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Increased toxic metal exposures in our everyday life

Increased toxic metal exposures in our everyday life

Dr Nafysa Parpia talks with Dr. Lyn Patrick about where mercury & lead is found in
our modern lifestyle and how to easily test yourself

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It is an unfortunate reality that most people today have a high toxicant load in their body.

From pesticides, to wildfires, to modern home building practices, it is difficult to avoid. Even the simple fact of being born before 1990 means that could likely have high levels of lead in your system.

In this clip from Dr. Parpia’s interview of Dr. Lyn Patrick of Environmental Medicine Education International about detoxing, you can learn about how you are exposed to lead, mercury, and other toxins as well as how to test for them in your body.

Some topics covered in the video are:

      • The global body burden of lead and how it affects the immune system
      • Toxicants in home building such as lead, mold, & mycotoxins
      • Why Lyme is more prevalent in the U.S. now
      • The importance of seeing a doctor who is educated in environmental medicine
      • Mercury’s high levels in both inland and ocean caught wild fish, as well as high fructose corn syrup
      • The surprising way mercury is released into the air from wildfires
      • The federal government database for toxic exposure and how you can ask your doctor to test your own levels.
      • Dr. Parpia also addresses how a high toxic burden can inhibit immune function and your body’s ability to fight chronic infections like Lyme Disease. Most chronically ill patients have a very high toxicant load. Long term low level exposure to toxins can be a contributor to complex chronic illnesses.
Watch this 25 minute clip, or read the transcript below, to learn all the details.

Interview Transcript

Dr. Lyn Patrick

The reality of what we’re dealing with today is we have a significant toxic load. Anyone who was born before 1990 has a body burden of lead, just because of when they were born. In addition to all the other chemicals that are in our environment, we have this tsunami of both mold exposure and mycotoxin exposure as a result of residential and commercial building problems that we have with our building industry that allow for mold growth. And then we have Lyme disease, which is an ever-increasing epidemic as a result of global warming.

 I live in Colorado, and we never had ticks until two years ago. We now have a tick problem. We now have Lyme disease in Colorado. Even at high elevations, 9000 10,000 feet up in the air. It’s warm enough now to have ticks, and so we have a whole kind of a new problem that we’re having to deal with. This combination of toxicant exposure and chronic infection makes practicing Environmental Medicine even more challenging, so thus, even a greater need for that specialty education. But getting to today’s topic, which is detox. What is it?

Dr. Lyn Patrick  

I want to start out with just a little bit of my perspective on this. We know that the actual acknowledgement of environmental toxicant causing disease has been in medicine since the 40s and the 50s. We have pioneers in this area who are MD, medical doctors. Herbert Rinkle, Theodore Randolph, Dr. Randolph, who actually were some of the first doctors to realize that pesticides were hurting people. Remember DDT? We’ve had that available back in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and wasn’t even taken out of commerce until 1972. So, we have a long history of that toxicant and a lot of exposure. However, due to some pressure by the chemical companies, these doctors were basically not listened to. And their assertion that toxicants caused disease was really downplayed.

Even our very young, kind of modern father of Environmental Medicine, Dr. William Ray, who was a cardiothoracic surgeon, as well as running a hospital for environmental illness, or patients who had been environmentally poisoned, he also had a difficult time getting the attention in the medical profession. Certainly, because I think we’ve had this long standing and I want to say, an actual, overt and conscious kind of pressure from the chemical industry to downplay this relationship.

 So, for those of us that now are paying attention, even though this downplaying of the importance of our exposure to toxicants on a daily basis is still happening from, I’m sad to say, even the more astute and educated aspects of the conventional medical profession. I think there’s so much information out there about our exposure levels, that the general public is very clear that there is a constant and continuous exposure that we all have to chemicals every day, and that those chemicals alter our immune systems, our reproductive systems, our nervous systems, our endocrine systems, and basically every system of the body. There’s no system that gets away without being affected.

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

Right. The patients that I focus on have complex chronic illness. They come to us with long standing Lyme disease or tick-borne disease, mold, mycotoxin illness, and then those wastebasket terms. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, where the doctors don’t know why they have to put this label on the patient. Autoimmune conditions, for example…

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

Depression that does not respond to standard treatment…

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

Exactly. Nervous system dysregulation, mast cell activation syndrome, most of my patients have all of this all at once. Of course, I’m testing their toxins, their environmental toxic loads. I’m looking for metals, I’m looking for pesticides, insecticides, glyphosate, and I’m looking for their infections. And of course, I’m seeing high environmental toxin loads in this patient population. Once I begin to detoxify them in a way that’s personalized for the patients, I can see that they’re actually able to handle treatment of the infections or sometimes even their infections start to go away. If I detox them first, though, that’s immune regulation right there, just by detox.

 Tell us about the research on environmental toxins and in their contribution to immune dysregulation and complex chronic illness.

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

Where I would like to start is by telling everyone out there that the federal government, your tax dollars, funds the Center for Disease Control, which has a huge database of toxic exposure in the general population. You actually have access to this. It’s available to everyone. You can look it up. And I’m going to take you to what is called the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Now, this has been ongoing for two decades. It’s a huge amount of people every two years. They actually have huge buses that go out all over the country and collect urine and blood from people like you and me, large groups of people, 5000 people, 7000 people, and then they look in the blood and urine of those people for over 200 chemicals. And it’s in this database right here.

 So, if we go to this page, which is cdc.gov/exposurereport, and it’s the index for the exposure report, and we go to the actual data tables, which are in this beautiful, little searchable database right here, and we look for, oh, let’s say lead, that’s a good one. And we want to look for blood lead from the year 2011 to the year 2018. Those are the years in which data was actually collected from, as you can see, sample sizes as large as 8000 people. And that was for the years 2011 – 2012. We have actual information about blood lead on these individuals. Here’s the important thing we know from epidemiologic studies that have looked at this database for 19 years.

 There’s actually a recent study that was published in Lancet Public Health by Dr. Bruce Lamphere, who is a career public health epidemiologist. He specializes in blood lead poisoning in children. We know that levels as high as 2.3, 2.6… I’m going to say 2.6, increased risk for dying of a heart attack, or dying of a stroke significantly. Dying of a stroke was more than twice the risk. Just having a blood lead level over 2.6. Now, what I’m going to show you here is that there’s a significant amount of the population that has a blood level over 2.6. They are here in this group. And you can see that. 3.16 back in 2011, up to 2.4.  2.4 is the average, and it goes all the way up to 2.6. The 95th percentile just means the top 5% of the population.

 Now, when you go in to get your blood drawn, and you say, “Hey, I was born before 1990. And I just saw this webinar where this doctor talked about this, (and I have people in academic centers that have agreed with me on this.) that anyone born before 1990 has a significant body burden of lead that increases their risk from dying of cardiovascular disease. I want my blood lead level drawn please.” It is a test you have access to, every lab in the world does it, and it will cost about $50 out of pocket if your insurance doesn’t cover it.

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

Your physician may say, “I have no idea why you want that. I’ve never read that study.” And that’s because most doctors don’t read the studies, they have no time to read the medical literature, and toxicology, environmental toxicology, toxic metal research is not their thing. But it is true that everyone around the globe has a body lead burden historically, because we put lead in paint. We put lead in gasoline, and when gasoline was combusted, or paint chips became dust that created a global burden of lead. So, it’s in the atmosphere, and it’s in the soil. And it is in old buildings that were built before 1982.

This is a government database that has over 200 chemicals in it. So, if you’re exposed to a chemical, you can get a pretty good idea of what the average American level is in terms of blood or urine. Not hair, and not stool, and not tissue. The CDC doesn’t measure those, but they definitely measure blood and urine. This is an open access database. I don’t have any secret passwords. Everyone has access to this. Every physician has access to this. They just don’t know how to use it. And they don’t know how to interpret the data in it. That’s what we teach our doctors to do. So that when they do have patients that they suspect, for example, I’ll give you a great example of a patient. A woman who had an old home, she has several, four children, ages 2 – 15. She had painters come to paint her home because the paint was chipping and they really needed to repaint the entire outside of the home.

 According to the law, when you have an old home and you’re going to repaint it, you have to bag that home. You literally put a plastic bag around it, so that all of the dust from the paint that you’re sanding off gets captured, because that dust could have lethal levels of lead in it. So, the company was not up to snuff in terms of following the law. And they did not bag the house. There was a lot of dust that was breathed in by her and her entire family. During that week, when the entire house, a big two-story house, was sanded, her blood pressure went up significantly. One of her children became very sick. He got headaches, he was lethargic, he got stomach aches. Because she was paying attention, she took her entire brood into the physician and forced them to do blood testing. Her lead level was 45. Standard lead level is between 0.5 and 1.5. That’s the average here, you can see the geometric mean for 2017, 2018 is 0.7. So this was many, many, many times above the average. So, while she and her children had to actually be treated for lead toxicity, this is not an uncommon occurrence.

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

No, I see this in my patient population. In fact, I’ve had many patients come to me, they’re in a state of chronic Lyme, all of a sudden. It is likely that they had the tick bite a long time ago, but their immune system was able to keep that Lyme in check, as the immune system should be able to do that. But they lived in the house when it was being renovated, or they moved back in three days later.  I test their blood; the blood level is high. And I do some tests to look at chronic Lyme, I’m looking at T cell tests, not just antibody tests. Sure enough, they are fighting Lyme right now and they have a high blood lead. But they weren’t finding Lyme prior to moving back into the house.

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

It’s really great that you bring this up Dr. Parpia. Because we think of lead in kind of toxicologic terms, right? It has the capacity for causing cardiovascular disease. There are neurologic or brain related problems with lead. They can cause abdominal pain as well in an acute setting. However, lead also has an effect on the immune system. There’s a great study done in Poland, where they looked at levels of lead in utero, so in moms who were pregnant, and then they followed those children up until they were nine years old. The children that were born to the moms who had the highest level of blood lead had significant risk for severe allergies. This was, I think, the study was done in the 90s. A little while ago, but not that long ago.

This is a connection that most doctors don’t make, that these toxic exposures are immune toxicants and affect the immune system. The reason I brought up the mercury tables here is that this is another metal commonly found high especially in patients who eat fish. The US Forest Service did a study of all the inland lakes and streams in the United States in 2011. They published the study, and they found out that 50% of all the fish, we’re not talking about the big ocean tuna, or the big ocean shark or other big ocean fish that are high in mercury, like swordfish. These are inland fish like trout and bass. They found out that 50% of the inland fish had levels of mercury or a chemical called PCBs that were higher than the allowable EPA level in fish.  And this includes wild fish.

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

My patients will say to me, “I’m eating wild fish, though. Shouldn’t that take care of it?”

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

These are all wild fish, stream reservoir and creek fish. I paid attention to that, because I was very tuned in to fish as a source of mercury. So here we are, again, the Environmental Protection Agency as an agency, you can see levels of mercury in people are rising. They’re not going down over time. If you look at the population from 2009 to 2010, which sadly, is the latest data that we have, it’s 10 years old, you’ll see that in the top 5% of the population, levels of mercury are over the safe level that the EPA actually allows for blood mercury. So, 5.0, and this is microgram per liter, whole blood, is the top. In other words, you can have blood mercury over 5.0. But there you’ve got it. 5% of the American population is actually mercury toxic.

 Now, as a physician, I know that the data shows me that levels as low as 1.0, which is somewhere in here, between the 50th and the 75th percentile, so at least 25% of the population has blood mercury levels high enough that it can alter thyroid function. We know that thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, or autoimmune thyroiditis is a huge problem in the United States of America, as it is around the world. Mercury is one of the toxicants that is involved in autoimmune thyroiditis. And so here, we have evidence from a government database, that mercury exposure in the United States population is significant enough that 25% of the population could be having symptoms of toxicity, at least from an autoimmune standpoint, as the result of their exposure to mercury through fish.

 I’m not going to talk about amalgam fillings, because that’s a whole nother sticky wicket. It’s not that it doesn’t cause problems. But that’s very hard to diagnose, from a medical standpoint. That mercury doesn’t end up in the blood, it ends up in the urine, but there’s no direct correlation between having an amalgam filling and having a blood urine level. 

So, you wanted data, this is a huge, huge database. Look at this. In 2009 – 2010, 8700 people in the study. You know, when we look at statistics, we always want to try and figure out as scientists, what is the necessary population that we need to study? How many people do we need to study to get statistical significance? And if you look in medical literature, you know, a huge study is considered 5000 people. Huge study! Most studies are 200, 300, 400 people. This is almost 9000 individuals. Repeated, these are not the same individuals every year, it’s a different population. So, you’re really looking at 32,000 individuals studied over the period of 10 years.

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

Most of my patients are Mercury’s hovering in the 90th, 95th,  above. They’re lucky if it’s 75th percent when they’re coming to me. Remember, my patients have complex chronic illness, and they’ve got autoimmune conditions. And so, I’m seeing this in the trenches with the patients.

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

I believe because of your locality, being in California, which is more of a fish-eating population than Kansas or Indiana or landlocked states, that don’t have a lot of water bodies, you are looking at patients that may be exposed through their dietary intake.

One thing I’ll mention, just because no one ever talks about this. High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener, right? It is used a lot in a tremendous variety of foods, everything from instant oatmeal to barbecue sauce. I was one of the authors on this paper. We published a study looking at the mercury in high fructose corn syrup because of the manufacturing technologies that are used. Mercury is actually used in the manufacturing of high fructose corn syrup. It is another dietary item that is contaminated, not on purpose, but contaminated nonetheless with inorganic mercury.  We actually published that study. I worked with a bench researcher at the Food and Drug Administration who was very concerned about this. We actually sent a sample of high fructose corn syrup into NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to get it measured. They actually corroborated that these samples of high fructose corn syrup were contaminated with mercury. So you may also be seeing that. A population that’s eating a lot of high fructose corn syrup.

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

A lot of our patients come from all over the country actually. So for even the ones from California, still, I’m seeing that. But one thing I’m seeing in California since a fire season has developed, that started over the past four or five years, we didn’t have fire season before. Now it’s every year without fail, unfortunately. I’m seeing mercury levels higher in people than I did before. I was researching the reasons for that.

 Dr. Lyn Patrick  

There’s a reason for that, as you know. I guess we have to talk about it. Conifers, trees that have needles, like ponderosa pine trees, my area has a lot of ponderosa pine trees, actually will take up mercury from the soil. Well, to start, where does mercury come from? When coal is burned in plants that are making electricity, that coal contains mercury from the earth, from 1000s of years of compression. Mercury does exist as a metal in the earth. When the coal is burned, that mercury is released, especially in China, where the scrubbers on the electric plants are not that great, the coal burning electric plants, and it actually floats all the way across the Pacific Ocean and lands in California, as well as other parts of the United States and Canada. Conifers will take up that mercury and actually store it in their needles.

