There is a hidden toxin that impacts thousands, if not millions, of people every single day. These toxins are typically found in buildings, such as schools, workplaces, and your home.
In fact, these toxins are so hidden, the Seattle Children's Hospital actually had some children lose their lives because no one knew it was there.
This toxin is known as mycotoxins, which are released by mold that can damage our health.
So what can happen to you if you are exposed to mold? How much exposure will it take for you to see an impact, and is the health consequences instant?
These are all phenomenal questions that will be answered by Dr. Jill Crista in this podcast episode!
What To Expect From This Episode
- Why is mold toxicity so tricky to recognize
- Where can mold grow and what are some areas most people don't realize has mold in it
- Health concerns related to mold toxicity
- Steps to recover from mold exposure and how to support the body
- [2:15] What got Dr. Jill Crista interested in medicine and mold toxicity
- [7:00] A lot of people have mold-related symptoms but it takes something drastic that impacts their life for them to make a change
- [8:30] Do symptoms usually come on slow, or can it hit people quickly
- [12:00] What are the differences between the molds and fungus found in nature vs what is found in the home
- [16:30] Even if you remove yourself from the moldy environment, the mycotoxins can remain in the body
- [18:00] Can someone inoculate someone else with mycotoxins
- [19:45] The Northwest and Southeast have a lot of issues with humidity and moisture which leads to mold growth. Does the rest of the country have the same types of issues for growing mold in our homes
- [22:00] How long does it take for mold to start growing
- [25:30] What are some forgotten places in a house where mold can grow (baby bath toys, CPAP machines, etc)
- [27:15] Why are the filters in fridges so moldy
- [28:15] Mold and Lyme have similar symptoms which is why it gets confusing during the diagnosis process
- [30:45] Can mold exposure flareup other illnesses
- [32:30] Mold in nature is decomposing, so it is doing the same thing to us
- [34:45] Can you treat someone who refuses to remove themselves from the toxic environment
- [37:30] Many coffees have a lot of mold in the coffee beans
- [43:00] Mycotoxins and spores can move into many different organ systems and cause a lot of health issues
- [45:00] At some point we will need to change policy around building to help reduce the chance of mold exposure
- [48:00] Some people ask Dr. Jill why she doesn't use binders in her protocols
- [50:45] Does Dr. Jill find many patients are coming in with constipation
- [54:45] Different type of mycotoxin tests that Dr. Jill Crista likes to run
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan: [00:00:15] There is a hidden toxic threat that can be all around us. It can be in our homes, workplaces, schools, or in any building we go into. And those toxins are known as mycotoxins.
Which are released from certain types of mold. For years, mold toxicity was considered a myth and has been debated in the medical community as to whether it can actually influence our health. But now it is finally becoming a more mainstream to understand that that exposure to mold can cause health problems.
And we are even seeing it at large scales, such as the case at the children's hospital in Seattle where children were dying from the mold problem they had in the hospital. What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well, and be adventurous. And today we will be talking all about mold, mold, toxicity, how to reduce exposure, and how to get these toxins out of the body.
I had the pleasure of speaking with dr Joel Krista, who has written a book with steps to recover from mold toxicity. So let's dive into my conversation with dr Jill. Dr Jill Crista is a naturopathic doctor, bestselling author, and nationally recognized health educator on mold related illness. She helps people recover their health after exposure to toxic mold.
In her book break the mold provides tools for anyone wanting actionable steps to conquer health challenges related to mold exposure. She also has an online training course for medical practitioners to build their mold to literacy. Thank you for coming onto the show, dr Jill.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:01:53] Thank you. It's a real honor.
Bryan: [00:01:55] Of course. And, mold is one of my favorite topics because I had my own mold exposure. So I'm just super fascinated with everything around mold. I would love to hear more about your background. What got you into being a naturopathic doctor, and then if you had any experience with your own mold, toxicity.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:02:13] Yeah. So becoming an Naturopathic doctor was sort of a continuation of how I was raised. I was raised very much using natural medicine and healthy lifestyle, good clean living thing. And so I'm very interested in herbs and botanical medicine and nutrition. So that was easy, an easy choice for me. and a good fit.
And as I, started in practice, I'm a primary care train docs. So I saw, you know, whole families and all kinds of different conditions like primary care docs. Do. And I'm in Southern Wisconsin. And it turns out that that's a, a very heavy metal and environmentally toxic area from, paper processing. And we have a GM plant here in our town.
And so I got into environmental medicine and, because there were certain patients that weren't getting better, and I thought, well, I better do some digging. And, you know, so it went to environmental medicine as a specialty. And the people from that, that didn't get better. I learned about Lyme disease cause we're also third in the nation for cases of Lyme.
And then there's this group of Lyme disease patients that weren't getting better. And in one of those patients they had a, they discovered black mold in his home. And I thought, wow, I wonder if that's what's going on. You know, with environmental medicine training, I kind of had mold in the back of my mind.
I had a cursory understanding of what mold could do to a body and I didn't understand that. It didn't have to be just the black mold to make somebody sick. There are lots of indoor molds that are toxic to people. It's just that's the one that's the most dangerous, but on a scale of, of danger, you know, they're all pretty dangerous.
So as I got into the research with that, I realized, well, not only is it that's what's affecting this guy and why we can't get on top of. His ear ringing, pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, insomnia, things that normally Lyme patients have some difficulty with, but that we can manage, that was untouchable for this guy.
so as I was learning about it, I was like, Oh my gosh, it's not only going on with him, it's going on with this other cohort of people that just aren't getting better. So I became, well lady on specialist as I wanted to figure out really what was going on and that took, yeah. It took a lot of self study.
And so that's why I created the course for practitioners because I had really dug into it. and I thought, wow, I, I kind of have an approach. It seems to be working here. So, rather than consult one-on-one with practitioners, I thought, well, if I created the course, I could just scale it and help more people.
In the end. Yeah. So that's kind of how it was, the evolution of becoming a mold expert. And then we had mold in my own home and that's what spurred writing the book, that I was able to, once our flood revealed itself, you know, I was starting to get sick with mold but didn't know it cause I've got hit cognitively.
