When you are exposed to something potentially dangerous to the body, your immune system kicks in to protect you as best it can. There are multiple lines of defense within the immune system to stop any type of pathogen.
But sometimes certain parts of the immune system respond too strongly, and it can cause a bunch of other issues. One of these responses are called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and it is pretty common in people who have been exposed to a lot of environmental toxins such as mold.
So Beth O'Hara is on the show to teach us how to reduce MCAS if we are exposed to environmental toxins.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [0:00] Welcome to the Summit For Wellness Podcast
- [2:15] What is Beth O'Hara's background and what made her interested in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
- [9:00] Beth dealt with Lyme, Bartonella, and Mold all simultaneously
- [10:15] I dealt with Mold Toxicity for 12 weeks and it felt like an eternity
- [10:45] Why you should know about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
- [18:00] If someone is trying to understand what MCAS might be like for someone, is our response to seasonal allergies be a mildly similar experience
- [18:45] Can you test for MCAS
- [23:15] The current testing is very expensive and can be thousands of dollars
- [25:00] Why is it that people in the same environment can have completely different immune responses to the environment
- [29:00] Exposures to certain environments can cause a lot of stress to our systems
- [31:00] Every system in the body works together, and specialists have a hard time seeing the entire picture of how the nervous system impacts digestive system
- [32:15] Once you have an MCAS event, is it easier to have more events happen
- [36:00] What percentage of the population spends most of their time in moldy environments without knowing it
- [38:00] Is the reason that buildings aren't being tested more often for mold because it would cost too much to repair all these buildings
- [41:30] Water damage starts to grow mold within 24 hours, so if you don't remove these materials, the mold will take over
- [42:30] What are the first steps to treating Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
- [46:30] Final thoughts from Beth O'Hara on MCAS and how people can recover from it
- [50:45] What are Beth's favorite binders
- [51:30] Can you take binders with other foods and supplements
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)
[00:00:15] Bryan Carroll: Over the last couple of years, we really learned just how complicated the immune system can be. And it's pretty fascinating how everybody's immune system reacts differently.
The same stimulus in, we can take this in a lot of different ways. It could be how your immune system reacts to a bacteria exposure or a virus exposure, or even to your environment such as mold within your environment. And that's what we're going to be talking about in this episode, as we discuss what the mass cells are in the immune system and how for some people, they hyper react to different stimuli that you may experience in.
What's up everyone. I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous. And today I have Beth O'Hara on the show to talk to us all about mast cell activation syndrome and how it can be so debilitating for people that are experiencing it. And surprisingly, there's probably more people dealing with mass cell activation syndrome than you would expect.
So Beth O'Hara is a functional naturopath specializing in complex chronic cases of mass cell activation syndrome, histamine intolerance, and mold toxicity. And she is the founder and owner of mass cell 360, a functional naturopathic practice designed to look at all factors around on health conditions.
She's looking at genetics, epigenetic, biochemical, physiological, environmental, and emotive. So let's dive into my conversation with Beth O'Hara. Thank you, Beth, for coming onto the show.
[00:01:48] Beth O'Hara: Oh, I'm so happy to be here, Bryan, and I'm super excited because this is often learning about what we're going to talk about today can be a big game changer for people with their health in ways that they may not even before.
[00:02:01] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, I'm really excited to talk about it because this is an area of the immune system that I don't think is talked about enough and I'm excited to learn a lot more about it. But before we get to that, let's learn a little bit more about who you are, what your background is and what got you into a mass cell activity.
[00:02:20] Beth O'Hara: Sure. Well, my own journey. So I, when I, when I was a child around six years old, we had one of those like recitals at school, ready to choose what you wanted to be when you grew up. And I wanted to be a doctor and it was from that moment forward. That was my sole mission. I was a little bit of an intense geeky child.
So everything I did was about going to medical school, but we moved to. Seven out to the country, to this old farmhouse. And nobody knew anything I'm in my forties. I mean, we're talking, you know, a little less than 40 years ago. Nobody knew about toxic mold back then, but that house was. Lately full toxic mold.
And as a child, my health started going downhill. And when you grew up in the country, you're you always picking things, doing things like picking green beans, you know, you grow all these vegetables. And one of my jobs was to feed corn to the chickens and I was continually uncovered head to toe with hives and then itching and scratching.
Skin bled. I'd scratched my legs at night when I was sleeping and wake up and I'd have blood running down my legs from how itchy I was, my eyes were always itchy. And then I, by the time I was 12, it was, it was so bad. I had asthma list of going on. I was on more medications in both my parents put together and we also got.
Playing outside constantly and getting bitten by ticks. And we never thought about it. Nobody even knew about Lyme disease where I grew up, but I also ended up with, so I had mold toxicity. I had Lyme Bartonella and Babesia. And I still pushed through. I went to college. I had multiple full scholarship offers to medical school, which I had worked so hard for.
And by my senior year in college, I completely crashed. I could not get out of bed. I barely finished out my badge. And I had to turn every one of those scholarships down to medical school, which was just devastating. So I wanted to go into neurology and that's even what I had been working towards as an undergrad, instead of going into neurology, I had to become.