 An amazing researcher from the University of Washington actually was able to trace the release and movement of mercury from wildfire smoke into the atmosphere. So sadly, I think that our recent spate of wildfire smoke exposure that’s been happening since 2015 across the West, has released more airborne mercury. We do take that in atmospherically. We breathe that in, and it does stay in our bodies once we’re exposed to it.

 I think you brought up a really important, this whole topic now of the complication that all physicians are seeing, whether they deal with it or not, is the complication of daily exposure to toxicants. And either the resurgence of what were well controlled chronic infections, or new chronic infections as a result of these exposures, because they’re immune toxicants, as well as continued exposure to mold and mycotoxins from building.

 Dr. Nafysa Parpia  

It’s a big deal for these patients.

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Protecting Your Health during Wildfire Smoke Season

Protecting Your Health during Wildfire Smoke Season

Drs Eric Gordon and Nafysa Parpia talk about what you need to know
to stay healthy with smoke in the air

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Every year, the wildfire season is affecting more and more people. Smoke from fires can travel thousands of miles, carrying with it heavy metals, molds, and mycotoxins.

The first point of entry into the body is through skin, sinuses, and lungs. This exposure can have acute symptoms such as:

  • Lung irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Sinus irritation
  • Skin irritation

In some people, acute symptoms can even become chronic, causing secondary inflammation that can affect the GI, brain, heart, liver, kidneys – all the organs and the immune system!

In our wildfire webinar, we covered:

  • Things you can do in your home to protect yourself
  • Personal protective strategies
  • How acute symptoms can become chronic
  • Symptoms we see in our patients who have had prolonged exposure including brain fog, lung weakness, sinusitis, and more
  • The trends we are seeing, including higher heavy metal loads
  • Who might be at most risk
  • The intersection of acute COVID and COVID Long Haul and wildfire smoke
  • Q&A with live participants

Don’t miss the Q&A at the end, where Dr. Gordon and Dr. Parpia go deeper into what the consequences of wildfire means for the chronically ill, and for everyone.

But the good news is that we’ve been working with this population for so long that we have some answers.

As a reminder, you need to take wildfire smoke seriously – we have seen so many people with underlying inflammation who can go through months of brain fog and a flare of many other symptoms after smoke exposure.

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

You can view the slides from the presentation here: https://gordonmedical.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Fire-Season-and-Your-Health.pdf

Webinar Transcript

Dr. Eric Gordon – Welcome, everyone. Unfortunately, fire season is now a season. This is not good news for all of us. But it’s what we have. And there’s plenty of things to do to help protect ourselves. We’re going to do our best to give you some ideas and talk a little bit about what the risks are. We’re not looking to create fear. We just want to be real, so we can really take care of ourselves.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia – Welcome. We’re just so happy to have you here with us.

Dr. Eric Gordon 00:39

Yes. And of course, that’s Dr. Nafysa Parpia.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  00:44 

So, there are a lot of chemicals released when trees, houses and everything else burns. We’re here to talk to you about, about that, how to protect yourselves,

Dr. Eric Gordon  00:56 

…and what we have to worry about. There is lots of stuff that happens when you burn things. But what we’re most particularly concerned about, probably number one, is what’s called the fine particles. These are the ones that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter. The bigger ones, the 5-10 microns often are trapped in our nose in our upper airway, so they can be irritating, but it’s the smaller ones that can get into the lungs and cause inflammation. The problem with these things is they’re very light, and they can drift thousands of miles away from their original source. 

When bulldozers are creating firebreaks, they wind up disturbing that first few inches of soil. And this can launch these particles into the air. Unfortunately, they can contain mercury, and, and even mold. That was one of the surprises they found from the fires down south, how much mold got released into the air. And most of it was from the bulldozing,

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  02:09

I have to say that soon after fire season, I started seeing elevations in people’s blood lead, and blood mercury. Just the acute exposures is what I’m talking about. Mercury is likely higher in people’s blood now post-fire season, because certain trees draw up the mercury that unfortunately was polluted into the soil. So, the trees carry it. And when those trees get burned, that mercury gets released into the air again, and also lead from houses that were built before 1978. When they are burned down, that lead gets released. And sure enough, I’m seeing these two metals elevated for people in blood and the urine. 

This slide talks about the acute impact on the sinuses and the lungs. The acute impact would be from exactly where the smoke enters: the skin, the eyes, and the lungs, of course. So, the first symptoms you’re going to experience would be a runny nose, throat irritation, coughing, sneezing congestion.  I’m sure you’ve all experienced that if you’ve been in fire season. Then, of course, into the eyes, you can get itchy eyes and skin irritation. So, the first point of entry. Of course, these can then become chronic issues. We start here, though. 

Dr. Eric Gordon  03:46

Okay, that is the coarse particles. As I said, the 5-10 microns, they can deposit the upper respiratory tract, but the smaller ones get deeper into your lungs. Then the issue we really have is that the inflammation isn’t localized to the sinuses and lungs. Once you have an area that’s inflamed, it has a system wide effect. The cytokines, these inflammatory chemicals, those all are a system-wide, a body-wide effect. We’ve seen this in our patients for years, but especially with long COVID. When even though there’s very little evidence that there’s actually virus in the central nervous system, but there are the markers of inflammation are elevated in the central nervous system and in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). We know that inflammation any part of the body creates systemic issues.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  04:50

Okay, to talk about the systemic impact of wildfire health smoke, which is often forgotten by laypeople and medical practitioners as well, is that we often get focused on the organ that’s making the most noise at the time. Maybe it’s the lungs in wildfire smoke. We might focus on that. For some people it might be the gut, but we must remember that inflammation is a body wide process. If the irritant is affecting a particular organ, that will be the most obvious sign or symptom. But when we measure the inflammatory communication molecules, the inflammatory cytokines, we see that they’re upregulated throughout the whole system, they’re not just organ specific. They’re upregulated throughout the bloodstream, and affecting all the organs to a greater or lesser degree.

Dr. Eric Gordon  05:49

Basically, the thing we’re concerned about is, obviously the acute exposure, but also the fact that these chemicals and toxins set the immune system off and increase our susceptibility to other infections, not just upper respiratory things. The inflammation affects the respiratory system, but also the cardiovascular and the neurologic systems. We saw it in studies coming out of Mexico City, actually, and other places since then, that exposure to particulate matters and smog cause premature atherosclerosis, even in young people, and also premature degenerative dementias, or maybe they don’t quite make dementia. They’re not seen in the person yet, because these are often very young people that unfortunately have died in car accidents and such. But in the brain, there are signs that would that would be considered consistent with dementia in older people.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  06:57

If someone has long-haul COVID, or they might even be in acute COVID during a fire or during fire season, and then their susceptibility is increased. We see this with our patients, whether they’re in COVID, or long COVID, or they have chronic tick-borne illness. They’re more susceptible during fire season. 

There are small particles that can settle deep in the lungs. These are 2.5 or smaller microns. The smallest particles are less than 0.1 microns. They can get from the lungs right into the bloodstream. These are the ones that irritate the immune system. There are studies showing an increase of autism near highways, because when the tires go at high speed, and the rubber breaks down, that creates toxins that are tiny particles. This is shown in research. And in experiments, they’ve seen that these turn on the level of NF Kappa B genes. These are the genes that increase our self-protective mechanisms, and particularly increase TNF-alpha, interleukin six, interleukin eight and other inflammatory cytokines. 

Now, these inflammatory cytokines would produce transient inflammation, which is the first part of the healing cycle. We need these inflammatory cytokines in the beginning of an insult, whether it’s these toxins or perhaps an infection. It’s when these just keep going on, when it’s not a transient inflammatory cytokine rush anymore. People can be stuck with a rush of inflammatory cytokines. If you really have long COVID, COVID, or the illnesses that we deal with, that our patients deal with, and you’re susceptible, you’re more susceptible to inflammatory cytokines just not being transient anymore. They’re stuck in a loop when you’re in a fire or we have smoke exposure.

Dr. Eric Gordon  09:15

So, we measure the inflammatory cytokines and we see that’s one of the signs that people have chronic diseases. Our concern is that, there was a study published actually from Harvard last year that showed the elevated levels of the fine particle pollution that we’re talking about, that actually probably lead to increased symptomatic COVID. And also probably increased in the people who were severe the chance of them winding up in the hospital, because, again, it’s an additive process.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  10:01

Preparing to minimize your wildfire smoke exposure can prevent a further exacerbation of prolonged persistence of acute COVID or post COVID long-haul. And also, I’m going to say, in our experience, tick-borne disease and mycotoxin illness. There certainly is an intersection between wildfire smoke, and COVID. And wildfire smoke and complex chronic illness. 

Dr. Eric Gordon  10:37

The people who are most affected by wildfire smoke, are, of course, anybody who’s already inflamed, because it’s not good for any of us. But the ones who are at higher risk really should be more careful during fire season. The most vulnerable people are those with chronic illnesses, and respiratory or cardiac symptoms. Even things like diabetes, because we often forget that that also is chronic inflammation. And, of course, we have to worry more about pregnant women and fetuses, because again, the immune system is shifting during pregnancy, and you are a little more susceptible to the dangers of acute smoke exposure. The very young and the very elderly, also, again, have been to do with modulation of the immune system. 

But our biggest concern are the people who work outdoors, and especially the people who like to exercise outdoors. We’ve seen too many people running around when there’s smoke or when the air is unsafe, and this is something to really be careful about. We’ll talk more in further slides. In the last two years, unfortunately, we have the whole issue of COVID, long-haul COVID, vaccine injury. These are all people who unfortunately, the wildfire smoke may trigger.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  12:12

We want to consider SNPs, there’s a lot. You’ll see a list of some SNPs, which are single nucleotide polymorphisms. These are just small changes in the makeup of your genes. We all have them. It’s about how they express biochemically. Some can make your enzymes work faster, some can make your enzymes work slower. Then there’s some SNPs that deal with glutathione metabolism and the ability for glutathione to act as a as a detoxifier. That’s limited in some people. There are some genes that increase reactive oxygen species and some that decrease them. 

So, there’s this combination of genes that can cause some of us to become more susceptible to environmental toxins, including those from wildfire smoke, and for some of us to be less susceptible. We don’t think that everybody has to measure their genes. We think it’s great information to have, if you want it, it gives us some insight. But we do think about these things as a way to understand why some people will be susceptible and some won’t. Why there’s variability in people’s responses.

Dr. Eric Gordon  13:37

So, we learned a lot about inflammation, having worked with patients with inflammatory diseases for a long time. We see that exposures to things like mycotoxins, the first thing is to minimize exposure. Unfortunately, we can’t leave for fire season, or most of us can’t. What we need to do is prepare our homes and our bodies. 

I think the first thing is just preparing your home. This is one time when a really tight house is useful. I think a lot of people have developed some environmental illness problems because we may have houses way too tight for many years trying to keep warm. We have problems with indoor air pollution because of that. A tight house and a gas stove and gas cooking are probably not a great thing. But during fire season, a tight house is a good idea. You need that protection. Make sure the windows and doors are sealed, the vents are closed, and use your air conditioning or heating. 

Minimize what you do in the house. Don’t burn candles. Don’t use gas stoves if you can avoid it. Watch out for even simple things like vacuuming, probably not a good idea. If you need to vacuum something, a small handheld HEPA vacuum might be the best. But swiffers during fire season are your best bet. Because anything that disturbs the airflow in your home may move toxins or particulate matters that have settled down around the floor. Using a swiffer is the best way to clean that up.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  15:34

You really want to have a good HEPA filter on your central air or central heat so you can be filtering your indoor air. These are recirculating units, so they’re not bringing outside air in when you’re using them. You wanted to try a HEPA filter that’s equivalent to a MERV 17. This will help maximize your indoor air quality. A good idea is to consult with your HVAC providers. We also like to have small room filters as well. They’re very, very helpful. We like Air Doctor and IQ Air, and there are others as well. 

Also, you want to make sure that your antioxidant system is well balanced. 

Before we talk about any supplements, there’s just so much that you can do that doesn’t cost anything. You want to pay attention to your local air quality ratings. This way you’re going to know your risks. I like the AirCare app, one that tells you when to limit your outdoor activities and minimize outdoor exertion. I’ve seen just way too many people running in the smoke. I want to tell them, “Don’t do that!” Running in the smoke is just too much too much impact on the lungs. 

 Wear an N95 mask if you have to go outside. Or if you’re highly susceptible. Maybe you have long COVID. Maybe you are chronically inflamed, because you’ve got chronic tick-borne illness. For example, if you need to go outside you want to consider a half mask, a respirator with the P-100. Cartridge. This is a big deal. It’s a big thing. If you’re susceptible, you want to use that. The N95 will protect you from about 95% of the particles. The P-100 cartridge protects you from 99.8% of the particles and it also filters out oil based particles. 

You want to keep your indoor air as clean as possible. As we discussed in earlier webinars, you want to make sure that you’re drinking only filtered water.

Dr. Eric Gordon  18:01

So, supplementation. We all take supplements. I should say that most of us take supplements. a lot of the times. Probably in the past, when food was food, and we exercised in our regular life, and stress was not as consistent, maybe we didn’t need as many supplements. But these days, I think supplementation is probably needed, and especially in the wildfire season. It increases the emotional stress, and the physical stress of inhaling the smoke also is a great producer of free radicals. 

No one supplement is going to work for everyone. Once you’ve got your basics: that healthy organic diet, maximizing fresh foods, minimizing the packaged foods. And remember, no matter how healthy and wonderful packaged foods sound, they’re not the same thing as fresh food. 

In the better part of the year, when there’s no smoke, increasing the physical activity as much as your body can deal with. There’s nothing like that to have your body’s ability to create and also get rid of the reactive oxygen species, which is part of being healthy. Unfortunately, a lot of the patients that we see just can’t be physically active enough to really push their systems. So, we have to supplement. 

Some of the basics that I think that everyone should be making sure they’re getting is basic B vitamins, but especially vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, and things like N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). It’s inexpensive. Many people do well with using glutathione supplementation, but that can get expensive. And N-acetyl cysteine is helpful right there. Broccoli extracts with the sulfurophanes will help your body be able to detox some of the other chemicals a little bit better.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  20:19

And last, but not least, is your mental and emotional wellbeing. Allow yourself to process your emotions. Fire season can be a very emotionally difficult time. Especially if you’ve lost your home. And even if you haven’t lost your home, your loved ones may have lost their home, while you’re walking around in this twilight. It’s intense. Seek spiritual solace, whatever that means to you. Some people pray, some people meditate, some people sing, some people just use grounding with the earth. Whatever it is that that helps uplift you. Be sure to do that as much as you can. Make sure that you’re connecting with friends, family, community as much as you can as well. We can’t stress how important the emotional and mental wellbeing for everybody is during such a stressful time. With this global pandemic, we’re all are in global trauma. We’re all going through with this pandemic. And now on top of it, fire seasons. 