So you just kind of get more run down. You get a little foggier. It's almost like I was buzzed most of the time. Like, you know, then that's one of the things that mold can do cause it secretes these alcohols. So I tease, I call it breathe air, get drunk, that it kind of creates the same thing. So I was having, I went and got my glasses checked and like, these don't seem to be working.
My eyes don't seem to be working. Think about again, if you're buzzed, you know, cognitively slower coordination issues. I started to hike less cause I was just too tired. All these little things and my kids were having some aggravation of their underlying health issues and then the flood revealed itself.
And it was just like, click, click, click, click, click. It clicked all the boxes. I was like, Oh, this is mold. I know exactly what to do. So he got on the protocol and that's, that made me feel, very lucky and grateful that I knew what to do, but made me feel really bad for all the other people that don't know and don't know how dangerous mold is and think it's just an aesthetic problem in their house.
Like something you can paint over. and so when I, when that was happening, I thought, I have to write a book. I need to share this. Information cause it's stuff that all of us can do. We have access to these nutrients, these herbs. It's all manageable. As long as it hasn't gone on too long, you know, you can do it by yourself.
I do recommend using a mold letter, a doctor. if you do the principles in the book and that you're not getting anywhere, then it's probably needing some more individualized or specific or targeted treatment or drugs.
Bryan: [00:06:34] Yeah. It's interesting you mentioned the, the hiking issue that you started hiking less, cause that was basically the straw that broke the camel's back for me is I lost all energy to be able to hike.
I remember trying to do a hike and I got like half a mile in and I'm like, I can't do this anymore. And then that's when I realized something's not right. Absolutely not. Right.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:06:55] Yeah. Yeah. You can excuse a way. The symptoms a lot, and I see that a lot. Not only because they're vague and nonspecific and can be, they can start pretty mild and then they grow and they grow and they grow and you don't recognize it.
I call it in my book how to cook a frog. This is this concept that, If you had boiling water and you tried to cook a frog, put it, you know, like throwing it right in the boiling water. It would no, that it was endanger and jump out. And, but if you put a frog in cold water and you slowly turn up the heat, it doesn't recognize.
That it's in danger. And that's how you can cook a living frog. I've never tried this cause I love frogs, but it's a concept that makes sense that that's exactly what was happening in my situation with my house. And what I see with a lot of my patients is that they, so they don't recognize how sick they're becoming because they adapt to that new limitation so easily.
you know, if it's insomnia, well, okay, I just took melatonin. Granted, that's one of the treatments, but then ultimate treatment is you have to get away from the mold or remediated or you know, avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. Let's the first three steps of any toxic exposure. Avoidance. Avoidance. Avoidance.
Bryan: [00:08:09] So you talked about symptoms coming on, slow it. Do they typically come on slow or do some people, they go into a moldy place and it just hits them full force right off the bat?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:08:19] That's a great question. So most of the time, if it's your first exposure and you're a generally healthy person, it can take between three to six months for you to see any kind of symptom.
And often the children and the females in the house get symptomatic before the males in the house. And that has everything to do with the fact that the toxins from mold are fat soluble. So they'll come into, if you have a higher body fat percentage that allows you to take on or store more of those toxins and be impacted sooner.
Now that's a generalization. I've had absolutely have cases where that are completely different. Now, if you're more genetically susceptible to those toxins, or if you have. Difficulty clearing toxins. So you have like methylation issues, something like that. Then you're going to exhibit symptoms sooner than someone else.
If you have poor nutritional status. We know that mold toxins deplete glutathione and bioflavonoids and good fats in your body. So if you are low on any of those, you're going to exhibit symptoms sooner than anyone else. So there's all these factors that kind of, it helped to determine it. And if you've had a previous exposure to mold, you can be an instant reactor.
You can be that person that walks into a building and it doesn't even have to smell. That's something I'm trying to really get people understanding is that it doesn't even have to smell like mold. mold. Mycotoxins have absolutely no sense. So there, it doesn't have to be one of those mildewy situations or a moldy basement or something like that.
And that was what was so surprising in my own house that aye went into the house. I gave it a sniff, you know, cause I'm, I'm kind of a mold Canary psychotic. I can kind of tell when there's like, yeah, I don't know. My patients have said that, you know, will you come over and see if the remediators got everything?
And I can walk into the area and I can say, Hmm, something's weird here. You know, have them test this wall. So, the mycotoxins. Are, they can make it there. So ultra small, they can get through building materials. So it can be under flooring, behind drywall, In your attic, under a shower, under your refrigerator, behind your refrigerator.
They could be spores trapped, but the toxins come through. So if the spores are trapped and not exposed to oxygen, you won't smell mildew or moldy. It smells. you won't get that musty smell, but you can still be getting sick from the mycotoxins. Yeah. Isn't that creepy? So, yeah. So if you're somebody who's had that previous exposure, your systems are already sensitized to those toxins, and you can have an instant reaction.
You know, I've had patients that say, I went to a restaurant and I knew, I knew they had a mold problem. And as you get healthy, you can know it. But not get taken down. And that's where I try to get people into that not only healing for mold, but becoming resilient so that you don't have to be afraid to go into the world.
Bryan: [00:11:20] So that speaking on the world, so I'm up here in the Pacific Northwest where when I walk into the forest, everything is super green. You have mosses, fungus, molds all over the place. It's just. You know, that's the ecosystem up here. What is different about walking out in the forest that has, you know, all these natural molds all over the place compared to having mold in your household?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:11:47] Yes. That's such a great question because people say, well, it's natural. You know why? Why should I worry about it? It's natural. When you are outdoors, there are factors that allow balance and harmony. And those molds are living within an ecosystem that is a harmonic ecosystem. There are things that are keeping certain species in check.
That's a healthy forest. Anyway, there we've all been out in the woods, are outside and you know that there's kind of a dark, dank kind of place, you know, that is probably some things that are decomposing or whatever. That's going to be more of the situation that moves into your house. So when you get into an indoor environment.
This is an environment that is not natural. This is an environment that we control the temperature. We control humidity. By the way that we're building our houses. We track humidity, we have pre digested fibers that are treated or in an unnatural situations, and it gives a false. biofilm situation. So that it, these now these species can act pathogenically and that's actually the approach that I take and the theory that I'm going with my treatment that I take is that, you know, we have, we have biofilm in our body that's healthy, called the microbiome.
