit: Yeah, so after I graduated, I went to Acupuncture school in New Mexico, and then I moved to Portland, Oregon, which we all know is a very wet place, lots of old buildings that are very charming. But when I got engaged, I moved in to a house that was 100 years old that had different additions. It was like a tiny house that had been added to, and none of this was visible or known. It didn’t smell funny, it didn’t look funny. But there was mold in that house and not just in one area, which we can get into later. So other things were happening in my life. I was getting married. I had a baby soon after. I had just opened a clinic. So I was getting more symptoms, not sleeping well. And I’d say the early stuff was immune anxiety, not sleeping well, increased food sensitivities. But I did have this increasingly busy life and changes in hormones, so it was sort of attributed to that. But I did work incredibly hard on my health. That was kind of when Paleo was getting famous or popular. So I was really cooking all my own food, bone, broth. I took all toxic products out of my home. But despite all that, I really was getting worse, mostly in cycles of winter being worse, which I didn’t really put it together, but yeah, I was just getting like, in the winter, I’d be getting it’s. Like, I almost constantly had colds and flus. My glands were swollen. I was always in pain in my back. I had breakthrough bleeding in my periods, some anxiety, not sleeping well, having to be really careful with my diet.

So again, just kind of attributed to stress. Even when I went to practitioners, even though I was really trying to manage my stress, I was getting plenty of sleep and going to yoga. So this kind of cycle of learning, but still being sick went on for a while, probably eight years, seven, eight years like that. And then finally I got really sick. I got strep throat. I needed antibiotics. I was exhausted. This, looking back, is also when I started working from home. I got sicker, of course, not putting it together at all. And then finally I was doing detoxes, IV Therapy. Exhausted, just exhausted. And finally a naturopath asked, has anything changed in your home? And that was like the first moment that mold was considered. I said, yeah, we have this musty basement. That’s when we tested and found out we did have mold. And there’s a whole big story from there about fixing the home, making mistakes and getting sicker in the home. A long health recovery, but I always encourage people who are in the thick of it. You do get better. You can get better. It does take, if you’re like us with a home with a lot of different water intrusion areas and your belongings are contaminated, your body has been exposed a long time. It’s a long road and it’s expensive and it’s a big ask to do all of it, but you can come out on the other side with basically a new life, which is pretty exciting. So, yeah, I was more working in pain and women’s health, and I just had learned so much about detox and mold that I pretty much felt like I had to pivot in this direction.

Katie: You touched on some of the symptoms. As you mentioned, I live in an area that’s also very humid and has a lot of storms and rain. Actually, the neighbor who went through a mold experience, not even because of the storms, they had pressure washing that was done incorrectly, that got water into, I guess, the eaves and the walls of their house. And they didn’t figure it out for years. And it sounded like somewhat parallel to your experience where their child was having all kinds of strange infections and even like injuries that were happening really easily and kind of broken bones, all kinds of stuff. And he was just continually getting antibiotics after antibiotics for this until they finally realized that mold was the actual root of it. But maybe speak to the symptoms a little bit because to your point, people would maybe think respiratory could be related to mold from an acute exposure. But there’s a lot, it sounds like beyond that and that it can impact the body in a whole lot of ways. So what are some of the main symptom groups that people would look for if they had potential mold exposure?

Bridgit: Yeah, I have noticed that the two biggest ones, but again, these may not be the two first ones are brain fog and fatigue. Like when I really hit my stickest, those two things were just dominating my entire day. No short term memory. I’ve had friends who are very intelligent, literally couldn’t find their way back to their house. So when the brain is really affected, that’s usually when you’re like, man, I got to figure this out. Right. And just fatigue to the level of just dragging. I share that I started kind of fantasizing about not having to wake up in the morning and it wasn’t an emotional thing. It was just like a physical thing. I was so tired. But those may not be the initial ones, so I mentioned my initial ones. You’re mentioning your neighbor’s child, with kids, sometimes it is respiratory or getting infections like you said, I know kids are notorious like picky eaters, but mold is really hard on the gut. So kids who are incredibly picky eaters, always bloated. Kids with dark circles under their eyes. I’ve seen that one a lot. Kids who are super constipated, bed wetting beyond a normal age, attention deficit, learning deficit, these all things could be, especially with kids.

With adults, depression, anger issues, rapid weight gain. But it’ll also go the other way with weight loss. If you’re nauseous, you’re not eating enough. So what you know is affecting the brain, the command center that’s affecting the gut in so many ways. And then the gut is, because mold weakens immunity. There can be so many different infections in the gut, and so you can be experiencing a lot of gut symptoms for sure. I did a mold summit not too long ago and it really made me realize that multiple food sensitivities is like a common symptom of mold. And I think there’s so much debate and talk about diet these days that we can normalize it. We’re like, oh, well, I’m just sensitive to lectins and this and that. It’s like, well, why are you sensitive to so many healthy foods? Your gut is just so inflamed and off. So that can be a symptom as well. Some people have skin issues, like increased rashes, that kind of a thing. Hair loss is actually one that we’ve been talking about more. It’s not going to be everyone, but because of its effect on the thyroid and autoimmunity and nutrient absorption, sometimes your hair loss is related to mold. So there’s more, but there’s a good smattering for you.

