Transcript

Table of Contents
0:00:00 – Introduction

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Okay. Welcome everyone. My name is Dr. Sandeep Gupta and I’m very privileged to have with me today, Dr. Neil Nathan, to be talking about mold and the cell danger response. So thanks so much for joining us today, Dr. Nathan.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Oh, thank you for having me, Sandeep. Pleasure to be here.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Thank you. Yeah, I first heard about this cell danger response idea around three to four years ago, and I think it probably was from you when I heard you describing some of Dr. Naviaux’s research, and it seems that it’s been quite transformative in terms of the way that we look at mold and similar problems. And would you say that it has been quite significant for you in terms of the way that you deal with mold and other biotoxin illnesses in your practice?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

It has, but it’s primarily as a model to understand it. In the future, it’s going to be a model for treatment, but right now it’s primarily an understanding model, meaning it gives us an overview of how to understand what’s happening on a cellular level and more important on a total body level which tells us not just what needs doing, but when to do it. And I think for some people that has been a big issue, because we now have in functional medicine, enough tests that we can go, “Ah, your mitochondria aren’t working, you’re not methylating, you’ve got viral issues, you’ve got infections, you’ve got toxins of various sorts.” We can identify all of these things, but I think what is frustrating both patients and physicians, is they’re not sure what to treat when, and that’s what really helps us with the cell danger response.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it can feel really overwhelming if you have just a plethora of different abnormalities and results, which are showing you that the person has different areas that need to be addressed. So to have a model that really helps to put it all in context is so, so valuable. I look forward to jumping into this in more detail in just a moment, but before we do, I’m just going to give a very brief introduction to yourself and me. Dr. Neil Nathan has been practicing as a physician now for 48 years, and treating complex chronic medical conditions for about 25 years, and particularly Lyme for around 15 years. I don’t know if we want to say anything about how your practice “molded” into that area, Dr. Nathan?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Well, that could be a whole hour of our time here. But I basically started with the idea that I wanted to help as many people in my practice as I could. I felt that the tools of conventional medicine were great, but they were limited. There were many people I couldn’t help knowing what I learned in medical school. So I started to learn a whole lot of other things. I learned homeopathy and acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation, and the list goes on. I was a knowledge junkie and I still am, but not only did that help me to help more patients, but it catapulted me into the pain world, where I found that that tool box allowed me to help patients who had pain that other people couldn’t help. This was in the early years before pain clinics have become even in existence, so we were beginning that process back then.

In the pain world, we began to see people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and we didn’t know what to do with them. They were a mystery. We had no answer as to what caused it or what it was. So going down this knowledge set of dominoes, it became apparent over time that multiple things triggered fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue: hormonal dysregulation, magnesium deficiency, other deficiencies. And then we began to learn about Lyme, we began to learn about mold, we learned about viruses, and what we’re left with now is a huge compendium of multiple causation for an illness like chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.

So that’s how I got into it. I never wanted my grandchildren to look up to me as the “Mold Maven,” that wasn’t really what I wanted out of life, but I’ve kind of become that, almost because when I got into it, very few people were doing it and I’ve just had a lot of time treating thousands of people with mold toxicity and being successful with many.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Exactly. It’s really been quite a journey that you’ve been on for the last 25 years or even longer. And so I note that you’ve also been in various integrative societies, such as the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine and ISEAI and so on. Have you found those societies to be useful forums for sharing your knowledge and experience and getting others’ as well?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Sure. They all have. At this point of my life, what I really want to do is share what I’ve learned.

That is the single most important thing to me. I think we’ve learned enough, that we could help literally millions of suffering people, but that knowledge has not trickled into conventional medicine. My hope is that we will bridge that gap and bring what we have learned so that we can help so many people who are in great need.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Absolutely. I note that you’ve had your own radio program or podcasts, the Cutting Edge of Health and Wellness Today, and you’ve also published several books, including the recent one called, Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness. I imagined writing a book like that must’ve also been quite a journey that it took you through, in terms of just bringing all that information into such a digestible form as you have.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Well, thank you. That book was a labor of love, but I also had written several books previously, which created a model that I could build on. I love writing, that’s not difficult for me and I lucked into a fabulous publishing company and editor who loved the project and everyone put their creative juices into it. That book I think, has really helped countless people to understand why they’re sick and what they need to do about it.

For any of your listeners, it’s just called, Toxic. I think it will be helpful for you to really understand the factors that go into making you sick when conventional medicine can’t figure it out.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Very briefly about myself. I actually graduated here in Australia, in Brisbane, from the University of Queensland and I actually worked in intensive care medicine for around five years. I don’t know if I ever told you Dr. Nathan, but around that time, I was in America, and I took a really strong antibiotic, one of the fluoroquinolones for shigella, and I was just never the same, and came home and had massive fatigue, headaches, and a bunch of other symptoms.

I went and saw a neurologist at the hospital I was working, and they suggested a really high dose of prednisone, like 75 milligrams. The thing that confused me, is there didn’t seem to be any interest in the fact that there had been a story behind it, that I had taken antibiotics and I had been traveling and I had the shigella. From their point of view, it was more or less, this was the diagnosis and this was the treatment. I’m not saying that model is useless or anything like that, but it seemed to me that being able to put the whole journey of what I had gone through in context was very, very important in that situation and that led me to start asking questions about why I had developed these problems and how they could be related for instance, to the antibiotic and to my microbiome disruption. That led me just on a huge journey.

Then in around 2012 or so, the universe decided I hadn’t had enough lessons in health, so I needed to have a house flood and my partner at the time become bedbound, so I could learn about mold and had no interest as such at the time, but necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

It is. I had not heard that before, but the quinolones we now know, are very toxic for some people and can trigger a condition that looks exactly like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. It’s quite nasty and it’s very difficult to treat. Again, conventional medicine has very little to offer in terms of any approach for that whatsoever.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta: 

It sounds like there’s been some similarities there, but for me, it’s been my own personal health journey and that of my partner that’s really led me into this whole area. Reading all these 100 or 1,000 page documents, that’s really what led me to think that we’ve got to make this a little bit more simple in the area of mold. That’s why I created my course and so on. But without any further ado, let’s jump into talking about the main subject here today, which is the cell danger response.

0:10:40 – What is the Cell Danger Response?