Assign you by them. You know, we have a lung biome, we have all of these, there's the, the mic go bio meaning fungal biome. So we have a natural healthy amount. Of bacteria and, fungal species and buyer says that we live symbiotically with all the time. when you bring something into an indoor environment and we allow the growth of these toxic molds, it's not just mold that's growing there.
It's also bacteria. And they're acting competitively because the forces of nature that normally would keep that in check, such as UV light, air movement. There might be some insects that are feeding on that, that kind of thing. That's no longer there. There is no touchstone with the, the mycelium that are under the soil that kind of communicate through the whole forest, that tell, tell when a certain species is overgrowing or acting competitively.
Yeah. I've really feel like, I don't know if you know, if Paul Stamets, I'm a huge fan. he talks about these mycelium networks that are like the internet of our planet. When you dislodge a mold and put it into a house, you've dislodged it from that grounding network and now it can act. It can act up, so to speak and act competitively.
That's what the mycotoxins are. There are these toxic gas bombs that each individual species and mold, secretes because it's trying to compete out all the other species. It's found, you know, a little bit of. Humidity in your house. And it's found the perfect foods that really loves things that are pre digested, like plywood, OSB, dry walls covered with paper books.
anything like that that's already sort of pre digested carpet, padding, you know, all kinds of stuff. So, it will find that and try to compete out all those other molds and that's where you get illness and the toxins. So that's what. What the concept that I'm using for treatment is that those toxins, then when you inhale them and breathe them in your bodies, natural flora, it gets a message that we're not safe.
Oh, you know, we better act competitively back to hold our ground. And so there's varying levels of Of illness from mold. There can be the initial exposure to the toxin and your body is working through processing that toxin out. And your own flora kind of says, Oh, that's weird. You know, it seems like someone in our environment is acting competitively against me.
And so it's sort of just surveys. And then as you get sicker, those toxins start to actually hurt your natural flora. And so your natural flora starts to behave that badly back. So now you're breathing in your own mycotoxins that you're making in your sinuses. And then farther down the road is that those toxins have caused immune deficiency, allowing the spores from that building to move into your system.
And now we're talking fungal infection. So there's this like fungal overburden to fungal colonization, to fungal growth and infection.
Bryan: [00:16:09] So even if you remove yourself from the moldy environment because of everything that's going on inside of your body, you can still have at symptoms. And this battle that you're talking about can continue to go on.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:16:23] Yes. That's what I found in practice. I've worked with people that their mold exposure was in college. 20 years ago and they've, you know, don't even have any of the same clothes anymore. They don't have any of the same furniture anymore. You know, maybe it was a dorm or something like that and they're still sick.
They're like, we can't get there. Mike, go and microbiome rebalanced until we do the full protocol of help them get those toxins out, help the body reset. the immune system and knocked down the fungus fungal burden in their body. It's funny. Yeah. I used to think that it was just because they probably brought them six stuff with them.
Cause that's the other big mistake people make is, you know, bring your stuff and, and there's certain things that you can remediate. and it all depends on how long it was exposed, that kind of thing. But I used to think, Oh, they're just still sick cause they brought moldy stuff with them. but then I had a few outlier cases and I thought, what is going on here and why?
Why do they need the full protocol? It should be that you get out of the environment and you eat a healthy diet and you exercise and you get good sleep and you know, dah, dah, dah, or good clean living. They should get better and these people weren't getting better.
Bryan: [00:17:32] Interesting. So, let's say that I'm exposed and I have stuff going on internally battle that you're talking about.
Am I able to inoculate other people?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:17:44] That is the good question. I've had a couple cases, well, more than just a couple, where it was an intimate partner situation or a mother child situation where they were. The sick person was making the other person ill just by their exhalations because now they're making indogenous mycotoxins.
And because like an intimate partner situation, you know, you, you're sleeping next to each other. So that's an eight hour exposure. So and in those cases only treating the sick partner made the non, like the. The no mycotoxins. You know, the healthy person who was starting to get sick from micro toxicosis.
They got better and we did no treatment with the partner or the child. So again, I have these theories. They're just based on my experience in practice. I could be completely wrong, but treating the sick people, it makes the people around them better. It's amazing. It's super fascinating.
Bryan: [00:18:47] So it sounds like the big exposure usually comes from environment, right?
Yes. Yes. And so I'm up here in the Pacific Northwest. It's super wet, damp. We have a lot of moisture in the air. The Southeast also has a lot of humidity. I'm down on Florida, Georgia, Georgia, Georgia. Those areas have a lot of humidity. So those. Environments are already going to, going to be more compromised because of the amount of moisture.
Now the rest of the country, do you have the same risk, to having a mold grow in your homes? That we would in these other parts of the country.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:19:24] That is such a great question because that's the, that's the belief is, well, I'm just going to move to Arizona or Utah or something and it's going to be fine.
Or New Mexico, you know, I'm going right to the desert. unfortunately, yeah, that's not what we've seen in practice. Certainly there are outdoor environments, and I, where I am in Wisconsin, we get 90, 90, 95%, sometimes a hundred percent humidity all summer long. So it's a really humid place as well. There are certainly environments that require different building, Policies and different, which of course we're not doing. the, we need to be building our buildings for the climate that we live in. Certainly some climates, it's just difficult to keep the humidity out of the air in, in a home. And so that takes aggressive attention. Okay. We are humans and humans like to be at a certain temperature.
We like to live at a certain humidity for our respiratory passages. So even if you're living in the desert, you are creating your indoor space to be very similarly to the space in Florida or Seattle or you know, the Midwest or new England or wherever we are. control it to be comfortable for us and the toxic molds that we end up getting sick from.
Like the same thing. So it really doesn't matter where you are, it matters what you're doing with your built space. It's just a little harder in some places. So, you know, I definitely have had patients that have moved to drier climates and feel better. but they also now are so conscious of indoor humidity clutter.
You know, how the building was built. If it had ever had water damage, they're so careful about those things now, then maybe they would have been fine. In the humid place just now having the education of how to keep it a built space healthy.
Bryan: [00:21:11] Right. And you had mentioned that you had a slowly that leaven to, kind of a systemic flooding in your home.