Katie: I would guess for a lot of people, if they even suspect mold, even just the beginning process of testing for that probably feels very overwhelming. Not to mention the remediation and everything that has to come after some form of testing. But if someone suspects that mold could be an issue, how does a person even go about starting to test for that?

Bridgit: Yeah, so nowadays the body testing is actually easier than the home testing. In a lot of ways. It’s a urine test you can do from home. Usually you have to do it through ordering practitioner, but I think I’ve only seen one false negative because it’s a urine test. You’ve got to be pushing something out to get a positive. But we see lots and lots of positives. I used to say start with the home, but maybe I’m leaning a bit towards starting with the body just because it’s a lot easier and then you know, okay, maybe these symptoms that I’m experiencing are related to mold. The home, it depends if you rent or own, right? If you’re renting, you’re not going to bring in an inspector. Bringing in an inspector gosh, I think it was a $1,000 when we had it done, and that was some years ago. So it may be over $1,000 now to get a really good inspection where they’re taking samples and really checking all the attic and the basement and the gutters and everything. So there’s just so many ways to slice it in the home.

So there also are little home tests you can buy. Some ask you to collect dust. Some are plate tests where basically it gives a medium where mold can grow. The plate tests are the least expensive and you can put them in a lot of areas. You can put them in a car, you can put them in your workplace. So that can be a good option. Every test has its pros and cons, right. But the plate test could be a good place to start. The dust test is interesting too. Some dust test not only for spores, but for mycotoxins, which as a practitioner I really like to see and know about. Right. You want to know if the thing that makes you really sick is in the home. A dust test will not tell you where the water damage came from though, right. It’s just dust. So if you are a homeowner and you have a positive dust test, eventually you will have to have someone who’s a mold inspector or a contractor or mediator come out and find the source for you, or sources, frankly, it could be multiple places. I always tell people it really is a construction project. Unfortunately, it’s not just like wipe it down type project. If you’ve got mold that’s grown inside your walls, in the beams of your house, in your floorboards, it is a construction project now and one that needs to be very carefully managed so that mold isn’t flying all over the house right when you work on it.

Katie: Yeah, and that brings up a good point as well, I would guess this can be a very large scale project. Is it possible to remediate the mold in most cases? It sounds like when you start talking about wallboard and inside walls, to me, almost, it’s like it would be better to just move, but obviously you don’t want to move and just leave a house full of mold for someone else. But can it be remediated in most cases? And are there any specifics for making sure you go the right direction with that and that it is done carefully?

Bridgit: Yeah, I prefer people to move. And as far as selling a home, you should fact check me on this one. But it just is a matter of disclosing, right? If you know there’s a problem either, yes, you need to fix it before you sell or disclose it. But I guess I’ve just seen so many people remediate and it’s incredibly expensive. Like every home project, it gets more expensive than you think. It wasn’t quite done correctly. The belongings are still in the home and so they’re still sick or they don’t know why they’re getting better because they think they did it. Right. It’s a huge project. Because the mycotoxins are so small, even smaller than a mold spore, which you can’t even see. They’re embedded in your linens and your books and your carpet and your couch even. They go into your computer, into the fan.

I guess I would say if you’ve got a real problem with illness in the family and you’ve got a big mold problem, kind of like you described with your neighbors, we’ll have to hear what they did. The amount of work you’re going to have to do to get it to a good place again is a lot and it’s a big learning curve to get there. So there are some companies who kind of specialize in people with illness in their remediation. Again, a quote you may get is going to be 30 grand, 80 grand, 120 grand. It’s not going to be cheap. It’s a lot. There’s a book called The Mold Medic that talks about some considerations in remediation. I don’t know if you know Mike, he’s not in Florida. So yeah, as a practitioner and who’s seen so many errors, I tend to say move on. And I know that’s a really hard decision for people. People like their home, their neighborhood, it’s near their kids school, whatever. But yeah, I think it’s at least good to really consider is moving best for me and is really kind of getting a fresh start even with my belongings going to be best for me.

Katie: And I would guess does insurance ever cover part of that process? Depending on the source of if it was like water damage or something like that? I know that must be case by case, but are there cases where insurance is able to cover some of that?

