Hashimoto's

Most Bloating Is Caused by This...

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What Causes A Bloated Stomach and How to Get Rid of It for Good

According to Dr. Eric Regier, about 96% of cases of a bloated stomach are due to SIBO.

SIBO is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. There should be a very small amount of bacteria and the small intestine, and a large amount in the large intestine. Due to the reasons we’ll cover below, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can occur.

Symptoms of SIBO include: bloated stomach, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea.

What Causes SIBO?

1) Dysfunction of Migrating Motor Complex

This is the function that sweeps the small bowel, and dysfunction is due to, usually, food poisoning, but can also be due to hypothyroidism, c difficile, Lyme bacteria, opioid use, antibiotic use, or giardia.

In cases of food poisoning, the toxins produced by the poisonous bacteria damage the nerves that facilitate the migrating motor complex. The body can then create an antibody against this toxin. But unfortunately, at the same time, it will produce an antibody against a protein that helps keep the tight junctions of the intestine tight. When this protein is attacked, you can end of with chronic leaky gut.

2) Anatomical Blockages

These are often due to surgical adhesions, endometrial adhesions, fistulas, or diverticula.

3) Low stomach acid levels

Acid kills bacteria. Unfortunately, stress, hypothyroidism and use of acid-blocking medications can all hinder this process.

4) Ileocecal Valve Malfunction

If this valve between the small and large intestine is absent or not working, bacteria from the large bowel can backflow into the small intestine. The valve can be irritated by ‘stimulating’ foods like coffee, tea, soda, spicy food, sugar, chocolate, processed foods and popcorn.

According to Dr. David Williams, Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the form of lactic acid yeast wafers can help for diarrhea symptoms related to SIBO.

According to Dr. Craig Maxwell, Magnesium Chelate and a good probiotic can help.

Also local massage for a few minutes on your right lower abdomen about 15 degrees and down from your hip bone can help.

SIBO Has a Cousin…

SIBO has a cousin called SIFO (I’m not making this stuff up!) which stand for Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth. SIFO is similar to SIBO except it’s defined by an overgrowth of fungus in the small intestine.

Some additional symptoms related to include: belching, nausea, confused thinking, headaches, fatigue and joint pain.

If your SIBO symptoms are not going away with treatment, SIFO could be the culprit, and an anti-fungal approach with a functional practitioner may be needed.

Diet for a bloated STomach

When you eat foods, the bacteria in your small intestine may be ‘fed’ as well, and the byproduct of their feasting can be gas.

The bacteria that has overgrown in your gut varies from person to person. Therefore the foods that irritate SIBO vary as well.

While you go through treatment, it’s important to find the foods that won’t aggravate your symptoms, and the amounts.For example, you may tolerate eating a few grapes, but not a whole bowl of grapes.

The diet I most recommend experimenting with is the low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

That’s a mouthful! Basically FODMAPs are foods that contain indigestible starches, and the bacteria in your body will ‘ferment’ them to break them down. The byproduct of that fermentation is gas.

If you want to avoid the gas, you can avoid the high FODMAP foods that irritate your certain bacteria, and instead choose low FODMAP foods.

Two great resources I’ve found for FODMAP information are:

Monash University - The researchers at this Canadian university developed and trademarked The Low FODMAP diet.

Kate Scarlata - Kate is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author who has developed some handy checklists and useful guides for avoiding high FODMAP foods.

Protocols for SIBO Symptoms and Bloating Remedies

The treatment of a bloated stomach (SIBO) can be a slow and winding road due to the different causes of SIBO and the different bacteria that may be involved. But if you don’t want to live with the digestive symptoms you’re currently experiencing, it’s best to start somewhere!

In my opinion, you’ll get the best results when working with a functional medicine coach. A provider can run a SIBO breath test, a stool test, and any other tests that may be needed in your case. She can get specialty supplements that may be difficult to get otherwise. And lastly, dealing with a chronic condition that may be slow to respond is emotionally draining, and having a coach to talk to can keep you moving forward.

Let’s look at a few supplements that can help with a bloated stomach / SIBO:

Oregano Oil- Oregano oil is the potent essential oil of the oregano plant. It can help for both SIBO and SIFO. It is often combined with other antimicrobial and anti-fungals like thyme oil and grapefruit seed extract.

This is a ‘hot oil’ so you’ll need to dilute it in a carrier oil if used on your skin or take in a capsule internally. We carry a blend of thyme, oregano and other supportive essential oils in capsule form in GX Assist in our doTERRA shop.

Atrantil- Atrantil is a mix of whole peppermint and extracts from the Quebracho and Conker Tree.

Together, these ingredients help to:

  • Relax intestinal cramping

  • Soak up hydrogen gas

  • Stop production of methane bacteria

  • Disable / kill troublemaking archaebacteria.

You can purchase this product on our shop.

Ginger- If you’ve managed to rid yourself of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, you need to keep it clear now! Ginger can help stimulate the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) we learned about earlier. I like this Chewable Ginger by Natural Factors. We also carry ginger oil (it’s so yummy) in our doTERRA shop.

Other substances that stimulate the MMC are: 5-HTP (OTC supplement) and LDN (low dose naltrexone- by prescription only).

Binders- While using good binders won’t cure your SIBO, it will sure help relieve it! Binders like activated charcoal and others (see my blogs on binders) can absorb the gas within its porous structure.

Probiotics- Not all bloating is due to SIBO. Bloating can also come from a sudden change in diet, like adding vegetables suddenly or eating beans for the first time in months. Since I now rarely eat gluten-free pasta and pizza, I find that I react strongly to it and become bloated.

I think the site PaleoLeap.com sums it up well, “Either you’re eating a type of fiber that you don’t have enough of the right gut flora to digest, or you’re eating a type that they like too well, so you get overgrowth problems. For example, this study found that flatulence was “associated with instability of the microbial ecosystem:” the gut flora of patients with bad gas actually responded differently to their food, potentially causing the problem.”

This is why adding a good probiotic is helpful. Some probiotics will actually feed the bacteria in the small intestine and cause bloating. But spore-based probiotics will not. The probiotic that is our hands down favorite is MegaSporeBiotic.

This is a recent testimonial from a new MegaSporeBiotic user who had bloating for 20 years:

“I've had IBS for over 20 years and NOTHING has helped until NOW.

RESULTS: BLOATING, gone! I no longer have explosive diarrhea in the morning but have normal, well-formed stools that sink in the toilet, 2 to 3 times per day!!! AMAZING PRODUCT!!!!”

Antibiotics and Prescription Antifungals- If you’re not having success after using herbal treatments, prescriptive options are available as well through your doctor.