From Naviaux, R. (2019). Perspective: Cell danger response Biology—The new science that connects environmental health with mitochondria and the rising tide of chronic illness. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2019.12.005

Dr. Neil Nathan:

The basic concept of the cell danger response involves rebooting. That is my humorous way of looking at rebooting. It’s my wife’s beautiful feet in front of you, and it’s clear that one of those boots has got to change. Rebooting is one of the best ways of understanding that the stuck place that the body will get into biochemically and it needs then to be rebooted. So let’s do a very cursory overview of the cell danger response, just to get a few of the basics down. So hold onto your hats, because this is going to be somewhat technical, but I’ll try to make it as understandable as possible.

This is the paper that set it all off. The physician, Dr. Robert Naviaux, who came up with the concept of the cell danger response wrote in 2013 in the Journal Mitochondrion [Naviaux, 2013] Okay. Let’s talk about what the cell danger response is as a model. The mitochondria, which are the organelles, little teeny organs, if you will, inside of cells, the mitochondria, yes, they are the energy packet of our body, they make us energy, but it turns out they’re also a sensory organ. The mitochondria respond to minute changes of voltage in a cell created by either toxins or infection.

Before a cell is injured or damaged, the mitochondria in an infected or toxic cell, sense the presence of an intruding microbe or toxin, by detecting the diversion of electrons as a voltage drop. The metabolic consequences of this are nearly instantaneous. They rapidly decrease their oxygen consumption, the dissolved oxygen concentration in the cell begins to rise, making the cellular chemistry more oxidating to help shield the cell from further injury. In other words, this is a protective mechanism, but the process of protecting the body, as you’re about to discover, may actually create a component of illness later on.

0:13:05 – Eight components of the CDR including energy dysfunction

From Naviaux, R. (2013). Metabolic features of the cell danger response. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2019.12.005

Dr. Neil Nathan:

I’m going to go over with you briefly, eight specific components of this cell danger response that occur immediately in all beings in response to toxins or infection. Number one, cellular metabolism shifts from polymer metabolism to monomer synthesis. What that means is polymer metabolism is working with proteins, polysaccharides, large molecules. Monomers means small molecules, the sugars that make up polysaccharides, the amino acids that make up the proteins. And the reason they do that, is to prevent the hijacking and assembly of cellular resources by microbes. In other words, microbes often need our chemistry to grow, to replicate and to actually infect us. We’re trying to keep that away.

The cell membrane is stiffened to limit the ability of those microbes to leave the cell. In other words, the cell that gets infected is a team player, and it’s actually committing hara-kiri in order to protect the rest of its cousins and brothers and relatives from getting this infection.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Right. You’re not saying the cell dies at that point, is that correct, Dr. Nathan, you’re saying it just protects itself?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Correct. It’s stiffening itself to prevent the pathogen from leaving, but it may in fact, using its own abilities to get rid of the pathogen, be able to destroy it. In which case once the coast is clear, you’ll be fine. So you’re absolutely right, Sandeep. It doesn’t mean the cell’s going to die, it just means it’s protecting itself. At the same time, the cell ejects antiviral and antimicrobial chemicals into the environment around the cell so that the other cells are better protected against this particular pathogen.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Autophagy, which is what I called hara-kiri, where a cell actually destroys itself, and mitochondrial fission increases as a method of getting rid of these pathogens. In other words, the cell will literally sometimes kill itself so that the pathogen can’t utilize its resources to grow. DNA methylation and histones are changed to alter gene expressions. In other words, the body also starts to change genetic expression so that it can deal with the infection better.

Endogenous retroviruses and other mobile genetic elements are mobilized to produce genetic variants. So again, we’re going to try to shift our chemistry, our structure, and our genetics to be less of a target for that microbe. Neighboring cells and distance cells are warned of the danger, and the behavior of the host is altered to prevent the spread of the infection. A huge example of that is, we’re exhausted, we’re tired, we do not move, we don’t go to work, we go to sleep, so that we can mobilize all of our healing energy to get rid of this pathogen or toxin. So this is the basic cell danger response.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

So it’d be very understandable then that people would be feeling quite fatigued during this stage of the cell danger response, would you say?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Absolutely. Comes with the territory. You can’t get around it, because the body is diverting its energy in the process of healing. One of the very important concepts of the cell danger response is the major cellular material that makes energy in our body is ATP. In this context, the body stops using ATP for energy, and it uses ATP as a signaling molecule to exit the cell and tell all these other cells what’s going on here. And so in the process, we are no longer having the amount of ATP we used to. The body changes its metabolism to anaerobic, a fancy way of saying we no longer oxidize our nutrients. In that state, we have access to much less ATP than we do in our normal metabolic state.

This is a slide from Dr. Naviaux, here’s a virus coming into the cell and then… So this goes over the eight different methods, as you hit the button, using this cell that you’re looking at as a model for what happens here.

0:19:20 – Summer / Winter metabolism

From Naviaux, R. (2013). Metabolic features of the cell danger response. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2019.12.005

Dr. Neil Nathan:

The other major component of this model, is what Dr. Naviaux and others have called summer and winter metabolism, so if you’re not familiar with it, we are metabolically wired and have been for millennia from the time we were cave people, to metabolize differently during summer and winter. This is a built-in shift in metabolism that is seasonal.

So we utilized two different modulators. mTOR [Liu et al, 2020] is the master fuel sensor in the cell during summer months. It facilitates protein synthesis and growth using the new materials taken in from the environment and promotes rapid growth with net polymer synthesis. Those are fancy words for saying during summer food is plentiful, we eat more than we need to, and we get fat. May not be a nice way to say it, but that’s what happens.

In winter for millennia, the master fuel sensor changes to AMPK [Herzig et al., 2018], which optimizes energy efficiency and stimulates the recycling of cellular materials in autophagy. Again, a fancy way of saying, we take all of those materials that we made when we had all of these resources available to them. Now we recycle it, rework it, we lose weight, we rebuild our protein, we change things around. That was the nature of metabolism forever until recently, when we no longer have summer and winter metabolism in our wonderful modern world.

During summer, you can eat anything you want. You’re not limited to eating the game that you catch, or the berries you collected, or the root crops that you might’ve stored. Now, you want to eat strawberries in winter or summer or spring or fall, your stores have them. And that’s true for everything. So we no longer follow the wisdom of the lives that we were born into to live. We’ve lost that wisdom because we can eat anything. This winter metabolism is for regeneration and is basically anti-inflammatory, and the building up of fat cells when things are plentiful is more inflammatory in nature.

Now the take home message here is, if you’re constantly in summer metabolism, eating anything you want, whenever you want, you are prone to being inflamed. It is only when you get into winter metabolism that we can get into an anti-inflammatory mode and make the shifts that we need to. Next slide, please. This is tiny writing, and I never normally put up slides like that. I’m only putting it here to show you at the top of the slide is a green bar for winter metabolism at the bottom, there’s a red bar, which is inflammatory for summer metabolism. There’s a whole list of blue metabolites in the middle, and depending on need, we shift our metabolism of those critical things.