A chronically ill patient. And I made the route, I exhausted everything traditional medicine had to offer. I tried everything I was asked to try. By the time I was 28, my friends were still out, going to clubs and dancing. I was barely hobbling with a cane. I could hardly make it across the room to the bathroom.
And I was having daily panic attacks, horrible anxiety. I couldn't sleep. I could just drip. So I had all this brain involvement. I still had all these allergy issues. My digestive system had been a mess since I was a child. And I had gotten down to about 10 foods I could tolerate. I mean, I had totaled up at one point when I hit my mid thirties that I'd seen over 75 health care practitioners and they had all told me I was the sickest person they'd ever seen the best ones.
Compassionately said, I'm really sorry, but I don't know what else to try. And the ones that were caught in fear, cotton ego would tell me that it was all in my head and I. Couldn't be sick because my CVCs my complete blood cell count and those normal routine blood work that they run looked normal, but I was far from healthy and I was far from okay.
And that also was just devastating to be told that because I was trying so hard and working so hard, but when the best functional medicine doctor had access to. Told me that worked with him for three years solid. And I got more and more sensitive to where even a little bit of queer 10, which should have been really massive stabilizing was making me anxious, curcumin that's an anti-inflammatory was making me more inflamed and things like Gabba were making my anxiety worse.
I was having these paradoxical reactions. I kept getting more sensitive as supplements that he finally said we've reached the end of what I noticed. And I drove home Bryan and I thought I can quit now and either find some way to numb out for the rest of my life or find some way to not go on, or I'm going to have to figure this out.
And I was able to lean back on my pre-med backwards. And with the little bit of brain energy that I had each day, I started studying, I started putting pieces together. I found out the basketball activation piece from Yasmina Collinston who ran what's now called healing histamine. And that was a big game changer.
That was a breakthrough. But I still didn't know what was keeping my mast cells, this part of my immune system, just on fire and so dysregulated. And that took more time to put together. But when I hit the mold toxicity piece and that was really studying Neil, Nathan, who's now close mentor of mine. That turned my health around and got my life back to where I was able to go back to graduate school.
I didn't do medical school at that point because I was more into the holistic minded approaches, but I got my master's in marriage and family therapy. I got my doctorate, natural Pathi I opened vassal 360 and I run a busy practice. I worked full time. I can go hiking. I haven't been on a cane in 10 years and.
Yeah, I'm going to go to the grand canyon next week and go hiking. And, and so my life now feels like this whole different person. And the story told you feels like an entirely different lifetime. Like something that it doesn't even, I still have take care of my health, but it doesn't touch what happens today anymore.
[00:08:34] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. It's pretty amazing. Just dealing with one of those issues, whether it's mold and Lyme Bartonella, just one alone is really taxing to someone's health. And the fact that you were dealing with all of them is it's unbelievable. It's crazy that you had to deal with that. So I'm, I'm glad that you were able to push through that.
[00:08:59] Beth O'Hara: I am too, you know, I've had a few people tell me when. When they look at my whole case and I still need some help. I've got some structural issues from some severe car accidents and still I'm three years into mold detox. And I was still got a ways to go because at 30 years of exposures, but it has some people look at it and say, I don't know how you're still alive, but there I tell you what it was was it was the mindset, Bryan.
It was that I always had a sense that there was a. If I could find the right puzzle pieces, the right keys, that there were answers out there. It was just that the people I was working with, they were doing the best they could do. They just didn't know what they were. And that's exactly what ended up happening.
So that is what I clung to the whole.
[00:09:49] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, it's amazing that 30 years of mold exposure I was exposed to mold. That was kinda, my health crisis was from mold as well. And it was for me about 12 weeks of just feeling like I couldn't do anything. I could barely get out of bed and that alone for me, 12 weeks going from an active lifestyle to being very sedentary and no energy to do anything with.
The end of the world, it felt like so 30 years, that's a long time.
[00:10:18] Beth O'Hara: It's a long time. And that I've got, I feel better today than I felt childhood. I feel healthier. People always tell me, I look like I'm in my late twenties. We're tell, take for as long as I can get. And yeah, just feel so blessed and happy to, to be healthy and to be alive and to be viable.
[00:10:40] Bryan Carroll: Right. Yeah. So can you tell us what is mass cell activation? Especially since it completely like knocked it down, what is happening with the immune system and what is that response? Exactly.
[00:10:52] Beth O'Hara: Yeah. So first I want to tell people why they want to know about this, which is that between, so this comes from the, the population studies.
I'm not making this up. Solid research studies on this between nine and 17% of the general population are dealing with mass cell activation syndrome. That's at least one in 10. That's a lot of people. And that means that this is one of the most under-recognized and under addressed conditions facing people today.
When I talk with my colleagues and I always like to run my thinking by other people, so I'm not in a vacuum and just making things up. And I talk with my colleagues who work in chronic illness as well. We see that at least 50% of people dealing with chronic illness are dealing with mass cell activation syndrome.
So this is really critical and why we just want to encourage people to listen up here on this, because this is why so many people ended up going from practitioner to practitioner, to practitioner, and they have all these specialists. So the mast cells are like the frontline defenders and sensors of the immune system.