Conclusion

Though there can be a little trial and error on the road to healing your gut, the results are well worth it! Running to the bathroom, being too bloated to exercise or even move...this is not what life is about!

My Favorite Bloating REmedies

Get a curated kit of highly effective bloating products that work synergistically for chronic bloating. Us the coupon code HEALTHYGUT15 for $15 off now.

These three products work synergistically to eliminate the source of over 90% of chronic bloating! Each kit comes with an easy-to-follow PDF guide and 30 day money back offer through our shop.

 

Do you have questions? Do you have tips for dealing with a bloated stomach or bloating remedies? Comment below!


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Root Causes of Hashimoto's with Dr. Eric Osansky

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Dr. Eric Osansky is a chiropractic physician, clinical nutritionist, and Functional medicine practitioner. He is back on the show in the event of his new book coming out called "Hashimoto's Triggers". In this episode we talk about Hashimoto's disease & its triggers, the connection between thyroid & SIBO, and essential oils.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:05 Introducing Dr. Eric Osansky's new book
Min 02:55 What are Hashimoto's triggers?
Min 04:25 Food triggers
Min 08:00 Estrogen dominance
Min 12:10 The connection between thyroid & SIBO
Min 18:10 Blood sugar as a trigger for Hashimoto's
Min 21:55 Blue light exposure
Min 23:45 Dr. Osansky's book
Min 24:05 Using essential oils

To learn more about Dr. Osansky, visit his website here and follow him on social media:
Facebook 

Resources:

Hashimoto's Triggers book 
Addressing Hashimoto's and Graves' Disease with Dr. Eric Osansky 
Receive a FREE CHAPTER from Dr. Osansky's book "Hashimoto's Triggers"

Here's a video version of the interview with Dr. Eric Osansky:


Ready to Support Your Thyroid?

Check out my free guide on simple hacks for thyroid support!

You want help for your thyroid symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining the exact techniques I use to help keep my Hashimoto’s in remission.

Let me help you start addressing your symptoms now!


The Best Supplements for Leaky Gut

A growing body of scientific research indicates that the health of the gut is crucial for the maintenance of our overall well-being, regulating a diverse range of functions including digestion, immunity, and hormonal balance. Learn how to better support your digestive system!

Are You in Prediabetes? With Dr. Alan Hopkins

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Dr. Alan Hopkins is the CEO of YOURLABWORK, LLC and is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. In this episode, we continue with the conversation on blood sugar that we started last week with Diane Sanfilippo. Hopkins talks about what prediabetes is, testing and blood sugar numbers.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:45 Dr. Alan Hopkins' background & work
Min 04:25 Diabetes research
Min 08:40 Lab testing at Your Lab Work
Min 10:25 Taking a stand for your health
Min 12:35 Prediabetes & diabetes numbers
Min 13:20 Blood sugar markers & your risk potential
       - Blood sugar of 85 or less is considered perfect
       - Blood sugar of 100 is prediabetes
       - Blood sugar of 125 is diabetes
       - Blood sugar of 126 & above is consistent with Types 2 diabetes
Min 18:00 Early blood sugar screening
Min 24:50 Insulin resistance
Min 28:40 Effects of exercise & food on blood sugar
Min 33:10 Dealing with Prediabetes
Min 36:45 Custom lab work
       - Metabolic panel
       - Sugar metabolism & Diabetes screening
       - Thyroid tests (TSH, Free T3, Free T4), Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (for Hashimoto's)
       - Advanced cholesterol panel

To learn more about Dr. Alan Hopkins, visit his website here.

Resources:

Detoxing From Sugar with Diane Sanfilippo
How High Blood Sugar Wrecks Your Hormones with Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo 
Get 20% discount off your lab work using the discount code "Drr2018"
Practitioner Training Program survey
Custom lab work

Here's the video version of the interview with Dr. Alan Hopkins:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Nutrition for Thyroid Recovery with Caroline Stahlschmidt

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Caroline Stahlschmidt is a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner (FNLP) and is a practicing functional nutritionist at the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto's but has learned to thrive with her autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle modifications. In this episode we talk about thyroid, nutrition and advanced issues about thyroid markers.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 00:40 Results of our podcast survey
Min 06:05 Introduction to Caroline Stahlschmidt & her Hashimoto's diagnosis
Min 08:15 Factors that contributed to Caroline's Hashimoto's
Min 10:00 Unhealthy guts & your poop
Min 13:30 High TSH levels
Min 19:00 The Epstein Barr virus
Min 22:00 Caroline's evolution of symptoms
Min 26:40 Getting enough sleep & rest
Min 31:55 Nutrition & diet for good health
Min 41:05 Yoga & Caroline's healing journey
Min 47:05 Caroline's resources & work

To learn more about Caroline Stahlschmidt and the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) Clinic, visit their website here and follow them on social media:
Facebook 
Pinterest 
YouTube 

Resources:

Free ebook (Food/Mood/Poop) 
Beautycounter - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's the video version of the interview with Caroline:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Take Down Your Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis involves the body’s immune system breaking down the tissue of the thyroid gland. The possible symptoms are numerous and may include:

  • Hair loss

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Frequent colds and flu

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Weight gain

I believe our modern environment has created the perfect storm for Hashimoto’s. Many, many women have a leaky gut due to growing up on processed foods and now Genetically Modified Foods. Most women would report they are chronically stressed, which thins the protective layer of the gut. And we are all exposed to a slew of chemicals from chlorine in water (a thyroid disrupter), to xeno-estrogens in plastics (makes for an increased need for thyroid hormone), to heavy metals in our make-up (linked to irregular thyroid function).

Many of our clients and women in our online community tell me they had gotten a Hashimoto’s diagnosis but have not had any improvement in symptoms as yet. 

Some of them are on thyroid medication and have experimented a bit with dietary changes, but didn’t stick to it.

Thyroid medication can, in some cases, relieve symptoms because more thyroid hormone is made available to the body’s cells and systems.  However, it does not address the inflammatory nature of a disease based on immune dysregulation, with a background of leaky gut.  These things will never be addressed by thyroid medication!

Others have gone full tilt with major, long-term diet changes and supplements but are still not fully improved. While this will make an impact for most women and may be enough to send some women into remission, there are causes that a blanket approach to diet and supplements are not addressing. 

Here are some things to consider if you aren't improving:

  • Do you have heavy metal toxicity from frequent trips to the sushi bar?

  • How about parasite shared with you by your sweet toddler?

  • Or is your stressful job causing a flare-up of once dormant Epstein Barr infection?