But there are situations where, well, say someone's kid clogs up the sink and leaves it on, and then that floods, you know, a kitchen or a basement and then they get people in pretty quickly that dry it out right fast. Does it take for Montas are growing, like even in acute situation like that, can you still have mold issues
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:21:39] or so multiple grow within 24 to 48 hours of a water event and it does.
Not every water event creates mold, but one of the errors that we make is that we assume that drawing will happen in materials that are. Two and three and four materials thick. So if that water event affected flooring to the, where it was wicking to the dry wall, you have to cut every wet part out, start over.
It's so much easier to do that, to just cut it out before there's mold because you don't have to use all the re the mitigation. You don't have to use containment. You don't have to use negative air. You just accept that there's. there's going to be a water problem if we don't try this out. So the part that I see is that if someone has a water event and the, the contractor comes in and puts fans on, well that's not going to dry out behind the dry wall, behind the insulation.
And those are those sneaky things that happen, or the sink situation where, there was a sync link sink leak below the sink. I'm just drawing the surface of that is not going to take care of that. You need to open up underneath that sink and get some air movement underneath. So that's where I've seen the stories of, where they thought they were controlling it by just drying off what you could see.
And that's my, the, the inspector that I work with at, then have worked with for over a decade. She is just so fantastic about saying, remember, stop saying water. Start saying moisture. All mold needs is moisture. It doesn't even need water. So it doesn't have to be a Frank water event. It can just be moisture buildup or condensation or something like that.
So over 50% humidity allows these molds to grow.
Bryan: [00:23:32] Yeah, that was actually something I was wondering is, you know, if you, if the stuff inside the walls is wet and you started blasting it with fans and heaters, that's going to start to evaporate or transition the water to different parts of the wall. Can that actually cause more damage?
Because now it says first thing that moisture that was in kind of a concentrated area into different parts of the wall.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:23:55] Yeah. And those that, that's a specialty that I don't really have. You know, I'm more, I'm a building expert or a body expert, not a building expert. So that's where I love having certified inspectors, that just every building is as individual as every human.
So it's so nice to have somebody that's going to look at that building holistically and be able to just guide you, you know? And so if you have a water event, if anyone is listening. you know, it's good too. Check in with those people first to just say, what should we be doing? What are the things that you've seen go South and how do I, how do I manage this event?
It is so worth the money to hire that person for their expertise. Cause I'm telling you these, I mean, the stories of the patients I worked with, the remediation and the cost of it, the disruption to your life. the fact that if it's done properly, you can get sicker. so handling a water event in the acute stage, to the best of that, that person's advice or the best of your ability is really highly recommended.
Bryan: [00:24:53] So, we're talking a lot about the building itself, but are there forgotten places within the building that, could be growing ground for mold?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:25:01] Sure. baby bath toys, that's a fantastic one. I
Bryan: [00:25:06] know I can
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:25:07] do that. C-PAP machines. Keurigs anything that has standing water. I've, I have a little video blog out there if anyone wants to check out.
I tested my own fridge filter. and that had, could tell me him, which is a, mold that grow, that secretes a mycotoxin that makes, that causes dementia cause it can cross the blood brain barrier. so now I'm back to just old school ice trays. and I tested a couple other filters and found the same thing.
So it wasn't just that we had had mold in my house. This actually was, is a different house than where we had mold. Anyway. so I thought, Oh, okay, that's, that's not a good thing. And I did a little research and there's a water treatment guy that commented on that video that said, yeah, we're having a lot of problems with this one.
So I was like, okay, no more fridge filters for me. And refrigerators are. A terrible problem. There's so often the cause of someone's water damage in their kitchen that the water source to the refrigerator starts to leak and they don't recognize it. So it can go on and on because it's just a drip, drip, the drip, drip.
So the, the most critical because they can go on for so long. And then you have a mold problem. let's see. Did I say C-PAP machines? It's another one. Okay. and then finished basements. I do. I am not a fan of finished basements. That certified inspector that I work with, we've been able to find mold, not to the levels of necessarily making everybody sick, but in every finished basement we found mold if we go digging.
Bryan: [00:26:36] When you're talking about the fridge filter, is it because people aren't swapping the filter out?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:26:42] This only, this one had only been in use three weeks that I tested. And then I ran over to my parents and theirs had been in use. I think he said he had just changed it recently. So, you know, a couple of weeks.
And then I had tested one that was on the way out. So when it was replacing and all of them had toxic molds of one kind or another and all had so that SAP, so we should talk about some of those symptoms. Like that's one of the hard things that people don't understand is that, you know, they could be drinking ice water.
And getting sleepy in the afternoon or whenever it is that they like their ice water after a workout or something and then kind of hit the wall and think, Oh, you know what's, what's wrong with me? There's something wrong with me. And that's what's so hard about these mold symptoms. That's why I created a questionnaire for me in clinic when, when I was seeing Lyme patients, Lyme patients and mold patients look very similarly.
They have a lot of these. mimicker kind of situations. So I was having a hard time determining of the people with Lyme disease, which of these people also had mold. So I created a clinical questionnaire that's in my book. but if anyone listening wants it, they can email me and we can send them the questionnaire.
It gives you a score that kind of moves the needle. You know, is it possibly mold, is it probable mold or is it not mold at all? And then go looking for other things. And where I see a lot of, errors happen is that someone does their own mold test in their house or there the mold is at their company, you know, where they're working, and they're not able to test.
And then they get told, Nope, it's not mold. And then they go looking for other things. So really understanding when it is mold. So that you can get on the treatment and get better is really important. So that's why I created the questionnaire, because I was just confused myself in practice and like so. So what does mold look like?
Is it going to look like so many different things? These toxins are nerve toxic. They're toxic to skin. They're toxic to your gut lining. not just nerves, but brain toxic. They secrete chemicals that makes you chemically sensitive. When they affect your gut, it can actually cause, Scott disruption to the point that you not only have irritable bowel type symptoms, but you can develop new food sensitivities.
and then with nerves, you think about where your nerves are in your body, everywhere. So that can take whatever your preexisting nerve problems. If it's sciatica or, you know, pelvic pain. We see a lot bladder symptoms, we see a lot. inner ear ringing. So tinnitus, we see a lot, so it doesn't even have to have the respiratory stuff.