We do not need to work on the details, it’s beyond what I wanted to talk about today. Those things that we look at there, metabolically tell us where someone is in metabolism and what we need to do to fix it. This is Dr. Naviaux’s phenomenal model of the cell danger response. And although I’m trying to oversimplify it here, maybe not be doing a very good job of that. It’s much more complicated than that. We’ll get into some of the finer features of that as we go. Why don’t we leave this presentation at this point, Sandeep, and maybe talk about it, and then we can get into what this is connected to, which is particularly important from a therapeutic perspective.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Okay, great. So just to summarize this little piece here. I understand what you’re saying is that we really need to have this healthy balance between feast and famine, if you like. We’ve lost that, to some degree, by the plentiful availability of food and so on. By just keeping some degree of famine, not by necessarily starving totally, but by let’s say, intermittent fasting or having periods of time where we restrict our caloric intake, that can help reestablish this balance between winter and summer metabolism. Is that correct?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Absolutely correct. When you’re asleep at night, the body shifts more into a winter metabolism. If you prolong that by doing intermittent fasting, again, we can recreate a more normal metabolism and we’re not so stuck in that inflammatory summer metabolism issue. For someone who’s basically healthy, this is mildly irrelevant. But for someone who has a chronic inflammatory illness, which is chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, neurodegenerative diseases, autism, mold toxicity, Lyme disease, for all of these things, which are very prevalent in our world now, now it becomes relevant. This is something you need to know about.

0:25:28 – Mold Toxicity Introduction

Dr. Neil Nathan:

What I’m going to talk about next is mold toxicity itself. I’m going to do it briefly and not in the depth that I normally would because I just want to give the audience an overview of this. Then I’d like to finish with two very important conditions that mold toxicity triggers, which is limbic dysfunction and vagal nerve dysfunction. Those issues prevent some of our patients from healing in ways that it’s super important to understand it from the beginning. Now, we’re just beginning to understand these things. As of 10 years ago, we barely knew anything about mold toxicity. We’ve learned a lot since then. Five years ago, we barely understood the importance of the limbic system and the vagal nerve. Now we’re beginning to understand it. I can only imagine that there are many, many other major conditions triggered by mold and chronic infections we haven’t uncovered yet. We don’t know the whole picture, but we do know enough to help the majority of the people who come to with these medical issues. So let’s deal with mold.

Just to say that, and if I mention a product or a particular technique or something, I have no financial ties to any laboratory, any product or supplement that I may be mentioning. So just to know that I’m pretty clean about that.

I want to emphasize here that the science of the diagnosis and treatment of mold toxicity is in its infancy. As I said, there’s a whole lot we don’t know yet, but there are so many people suffering with mold toxicity that it’s important that you know, that we know enough that we can help most of you.

My perspective, please understand it, is that my patients are unusually sensitive and toxic and have been made so by the mold toxicity. I’ve been doing this a little longer than my colleagues. Almost all of my patients are referrals from colleagues who have been working with patients and those patients are not making progress. They’re stuck. My patients tend to be unusually sensitive and unusually toxic and so I gear what I’m saying to those patients.

That simply Mendocino Gold, the beautiful red or dendron that grows in our area in spring. So we’re going to focus on mold toxicity.

When we talk about mold, mold is much more than just what you think of the fungus that’s growing on a wall. It also, in addition to the fungi that you’re looking at there, it also includes a bunch of other things that I call toxic soup. This soup produces this inflammatory reaction that we’re working with. It’s important to understand that although we are emphasizing the fungi, because we can measure them more easily than anything else here, there’s more going on than that.

I also want to emphasize that for many, many years, when we talked about mold being toxic, we were really talking about mold allergy, which is fairly common. Rarely were we talking about mold infection or colonization. Mold infection per se is a life-threatening infection which requires hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics. That’s not what we’re talking about today. What we’re talking about is a fairly new concept. It’s only been around in medicine for 15 plus years, and has not really reached conventional medical awareness yet. So mold toxicity is different. I’ll give you the symptoms of it in a minute, just for a better overview.

We have learnt, slowly but painfully, that mold toxicity triggers or influences other conditions, which add to this inflammatory response beyond the scope of our talk, but they include mass cell activation, biochemical changes called porphyria, disfunction of methylation, reactivation of viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections. These things I talked about, which I’ll talk about more in a bit, limbic dysfunction and vagal nerve disinfection. This occurs in most of our mold patients, but not all. So to merely think about mold is not sufficient.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

So just to summarize what you’re saying there, I guess what I understand you’re getting at is it’s not just the direct effects of the mold that are important. It has all these different indirect effects on the whole system. So if you think of mold as just being the mycotoxins, for instance, you’re going to miss all of these other areas. Is that right?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Correct. The reason I’m emphasizing it is for many years, we did miss this and when we missed it, we missed an opportunity to help people who are staying stuck, because treating the mold alone didn’t get them where they want it to go. So key to this, from a physician standpoint, is to look for and treat the causes of the inflammation. If you treat something downstream, the cell danger response teaches us that if you try to get methylation fixed or fix the mitochondria, before the body has dealt with what is triggering to cell danger response, you’re going to not get anywhere. In other words, those mitochondria may need help, but they can’t be helped until you identify the cause of the inflammation, which is usually in my world, mold toxicity, Lyme disease, or other infections. So, that’s what we need to looking at.

0:31:55 – Mold Toxicity – Prevalence / Are all molds toxic? / Interactions with other conditions

Dr. Neil Nathan:

So what is mold toxicity? Let’s get started on that. In genetically susceptible individuals thought to be about 25% of the population. Mold toxicity is the inability of processing mold toxin, which leads to a series of biochemical changes called the biotoxin pathway, and now described as the cell danger response.

So are all mold toxic? No. In fact, most molds in our outside environment are not toxic at all. But, these named ones [Stachybotrys, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Chaetomium, Fusarium, Wallemia, Alternaria] are. Stachybotrys, which people call black mold, is not the only black mold. There are many other black molds and many people assume that if you see black mold that’s what you’ve got, but it doesn’t really work that way. These named molds are the ones that are primarily toxic for us.

We are exposed to hundreds of mold species out of doors, and unless you’re allergic to these, those are generally not going to bother you at all. What bothers us is when mold starts growing indoors, where it is unopposed by the natural world. What I mean by that is I’m talking to now from my home, basically in the redwoods of Northern California, right outside my window, there are hundreds of mold species sitting out here. They’re all have their own ecological niche. Some prefer the redwoods, some the tan Oaks, some the huckleberry bushes, some the rhododendrons or the azaleas and so on. Each mold species gravitates to its niche, ecologically. And it makes toxins not to make us sick, but to keep the other competitor mold species out of its environment.