Unfortunately unraveling your own root causes of Hashimoto’s can be a long and winding road. So why bother?  Here are three good reasons:

  1. If you have one autoimmune disease, you are likely to add another autoimmune disease to your list every 10 years (reference: The Autoimmune Fix by Dr. Tom O'Bryan)

  2. If you continue to live with a leaky gut your micronutrient levels are likely to decrease, leaving you even more fatigued

  3. Those unaddressed symptoms are limiting you every day, preventing you from reaching goals, affecting your relationships and generally keeping you from a full experience of what life has to offer.

Getting to the root of a chronic illness, any chronic illness, takes tenacity and an investment of your time and money.  Depending on your circumstances, you may have more time or money, but, frankly, it’s going to take a combination of both.

Luckily learning in the internet age is mostly free. Lately, I am trying to listen to about an hour of audio material a day and to read a health book at least once a month (I want to increase that and speed read one per week!)  There are lots of ways to learn:

  • Podcasts

  • Audiobooks

  • Library books

  • Kindle books

  • Online summits

  • Group programs

  • Directly from a practitioner

  • By observing your own body, journaling, and experimenting.

I really want to stress the importance of persistence. As Dr. Izabella Wentz states in her book, Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back, you need to “DIG-AT-IT.” Here’s what her acronym stands for:  

Depletions, Digestion

Iodine, Inflammation, Infection, Immune Imbalance

Gut, Gluten

Adrenals, Alkaline Phosphatase

Triggers

Intolerances

Toxins

Each of these categories entails quite a bit!  I really recommend my friend Izabella’s New York Times bestselling book, Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back.

You can also hear Dr. Wentz speak if you purchase the online Healing Hashimoto's Summit.  She’s a wealth of information, as is Dr. Datis Kharrazian, a functional neurology physician who is an amazing researcher and medical innovator. A new friend, Dr. Natasha Fallahi, DC, is co-host of the summit spoke about a more nurturing, intuitive approach to healing. (As much as I want you educated, please don't beat yourself and take an overly aggressive approach to your healing!) 


TIME TO SUPPORT YOUR THYROID

Check out my free guide on simple hacks for thyroid support!

You want help for your thyroid symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining the exact techniques I use to help keep my Hashimoto’s in remission.

Let me help you start addressing your symptoms now!

Questions? Please post below.


Bridgit.png

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

The Parasite Hormone Connection

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Do you think parasites have nothing to do with hormones? Or that parasites are very rare and only found in places like rural Africa?

You would be wrong on both counts. In this article, I'll explain:

  • What is the connection between hormones and parasites

  • What are the symptoms of a parasitic infection

  • Why are parasites so common

  • What you can do about it

 

The Link Between Parasites and Hormones

A parasite is dictionary defined as “an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.” 

You might be thinking, “well shouldn't my body prevent parasites?” You are right; it should but it doesn't always succeed. Parasites can enter through the skin or the vagina but the most common area of entry is the mouth.

When you eat something or put your hands in your mouth you expose yourself to potential parasites and their larvae.  Parasites are found in soil and feces and do a great job of spreading themselves around.

When you swallow a parasite, your stomach acid should burn off the pathogen. However many of us have low stomach acid production from a thyroid condition, because of aging, or because we were eating on in a rush and we didn't get our bodies into “rest and digest” mode.

If a parasite survives the stomach it can live in the intestines or move to other areas of the body. Parasites can remain for decades. You may also be wondering, “isn't it somewhat normal to have parasites?”

According to Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman in her book Guess What Came to Dinner?, some amount of parasites could make for no noticeable symptoms. It really depends on the type and quantity of parasites and the strength or weakness of the host.

You are the host and the environment you create in your body helps determine if a parasite finds a good home or not. If your intestines are out of balance because of eating inflammatory foods, leaky gut, antibiotic use, other infections, or eating a high-sugar, high-refined flour diet you are providing a welcoming home for a parasite.

So now you understand how having a parasite is indeed possible. But why would this affect your hormones?

Having a parasite will cause inflammation in the gut and a potential loss of nutrients going to you, the host.

Hormones stay in balance through:

  • Production

  • Clearance

  • Communication

Parasites will contribute to the overall poor environment in the gut. And your gut is an important location for hormone production and clearance.

The nutrients you absorb in the gut are the ingredients to make hormones: B vitamins, amino acids, fats, etc. That's why I consider it not only very important to eat nourishing foods, but also to take high-quality supplements to 'mind your gut'.

Parasites can contribute to an imbalanced bacterial environment in your gut. (Other contributors are sugar, alcohol, white flour, genetically-modified foods, and antibiotics.) That imbalance can lead to a re-activation of used estrogens getting back into circulation in your body, possibly increasing your risk of breast cancer. (source)

In a healthy gut, used hormones that have been rendered inactive in the liver will be expelled in the intestines through the bile. In an unhealthy gut, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase will be produced, making estrogen active again. This happens within a set of gut bacteria called the estrobolome.  

Dr. Izabella Wentz, in her book Hashimoto's Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back, connects many parasites to the "triggering and exacerbating" of the autoimmune thyroid condition Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. These include: Giardia lamblia, Dientamoeba fragilis, Toxoplasma gondii, Entamoeba histolytica, Blastocystis hominis, Bartonella henselae and Cyrptosporidium.

Hormones are made in response to the needs of your body. If your body is chronically fighting an infection in your gut and dealing with the inflammation there, hormones will be made to combat that stress, namely stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.

As a woman, you want a balance of stress hormones and more restorative hormones in the Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) family like estrogen and testosterone. If your body is making a lot of cortisol in comparison to DHEA, you could have symptoms like overwhelm, low sex drive, infertility and loss of muscle massMenopause and peri-menopause can be more difficult.

The above are just a few ways that parasites and an unhealthy gut can lead to hormonal problems.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a parasitic infection are numerous. This list is by no means a way of diagnosis but rather examples of the diverse ways that a parasite could manifest:

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Gas and bloating

  • Muscle pain

  • Anemia

  • Autoimmune diseases

  • Skin rashes

  • Insomnia / Waking up too early

  • Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Teeth grinding

  • Frequent colds and flu

In this article, I am focusing on parasites but we often see parasites in our clients like Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and candida. Parasites can also help house and protect things like Epstein-Barr virus, mold mycotoxins, and Lyme infection. So in complex cases is often important to clear the gut of these pathogens.

But sometimes our clients are fairly healthy have lots of good habits, they are just stuck in one area of their health. They can't get pregnant or they're chronically bloated. These are cases where we've been able to address the gut and get good results overall.