If the toxins are, if the spores are trapped behind building materials, you may not have any respiratory symptoms at all, but it is quite common to have some kind of sinus congestion or sinusitis or, respiratory, lung, you know, those kinds of symptoms. but it doesn't have to be there. It can still be mold and not have any of those.
Bryan: [00:29:44] So you've mentioned that, the, relationship between and Lyme and how they can kind of go hand in hand. Can mold exposure also flare up other health conditions?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:29:54] Epstein BARR virus, which is the virus that makes mano, we tend to see those run hand in hand. Molden EBV. There's something that the the mold does to your immune system.
Oh, and I was listening, listing all the places. It's also immune toxic. So these toxins will rewire your genetics of your immune system so that you become more susceptible to it. And if you take the 10,000 foot view between Lyme disease and mold, I am more, I give more attention and credit to mold, because Lyme needs you alive.
It needs you alive to be able to survive and mold. I would prefer to compost you. It doesn't need you alive. It actually would have more food if you would just kick the bucket, which is a horribly scary. So when I was trying to prioritize, you know, with my line disease patients, okay, what do we do first?
What's the most important thing? Cause these people are sick, you know, they're, they're really struggling. And we go to the mold first because we've seen that the, when the mall does immune toxic and rewiring that immune system, it. Impedes the B cells, which are memory cells. So it makes your body naive to every infection than it's ever seen, and particularly Epstein BARR virus and the herpes family.
So if we see somebody who has chronic fatigue syndrome. My number one thing I look for now is mold, because it has actually created a situation where Epstein BARR and Coxsackie B and some of these other viruses can, can reactivate in a low grade way in the body.
Bryan: [00:31:29] That's super interesting.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:31:30] Yeah. And scary, but it's all beautiful.
It's all treatable. Yeah.
Bryan: [00:31:35] I know, like if you look out into nature and you look at molds and fungus is they're decomposing, so why wouldn't it be doing the same thing to us or trying to do it?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:31:45] Yeah. And so when I take, when my patients are like, Oh, I can't exercise, I'm like, the worst thing you can do is be sedentary.
Because what is that sending that message that you're sending to mold is, yeah, go ahead. You know, cause mold grows on sedentary material where air movement doesn't happen. And I completely, I have so much compassion. I completely understand why movement is hard. mold will actually make you not able to handle the natural quote unquote good EMF that we make when we exercise.
When skeletal muscles move, they create electromagnetic frequencies. So there's good EMS, there's, you know, the EMS, we know from, from external, from wifi and smart meters and that kind of thing. Yeah. Exercise creates EMF, and that's, I'm really trying to impress on people. Okay. If you're EMF sensitive to a really high degree, check for mold to make sure that that is not something that's, that's filling your bucket of EMF tolerance so that you can handle it, are powerful electronic beings.
If you're grounded and healthy, EMF should just bounced right through you. It shouldn't be a problem, but if it is a problem, mold is definitely on my differential.
Bryan: [00:32:57] Yeah. One of the symptoms I had when I had my mold exposure was all my tissues got super stiff and painful, so I couldn't even look over my shoulder to change lanes on the freeway because of how stiff I was.
So I can see how people get to that point where they're like, I don't want to move
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:33:15] right. And the body says, don't move. This hurts. This is negative. Not only is are the nerves toxic and they're pinging every time you use them. but also the muscles hurt every time you use them. So what does the body do naturally?
Splint. It's splints. You. Yeah. So it makes you stiff. That's a great, that's a, that's a great symptom. I don't have on my questionnaire. I should add it. Yeah, there you go.
Bryan: [00:33:40] So let's talk about treatment a little bit. So first off, can you even treat someone if they refuse to leave a moldy environment?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:33:49] not only can you, you should, because we know that these molds are carcinogenic.
They cause cancer. So I do absolutely get people on treatment to start doing, the protect and repair. The way that I approach treatment is, and in my book, I kind of lay it out. It's like an orange. That you have the two outer layers that have to be done a hundred percent so you can get to the middle.
And that is the orange outer layer and the white fluffy layer. You know, if you were to actually peel an orange, those are the things you usually remove where you get to the middle. So those two things represent the first two steps of treatment, the first being avoidance, the second being fundamentals.
And then in the middle is picking and choosing what works for you. That's protect, repair. And then the last thing you do is fight them all. We've seen in studies that once you start to administer antifungals to certain species like aspirgellus, it will actually kick up its production of mycotoxins. So we want to be really careful when we poke the bear.
You don't want to poke that bear until your body is ready. And I typically don't use antifungals in somebody who's actively being exposed to mold because they typically have more or side effects from that antifungal. even herbs. So, so what I do in that avoidance being the first step, that's avoidance of not just the environment, but the other exposures of mold, like we just talked about, you know, baby bath toys and Keurigs and , but also food.
There are certain foods that can make a multi person feel worse and they might be eating them because they're, it's generally good advice to eat these foods, like a great one that I get a lot of heat on is kombucha. That's a fermented food. And while fermented foods in theory are very good for keeping someone in balance, if you're mold sick and your animal, the environment, you will least, my patients do very poorly on fermented foods, and it just adds that fungal burden.
so I take my patients off of anything that is fungus, actual fungus, so like mushrooms, even medicinal mushrooms, and I take my patients off of things that. Tend to be fermented or be, have mold in them. not just mold, but mycotoxins. So we get off corn, peanuts, soy potatoes, grains, and trying to focus on those things that, that get a mycotoxin exposure, eating those kinds of foods, like corn, potatoes.
grains, trying to eat those as organic and local and small batch as possible so it minimizes the amount of mycotoxins that you might be getting from that. Food and peanuts are one of the worst. I just take my patients off peanuts cause I have not yet tested a peanut. That is, mycotoxin free at this point.
Bryan: [00:36:35] So about coffee.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:36:37] Coffee is a bugger coffee. Yeah. and it's something you do every day and for some people all day long. Yeah. So it's really important that you drink moldy free coffee and there's some great, you know, like Bulletproof and that kind of thing. It is very important because you're ingesting it every day.