Those things aren’t going to bother you at all. What’s going to bother you is if you are living in a water-damaged building, where mold is growing unopposed, there are no other natural enemies in that wall or on whatever surface that mold is growing. That is what will get us sick. We call that sick building syndrome and that’s the key here.

Important to know about mold, is that mold causes or interacts with other infections, particularly Lyme and viral infections. It directly causes or contributes to multiple chemical sensitivities. If you or a loved one has this, you probably have mold exposure. Please look for it. It causes electromagnetic dysthymia, a fancy word for sensitivity to EMF, which we’re seeing increasingly in our world. It also causes directly food allergies and auto-immunity. Virtually every autoimmune disease recognized is known to be triggered by mold toxicity. Whatever it is, mold makes everything else worse.

Now, let me comment that for those of you who have not heard of this, in the United States, I can’t comment on Australia, but in the United States, it is estimated that 10 million Americans are suffering to some degree with mold toxicity. This is not rare. This is an epidemic infinitely greater than HIV ever was. So, please understand that the symptoms that I’m going to relate, if you’re suffering with them, you may need to see some deep in this colleagues or other experts in the area to get checked for it. This is not rare.

0:36:10 – Mold Toxicity – Symptoms, Cytokines and Interrelated conditions

Dr. Neil Nathan:

So what symptoms are we looking for? I’m going to go over the symptoms for an overview. Then I want to focus on the symptoms that are particularly suggestive of mold toxicity so that you and your loved ones can look at this from a perspective of, Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize that. Maybe this is something I can do something about, because remember we can treat this. So major symptoms: fatigue, weakness, muscle aches, cramps, unusual pain, particularly ones that are ice pick or lightening bolt or electrical in nature, headache, sensitivity to bright light, blurred vision, chronic sinus congestion, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, diarrhea.

Joint pain, tendonitis, cognitive issues, difficulty with recent memory, assimilation of new information, word finding numbers, confusion, concentration, brain fog. In the recent pioneering work of Dr. Dale Bredesen on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, he has found that mold toxicity is one of the most common pieces of that, that when treated can reverse what looks like Alzheimer’s disease, it’s actually mold toxicity. Skin sensitivity, mood swings, appetite swings, sweating.

Numbness, tingling, vertigo, metallic taste in the mouth, excessive thirst, impotence, excessive vaginal bleeding, nausea, vomiting.

It’s a lot. Not everyone has every symptom, but many people have many of these. That is what has really frustrated patients and some physicians. Because, when a physician looks at all of these different symptoms, referable to different organs, if they don’t know about mold toxicity or Lyme disease, they’re likely to say, Oh, this is in your head. Nobody has all those symptoms, and they’re absolutely wrong. It’s very important that you understand, this is not in your head. This is a toxin in your body, which we can measure and we can treat. Super important to understand that.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

It seem like there’s a major gap there in the medical training, Dr. Nathan, doesn’t it? And that we don’t seem to be introduced to multi-system illnesses like this properly. We’re given the understanding that if something’s including every system, it must be psychiatric.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Correct. What’s affecting every symptom is the fact that mold or Lyme both create this by pouring inflammatory cytokines into our body, and the cytokines affect virtually every system in the body. It causes what I call iatrogenic, meaning physician caused PTSD. Meaning, most of the patients who come to me have been told by many physicians, this is in your head. Now the patient on some level knows it’s not, they may be anxious and they may be depressed, because of what mold toxicity does to the body. But that’s not the issue. They don’t need Xanax, and they don’t need Lexapro. That’s not the issue. They have a toxin and we’ve got to get it out of their body. So we need to be aware that many of the people who come to us have already been scarred by their experience with physicians who have been unresponsive because of a state of simply not knowing that these things exist.

I’m going to emphasize a number of conditions that make us look deeper from mold toxicity. Mold toxicity looks like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and something that I’m going to call atypical, which is quite common. When your specialist, be it a rheumatologist or a neurologist, tells you that you have atypical rheumatoid arthritis, atypical MS, atypical Alzheimer’s, atypical Parkinson’s, that means you have some features, but not enough to make them comfortable that yes, you have those illnesses. When they use that term, think mold and think Lyme. Asthma is often misdiagnosed as people who have mold toxicity. It looks like asthma. You’re wheezing, but you don’t respond to inhalers.

A host of psychiatric diagnoses are related to mold toxicity. Anxiety, unrelated to stress. This is not anxiety caused by a tax audit or visit from your in-laws. This is anxiety that comes out of the blue. You’re fine, you’re going through your day, nothing is going on. All of a sudden you’re anxious, and very anxious. Depressed, depersonalization, where you don’t feel like yourself. Someone else is in your body. It’s not you. Cognitive impairment. Every type of cognitive impairment imaginable, mood swings, irritable, angry, frustrated out of proportion to the way you normally handle it. OCD behaviors, obsessive compulsive behaviors are very directly related to mold toxicity. If you’ve got a psychiatric diagnosis and you’re not convinced it really fits you very well, think mold toxicity.

Unique symptoms that mold causes. Electrical shocks or sensations, ice pick type pains. paresthesia, which is a fancy name for numbness and tingling in places you’re not supposed to ever get numbness and tingling. A unique symptom that I get a lot is a perception of an internal vibration or tremor that is not seen on the outside. That is uniquely present with mold and the infection Bartonella. The other is an increased sensitivity to everything. Light, sound, touch, chemicals, EMF, everything, the limbic system which controls that sensitivity is profoundly affected.

If you know you have mold toxicity, and this is really intended to basically be an introduction to this whole subject, you need to see someone who knows what they’re doing. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of people who do know what they’re doing. I’m sorry, Sandeep. I know you’re trying to educate your Australian colleagues, but Australia is not a hotbed of mold toxicity knowledge. I’m sure you’re nodding like you know that. Sorry folks. But, Sandeep is trying. So, hang in there and learn from him.

0:43:53 – Mold Toxicity – Diagnosis (urine mycotoxin testing), Treatment (removal from mold, binders)

Dr. Neil Nathan:

I’m not going to go into the details, but the most important thing you can do, if you have a suspicion of mold toxicity, is to check your urine for mold toxins, which we call mycotoxins. It is by far the most specific and accurate test we have. There are others, but the one that is the most specific, if you collect your urine and there’s a ton of mold toxin in your body, you have it. If you have a history of mold exposure, which you may not remember, if you have the symptoms and you have mold toxins in your urine, you have it, we can treat it. A very quick overview of that is the basic elements of treating mold toxicity are number one, you must check your home and work environment for mold. If it’s there, you cannot get well if you’re continually being exposed to mold. I know that that is intuitively obvious, but it’s very difficult.

