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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.