Dr. Eric Gordon  21:35

I’m hoping that we can do some question and answers, because there’s some other things that people can do for personal protection that I think I’d like to get into. 

Someone asked a good question: Would someone with that with the glutathione s-transferase M1 deletion need to protect their health? 

Well, again, the probably NAC will help, and also the broccoli extracts. Remember, the good thing about the body is that it’s redundant. Everything it has, you know, the glutathione s-transferase M1 is a very common SNP. You’re not doomed if you have it. Supporting the other aspects of glutathione by making sure you have more and making sure that you have adequate vitamin C and vitamin E, you will be able to get around that.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  22:43

You also want to have the cofactors that help with your methylation system onboard. Amino acids, minerals, selenium, magnesium, for example. I want to also have molybdenum onboard. All of these are cofactors. B vitamins for your detoxification system to actually work. If you have some deletions in your glutathione snips, maybe you have one, maybe you have a couple, your body has a more difficult time detoxing. All of a sudden, you’re in fire season, your toxin load has increased. If you add glutathione, it could be difficult for you. So, you want to make sure that you shore up on all of these cofactors. I like to test the cofactors on my patients. Sometimes you don’t need to. That test is expensive. You can just take some vitamins and minerals.

Dr. Eric Gordon  23:43

I think what Dr. Parpia was saying that was so important, is this idea of supporting the whole system, because very few of us have SNPs that leave us in mortal risk. There are snips that can do that. But those are illnesses that usually will get you really ill or kill you before you’re ten. Those of us who make it past ten fairly healthy, we have pathways that get around any of these SNPs. That’s the important thing to remember. They’re not your future. You’re going to always be sick because you have a SNP.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  24:30

Patients come in, they say, “I’m doomed! I have this SNP.” That’s not true. You do have other genes that can get around where you have the SNPs. But we do think that the genes are important. And like I said, if you do have issues with methylation or with glutathione SNPs, you want to find ways to support that, which is using the cofactor support.

Dr. Eric Gordon  26:29

Question: Can you go into more detail about how inflammation can spread throughout the whole body? 

Basically, how our system works is that when you create inflammation, local inflammation is never just a local event. It is mediated by your immune system. The first neutrophils, or the white blood cells, that are in the area where something is irritated, they quickly start releasing chemicals called cytokines and chemokines. So especially chemokines, these signals would call other white blood cells, especially your macrophages, and then in time your T-cells and B-cells. So, it’s a system wide event. Usually, the body is pretty good. If it’s a very mild inflammation, infection, or irritation, the body’s able to contain that noise. So even though you’re releasing some of these chemicals, they’re very low amounts. 

Things people talk a lot about, IL-6, IL-8, IL-4, these are some of the ones that help trigger the systemic signs of illness, such as fever and fatigue and malaise. But they have to get quite high to do that. So mild, not a big problem. But if the inflammation is significant in the lung, it’s signaled throughout the body, and these inflammatory chemicals are floating there, and ricocheting off each other. Basically, that’s what vaccine reactions and post and long COVID, probably is predominantly. Long COVID, there could be some element of clotting, but there’s a lot of just persistent immune activation. 

Now, when the body’s working the way we want it, as soon as you start to get inflammation going, you also start shutting it down. And it’s those breaks that often aren’t working when we develop chronic illness. Sometimes it’s because a chronic trigger is still persistent. That would be like if you were living in an ongoing polluted environment, you would have a low level of persistent inflammation. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  29:32

Question:  Are you still doing glutathione nebulizers for smoke?

Yes, we are. We do find that nebulized glutathione is very, very helpful. So yes, but that’s for our patients that we see.

Dr. Eric Gordon  30:02

Somebody else was asking a question that applies to that.  

Question: How do we get the things that are stuck in our lungs out? 

Well, the good part is that the lung is very good at cleaning itself. Some of the very tiny particles, they can lodge there, sometimes forever. But most of the time, our lungs are able to slowly move them out. They can be absorbed into the body, sometimes, because you have macrophages and lots of other immune cells, eaters, these little cells that can take up foreign things, and get them into the circulation and then into the lymph and then get them out of us.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  30:51

I want to go back to the question. So, when do we use nebulized glutathione, what Eric was talking about was very important. And the nebulized glutathione helps to prevent that. We’ll see people who have inflammation in their lungs, and we have them do a trial. These are our patients, have them do a trial of nebulized glutathione in the office first, before we have them do it at home. You don’t want to just get a nebulizer and do it at home without instruction from your doctor because you’ve got to make sure you’re doing it the right way.

Dr. Eric Gordon  31:23

More importantly, very rarely, there are some people who get a flare of asthma with glutathione. It’s a rare thing. But it can happen, depends how your body metabolizes some of the prostaglandins that can be turned on. 

Question: Now, the other part of the question that this person had was the levels of dampness or dryness affecting the lung mucosa. And also, the effects of how the smoke and fire-retardant chemicals for the fire stick in the lungs. 

As I said, we depend on the lungs surfactant, and a lot of the lung’s immune system is just that. Is being able to basically eat or move things up into the mucous and expel it. That’s what our system is pretty good at doing. Extremes of dryness and moisture can affect the lungs. Very, very dry air, of course, will make things harder. Very, very moist air generally isn’t too much of a problem for the lungs, they can they can deal with that.  

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  32:52

But, with extreme moist air also comes mold issues. After fire season, we’ve seen a lot of mold issues come up as well. People are more susceptible because of the inflammation due to the fires. I would say that N-acetyl cysteine helps a lot in loosening up the mucus. The glutathione will help with bringing the inflammation down. And yes, you mentioned the breathing exercises. Those are really going to help as well. Some people though, they can’t even do breathing exercises because it’s so intense. This is when the nebulization of glutathione is very, very helpful. And then if these persist after fire season is over, then I’m definitely assessing my patients for mold and mycotoxin illness because it is connected to the fire season, unfortunately.

Dr. Eric Gordon  33:55

People are asking about nebulizing NAC, and that can be nebulized as well. Again, it’s the same concern. There’s something about the sulfur, because NAC is cysteine, which is a sulfur containing amino acid that can trigger asthma in some people. It’s very uncommon.  I looked into this the first anthrax scare we had. I was part of a group writing a paper about natural treatments for anthrax exposure. Anyway, we found this out, and so we’ve been careful with these inhaled sulfur compounds just because of this possibility. So don’t do it at home the first time. 

Other people are asking about other things to nebulize safely. I think the most important thing to remember is, you really should be talking to your physician before you do these things, because unless you’re a chemist, you can easily make a mistake in the concentration of what you’re doing. And the poison is in the dose. What’s just so important for people to remember is that you can really hurt yourself with using very safe things at the wrong dose. You can read about it, but please, be careful.

We’re in this crazy world right now, where many good ideas die because people do them inappropriately. Then the media and the mainstream medical establishment, which doesn’t look at these things, then just uses it as a bad example to trash the whole system. Be careful. Don’t just try anything. 

Question: Somebody asked about premature people. 

I don’t know for sure. But, you know, when babies are born prematurely, they do have inadequate surfactant in the lungs. That usually repairs, but I’m not sure if it repairs completely. So, I would have to have you talk to a pediatrician about that. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  36:46

Question: Our brand of N-acetyl cysteine?

 I like to use Pure Encapsulations or Integrative Therapeutics. 

Dr. Eric Gordon  36:57

My advice about supplements is that if it’s an expensive supplement, then you want to make sure that you’re buying it from a reputable manufacturer and a reputable place. Cheap supplements, you can be pretty sure you’re probably going to get what’s on the label. Expensive supplements you buy on Amazon, you may not be getting it because there’s money to be made. So, a little buyer beware there for the real expensive stuff. 

Question: Please compare the air purifiers.

This is a question I wanted to do a deep dive on. But the deeper I went, the less I felt I knew. Even the people that we work with, who are specialists in Environmental Medicine, and I’m talking about the people who come and inspect houses, and this is their life. They don’t agree on what the best air purifiers are. We mentioned two brands, because we were fairly comfortable with these. The experts in the field, they feel that these two do a good job. But the thing about air purifiers for the home, they only work in one room pretty much, even if they say they’re good for 1500 square feet. If there’s a wall between you and the air purifier, it’s not doing much in the other room. Because it really takes air circulation. 

The other thing to be aware of, it’s good if you can to move it around a little bit, because you set up air currents in the house. If you keep everything running the same way, you can wind up clearing only part of the air. They’ve seen this with rooms they filled with smoke (for testing) and you have an air purifier. You can have a few feet that are clear of smoke, but there’s still smoke above and below. So, it’s good to have a little bit of airflow in the room. You don’t want to put in a very large fan, because again, that’s going to stir up particulate matter that might have settled during this fire season. 

One last thing is one of the experts that I talked to did recommend the IQ Air Atem. It’s a very small air purifier. It’s about the size of a dinner plate. And you can use that for people who are very sensitive, just near your face when you’re sitting at a desk for long periods of time or when you’re sleeping. It’s a very good HEPA filter and at least it will reduce your direct exposure. Especially if you have your house fairly clean. This could take it to the next level for you.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  39:44

Question: What about breathing exercises?

 There is an Ayurvedic breathing exercise that can help the lungs and also the thyroid. You want to take a deep inhale for five counts. Look up for three, come back to center for three, and then exhale for five. That is said to help with the thyroid and the lungs. 

Question: How about sinus issues?

The sinuses are located very close to the brain. There’s a nerve, it’s called the olfactory nerve, and it hooks right beneath, right behind the sinuses, going literally into the brain. Now, we know that mycotoxins can cross the blood brain barrier, and inflammatory cytokines can cross the blood brain barrier. And I’m not sure if some of these particles from the fires can. Maybe they can, maybe they can’t. But I know that the inflammation that they cause can cross the blood brain barrier via the olfactory nerve. A lot of our patients have sinus infections. And now after fire season, they’re more susceptible to these infections, because it’s more inflamed up in there. And it’s drier, and the drier it is, the more infections, the more infection prone, we are in our sinuses. And so, we want to make sure that we do treat the sinuses.

This is complex, it’s definitely not a one size fits all treatment. We do test our patients to see what infections are in there. It could be bacteria, funguses, biofilm, or MARCoNS, which is common in our patients. Inevitably, there are those infections there. I’m seeing layers of infections in people’s sinuses lately. It has a major impact on the health of the brain. How to treat it? I can’t give you a protocol right here, right now. Because I don’t know you, and I don’t know what your issues are in your sinuses. I don’t know what bugs you have in there. But definitely I work to bring inflammation down in the sinuses first. Could be with nebulized glutathione. Then I’m working to kill the infections. Maybe I’m nebulizing, an antibiotic or some herbs. And then I’m using neuroimmune peptides to bring inflammation down. Afterwards. Maybe I’m using RG3 to help with the mitochondria of the brain. That’s not a peptide, but it certainly helps with that. Or maybe using C like or, or Semax. Those are peptides that that are neuroimmune stabilizers. What I found is if you’re using those peptides first, it doesn’t help so much. You want to bring down the inflammation and kill those infections in the sinuses first, and then bring on the neuropeptides. 

Dr. Eric Gordon  43:13

Just to reinforce that, the problem of this new season we have, this fire season is with people who have a tendency to sinusitis or just sinus congestion.  If you feel pressure in your face regularly, and you can’t breathe through your nose intermittently, you’ve got an issue there. Many of us just live with it. But as Dr. Parpia was saying, is it can affect your cognitive function too. I’ve been surprised ever since I’ve watched Dr. Parpia really treat the sinuses aggressively, how much it helps people with brain fog, who have improved without us doing a whole lot else. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  43:59

Because the olfactory nerve connects to the hypothalamus. That’s the master regulator of your hormones, so it’s going to affect your hormones when you have sinus issues. It’s going to affect even adrenal output. You could become moody, you could have brain fog because of the sinuses. What I have to say about the sinuses is really, really important. Once we treat the sinuses, very often that brain fog is going to lift or it’s easier to then treat the hormones. They start to balance even more as well.

Dr. Eric Gordon  44:38

Question: What type of tests do you use? 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  44:44

It’s by Microbiology DX. Yes, and it’s a swab. 

Dr. Eric Gordon  44:50

You can ask your doctor to order that. That’s an easy test to do and not very expensive. 

Question: Someone asked about the P-100 Mask.

No, it doesn’t deliver fresh oxygen. The P-100s are half masks. This is not something that most of us would need or use. But it’s very useful if you happen to have a really sensitive system. And God forbid, if we are in another one of those years, like we had in 2017. If you have heavy smoke, and you’re very sensitive, and have to go outside and do things, it’s probably worthwhile. For most of us who don’t have severe lung issues, or severe inflammatory issues, the N95, just to walk out and do things is probably fine. But minimize it. One important thing, don’t go out and, and do chores outside until that air quality gets into the good range. And even the good range is probably not so good. Below 50 is considered good. But really, good is probably below 10 or 20. But in this day and age, it’s sort of like many of our markers. We’ve normalized them for our abnormal world.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  46:19

Question: Any idea what parts of California, Oregon, Washington do not have these wildfire smoke exposure issues? This issue is becoming more and more common, which is why I asked.

I would say that these particles can travel for 1000s of miles in the air, then they go into the water. The water goes far. So even when there was Fukushima, those toxins were …. Eric, do you remember how far they went?

Dr. Eric Gordon  46:53

They came here. But luckily, a lot of them dropped out over the ocean. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  47:00

But toxins spread far. So, I don’t think that it’s limited to only certain areas of Washington or California, I think it’s widespread. And our patients come from all over the country.

Dr. Eric Gordon  47:10

I think it just depends where that fire is. And since fire can be anywhere, the fires in Washington affected us (in California). Obviously not as much as the fires here, the Camp Fire or the Tubbs Fire. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  47:26

I was saying is that our patients come from all over the country. And I’m seeing higher metals in people lately from all over or I’m seeing higher solvents in people from all over. Is it only because of the fires? I don’t know. But I think that yes, I think there’s a correlation.

Dr. Eric Gordon  47:48

The research that’s been done has been really helpful to show this. So unfortunately, I think just like global warming, it’s a global problem.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  48:20

Question: Someone says, I understand, just intuitively, that the direction winds tend to blow, that being at higher parts may be more safe.

Dr. Eric Gordon  48:33

God only knows. Wind blows everywhere. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  48:42

Question: What about the metals in vaccines?