There are many, many circumstances in which it’s hard to leave your home. Financial reasons, family reasons, you name it. It can be difficult. So either you find an expert to remediate your home, or you bite the bullet and leave. Otherwise you’re not going to get well. The second component is we can give you specific binders, which are things like charcoal, clay, chlorella, Saccharomyces boulardii and medications that we have, like cholestyramine, all of these uniquely bind specific mold toxic elements. They are all buying the same ones. So you need to have a knowledgeable physician guide you, by selecting the binders that work for the toxins in your body. Now, for some people, even that’s not enough.

For some people it is. But if you are taking binders and are in a safe environment, and still not getting well, there’s a very strong possibility that mold has actually started to grow in your body, particularly in your sinus or gastrointestinal areas.

You may then need to, with the guidance of a trained physician, go on an antifungal regiment, which include antifungal materials, medications, natural materials, and biofilm dissolving materials, because mold makes biofilm and it keeps you from getting at it.

That is a very quick overview of a very complicated subject. Again, at the risk of promoting my own book, I have gone over this in great detail, that I hope is readable in my book, Toxic. It will cover this in a lot more detail.

0:47:34 – Vagal Nerve Dysfunction & The Polyvagal theory

Dr. Neil Nathan:

I apologize for the language. It’s not that simple, but I’ll try to make it simple. The vagus nerve is described by something that we’ve come to refer to as polyvagal theory. I’ll talk about that in a minute. The limbic system is the second system. So let my try to quickly give you an idea of what we’re talking about here, so that it makes sense, and you can understand what I’m babbling about.

The term polyvagal theory was coined by the physiologist Stephen Porges in 1994. It has to do with understanding that the vagus nerve is not a single nerve, but actually two branches.

For a very long time, we understood the autonomic nervous system as a kind of a balancing act between the sympathetic nervous system, which we call fight or flight, and the parasympathetic system, which is we think of as relaxation. For most of our patients who are ill, the sympathetic system predominates.

But Dr. Porges taught us that there’s a branch of the vagus nerve that we had not recognized anatomically or even more important, physiologically. So we now know that the vagus nerve has two components, which arise from two different brain regions, technically the dorsal and ventral vagus nerves. Now these evolved over millennia with the sympathetic system and they have different functions.

The dorsal branch is older, and it reflects a response to stress by immobilization. Think opossum, do you guys have opossums in Australia?

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Yeah. We just call them possums.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Okay, well we sometimes call them possums too.

Now, if you’ve ever seen a possum, when it’s threatened, it just rolls over on its back and it looks dead. We used to have them in my yard when I lived in Missouri. My dogs would go over and sniff them, and would lose interest and wander away. And then the possum, when the danger was over, would waddle off. That’s your basic immobilization. It’s a complete shutdown of how would we deal with stress.

That was our primitive system. Over time, we developed a second system, our fight or flight system, utilizing the sympathetic nervous system.

Now, this second system could regulate both forms of defence. I’m going to go over the technical details.

Key to this, is that in order for this nerve to work properly and to regulate our ability to recognize trauma or stress, it has to do primarily with our perception of safety versus danger in our environment. The primary way we pick it up is via vocalization, the sound of my voice. I could get very excited, or I could be calm. It’s obvious by my tone, how you could react to me, or what’s going on for me. Head gestures, facial expressions, all of these enabled mammals to experience play and intimacy. Without our looking at facial expressions and vocal tone, we have no idea who’s safe for us, and as a basic mammalian species, this is central to us.

Now, for those of us living in this age of COVID… don’t look at the slide, look at me. Okay. Here we are in the age of COVID. Now that’s not bad, it covers these muscles, the ones that we primarily look at. So if I put on my sunglasses, and I wear my mask, you have no idea how safe I am. You have no idea how to relate to me. So, what has happened to us globally in this horrible 2020 that we’ve all lived through, and the difficulties we’ve had to sustain and put through, what’s made it really difficult, is wearing a mask. Some people protect themselves with sunglasses as well.

I’m not sure how it goes in Australia, but in our country, we have mandatory mask wearing. If I go to the store or the supermarket, I can’t even recognize most of my friends. I can’t even know who I should say hi to or not hi to. It’s really changed the way human beings interface. We can’t hug, we can’t touch. We can’t see each other for who we are. That has profoundly affected our limbic systems, which for our patients with mold toxicity, were already affected.

This just describes the areas that the vagus nerve goes to. It goes to the neck, the throat, the heart, the lungs. And then the second part next. And it goes to our intestines. The vagus nerve controls all intestinal motility and infects a ton of intestinal functioning.

So for people who have marked intestinal issues, if the vagus nerve is affected and you don’t realize it, you don’t realize you’ve got to reboot it.

Why do we care? Virtually all of our chronically ill patients have come to feel betrayed by their body, by their families and by their physicians. They don’t feel safe. And as the CDR teaches us, when we are stressed and we are not safe, an organism cannot heal if they don’t feel safe. So what we’ve learned is, we have to reboot the vagus nerve, if we’re going to help our patients who have been sick for a long time.

Another issue that I just want to point out, because it’s relevant to Australia. This is my office seen through a wide angle fish lens. This is what our fires looked like from a hundred miles away, during the… You may or may not know. We had a phenomenally difficult time with wildfires that could not come under control for months. I live in northern California. That’s what it looked like from my clinic. And I know that Australia had another similar difficulty as well, which was profoundly affecting so many people. So, when we don’t feel safe, what do you think our vagus nerve does? It freaks out.

0:55:45 – Limbic System

Dr. Neil Nathan:

I’m going to shift limbic system. This is a diagram of the limbic system. Basically, it involves a number of brain structures, particularly the amygdala, the hippocampus, the thalamus, and the hypothalamus that work together. And what do they work on? Our perception of safety.

So the limbic system…This is what it’s composed of.

In the most simple terms, the limbic system regulates, modifies, and controls emotion, sensitivity, cognition, energy, and pain. Even at a quick glance, you can see that most of our patients with mold toxicity and Lyme disease, their limbic system is dysregulated. It just isn’t working right.

The limbic system interprets, sorts, and categorizes sensory input. It determines how we code, remember, and respond to those stimuli. It stores memories, regulates hormones, and is part of our primitive defense system.