According to the Center for Disease Control, millions of people in the United States are affected by parasites every year. How much of a problem parasites depend on who you ask. The colleagues of mine who treat complex cases are quite convinced of the efficacy of parasite treatment. You can hear my interview with parasite expert, Dr. Todd Watts here, and you can register for the Parasite Summit here (and more information is below).

Parasitic infections do seem to be on the rise because of these factors:

  • International travel

  • Contaminated public water supply

  • Household pets

  • Daycare centers

  • Eating at restaurants

  • Food imported from other countries

  • The use of antibiotics

  • Factory farming (including farmed fish)

 

A Personal Story

When I was in my early twenties I lived in a village in South America. All the pathogens there were new to my body and even though I tried to drink clean water I got very sick a few times. After that, I lived in Mexico and while there I was chronically constipated. I didn't know much about parasites back then but I suspected them I looked into getting a test run but opted for a kit I could buy at the store to clean parasites in my colon. Later my boyfriend at the time, who also lived in South America, passed a long worm out of his stool.

I forgot about parasites for a while but during a stressful time in Chinese medicine school, I developed IBS that would not go away. I attributed it to stress. If my diet is “really perfect” with all fresh, clean foods my digestion can be pretty stable. But cheating at all on corn chips or a beer would make me have loose stool again. This pattern went on for many years and I even had to stool test and treated H pylori infection with still no improvement.

One of my parasites that came out in my stool.Trust me, I was really grossed out when I first saw this too. Toothbrush somehow makes this picture grosser. I did not touch it to my toothbrush, just put it on top of bag for size comparison.

One of my parasites that came out in my stool.Trust me, I was really grossed out when I first saw this too. Toothbrush somehow makes this picture grosser. I did not touch it to my toothbrush, just put it on top of bag for size comparison.

This past summer I interviewed Dr. Todd Watts office about parasites. Perhaps with that awareness in the back of my mind, I noticed a parasite in my stool the next day. I quickly ordered a stool test from a leading company we use and the test came back positive for a type of parasite.

I have been treating my parasite and, though I'm just beginning, I have passed another worm and some larvae which, while gross, is also pretty exciting to know that I am getting something out of my body that was likely stressing it for a long time. I know that my white blood cell count has been low for years and no one was able to explain it but I think this helps explain it.  

Besides coming back from South America with a probable parasite I also came back with a lackadaisical attitude about sanitation. I thought that here in the US we were too paranoid about cleanliness. We have also learned in the last decade a lot about the microbiome and we are often encouraged to 'eat dirt and go barefoot.’

After reading Guess What Came to Dinner? by Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, I have quite a different perspective. We DO want to be clean and careful to prevent parasites. It is much easier to prevent parasites then test and treat for them later.

Prevention Tips

Luckily there is a lot we can do to prevent parasites:

  • Always wash hands prior to eating

  • Keep your fingernails short and scrub under them with a brush

  • When you use a public toilet seat squat over it rather than sitting on it

  • At home, keep your bathrooms clean and sanitize toilet seats and bowls*

  • Keep the interior or your car clean*

  • Avoid kissing your pets or letting your children do so

  • All family members should wash their hands after petting the family pet

  • Pick up pet waste and don't let your kids play in areas where they can be exposing themselves to residual pet waste

  • Get a report on your local water quality and drink only filtered water (Filters need to be very fine a size of 3 microns or under to filter microorganism cysts.)

  • While hiking, never drink out of streams and carry a fine pore filter of 3 microns or under while camping

  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating

  • Be very careful with cooking meats and fish to ensure that any larvae in them are killed

  • Cook beef to an internal temperature of 160° f

  • Cook chicken, lamb and pork to 170° f

  • Cook fish until flaky and do not cook in a microwave

  • Avoid eating raw Pacific salmon and rockfish (Flash frozen fish are safer.)

  • Eat fiber such as raw nuts, beans, greens berries; these sweep your colon

  • Avoiding sugars and simple starches that parasites thrive on

  • Avoid swimming in freshwater lakes

  • Always sit on a towel in a sauna

  • Be aware that public mud baths and spas can carry the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis (This happened to me the only time I used a mud bath!)

  • If you are pregnant or immunocompromised, avoid changing your cat's litter box and have someone else and household do it

* Please note that you don't need to use potent chemicals for cleaning.  You can use potent essential oils instead!  Dr. Mariza Snyder is my to-go resource on essential oils, and her book, Smart Mom's Guide to Essential Oils: Natural Solutions for a Healthy Family, Toxin-Free Home and Happier You has many great cleaning recipes.

If you would like to learn more about parasites, I encourage you to attend the Parasite Summit hosted by Dr. Jay Davidson. This event is an eye-opening journey into parasites and their effects on health, hormones, detox and more!

Learn more here.

 

Accurate testing for parasites cannot be conducted at your local doctor's office. The technology is just available in this setting and paradigm. We do conduct these tests with our private clients and develop protocols to help them eradicate gut pathogens. If you are interested in talking to us more about it you can check out our coaching options here.

 

To Your Health! 

Bridgit


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

The Benefits of Lab Testing for Women's Health

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You are trying to fix your hormones, tame your hormones, survive your hormones…is it working? If not, here’s help and an explanation of why it’s so complicated.

Your body is complex- 11 systems comprised of 37.2 trillion cells working together with 100 trillion bacteria to keep you energetic, sleeping well and thinking clearly.  Source

Our modern environment is also complex. Wi-fi, international news reports, food additives, long work days…we all have a lot challenging us right now.

You are probably already trying to be healthy. Did you cut down on sugar, caffeine, gluten?  That’s great! Are you noticing some steadier moods or a slimmer waistline? I hope so. 

You may also be trying to get regular exercise, and maybe even meditating.  That’s great too!  How about reading blogs like this one and attending online health summits? Yup. These foundations of diet, exercise, stress reduction, and education are all very important.

But what if you are still tired? What if you still have no sex drive?  Raging acne? Creeping weight gain?

You may think, “well I must have adrenal fatigue.”  

That’s the mindset I had several years ago. I was eating really well but still had spotting before my periods and really low energy in the afternoons.  I thought, “Well, it’s the stress. I need to do a better job of handling stress.” But I never seemed to accomplish that.

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Later I had a DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) test, and it revealed something new to me.  It suggested I may have low thyroid function, which I had never suspected. I didn’t have the hair loss, weight gain, etc. that I had learned about with low thyroid.

Important Point #1: Your hormone problems are not always what you think. 

It’s easy to come to a conclusion that you have estrogen dominance, low hormone levels, low adrenal function, etc, but you don’t really know until you test. You can, like me, beat yourself about a diagnosis you’ve decided on and keep self-treating for it, but it’s better to test and really know.