So it's an easy one to just make a transition. and then moldy cheeses. So I take people off blue cheese and those kinds of things so that we've minimized that amount and that you can do while you're living in a moldy place. And it actually has, can help you, I feel a little better. So you can be making the decisions you need to be making.
And then the second is fundamentals. That's just basically what we call basic treatment guidelines from a nature pathic doctor. not only what to avoid for food, but what you should be eating. And a super power food for people who are mold toxic is bioflavonoids, which are the color pigment in food. In vegetables.
I typically ask my patients to eat more vegetables and only restrict to like maybe one fruit a day because the fruit can cause fungal growth in the gut and then we're fighting against something else. So I try to have the focus beyond veggies. And pick a color, any color, and make sure that you're getting the full rainbow every day.
Say eat the rainbow. And if you can't get that particular color band, take it as a supplement so that you're for sure. Getting that color band and protecting yourself. The other super power food that's protective is, good fats. DHA has the most research, but we also see protective effects from things like evening Primrose soil.
So I try to have my patients really load up on things that are. Are good fats that if you think about it, those mycotoxins are, that's valuable. And what was drilled into me by my environmental medicine instructors is the solution to pollution is dilution. So if you're going to dilute something that's fat soluble, you need to dilute it with copious, clean, correct fats.
I like alliterations because they helped me and and little Rines. The copy is clean, correct fats. That's all those essential fatty acids that. We're familiar with like the good fats, so olives and olive oil, walnuts, Walnut oil, avocados, avocado, oil, fish. I'm probably forgetting some. So, you know, those are really, really important foods for protecting the brain and the nervous system and the immune system.
Yeah. So there's so much just in that, that someone can feel really empowered. And then I really focus on the protect and repair plants and nutrients. That I listed in my book. There's, you know, anything from milkthistle DHA. Also, these are shown to be protective when you're being exposed to mold, to protect yourselves and your immune system from intrusion of not only sports, but these mycotoxins.
So they sort of put the wall up on the cell and say, Nope. You know, you can't come in the cell and change the genes. You're not allowed. So I definitely do treat people, but I am. I get really good results because I'm sort of a czar for avoidance. Aye. Really impress on people how important it is to get out of the mold.
We start an action plan, you know, first, let's do these things that help you get your brain back and not feel so anxious and overwhelmed, and then we figure out how to get them away from the mold, whether it's remediation or a job switch, or possibly talking to their boss about. Can I work from home, you know, depending on where their exposure is and trying to really figure that out.
But I am. Okay. I am amazed. I told you my history, I work with environmental medicine or environmentally sick people have all kinds of different exposures from heavy metals to dioxins to PFS, to you name it. Because I'm in, you know, kind of a toxic area and line patients out of all of those patients.
Mold. Sick people are the most resistant to accepting that mold is the problem. And I want to say that again, melodic patients are the most resistant. They will be the ones that start negotiating with me. Was it really that bad? Can we just say, Hey, can I, you know, but my job is so great, or you know that it, but I rent.
So, you know, there are situations where people are stuck and you need to kind of create a case. For why that person needs to get out of a rental situation or something like that, or be allowed to work from home for their, for their job. that's where you can definitely rely on a mold literate doctor, but also those building inspectors, they're the ACE in the hole there to help you get the testing.
You need to prove that that's an environment that is not healthy for you to be in.
Bryan: [00:41:12] Okay. Yeah. And that's definitely a tough one because I've been hearing more and more stories of people renting and that they discover that, and the place they're in has mold in it. And then they tell their landowner, and they get booted from the house.
And you know what's, it's got to happen as they get rid of the person. Yep. They're going to bring in another family and that family is going to get exposed. And so it's. It's a sad cycle because it's expensive to get all that stuff fixed.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:41:38] Absolutely. Yeah. And there's, you know, in my doctor course, I started the course saying, I apologize that how little human research is in this course.
There's a ton of animal research, so people in animal husbandry, they've known about this cause they lose stock, you know, they, they're having problems with animals eating moldy feed. So there's a lot of research on animals and mycotoxins, not just spores. I mean, I talk about mycotoxins a lot with spores are not inconsequential.
This Aspirgillus can move in and infect multiple organ systems, and that is a deadly situation. You need serious medical care if that were to happen. But you know, they know about mycotoxins and what it's doing to animals. There's very, very, very, very little research on humans and that is purposeful.
Because then people have to start paying for it. So companies that have a sick building and they're not addressing it, and may have to pay healthcare costs for their employees. landlords, you know, there's a lot of really wealthy people out there working hard to have this not. Come out to the general public.
And so I think the more of us that there are, I wish someone would start an online registry of moldy places, you know? Which is tricky because everybody reacts differently to different things. But yeah, wouldn't it be nice to know like, okay, that restaurant, I didn't have any symptoms from it. You know, go there, don't worry about it.
And mainly it's about the houses, you know? So it'd be really nice that nobody's going to do that. There's not going to be any federal registry because that's going to cost. Cost landowners and, landlords and companies cost them too much money. So I'm hoping that as I spread the word and you know, these molded literate docs, I know you had Dr.
Kelly McCann. I can so excited that like, there's so many people out here talking about this that hopefully there'll be some pressure put on for people just to do the right thing, take care of their building appropriately. And, we don't have to create policy, but that is my next goal is to create policies about.
Okay. How we build buildings for the climate that you're actually, building in because we're not, we're not doing it right. And we're building right through rainstorms. We're building right through winter. You know, it's just, there are things that. We definitely need to pay better attention to.
Bryan: [00:43:53] Well, that's one of the, the thing was, I always have a hard time with here in Washington is we build all year long.
It rains 10 months out of the year. Yeah. All of them. A building materials are stored outside in the rain. So everything's just soaked and then you're going to tell me that, Oh, they're all treated and, mold can't grow on it. Right. And you're looking at the wood and you're like, really? Cause I see
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:44:15] it.
Wow. Yeah, exactly. It's got a green fuzz on it and you're going to put that inside a house and then close it up. Yep. Absolutely. Yeah. And in our area, I've worked with a builder that, he won't, but this, the basement be poured or the slab be part until there's a roof above, which is wonderful. It's awesome.
Because you know, these basements will just fill up and then they run fans. It's soaked up like a sponge. So yeah. So what were your other symptoms when you, when you were sick?