There are some vaccines that have metals and there are some that are that don’t.

Dr. Eric Gordon  48:48

As far as I know, the COVID MRNA vaccines don’t have any, at least any significant levels that people have measured, especially with mercury. That was used to be our big thing. When you were giving kids their 20 or 30 shots, which are now more, and they had metals and they had mercury, it was significant. Now they’ve cut a lot of it out, but not all of it. And yes, some of the flu shots that people are getting have them. But again, I don’t think that’s why we’re seeing the increases across the board. The fires are probably the most efficient way to spread toxins. That’s what’s been so surprising and so upsetting to me is we do our best to try to live healthy and yet we’ve created a world that’s making those hard.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  49:44

Our patients go, “I eat organic. Why is this happening to me? I eat so healthy what’s going on?” When they look at their labs, they’re so disappointed to see the high metals and or to see the high chemicals. It’s not their fault. It is just by virtue of being on the planet right now. We were talking about the genes earlier. Many people, when you look at them, have SNPs in their genes of detoxification. So, when we look at someone’s SNPs, side by side with their toxins, there’s a lot of correlation that we see. When you look at that, their symptoms, and it all correlates.

Dr. Eric Gordon  50:22

I see a lot of people who are on really fairly strict organic diets, and yet, occasionally, their glyphosate is the highest we see. So, there’s something more happening. Probably it’s water and food storage that’s causing the problems, but it’s an exploration. It’s something that luckily, a lot of people are now beginning to pay attention to. Hopefully, we’ll get some really good research out there, and help us all help ourselves and each other.

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  50:55

To wrap it up, the big takeaways are that the fires can affect the sinuses. People have increased environmental toxicants, mercury, lead, pesticides, insecticides, solvents, and increased brain fog, due to the sinus issues. These are the chronic issues we’re seeing. We’re seeing COVID long-haul being exacerbated, we’re seeing complex, chronic illness being exacerbated. But the good news is that we’ve been working with this population for so long that we have some answers. I feel I feel grateful that we’ve been working with people who’ve been they’ve been so sick for so long and helping them along, I think that we can help with this new set.

Dr. Eric Gordon  51:59

Basically, what we’ve learned from chronic illness applies to just wellness. The most interesting thing is all these years, we felt we were just treating chronically ill people, and now we discover that healthy people respond to the same things, especially when they’re stressed. 

So, thank you all so much for your attention. 

Dr. Nafysa Parpia  52:34

Thank you.

Biotoxin Issues, Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Environmental Illness, Eric Gordon MD, Nafysa Parpia ND, Video Blogs

The Truth About Mycotoxins In Your Coffee

Drs Eric Gordon and Nafysa Parpia are joined by Andrew Salisbury, founder of Purity Coffee, to talk about how cultivation and processing methods can cause toxins in most coffees.

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Save 20% on your first order with code GMA20

Disclosure: We were given Purity Coffee to try out, and were so pleased with it that it is the coffee we now prepare and drink at home. It’s our pleasure to continue to provide you with information and tools. Please note that we receive a small commission only when you purchase items after following our *affiliate links. We only share products we use and believe in. We will never share anything with you that we don’t personally use, support, or recommend to our patients.

Pre-tox (not detox) is the first step to health

Our patients who pre-tox see the best results, hands down.

Pre-tox is the first step to health and is often overlooked. It’s an essential component to healing chronic illness, disease prevention, and thriving health.

One of the best ways for us to pre-tox is to avoid the toxins in many of the foods we consume daily that can lead to disease and metabolic imbalance.

Coffee is FULL of toxins

Many people drink coffee on a daily basis, unaware of the pervasive and dangerous toxins that numerous coffee brands contain – mycotoxins, pesticides and other toxic chemicals

Coffee is grown in warm, moist climates. This makes it an ideal place for mold to thrive.

While the safe levels of mycotoxins in coffee remain a point of debate for many of our chronically ill patients the goal is always to remove as many toxicants as possible.

We began a search for a cleaner alternative for our patients and found that in Purity Coffee. We enjoy drinking it ourselves and suggest it to our patients.

The ideal environment for producing mycotoxins

Molds and mycotoxins are not the same thing. Rather, mycotoxins can be produced by certain molds. In other words, these fungi will not produce mycotoxins unless the environment is right: the variety of mold, high levels of moisture, and conditions in roastery warehouses are ideal.

Mycotoxins can develop during improper storage

One of the realities of the coffee trade is that there is usually some amount of mold spores on green coffee before it is roasted. Of course, roasting easily kills mold and its spores, but ridding the coffee beans of mycotoxins which have developed during improper storage of the beans is not easy.

When you think of “mycotoxins,” we suggest you focus on avoiding the one that poses the greatest risk when it comes to coffee – Ochratoxin A

Ochratoxin A (also known as OTA) has been tied to a number of serious health risks. The U.S. government considers the compound to be a possible carcinogen. It’s also an immunosuppressant. Finally, it’s also connected to nephrotoxicity, meaning it’s particularly dangerous to the kidneys. Specifically, a study of Balkan Endemic Nephropathy found that consuming OTA was correlated with the disease, which was associated with severe kidney damage and difficulty with urination. (1)

Few people know that this dangerous toxin even exists, much less that it’s a risk to their health. While many fungi create an odd smell or taste, the fungi that produces OTA provides no such warning. There are multiple stages at which it can taint coffee beans, and once it’s taken hold it is very difficult to eliminate. Even trying to get rid of it can lead to further problems.

In 2003 a study of Brazilian coffee found 91.7% were contaminated with mold

A 2009 study from Batista et al. found that 56% of 128 different coffee samples contained OTA. This particular study found that cross-contamination of OTA was common in processing centers that did not safeguard against these particles. That means that even beans that were not infected before they reached a processing plant could be contaminated due to the facility’s condition. Extreme care and extensive testing must be taken to avoid OTA lingering in a processing plant and infecting other coffee beans.)

The only way to avoid drinking OTA is to choose coffee that was never contaminated in the first place.

Purity Coffee does not, and will not, purchase any green coffee unless it tests free of Ochratoxin and Aflatoxin. That means only choosing coffee that is laboratory tested for OTA.

When the coffee leaves its country of origin, it arrives at the roastery where conditions in the warehouse are controlled to prevent OTA from developing. This is why there will never be OTA in your Purity Coffee*.

And just to be absolutely sure, they spot-check their finished products in independent labs.

Use code GMA20 for 20% discount on your first order

Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Detoxification, Eric Gordon MD, Mold + Mycotoxin Illness, Nafysa Parpia ND, Nutrition, Video Blogs

Watch H3O2 -The Missing Link in Chronic Illness

Cultural Anthropologist and Hydration Foundation Founder, Gina Bria, and Wellness Enterprises Founder, Patrick Durkin join Dr. Gordon and Dr. Parpia for a fascinating conversation about the newly discovered 4th phase of water.

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Disclosure: We were given an Aqua Energizer to try out, and were so pleased with it that we gifted that one to a friend, and purchased another for our own use and became affiliates. It’s our pleasure to provide you with information and tools. Please note that we receive a small commission only when you purchase items after following our *affiliate links. We only share products we use and believe in. We will never share anything with you that we don’t personally use, support, or recommend to our patients.

Highlights

  • What structured water is and why it is vital to our health
  • How structured water hydrates at the cellular level
  • Science behind the effects of structured water on natural immune function & the healing process
  • Ways to naturally produce more structured water in our bodies
  • Some of the top foods to eat to get more structured water into your diet daily
  • Aqua Energizer, the state-of-the-art system, we use ourselves and the technology behind it

The *Aqua Energizer Structured Water Device is the first scientifically verified and certified line of structured water devices in the world. Each unit is hand-assembled from copper, quartz, and minerals.

You can learn more about Gina Bria at www.hydrationfoundation.org. You can send questions to Gina Bria at gina@hydrationfoundation.org and Patrick Durkin at patrick@thewellnessenterprise.com

Q&A with Gina Bria and Patrick Durkin

A: The important thing is for you to love the water you are drinking and you feel hydrated. One of the ways to enhance all water is to structure it with a structured water device like the Aqua Energizer.

A: Structured water devices rearrange molecules; they don’t remove them. The chlorine and fluoride are not removed physically, however, because The Aqua Energizer™ changes the oxidation states of chemicals, it has made the chlorine smell and taste dissipate and even disappear. That’s one of the best benefits of the Aqua Energizer.

Showers and baths are so invigorating and enjoyable and feel like immersing yourself in a waterfall. You can read about the test that was done with the device that shows it renders some toxins inactive and changes the chemistry of water on this link. 

We recommend studying the principles presented by Dr. Emoto and homeopathy to further understand the contention that without structuring water to rearrange molecules, the water will never be safe. We favor structuring water as the most essential element of safe water and only use filtering as an option.This blog answers your question.

A: Charging water with gem stones is an ancient practice. The Wellness Enterprise has structured water devices with quartz crystals the water runs over and you can read more HERE.

They also have gem stone bottles. Shungite is a powerful stone that many have used in water for purification in addition to support with EMFs. 

A: Structured water is not the same as hydrogen water.

Gina Bria from the Hydration Foundation, says the following about hydrogen water:

“Think of ozone and hydrogen water as additional therapeutic approaches above and beyond hydration. I say this because these techniques, ozone and hydrogen, add extra molecules to the water molecules. So they are not basic hydration, but therapeutic additions. I think they are great for adding therapy to your life if you have chronic stresses but don’t use them for just drinking. I worry they can be overused under that concept.”

The Wellness Enterprise are believers that nature is the ultimate source of our energy and wellbeing and that man distorts nature in the name of progress which in most cases is really the name of profits rather than progress. Nature already got water just right and that water is structured.

The structured water devices we offer, the Aqua Energizers, make nature’s water in the closest way we know. The system you ask about is a man made adaptation to water. While we don’t doubt the current list of growing fans of hydrogen water, we are not interested in being part of a fad. Brilliant people will never stop coming up with their own version of water and we’ll just continue to kick it old school by following nature with structured water.

A: Here is the response from Patrick Durkin. Note in paragraph 3 that there are more ways to get structured water than by using heat.

Structured water, also known as hexagonal water, vortexed water, EZ water, and gel water, is a form of water that is different from H2O with the molecular structure H3O2. Discovered by Dr. Gerald Pollack at the University of Washington, H3O2 is referred to as the 4th phase of water, a form of water beyond liquid, solid, and vapor. It is 10% more dense than H2O and has more dissolved oxygen. Structured water is a hydrating, energized water found everywhere in nature, from waterfalls, rivers and oceans, to plants, animals, and humans.

Wait, what did we say? Water isn’t just H2O?

No, it can actually form many other molecular shapes, but the one that is most beneficial is H3O2. Water forms H3O2 when it is exposed to energy–that energy being heat, movement, vortexes, sunlight, or minerals that have energy signatures like every other substance on the earth–that causes it to join with other water molecules in a hexagonal pattern.

H3O2 also forms on hydrophilic surfaces that are high surface energy, water loving surfaces. When water forms H3O2 on this surface, it is called exclusion zone, or EZ water. These hydrophilic surfaces can be found in humans, animals and plants, including fruits and vegetables, that allow them to absorb the water they need to live.

In the past, very little has been studied about water, but it is single handedly one of the most weird and wonderful substances on the planet. Scientists are making leaps and bounds everyday in the world of water and the many molecular structures it forms, because it is pretty much the most important thing on Mother Earth, right?

Does H3O2 Exist?

Experts and scientists have known there were different states of water for 200 years and maybe more, but no one had discovered the actual molecular structure of structured water until Dr. Gerald Pollack, a biomedical engineering research scientist at the University of Washington, discovered H3O2. Through his research in cell biology, he found how water reacts with hydrophilic surfaces inside cells and the actual chemical change of the molecules that make H2O into H3O2 inside the cell.

Dr. Gerald Pollack coined the term EZ water because when water spreads out inside the cell to form structured water, it excludes anything that is not charged the same as the water around it. This prevents toxins and chemicals from entering cells. Amazingly, we have a built-in filtering system using structured water inside our body.

EZ water is the very same chemical make-up of structured water in its natural, ordered form in waterfalls, springs, and rivers. Natural processes make H3O2 and unnatural processes, like forcing through straight pipes or exposing to strong electromagnetic fields, break it apart. In a world full of long pipes, wifi, and chemicals, it’s no wonder that our water isn’t the same as it is in mountain springs.

How Does Water Get Structured and Form H3O2?

So, we know that H3O2 is the natural, organized form of water that is found in Nature, but how does it actually get from H2O to H3O2? H2O, as we were taught in elementary science class, is two hydrogen atoms that have joined with one oxygen, but they aren’t stable. The atoms form different H2O molecules very fast, they never “hold hands” for more than a split second in time. It’s a chaotic relationship and is very disorganized. While H2O has some sort of structure, it’s important to note that the kind of structure that is most efficient and hydrating is the hexagonal structure formed when water is “structured.”

H3O2 is formed when electromagnetic waves or energy causes the electrons surrounding the hydrogen in the water molecules to increase their energy and change how the hydrogen molecule is connected to other water molecules. This is called changing bond angles. Changing bond angles in a specific way forms structured or hexagonal water. Using an UV light laser, we are able to measure specific changes in the molecular bond angles to confirm the water is structured.

From What Is Structured Water?

Autoimmunity, Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Eric Gordon MD, Nafysa Parpia ND, Therapeutic Diet, Video Blogs

Why Peptides Are a Big Deal

Peptides are tiny proteins made up of short chains of amino acids. They signal the cells in your body to perform in specific ways. While they may be extremely small, they’re really a BIG deal because they are responsible for all of the ways that your body and mind function.

With different peptides affecting different cells and functions, as therapies they can be highly tailored and targeted to treat a wide variety of health, anti-aging, and wellness conditions.

Peptides work synergistically and can be used with many other therapies to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics, antiviral and antiparasitic medications, IV nutrient therapies, hormone therapies, detoxification therapies, herbal remedies, and even other peptides.

At Gordon Medical we are seeing improvements using peptide therapies in a multitude of areas including:

  • Immune dysregulation
  • Autoimmunity
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Neurological impairment
  • GI issues such as leaky gut
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Pituitary and hypothalamic dysfunction
  • Hormone deficiencies
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Coagulation Defects
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
Play Video

View a clip from Dr. Nafysa Parpia’s talk: Biohacking Complex Chronic Illness

Play Video

View a clip from Dr. Eric Gordon’s talk: Metabolomics, CDR, and Peptide Therapy

Autoimmunity, Detox + Toxins, Eric Gordon MD, Immune Issues, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Mold + Mycotoxin Illness, Nafysa Parpia ND, Peptides, Video Blogs

Why do I need to test before detoxing?