After my DUTCH results suggested I had low thyroid function, I ran a full thyroid panel on myself for the first time. Although I had run blood tests in the past, I had never tested my thyroid antibodies as I hadn’t suspected an issue there.

My results showed a very low level of thyroid antibodies, and I’m so glad I caught it early.  Around the same time I was chronically sick, and, at first, I figured it must be this thyroid issue. 

But soon after we learned that we had toxic mold within the walls of our house, which took me down a deeper rabbit hole of testing.

Important Point # 2: Your hormone problems came from somewhere.

It’s important to realize that your body will not randomly give you a thyroid condition, or any other hormonal imbalance.  It wants to have a working thyroid gland and balanced hormones.

As I learned about mold, I learned that it, among other triggers, can contribute to thyroid issues. This is why I still do not identify with a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, but rather I consider myself a person in the process of healing and clearing deeper causes of illness.

Recently I had a new type of stool test. My past stool tests had revealed some bacterial imbalance and H. Pylori infection, an infection I cleared without any improvement in my gastrointestinal symptoms.  

I was ‘inspired’ to run a GI Map test by Diagnostic Solutions laboratory after interviewing Dr. Todd Watts about parasites on my podcast, and then promptly passing a worm in my stool the next day! What timing. Side note: if you see something that looks like a pad thai noodle or a bean sprout in your stool, but you’ve didn’t eat either the day before, you should be highly suspicious!

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The GI Map is different because it looks for DNA fragments of parasite and other infections in your stool.  So it doesn’t miss much.  However, according to Dr. Watts, it is still inadequate because it does not test for every type of parasite.

But for me, a parasite was found, and it did appear to roughly match the specimen I had found in my stool.  I lived a year in rural South America about 20 years ago, and I had suspected a parasite back then.  But you don’t need to leave the country to get a parasite!  Again according to Dr. Watts, “everyone who has a pulse has a parasite.”  According to the Center for Disease Control's website, " Parasitic infections affect millions of people in the United States every year."

I mention stool testing because 100% of the clients in our coaching program have GI issues contributing to hormonal issues.

When you are housing candida infections, aberrant bacterial growth, parasites, H. Pylori infection or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), it’s a chronic stress or your body, leading to inflammation, malnutrition or even autoimmune disease. It’s incredibly common, and digestion and hormones are not often enough linked in the medical conversation.  

Important Point # 3: Your primary care doctor probably doesn’t take a functional approach to health care.  

Many people comment to me that they want to feel better and they are very interested in the functional approach, and then their next question is, “Can my doctor run these tests for me?”

Yes and no. Sometimes your doctor to run a full CBC blood panel for you, and have them add vitamin D and thyroid antibodies. However:

  1. Within a conventional medical system, she can’t run labs for diagnoses they don’t suspect based on their training

  2. If she is not a functional practitioner, she will not interpret your results in a functional way, and may tell you you are fine (when you don’t feel fine)

  3. She definitely cannot run the advanced urinary, saliva and stool tests we use because these tests are not available to them through the conventional medical system

You can’t ask your doctor to practice functional medicine if that’s not what she practices.

It’s like asking your massage therapist to give you acupuncture.  It's not within their training.

Our clients can sometimes get helpful blood tests through their doctors that we can review, and I also encourage them to use a Health Savings Account (it’s pre-tax money you put towards health expenses) when possible.

I understand that spending money out-of-pocket on medical expenses is not fun. I understand that many people are living on modest means and supporting kids, parents, and other family members financially.

Our family has spent, get this, at least $100,000 in remediating mold in our house, replacing all our stuff, missing work, moving to a safer space, and treating our health.  And the spending hasn’t stopped because I’m not all healed up yet, and we still have some mold-infected belongings to replace.

Still dealing with mold, over a year after it was found.

Still dealing with mold, over a year after it was found.

So I am sympathetic, but at the same time, I have made incredible sacrifices to heal myself and my family.  And I would do it again in a heartbeat.  

The experience I went through with mold was a huge growth opportunity.  It made me realize how short and fragile life is, and gave me a deep hunger to get well and live my life to the fullest.

I recently read this quote in the book, Gratitude, by author and physician Oliver Sacks, after he learned he had advanced liver cancer, "It is now up to me to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can."

I had a firsthand experience with the web of diseases and how they interconnect. It was not easy to identify my root causes nor navigate the options for care. 

As a health coach, my experience made me a strong advocate for my clients to persist and get well, even if the path seems impossible to find, or the mountain too big to climb.  

We have women in our program who are too sick to work, homemakers or who are working low-wage jobs. I am fiercely proud of them for choosing to invest in their health. Others have parents that choose to support them in their healthcare, often in cases of infertility where the odds of becoming a grandparent are increased!

It comes down to choosing more for yourself- to believing your health could be improved, which allows you to be happier and more productive.  You also have to be willing to work and to pick yourself up when you have a hard day of symptoms.

If you'd like to have a conversation with me about your health journey and what we do in our functional health coaching program, please check out our current coaching options  Our private coaching program does include choosing the best lab test for your case, placing the orders for you, interpreting your results, setting a protocol based on those results, and adjusting and monitoring your protocol for best results.

Free Educational Videos on our Favorite Lab Testing

In this video, Ann Melin is describing about the DUTCH i.e Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones by Precision Analytical. She will also explain about different types of hormones and organic acids.
In this video, Ann Melin is describing about the GI-Map from Diagnostic Solutions Lab. She will also explain about Stool testing techniques, different types of pathogens, worms and intestinal health.

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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

My Best Worst Year: My Journey with Mold

2016 was a hard year for a lot of people, and I was no exception. I'd like to share my health journey with you, in the hopes that you will find a gem of knowledge or wisdom that helps.


This story actually starts the day after Thanksgiving 2015. I had just returned from traveling, and woke up hacking green phlegm. I was surprised and a little frustrated because this was my third cold that Fall. 

This cold quickly progressed to a raging sore throat, severe enough to send me to urgent care. I shared with nurse practitioner that I felt like I had Epstein Barr again, something I had dealt with about 4 years earlier.  She swabbed my throat and assured me that I did not have a throat infection, and that I'd likely be better within a week.  She also said that there are a couple strains of Epstein Barr virus, and once we get them we don't get them again (I'd also had Epstein Barr at 17).

In a week I was not better, despite swallowing and spraying several expensive herbal remedies.  I went this time to another urgent care, and the physician there could visibly see the infection happily thriving in my throat. I left with my first course of antibiotics in over 20 years.