Then I think of them as the guards of the castle gate and their job is they have all these receptors on the outside. Hundreds of them actually. And their job is to sense everything that. The into contact with our bodies, either outside of our bodies, inside our bodies. So that molecule of air, that bite of food, that virus, that bacteria, that mold, spore, that candida species, whatever it is, those parasites that supplement that medication, these mass cells are sensing.
And then they have over a thousand mediators is the latest. That they can release depending on what's going on so they can release them selectively. And they're involved in dozens of functions in the body. So they're going to be involved in things like injury repair or infection isolation. So if you cut your finger, let's say, or you get a you get a splinter.
And you don't get it out fast enough or you don't get it cleaned out. And it starts to get red and puffy in there pretty much. Everybody's had that experience. That's your mass cells creating some inflammation, and then they're also signaling using what are called cytokines. And this is a word now that most people are familiar with.
It's got to be kind of household word now, but it used to be a very unique word in, you know, in science and health related issues. But cytokines are messaging. So their messaging molecules and they communicate to mobilize the rest of this immune response to come in. So that's going to happen. If we have an injury that's going to happen.
If we're getting an infection, it's going to happen. If we have mold illness, they also respond to toxins and there's a huge body of research on. EMF response with mess cells. So they're going to respond to those electromagnetic fields for coming off of our laptops coming off of our cell phones and these things like that, or routers this is important in terms of why they, her, how they get dysregulated mass cells get dysregulated when they have this on slot of toxin.
EMS molds viruses, bacteria, and they don't get a chance to rest. So I think of them, like if they're the guards of the castle gate, you've got guards at the castle gate who are on duty. They should be able to do an eight or 10 hour shift and go off duty and breast. And, and, and that's how something like a security detail should work, but what's happening in the world we live in now.
So we're constantly bombarded with toxins. People don't even realize the toxins that are in the Glade plugins, fragrance, plugins. They plug into the wall and the scented candles. Lot of people have no idea the effect of the high levels of EMF exposures that we're getting these days. And then because of that, the mass all start to get regularly.
And this happens in a couple of ways. They get overly sensitive at the receptor sites and then they start to over respond with these mediators and that over response. That's where you're going to start to get symptoms. What those symptoms are depend on, which mass cells are affected. So we have mass cells and almost every tissue in the body.
So everywhere we meet the outside world, the skin tissues of the eyes, the nasal passages, the sinus. The mouth, the whole GI tract, the bladder, the urethra, all of these areas lie with mass cells, the blood vessels, the heart has mass cells. The brain has mass cells, lungs. Any of these areas, the bones and the bone marrow they're actually made the bone marrow and then moved out to the rest of the body.
So somebody may have the classic symptoms, which are going to be flushing, itching, hives, allergy, like symptoms. And an allergy and immunology, there's a misconception that, that all mass cell issues have that presentation, but that's not true. I work with a lot of people that don't have any skin symptoms.
They don't have any flushing issues. They don't have allergy type symptoms. I had a classic case, but not everybody does. I work with a lot of people who have things like GI symptoms. They've got brain fog. They can't. Or they've got heart palpitations, they've got food sensitivities, they've gotten muscle and joint pain.
So you can see it show up in these different ways. The key is that you have symptoms and two or more systems of the body. So system might be the GI system and the muscular system or the joints, the eyes that the nervous system. So those are some examples.
[00:17:09] Bryan Carroll: So would you say that people experiencing like seasonal allergies, pollen, allergies, et cetera, would that, for the most part, just be like a generalized mass cell activation exposure.
So if people that don't really understand what it would be like to, you know come in contact with mold and. So devastating that it puts you into a bed, or it causes you to need to use a cane or a Walker. If people are trying to understand what it's like to go through a an experience with the mass cells being activated, would the seasonal allergies be a good example?
[00:17:48] Beth O'Hara: If there are other things going on as well, if a person only had seasonal allergies that actually wouldn't fit the criteria. Yeah, they'd have to have allergy issues and something else is going to be showing up and it can get better and worse, but generally it's not going to be just that fall season or just that spring season when somebody has trouble.
[00:18:12] Bryan Carroll: Okay. And so someone that is experiencing a mass cell activation and their immune system is really ramping up. Is there a way to. Test to see exactly what's going on or are you just basing things based off of their symptoms?
[00:18:30] Beth O'Hara: That's a great question. And one, that's still up for a lot of hot debate. So I'll tell you what the official diagnostic criteria is.
And then I'll tell you some of the differing viewpoints. One thing we have to know is that mass cell activation syndrome did not get a diagnostic code until 2016. Okay. So before then it was considered in a theoretical phase. Now has been studied since the 1980s it's been proposed for decades, but it was finally officially accepted.
And that was a huge breakthrough and big milestone for those of us dealing with this, for it, to get that status for it, to get that status, it had to have criteria that could be repeated, but it's quite new in comparison to things like. Criteria for type two diabetes. For example, that's been around for a very long time that has been hammered out.
But when that first came to light and that was first presented as a diagnostic criteria, the type two diabetes had to go through evolution as well. So everything has to go through. Now I don't diagnose people. So I'm just sharing information and education, but I can share the information about what this is and you can look this up.
So the diagnostic criteria is that one, there are symptoms in two or more systems, just like we described to that. There is an elevation in one mass cell media. It has to be at least one. And there are, again, over a thousand, we only have the ability to test for a small handful. The best known one is histamine, but there are also a number of prostoglandins PGD.