Play Video

A short segment from Jill Carnahan, MD interviewing Nafysa Parpia, ND
for her podcast Dr. Jill Live. Learn how Dr. Parpia begins treatment
with complex patients, using testing to find the specific toxicant burden
and creating a custom path to begin detoxifying.

I want to detox. Can’t I just start?

Most of our patients need to detoxify. In fact – many people in the general public know that due to the toxic burden on the planet, there is likely a high toxic load that their bodies now have to deal with.

You need to know what toxins are affecting you so you can target those when you detox.In a previous post and video, we talked about the importance of cleaning up your food and water, and the parts of your environment that you can have control over in order to help to lower new toxins your body is absorbing from the outside world. What about the chemicals and toxins you already are dealing with in your body?

Determining your toxic burden is key.

Each person is individual in terms of how they absorb and process toxins. Some may easily be able to excrete toxins already accumulated in the body with little interference to their health. For others, their system struggles to remove toxins, either due to genetic issues with detoxification, or because of a pre-existing high toxin load. Still others may have issues with detoxification if they have gastrointestinal issues (constipation, SIBO, leaky gut, dysbiosis for example) or other underlying diagnoses.

Depending on what is involved, we may use different strategies for detoxifying. We don’t want to cause more illness when we mobilize the toxins – this can happen when the appropriate strategies are not in place.

We recommend personalized lab testing

In order to look at a wide range of inner biochemical as well as environmental toxicants:  herbicides, pesticides, and toxic chemicals from products like pharmaceuticals, packaged foods, household products, and environmental pollution.  We also look at heavy metals in the blood and urine, and as well we may take a look at the toxic burden of metals at a cellular level. If appropriate, we evaluate for mold/mycotoxin illness by testing for mold IgG allergens, mycotoxin load, and mycotoxin allergens.

Other factors affecting toxic load

Along with the more common toxicants, transient environmental events and geographical location can cause abnormally high levels of specific toxins not present in other areas.

For example, on the West Coast, we are seeing higher levels of arsenic and aluminum as compared to what we have seen in the past. Some areas may be more populated and people commute more, some may live near an airport, and some towns and cities may have a higher number of homes built with certain materials that contain toxins not present in other areas. The toxic chemistry from houses, cars, and other buildings has an effect on air quality. The reality is that the possible combinations of toxic chemistry are endless and ever-changing.

Genetics also plays a part

We also look at genomics and how different mutations may work together in symphony to create certain biochemical states. While we may run the same labs for different patients, we find different pieces of the puzzle in each person, and each person will respond to treatment in their own way. How you respond to your environment hinges a lot on your genes, so it is important to have an idea of this when creating your personalized detoxification plan.

One size does not fit all

Since your inner biochemistry and environmental toxin load is unique to you, we recommend personalized detoxification strategies rather than a one size fits all plan.

Detox + Toxins, Detoxification, Eric Gordon MD, Nafysa Parpia ND, Toxicity, Video Blogs

Pre-Tox: 5 Things You Must Do Before You Detox

Drs Eric Gordon and Nafysa Parpia deep dive into the many underlying causes of what can keep patients ill.

Play Video about Pre-Tox: 5 Things You Must Do Before Detox

Watch the video mentioned by Dr. Parpia or read the full transcript Underlying Factors of Chronic Fatigue – Dr. Jill with Dr. Nafysa Parpia

There are many important factors to consider when thinking about detoxing. At the Mycotoxins and Chronic Illness Summit Dr. Parpia talked about the importance of “pre-tox” and much more. All of the conversations and connections during this summit were nothing short of life changing, and we are excited to be able to share this small part with you. 

Before You Detox

Your inner biochemistry and environmental toxin load is unique to you

We recommend personalized detoxification strategies rather than a one size fits all plan.

Find out why it’s important to test before detoxing and learn what six essential pre-tox tests we recommend.

Read the post: Why do I need to test before detoxing?

Detox + Toxins, Detoxification, Eric Gordon MD, Nafysa Parpia ND, Toxicity, Video Blogs

Four Ways Mold Can Affect Your Health

An overview of the kinds of issues that mold can cause.
Nafysa Parpia, ND with input from Jamie Kunkle, ND

Mold illness symptoms manifest in multiple different ways that need to be addressed. In every case, removal from the exposure is critical. 

We find that diagnosis and appropriate treatment for mycotoxins and other environmental toxicants needs to precede and be concurrent with treatment for other chronic illnesses. 

The Mycotoxin and Chronic Illness Summit is over. There was so much important information, it can be hard to know where to start.

Following are the ways in which mold exposure can manifest clinically: 

  • Mold Allergy – Immune system reaction to mold exposure. Usually, removal of the mold exposure source will also remove symptoms.
  • Mold Toxicity – Many molds generate mycotoxins and biotoxins that impact several of the body’s systems. Simply removing the source of the mold exposure may not be sufficient to remove symptoms, as the toxicity has already started the process of inflammation and can continue in the body even after exposure has been discontinued.
  • Mold Colonization – Beyond the initial exposure comes a possibility of colonization, where mold becomes a resident within the living system, colonizing the surfaces of the body in the sinuses, lungs, GI system, and/or on the skin. Colonization does not reach into the deeper tissues, but now becomes an ongoing exposure to allergens, mycotoxins, and biotoxins and will complicate the impact. Even if the environmental source has been removed, exposure continues inside the body. 
  • Mold Infection – In very rare cases, when a patient’s immune system has been damaged by chemotherapy, AIDS, or other immunosuppressive factors, mold may infect tissues deeper in the body than what is seen with colonization, causing severe acute infectious disease.

Symptoms of mold exposures are many and can mimic and exacerbate those from other complex chronic illnesses such as Tick-Borne illness and other chronic infections, environmental toxicity, cognitive decline and neurological disorders.

Common Mold Exposure Symptoms

  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Difficulty in word finding
  • Impaired concentration
  • Difficulty assimilating new information
  • Reduced task completion
  • Hypersensitivity to bright light
  • Night blindness
  • Tearing, redness of the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Chronic aching muscles
  • Joint pain, morning joint stiffness, pain in weight bearing joints
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight gain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic sinus congestion
  • Chronic cough that mimics asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ice-pick like pain, or shooting electrical pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Metallic taste or other unusual taste
  • Vertigo, dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Rage or inappropriate anger, mood swings
  • Increased sensitivity to touch

  • Difficulty with sleep: getting to sleep difficulties, difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive thirst, or frequent urination
  • Impotence
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Low body temperature
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Early onset of menopause
  • Panic attacks or anxiety, depression
  • Tingling, “needles and pins” sensations

Every generation has accumulated but often unseen toxic burdens that can affect their health and wellness. We have survived and adapted under substantial duress and adversity as a species. However, there are limitations on an individual’s health and functioning as these burdens continue to accumulate. Unfortunately, few of these toxicants are routinely tested for or identified until disease develops, and a syndrome diagnosis (based on signs/symptoms) is established. You may receive a diagnosis of an autoimmune condition, chronic fatigue syndrome or even Lyme disease (among others).

Mold is one of the most commonly missed and/or understated toxins of our lifetime. Many of us have had, or are currently experiencing an exposure to mold and its toxins (mycotoxins), and it may not be obvious. Identification is often challenging, and exposure can harm your system for years without a clear diagnosis.

Mold exposure can cause inflammation and toxicity in the body which further complicates symptoms from existing chronic illnesses. For example – many of our patients who already have chronic Lyme disease, neurological issues, cognitive decline, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) also have exposure to mold and the toxins that it creates – mycotoxins. In our clinical experience, treating the patient for mold exposure, and mycotoxins if it is also an issue, helps allow for their other multiple diagnoses to resolve faster.

It is said, if one works with Lyme, they will often find toxicity. The presence of such can be a predisposing factor or a relative result of the chronic illness itself. Many have developed increased sensitivities and poor detoxification responses after developing Lyme illness. Some were already exposed to the toxins themselves, suppressing and dysregulating their immune system response and allowing for a less favorable terrain and resilience to illness. Toxicity can be responsible for relapsing symptoms and can easily affect multiple different organ systems.

Other toxicants exist and should be evaluated for health/wellness and success of treatment are not to be understated either. This includes heavy metals, glyphosate, industrial, agricultural and water contaminants to name a few. These are also easily hidden from view as many are consumed or inhaled often with little immediate response.

Depending on each individual patient’s manifestation of symptoms and concurrent diagnoses, treatment may include oral, intravenous and physical therapies. Treatments are highly personalized to each patient.

There are many ways to support detoxification, some gentle and some more aggressive. The level of intervention is typically dependent on the overall toxic burden and constitution of the individual. This process is often gradual but has the potential to reestablish a more positive momentum of healing in the living system.

Allergies, Biotoxin Issues, Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Immune Issues, Jamie Kunkle ND, Mold + Mycotoxin Illness, Nafysa Parpia ND

Underlying Factors of Chronic Fatigue – Dr. Jill Interviews Dr. Nafysa Parpia

Dr. Jill interviews Dr. Nafysa Parpia on underlying factors causing chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

They discuss what goes wrong with the body, how the cell danger response can become chronically activated, and some tips on treatments and testing that is useful in these patients.

Key Takeaways

Pre-tox (before detoxification)

  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) often needs to be treated first to allow patients to tolerate other treatments.
  • Peptide therapies can be used to calm down the immune system.
  • Correcting sleep issues is needed before detoxification can start. Herbs, supplements, peptides, and certain antihistamines can be used.
  • Constipation needs to be addressed.
  • Any issues with the kidneys need to be looked at.
  • Herbs may be used as supportive therapies.

Detoxification

  • Detoxification needs to happen prior to and concurrent with treating infections. If the toxic load is high detox will cause negative reactions or “herxes.”
  • Each person has their own individual picture of factors causing symptoms, and will respond differently to treatment than other patients. Genetics are a factor there.
  • Treatment needs to be individually designed in response to that picture.
  • Arsenic and aluminum are being seen more, possibly due to the wildfires.
  • Medication is often required for the patient population seen at GMA.
  • Things patients can do themselves: coffee enemas for the liver, saunas or other means of sweating, dry brushing, castor oil packs, oil pulling, avoid buying foods and personal care products, home care products, etc. that contain chemical and toxins, eat organic.

Causes Behind Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

  • Pathogens are often involved: often parasites, viruses, tick-borne illnesses, mold, dental occult infections, sinus infections (fungal and MARCons).
  • With infections, you not only have to treat the infection but also restore the system.
  • Heavy metals
  • Infections and toxins hijack the system.
  • Hormone imbalances, especially sex hormones and thyroid.
  • GI imbalances and infections.

The Cell Danger Response

  • A monitoring system in the cell, modulated by the mitochondria, that looks for danger from pathogens, toxins, nutrient issues, emotional or physical stress, or other problems that can impact cell health.
  • In response to signals interpreted as dangerous, the cell sends out signals intended to create changes that protect the cell.
  • This response is happening all the time as the immune system watches for invaders. The problem is when the danger signal does not turn off, and the cell gets stuck in a defensive state.
  • The system gets stuck in this repeating loop of incomplete recovery and re-injury, and they’re unable to fully heal.
  • The CDR has three phases.
  • When CDR begins in enough cells you start to get symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, body aches and pains.
  • Part One involves the innate immune system. The neutrophils, the macrophages, natural killer cells, monocytes, the mast cells.
  • In Part One the mitochondria produces less ATP, exports the ATP outside the cell walls, and begins to depend on glucose for energy in anerobic respiration.
  • If someone gets stuck in Part One, you can see HPA axis issues, allergies, asthma, chronic infections.
  • Part Two is when we start to rebuild tissue damage through cell proliferation.
  • Mitochondria begin producing more ATP.
  • Someone stuck in Part Two may show proliferative disorders, cancers, hypertension, different heart diseases.
  • In Part Three the body is restoring intercellular communication.
  • Hormones and neurotransmitters are important in Part Three.
  • When stuck, we’re going to see illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, anxiety, depression.

Restoration

  • Chronic illness is traumatic
  • Regenerative treatments help restore balance

Transcript

This has been edited slightly for clarity and ease of reading.

Jill Carnahan (JC): Hello everybody! You’re here this afternoon with us and Dr. Nafysa, and I am so excited today about today’s topic.  I know a lot of you struggle with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. We’re going to do a really deep dive into some of the mechanisms behind that. You’re going to find some really fascinating information from Dr. Nafysa today that her practice, Gordon Medical Associates deals with and was actually instrumental in some of the research behind.  

So, stay tuned for that! Before we start, and before I give her a formal introduction, I want to just tell you a little bit of housekeeping. If you don’t already know, you can find all of these videos on my YouTube channel. Just go to YouTube and find my name, Jill Carnahan, and you can find all the 50 plus interviews there for free. I’d love if you subscribe or leave feedback there, or share those videos if you find them helpful. You can also re-watch them here on Facebook and on the podcast, so just all things medical here. If you do want information about blogs, information about Lyme disease, co-infections, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, other topics, you can find that on my website at jillcarnahan.com, and if we do mention any products or services, you can find those at drjillhealth.com.

So, Dr. Nafysa, I would love to formally introduce you, and I’m so glad you’re here today.  Dr Parpia has spent the last decade treating patients with complex chronic illness from all over the United States and the world. Her specialization is patients with tick-borne illness, environmentally acquired illness, mold and mycotoxin illness, autoimmunity, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. Sounds real familiar! External factors to the body, such as environmental toxic burden, pathogens, diet, and lifestyle affect the balance of internal factors (and we’ll talk a little bit about that today); over or under expression of immunity, infection susceptibility, epigenetic expression, and cellular and biochemical function, mood and the microbiome.

All of these things are some of what we’re going to talk about that affect our mitochondria, which expresses fatigue, and some of these other things. Each of these aspects is different for every patient we see. Investigating to discover and remove the underlying cause while providing symptom relief, she uses cutting edge lab testing and deep intuition applied to the full range of scientific data to unravel the mystery of each patient. She then creates a carefully crafted treatment plan, highly personalized and healing.

She uses a synergistic blend of regenerative medicine, oral and IV micronutrient therapies, peptides, botanical medicine, pharmaceuticals, injection therapies, functional nutrition, and lifestyle counseling. She sees patients at Gordon Medical in the San Francisco bay area, and previously worked in Dr Klinghart’s clinic. She’s also, as I am, on the ISEAI (International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness) board, and is scientific medical advisor for the Neurohacker Collective.

Absolute honor and delight to have you, Dr Nafysa! Thank you so much for joining me today.

Nafysa Parpia (NP): Thank you, Dr. Jill for having me. Such an honor to be here.