This all was poor timing as I had just hired a new acupuncturist to take my place at the clinic I own, Blue Sky Wellness Studio in Portland, Oregon.  I hired her so that I could focus on my online business, especially to prepare for a big online event I was hosting in April 2016, Hormones: A Women's Wellness Summit.

I was embarrassed that I was too sick to finish training the new acupuncturist, but I was determined to get well for this new exciting phase of my career.  The antibiotics had worked for my throat but done a number on my gut. And I was tired all the time.

I returned to a therapy I had used with success when I last had Epstein Barr: intravenous vitamins. This treatment can be get for supporting the immune system, energizing the body, and getting nutrients to your cells directly. I got these treatments at the National University of Natural Medicine clinic in Portland, OR. 

The IV clinic is mainly for administration of treatment and not for diagnosis. But after 2-3 treatments and no improvement, I asked the physician (and her interns, as it’s a teaching clinic) if they could help figure out what was going on with me.

I had recently gotten my first positive antibodies for Hashimoto's, which freaked me out but they did not seem too concerned. If you have autoimmune antibodies out of range, that is always significant, so don’t listen if it’s dismissed. They also ran some new tests of autoimmunity, a test for cat allergies (I had a new cat) and an Epstein Barr screening.

They had to run a second type of test for Epstein Barr, and the physician said it was inconclusive. For some reason I never saw the test, and that was a mistake.  When you have a test run, always get a copy. If you don't know how to interpret it, get online and research, or find a functional medicine doctor who specializes in that area and get help.

One thing the physician asked about that proved very helpful and also life-changing was about our house. I can't recall all her questions, but I recall answering, “yes, I had a musty basement that had recently gotten a new wet area due to heavy rains last month.”  I was also visiting the basement more often, as our new cat's things were down there.  She suggested we could test for mold.  

I shared this with my husband and he was keen to test.  He had felt this was a strong possibility, and he wondered if this had contributed to illnesses in both of us.  I was less keen to test, knowing there would be major implications if we found mold.  We tested, there was mold, and that was the beginning of the end.

Oh the things that lurk behind our walls.

Oh the things that lurk behind our walls.

Our inspector, Garrett Dayfield from Mold Testing Services of Oregon, was great.  He searched all over and found lots of stuff we didn't know about.  Our front gutters were on wrong, and that caused the new wet spot in the basement.  We had mold in a basement closet we didn't know about, and the source of that leak was still unknown. We also had moisture under the siding of our house, and he suggested we look into that at some point.  Per test results, we had three types of toxic mold in our home:  aspergillus, penicillum, and stachybotrys.  

We hired a mold remediator to begin to remove the damaged carpet and drywall in the basement. He told us he would section off the area in plastic and use an air scrubber so that the toxic mold spores would not get into the rest of the house. We now know this doesn't really work. It may contain most of the spores, but the spores release toxins- which are really what makes you sick- and these release in droves when the mold is disturbed.

We also didn't know to move out of the house during this process, so we were still living there.  Once the mold remediator was done in the basement, he took me downstairs to show me his work.  My throat immediately closed up.  He assured me all the mold was gone and he seemed genuinely confused by my reaction.  

After all this, and busy with my event planning, I was not interested in removing our siding.  But my husband was, and he took out a huge loan so we can afford to do this. I was now working full-time in our home, our toxic home, and my symptom list was growing.

I was more tired than ever, my eye twitched, and I could barely think straight. I would look for the eggs in the dishes cabinet, realize they weren't there, and then do it all over again. One day I had an important phone call and couldn't find my phone.  I circled the house like a maniac for 25 minutes before finding it tucked away in the tea drawer.

Amazingly I still hosted a successful event in this state. It was based on sheer willpower, financial necessity, and adapting to the way my brain worked under the influence of mold. Once the siding work started, it was noisy and not ideal for recording videos for my event.  But still I didn't want to move. I know have learned this is common when a person is under the influence of toxic mold.  We are too sick, tired and unmotivated to want to make the effort.

My husband was again more motivated than I was, and we moved into my parents' home about 30 minutes away.  This initially was good for our health- to be away from the mold. But we still did not really understand mold toxins then, and made the mistake of bringing too many of our toxic belongings into a clean environment.

These hazmat suits don't protect you 100%, but at least they look cool.

These hazmat suits don't protect you 100%, but at least they look cool.

By May 2016, my event was over and I had a bit more time to learn about mold.  My husband had been saying that his clothes made him sick, that his car made him sick.  To be honest I thought he was being paranoid. He started making us take off our clothes at the door, and other new habits that were completely annoying.

It turns out he was right. I finally started to learn about the toxins that are released from mold, and how these toxins contaminate everything.  My husband was very sensitive to his clothes. I was very sensitive to papers. These toxins can't be washed or scrubbed out.  They can be reduced a bit, and I bought some special cleaning products to wash our clothes and clean my parents' houseIt would help our symptoms temporarily to clean the house with these products, but then the feelings of confusion and fatigue would return.

Beyond confusion and fatigue, I had a few suicidal thoughts. This is called "suicidal ideation", which I think would be great name for a band. All jokes aside, it's pretty scary to have thoughts of ending your life. For me, I think I was just so exhausted to the core that there was a part of me that wanted to sleep forever.  

I never actually tried to execute these fleeting ideas, thankfully. I think I spent January - May being in my first true state of depression. I was emotionless despite the fact that I was going through a very stressful time. I was usually quite emotional, so it was a weird feeling!

I finally admitted these suicidal ideas to my husband, crying as I did so.  I figured he would be shocked and scared.  Turns out that he'd been seeing things that weren't there, so he wasn't too surprised by my suicidal ideation.

My husband and I had a good number of arguments about what to do with the house and our health. But I am thankful, in a way, that he was sick too, because at least we could relate to each other. 

I think we were both getting sick slowly for many years in that home.  I had had Esptein Barr, insomnia and mood swings.  He had had a gut infection and extreme fatigue. The symptoms would ebb and flow, and I regret beating myself up for not being "healthy enough", when really I had these unknown or poorly understood sources of illness.

With my new study of mold toxins, I was able to learn of a mold toxic test for the body.  My husband, who kept having strong instincts about what to do about this mold, wanted us to get away for the summer to a dry climate. So we ran a urine test from Real Time Laboratories to see if we could document his mold illness and get him a medical leave from work.

He did have gliotoxins per his urine test (a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus fumigatus), and we scheduled with a new naturopathic physician that had experience treating mold. To my surprise, she was very focused on treating mold through treating Epstein Barr virus. She said that when you have mold, you often have chronic Epstein Barr virus taxing your system and not allowing your body to clear the mold toxins. She confirmed that I was indeed having an acute Epstein Barr episode.

