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Clinical Pearls For Mold/Mycotoxins We’re Seeing In Practice with Christa Biegler, RD and Jenna DeKok, MS, RD

Picture of podcast cover art with Christa Biegler and Jenna DeKok: Episode 337 Clinical Pearls For Mold/Mycotoxins We’re Seeing In Practice with Christa Biegler, RD and Jenna DeKok, MS, RD

This week on The Less Stressed Life Podcast, my co-pilot, Jenna DeKok joins me to tag team the topic of how we approach addressing mold with our clients. We talk about where mold enters the body, dead-ringer symptoms, testing and more! We want to give the disclaimer that we are not environmental experts. We are here to offer empowerment and to address mold within our client's bodies. 


  • The most common places mold enters the body
  • Have you had a historical exposure or is it a current exposure?
  • Common mold symptoms we see in practice
  • Mild vs severe mold symptoms
  • Bringing awareness to mold symptoms
  • Mycotoxin testing - to test or not to test
  • Barriers to overcoming mold
  • Become aware of mold symptoms
  • Different systems within the body mold can affect

More episodes about mold:



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[00:00:00] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Stress is the inflammation that robs us of life, energy, and happiness. Our typical solutions for gut health and hormone balance have let a lot of us down. We're over medicated and underserved. At The Less Stressed Life, we're a community of health savvy women exploring solutions outside of our traditional Western medicine toolbox and training to raise the bar and change our stories.

[00:00:26] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Each week, our hope is that you leave our sessions inspired to learn, grow, and share these stories to raise the bar in your life and home.

[00:00:45] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: All right. Today on The Less Stressed Life, Jenna and I are doing an update sharing what we're doing in a topic that we see a lot. And I really want to come from a place of empowerment. One of the challenges is that this topic especially is not always coming from a place of empowerment. It can be a place of fear.

[00:01:04] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And I know some of my clients would even agree that it has made them feel really unsafe, which is a huge piece of healing in general, feeling Having a wonderful life. If you're not feeling safe where you are in some way, if you feel like your home is challenging your health, it's a problem.

[00:01:23] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And so , we wanted to do this update. We've done many episodes dancing around this topic, talking about it in different ways. And on that note. I will also include, we will also include in the show notes, a reference to all of our other episodes or episodes around molds. We have a whole playlist, that teases them out for you.

[00:01:42] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: We actually have playlists for like women's health and hormones. We have playlists for eczema. We have playlists for some very nerd you are a clinician and you want the nerdiest stuff we've got. Or just a savvy person, we've got lists for that as some of my favorite nerd episodes. Explicitly, I'd love to reference 246 and 248.

[00:02:01] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: 1 of them is like, what if it's a mild to moderate mold issue? And in that 1, I know I would go over symptoms pretty well. I go over a story of a little bit of mold in a, in some carpet that we had in a place and how it was just triggering some fungal symptoms for me. And the whole purpose here is again, empowerment, because I think that mold, we coexist with it and it can be an issue at any time for anyone.

[00:02:27] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And unfortunately, our, the problem with that is that we're humans are tend to be reactive instead of proactive. And so I hate to say, oh, yeah, it's learning just in case or is someone used to say to me just in case learning or just in time learning. And a story I have is About a year and a half ago, we had a record hail storm where I live.

[00:02:47] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: The entire town got a new roof and new windows, but through that experience, through having softball size hail at my home, which I was really lucky, it wasn't much, much worse. It did compromise my structures in my home enough where things just seeped in. So I had three or four water intrusions within the course of a year and anything that, and there's so many misunderstandings around how mold develops and all of those things that.

[00:03:12] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: We just wanted to do a refresher, tell you kind of some things we're seeing. And help you put these pieces together, as one of my clients says, what's going on? Is this more common? Like, why do all these people have this issue? Wasn't this always there? It's a great question.

[00:03:28] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And I hope we can cover that one as well. I've talked about that with other people. And in short, a one sentence answer to that a little bit is To be perfectly honest, the natural medicine space was obsessed with the topic of Candida from like the nineties through the two thousands, and Candida diets and restricting sugar.

[00:03:46] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And I have to say what was it? The root cause of that fungal overgrowth. And there can be many things. It doesn't have to be this is just unusually common and it destroys a lot of systems. And the reality is if you can just know it, you can. Be better faster. And that's all I want.

[00:04:02] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I just don't want people relapsing. I don't want people stuck wondering why they're stuck with something. Am I sure that I had people in the past that we did not catch this on a million zillion percent, absolutely. In years past. So sometimes. Once you learn about something or once you understand something fully, you unsee it anymore.

[00:04:23] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's a blessing and a curse. It's yeah, I won't get more. Maybe I'll get more samples. But sometimes I see things on people and I'm like, Oh, I wonder how their periods are. It looks like they're not metabolizing estrogen very well based on where their acne is on their face. Now, I don't think about that a whole lot, but it is one of those, body assessments.

[00:04:39] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So all of that to say. Okay. Here we are welcome back, Jenna, who's been featured a lot as my co host on the podcast, which is really appropriate and cool. Cause she's a co pilot and co host in my private practice. Let's just less stress life nutrition. We really pretty much share the work and it's a beautiful relationship because we are very different in a great way.