It regulates the parasympathetic and sympathetic system, it’s the first responder to perceive threats, and it’s a protective gate. It filters stimuli and assigns importance to it. If you have multiple chemical sensitivity, within seconds of smelling something that your limbic system thinks is a threat, you will shut down. You might have fatigue, your muscles may collapse and get weak, you may have neurological symptoms, cognitively impaired, may get a headache. Any number of things may happen, literally instantly, as your factory mechanisms take in that scent and your limbic system immediately interprets that neurologically as, “Uh-oh, I’m in trouble here. I should not be near this scent.”

My take home message is, it’s imperative that you become aware of vagal and limbic dysfunction, because they’re treatable. There are several wonderful methods for rebooting the limbic system. The two that I use the most, are the Annie Hopper Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS). The other is the Ashok Gupta Amygdala Retraining Program. Both are excellent. I have used both in hundreds of patients with wonderful benefit.

If you have someone and you’re either a patient, or your family, or yourself, or a friend who is unusually sensitive, it’s not in their head, it’s in their nervous system. It’s super important that they work with one of these methods of rebooting to get that fixed.

Sometimes working on the limbic system alone is not sufficient, because the limbic system and the vagal nerve system work together, to tell us what’s safe. I’ll whip through a number of treatments that are wonderful for rebooting the vagus nerve.

There are exercises you can do. There’s emotional freedom technique (EFT), frequency specific micro-current (FSM), osteopathic manipulation, safe and sound protocol, which is a sound technique developed by Stephen Porges, who put the vagus nerve issue on the map. Another process called BrainTap, which uses light and sound stimuli to reboot the vagus nerve.

The take home message here is, number one, please understand this importance. Number two, please understand that it can be treated.

1:00:14 – Dr. Nathan & Dr. Crista practitioner training / Mold Illness Made Simple 2

Dr. Neil Nathan:

What I’ve just given you is a kind of a whirlwind overview of the cell danger response, mold toxicity, and some of the major things it causes. For those of you who are medical providers out there, and you’re interested, I’m going to be putting on with Jill Crista, a very well-respected naturopathic physician, a two day seminar, in which we’ll go over all of this material practically in much more detail. April 24th and 25th this year. If you’re interested, just go to my website, or email [email protected] to sign up, and we’d love to train as many people as we can.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

For those who are wanting to do more of a on demand course, I’m going to very briefly just talk about my program as well. With apologies for those have already heard this spiel.

What we call it is Mold Illness Made Simple 2. The first version we launched around four and a half years ago. And the reason for creating this course was, I felt that the information on mold illness in general, at that time, was far too complicated for someone, particularly someone who was feeling very overwhelmed and limbically activated, if you like.

First, it just started out as a tool for my own patients, to help them to understand and feel more reassured that they could grasp this illness and they could move forward, but it then moved on to being something that I’m offering for the wider community.

The new version now has 17 hours of lectures with animated slides. There’s nine modules, eight main modules and one bonus module and in those nine modules, there’s 30 lessons.

Now, the good thing is you can do it at your own pace. There’s no pressure to have to finish it in a particular time. However, I do think you have to really need to make a schedule of getting it done. There’s no use signing up to it and really not making the time. It’s really not going to achieve anything. If you can make time, let’s say one hour a week over 17 weeks, that’ll get it done.

The thing about it is, I believe what we’re doing here is introducing you to the main points you need to know about various types of mold related illness. The main type of mold related illness we talk about is CIRS, which is the inflammatory form of illness, which Dr. Nathan talked about as well, without using that name. We also talk about the other types of mold related illness, including colonization and allergy, which he spoke of.

Would you say, Dr. Nathan, that inflammation, do you still see that as being a very central part of mold toxicity?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Yeah, absolutely. It is the central part of mold toxicity, that the body gets stuck in an inflamed reaction and doesn’t know how to get out of it.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

This part one, really the majority of that is talking about inflammation and how the body gets stuck in inflammation, as Dr. Nathan says, how we can screen for CIRS, if you like, how we can diagnose it, including the new information on urinary mycotoxin testing, and even now serum mycotoxin testing, which is the latest kid on the block.

Then talking about CIRS treatment, which also includes the various forms of binders and so on, which Dr. Nathan has developed to as Emily Givler and Beth O’Hara, and how they’ve married that up.

Then the part two is talking about water-damaged buildings. This is one of the really key bits, is how to identify if you’re living in a water-damaged building? What are some of the signs? What are some of the things you can do? Should you do a mold sabbatical, for instance? Should you do some testing? Then, once you’ve identified that it is a water-damaged building, how to identify what good remediator firstly, and a good inspector, because that’s a really big part of the journey. If you don’t find a good inspector and a good remediator, you’re not going to get good results. I’m sure you’ve found that, Dr. Nathan, along the way?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

I have, and unfortunately good inspectors and remediators are harder to find them good physicians who know what they’re doing. To make it worse, having spent time with them, if you ever want to see a good cat fight, get to mold remediators to talk about the other’s way of doing it.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

It really can be a huge confusion. I believe that just doing the course, even for this part would be worth it, because if you make mistakes at that part of your healing process, they can be quite costly, I think. It’s important to find a good inspector and a good mediator, and it’s important that they work together well. Ideally they should be separate people. Then finally you may, in some cases, decide to move out, and that a place may not be remediable, how to actually find it and maintain a healthy home. That that’s also information that’s generally not out there.

Then in the bonus module, we talk about using biomarkers, such as the C4a. We didn’t talk about that much today. It’s really just for interest, it can be used as a way to determine a water-damaged building. For instance, going and testing C4a and TGF-beta before you’re in a building and then after being exposed to a building.

Then in lesson two, we talk about psycho-emotional and trauma, including limbic retraining and vagus nerve techniques. Some of the same information that Dr. Nathan has covered today.

In lesson three, we talk about CIRS and COVID-19. Specifically put to rest the idea that CIRS patients seem to be specifically at greater risk of COVID-19. We think that people can relax from that respect, and just put into place some basic precautions.

Then lastly, other causes of multi-system, multi-symptom illness. Sometimes it can go the other way, in that people can become a bit too obsessed with mold and miss other things that are important along the way. So we talk about some of those, such as SIBO and pyroluria, and heavy metals, and other things, just so that you’ve got those things in your net, so as you’re not missing any important factors.

That’s basically the main overview. Would you say that is important, Dr. Nathan, just to keep a wide net open, so that you’re always considering other factors as well?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Oh, very much so. I know that there are many people who think I’m the mold guy, but I don’t think I’m the mold guy. When I work with patients, I walk into each visit with no preconceived idea of what I’m going to think or find. Otherwise I think we’re cramming round pegs into square holes.