Bridgit: Yes. So if you have a sudden leak or storm, then yes. So when it’s something that’s old, like behind the wall that you just didn’t know about, they consider that more like neglect and they don’t pay for it. But yeah, you’re almost lucky if there was a storm or your dishwasher exploded or whatever, because it will be covered. That does not mean that whoever you hire knows everything about mold. But really, if you have something sudden, you just need to act fast. And in pretty much every area there are companies that do this emergency remediation. 48 hours is the time window, so you don’t want material sitting beyond that. So if there is an incident, yeah, document, take pictures, call your insurance company, call an emergency remediation company. Stat. And that’s the greatest thing you can do.

Katie: That’s good to know. And I don’t want to get stuck on the home side because it seems like this is actually it can really impact human health and I want to make sure we get to go deep on solutions for there. So I’m guessing we would have categories of people potentially listening, those who might have exposure and not know it, those who have had exposure and either gotten out of the environment or remediated and are still healing. And hopefully also people who are not having any sort of mold exposure but might want to prevent it or make sure that you mentioned your liver being healthy, being a factor. So let’s talk about the human health side a little bit and maybe go through those categories. So if someone knows they’ve had mold exposure in the past, what are some of the ways in which they can help their body heal from that?

Bridgit: Yeah, great question. So, yeah, the most important point about the home piece is you’ve really got to get into a clean environment to heal. You really cannot heal when you are still in the environment. So we’ll just put that one to the side for a sec and assume that’s happened. How everyone detoxes in the timeline? It depends on the length of exposure and the person’s underlying health. So luckily, with kids that we’ve mentioned a bit, kids can be the most resilient in healing because they do have so much like cell turnover and they just have more energy for the fight in a sense. So luckily with kids, the healing can be a little quicker and a little simpler. So maybe like a little sauna time or sauna mat for them. They do really well with gut support. Some people are only doing gut support for their kids to heal.

I will say my son wasn’t really symptomatic, but he was definitely in our moldy house and I really just feel like his body cleaned it out. If he were very symptomatic, I would have been doing more interventions, but I was like, he’s doing fine, so I guess there’s really nothing for me to do. So kids can be a range. And I think that kids is a little easier.

Adults, we’ve just been through more, we’ve had more years of other toxin exposure as well. Many adults already don’t have a great gut, are constipated. So there’s sort of a few aspects. So one is just doing the foundations, which I’m sure a lot of people on this podcast have covered. Getting fresh air, getting a good night’s sleep, eating real food, making sure that those are all in place. And then second step is actively supporting detox with things like antioxidants, binders, which are basically substances that physically or chemically bind up things in your intestine or your bloodstream so it gets eliminated.

I love different Lymphatic techniques while detoxing. So sauna, dry brushing, rebounding, walking. I like Epsom salt baths. I definitely got into coffee enemas during this whole thing. Not required, but I’m definitely a fan. And I always tell people like, you can find your own technique that work for you, that you like. Castor Oil Packs are also in there. There’s so many things, so many options, but just creating your own little routine where you’re getting some Lymph movement, you’re getting some hopefully some binding. If you don’t tolerate supplements well, even just getting a lot of fiber works as a binder. So there’s always options, right? So making a little detox program for yourself that you can tolerate, making sure you’re pooping through that whole procedure.

And then lastly, which is kind of my biggest specialty, is restoring all the body systems that were potentially damaged. So your white blood cell count is often low. Leaky gut, candida infections, so many things. And if you’ve had a long exposure, those can take time to come back. But beyond time, your body just really does often need a helping hand to recover from all these things. So I think since I went through it myself, a lot of theories got disproven. So I thought, oh, if I just detox, everything will come back online. It’s not quite that simple. Yeah, maybe eventually, but the body’s really dealt with a serious toxic load, potentially for years and it just needs help. Those are kind of the aspects and it sounds like a lot, but you just kind of be at whatever stage you’re at, right? And, and support, you know, if, if you’re just say you just moved and you’re exhausted, like, I’m not going to ask you to parasite cleanse or do something really complicated. I’m just going to ask you to rest and eat real food and lay out in the sun. You can sometimes just keep it simple and that’s what you need at that stage.

Katie: And I’m guessing as you were talking about this, and especially the implications of your liver being and staying healthy through this, that like your son didn’t have symptoms, is even if someone is exposed, it sounds like if they have symptoms or if they get sick might depend on sort of their baseline of health to begin with. So it seems like especially if we live in places where mold is more common, doing things as a general support for our liver and for our gut health, those can probably be beneficial across the board and of course, helpful in many other areas as well. Are there any tips you would add to that list, specifically in liver support?

Bridgit: Let’s see. Well, I mean, glutathione is definitely like a favorite in the mold community for liver support. It’s our kind of number one most, what’s the word, highest quantity of antioxidants. So there’s different forms. There’s liposomal form. Some people do NAC, which is more of a precursor. There’s an antioxidant alpha lipoic acid that actually helps you make glutathione and recycle it. So I really like that one. Coffee enemas do help you recycle glutathione. So that’s an option. We saw one that’s just like a gentle nano spray, glutathione. So there’s lots of options in there and something I’ve been learning a lot about is how antioxidants work together to support each other.