[00:05:03] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Like any gaps and deficiencies I have, she really fills in. And so I love that. It's a really beautiful thing to be different. So welcome back, Jenna. We're talking about mold today. 

[00:05:14] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Awesome. Yeah. I love to dive into this topic. 

[00:05:18] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Even though last time we had this conversation, we met, we're hot.

[00:05:22] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: We're like psychos. We're always like updating something or almost ad nauseum. But we were updating, we have a pretty robust resource document is one of our main hubs around supporting clients with us right now always being adjusted and whatnot, but we did a major overhaul on it in the fall, just a couple of months ago.

[00:05:39] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And I remember she's okay, we're going to stop talking about this now and calling this topic, but here we are. It's just one of those things I just want you to understand it. So here we. Go, so we talked about that. The goal here is empowered approach and do we need to give any other disclaimers?

[00:05:54] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Jenna? 

[00:05:55] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Yeah, so I think it's huge. Obviously what we work on in the integrative functional health space, recognizing that. Yes, we're helping you address mold, but we're helping you address mold internally. So I think huge disclaimer. We're not environmental experts. We love learning about that because obviously.

[00:06:13] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: You can't heal if you're having that active exposure. So we have learned things along the way for sure, but just remember we're not environmental experts here. 

[00:06:23] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And remember this comes up quite often , and let's tell you what has happened in times is there's a couple scenarios.

[00:06:30] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: There's 3 main scenarios. Maybe you've had a historical mold exposure. That was me. I definitely had mild to moderate mold exposure as a, at least a high school kid living in a basement. Sometimes you just really examine your history. You realize that, oh, maybe the reason my detoxification was a challenge.

[00:06:48] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Maybe the reason this, we all had this 1. Presentation of rashiness, was related to that. Maybe the reason we really all struggle with all this fungal overgrowth in the family was actually related to that topic. So you can have a historical exposure, which can somewhat make you a little bit of a canary.

[00:07:05] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: don't know if this is a great analogy, but a canary in a coal mine, which means that if you get into a house later, you might have a little bit of a resident colony. And that's not really a problem. That's actually, I would say like a great forte of ours, right? Mild to moderate exposure. You're not unstable.

[00:07:18] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's just causing a lot of annoyances in your life and in an interference and in normal physiology it impedes some functions. So it's causing a lot of symptoms. We'll talk about those later. So that's one scenario. So that's an ideal scenario to be perfectly honest, not exposed. The next scenario that I sometimes run into is, there's really no clear evidence, it's not super in your face in the initial intakes as we keep going and people are getting.

[00:07:46] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Better really well, and everything is great. And we've addressed this. And then what happens is you pull them off of supportive things because they shouldn't need them. They start to slide back and it starts to look really moldy. It was like, it must've been subtle enough. We could overcome it, but not when there's a constant exposure, meaning like they're inhaling it.

[00:08:07] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Like the most common place that it would enter the body. And we'll talk about this when we talk through symptoms, which I think is the really important part. Is probably should have started there. Do we even care about this topic? But, whatever. So a lot of times the most common places we contract mold is either through that ear, nose and throat stuff, right?

[00:08:22] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So you're inhaling it or through touching, right? So those are just a couple of ways that make the most sense for how we're taking it into our body. Anyway, so that's second. So first scenario is as a, you had a historical exposure and you don't have a current exposure. That's ideal. Current exposure is not great.

[00:08:39] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Second scenario, and this is the word, I think probably the most defeating or sucky one is that if you had a current exposure, you didn't know for sure. But you were getting better and then you come off of things and you go backwards. So then it's shoot, it's like you get back to square one and some, not fully, and , there's tools for mitigation, but it's not really ideal because there's not really a great answer there.

[00:09:03] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And unfortunately, because it's a biotoxin, it truly is a nasty biotoxin. So it causes a lot of trouble. And then the third scenario that I'll see is that someone does have an active exposure and we figure that out literally immediately. And I try to be I'm a crazy person in a good way. I hope where I'm like a bloodhound, just double check, like triple checking always because I don't know about you.

[00:09:25] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I care the most about results and achievement. And so I don't want that scenario number two to happen. I don't really want to see that anymore. That's not fun. And so what I really want is to catch that as early as possible. If someone seems to be, we've got someone right now, it's a really it's just really in my brain, really like that was a, in your face, these symptoms.

[00:09:43] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I was like, man, this looks like, it looks like this. And I know there was a lot of other history there too. It's just it's not usually always just one thing, just lots of stuff that was compounding, but that person knew that they had water damage to that home before they moved in. It was quote unquote remediated.

[00:09:59] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It, everything was supposedly ripped out and then they moved in. And then guess what happened? A ton of issues started for them. So that's what I'm looking for is okay, so that's where someone feels a little stuck. And the point that was a lot of jabbering for me to say, that's when someone is can you help us navigate this in our home, our environment?

[00:10:19] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And so I do want us to talk a little bit about what we've seen now environmentally and where we currently are. And just a few weeks ago, there was an episode, second episode with Michael Rubino and we actually have a couple of really good ones recently, right? Dr. Emily Kiber talks about her remediation.