Bryan: [00:44:47] I had fatigue, like super fatigue. I got to the point cause I have a ton of energy. Usually I got to the point where the second I'd wake up, I would look at the clock and count in my head how many hours until I could go back to bed.
And so I was like, I can't even focus on the day cause I'm just looking forward to going back to sleep. and then the, the stiffness, stiff joint, stiff muscles, and then not being able to be active at all was the big one. Oh. And then, it all started with, sore throat, which was interesting. So I would go and get tested for strep.
Because that's what they thought it was at first. And, test would come back negative, but then they'd still, I try to push antibiotics, well, just take this anyways. So I ended up doing, because I didn't know any better back then, two rounds of antibiotics never got better, still have the same symptoms, and then it progressed and got worse and worse and worse.
And then that's when someone else, he came in and was like, I think there's more to this. And I think it's mold related.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:45:55] Like that they could say, Whoa, wait a minute.
Bryan: [00:45:58] Yep. And yeah, I was able to figure out where it was because I always, would keep windows open cause I like sleeping in the cold. and that just draws moisture in and any of the, we had a black, molding around the windows and so I would just blend in and you couldn't even see it.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:46:17] Yeah.
Bryan: [00:46:19] It was super interesting. And then so go through and clean up a lot of that stuff. And then I was on a mold protocol and within a week I was about 70%
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:46:27] better. It's awesome. Yeah. Yep.
Bryan: [00:46:29] And that was four months of symptoms and progressively getting terrible. Yeah. And then one week on the right thing got me back to where I wanted to be.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:46:40] Yeah. And one of the things that, people talk with me about, they're like, why do you not mention binders as a first thing? And for me. I'm trained as nature pathic doctor. If you're putting someone on five to seven servings of vegetables every day, they're getting a lot of fiber in their diet, and then I only need to add extra things that bind up bile.
So the concept is that the toxins are detox through bile unfortunately for mold, but fortunately for maintaining fat soluble nutrient status, we recycle a lot of that. That's how we keep our fat soluble vitamins in our body. But we have to interrupt that recirculation when it comes to mold because, or any toxic illness, because those, we want that bile to be carried out through the poop.
And then the body can make new clean bile and, and it lowers your toxin burden. So we've, you know, as, as a naturopath, I've been trained on that toxic burden, reduction for all kinds of things. You can have metabolic toxins too, especially somebody that's a competitive athlete. They need more of that.
Nourishment of the, of the binders to get toxins, excuse me, metabolic waste out of their body. So by eating five to seven servings of vegetables and having the bulk of them not be non starchy, you're eating a ton of binders already. that's why we get, like, when patients start eating like this, they get these nice, large, bulky, well-formed stools and they start, you know, getting really excited about their morning product and like, Oh, look at what I did.
Yeah. And, one, one of the things that I found in studies is that kale, steamed kale, it was one of the most effective. Cholesterol and bile binders that we have, and so you don't have to go on any prescriptions or anything like that. You can do it through your food, and if you're still not feeling better with that, then you can add insoluble fiber has been shown to capture more bile.
So I'm using just simple things like psyllium husk, rice bran fiber and flax seed. And you know, a lot of people, a lot of us eat that in our granola in the morning. So it's happening through food. And that's, that's so much easier for patients to, to deal with or for Multaq people especially, it's just, you know, if he can get it in the diet and it doesn't have to be some, it's something that they have to take.
And that's much more. Longterm, it's going to help them with their resiliency. It wasn't just something we swooped in and did, and then they're off of that medication and then they become sensitive again. The minute you take it off, but for you as it binders that cause often in the beginning, that is a, that is a big helper.
To get clear.
Bryan: [00:49:16] Yeah. So it was, antifungals and binders were combined for that
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:49:20] antifungals
Bryan: [00:49:21] and then the timing of everything with it too. Yeah.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:49:23] Yeah. Cool. Cool, cool.
Bryan: [00:49:25] do you find that a lot of your patients that have mold exposure come in constipated?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:49:32] Yes, and I think that the problem there is. Not only that, the mycotoxins are nerve toxic, they now are getting in the way of normal Paracelsus.
so there they're effecting. And so we see a lot of CBO actually with Multaq people because now they don't have good motility. But also, mycotoxins had been shown to, to wear away the inner lining of the gut. So it's actually, they're toxic to those. Those cells cause an Entero sites. And when you have that damage, then candida says, Ooh, no competition, no mucus lining, protecting the cells from me, and they get a candy to overgrowth.
So that was that kind of gradual. the stages of mold toxicity that we see, you know, where it starts with just sort of a susceptibility and then the, the toxins trigger your own biome to start acting badly, and then it becomes fungal overburden and then becomes fungal infection. most of the time that constipation is, is now to the next, you know, it's farther toward infection and antifungals are just miraculous.
Oh, now I can go again and, Hmm.
Bryan: [00:50:43] Well, we're are getting close to time here and there's a lot of other questions. I would love to talk to you about like, infrared saunas on all those different types of methods that some people, talk about. But. We can save that for another episode. But I do have a question in regards to a testing.
is there any specific lab tests that you like to do on patients? Not necessarily environment, but on
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:51:06] patients. Yeah. So one of the new, newer interventions. Yeah. Innovations. There's the word, in being able to tell someone who's Multaq or not as you're in mycotoxin testing. It's a little, there's an art to using it.
It's a little tricky because some people can be so toxic they can't even excrete them. so for me, it's one of my data points that I collect. So I do like to use urine mycotoxin testing. One of the negatives of that test is that you could be showing shedding mycotoxins in your urine based on what you were eating.
So if you were eating one of those foods, that is a high mycotoxin food. So for three days before taking the test, I have a little handout. I have people. go off of all of the no-no foods. So, so that we've minimized that possible impact on the test result. and depending on the health of the person, there's a lot of debate of whether you should try to provoke those urine, mycotoxins or not.
I just start with the food. And then if they can exercise or sauna the night before, they're going to be more prone to excrete. so those are some things that I might do to, to make that data point a more accurate data point. I also run just normal labs, like there's a complete blood count, which has a CBC.