Two is one's tested tryptase. This is a miseducation that's out there. Tryptase is almost never elevated in mass cell activation syndrome, but that's the one that's most commonly tested. There are other types of mass cell disorders that are quite rare, like mastocytosis and in that condition trip tastes would be elevated or there's a genetic condition with tryptase where it can be elevated.
And these mediators, the problem with this testing is one, most of them too, for the laboratory has to use a cold centrifuge, which most of them don't have to. The sample has to. At process very quickly. It has to be kept at the right temperature. Three, these mediators are up and down in our bloodstream within minutes.
So you get to get it right at the right time. And what we're finding is only about 10% of people dealing with mass cell activation syndrome, have any elevation in these. And how do we even know we're testing the ones that are actually a problem for that person? Because we don't have testing for 99%. So that's influx and that's part of this hot debate that's happening.
The third piece of the criteria is there has to be a positive response and meaning and improvement in symptoms with an anti-histamine or muscle stabilizing medication. The problem with that criteria is that there's one mass cell medication as this formulated that has no mass cell triggering inactive.
And that was called cromolyn sodium. It's a liquid comes in a little ampule, all the rest of them as they're formulated other than well Katata fan has to be compounded in the United States. That one doesn't have any massive triggers of it's compounded correctly without them. But otherwise things like Zyrtec Alegra even Pepcid these anti-histamines and mass cell stabilizers like singular.
They all have ingredients in them that trigger the mass cells. So many people may not have a positive response or maybe they would have without those triggering ingredients, but they're having a reaction to the inactive ingredients. So you can see this is tricky. This is really tricky to work with.
[00:22:39] Bryan Carroll: Yeah.
That's, that's super interesting. And I would assume, and you can correct me if I'm wrong that the testing that we do have, even though it's. You know, widely, it's not going to be accurate if it's going to miss 99% of the different options that could be on the test. But I would assume that it's very expensive is that.
[00:23:03] Beth O'Hara: out-of-pocket, it can be very expensive. It can cost. If you have to pay out of pocket between two and $4,000 to get that blood testing out-of-pocket if the insurance company will pay for it, that's part of it too, is convincing the insurance company and these needed to be paid for if you can get the insurance coverage.
Yeah. Yeah. And there were many, many people that work with mass cell activation who. Don't request this blood work because of it, but for the medical providers who are working under insurance, their hands are tied in that. If they're going to get you insurance coverage and an insurance code. They have to get you a diagnostic code and to get you a diagnostic code so that if they don't get in trouble, they've got to follow the criteria.
And I I've known of practitioners who have their patients come in, be there for eight hours where they ran the testing in-house and they were taking their blood every hour on the hour and having. Significantly provoke a flare when they came in just to get that testing for the insurance coverage. So I'm hoping that this will continue to evolve.
It's just going to take some time and we've gotta be patient with it. And we've also gotta be understanding of the system that medical providers have to work in.
[00:24:14] Bryan Carroll: Right? Yeah. I think that's, that's kind of a hard sell for a two to $4,000 pass. That's going to miss 99% of stuff that could be on it.
That's crazy. One of the things that you had mentioned that I find fascinating is the household that you grew up with in you were having all these issues and you were put on all these medications and that totaled more than the other people in your home. So why is it some people have more issues in these type of environments compared to others?
[00:24:49] Beth O'Hara: That's a great question, Bryan. So some of it, of course is genetic difference. But it's not all of it. And some of it is also going to be different kind of detoxification capacities. I have some early childhood traumas that the rest of my family didn't experience and I had a head injury at nine. And so those kinds of events are going to impact your mass cells as well.
And how sensitive you are. The the other big piece with this, why I mentioned the early childhood traumas and this head injury is that the nervous system is actually enter crimp intricately woven in with the immune system. So if anybody's taken any kind of anatomy class, even my graduate anatomy classes taught here's the immune system.
Here's the nervous system. Here's your hormone system. Here's your GI system and that's not how our bodies work. What I said. So when I got my master's in marriage and family therapy, I was moving into tying all of this together. And my undergraduate was in what's called physiological psychology, which is really the wiring and the physiology of how our minds work and how psychology, neurotransmitters, and all that cool stuff behind our thoughts and our moods.
So is already starting to realize that you can't separate psychology from the nervous system that doesn't make any. And so you also can't separate the immune system, the gut, or the hormones from the nervous system, because the nervous system is the communication network of our whole body. And there are a find this so fascinating, Bryan, there are mass cells at every nerve ending and every mass cell has receptors for the neurotransmitters and the neuropeptides that are coming being released from the neuro.
And then every nerve ending has receptors for the mass cell mediators. And they're in this constant communication feedback with each other. This is how, this is literally an exactly how things like stress, trauma, and injuries, and even having a vertebrae out in your neck that puts pressure on a nerve pain triggers our immune system.
And things like, you know, we can go off on a tangent, but I'm going to try not to. And things like auto-immunity and then there's a massive amount of the immune system and the gut massive amount of nervous system in the gut. So all of that ties together. And this is why when we're dealing with things like immune dysregulation, with mold toxicity, we have to address the nervous system.