[00:10:34] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: She says in that, I think she either says that there are in her master class because we went through this together recently. She said she had at least 5 mold inspectors and none of them found mold. She had mold in every house. They ripped it out. And then Michael Rubino said a couple of weeks ago, he would not hire.

[00:10:51] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Dr. But a few inspectors. And so as we have had people have inspectors, it has been a very underwhelming experience for the client. So our resources now, again, because we want people to get better in their body, we're not environmental people. Our resources are helping equip our clients with some tools. We try, right?

[00:11:13] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: We're, we cannot, can't come over and do it. Like literally not pros. There's a huge need for pros in this arena. But trying to help people connect them to some tools so they can maybe DIY look around. And I do think that Dr. Khyber does a good job with that in the previous episode, but like about a month ago.

[00:11:31] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So definitely check that one out. That was a huge, I feel, gap that was filled with that episode. But this, the rest of this episode, we will talk about how to recognize it. What we're doing with it. And we can talk about just kind of anything you want to talk about Jenna. So maybe should we start to talk about, some symptoms of mold, and I'm going to let you talk about, some of the areas, like the top level areas that it can affect. But before you do, I just want to mention mild versus severe. Severe mold is going to look fairly unstable, I would say. It's going to look massively like mast cell or like pots, which is which by the way, COVID really exacerbated pots, unfortunately, which is.

[00:12:16] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Post orthotic tachycardia syndrome. It's like really unstable blood pressure. Essentially you can't keep it up. So you can feel like you're going to pass out at any minute. Severe allergy. It's like horrific. That's like kind of an unstable one. And there are experts out there. Richie Shoemake does a ton of training.

[00:12:33] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I think his website surviving mold. And there are. rows in that arena that do really unstable cases. Our expertise is the people who would, those doctors might disregard these clients as mold. Like they would say Oh, that doesn't seem very serious. It's more like mild. That's our jam where someone doesn't really think it would be a problem, it's showing up as this really chronic rash.

[00:12:55] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's just annoying. That wasn't there before type thing. So just mentioning. The severity matters a ton. And so we're looking at that mild to moderate, not so much the severe. And why not the severe? It's a slow go, man. It's just, it's tough. It's real unstable. Yeah, it's a tough, it's a tough one.

[00:13:15] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And we can heal mild to moderate usually a lot faster, which is what we like. Okay. So Jenna, tell us about the different systems that mold can affect, which is spoiler alert. Pretty much everything. Yeah. 

[00:13:28] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So like Chris's shared spectrum of symptoms, really, we can see with mold because again, Mold can affect so many different areas of the body, so I'm going to break these down into a couple of different categories of some like a dead ringer mold symptoms to us, or we're assessing when clients are coming in.

[00:13:46] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: 1st, and foremost, let's just check off the list, all the different kind of yeast presentation. Athletes, but toenail fungus, vaginal infections, anything reoccurring fungal wise, definitely. Dead ringer there, and it's important to note, though. So if these are reoccurring more than likely, they're reoccurring because you have that sluggish metabolism.

[00:14:09] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So the body isn't what do you want to say? Best or the body's an optimal host to allow fungus to continue reinfecting 

[00:14:19] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: or an example of that would be like underactive thyroid. But unfortunately, there's all these caveats where you can go get blood. And this is our zone. We live in the gray zone and this is ideal.

[00:14:31] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: If you go to the doctor and you feel like you have those sluggish thyroid symptoms, maybe they're mild brain fog. Maybe you feel like you have ADHD. Maybe you feel like sometimes your hands and feet are cold. Maybe you feel like you have dry skin, dry hair, dry feet things like that, even like occasional constipation.

[00:14:47] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Those are all like. Duh hypothyroid symptoms, but those are maybe not going to show up on blood testing. No problem. I don't think that's probably the most useful, but I'm just mentioning because, as soon as I say that word, people are like, Oh, I had that tested. Maybe, or if it doesn't show up there.

[00:15:04] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So I just want to mention your thyroid can be sluggish without it showing up on blood testing. Ideally that's optimal. Because our toolbox is not. Super deep conventionally anyway. So when you have that sluggish metabolism or thyroid, it allows for fungal overgrowth more. And would you specify vaginal infections a little bit more, all the types of vaginal infections?

[00:15:24] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And just, if you're having recurrence of those how that can be fungal oddly. Yeah, 

[00:15:30] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: so the BV, bacterial vaginosis we have the yeast infection specifically, and I don't even know if you want to give some lip service to not even necessarily it being more internal, but in that vulva area, we see some skin issues going on as well.

[00:15:44] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So just something, 

[00:15:45] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: and urinary tract infections also, I would say. And part of this is because It's not only mold, but the next piece with it affecting the immune system is that there are things that will pop up. And I didn't even put this on our list of things to discuss, but occasionally, and this is usually a little more severe because it's, Mold is suppressing the immune system.