My husband was able to get a medical leave pretty easily, and we probably didn’t even need the $700 urine test after all!  With his new found freedom, he was able to work on overseeing the remodeling of our house.  Our house had lovely new siding now, but needed new gutters, a new deck and a new carpet to get ready to sell it.  Yes, we had decided it wasn’t worth risking moving back into it.

My entrpenrenourial skills were in swing at the ongoing yard sale.

My entrpenrenourial skills were in swing at the ongoing yard sale.

We also had decided to get rid of most of our belongings. Every time we were back at the house we could feel the toxic effects.  We ordered a huge dumpster and used it dispose of many of our things. We also gave books to the library and items to Goodwill.  We sold things on Craig’s List and had many yard sales. We became yard sale experts.

You might be thinking, “why did you sell that moldy stuff?” To other people, these items were fine and caused no reaction.  It was just for us that it was so bad.

This was a childhood toy of my husband's that was in a dank chest in the basement. Iccckkk.

This was a childhood toy of my husband's that was in a dank chest in the basement. Iccckkk.

It was difficult to part with so many of our things. For our 7 year old son, it was hard too.  We really could not keep his stuffed animals, which were like magnets for toxins.  We also had found a motherhood of a mold colony literally under the floorboards where his bed was.  So we were not too interested in keeping items from his room. But we did keep two small storage units of our prized possessions, in the hopes that we could have them again.

I am very thankful that my son displayed no symptoms, and believed and had true concern for his mom and dad.

By now we were really in debt, and my husband was on a reduced salary.  I wasn’t able to work much because of the house ordeal and my brain fog. We were also preparing to go away for the summer, so I didn’t see how I could take on new work projects.  

I would estimate that, at the time of writing this, we spent $60,000 on the house, lost $15,000 in value of our belongings, lost $5,000 in having to trade in two cars that had been exposed to mold, and spent $8,000 on our health.  $88,000 and counting.  

It’s a lot of money, and it was stressful, but at least we can be grateful that we able to manage it and take out loans.  We were lucky to have my parents’ house to stay in, even though it made for a horrible commute for us.

Our house went on the market on July 6, 2016. We were counting on our house selling for a good profit and quickly, and luckily it did. We didn’t get the money for another two months, but it was a load off our shoulders.

My son was in heaven in the back of the van.

My son was in heaven in the back of the van.

We were already out of town when our house went up for sale. We had bought a used mini-van and hit the road.  Our first stop was Bend, Oregon.  We have some family there, but they were out of town. That was probably for the best, because we had a big detox reaction in Bend and were having ‘mold rage’ and headaches.  

We had spent the last few weeks of June with a lot of time in our old house.  That was not our ideal plan, but we really didn’t have the resources to hire someone to clean out our entire house. So we got up close and personal with the mold toxins all over again. I’ve since learned that altitude change is a trigger for toxins dislodging, and we had plenty of that coming over the Cascade mountains.  

Our first visit to the Grand Canyon!

Our first visit to the Grand Canyon!

After this we spent a month in Phoenix, and then another month traveling. I had some stresses dealing with my clinic back in Portland, and it was hard to keep on with my online business while on the road. But looking back now, these two months were a true gift.  Our little family was together nearly all the time, seeing new places, visiting old friends and sharing laughs.

Our health definitely improved while we were gone. We took some supplements for Epstein Barr and mold, but really we didn’t have our recovery too dialed in yet, as we would soon learn.

In early August I had to come back to Portland to take care of my clinic affairs for a few days. I immediately got a urinary tract infection, my first ever.  My husband theorized it was because I was back at my parents’ house.  At the time I disagreed, but I think he may have been right.  The mold re-exposure weakened my immunity, and I couldn’t kick the infection with herbs and supplements. I was back on antibiotics, and the first course I took didn’t work, and I had to get on a stronger second course.  

This nagging issue left me feeling fatigued, but we were still having fun exploring the Western states in our family van.  When we got back to Portland in late August, the sh*t hit the fan all over again.

Back in Portland, our plan was to live at my parents’ until we could find a mold-free rental home.  But my husband soon felt that their house was making him sick again, and he insisted on moving out.  

The day this move went down happened to be my birthday.  My parents had some friends over, and they were in full entertainment mode. The friends, who knew me since I was a baby, wanted to hear that we were now all better.  That’s basically what everyone wanted to hear after witnessing our ordeal over the last 9 months.  

But instead we were looking for a cheap hotel that could take pets and awkwardly making our exit. I was extremely embarrassed. The next day was the first day of school for our son.  I was balling my eyes out at Target as I tried to buy him school supplies and snacks at the last minute. We ate my birthday dinner at a nearby Ikea store and it was the start of a rough couple weeks.

My husband started back to work and felt that his work building, and especially his computer lab, were making him sick.  Meanwhile I was driving around in our old car we had gotten out of storage, and it was making me sick.  

A rare happy moment in the hotel.

A rare happy moment in the hotel.

My son did not like living in a hotel (nor did I), and my parents took over his care. I was house-hunting and not finding many options in a city full of old houses that we no longer found charming. It was expensive to stay in a hotel day after day, and my husband was changing his opinion on a daily basis on whether we should stay or go.  

Emotionally it was an extremely hard time. Over the summer we had escaped the hardship of the mold, and now we were right back in it. My husband, who was always had a better nose for mold, was not happy. His friends and family suggested he had PTSD. We probably both did.

We spent our anniversary arguing about which rental to choose and whether or not to buy furniture. I said I needed nice furniture to feel grounded and at home again.  He didn’t want to invest in nice furniture in case we’d have to move, or get rid of all our belongings again.

We had a small miracle in finding a beautiful new townhouse to rent in the 11th hour. We moved in, but did not commit to much furniture.

I started therapy to help process all that had happened.  I had basically been absent from my life in Portland as I dealt with sickness, a water-damaged house, a big event, living far out of town, and then traveling all summer.  I had disappeared from the people in my life and felt that asking to be let back in again was too hard.  

The subject of buying a couch or not came up a lot in therapy, and one day I had a severe panic attack about couch issue. The couch was a symbol of commitment to a new life here, and it was so hard to make that commitment after all we had gone through.

My husband and I struggled with the ‘stay or go’ question. He started to work in a new building, but still had some doubts and bad days.  We traded in the car I was driving, but I was sicker than I had been in months.  My glands were swollen, I had a sore throat and chills most of the time. I felt like I could barely leave the house because I was so overwhelmed and ill.