And I talk about in my courses that. Addressing the nervous system calming down the nervous system, managing our stress is at least 50% of the healing process. It's as important as the foods we're choosing and the supplements. And I just want to say that again, that these things that support the nervous system.
Which we're not giving enough attention to, but are a game changer in chronic illness. And this is what turns the corner for people I work with with sensitivities. Our whole practice changed when we brought this on board is just as important as getting the right supplements, getting the right foods on board.
[00:28:20] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. And I think a lot of people forget that there's a lot more stressors than just our perceived experience of. Like driving to work. Yes, that's a stressor, but your environment, if you're breathing in mold spores, that's also a stressor. So there's a lot more, lot of different types of stressors that are impacting the
[00:28:40] Beth O'Hara: body.
Well, and that's so huge. What you just said is that the mold spores and the mold toxins. So part of our nervous system, this access, I think, as the limbic system, which is in the brain, The vagal nerve that comes out at the very top of the neck and is truly, we need to be calling it. The polyvagal nerve as Stephen Porges has described it because it's not one nerve as this whole system network and the mass cells are all part together.
The sensing defending network, there's a nerve that goes from our nose right into the limbic system of the brain called the olfactory. So factory meaning the sense of smell and whether we can register or not. We smell, we pick up mold toxins and to just illustrate how this works, anybody who's ever been hiking and had the hair on the back of their neck stand up, or you've started to get into an elevator.
And your guts sank. And you're like, eh, I don't know about getting on the elevator with that person. You actually smelled something and it triggered this deep instinctual response, which is in the limbic system. So even reptiles have a limbic system and that's our fear and emotion center and it does get over-activated with trauma, but also mold toxins are a huge dysregulate.
Of the limbic system and the vagal nerve signaling. And that's again, why, if we have mold toxicity, we have to reboot that limbic and that vagal system, in addition to the mass cell side of this, to get through, particularly people who are really sensitive and have been sick for a long time.
[00:30:22] Bryan Carroll: Right? Yeah.
And I like what you were talking about earlier. You know, anatomy and just the science in general has really become very reductionist. Like we try to specialize, we have gut specialists, we have immune specialists. We have, you know, orthopedics, we have, you know, everything is just so specialized and no one's really talking to each other, but that's not how the body works.
Everything on the body is talking to other parts of the body. Everything's connected to other parts of the body. There's not anything. At least that I know of in the body that works all by itself without being impacted by anything else.
[00:30:58] Beth O'Hara: And that's why you and these specialists are really important, right?
Because you need somebody. If you need a colonoscopy, you want somebody to, all they do is colonoscopies. You don't want a generalist for that, but you need somebody also on the team that can see the. And see how these pieces are fitting together. How do they tie in together? How is the nervous system pieces affecting what's happening here with motility?
Even just, if we take a really simple example, like constant chronic constipation, well, a lot of times people who they're taking magnesium and they're taking the prokinetics like ginger, and they're doing all these things they do for motility and it's not working. Lot of times the vagal nerve hasn't been addressed, the vagal nerve is what.
Signals for that muscular movement to happen.
[00:31:47] Bryan Carroll: Perfect. So one of my questions I was going to ask you is once you have a mass cell activation syndrome episode, is it easier for you to go through another episode once you are exposed to the right.
[00:32:02] Beth O'Hara: Yeah, that's a good question, too. People can get more sensitized over time if they're not addressing the underlying root causes.
And that's typically what's seen, and in traditional medicine, mass cell activation syndrome is usually seen as progressive and degenerative that's because an and it's. Traditional medicine is not a system for addressing root causes. Traditional medicine was developed for addressing what's acute. So I'm not knocking traditional medicine at all.
Somebody's arm gets cut off. I can't help them please. Don't call me, go to the ER. They will save your life. And that system is more about managing and more about saving lives and these acute issues. If we address the, the underlying root causes of. The mass cells can start to reregulate over time, particularly for bringing this nervous system piece in.
And then we address the big and the biggest root cause underlying mass cell activation syndrome is mold toxicity. Absolutely. Number one. Biggest root cause of people that are dealing with these and not just mass cell activation syndrome, any kind of atypical issues. I've seen people who were diagnosed with atypical, Ms.
Atypical, Parkinson's all kinds of presentations, strange, unusual GI presentations people who've had cancers way too. Young mold toxicity is a huge mimicker of all kinds of things. And it's a big disregulate of the mass cells, but I've also worked with people. I had a young girl who she was 12 when I started seeing her, she was having daily anaphylaxis to eating low histamine foods and highest mean foods can trigger mast cells.
These are going to be things like ferments and she wasn't having alcohol of course, but alcohol is an example. Strawberries, pineapple. These are highest mean she was eating low histamine. It's still having anaphylaxis throat closing, passing out when. They were exposed to huge amount of mold. So we've found the mold, got her out of the mold environment, anaphylaxis boom stopped.
And I've worked with people who are having 20 seizures a day couldn't even carry on a conversation. Could only make it through about 10 minutes of an appointment, had to leave. You know, parent had to finish the appointment of, but ended up adult and getting the mold toxicity, handled issues in a wheelchair out of the wheelchair, looking at, going to college, writing full sentences.