[00:16:05] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Stuff will happen. You can talk about that. But one thing that will happen is viruses will really come up and take hold because viruses can lay dormant for ever. But when your immune system is suppressed, they can come up and cause issues. So maybe if you ever hear about abstain bar virus, which can be a pretty big trigger for Hashimoto's or thyroid, antibodies being elevated or like more hard would be herpes infections, which you could have cold sores up here on your face, on your body, on your tongue, on your everywhere. That can be a big one. So will you share more about how mold suppresses the immune system?

[00:16:37] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Yeah, definitely. So suppressing the immune system can lead to a lot of different things. So you might notice allergies specifically, or you might notice later in life developing allergies, especially to molds. Chris already talked about POTS and then also that mass cell activation syndrome, MCAS.

[00:16:53] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Frequent illness, of course. So yeah, one thing we're definitely screening for is how frequently are you getting sick because 

[00:17:00] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: it's more than once or twice a year. It might be a little too much, but I think that's why you have to really qualify a lot of these symptoms because if you've gotten sick quite frequently, you might think it's normal for you.

[00:17:12] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Oh, definitely. 

[00:17:13] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: And then, so also immune system, obviously that affects how well we're tolerating different foods. So if you have or are experiencing any sort of food sensitivities, particularly more of that mold related or. I guess sensitivities we think associated more with mold include grains, reacting to high histamine foods, oxalates, dairy 

[00:17:36] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: as well.

[00:17:36] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So yeah. 

[00:17:37] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah. And gut stuff, even though that can be a lot of other stuff too. Okay. So we talked a little bit about how mold enters the body. So talk to us about how that affects lots of systems. 

[00:17:48] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So a lot of, I feel like. Fungal symptoms again to us are really related to that your nose and throat area.

[00:17:55] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So let's just start listing symptoms here. Most people are aware of the oral thrush or just having that white coating on your tongue. We specifically also see individuals sensitive to citric acid, getting tongue ulcers. 

[00:18:07] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah, it just hurts like hell. 

[00:18:09] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Sores. 

[00:18:10] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: In regards to the nasal passage, I feel is huge.

[00:18:14] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So if you're having chronic or just reoccurring sinus issues, definitely. We'll get into, mold there. Noting just some sores popping up around the nose. And I think Krista, she's also been there with that situation. 

[00:18:28] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's almost indiscernible, right? Like it's probably not really severe.

[00:18:32] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It was like when I would leave the cabin with the mold in the carpet, I just have these little teeny tiny, like you, you couldn't really see them, but I could feel them, where it's like a little tiny teeniest piece of like pin sized piece of skin, like scabbing over around my nostrils. Even in nosebleeds, which is not on our list can be but carry on.

[00:18:52] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Yeah. Also just experiencing like an unproductive sore throat. So it'll like reoccur or when you wake up in the morning, it might be more prevalent and then go away throughout the course of the day, any sort of itchy ears, ringing in ears as well. And then connected to the throat again, if you're constantly clearing your throat, big fungal kind of indicator there.

[00:19:14] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah. And again, I've experienced most of these, so I get it and there's something convenient or inconvenient about experiencing most of the symptoms your clients have. It's like a totally different understanding and empathy. It's Oh I understand it completely differently. 

[00:19:28] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: And I feel. Some 

[00:19:30] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: of these are just or how would you want to say they're subtle like I noted with a sore throat It'll go away.

[00:19:35] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So you're like, oh, you don't think much of it. Yeah, it's not Impacting 

[00:19:40] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: your everyday life. 

[00:19:41] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's not ruining your life. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and I'll mention another one That's a little more severe and it can depend if you take some things and you feel like you get like the sweats or flu like symptoms and that would be if you're Probably having a pretty significant exposure or provoking something that's like dead ringer mold.

[00:20:00] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's you're not, you don't really have the flu, but man, it sure felt like you had the flu for half of a day. That's like when it's bad, I would say. All right. An area we work with a lot is the skin. So there's a couple of huge systems and I always talk about these are always systems anyone can support, but these are systems that mold attacks.

[00:20:16] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So talk to us about those systems. 

[00:20:18] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Yeah, so 

[00:20:19] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: since we're affecting just that overall detox burden, mold does, and also the adrenals, so skin, just seeing rashes, particularly a couple areas of the body, so at the nape of the neck, on your scalp, any dry, itchy, flaky scalp affecting the different lymph areas of the body, so armpits, groin, so forth.

[00:20:40] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Particularly, too, around the mouth, we see more fungal related rashes going on, and then also More so I think linked with the adrenals just being depleted, seeing skin presentations pop up on the hands. 

[00:20:52] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: For years, I've been recommending microbalance products to my clients to help them clear mold from their homes and bodies. The creator of microbalance is a practicing ear, nose, and throat doctor that's tested their unique formulas to kill mold, but not other microbes, because he's found that over 90 percent of those with chronic sinus issues can have fungal or mold issues in the sinuses.

[00:21:13] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I've even found small amounts of mold can cause everything from skin rashes to food sensitivities, throat clearing, and so many other symptoms. So if you'd like to try anything from microbalance, you can get 15 percent off by using the code less stressed or by downloading our free checklist of 10 easy ways to reduce mold in your home at ChristaBiegler.