It’s super important to constantly put the patient’s symptoms into the larger context, as you’re saying. Thinking not just about mold toxicity, but any other toxicity, including heavy metal toxicity, that you just named. Toxicity is always based on not just a toxin, but on what we call toxic load. The total amount of toxins in that person’s environment. Infections, I mention Lyme a lot, because it doesn’t get much press, but there are other bacterial and viral and parasitic infections, which have to be considered.

The way the body handles this, with these toxins and infections, shifts our ability to make these hormones. So it requires, you’re calling it a wider net, and that’s a good way to look at that. You need to be open to the totality of what’s happening to that body so you can be dealing with all of it.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Great. Thank you. For those who are listening today, we are offering a 25% discount. The coupon is CDR, go along with the cell danger response. If you sign up at moldillnessmadesimple.com. When you’re signing up, if you input that coupon code, CDR, you will get that discount and it will be $224.25 (USD). Really, we want people to be able to access this material and get the best benefit out of it because I really feel that people can recover when they’re given the right information and when they get out of overwhelm. I believe the course can be one way of doing that. On that note, I’ll come out of this and start going into some of the questions.

1:10:16 – Using EFT with children

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

We have a bunch of questions here, Dr. Nathan. One is regarding EFT or emotional freedom technique. Would you say EFT is also important for healing children?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Can be. Emotional freedom technique is a process in which you’re taught how to tap specific acupressure points on your face while thinking about a stimulus that is stressful for you, and has actually turned out to be an extremely useful tool in many of our patients. It directly reboots the vagus nerve. I first heard about it back in the ’80s, and I thought, how is tapping on your face going to fix deep-rooted emotional trauma? “Come on, give me a break!” And so, I confess. I did not give it the time I should have. When it was explained to me several years ago that the acupressure points being touched actually have direct connections to the vagus nerve. The light went on and I went, ah.

These areas [taps forehead and under eyes] stimulate the fifth and the seventh, the facial and the trigeminal nerve. And it turns out that those two nerves go into the brain at a place called the nucleus coeruleus, which is where the ventral vagus nerve comes out as well. Literally, you can reboot the vagus nerve by tapping on these points in response to a stress. And you can directly reduce that stress. Literally, it’s a way of rebooting the nervous system. I’ve become quite fond of that technique. It can be taught to children. My experience has been primarily with adults.

1:12:21 – Mold illness and perimenopause/menopause

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Secondly, wondering if there’s been much done around the intersection of perimenopause and menopause and mold illness. So for instance, if people are suffering from mold related illness, does that tend to make the symptoms of menopause worse?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

It does. Mold toxins interfere with the pituitary’s ability to regulate hormones, which certainly affects menopause, estrogen, progesterone profoundly so that we see that women go into menopause perhaps earlier than we think they might have, if they have mold illness. If we don’t give them bio-identical hormones to meet that needs, they could be miserable if we don’t get them into better balance. An important point, and something that does need to be looked at in patients. If a patient comes to us with hot flashes, night sweats, cognitive impairments, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and low sex drive. Now those symptoms overlap many other things, but that tells me that that person likely has an estrogen deficiency, and probably will benefit from treatment.

1:13:41 – Vagal treatments
Mold Illness Made Simple - Vagal nerve treatments

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

The next one is, I’d love a list of the treatment options for vagal retraining that Dr. Nathan just referred to. Would it be helpful to put up a slide of that while you speak about it? Let me go ahead.

Well, we’ve put it under four different categories here. The first category is just lifestyle measures, such as yoga, Chi Gung and Tai Chi, meditation, deep breathing, cold exposure. So for instance, ice baths or shower, cold showers, and then just using compassion and gratitude in your daily life. So one example of doing that would be through using a gratitude diary. Secondly, anything that really impacts on the voice and throat area of the body, such as gurgling, gagging, singing, chanting, and humming. I know Dr. Klinghardt talks about humming a lot, playing a brass or wind musical instrument, and also craniosacral therapy, which is a really a type of osteopathic therapy, which relates to the cranium. Then regarding devices, we have what’s known as TVNS, alpha-stim, vibration, neurofeedback, et cetera. Would you maybe like to say a word about which devices you’ve found to be most helpful, Dr. Nathan?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Sure. I want to emphasize that all of these work. There’s a but here… but I find that if patients focus on devices that are more specific for the vagus nerve, I think they’ll get better results. To the caller who asked the question, the devices that I have found the best, and I will throw craniosacral therapy into that. It’s not a device, but it’s in my list. I like frequency specific micro-current. There is a very specific program for vagal treatment that I find particularly helpful here. I like a device called brain tap, which looks like a virtual reality headset with earplugs. It uses different frequencies of light and sound specifically to reboot the vagus nerve. I also like Dr. Porges’s auditory program called Safe and Sound. And I’ll also add neurofeedback in the form of a program that we call LENS, low-energy neuro biofeedback systems.

Those have been, in my experience, the most specific for doing that vagal nerve reboot that I think is so important for so many of our patients. All of these things work. We are going to ask our patients to do so much that, at some point, I try to be as specific as I can so that I don’t overwhelm them with, Oh my God, I can’t do all of that. That’s too much. That is the art of medicine here.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Great. Just very quickly on medications and supplements, there’s something called Alpha-GPC, which is a type of choline. Because Acetylcholine is one of the key transmitter molecules here, when it comes to the vagal nerve. Then we’ve also got Huperzine and Galantamine, which are medications which act on acetylcholine, and then just working on your gut motility and on the gut bacterial biome, if you like, of your gut. Nicotine has also been used as a gum, and in other ways for vagal toning.

1:18:07 – Time of neural/limbic retraining treatments

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Now the next question, which I think is a really good one. Is there any particular time when neural retraining programs or limbic retraining programs should be started in a treatment sequence for mold illness? Is there a magic time or is it individual?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

It’s not magic, but it should be done sooner rather than later. Now again, my specialty is treating people who are unusually sensitive or reactive. For those patients, often they can’t take binders that they may need. They may not be able to take, we didn’t talk about mass cell activation. They may not be able to take the supplements that they need to take for mass cell activation until they quiet their nervous system from both a vagal and limbic perspective, and feel safer. When in doubt, it should be the first part of treatment, not later. It can be later, but by then, it’s because you realize that that person is so overwhelmed that they have to quiet that system because they’re not going anywhere.