As an adult. So you see remarkable turnarounds. Those are some intense cases. Sometimes you just have people who really, they don't feel well. They're dragging, they're exhausted their brains, aren't working, right. They're having GI symptoms. Those are more your typical presentations. But I, I, in the work that we do, I see significant turnarounds.
I see people who were housebound and. Couldn't hardly eat at all. We're in 10 different foods like I was. And then a year later there, one woman in particular, I'm thinking of traveled to New York with her daughter. She ate restaurants all week. She walked several miles that week. So I do think that we get major turnarounds for most people.
And I see that every day.
[00:35:33] Bryan Carroll: What percentage of the population do you think is living in. Or spending a majority of their time in a moldy environment without knowing it.
[00:35:45] Beth O'Hara: Yeah. That's a great question. I can tell you that one, it of course depends on where you are in the country. Right? We see a lot of people in the Pacific Northwest up where you are California, Florida, Texas, all along the east coast, these hurricane areas and these high humid areas.
And. Pretty much everywhere, except Arizona, Utah, away from the lake. We get people, salt lake city, but away from the lake, we don't get a lot of people. We don't get a lot of people in New Mexico. We don't get a lot of people in the desert area of Texas. Outside of that, we have a major mold process. Not just the United States, but globally.
And it's gotten worse in the last 20 years, significantly worse than with my colleagues. Who've been in working in healthcare for 40 years or more. They tell me, they've seen the cases get more complex, more people are ill. This is, and it's exponentially increasing. There were some studies running. Bryan.
And that's what I have that I can pull from, but they're about 20 years old. So the EPA in Berkeley national lab did a study about 20 years ago that showed that 49% of homes in the United States had mold, had water damaged issues, leading to toxic mold. They found that 85% of commercial work space. Had water damage leading to toxic mold.
And they found at this point in time, this one study I'm thinking of was in the eighties and it has not been repeated. And this was a us government study showed that about 35% of schools had mold. I believe it's worse. Now,
[00:37:30] Bryan Carroll: do you think there, I mean, I don't want to. What's the right word. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist or anything, but do you think the reason they're not repeating these studies is because they know that it's a big issue.
And if they're discovering that this issue is as large as it seems, then it would cost a lot of money to get all these different places.
[00:37:54] Beth O'Hara: Gosh, I don't really know. It could be that it could be that it just costs a lot of money and there's not a lot of interest in it. I think we highly under recognized the impact of mold.
A lot of people, even they come into my practice and I talk about mold and write about mold and bang the drum about. So much because I have yet to have a client come in to our practice who did not have toxic mold, and we're talking over 600 people and I'm testing them. I'm not just going, oh, you look like you have mold.
I mean, we're doing urine testing, looking at it in, in their urine. And but we just don't think about it. And so many times people come in and they're like, well, I don't see any more. I was like, well, by the time you see mold, you have a huge problem. I hope you don't see mold, but I think there's still mold and crawl spaces are an issue.
And that's, that's a big problem. And this, to the humidity, we build houses tighter now. So because of the building code changes, we went through in the seventies and then again, around 2000. And this building code change holds moisture in the walls. And anytime you have humidity above 50%, you're going to have mold growth.
That's just to get. 'cause it's like, I think of like the old grim Lynn movie. I don't know if you remember that movie. I but it, in the gremlin movie, you couldn't get gizmo wet cause it'd be got him wet. You know, he'd turned into the gremlin, the, or the gremlins would like spawn off of him. That's kinda like what mold does, he don't want to get those spores wet.
And then I've talked with. Really good colleagues who are some of the top mold inspectors in the country. And they've told me that, and they've been doing this for decades. And they told me that they really noticed an explosion when around 2000 to 2006 was when we started bringing these wifi routers into our homes, got off of the dial up and we started using more.
People started getting more cell phones and they saw basic explosion with that. And what's being observed, says this needs to be stayed more of what's being observed around the areas of wifi routers and homes that are smart homes with a lot more EMS have worse mold issues. So it seems to be triggering the mold to produce more toxins and more spores because they see it, the mold experiences that is a threat.
[00:40:17] Bryan Carroll: Interesting. I know. And then two years ago now there was a big mold issue at the Seattle children's hospital. And to the point where they actually lost a couple of kids from exposure to mold and, you know, these are supposed to be pretty sterile environments, these hospitals, and they still had mold in their hospital.
[00:40:36] Beth O'Hara: I have a lot of hospital workers and I hear a lot of horror stories.
[00:40:41] Bryan Carroll: Yup. Yeah, it's concerning. And I also know there's a lot of. Kind of like what you mentioned, where you get hurricanes or flash flooding or stuff, just water damage and these homes. And people will dry out their homes, but if it's been wet for what more than 24 hours and the likelihood of mold already growing at that point, it's pretty high.
[00:41:01] Beth O'Hara: And you've got to rip out those water damaged materials and replace them and you have to go two feet. From the visible water damage. And the reason is mold has what are called high Fe they're little tendrils that are like plant roots, but microscopic, so you're not going to see them, but if you don't cut all of that out, it can regrow from a nanometer of tendril of, of that high Fe and just in this keep going.