[00:21:31] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: com forward slash mold. And I'll also include the code there. I love micro balances, sinus sprays, and their laundry additives to just remove smells and molds from fabrics. They really do help make things easier, whether it's trying to test your home for mold or just reduce the exposure in your everyday appliances.

[00:21:48] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So you can grab that checklist at ChristaBiegler. com forward slash mold, or use the code less stressed at microbalance. com for 15 percent off your order.

[00:21:58] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah, I would say historically for a very long time, we've always talked about hand eczema, which is a really frustrating one being super linked to stress and the nutrients depleted by stress a hundred percent.

[00:22:10] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: But I would say in recent years, I do see more mold as a contributor, but mold just, really tanks those adrenals. So on the same note, if your adrenals are. In tough shape, you are going to be hypersensitive to things. You're going to overreact to stuff, supplement, other things. There's just going to be a lot of nervous system dysregulation that would cause that hypersensitivity.

[00:22:31] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And then for some people you can have a lot of fatigue. You and I have to really think about my history. And I don't have to really think like I did not have the energy to clean up the kitchen, after dinner it just really didn't. And there can be multiple causes of fatigue, but pretty significant fatigue.

[00:22:47] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: But then there's, other people and I'm talking to general adrenals, not just mold. It's just like mold taxes, adrenals, but guess what? Stress taxes, adrenals for sure. And then there's those high performers, which I also have suffered. From now that personality trait and you just push through and you're like, I'm fine.

[00:23:04] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: But sometimes there's like a little bit of a crash, where it's like I could sleep longer on the weekend. I don't even know if that's a great example, but it can be Just some little things that again it's almost like people bring it to the table when you're first meeting them and interview.

[00:23:15] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And I'm like, Oh I know exactly what's happening here. We're pushing this on under the rug. We're just cruising through this. And we're almost, we're muscling through the adrenal challenges. And for me, it looked like challenged thyroid stuff, relapsing gut stuff chronic burping.

[00:23:32] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Again, I'm just talking more about adrenals, not necessarily mold. Carry on. What are some other cool things we've seen? 

[00:23:38] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Yeah. So 

[00:23:38] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: interestingly with addressing mold, we've seen progress on overcoming Raynaud's. So how your fingers when they turn white, lose that circulation, so forth. Just, yeah, I feel like very interesting symptom there.

[00:23:50] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: You want I 

[00:23:53] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: would say definitely that, but those two can be related. And I was just doing an interview on someone yesterday and I was assessing for mold, but the symptoms were a little more, so mold could cause them, could be a cause of some thyroid stuff. It could be the root cause of it, or the adrenal stuff can be root cause of thyroid and all of the other nutrient deficiencies could be a root cause of thyroid, but the sluggish thyroid allows that fungus to just thrive. Really well. And finally, we just talked about the fatigue, but sometimes if all of that's intermingled with some joint pain, you may consider cause joint pain, especially and this is all detox burden or that, or what I'm talking about is detox burden, especially if you wake up with a little bit of stiffness and then it gets better throughout the day, supporting your drainage detox is usually going to resolve that.

[00:24:39] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And then this one's a little more severe, but periodic nausea just in general means that drainage detox bile function is taxed, is overwhelmed. And so you're not going to be breaking down those fats and it's going to cause you to have periodic nausea. And it's not going to look like all the time always, right?

[00:24:56] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's going to look in, but I'm going to say, Oh why is your bile? Why is that taxed? And then something else we're not really bringing up, but that's definitely a pain point is. Hormonal skin stuff. So when your detox drainage bucket is really full, then when your body's clearing out hormones, it doesn't want to use for your monthly menstrual site, just dumping things out, there's going to be a little backup on the freeway.

[00:25:17] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So you're just going to see things rise and fall or feel like intermittent flares. So tricky. All right, so we all want an easy button. We talked a little bit earlier. It's can you just come and fix it, right? In the environment. And so people sometimes want that easy button in their body too, which is fine.

[00:25:34] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: But let's talk about like, when do we test and what does it even tell us? 

[00:25:39] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Yeah, definitely. 

[00:25:40] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: So if we're going to test, I feel for some clients, again, we just covered all the wide variety of symptoms, what mold can look like. So some people are okay, just going based off their symptoms, what we learned there.

[00:25:53] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Others, if you're not 100 percent sure you, need that black and white data, then we definitely will explore testing. So that's mycotoxin testing. What else do we want 

[00:26:04] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: to share? 

[00:26:04] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah sometimes people get a little stuck on this or what is this? Is this Candida, is this fungus, is this mold, is it mycotoxins?

[00:26:10] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: If you see a mold, it's giving off lots of mycotoxins. It's a toxic burden. It's the waste from that living organism at that time. You don't have to see it. Not all mold is. Black mold, which is stacky botrys charterum. And then there's a lot of my gut checks and given off from stacky botrys. There's white mold.

[00:26:27] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Again, we're not like experts on how it all appears, but definitely there can be white, green, et cetera. And one of the other main things is if something was wet for more than 24 hours, it probably grew a mold and something that other episodes have already covered, but I just want to reiterate very briefly and that I really had to struggle through also with a little bit of a, with a water damage situation this summer.