1:19:16 – Rope worm in mold toxicity

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Now a question about parasites. Really, the question is about rope worms specifically. Is your belief that that is a parasite or a biofilm or a combination of both?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Well, I’m actually not a believer in rope worms. I know that different people, particularly Dr. Klinghardt, have written about it extensively. I’ve had rope worms sent to pathologists for evaluation. What they always find is not a parasite, but a glop of sloughed off intestinal cells. Now I know that sounds dangerous, but the body is constantly sloughing off intestinal cells. If it does so in a pattern, when you look at the stool, it will look like a parasite. Having had it looked at, I haven’t seen a real parasite produce that. My opinion, and I don’t think this qualifies as science yet, but it’s based on the best science I can bring to the table, is that that isn’t something we need to be dealing with.

1:20:23 – Mold toxicity and cancer

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Okay, great. Do you find there’s any relationship between mold toxicity and different forms of cancer?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Well, there are several mold toxins, particularly aflatoxin, that have been implicated in liver cancer, for example. There are a few very specific cancers that we know are connected to some forms of mold toxicity. However, it’s not global. Having treated 3000 or more people with mold toxicity, I don’t see cancer very often in our patients. It’s not never. But certainly not in a proportion that’s disproportionate.

1:21:13 – Tests coming back negative

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Thank you. This person asks, I have numerous tests that are all coming back clear for me and can’t understand why, because mold seems to be the only thing that could be causing it. They haven’t been specific about which tests they’ve done. Can you think of a situation where someone might get all negative tests, but they actually have mold?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Yeah, I can. So first of all, mold toxicity, in everybody, interferes with the body’s ability to detoxify. Translation, you could have a boatload of toxin in your body and you can’t excrete it. You can’t get it out in your urine. A urine test may not pick it up, even though it’s there. I have had several dozen patients with negative tests who, six months into treatment, repeating their urine test, now it’s loaded with mold toxin. It’s an inability to excrete it, which gets better with treatment. If you have a strong suspicion, you have it, I would treat it. Another possibility is, there’s different mold tests. I don’t know which ones you had. For example, the Great Plains test is really good at measuring ochratoxin and mycophenolic acid and citrinin, but is not very good at picking up other toxins.

The Real Time test isn’t that good on ochratoxin, but it is really good at picking up aflatoxin, trichothecene and glial toxins. I personally get both tests because I get a much better picture of what’s going on. The technology of both tests is completely different. You can’t compare them to numbers. It just doesn’t apply. Patients get freaked out, “Well, why does one say I don’t have ochratoxin and one says I do?” Well, because it’s better at measuring. It’s not rocket science. So it’s important to get the correct test, but also to know that even if your test is negative, and I’ve seen it, you may still have mold toxicity. If you and your physician have a strong sense that that’s the case, treat it. Then as you get better, then your body will be able to get those toxins out. You’re going to see it. You go, “ah, I knew it all the time.”

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

That’s very helpful. For those in Australia, you can get the Great Plains laboratory testing through RN Labs or Australian Biologics, and you can get the real time labs testing through NutriPATH. So it actually is quite accessible here.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Okay, great. So, if you’re working with it, get both. You’ll learn a lot more that way.

1:24:05 – Moldy vehicles and incidental locations

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Okay, excellent. Sometimes the problem is, a person could have moved out of their home or found that the testing of their home wasn’t too bad. The problem is they’re getting exposed to mold in their vehicle. So, could you talk a little bit about how one might address that situation, where you’re suspecting that your vehicle might be the source of mold toxicity, or mold exposure, rather?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Yeah, it happened to me. My wife had inadvertently left the windows of her car down during a rain storm. The carpet got wet and over time mold grew, a lot of mold. By the time we realized what had happened and tested the vehicle, using mold plates, it was not remediate-able. So, like a home, sometimes you have to let it go. My wife loved her car and it was with great sadness that we had to get a new car because it was toxic. At the time, both she and I were mold toxic. It was a source that we could not negotiate with. Sandeep, I have had mold toxicity myself and successfully treated it. So cars can get it. They do need to be tested. It is another source of mold. You can’t negotiate with it. Breathing in mold spores — can’t get well.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Exactly. Do you find that other incidental exposures can be significant in some patients? So for instance, let’s say someone’s going to a gym that appears to have a mold problem, or they’re shopping in a particular organic shop or something like that, which has a mold problem. Would you say in some people that can be an issue?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Absolutely. It can. If you regularly go to a relative’s house that is moldy, that’s a big one for many of my patients, or a friend’s house. Many schools, colleges don’t have funds to repair leaks when they occur. Children are particularly susceptible. I see a lot of college kids who got mold toxic living in dorms because they never got remediated properly. So, any place that you go into that you feel worsened, probably has mold, needs to be avoided.

1:26:42 – End with words of hope

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

We’ll maybe finish with just a little bit of a message of hope for our listeners who are maybe struggling with getting away from mold and just finding that it’s so difficult. As you say, it can be in so many different places that we’re exposed to. Sometimes it feels that recovering can be so challenging. Do you have some words of hope for people listening, in terms of recovery?

Dr. Neil Nathan:

I always hope I have words of hope. Number one, we can diagnose it. Number two, we can treat it. Over time, if you get the mold out of your body, you become less reactive. You’ll always be more prone to reacting to mold toxin than other people. But over time, you will become less and less reactive to it. You can go into a moldy environment and get no symptoms whatsoever. So I think my message of hope is, this is curable. This is something that you don’t want to put your head in the sand and go, “Oh, I’ll just live with this.” I assure you, you can live with it, but not happily. This is no fun, having mold toxicity. So, be proactive, get it diagnosed, get it treated. It often doesn’t involve just you. Your family may be involved, or family members. Take it seriously. It’s worth it. I’ve helped literally thousands of people get their lives back. And you can too.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Great. Thank you so much, Dr. Nathan. I think you’ve introduced a whole bunch of extra options now, which is making this whole area of recovery from mold more hopeful. We now have things like limbic retraining. We have treatment of mass cells. We have vagal nerve retraining. I think all of these different options you’re introducing should mean that more and more people are able to recover, and less people should be getting stuck in this illness. That’s really our biggest hope, that people recover from this.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Absolutely. That’s true. What you’re saying is absolutely true. We have, over the last 10 years, learned a great deal more. We are able to help a lot of those people who are stuck, recover completely.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Great. Well, I’d like to thank you so much, Dr. Nathan, for sparing your time for this webinar, and educating our listeners. I’d like to encourage our listeners and viewers to keep in touch with Dr. Nathan through his website, neilnathanmd.com, and check out his book, Toxic, and also his upcoming webinar.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Sandeep, it’s always a pleasure visiting with you. And I hope this has been helpful for your listeners.

Dr. Sandeep Gupta:

Thanks so much.

Dr. Neil Nathan:

Yeah. You’re very welcome. Take care.