So you've got to cut out a beyond where the visible water damages, two feet is usually the standard on
[00:41:36] Bryan Carroll: that. So quickly, let's go over a couple of different ways to manage mass cell activation syndrome. And I know it's going to be very individualized with people, and I would assume that the first step, if you're in a moldy environment is to get out of that environment as best that you can.
So what else can people do to try and manage MCA S
[00:42:00] Beth O'Hara: so I can give you the. Definitely get out of the toxic exposure, particularly if there's mold toxins. I've also had people who got sick from things like a traditional mattress that was off gassing things like flame retardants. So think about what the triggers are, and it's very important to identify those.
And we've got even a free root causes report. People can access if they want to think about what those might be for them. Then start working on the nervous system, particularly if you're sensitive, sensitivities are very nervous system driven. When we talk nervous system, I'm not talking about downloading or listing to some relaxing meditation music on YouTube.
That's great. And you could do that, but it's not going to do what we're talking about. You have to reboot the limbic and the vagal system. So these are going to be things like the goop to program or DNRs. For the limbic system, those are the two main options for the Olympics. And the vagal nerve there's things like brain tap there's things like safe and sound protocol.
There's a great book. Everybody can get. As long as they go, very gentle, listen to their bodies called accessing the healing power of the vagal nerve. And it has really good exercises for the vagal nerve. These are not gargling and singing. These are specific targeted exercises. The key I'll tell everybody is if you're sensitive, be very gentle.
You don't have to. That you move your eyes. He says, look, as far as you can, you don't have to do that. You can look gently at an angle. Don't do anything. That's gonna feel bad. So that's a very small example of some of the options there. And some people like me have needed a lot of support there. And we've got a whole course that can teach people how to do that, called the mess on nervous system reboot.
Then we have to support the mass cell calming, and these are going to be targeted separately. Some people also need some targeted Massell medications, hopefully without the triggering an active ingredients, if they're sensitive and there's all kinds of supplements, people, some of the most popular ones, I can't tell everybody they'll tolerate it, but the most popular ones are things like queer Sutton.
One of my favorite is Perilla seed extract. And one that most people can do well with. If they don't have high blood pressures, actually baking soda is a really good mass, a modulator. So, but if you have high blood pressure that has sodium. So you've got to watch that if you have high blood pressure, those are the three.
Starting steps. And then if you have mold toxicity and I recommend everybody check for mold toxicity, it's amazing how common most of my clients end up checking their family members who aren't even sick and they find mold toxins. And a lot of times these tests come back with very small levels in the beginning and people don't think they have mold toxicity, but the big deal here is that most of the people that are sick or poor detoxify.
And mold toxins stay stuck in the tissues. So you can't get it out of the tissues, then you can't see it on the urine. So you shouldn't see anything on those tests. And the best test to do is real time mycotoxin urine test or great Plains. And I recommend people at a minimum get real time, at least.
And then if you have the budget for it, also get great Plains. But if you see a little minuscule amount, don't be fooled that. And if it shows in their normal level, don't be fooled. It shouldn't be there. And as you go along and detox, that those levels usually go up over time. As people can excrete better and detox better, and then they come down, they finally get rid of it.
[00:45:52] Bryan Carroll: Perfect. Well, Beth, is there any final things that you want to make sure that we touch on when it comes to mass cell activation?
[00:45:59] Beth O'Hara: Yes, that this is a journey and it's not a quick fix. And I wish I had a quick fix for it. But as you know, even from your own journey and you had an, in my perspective, a very short window of chronic illness, which was quite rare from the people I work with that, you know, But as well as anybody going through this, that this takes a while to unfold, and this can take people anywhere from one to three or four years to go through the way to get through this.
It's not trying to do it all at once because you're going to get overwhelmed and you're going to crash and burn, but to do step by step by step and just to keep looking at well, what can I do next? What can I do at this stage? And to get some help because. Almost impossible to do alone. I had to get a graduate degree to do this, and most people don't have that luxury.
Most people don't have the, the pre-med background. It's okay to get some help. We have a ton of free resources for people, even if they can't take a. We've got a lot of resources on our blog for free. We have Facebook lives most Mondays on different topics for free and a whole community. So you don't have to do this alone.
[00:47:23] Bryan Carroll: Awesome. And all of that can be [email protected] And you got a year, three courses. Did you mention all three or did you just talk about a couple?
[00:47:33] Beth O'Hara: I didn't mention all three. So there's the order. I recommend people go and if you're super. To start with the bass cell 360 cert Massell nervous system reboot.
If you're not super sensitive, you could jump into the supplements class, which is the top eight Massell supporting supplements masterclass. And then if you're really interested in mold, check out the MC 360 precision mode. Masterclass. And there's a basic level for people who just like the basic, there's an advance for people who are the health geeks, and like to listen to podcasts like this and get all into the juicy details.
And that covers the basics on the nervous system and the supplements class. He could start there if you're not super sensitive. And then you can go back. If you need more details on those.
[00:48:22] Bryan Carroll: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Beth. I have one final question for you, and that is what is your vision of what healthy looks like and what are three things you do daily to reach that vision?
[00:48:33] Beth O'Hara: I love for this. My vision of healthy is, and it's why we call it basketball 360. It's a 360 degree. It means that we're attending to not just our physical body. But our emotional selves and being our healthiest emotional selves, that we're being compassionate with ourselves and gentle and loving that were taking care of her nervous system.