[00:26:49] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Is that if that drywall gets wet, it is between dust and drywall and like paper products that is like ideal mold food. It's just their carb. They love their carb lovers. And just something to consider if something was ever, people will often be like that was dried out. And it's a little bit tricky, in one area.

[00:27:05] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah. Yeah. Testing, is just going to tell us if it's in the body and it's going to show us the severity. There's a lot of discussion. And I was helping some clinicians with this online the other day. They were like, what do you provoke? I totally provoke mycotoxins into the urine. So what is it?

[00:27:21] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: How do you do a mycotoxin test? There are blood tests. We use urine tests. We have done split testing. I talk about that. And in that earlier episode, I was referencing, I literally did two tests out of the same urine. The results were hilarious. Totally different. It was interesting. But they were both very positive.

[00:27:37] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So there was that, but if you have a historical exposure, your body can shove this away in the tissue. Cause it's like trying to protect you as always. So I want to provoke that with some nutraceutical, maybe glutathione, maybe with sweating to try to get that out of the tissue and into the body.

[00:27:53] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Now, some people can feel a little yucky during that time. Not always, but if they do probably a pretty good sign, we got an issue. And then you just take first morning urine. So it's most concentrated. Your body's doing a lot of cleanup. Duty overnight, right? So it's pulling and you're going to have a concentrated urine in the morning.

[00:28:09] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So that's where you pee into the cup and you send it into the lab. That's how we do it. It is measuring mycotoxins. There are varieties. I have looked at all of the tests that I know of the urine tests on the market, and I have compared them and I have been on them. The one I'm using now, which are the one we're using now vibrant, it just has the most mycotoxins and gives us the best results and no one needs, have I been there where I felt that the results were like uncertain.

[00:28:33] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I'd rather validate what I want to see. And so you can tell with someone and sometimes it's so clear we have a client right now and it's like she was living in multiple places for whatever reason, and she was able to pinpoint the exact place she lived in where all of her symptoms started.

[00:28:49] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Cool. No problem. Why test at that point? But everyone would teach their own. And to be honest, it's going to be, the protocol is whatever is going to work for you anyway. There are a few nuances to different types of molds that respond to certain things, but it's imperfect regardless.

[00:29:04] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So the test bottom line is positive, negative and severity. And sometimes that's pretty much the thing with testing in general is severity of anything. Even when we do a stool test, sometimes I feel like we've done so many of those. I could do them with my eyes closed. I know there's plenty of clinicians that don't do them.

[00:29:21] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I feel that our clients like to see them. And guess what, when you get a really remarkable test and it's a hot disaster, that person is really happy they saw that information, right? And it's really helpful to just remind them, especially with our pediatric clients. Also, if it's a hot mess, it's Hey, just remember this was a nightmare.

[00:29:36] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And so we got to be gentle. So I hope that was helpful. You feel free to summarize if you want to say anything, but that's our approach too. Microtoxin testing, we sure could run it on anyone we're suspicious of, but we have a little bit of a game on, do we really need to do all of this testing or can we reduce the testing?

[00:29:55] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And improve, and just go after what we know is there. Because if there's one thing for certain, it's that we are going to treat symptoms over test results, but we're still going to use test results to guide. And sometimes they can be really helpful. All right, what is one of the barriers you think that we see most often aside from people living in mold and feeling a little bit stuck with their environmental situation, which We don't have some easy peasy answer for today.

[00:30:20] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's a little bit of an experience, but what's the other most common barrier that sometimes pops up? 

[00:30:25] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: No, I feel this barrier is probably or not super interesting, but it's just, I don't know. How people are. In terms of, a big barrier we see, or comes up, frequently is say, with your symptoms, or a client with their symptoms, we're like, okay, you're pretty fungal here, and then we want to go about dressing mold.

[00:30:47] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Obviously, we want to gauge whether or not you have an active past exposure, just. I guess to start making progress but a lot of times what pops up is the partner. Your husband just doesn't, understand the significance of addressing mold looking into if it's in your environment or not. And then going about.

[00:31:06] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: I guess remediating it properly if needed. So yeah, I'd say that's a huge barrier, huge thing clients bring up pretty 

[00:31:13] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: frequently. 

[00:31:14] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And it's a human thing sometimes and it's not necessarily only husbands, but it, those happen a lot, if we just think about how humans are, there's usually a masculine.

[00:31:23] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Actually I know you're fascinated by this. I intermittently read this book about masculine, feminine, how to thrive in relationship. You can like, as a woman, I can be masculine, but my husband then needs to be a little more vulnerable at that time. But, if we're going to go with traditional gender roles, masculine, feminine, my point is that.

[00:31:41] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: The masculine really wants to solve and protect and figure it out. And so when you've got something that's a bit stealth, literally like sometimes in the subfloor, which you're not going to be able to see with a baroscope or a moisture meter, it's really frustrating. They just get frustrated.

[00:31:57] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And if they don't see it, you know how humans are. It's if I can't see this, it must not exist. And 

[00:32:02] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: whereas women were a lot more comfortable to go based on our feelings. Sometimes the men, they just want that data for sure. 