So I don’t feel like antioxidants get a lot of talk in the detox space, but other things that are in that network are like Vitamin C and CoQ10, I like because it gives you cellular energy and if you don’t have the budget for a bunch of supplements, colorful food is important. Not that food is cheap anymore, but if you think about colors and variety, which I’m sure again you’ve talked about on this podcast, or if you’ve read Katie’s cookbooks, it really does make a difference. Right. I think we tend to in our culture, want IV therapy can be a great boost and you can get a glutathione push, but we can’t always like afford that or access that or whatever. So, you know, some things are so affordable, like Vitamin C or frozen fruits. It could be a way to actually really support detox. And then as you know, like, the liver loves protein and amino acids and onions and garlic and broccoli. So the liver doesn’t like, I’m fine with some fasting or detoxing, but the liver actually does love a lot of nutrition, right? So just getting really great nutrition if you’re into organ meats, grassfed meats, I think that’s all great. So, yeah, just remember your liver is working really hard and it needs all the things basically.

Katie: Yeah, I think that’s great advice. Separate even of mold exposure, supporting the liver with all those nutrients. That’s a shift I’ve made even in the last five years is to think of food not even in terms of calories or macros, of course, making sure I get enough baseline of protein and healthy fats and things like that, but really trying to focus on nutrient density for whatever food I’m eating and just choosing the most nutrient dense food, which I feel like is also psychologically helpful, because then you’re focused on a positive versus a negative. And it’s not a restriction mindset. It’s a how do I maximize nutrient density in the food that I’m going to eat today? Which leads like you’re talking about naturally to brightly colored fruits and vegetables and things that are high in antioxidants or protein sources that are especially high in different nutrients as well. So I think that’s amazing advice across the board. And you also mentioned sunshine. And anytime I get a chance to give a plug for getting healthy sun exposure, I’m all about that. So let’s talk a little bit about sunshine and how that supports the body in this process as well.

Bridgit: Yeah, there’s probably some fancy things about I know there’s like how sunshine turns to gel on our skin that I don’t totally understand, but I’m just a big fan of outdoor time. The air quality is better depending on the time of year. You’re getting vitamin D, you’re moving your lungs if you’re out getting some exercise. And then when we see and hear nature, it’s very calming for our bodies and that when we can rest our bodies, rest our minds. That really lets healing happen. So, yeah, I’m always, light on our eyes is good for circadian rhythm and it doesn’t have to be fancy. You can just get out in your yard, like just sitting sitting in a sunbeam with a cup of tea. There’s so many ways. I just I kind of like food. I love every variety of of getting outside.

Katie: Yeah, and I think that’s one of the tips too, that doesn’t cost money. It’s not expensive supplements or any kind of complicated therapy. I think if everybody just got 10 to 15 minutes of morning sun exposure right after waking up, which is I love that as more restful sun exposure, where I’m sitting on the back porch with a cup of tea, or coffee and talking to my kids. And then, ideally, in a perfect world, go for a ten minute walk after every meal, which is also great for your blood sugar. But if not even just get that short walk at some point during the day, that’s a free thing that I think, over time compounds and dramatically can improve health and doesn’t cost anything. So that’s one I always encourage. I love that you mentioned that as well.

This podcast is brought to you by LMNT, which is a company that I have had the chance to invest in and have loved since day one. They just released brand new grapefruit flavor on top of all of their other flavors that I absolutely love, including watermelon which is a kid’s favorite in my house, as well as citrus, raspberry, orange, and a couple of ones that I really like, like mango and lemon habanero as well. As you know, summer brings warmth and sunshine, and with it, energizing opportunities to all of us to move and play and be outside. But it also brings a fair amount of sweat. And if you are a regular sauna user like me, you know that sweat is part of it, as well as if you exercise regularly. And this is why optimal hydration is the key with the right fluid to electrolyte balance, because it isn’t just about getting enough water and fluid, but also making sure our electrolytes are dialed in and you feel the difference when you get it right. So when summer brings the heat, LMNT brings the grapefruit salt flavor to help you enjoy that balance all summer long. You can consider grapefruit or any of their flavors, your ultimate summer salt companion. And I love that they combine sodium, magnesium, and potassium in the clinically studied ratios to make sure that you can stay optimally hydrated even if you are saunaing or exercising or just spending time outside in the summer. Find out more about LMNT by going to drinklmnt.com/wellnessmama. And this is a one time flavor so when it’s gone, it’s gone for good. I highly recommend that you try it. I also would suggest trying watermelon and mango chili if you like a little bit of a spicy kick. But watermelon, like I said, is the kid favorite at my house and you can find those and all of their flavors at drinklmnt.com/wellnessmama.