JC: Yes. So, we met through the ISEAI board, but I know this about the work you’ve done and it’s just, like I said, it’s an honor. It’s so parallel when I read your bio, you know, we’re all doing our things in our corners of the world trying to solve the mysteries of these chronic illnesses.

Before we dive into chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I’d love to hear just a little bit, and I know our listeners would, about your story and, kind of how you got into medicine and healing. Tell us just a little bit about your journey into this field.

NP: I always knew that I wanted to help people in their healing. I began as a yoga instructor, and the more I taught yoga, the more I realized I wanted to go deeper with people, particularly in illness and in health, and restoring illness into health. And so, I went to Bastyr and I studied naturopathic medicine there.

It wasn’t until I was in the offices of Dr. Dietrich Klinghart, when I graduated, and I saw people who were very, very, very sick, that was when my heart just went out to these patients. I could see that they were suffering, you know, but they weren’t treated at other clinics, before going to his clinic, with very much respect. They were told this is all in their head, or they’re just aging, and there was minimal treatment or minimal diagnosis offered to them. I could just feel the depth of their illness, and it was painful to see the judgments that were put upon them. So, I wanted to help, in helping create treatment and protocols and really dive deep with these people and help them out of the suffering that they were having a hard time coming out of. Yeah, gosh, I love that, because most of us who go into medicine in some form, it’s this healer within us that really does want to just help and understand.

And I think especially those of us who end up with environmental toxicity, mold, pathogens, chronic illness. No one in their right mind would choose this unless they were a healer, right?

JC: Exactly!  It is definitely the hardest, most complex form of medicine. I’m sure you agree.  I love it! I know you do too. Like, I love the complexity.  I always say the more complex the better. But it’s really, really difficult sometimes and these are not, these are the cases that the most conventional doctors don’t want to see, sadly, so it’s good that you and I, you know, are welcoming them to our practice. So, you’ve had such a great experience with some amazing medical partners. You were with Dr. Klinghart originally. Was that right after you graduated?

NP: Yeah, right after I graduated.

JC: Excellent, fantastic! You probably got a little bit of good information on Lyme and co-infections and all of that there, and he’s so good at some of the environmental toxicity and the stuff that’s on the cutting edge. I always feel like the Europeans are way ahead of us, and because he’s originally from Europe I love his perspective. He’s not jaded like many, right?

NP: Exactly! So, it was really wonderful. That’s where I first learned, right after school, really how to work with this population, about the tick-borne illnesses and mold and detoxification therapies. And from there I really made it my own.

JC: Yeah! Was there anything in particular with that experience that you learned as far as how to approach a chronic infection or…  Well, first of all we’re talking about chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia. So, say you had a patient with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, from your early days was there anything that sticks in your mind about lessons that you learned about how to approach them?

NP: Absolutely! So, the first was to detoxify them first. To find out what the toxic burden is. So, testing through different labs, looking at different heavy metals or different chemicals, glyphosate, different pesticides and understanding what that burden is.

Because if we detoxify them first, then then we can get the immune system to be more modified. We can we can get it to be more able to handle the killing of infections.

JC: What a great pearl! And for those of you listening, you’ve probably been to doctors who are like, “Oh, let’s start these antibiotics.” But what you’re saying, which I’ve seen that as well, it’s like the body, if its toxic load, if its bucket is full, and that’s usually the ones that are coming to see us because some of that pain and fibromyalgia types of stuff. Again, we’ll go deep into why that happens and some of the reasons behind it is from the toxic burden in the tissues, right? So, if you take a person like that, they have infections that need treating but you throw these even herbal antibiotics, but for sure medications, it’s too much for their system to handle, isn’t it?

NP: Right. They’ll actually backfire. A lot of times they’ve got this hyperactivity in the immune system. On one hand they’ve got a hyperactive immune system and on another hand of the immune system it’s it it’s too weak to even mount an appropriate immune response. So many times, if we try to treat them with the antibiotics, herbal or pharmaceutical, first they’ll be sensitive to those treatments. So, we have to decrease the toxic load and get the mast cells in order first, and then like…

JC: I love that order, because it’s so important, I’ve noticed that with my own practice as well, where again, if there’s infection and toxins and mast cell activation, which is common, and chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, you really can’t go to treatment until you start with getting that mast cell calmed down and the detoxification at least under control.

What are some of the things when they first come in like that, would you, what kind of testing panels would you do for the initial assessment?

NP: So, I like to do the Great Plains panel where I’m going to look at their glyphosate, mycotoxins. Most of my patients do have a high mycotoxin load and also on their tox panel while I’m looking at a lot of chemicals. I’ll also do the Doctor’s Data heavy metal provocation, but I’m also going to look at metals unprovoked first. Just from Labcorp, just urinate in a cup or to have their blood taken at Labcorp looking for the ones that Labcorp will look at, like mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic. By the way, I’m seeing a lot of arsenic.

JC: Yes!

NP: In people’s blood, and I think that’s from the fires. It’s not something I saw in previous years. It’s all of a sudden, this year, whoa lots of arsenic!

JC: I bet you’re right. I suspect with the fires there’s definitely a lot of metals that were released and I’m seeing more and more aluminum in all of my patients.

NP: Yes! Which I didn’t see.

JC: And I’m like where else is it coming from because we know like vaccinations over time can be a source, aluminum cookware, um, what are some other sources of aluminum that you think of when you see aluminum? Is there anything else that you think of?

NP: You know, I recently, I had a drummer. I have a drummer in my practice and he drummed bare foot and there was aluminum on the pedal.

JC: Wow!

NP: And aluminum was through the roof. I just measured it so…

JC: Wow, that’s so that’s so fascinating! Isn’t it funny when you find one of those, where you’re like, oh I think this is from this?  And arsenic too. I think it’s more in the rain water, but probably from the fires, and then the rain and the soils and yeah, so, wow! Very good! One thing we kind of glossed over, we talked about how you got into this medicine, but is there anything else that interests you about this population? I mean, we talked a little bit about the helping, the healer within you, but because again this is a population that is very complex. But you must love to solve problems. Is that one of your…

NP: I love to solve problems. I love to solve human problems.

JC: Yes! Yeah, exactly, right?

NP: I’m not an engineer, you know, but the human problems. But it is very much a mystery. It’s very much a puzzle and each person is their own mystery. So, while I run the same labs for everybody, I’m going to find different pieces, and one person will react very differently than another to treatment, or from the same exposure.  A lot of that has to do with the genes.

So, speaking of labs, I like to use the IntellxxDNA.  I found that they really looked at how the snips will interact with one another, as opposed to just here’s a snip, or there’s a snip. They’ll look at them together, and they really culled the research to look at what diseases are related to which genes that are acting in symphony with one another.  So, it’s an expensive test…

JC: This is great! I just started doing this. I have a couple patients pending. I did it on myself and it’s pending, and I’ve got Sharon coming on, so stay tuned for the show because I’m so excited because we’ll have her talk about that. She’s the expert, the medical director of IntellxxDNA. Yeah, I love that you’re using that, because I’ve been, so many genetic tests out there aren’t there yet.

NP: Yeah, I found that this one is the most informative.

JC: I agree! So, say you have someone, and again, we’re going to get to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue in a moment, and the Cell Danger Response, which I do want you to talk about. But before we go there, say you do have someone with arsenic or metals, or say they have a little bit of mast cell activation, they have chronic pain and chronic infection and toxic burden and all these things. If you do find metals are you going to do that early on, detoxification, are you going to do maybe some treatment? Where would you order that in in your treatment plan?

NP: I think it depends on the person, but most of my patients I have to treat mast cell activation syndrome first. Usually, they come to me with that. They don’t even know they have it, so I just want to calm down the immune system. That’s the hyperactivity that I want to calm down.

I’ll use peptide therapies very often with that. I like to use thymus and Beta-4 to help calm down the immune system. I’ll use BPC-157 as well to help with decreasing inflammation. I’ll give them sleep peptides. Often, they need to sleep before they’re even ready to detox. Sometimes they’re constipated, so I need to deal with the constipation before they’re ready to detox, or else they’ll just be a backlog of toxicants that aren’t exiting the system. Sometimes they have issues with their kidneys so we have to work with that.  

Often with these patients I’m calming down their immune system while I’m working with other systems that aren’t quite ready for detox.  I’m doing like a pre-tox, I’m giving herbs to support, right, and then I’ll re-test some labs. See where they’re at. And also see where they’re at with the way they’re feeling. And then we’ll begin chelation therapy.

 JC: That’s tremendous and I always admire some of my best learnings are from my naturopathic friends because I feel like you guys have such a great training in some of those detox, what’s the name of it from naturopathic medicine of the detox pathways?

NP: The munterries?

JC: Yeah, I like that term because I’ve learned that over time, but traditional allopathic medicine, we’re not taught about this. Which is why most doctors, unless they go get extra education, they don’t even know. I feel like you guys have a lot to teach us in this way. Tremendous! What other things would you do? Some of the homeopathic remedies or drainage remedies or things? What about non-herbal, non-homeopathics, maybe epsom salt baths or alkaline water? Do you have any sort of just environmental or lifestyle things that are good for detox that you like for most of your patients?

NP: Yeah, most of them actually do well with coffee enemas, as strange as that sounds. Actually, it helps their liver to continue detoxifying. Saunas I think are really important, or at least getting the sweat going, because the skin is the largest organ of detoxification. And of course, making sure that they’re not using products that have chemicals and toxins in them, and they’re eating organic as much as they possibly can.

JC: Fantastic! Yeah, and do you do castor oil packs or a dry brush or some of those?

 NP: Yes! Yes, castor oil packs, dry brushing, oil pulling. Yeah, we use a combination of very classic naturopathic techniques along with this patient population, I have to use a lot of medications.

JC: Yes. Definitely, especially with MCAS you really sometimes need to layer four, five, six, things.

NP: Yeah! It turns out, when I went to naturopathic school these were the treatments that were taught to us, and they’re wonderful for the population that’s not extremely sick, and for the people that are extremely sick, they’re excellent, supportive, and I consider them foundational, but then I have to go into stronger…

JC: Right, right. I love it though, because we’re pulling from both worlds, because I like to learn from the homeopathic, naturopathic world, but we still need medications of course, on both ends, so great. So, we talked about your interest, and so let’s go, let’s dive into what’s behind these illnesses, because there’s so many. I’ll just let you talk a little bit about what’s behind, and then after that we can go into the Cell Danger (Response).  I definitely want to talk about that. So, behind these illnesses, what was so great is the bio that I read for you, you literally listed what’s behind these illnesses in your bio.  I love that, but talk a little bit about what those are, so someone who has fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, who is listening, what might be some of the causes behind that?

NP: In classic fibromyalgia they say there’s no cause, right, and then you get them working and they’re supposed to be better. Most of my patients are not like that. If I give them Lyrica it’s not going to really help. Maybe a little bit for a couple weeks, and then nothing.  So usually, I’m looking for pathogens, often parasites, viruses, tick-borne illnesses, mold, dental occult infections.

JC: That’s very common, isn’t it?

NP: Right, sinus infections, which I think is overlooked a lot. I bet you’re thinking the same thing about the sinus. It’s so close to the brain, and I’m finding a lot of funguses or MARCons in people’s sinuses, and once I treat that their brain fog begins to resolve, because I think of the inflammatory cytokines, the bugs that are in the sinuses…

JC: I find this to be one of the biggest missing pieces of people who’ve been to mold treatment other places.  I’m like, did anyone treat your sinuses? Like, no! This is a really big deal.

NP: I totally agree!  I’ll treat the sinuses the same way I treat the gut, actually, by killing the infections, restoring the whole thing.

JC: What do you like, let’s pause there real quick, because what do you like to use? I mean I have some herbal favorites and some prescription favorites, but what are some of your preferred ways to treat the sinuses? Do you do irrigation, do you do sprays, do you compound, do you do herbs?

NP: I do compounding very often. I’m going to start with Argentyn silver. I found that if people do this, if they nebulize it, not just spray it, but they atomize it so it really goes up high, then I’ve seen that really reduce brain fog. If they do this, and this is a tall order, like four or five times a day for two weeks. It’s changed people’s lives, people who are not chronically ill but that have brain fog, that has changed their life just doing that.

JC: And just plain silver or with EDTA, or would you use both?

NP: I start with silver, and then I also have them do at night a nasal probiotic flush, and then also I’ll have them put coconut oil in their nostrils because it’s hard to kill infections in the sinuses when they’re dry. They’ll do that for two weeks, and then I’ll move into using Chelating PX, which is EDT to bust up the biofilm.  And then if they have a fungus, I might use amphotericin or BEG spray if there’s MARCons, so whatever antibiotic they need.  I’ll use that, we’ll be atomizing that.

JC:  that was tremendous and I love a couple things you mentioned. First of all, that you start with silver without EDTA, because I think sometimes that biofilm busting is way too much. They get headaches or they get really sick because all of a sudden, it’s a dumping of the dead material that’s being… I think of the biofilms, if you’re listening, as pond scum. It’s like this kind of gross covering that keeps everything hidden from the antibiotics or the silver. So you need to bust it up to clear it out, but if you bust it up too much too quickly the system gets overwhelmed and the mast cells get angry too, right?

NP: They sure do! I think of it as a gentle way in before I, in fact that’s the way how I’ll treat most people. We’ll start and I’ll start gently and ramp them up.

JC:  I’ll just remember this, and the other thing mentioned, the dryness, because most of us aren’t flying a lot nowadays, but it’s just flying in an airplane, it’s so dry! That’s why people tend to get more sick, or used to. Again, now things are just very different. Still toxic, because they spray all these chemicals, but the dryness of the air. And here I am in Colorado, which is really dry, that really makes a difference, the moisture.  I love that you recommended… now are you having people just put it just in their nostrils a little bit?

NP: Yeah, just have them take a Q-tip and just put it in.

JC: Instead of Vaseline, which is petroleum-based, right?

NP: Right, exactly.

JC: Oh, that’s a great pearl. So, we talked about nasal and then I interrupted. What else would be the underlying factors in the chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia?

NP: So definitely heavy metals, which we already talked about. I think of this, it’s a whole soup, so it’s not salad like where’s the tomato, here’s a piece of celery, it’s the whole thing together in one soup.

So, metals, usually there’s a high viral load, I’ll measure people’s nagalase. I love the Infectolabs test, by the way, because now we can use T cells to look at if the infection is active right now or no, as opposed to looking antibodies where we have to kind of guess, right?  I’ll use that test to see if there’s a high viral load. If there’s mold, I like to look at the mold IgG, at allergens as well as mycotoxins. So, I’ll look at that on Labcorp.