[00:32:07] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah. And if I feel like there's definitely going to be a question mark, you just pick up on the energy.

[00:32:12] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: If I feel like there's going to be a question mark, I'll just say, yep, we're just going to go ahead and pull that test. So that way there is no question. And we're not sitting here frustrated at any point, because to be perfectly honest, We love when healing is linear. It's super fun when everyone just gets better perfectly, but if we run into a snag, we basically want to reduce any snags as fast as possible.

[00:32:33] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So everything is about improving efficiency. So ultimately people can heal and then not relapse because that's the challenge. Of you can kill mold. You can detox it. And I should probably finish talking about husbands and mold and why it affects people differently probably before we jump into active past exposure and a little bit of differences there.

[00:32:50] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: But We know, so there are some genes. I hate blaming things on genetics, but it's an opportunity earlier. I said, if you have a historical mold exposure, that means like your detox bucket, or maybe you just have crappy liver genes. I sure do. If you get into more toxic exposure, I'm not going to be the same as Jenna.

[00:33:10] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I don't have the same genetic makeup as Jenna. I don't know. If my detox bucket overflows, like I'm going to have itchy skin and I'm going to get a rash. Like I have been there. So there's that piece and there's a lot of genetics based on like how your liver drainage detox system works.

[00:33:24] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: There's a couple of genes, HLA, DR, and DQ. And then there's like some sub variants to that. It's like B1 and I think DRB1 and DQB1. Anyway, there's a couple. And so it's tricky because these are actually. The parent, the HLA DR and DQ, as far as I can tell, are also the variants that affect the likelihood of having celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, but then a sub variant of those HLA genes can make you struggle more to detox biotoxins.

[00:33:55] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I would imagine it's deeper than this. I would imagine that all, if you have any crappy liver enzyme. Or genetic predispositions, because those genetic predispositions are going to affect how the enzymes work and enzymes make everything work. And I always call it like a light switch, right?

[00:34:08] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Everyone's turned on a light switch. It's slow. So I've got a lot of like slow light switches in my body. So the coding of the enzymes is a little slow. And so I'm not going to clear things out beautifully. I actually don't, although it was nice to see that genetic data, I wouldn't say go rush and get it.

[00:34:24] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: It's not it's a little overwhelming and not as applicable. What if you just looked at your family history first and looked at their health? And if I look at my family history, It's a run amok with disaster and lots of cancer and aunts and uncles and all types of things. And so I could assume I could make some good assumptions that yeah, sure.

[00:34:43] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: My family genetics are not amazing. That's not a, that's not an identity I have to carry around. It's just a, Hey, I. Comparing myself to someone next to me may need to support my drainage detox. Can everyone support their drainage detox? Damn straight you can. So we do know that if you have these two genetic variants, yes, you will struggle with metabolizing mold.

[00:35:06] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So that's a possibility. We have gone down a little bit of a rabbit hole on, Hey, should we check our most clients and see if they have the HLA variance? And we decided that the cost benefit, hasn't been there yet, unfortunately, where it's like, Hey, we want to spend one 50 to several hundred dollars to find that out or not really.

[00:35:24] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So whatever, but that's a possibility. And in general, just depending on what you're carrying around in your bucket and in general, if you have a half full bucket of detox, drainage burden or other stuff, and you can't clear that could be a bit of an issue.

[00:35:39] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: Great. 

[00:35:39] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: just want to say, so there's that's an easy conversation.

[00:35:43] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And then the other piece and also, we have a pretty biased population of clients, right? Cause we're dealing with a lot of rashes, right? We've dealt with a ton of rashes. And so that's probably one of the reasons we see so much mold. Cause the skin's just a safe place for your body to clear stuff.

[00:35:57] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: And I think what's important 

[00:35:58] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: to bring up too is, or at least we talk about, so say if you're the client, what if you're spending a majority of the time in your home, whereas your husband, partner, whoever, people always ask like, why don't family, all family members react the same too?

[00:36:13] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: It just could be because they're spending way less time in that possibly moldy environment as well. 

[00:36:18] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Yeah. And what I will say is I've had multiple scenarios. This isn't necessarily the, it's not necessarily that this is always the case, just so we're clear, because I've had people who just part of the HVAC system was affected and only the part with the parent's room of the house was affected.

[00:36:33] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And so I've also seen where, The mom backslid as we took her off protocols. And then she starts asking really weird questions about her family that had never come up before, but we could have answered before. And I was like, this is very suspicious. And even though these symptoms are not the same, they all have a common denominator and it was mold.

[00:36:51] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And so that's a really frustrating But the reality is, I just want you to know, I don't think fear is necessary. I just want to try to empower you to look for stuff before you get in the home. And I think Michael Rubino talked about probably how there's mold in a hundred percent of homes.

[00:37:08] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I have a home appraiser inspector in my family and he says in his seminars, he's told it's in a hundred percent of homes. So it just depends on the severity. And in Dr. Kybird's episode, she talks about how She was, she is a canary in a coal mine. It does throw off her Hashimoto symptoms like crazy.