This episode is brought to you by Neurohacker and they make a product called Qualia Mind that I have really been enjoying lately. Because as a busy mom, I know how important good memory is. And have you ever misplaced your keys or forgotten something at work? Not the most fun feeling, but our sponsor, Neurohacker, combines 28 of the most research-backed nootropic ingredients into the ultimate brain formula called Qualia Mind. And it’s been changing people’s lives for years, including mine. From personal experience, my daily mental performance and brain health definitely benefit, and I consider Qualia Mind indispensable to my brain health. It’s so cool to take a health product where you don’t have to wonder if it’s working, because you feel it immediately. And I notice the difference in just days. I notice a change in my focus, my mood, and my memory and my willpower to get things done.
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And you mentioned another one of my favorite topics, which is Sauna, which I think is another one that is helpful far beyond just any single symptom or single thing that a person might be processing. I know there’s the Finnish Sauna study that talks about how it can even reduce all cause mortality and risk of heart disease and dementia and cancer and everything. And I often say if Sauna were a pill, everyone would take it. And I know it’s not an inexpensive thing and there are some more budget friendly ones now, but maybe walk us through some of the benefits of Sauna specific too, especially detox and mold.

Bridgit: Oh, yeah. I mean, I feel like almost equal to how mold can affect every system. Sauna can benefit every system. It’s such a long list. So can benefits. A good night’s sleep, weight loss, calming the nervous system, clearing the skin. We detox all sorts of things through Saunas, heavy metals, mycotoxins. There was a study done, I don’t know if it was a formal study by a testing company I work with, and they just had people Sauna for two months for an hour a day, which is kind of long. And they did their mycotoxins before and after and there was just like this incredible drop in mycotoxins like to the normal range in two months. So it’s really powerful for detox.

And then you can kind of stack things while you’re in there, which I like too. Like if it’s family time maybe for you guys or I do usually castor oil pack or while I’m in the sauna. Yeah, so immunity. It’s also boost immunity during COVID, people definitely buying Saunas because they were home more, which is great. It’s just great for mood, calming. But also if you’re having kind of the winter blues, I think sauna is a nice thing to have. Let’s see what else I think pain; it can be good for aches and pains as well. I don’t know you want to add indeed any to that list?

Katie: I think that’s an awesome list. And just to echo everything that you say, I had that experience during COVID when our area didn’t shut down that much, but it was definitely a pause on travel. And I actually loved all of those months off because of COVID And I found some friends in my neighborhood that kind of became my Sauna team. And we actually did a small scale Sauna study because of the Finland study and how the claims in that one are phenomenal, about how it can reduce all of your inflammatory markers. Like you said, it improves sleep. It’s an exercise Mimetic, so it mimics exercise most of the way, at least increase in heart rate, sweating, etc. So we tested all those things before and after two months of saunaing at least four times a week for at least 45 minutes and across the board saw a reduction in all of those inflammatory markers. And it’s probably also the best I have felt in my adult life was when I was saunaing at least four times a week and also during COVID spending so much time outside in the garden, so much time with my kids.

And so I think that’s one, if it’s available to you or if it’s in your budget at all, I think Sauna is one of those amazing health habits, like you said, that we can also stack with time together. Or I bring in guacaw tools and scrapers into the Sauna or massage tools. There’s just so much you can do. And if nothing else, that quiet restorative time I feel like, is something we just often don’t get enough of in today’s fast paced world to begin with. So it forces you to sit still and focus on your breathing and take a deep breath, which I think also has tremendous benefits as well. Are there any other techniques or supplements that you recommend specific to mold detox that people should know about?

Bridgit: I guess specific to mold. A couple of things are nasal rinsing and potentially like steam breathing. What’s the other thing called that people do? I’m forgetting the word right now, but I just bought this simple steam inhaler on Amazon. So I was having some respiratory things just with not really severe like lamb or whatever, but like swollen glands and then some asthma. And ironically, especially after I moved away, the body is just looking for problems in a sense. So I moved to Arizona and developed worse kind of airborne asthma. So a steam inhaler and something you could do with kids just can help calm the lungs. You can put colloidal silver in there. I don’t recommend putting essential oils in there. I think it’s too harsh to be breathing that way. But you can do potentially like some different glutathiones. Oh, nebulizer is the word. I was looking for, I think since COVID you can buy your own nebulizer a lot cheaper. So I don’t know as much about nebulizing and the differences, but steam inhaler can be something that’s calming for your lungs and then you can actually get colonized mold in your nose. Plus just the immune deficiency can cause infections to grow in there.