Basically, I’m hunting for different infections and different toxins because those are the two things that I think hijacked the system. Of course, I’m looking at their hormones, their sex hormone panel and their thyroid, because those are areas that are going to be affected, as well, causing fatigue.

JC: Excellent! So, pathogens, toxins, infections, and hormones and oh this is great!

NP:  And the gut, of course the gut.

JC: Yes, and you always do like stool and organic acids, or how do you like to assess the gut?

NP: Yeah, I like the GI Map Test. I find it to be the most sensitive so I look there, and most of my patients also have SIBO, which I generally like to treat first.

I like the Trio Smart Test because you’re looking at hydrogen sulfide SIBO, and no other test has done that before. So that that will give us a chance to find SIBO in ways we haven’t been able to before.

JC: Yes, now the key is, then what do we do with hydrogen SIBO? I’ve read a little bit about some of the pearls for treatment. But if you do find hydrogen sulfide is there any particular things you do differently with treatments or herbs?

NP: You know for sure I’m having them decrease sulfur in their diet. But I’m using the same treatment as I would for regular SIBO, which is the Xifaxan, Flagyl, the bismuth to bust up the biofilm, goldenseal to prevent yeast.

JC: Yes, oh fantastic! Sounds so similar and so important, because again that gut…

I love that you mentioned two things that I think are so critical, that you really can’t get past, and that’s sleep and constipation. So, if you have someone coming in that has insomnia or constipation, no matter what kind of protocol you put them on, if they’re not sleeping and they’re not pooping, you’re not gonna get very far, right?

NP: No, no, no exactly!

JC: What do you feel for sleep, because a lot of these patients have sleep issues, and it’s related to everything else we talked about. Any tips or tricks that you have for helping patients sleep?

NP:  I have an ayurvedic sleep tea which I really like. There’s cardamom in it. Cardamom helps people stay asleep. There’s ashwagandha and shatavari in it, that can help people. Now there’s some people who that doesn’t help, or you know the regular things, like valerian or GABA or L-theanine, that’s not helping them. I’ll go to peptides for them. I like Epitalon for sleep, or delta-inducing sleep peptide. Those really, really help people and it makes me not have to use, and I’d like to not use benzos for their sleep, right? I found that peptides can be a way around having to use benzos for those people who just can’t sleep no matter what herb I give them or no matter what sleep hygiene techniques we give.

JC: This could be tricky in the tick-borne infections. They complain to that too, and the activation of the immune system, so I find that sleep issues for some people is really hard to hack. But like you said, between peptides and herbs and then there was some, oh I was thinking antihistamines can be, like hydroxyzine and those can be really helpful.

NP:  Yeah, because often actually I give ketotifen for mast cell activation syndrome and it really helps them to fall asleep. There’s the odd person, I found in my practice, that makes them groggy in the morning. Not too often, but sometimes I can’t give them ketotifen.

JC: Great tips! So, let’s talk about this Cell Danger Response (CDR), because I know Gordon Medical center was where, you had told me right before we got on live, that you guys had actually done some of the research with Dr. Naviaux (Bob Naviaux, PhD). So, tell us first what is it, and then you can just dive in, I can ask some questions, but I definitely want to talk about this.

If you haven’t heard about the Cell Danger Response, this is groundbreaking!

NP: So, at Gordon Medical we provided the patients that Dr. Naviaux did research on. This was right before I joined Gordon Medical. Gordon Medical and Dr. Naviaux were involved in in the research together then, and wrote the paper on this, and it is groundbreaking.

Metabolic features of chronic fatigue syndrome: Robert K. Naviaux, Jane C. Naviaux, Kefeng Li, A. Taylor Bright, William A. Alaynick, Lin Wang, Asha Baxter, Neil Nathan, Wayne Anderson, Eric Gordon, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2016, 113 (37) E5472-E5480; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1607571113

So, the Cell Danger Response, it’s modulated by mitochondria, which is the energy producing part of the cell, and it’s also sensing when the cell’s not getting the nutrients it should be getting. So that means that the cell’s in danger. It’s signaling the immune system to take action. That there is danger. It can happen when there’s a virus in there, or a toxin that ties up nutrients, and the mitochondria will then send a signal to other cells. But that signal is that it starts to send ATP outside of the cell. So actually, around the cell membrane instead of inside the cell.

 The important thing to remember is that it’s not an on and off signal. There’s a little bit of the signaling every day to help your body pay attention to when there is an invader; a pathogen or a toxin or stress, whether that’s emotional or physical stress. So, it doesn’t have to be a disease. It’s really actually happening constantly as a normal defense mechanism, but when the signal persists, that’s when illness occurs. There’s a healing response that’s stuck in this loop and it just can’t stop. Mast cells are constantly activated, the immune system is constantly activated, so it’s like trying to understand, where do I cut that loop, how do I stop the cell danger response from happening?

Speaking of chronic fatigue, Dr. Naviaux, and Gordon Medical, the research occurred on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, itself.

JC: Yeah, so yeah, associated. I mean he’s associated Cell Danger Response with Lyme disease, with autism, with chronic fatigue, yeah, so it’s been really wide. Like it’s one of the things that I know you and I, we can see it unifies a lot of these complex chronic illnesses that we see. Almost all of them, actually.

NP: Exactly! Yeah, they’re stuck in this repeating loop of incomplete recovery and re-injury, and they’re unable to fully heal.

JC: Talk a little about that, because there’s the Cell Danger Response, with phase one, two, and three, and each of those, if it gets stuck, there’s different sets of illnesses and things. You want to talk a little bit about some of those, and the differences between them?

NP: Sure! Part One involves the innate immune system. The neutrophils, the macrophages, natural killer cells, monocytes, the mast cells. These cells come out, the mast cells come to prime the immune system and then the other cells will come out to begin the killing, and may actually do the killing. But the infected cells, at this point they stop making normal amounts of ATP, and this is when they start to export the ATP to the cell membrane outside the cell. That’s the danger signal, usually signaling the rest of the body cells, “Hey there’s a danger here, there’s a toxin, there’s a bug that’s activating the innate immune system.”

So, we see, if it happens in a lot of cells, that’s when we start to see the sick behavior: fatigue, brain fog, body aches and pains. If it only happens a little bit, we’re just going to get a stuffy nose. But at this point they’re depending on glucose for energy instead of ATP, because the mitochondria are now browning out. So, it’s anaerobic respiration. They’re producing little energy, so we’ll see illnesses here. If we’re stuck here, we’ll see HPA axis issues, allergies, asthma, chronic infections which are often underneath chronic fatigue syndrome and the fibromyalgia that I see. So, it can be stuck here and in part two and part three which I’ll talk about in a minute.

So, it can be stuck in different parts and all different systems of the body.

Part Two is when we start to rebuild tissue damage, and that’s cell proliferation. The mitochondria start to go back to producing more ATP, but it’s still anaerobic. We’re not burning fat still.  We’re still burning energy from glucose, but there’s less of an inflammatory signal, so here it’s more proliferative disorders, cancers, hypertension, different heart diseases.

Then there’s Part Three, where we’re restoring intercellular communication. The cells learn how to function as a part of the whole, so a lot of hormones are important here. Neurotransmitters are important here. So here we’re going to see illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, anxiety, depression.

JC: I love it, because you really cover all of medicine like this. This is such an underlying cellular, like, we’re talking about at the cell level. One of the things that goes wrong, which is why when Dr. Naviaux really has presented his data, all of us were just like, wow! I remember two years ago, at ISEAI, when he presented, and you involved a little bit in the research. So maybe you knew some of the back story, but for me, and most of us, who hadn’t heard a lot of the research, it was literally jaw-dropping! Oh my goodness, this is amazing! Because it just puts everything together.

I’m gonna try to, I may not be exactly scientifically accurate. But for those of you who are listening, and you’re not super scientific, I’m going to try to explain in really simple terms what’s happening. You have a cell, and when the cell spills its contents, it’s broken, right? It like, spills out, then the contents get outside. That’s what’s triggering this, is outside the cell, it’s like, we call it like damage associated receptors. So basically, the damage to the cell, the contents of the cell got exploded or damaged or leaky, and then the outside is getting the signal that, oh, there’s cell contents outside the cell. This is not good.

I think of it real simplistically as you’ve spilled contents of a cell that was damaged, and outside the cell there was a signal. Because your body knows, it’s very smart, it’s like this should not be outside the cell. It should be inside the cell, and that’s the ATP.  The ATP as a cellular currency should be in the cell making energy for the cell. If it gets outside the cell this is the Cell Danger Response, and again, super simplified, probably not completely scientifically accurate. But for those of you listening to understand, it’s just the spilled contents. The cell’s broken, it’s damaged, and because this damage is telling the body, something is dreadfully wrong. You’ve got to mop up this mess you’ve spilled on the floor.

That’s kind of how I think of it in a simplistic way.

NP: Exactly that.

JC: So then, what do we do? Again, this is a cellular mechanism. There have been drugs studied to stop this that are highly effective. Unfortunately, they’re not available, right?

NP: Suramin.

So interesting. I think in medicine, we’re so good with A goes to B. Heart attack, broken bone, bullet wound, medicine knows what to do. But Dr. Naviaux calls what we’re talking about the black box of healing, the complex chronic illness. So, this is where it becomes highly personalized. When we look at the genes, we look for the toxins, we look, we’re looking for what is causing the most irritation in the system. For my patients, all of these things we just talked about, but usually it’s the immune system that’s the loudest first, and the mast cells. So back to that! Treating that.

JC: Back to where we started, which is starting with calming the mast cells, supporting immune system, clearing infections, treating heavy metals, toxicity, and then going down the road.

One question I just thought of as we’re talking, on fibromyalgia. I have heard some of the theories around having lactic acidosis, which is basically in the tissues you have a more acidic environment which can cause pain. Again, that can come from everything, it’s not a new theory, it’s nothing that’s different from what we’re already talking about. But have you found any sort of alkalinization therapies helpful? Like say, mineral water, Alka Seltzer Gold, some of those things, or even alkaline diets? Have you done anything along those lines?

NP: Absolutely! Alkaline diets I think really help, or intermittent fasting. For sure the detoxification is going to help.

JC: Yes, excellent! So, what else would we look at? Let’s go back to talk about chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia just slightly separately, because they are very similar in mechanism but we might treat them slightly differently.

Let’s start with fatigue, because fatigue is, most people who are sick they have some sort of fatigue.  They may not qualify for chronic fatigue (syndrome). Most of them do but even if they don’t, they’d usually have, and it usually is associated with brain fog. It’s so funny, because those of us in medicine, brain fog isn’t really defined, right, but every patient that we ever talk to, if we say brain fog, they know what we mean. So, we use that term a lot. How would you define brain fog, or what would people be complaining of when they come to you with that?

NP: Most of my patients have brain fog, actually. In tick-borne illness, I find the brain fog is actually more tied to pain than in people who have mostly just viral issues. But in both populations, the brain fog will manifest pretty similarly, or be experienced similarly. So, I just went into a room, and I forgot what I went there for. I went to the grocery store and I picked up peas, but I meant to get potatoes, or things like that. Or I just can’t think straight, a lot of them say I think I’m losing my mind. I actually find it’s more in the tick-borne illness patients that it’s that extreme, who say I think I’m going crazy.

But for women a lot of times, if they’re not sick, we can just fix the hormones. That’ll help them, right? But for these patients, if we fix the hormones, they’re still going to feel like they have brain fog. So that’s another sign that there’s something else going on.

JC: I love that, because I remember 15-20 years ago, when I started in functional medicine, I have a menopause patient or a patient with hypothyroid, and it’d be very simple, straightforward. We replace the hormones or balance their hormones or give them thyroid, and they feel better. And I don’t know when I’ve seen one of those kinds of patients lately, because there’s so many layers. If only it were that simple! Certainly, there are people who that’s all it needs is just a little tweaking, but I find that to be kind of a superficial level.

Not superficial, it’s very, very important, but it’s superficial enough that what we’re talking about here is usually way deeper causes. So, just doing that alone, unfortunately nowadays, at least for my practice, doesn’t usually 100% turn them around, right?

NP:  No, definitely not! I wish it would, and they wish it too. They say okay, now look, the labs say that my progesterone and my estrogen are back into balance, but I still feel the same. Still so terrible! Then I say, but you know that’s just a foundation for you? Now at least we have this foundation set, now we have to really get into the nitty-gritty of working on the immune system and working on bringing out the insults.

But what I also find is that once I can take, we can take the knife out, like the bugs, the toxins out, but  the symptoms still persist.

JC: It’s almost like a memory, right?  Even though you’ve cleaned up the terrain, the body still remembers and can kind of stay… What do you do with that? I’ve seen, we may even go into this, but I feel like emotional trauma, emotional health, some of these limbic system things are so critical. Tell me a little bit about your thoughts on that, and what would you do?

NP: I think that that’s really a big piece. That’s when a lot of times I might start to use regenerative medicine, actually exosomes or biological allografts. Those I found can really help. NAD IV can help a lot at that point as well. That’s looking at the biochemical piece, but you just talked about, and what I would consider such an important piece, which is the healing piece. These people have normally experienced a lot of trauma in their lives. That’s what I find.

Just like these illnesses have hijacked the different systems of their body, they’ve also had had people in their lives do what I would call hijacking their lives in some way. So much trauma, and so that that piece is really, really important.

I like to give them craniosacral therapy, and we have some amazing healers that we work with as well. So, I send them to the healers for that kind of work. Acupuncture…

JC:  I love that you’re mentioning that, because I feel the same and those aren’t my areas of expertise but I know people who do it. So whether it’s somatic based trauma therapies, whether there’s programs like DNRS program, Safe and Sound by Porges, or there’s a bunch of programs out there that are really helpful. Love craniosacral, love acupuncture, and naturopathy, we have some of the traditional emotional remedies, those types of things, with homeopathic remedies and things. Again, not my area of expertise, but those, all together can be really profound at that layer.

Because what happens with these illnesses, even if you’re healthy, you have a good family support system, the body subconsciously sees this mold or Lyme as a trauma, and so even if you’re super healthy and you weren’t abused as a child, it’s still a trauma. And then the medical system, I think, sadly, most of the time further traumatizes the patients.

NP: I agree, yeah, they really do. Because they haven’t been accepted.

JC: Yeah, they’ve been told they’re crazy, or go take this med for your mind, or it’s not… I mean, you might manifest as insomnia or bipolar or depression, anxiety, but these are not primarily psychological issues.

NP: Exactly, yeah, they’re secondary to the issue at hand, which is usually the infection or toxin.

JC: Yeah, I wonder nowadays if all mental illness isn’t really gut, microbiome, Cell Danger Response. I don’t know if there’s any pure psychological disorders anymore, because I can always find a root cause that’s actually physiological, right?