[00:37:23] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: She has to take a nap at two when she's exposed to mold, which could mean several things that I'm not. That doesn't, I don't need to say it could mean whatever about her, right? I have no idea. But the point is she found, just a poor caulking on a bathtub caused enough trouble and she's more affected than others.

[00:37:41] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Like her kid had some stuff from it too, but I don't remember her saying her husband really responded negatively. So the main point is don't be fearful that you're going to have perfection and then 1 of those episodes, we talk about some building materials, but I think understanding and then not sticking our head in the sand is probably our biggest benefit.

[00:38:00] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So there's that, and that's my only thought is like, Hey, be your own advocate always. Some of these tools, Dr. Khyber talks about boroscope Thermal imaging gun. That's the most expensive one, about 300 bucks moisture meter, 50 bucks. These little tools can help you put, find some potential areas of distress.

[00:38:19] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And to be perfectly honest, when you're a homeowner, there's not a real great manual here, right? Clean the HVAC. I didn't know that. I took me over 10 years to clean the HVAC. I didn't know. I didn't know what I didn't know. and I said this in Michael Rubino's episode, if I took one thing away from him, it's I've become a real copious duster.

[00:38:37] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I'm really trying to eliminate the dust, which is where the mold sits. And these are things that are okay for. Everyone. And I had a client just tell me the other day, she's Hey, we had our HVAC cleaned and like my cough is gone. So I'm, I know I'm headed in the right direction. And so I just tell you that, cause there's like always lights at the end of the tunnel and we make change with ourselves, right?

[00:38:56] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: We can't just expect someone else to do this for us. Cause most people don't know anything. So that's the goal of this episode. Just to share awareness. It doesn't have to be, it is a nasty toxin. Is there room for conversation on, hey, we've coexisted with this and Michael and I had that conversation too.

[00:39:11] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I'm sure there will be an update to this episode eventually, right? Learn more, know more, share more is what we're going to do. So as we continue to address this in practice, we'll get you updated on what we see currently working. And yeah, I hope this was helpful anything else we want to say about transformation, how clients feel after addressing mold, anything else you think we should cover in today's.

[00:39:37] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: I don't think so. I think, yeah, 

[00:39:38] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: just biggest thing being empowered and bringing awareness and validating whatever symptoms you might be experiencing. Because yeah we shared these symptoms can seem or. Not seem as significant, but they're definitely worthwhile to look into, 

[00:39:53] Jenna DeKok, MS, RD: I guess 

[00:39:53] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: for sure.

[00:39:54] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And our mold resources have been accumulated from a variety of resources. But I will say 1 that was very changing for me. Certainly always client experiences are the most life changing, actually, and they change how we do things. But one resource that I read that I thought was really approachable, really useful for anyone was Dr.

[00:40:11] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Jill Krista's Break the Mold. And I probably should have her come on. But I felt that book was very. Applicable. So if you feel like you resonated with this, but you just want to start to dig into it. That is an okay place to start the last few episodes. And also, by the way, this episode is sponsored by microbalance and they're really great.

[00:40:29] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I'm just here to remind you that the owner of microbalance is an ear, nose and throat doctor. And he believes that over 90 percent of people with chronic ear Like nasal stuff have mold colonies and that's why he created the products and the, when you get to know the family behind it, it's actually pretty cool how they've developed some of the products.

[00:40:46] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: I was really skeptical about the candles and his daughter who works with him walked me through how they found that mold spores when they were burning. Those candles was so much less. When they know they had, and I think this was a personal experience he had and then they tested it many times and I was like, oh, fascinating, but it's not necessarily clear, but they have a lot of free resources and materials on their website.

[00:41:08] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Put a cap on the rabbit hole you take on this an hour or less, maybe, just for your mental health. And if you need help with it, by all means, if we're taking clients book a call with us, we can always assess it. It's hard for. Me for us to have a very perfect, it's a struggle to come up with the most perfect assessment form, because I do feel like there's a little bit of clinical experience where I just see the patterns. Today, I was doing an assessment at the time of this recording, and I was assessing for mold, but I decided it was much more stress driven, causing all these other downstream effects.

[00:41:37] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Then mold. So I was like, Nope, that's not it. But so there is a little bit of that nuance no matter what, but if you do want to do an assessment or you do want to, if you have any allergies or stuff, or you just want to cut down on any possible exposures, that can be really common. We've got a handout for that.

[00:41:53] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: So you can just go to, I think Krista bigler. com forward slash mold. I hope that's right. It'll show up on the website. If you go to Krista bigler. com, we'll put it in the show notes and. So I hope that is really helpful for you guys today. I hope that these resources we've pointed you to can be really helpful and empowering.

[00:42:09] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And we'll be back with updates as they come. Thanks so much.

[00:42:14] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: Sharing and reviewing this podcast is the best way to help us succeed with our mission to help integrate the best of East and West and empower you to raise the bar on your health story. Just go to review this podcast. com forward slash less stressed life. That's review this podcast. com forward slash less stressed life.

[00:42:36] Christa Biegler, MS, RD: And you'll be taken directly to a page where you can insert your review and hit post.

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