The therapy really helped me, though my health was still off.  I made a breakthrough though, when I read this article, The Mysteries of the Thyroid, by Anthony William. The article described how Epstein Barr virus lives in the body and goes through different stages of dormancy and activity, and affects different organs. It sounded just like me.  

I was taking some supplements and herbs for Epstein Barr but was still sick all the time.  I remembered that over the summer our doctor had prescribed me some medication to take for the virus. I tried it then and it made me wired, so I figured I’d stick with the herbs.  But after reading this article, I wanted to try again.

After the first week on the Valacyclovir, the side effects minimized and I started to feel better- better than I had in a long, long time. I wasn't having those constant flu-like symptoms and my energy was way better. My brain wasn’t working fully yet, but I was thrilled to have found this medication.  I was finally able to get out a bit more, and even go to yoga class for the first time in a year.

Meanwhile my husband started therapy, and started avoiding me. I knew something was up, and he finally admitted that he hadn’t been happy in our marriage ‘in years’ and that he thought that a trial separation might help.

I was floored. I was just starting to get some grounding in ‘our new life’, even if it wasn’t complete.  We were spending more time with friends, and I was able to think and work better. The thought of losing my family now was too much. I had suicidal thoughts again, and this time for a different reason.

But I also knew that, despite his deep wounds and our arguments, we weren’t a bad couple. It was painful at times to discuss this with him, but I kept at it. I felt like I needed to be a champion for our family and our relationship. This is hardest thing to share of this whole story, but I know that many people struggle in marriage; it’s a challenging thing to have two lives so intertwined, especially with careers and kids and sickness.


The story of 2016, of our health and home and marriage, is not over.  We may move to the desert next summer.  We found out we have a MARCONS infection in our noses and we have to treat for that. Our marriage is feeling better, but it still feels scary at times.

So why in the world am I calling this my ‘best’ worst year?

As I write this I am filled with gratitude for this year.  It was a year that I was completely pulled out of my imperfect comfort zone, and forced to consider what I really valued. 

This year my husband and I had to make many hard decisions and to re-evaluate how we interact, but we did it together and I am proud of us. I think we have the chance to make something much better of our lives together.

This year I had a lot of tough experiences with my businesses (some I did not share here) and these made me stronger and more self-reliant. But I did not give up on collaborating and identifying the people that will support me in my next chapter. I am slowly getting better at forgiving and moving on from perceived hurts.

I also was forced to spend a lot of time away from my businesses, and it made me less obsessed and more balanced.  Now when I have a snow day with my kid, I know it’s not the end of the world.

As a health care practitioner, I took a whole year away from treating clients.  I honestly did not know if I could ever go back, since I was so exhausted from it all. But as I start to have energy again, I find I have a fresh perspective thanks to my time away. I put less pressure on myself to ‘fix everything’ and instead appreciate my healing presence.

I also learned a lot about the ‘weird’ causes of disease that I did not know about. I am learning about genetics, heavy metals, mold toxins, Lyme disease and Epstein Barr virus. I am anxious to know as much as I can to help clients and teach practitioners.

Having been through a hard-to-diagnosis disease, I have a lot of sympathy for those going through it. I know that not everything is an easy fix.  I know it takes time to learn and find the right solutions. I know you have to thankful for the good days and endure the bad days as best you can. I know that having community and people to help and listen in really important.

I know that having hard times is when you find best yourself. I am encouraged to take more risks now because, hey, I made it through all this alright. I have found a quiet, true confidence I had been looking for for years. 

Bring it, 2017.

Please shares your experiences or comments below. We'd love to hear them! If you think this article would help your community, please use the sharing link below.

If you are interested in mold illness and recovery, you can join our Facebook group on the topic here.

Free Guide: Healing from Toxic Mold

You want help for your mold symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining my favorite supplements for detoxing mold. I can personally say these supplements helped me heal and some of them currently support my daily self-care.

Let me help you start healing!



Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and toxic mold recovery and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

The Effects of Long-Term Birth Control Use with Andrea Thorpe

The birth control pill is an easy-to-use, affordable way to avoid pregnancy.  But are there any risks?  

Many women do have symptoms, such as loss of sex drive or weight gain, but beyond that, most women don't know much about the health-related side effects.

In this interview, Andrea Thorpe, LAc opens the lid on the topic of the possible effects of long-term birth control use.  Many women are on birth control pills for 10-15 years, and the long-term effects are something to be considered:

  • Synthetic estrogen dysregulates the thyroid
  • Birth control pill casues nutrient depletion
  • Hormone receptor site have a downregulated response
  • Toxic burden on the system of long-term medication use
  • Toxic/ inflammed state and nutrient depletion affects the gut and immune system
  • Autoimmune disease Hashimoto's thyroiditis then becomes a possiblity
  • Ovulation and fertility are often delayed after birth control use

Andrea also covers some of the healing options such as:

  • How acupuncture benefits the system
  • Why Andrea prefers foods over supplements
  • When it's time to see a functional medicine practitioner

Andrea is an amazing practitioner, and if you can see her in the LA area, I highly recommend her. Her clinic:  http://lotuscenter.com/

Are you subscribed to the show yet?  You can get our weekly expert interviews delivered to your smartphone through iTunes or most Android podcast players.  Please search 'womens wellness radio' and get subscribed!  

Was this episode helpful for you?  We would be most thankful to have you write us a review on iTunes as well.  Thanks!

Autoimmune Thyroid from Fertility to Post-Partum

I had a great conversation on the podcast with Dr. Jolene Brighten, ND about thyroid conditions, and how they effect our fertility, our baby's health and our own post-partum health.

One thing I think is important to understand deeply is that our reproductive stages are linked, and minding this continuum is critical to our health as we try to conceive, carry a child, and then support a new baby.

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Discover Your Root Cause with Bestselling Author, Izabella Wentz

If you have Hashimoto's but haven't gone into remission (it's possible!), then I recommend you tune into this show.  If you have a thyroid disorder, but haven't been checked for anti-thyroid antibodies, tune in as well.  

If you have unexplained fatigue or an inability to lose weight, then listen in to learn if your thyroid may be involved.  Lastly, if you'd like to avoid autoimmune diseases in your future, come and learn more about how these diseases progress, so you can make the best choices now.

PCOS, Thyroid and Hashimoto's: Free Resources this Week

The Hashimoto's Institute free online educational event begins Sign Up Here.

This very cool event is organized by Andrea Nakayama, Dr. Izabella Wentz, and Dr. Alan Christianson.  It features a step by step approach to Hashimoto's over 8 days.  Check it out