So you can just do simple I like that squeezy netty pot. It’s like a plastic one. You just put salt in there. So when I was sick or I would rinse twice a day with that. We also carry like a colloidal silver, just simple spray. There’s different some sprays like that. And again, I think they have different ones for kids. So it’s just another environment, right. The nose and the lungs are two different environments where mold and Dr. Drill Cristo was teaching. Like, mold can actually get into the tiny little sacks of the lungs and just be there. So those are two kind of specialty areas. You may want to think about detoxing with mold.

Katie: Yeah, and I don’t have mold exposure that I’m aware of, but I did as a kid have strep throat often and had many, many rounds of antibiotics before having my tonsils and my adenoids taken out. And one thing I did as an adult was to do a lot of those nasal rinses and even some with xylitol or with different minerals and found I had likely biofilms sort of in my nose from where my adenoids were taken out. And doing that for a while actually improved my sleep quite a bit. So I think it’s something that can be helpful for people with allergies as well, or potential like sleep disturbances often can relate to inflammation in those nasal passageways that make breathing at night difficult.

You also mentioned in passing coffee enemas, and I don’t think I’ve had the chance to talk about those on a podcast before. So I would love to just do a brief primer on coffee enemas. I’m guessing this is one that maybe people are a little bit hesitant to try, but from what I understand, it’s also very supportive of the liver and of detox in general. But can you walk us through how coffee enemas are beneficial?

Bridgit: Yeah, they’re definitely one that is not common in our culture. Right. However, they are something historically done with different kind of medicinal ways, even like the Bible mentions them, which is really interesting, and the Bible mentions mold. So this stuff has been around. So yeah, I had been cautioned about it even in my functional medicine training, that if your bile duct is clogged, it could be really bad for you. So I do say talk with your practitioner, make sure you feel comfortable at it. People who are elderly, have poor mobility, it can be just kind of a little too awkward to be doing it. So maybe if you have a couple more warnings, if you’ve got any issues with hemorrhoids and prolapse or different things like that could be irritating to do coffee enema. With that being said, there’s a lot of people who will do well with coffee enema.

Pretty much you’ll need to I always say give it like three tries because you’re not going to out of the gate, have a perfect experience. It’s just new, right? It’s just very stimulating. I learned it from Dr. J. Davidson. I still use basically the technique that he taught. There is, unfortunately, not much study on coffee enema. Most of the techniques I talk about, there’s a good amount of study. I think coffee enema is still a little bit of a mystery, but one thing we know is it has a compound I’m forgetting the name of it right now that stimulates glutathione production in the liver when it’s exposed. So the purpose of an enema is usually sometimes it’s to have a bowel movement, but it’s usually to get in sort of a medicinal substance to the bloodstream.

So the colon, as it’s vascularized, is going to affect the liver, and that blood supply will go to the liver. So while you hold the coffee enema and I can explain if you want more about the whole procedure. That compound is getting exposed to the liver, and the blood is passing through the liver constantly. And so it’s kind of a cleaner for the blood as it goes through. People often ask, Can I just drink coffee? It’s obviously not getting delivered in the same way, right? And when we’re just drinking it and then people say, well, I’m sensitive to coffee, what are the pros and cons? It is a little stimulating. I wouldn’t say as much as a cup of coffee. And there are other options with enemas besides coffee enema, but they obviously won’t have that same compound. So again, you can just try it. Like if you’re very sensitive to coffee, you can do like a first round with just like, warm water. Again, you just kind of have to try it and see it.

But when I was very sick and very tired, doing sauna or coffee enema and actually dry brushing were like my three little lifesavers, it would actually give me some energy. So, yeah, I still do them. I still do a coffee enema, I’d say at least once a week because I’ve gotten kind of like you said with the sauna. It’s like a little me time now. I actually really enjoy it. It’s really not like you might picture it’s some giant mess and there’s stuff everywhere. It’s really not like that, right. You’re doing in the bathroom, you basically retain the coffee, and putting it in slowly is really key. So your body doesn’t especially when you’re new to it, doesn’t freak out. So I usually do a first round with just a small amount of coffee, kind of let that be my warm up round. Then you go to the bathroom and then I usually do two or three longer rounds holding the coffee.

Sometimes, even though I’m still very experienced at this, I can’t retain the coffee. I put in too much or what have you, and you just go to the bathroom and then do another round, so it’s not really that crazy or messy. And then while I have the coffee, and I can just read a book or I’ll do my planner for the week or, like, you’re just hanging out, really. So you could also spend that time doing castor oil packs or guacaw or something, like you mentioned. So you can make it like a productive little time. And yeah, to me, it just feels really good. Even if I feel like I’m coming down with something or whatever, I’m like, oh, I should do a coffee enema. My son makes fun of me so hard. He’s just like, you’re addicted to coffee. Yeah, I think I’ll do them my whole life. I like them.