We might look for things like iron deficiency anemia, or a low white count. There are certain things on that that we're looking for. I look at liver enzymes because it's quite common that someone will have a high, let's call it a GGT, which is associated with alcoholism. And if you see an IAG high GGT on somebody that doesn't drink, it's probably malt.
So I'll run those. And then I always look at a natural killer cell function test. The function is different than the total count, but the function tells us if the mold has now affected the immune system to the degree that they can't resist normal. flora, which did, that tells us now are they, I'm more prone to colonization.
And then I liked the urine. oat test, organic acids test. So those are some that maybe you might see a mold literate doctor kinda, that's their panel that they run for somebody. So we can get more information about how that person needs support and if they are sick from mold. Yeah. If we know it's mold, I don't generally test, we just use the money for treatment.
So much of this is out of pocket, which is so unfortunate.
Bryan: [00:53:20] Inexpensive.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:53:22] Expensive out of pocket, I should say. The urine mycotoxin technique that I like is mass spec and there are two companies that are doing that now. the other test is a little hit and miss because if somebody has immune deficiency from mold exposure, then it's not going to be as reliable of a test.
So I use the mass spec method for anyone listening.
Bryan: [00:53:41] Yeah, I was going to ask if he is a GPL, Mycotox test.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:53:47] Yeah. I use vibrant and GPL.
Bryan: [00:53:49] Yeah. well, are there any final thoughts that you want to share when it comes to a mold and mold toxicity?
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:53:56] Final thought would just be to, to encourage everyone to trust themselves.
You know, your body better than anybody. You've been in it your whole life. So if you are starting to sense that something's just not right, whether it's mold or whatever it is, make sure that you trust that. And if it is, if you do have, I can't tell you how many patients that I've worked with that said, you know, I just, my inner voice knew that that was a problem.
I knew it was a problem, but the contractor told me it was no problem. You know, my husband told me it was no problem. People that aren't reacting or my coworker said, it's not that big a deal. If you know, if your inner voice is saying that mold is a problem. Trust that and go with it.
Bryan: [00:54:36] Perfect. And if people want to, start learning a little bit more about mold and mold toxicity, your book is a really good starting point.
Break the mold. also people can find you @ drchrista.com and you have your moldquiz.com. Do you want to talk about any of that? A real quick
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:54:56] sure. Mold quiz is, it's sort of a cursory, I tried to keep it short because you know, the questionnaire is really beefy. It's more clinical, but mold quiz just gives you an idea of some of the symptoms that you may not be thinking about that can cause mold sickness.
So it's kind of, I've had a lot of people say it was really fun to take because they learn and they also, got, got an answer. You know, could it be mold or not? But, you know, they learned a lot by taking it. and I also have lots of free information. I'm on social media. I do a one minute or less video blogs because that's my attention span.
So if I hear a question enough, if I'm, you know, out on the trail, I came with my dog and chatting with somebody. If there's a question that comes up a lot by email or something like that, then I'll just shoot off a video blog. So right now there's a year's worth of video blogs there to watch, if anybody, or a couple of years, if anyone.
Really wants to listen to my voice any longer. and it's chock full of information and I'm just addressing questions. Perfect.
Bryan: [00:55:56] And you also have your practitioner program that you mentioned before. that's all set at drchrista.com/courses and I know we talked about a lot of different links in this episode, so everything can be found @ summitforwellness.com/107 and we'll have links to all that.
So people have a. Easy place to go to to see where to learn more about you. So thank you, dr Jill. So much. Super informative. And like I said, we can probably go another two hours about mold. Easy. So thank you again.
Dr. Jill Crista: [00:56:26] Thank you very much. I'm really, I'm so excited that you're getting the word out about mold.
Bryan: [00:56:31] I know this episode, I had a ton of information in it, and if you've ever had a mold crisis, then you can definitely appreciate dr Jill's approach to help eradicate mold from our systems. If you would like more support from dr Jill, head on over to drchrista.com and if you enjoyed this episode, then please open up your podcast app and leave a quick rating for the show.
It helps others to find this important information that can help change their lives. And we also have a. A list of anything that we recommend on our [email protected] slash recommends next week we are going to be talking about a topic most people will struggle with at some point in their life.
So let's go learn a little bit about Michael Granor. I am here with Dr. Michael Granor. Hey, Michael. What is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
Michael Grandner: [00:57:23] One unique thing about me that most people don't know, was that, is that. I got interested in doing sleep research before. I knew it existed way back in high school
Bryan: [00:57:34] and that, so what will we be learning about in our interview together?
That's a good lead in.
Michael Grandner: [00:57:39] Yeah. So what we're going to be learning about is. Why sleep is important, why it's worth spending some time and effort on, but more importantly, how we can optimize the sleep we're getting and wrap our head around, what our sleep experiences and how we can make it better.
Bryan: [00:57:57] And then what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their diet?
Michael Grandner: [00:58:02] Well, I think. I think the most important thing about diet is, is balance. I think that there's no one thing that everyone should get, you know, as much of as possible, I think. I think the thing is, is striving for balance, and that's what we see in sleep too, where it's not about how much REM sleep are you getting or how much deep sleep you're getting.
It's are you setting your body up to do what it needs to do with the raw materials. It's got. I think we certainly live in a society where processed food is ubiquitous. And if I could say one thing about the people need to get more of, it's real food that's not necessarily processed.
Bryan: [00:58:41] And what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness?
Michael Grandner: [00:58:46] top three health tips. for me, they're going to be all sleep-related cause that's what I know the most about. I think the first thing would be, make time for sleep. Don't see sleep as a cost. See it as an investment in your own productivity, in your health. Just like we devote time to making healthy food or getting physical activity.
It's something worth investing in. So making time for it. is number one. Number two, if you can't sleep, get out of bed. We're going to talk about this on the episode, why that works, how it works, and how to implement it. and the third thing I would say is that if you're having trouble sleeping. You know, one thing that you should think about is your rhythms and whether you're protecting your sleep.
So, so if you're waking up during the night, think about what might be causing some of those awakenings, and we might be able to head some of those off. And we're going to talk about some of those options on the episode anyway.
Bryan: [00:59:41] If you had trouble sleeping or know anyone who does, then you'll need to listen to this episode.
And until then, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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