NP: Exactly, and then once it takes some time to turn these people around, but once they’re turned around, I see big shifts in their psychology…

JC: and moods and relationships, and it’s amazing, right? The whole dynamic to shift, so yeah, it’s amazing.

Well, let’s shift in our last couple minutes, because we’ve really covered a lot of ground. We talked a little about the limbic and some of these things, but what about just whether it’s social support, isolation, especially with COVID and the pandemic and all that we’ve experienced? What are some kind of mental health tips or social tips or things that you might encourage your patients to do, just to have a support system? Or anything in that realm that you would think about, or encourage them, or nature walks or things like that?

 NP: Yeah, there’s a lot of support groups out there. Sometimes I’ve heard patients tell me that, oh, that just really drags me into my diagnosis more. That’s just not what I want. And other people say, oh, I needed to meet more people just like myself. So, I think that everybody who’s interested should try to experience it and see if it’s for them or not. Some people it’s great, some people they don’t want that. Those I think are people who are more solitary people, and for them, for everybody, nature walks. I find grounding really helps. Just putting their feet in the sand, feeling the sunshine on them.

JC:  I love that! You’re in the bay area, did you say? You don’t always get sunshine.

NP: It can be cool down here.

JC: I love the earthing and grounding, and then, do you guys recommend pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in your clinic at all?

 NP: Yes and no. So, I’ve seen it blow up a lot of our patients. You know, they’re just not quite ready for it, so more towards the end of treatment I’ve seen it work really well.

JC: And with that NAD IV and exosomes and stuff, so the powerhouse is that. For me personally, at this level now, I love it, but I think it would have blown me out of the water five years ago. That makes sense.

Let’s see, I was thinking I wanted to go back to one other thing you mentioned, coffee enemas. I went to Switzerland for a detox, like the last two years, before, when we could travel. One thing that was there, that they had these coffee enema kits that were just so amazingly easy to use. It’s a Swiss mountain clinic. Used to be Paracelsus. So, we’ve actually imported those and I have them at the clinic. I want to be sure and let the listeners know if you want an easy way. Because I agree with you, the coffee enemas can be so profound, and you can get online kits and setups. Do you have those at your clinic that you sell or recommend at all?

NP: We don’t but, Ben Greenfield wrote a really good article, so I just send people that website. I’d love to hear about the winner.

JC: Perfect! I’ll include a link for the Coffee Enema Kit down here. I just want to mention it because it’s such a unique thing that we have at our clinic and we can ship to you anywhere in the U.S. We actually import them from Europe because they’re not made in the U.S. It’s a really simple setup with a bottle that’s bpa-free, and tubing and literally an instant, really, really clean low roasted green coffee with charcoal in it. It’s a German formula. It’s the cleanest thing I’ve ever found, and you just put it in the bottle, warm tap water, shake it up, and you’re done. So super easy to use. I’ll include a link in case anyone’s interested because it’s just one of those things where I found being in Switzerland, I’m like, we need this in the U.S. When I tried to figure out who had them, no one had them.

So last bit here. Where can people find you, where can people find more about you, are you accepting new patients? Tell us a little bit more about it.

NP: Yes, I’m accepting new patients. You can go to gordonmedical.com or just look up Gordon Medical Associates and all the information is over there. People come from all over the country particularly for the IV therapies actually. It used to be, when you were talking about socialization, it used to be that we had a big IV suite, and people would sit there and socialize. It would be their hangout time with people just like them, and they loved it! Now we can’t we can’t do it that way with COVID. People have their own private room, and we take all the precautions that we need to in order to make sure that it’s safe in there. But you won’t have company in there anymore…

JC:  But you still do it, and I have patients who have been there. So, again, nothing but good reviews and it’s just been neat to share a few patients once a while that have been back in here, so, I can attest to that. Just the great care. Now the other thing you mentioned. Before you go, you’re doing a summit. Tell us about what’s coming up with the summit.

NP: Yeah, so Dr. Gordon and I are going to be hosting a Mycotoxin and Chronic Illness Summit (July 12-18, 2021) through DrSummits. I’m very excited about it and hopefully you’ll be participating.

JC: I would love to!

NP: It’s going to be in June, okay, so we’re just starting right now. We’re hosting it with Dr. Christine Schaffner.  

JC: Oh wonderful! Because I love this stuff, so if you’re listening, I’ll be sure and if you go to the Facebook page, follow me on Instagram, just @drjillcarnahan, you will see the updates there. I’ll be sure and get information from you guys and share those links. So, if you’re interested in that summit, stay tuned I will have it on all my social media pages for everybody and we’ll share and I would love to be a part of it.

NP: Thank you! We’d love to have you!

JC: Awesome! Well, I can’t believe how quickly our hour goes! I think we’ve got some great information. Thank you so much for being here. We’ve got your website, I’ll be sure to include them. Thanks again for all the great information.

NP: Thank you so much for having me. Such an honor!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Mold + Mycotoxin Illness, Nafysa Parpia ND, Toxicity, Video Blogs

Can Tick-Borne Illness Be Transmitted in Utero?

Dr. Nafysa Parpia discusses a case about tick-borne illness and in-utero transmission.

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Transcript (Dr. Nafysa Parpia)

This is a case about tickborne illness being transferred in utero.

I really love the Infectolab test, because it’s really been able to see what is real clinically, in comparison to what is real via laboratory diagnosis, in a way that I haven’t been able to see before. I just have one case of this in the lab, but I think that it’s telling and I can’t wait to do more cases like this with Infectolab.

Regarding maternal transmission of tickborne illness, there’s not much research on this, right? This case does strongly suggest maternal transmission, which is why I’m very happy with this lab, Because I wouldn’t be able to have a case where I was able to demonstrate something like this with a lab.

According to the CDC, untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy can lead to infection of the placenta. But spread from mother to fetus is possible, but rare. We see this in our clinic very often. OK, so we see people, we see families where the mother or the father has the diagnosis of tickborne illness and the kids do as well. But we’re not sure, we think, we always thought that yes, it was transmitted in utero. And there’s a little bit of research that shows, but we couldn’t really prove it in the labs. So, remember this is just an N of one, so we’re not calling it proof, but I feel like it’s on the way. If I can keep showing this in the labs I’ll feel more like we can prove that.

Know that our population is unusual. We only see chronically ill people. And because of that, our population is skewed to this group of people. That’s likely why we see such a high incidence of familial spread clinically. The population is growing, we see more and more than we did 10 years ago, our clinic is filled with people we have complex chronic illness and filled with families who have complex chronic illness.

Which is why I found this case so interesting. In this group of patients with more severe symptoms, we see a higher incidence of transmission in their offspring. But, still the CDC is just reporting on the population, on the general, the population at large. That’s not who comes to see us.

I want to get straight to the punch with respect to the labs. I’m going to talk about the family, and then we’re going to go straight to the labs results.

OK, so, a brief history. We’ll talk about symptomology after.

The mother, 48-year-old white female, she was bitten by a tick six or more years ago. Six to eight years ago. She has mold exposure in the house that was five years ago, and she kept, that family kept getting re-exposed to mold over five years.

There’s a daughter, she’s six, no tick bite known, but of course she had mold exposure since birth because the family kept getting mold exposure over the last five years.

Son, he’s five, no known tick bite, mold exposure since birth.

And the father has too, no known tick bite, And of course mold exposure.

They come to me with a diagnosis of only mycotoxin and mold illness. A doctor had diagnosed them with that and had tried to treat them, nothing happened. They got a little better here and there. They did get keep getting re-exposed to mold, which is a reason why they didn’t improve, but there was not a diagnosis of tick-borne illness. Nobody diagnosed them with that.

So, they come to me, wanting a treatment for mycotoxins and mold, and by their symptoms I think there’s something else going on as well as the mold and mycotoxin illness. Of course, I am thinking it’s tickborne illness based on their symptoms which will get into after.

Talking about the father, so just the Infectolab diagnosis.  I don’t have the labs showing up here, all three of them because it’s just too much paper, and I want to show you this side by side. So, I’ve tried to put things together on the slides as much as possible. In his Infectolab test, there’s no tick-borne illness diagnosed. At all! None! But he does have some cytomegalovirus, interferon gamma borderline, which means he’s fighting it off. A little bit, it’s there. That’s all he has. And of course, there’s mycotoxins and severe mold IgG allergens, which are elevated. Diagnosed by another lab.

Here I’m going to talk about the mother, the daughter, and the son. There’s a lot of writing on this slide. There are some important things all on the same slide so you can compare and see the sharing of the diagnoses.

The mother, she’s got, this is all by Infectolab now, she’s got Lyme, Bartonella, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, all positive in interferon gamma. Meaning that she’s, the infections are active in her right now.

Next, let’s talk about the daughter. Remember she’s just six. Take a look at the infections she has in common with the Mother. No tick bite known, okay? Lyme, Bartonella, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus. So, we see the exact same infections here. She’s got interferon gamma and interleukin two both positive. When I see that, I’m thinking, she’s in the process of getting her immune system under control, as evidenced by the interleukin two. These are from central memory T cells, which means that her body is beginning to tamp down the inflammatory response.

Now, we don’t know if this is because of a child’s strong immune system. We don’t have enough data on that. Or is it that we’re finding her right in that time between transmission and active infection resolution? I don’t know. I’d like to know, but we don’t have enough data on that. That’s a whole nother point in itself, but the main thing, the take home message here is that the mother and the daughter both have the same infections in common.  The mother has a history of a tick bite, the daughter doesn’t.

Now the son. He has Bartonella, interleukin two positive, Lyme, borderline interleukin two and interferon gamma, borderline, Ehrlichia, interleukin two and interferon gamma borderline, Epstein Barr virus, interleukin two borderline, the cytomegalovirus interleukin two, borderline.

The difference I see here is that he’s got Erhlichia, and his mother and sister don’t. Perhaps they did in the past, and that’s not apparent now in their immune system with either interferon gamma and interleukin two, or maybe he did have a tick bite which transmitted Ehlichia to him. I don’t know. It’s possible that he had a tick bite that the family isn’t aware of. According to them there was no tick bite, but sometimes they happen, right?  Even when people don’t know.

So, he appears to have a lot that’s borderline, but his mother and sister are currently fighting, and like his sister it’s likely that his immune system has fought off a lot of this. But most recently, he’s been getting Bartonella. According to his labs it’s just resolving.

Let me get to the next slide here.

So that was the piece that I wanted you all to see regarding how in this test this is a clear case of the likelihood, of the suggestion of tick-borne illness being transmitted in utero. We see the same infections all around for mother to children. With some exceptions here and there. I wouldn’t have been able to see this as clearly on other labs. Because here we’re looking at the immune system, looking at the interferon gamma and the interleukin two, and what is active right now.

I want to get into the clinical picture of these patients of mine. After talking about the labs, I thought it would be interesting for you to hear about their symptomology.

The clinical picture of the mother, she’s got this pain trifecta; shooting, burning, aching pain in her, myalgia and also in the joints. Typically, this is due to Bartonella, mold, and Lyme, that combination. Sure enough, on Infectolab, the Bartonella was raging, and so was the Lyme. So, her symptomology did correlate with what I found on Infectolab here.

And, brain fog. Lyme and mold more than Bartonella would typically cause brain fog. And, you know, her Lyme was raging as well, on the Lyme.

Extreme fatigue, likely from cytomegalovirus. Her cytomegalovirus was through the roof, I forgot to mention this, and so was her daughter’s. Like through the roof. And that was another way to, sorry, that’s another infection to think about transmission familialy, obviously that does happen. I just see how their immune systems handle it in a similar way. It was very interesting.

And of course, the fatigue could be due to the mold and tick-borne illness combination. So, they’re all consistent, all her symptoms are consistent with Lyme, Bartonella, Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus all being active, but now I’m able to with this lab, I’m able to tease all that out. Better than before.

So now about the daughter. Her symptoms were constipation, could be due to tick borne illness, mold, mycotoxins, cytomegalovirus. They are new patients to me, so we’re also doing a GI panel. Could be due to parasites or other infections in the gut.

The puritis, likely due to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or mold.

The fatigue is minor in her. Could be due to tick-borne illness, mold, and cytomegalovirus. So, her symptoms are not as severe as her mother’s, and this is consistent with a finding of no interleukin two in the mother, while she has significant interleukin two. This is another piece of the lab I really like. So, looking at the interleukin two, we can see that these infections are beginning to resolve. And likewise, her symptoms are not as bad now than previous to her being diagnosed.

OK, so on to the son. He had fits of rage as his primary, primary symptom. In fact, there’s no pain, there’s no fatigue, it’s all rage, and that is consistent with Bartonella. His Bartonella is now interleukin two positive, and that suggests that he’s resolving this infection. The interesting piece is that before he came to me, he was having fits of rage about 7-8 times a day, and now they’re three times a day. So that would make sense that the parents were telling me that when he was having fits 7-8 times a day, several months ago, it’s very different to now, with the fits three times a day. If you think several months ago, likely, his interferon gamma was positive, and now that he’s got interleukin two, it’s likely that his fits of rage are decreased because of that, because there is some healing happening, there’s some resolution of this infection happening.  

But really, really important to note is that the behavior pattern was likely established by the Bartonella, so it’s a classic Bartonella mental piece. However, when a neurological or mental or physiological piece is established by any infection, and that infection resolves, the body knows that pattern, and another infection or toxin can come in and carry on that pattern. So, very similar to what Dr. Gordon was saying with his case, that the tick-borne infection was resolved, but there’s a pattern there that still will be carried. Do we continue on with antibiotic therapy, or any therapy to resolve the infection, or do we work on regenerative medicine? Pieces to modulate the damage that had been done by the infections or the toxic things we’re talking about.

So, with the Bartonella here, I’m seeing that he’s still having Bartonella fits of rage. They’re less than previously, and I’m seeing the interleukin two positive, meaning he’s pretty much resolved this now. So, why’s he still having those fits? Do I need to treat for Bartonella? No, I’m not going to treat for Bartonella very much, or at least not very aggressively, because this lab is showing me it’s mostly resolved now. So, I’m going to treat for the other infections that I’ve diagnosed with him, diagnosed him with, and other toxicants I’ve diagnosed him with to undo the patterns the Bartonella created.

So, thank you guys! That’s my piece and it’s some, seems pretty clear to me in this lab that there was transmission from mother to children in utero, because she did get that tick bite before she had her children, and apparently her children did not have tick bites.

Biotoxin Issues, Lyme Disease - Pediatric, Lyme Disease + Coinfections, Mold + Mycotoxin Illness, Nafysa Parpia ND, Video Blogs