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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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Biotoxin Issues, Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Environmental Illness, Lyme Disease + Coinfections, Nafysa Parpia ND, Toxicity, Video Blogs

Glyphosate Toxicity Affects Everyone – What Can You Do?

Dr. Eric Gordon & Dr. Isaac Eliaz explore the health conditions
directly related to glyphosate exposure

From mycotoxin illness to gut dysbiosis, neurological diseases, cancers, chronic kidney disease, and more, we are beginning to understand how glyphosate (Roundup)—the most widely used pesticide in the world—is a contributing factor in the significant spike we’re seeing with inflammatory, degenerative, and systemic conditions today.

Glyphosate-toxicity-detox

Published, independent research* continues to demonstrate the health risks and conditions associated with glyphosate exposure.

One key issue is the question of whether glyphosate bioaccumulates in the body – meaning that the levels of exposure are higher than what our system can process out through the usual channels.

While industry scientists claim that glyphosate does not bioaccumulate (due to its water solubility), emerging data from independent researchers shows significant levels of glyphosate accumulation in the bones and vital organs of different species. Glyphosate can often bind in the same places that glycine normally would in polypeptide chains and may lead to protein unfolding and toxicity in our bodies.

As the body of research continues to evolve, it’s clear that there’s much more to the role of glyphosate exposure than many people may realize. 

Dr. Eric Gordon recently sat down with integrative detoxification expert Dr. Isaac Eliaz to have a candid conversation about the topic. 

In their discussion, Dr. Eliaz explores the health conditions directly related to glyphosate exposure, and symptoms that are presenting across diverse patient demographics. The discussion includes how to address this widespread problem using researched natural strategies, and Dr. Eliaz’s rationale for developing his new product, GlyphoDetox.

Follow the link below to read more from Dr. Gordon & Dr. Eliaz’s interview.

Disclosure: It’s our pleasure to provide you with information and tools. Please note that we receive a small commission when you follow links and purchase the recommended item. 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.

Detox + Toxins, Detoxification, Eric Gordon MD, Toxicity

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

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

Preventing the Failed Patient – Detoxification

The important factors we consider when working
with complex chronic illness

Environmental toxicants impair cellular functions. Lyme/tick-borne disease/co-infections, parasites, and viruses all modulate immune function to their advantage and the host disadvantage.

With exposure, the immune system is over-activated, causing hypersensitivity, allergies, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and/or autoimmunity. The immune system may also be misdirected, and does not mount an appropriate response to infection.

Preventing-the-failed-patient

Most of our patients who present with long standing Lyme disease have evidence of a high environmental toxicant load through clinical history and laboratory results. They respond well to therapies that reduce the toxicant load, which leads to normalization of the immune response. Everyone benefits from detox, but in these patients, it is mandatory.

Toxicants that hinder the healing cycle may include: mold toxins, biotoxins and other neurotoxins, heavy metals, high EMF exposure or high sensitivity to it, environmental toxin burden such as high perchlorate, PCBs, glyphosate (Roundup), other pesticides and other chemicals.

Consider whether you:

  • Live/lived in a home with mold or water damage?
  • Live/lived near or on a farm or vineyard? how far from?
  • Live/lived near freeway? How far from?
  • Live/lived in an industrial location?
  • Live/lived in home while it was being renovated?
  • Ever worked with chemicals – artist, dark room, painting/renovating homes, industrial work?
  • Use pesticides, insecticides, herbicides in your garden or your neighbors use them in their gardens?
  • Have metal amalgams in your mouth?

Treatment for toxins needs to precede and be concurrent with herbal and antibiotic treatment of persistent tick-borne disease. It includes appropriate oral, IV and physical detoxification therapies PLUS MCAS treatment. If mast cell activation is on a hair trigger even detox may cause flares.

Biotoxin Issues, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Complex Chronic Illness, Detox + Toxins, Detoxification, Lyme Disease + Coinfections, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Mold + Mycotoxin Illness, Nafysa Parpia ND, Toxicity