Katie: Yeah, I do the same thing if I feel any kind of cold or anything coming on. I’ll usually do a coffee enema and a long sauna session, and I would say 90% of the time it kicks it before it ever turns into anything where I actually feel sick. So those are kind of my first line of defense. I’m curious if you’ve also ever done any kind of ozone related to mold. This is something I’ve been experimenting with lately, so it’s top of mind. I know you can do rectal ozone as well as for women vaginal ozone and or ozone water. I don’t know if there’s any specific evidence for that helping mold, but it’s something that I’ve been enjoying lately. So I’m curious if you have come across that.

Bridgit: Yeah, I have a little experience with ozone. Not as much as the coach on our team has done more of, like, the ozone machine at home, which is kind of maybe what you’re describing. I’ve done ozone more as like a treatment where they take out your blood and then mix it with ozone and then put it back in. I’ve had maybe eight of those, nine of those while I was sicker. I I would feel like, a little boost, but it wasn’t I don’t know. I don’t feel like for me, personally, it was like, my game changer. But, yeah, I would love to hear more and learn more. I do know doing the ozone at home with the machine can be really cool. Yeah, ozone just basically can kill a gazillion different germs, sounds like, among other things. So, yeah, I think there’s a lot of potential, and I guess you can say I don’t know all its potential.

Katie: Well, and then I also want to just briefly touch on dry brushing, because you’ve mentioned that a couple of times. And this is something I’ve also done for years, and I feel like I get an energy boost from it, but also it really seems helpful for the skin. And having had six babies and lost a lot of weight, that was helpful for me in really tightening up the skin, which is still, of course, a process. But this is another one that is really inexpensive because once you have the dry brush, there’s not really any cost to it. And I feel like for women especially, it can be a great just daily practice to integrate. So maybe just walk us through dry brushing a little bit more.

Bridgit: Yeah, I actually did it this morning. I’m getting better about I did it every day when I was really sick, and then it kind of went to the wayside, as some things do. I’m getting back to doing it partly because I’m like perimenopausal and my weight is fluctuating more with my estrogen. You get these areas where you’re like, oh, I’m feeling a little lumpy, whatever. And the dry brush is great for that, too. So it’s definitely energizing. Like you said, it’s great for Detox because it moves Lymph. It’s good for just like skin vibrancy, for sure. But then it’s nice for those areas that are like, yeah, a little saggy skin, a little cellulite. You can do it alone, or you can do it with topical essential oil like grapefruit. And then you can do it with castor oil, too, which is called wet brushing, which is something I’m just learning about. You may want to have a special brush to go with the castor oil, but that’s just a little extra skin treatment, detox treatment, and then you can do it again, like on your belly area. I’m doing it definitely, like on my butt area, upper thighs right now. And I think it really helps. What do you find?

Katie: Yeah, similar to you, I find it really does help. And especially that paired with sprinting and good amounts of sun exposure without burning, I feel like those have all been really helpful for my skin health. And I also feel like when you do regular dry brushing plus regular sauna where you get rid of dead skin cells as well, it’s kind of almost like a Korean Spa experience over time in that it helps remove dead skin and exfoliate and also brings just lymphatic movement and collagen to the skin a lot more easily. Especially when paired with all the other things we’ve talked about, like really nutrient dense diet and getting enough sleep. I think those are absolutely a baseline, but yeah, I definitely want to recommend and like we’ve talked about, very inexpensive to do. And I feel like compared to all the really expensive beauty treatments that women often get marketed, this is a really inexpensive one that also lets you feel great. So definitely recommend.

Bridgit: Yeah, I was just going to say that it’s your aging or your weight is changing or having kids or whatever, and you feel like, oh, I want to work on some of these things. You can do it all like he’s doing at home, really, with maybe a small investment of a sauna. And like you said, you can get sauna options for so cheap now, if that’s your budget, you can really make your own little sauna, your own little spot at home and do these things. And I really think it helps with the antiaging and just that feeling of like, okay, I’m getting older and my body’s changing, but I’m taking care of it, and I feel really beautiful and I feel really vibrant. So, yeah, you’re sort of like keeping the power to yourself instead of giving it away at some expensive clinic. So, yeah, I think it’s really exciting.

Katie: Yeah, that’s definitely my approach, is I’m perfectly fine with aging gracefully, and I know aging is a natural part of life, and I’m not resisting that. But rather than spend money on things like Botox or laser treatments or whatever the things our people do, I’d much rather put that money toward a sauna and toward things that I can do at home and still be, like red light, things like that, where I’m home with my kids and still get to support my body on multiple levels by doing these things that are also systemically beneficial instead of just addressing the symptom cause on the skin. I feel like the whole body approach is for longevity, a much better approach.

I know, also, you have so much more information than we can cover in a 1 hour podcast episode about this topic. I’ll make sure I link to your work and your resources in the Show Notes, but maybe walk us through where people can find you online and any resources you have available for people who are worried about mold exposure.