On top of eating healthy, eating, clean, getting exercise, all those things you'd normally think of getting time in nature. That's my view of, of health that we're attending to our entire selves. And. The three things daily that I do I do spend time in nature every day so that I can slow down and I can listen to something that's deeper than just my mind chattering.
And then, so I get that in every single day, no matter what, even if it's raining, I get on my raincoat and I go outside into the woods. I work on my detox pathways every day and I take binders every day. Cause we have so many times. Even, even outside of mold detox, we have so many toxins. And then I listen and pay close attention.
What's my body needing today in terms of, do I feel like any more protein? Do I need more fat? Do I need some exercise today? Do I need to rest today? So those are probably the three things I definitely do every day.
[00:50:02] Bryan Carroll: What's your favorite?
[00:50:05] Beth O'Hara: Oh, we'd have to pick one and they all do different things.
[00:50:10] Bryan Carroll: The name a couple of them.
[00:50:12] Beth O'Hara: Well, I'd like to, I, I was on a research team that with Joe Mathur and Neil, Nathan and Emily Gibbler, and we really mapped out from the research data, what these binders. So for me, it's about what toxins do we have? What mold toxins do we have and matching it to that. So it's very personalized. My favorite binders for myself are a combo and I take charcoal, chlorella zeolite.
Then tonight I take Saccharomyces boulardii, which also acts as a glio toxin by. And I take, actually take well call, which is a prescription binder. So I'm taking six binders right now.
[00:50:53] Bryan Carroll: And can you take binders with food or other supplements or do you have to separate them?
[00:50:58] Beth O'Hara: Yeah, that's a good question too.
So it depends on the binder. Some binders have a negative charge and if they have a negative charge, mostly other things that we do, foods, medication supplements have a positive charge. The studies actually were animal studies where they fed them very high dose binders like charcoal and bentonite and with their meals.
And we're talking the equivalent of around a kilogram. Per person would be the human equivalent. Nobody takes that much binders, but they didn't have any nutrient depletion. So I thought that was really interesting because there's so much worry about that. But I do try to get them away from supplements and medications.
So those are charcoal, chlorella bentonite and zeolite. Then Saccharomyces boulardii. Well, call these have a positive charge. Cola star means a binary issue. Sometimes positive charge. Those are taken with food.
[00:51:59] Bryan Carroll: Perfect. Good thing I asked. I know there's always a lot of worries about that with binders that you could cause nutrient depletion.
So that's why I wanted to ask. Well, Beth, thank you so much for coming on. We could easily talk about this for hours and hours, but I want to respect your time and respect the listeners time. So we'll probably have to have you back on in the future and dive down a little
[00:52:23] Beth O'Hara: deeper, Bryan, and thank you so much for teaming up with me to get this information out to.
[00:52:30] Bryan Carroll: As you can see the immune system is very complicated. And if you know that you've been exposed to environmental toxins, such as mold, then reaching out to someone like Beth O'Hara is definitely in your best interest, especially if you're having major reactions to these environmental toxins. You want to make sure you're taking care of that ASAP before you get so debilitated.
It's very difficult to recover. So to learn more about Bethel Hara, go to mass cell three sixty.com and you can learn more about her over there. And if you want links to anything that we talked about in this episode, then head on over to the show notes. We have transcripts, we've got timestamps, et cetera of everything.
From this [email protected] slash 1 6 1 next week, I have Dr. Amy Killen on the show. Let's go learn who she is and what we'll be talking about. I am here with Dr. Amy Killen. Hey Amy, what is one unique thing about you that most people don't.
[00:53:30] Dr. Amy Killen: I'm obsessed with dance movies like Footloose, even though I can't dance at all. I love watching dance movies.
[00:53:39] Bryan Carroll: So Footloose I'm assuming dirty dancing was probably on that list.
[00:53:42] Dr. Amy Killen: Is there any dancing step up, like all of it, like all of the iterations of all of those movies. I've watched many times. I love it.
[00:53:50] Bryan Carroll: Well, what will we be learning about in our interview today?
[00:53:53] Dr. Amy Killen: We will talk about sex and skin specifically regenerative approaches to healthy sexual health as well as healthy skin will be how we can use things like stem cells and light-based therapies and hormones and lifestyle, all of these things and combine them to have amazing sex and skin.
[00:54:11] Bryan Carroll: And what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their day?
[00:54:17] Dr. Amy Killen: I'm a big fan of, of omega-3 fatty acids. I think they're amazing for hormones for sexual health and for skin health. And I'm also a big fan of, of, of nitrate rich vegetables and fruits, things like spinach, things like beets, because those are also really important for blood flow
[00:54:34] Bryan Carroll: in what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness?
[00:54:40] Dr. Amy Killen: My number one thing is to get good sleep. And that's seven to eight hours a night. Of course the second one has to be exercise. And the last one actually is to work on stress and how you deal with the outside world. Because if you can't handle that, then it's really hard to become
[00:54:55] Bryan Carroll: A lot of fun chatting with Dr. Amy all about regenerative medicine and anti-aging practices. So until next week, keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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