Bridget: Yeah, thank you. So my main website is just my name. It’s Bridgit Danner. We have a bunch of free ebooks on there on Mold or Detox and different things. We have a blog, and I have a book on Amazon about mold, and it’s audiobook, print, Kindle. So any way you like it, it’s a great resource if you’re actually going through it, even if you just suspect it, you can definitely pick up the book. But it’s really meant to take you through the process, like start to finish, and it’s a long process, so having the book to reference is really helpful. And then on Instagram, @bridgit.danner.

Katie: And all those links will be in the Show Notes for you guys listening on the go, maybe taking a walk in the sunshine so you can find all that at wellnessmama.fm. But speaking of books, another question I love to ask at the end of interviews is if there is a book or a number of books that have profoundly impacted your life, and if so, what they are and why.

Bridgit: Yeah. I’m going to mention a book I recently read. The Courage to Be Disliked. Have you heard of that book? Yeah, I just thought it was a really interesting philosophy. It just really makes you think about just sort of concepts about how to live your life. So I thought I’d give that one a shout out. So, yeah, lots of influential books, but that’s one of my favorites recently.

Katie: I will put that link in the show notes as well. And lastly, any parting advice for the listeners today that could be related to mold and to everything we’ve talked about or entirely unrelated life advice?

Bridgit: Yeah, one thing I’m learning, and then I think it’s really important in your mold journey, is to just pace yourself. Opportunities have their correct timing and rushing life or trying to learn everything at once or stressing about all the options just doesn’t serve you and it doesn’t serve me. I’m learning that for me as well. So, yeah, everything’s going to happen and you just kind of have to go with the flow of how it’s unfolding, right, rather than try to force it to unfold. So I would say that’s my advice.

Katie: I love it. That’s I think a perfect place to wrap up for today. I’m so grateful for your time today, for all the work that you do and for everything you’ve shared with us today. So thank you for being here.

Bridgit: Thank you, appreciate it.

Katie: And thank, as always, to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the Wellness Mama Podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by LMNT, which is a company that I have had the chance to invest in and have loved since day one. They just released brand new grapefruit flavor on top of all of their other flavors that I absolutely love, including watermelon which is a kid’s favorite in my house, as well as citrus, raspberry, orange, and a couple of ones that I really like, like mango and lemon habanero as well. As you know, summer brings warmth and sunshine, and with it, energizing opportunities to all of us to move and play and be outside. But it also brings a fair amount of sweat. And if you are a regular sauna user like me, you know that sweat is part of it, as well as if you exercise regularly. And this is why optimal hydration is the key with the right fluid to electrolyte balance, because it isn’t just about getting enough water and fluid, but also making sure our electrolytes are dialed in and you feel the difference when you get it right. So when summer brings the heat, LMNT brings the grapefruit salt flavor to help you enjoy that balance all summer long. You can consider grapefruit or any of their flavors, your ultimate summer salt companion. And I love that they combine sodium, magnesium, and potassium in the clinically studied ratios to make sure that you can stay optimally hydrated even if you are saunaing or exercising or just spending time outside in the summer. Find out more about LMNT by going to drinklmnt.com/wellnessmama. And this is a one time flavor so when it’s gone, it’s gone for good. I highly recommend that you try it.

This episode is brought to you by Neurohacker and they make a product called Qualia Mind that I have really been enjoying lately. Because as a busy mom, I know how important good memory is. And have you ever misplaced your keys or forgotten something at work? Not the most fun feeling, but our sponsor, Neurohacker, combines 28 of the most research-backed nootropic ingredients into the ultimate brain formula called Qualia Mind. And it’s been changing people’s lives for years, including mine. From personal experience, my daily mental performance and brain health definitely benefit, and I consider Qualia Mind indispensable to my brain health. It’s so cool to take a health product where you don’t have to wonder if it’s working, because you feel it immediately. And I notice the difference in just days. I notice a change in my focus, my mood, and my memory and my willpower to get things done.
Their formula is non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, and the ingredients are meant to complement one another. It’s also backed by a 100-day money back guarantee. So you have almost three months to try Qualia Mind at no financial risk and decide for yourself if it works for you. If you deal with at all with brain fog, memory lapses, or sluggish thinking, I highly recommend that you try Qualia Mind to nourish your brain. It’s hands down the best, and it’s made by the world’s top scientist in an all-vegan formula with potent bioavailable ingredients. The company is completely transparent with no proprietary blends, and it’s beyond just science and research. Qualia Mind flat out works, and I have felt the difference. In fact, if you don’t have clear thinking in just 30 days, they will give you your money back with no questions asked. See what their amazing brain formula can do for you and your mindset by going to neurohacker.com/wellnessmama to get $100 off, making it only $39 a bottle. And as a listener of this podcast, you can use the code wellnessmama at Checkout to save 15% off your first order.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

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