Mold Toxicity

Why You Need Herbal 'Bug Killers'

Tune in to my talk with expert Rachel Fresco as we discuss how to handle gut infections, why taking only probiotics is often not enough, and the super detox power of binders for helping heal your gut.

Toxins Testing with Ann Melin & Bridgit Danner

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Ann Melin & I are your guests this week. Ann is our lead coach at WWC. In this episode we talk about some of my own test results, mold tests for the home & body, testing for chemicals in the body, heavy metal testing, and organic acids testing.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 03:10 Tests covered at Women's Wellness Collaborative
Min 04:40 Toxicity in the body
Min 07:10 Hair mineral analysis testing
Min 11:00 Glyphosate test & urine test
Min 17:30 Water test
Min 19:10 The dust test & Marcon's test
Min 21:55 Organic acids test
Min 30:00 Serotonin
Min 34:30 Nutritional markers


To learn more about our programs, check out our coaching page here.
To see some of our favorite resources for reducing your toxic load, visit our Hormone Detox Shop.
To learn about our testing recommendations for gut infections, click here.

Here's the video version of the interview with Ann Melin.

5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health

Are you doing all the ‘right things’ but still feeling blah?

Get my list of 5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health to start clearing out the toxins and reset your system to feel better today!

Questions? Please post below.

My Problem with Functional Medicine

How Coaching Makes Functional Medicine More Effective

My early career in medicine began as an acupuncturist. I went to school in a converted old house in New Mexico, with chickens in the parking lot and burritos at break time.

My teachers were mostly from China, and very smart, interesting people. I learned to read the signs of the body. Puffy tongue means dampness. Frequent sighing shows liver stagnation.

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

As I entered practice, I gave generously to my clients. I used essential oils and did massage. I counseled them on dating and workplace drama.

But when I got sick, I didn’t know enough to help myself. As I looked for solutions, I found functional medicine.

I didn’t know it by that name at the time, but I studied the body systems in a new way, and I studied a new body of therapeutic foods and supplements.


I was fascinated with this new world and reaped some benefits in my own health. I went on to study functional medicine in a more formal way, completing the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition program.

But then one very rainy winter in Oregon, I got really sick. And again my knowledge was not enough. I turned to lab testing and found mold and Epstein Barr. I found some great insight from functional practitioners but also fell into some serious gaps:

  • There was a rush to give supplements.

  • There was a ‘this should be working’ attitude.

  • There was an overlooking of me as a whole person.


One of the most disappointing things for me was the lack of empathy I felt from the functional practitioners that I saw. While I’m sure that they did care, I didn’t hear it in their communication.


I was really sick. I’m talking bone-tired, twitching eyelids, can’t hold a thought for two seconds sick. Beyond expensive supplements, I needed to feel heard and loved. I needed advice on how to make it through the day.


I’m not saying that one functional doc is meant to be an answer to all of life’s issues! When you are seriously ill, it’s going to take a village, persistence, & a good mindset. Eventually, I found a counselor who helped me address the stress of chronic illness and the displacement caused by mold.

As I struggled to figure out my illness, I had to re-calibrate my view of functional medicine. Was it not at all what I thought it was? Was it a waste of time and money?

I am very thankful for my roots in Chinese Medicine and life coaching that gave me a roadmap for how things could, indeed, be better.


My current practice is very progressive. It’s all online, and we run tests from mold to parasites. We have clients all over the world and use video chat and electronic intake forms.


But I have embraced wholeheartedly the old-fashioned values of listening to my client carefully, of reading between the lines and seeing what’s really stressing them and letting them have a voice in how their protocols proceed.


We remember to say, “you’re doing a great job,” and remind you that things will get easier. We help you deal with skeptical family members and birthday cake in the break room. 

We are coaches, and we help you navigate the hard parts of life.


The term ‘functional medicine’ was coined by Dr. Jeffrey Bland in 1991 as he and his wife established the Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Bland is a nutritional biochemist and we can really credit him for establishing and advancing this field.


Functional medicine excels at testing. It looks at how to best support the body’s systems without doing harm. But here’s the thing...

You are not a group of symptoms or test results.

You are person with a story of how you got sick, and the story of how you get well is still being written. Having a coach who truly listens and lifts you up will be an important a part of your healing journey.

Are you ready for the next level of holistic functional care?

Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come check out our coaching options to see if it’s a fit. 





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

How to Use Toxin Binders

Binders are substances that ‘bind’ to toxins to help move them out of the body.  Some work by trapping the toxins, others also attract the toxin through a negative charge. Read about some common toxin binders here!

Get Your Brain Working Better with Dr. Steven Masley

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Dr. Steven Masley, MD is a physician, nutritionist, trained-chef, and author. In this episode we talk about brain health and his new book "The Better Brain Solution" coming out Jan 2, 2018.

Here’s what you’ll hear:

Min 01:55 The fear of aging & brain health
Min 02:55 Introduction to Dr. Steven Masley
Min 03:25 Motivation behind the book "The Better Brain Solution"
Min 05:55 The 5 pillars to better brain health
Min 06:45 The odds of cognitive dysfunction for men & women
Min 08:35 Why women's brains rewire during menopause
Min 10:50 Other factors affecting brain health
Min 15:50 Exercise for improved brain health & insulin control
Min 19:30 Ketogenic diets, memory loss and interminent fasting
Min 22:10 Avoiding meat & grains when fasting
Min 25:00 Nutrients & supplements for a better brain
Min 30:10 Toxins (BPA, Phthaletes, Mercury), paleo eating & preservatives
Min 36:55 Dr. Steven Masley's brain quiz

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


  1. Dr. Steven Masley's brain quiz

  2. Enroll for the 30-Day Better Brain Challenge

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

Getting the Most Out of Your Water Damage Insurance Claim with Ryan James

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It’s our final day of Mold Week and our guest today is Ryan James of Claims Max Adjusters who will help you get the most out of an insurance claim.

We’ll cover:

  • Why there are many inexperienced adjusters in the wake of a disaster
  • How your adjuster’s high workload, immediately following a disaster, could affect you
  • How to get to the front of the line with an adjuster
  • What is an independent adjuster and how could it benefit you?
  • Why the line items matter when getting paid for a claim
  • Your insurance policy options and how to pick the best plan


Download notes from this interview HERE.

To learn more about Ryan James and his work, visit his website here and follow them on social media:



You can listen to this and all other episodes on our podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.


If you’d like a nice all-in-one guide to Hurricane Clean Up and Mold, please see this blog on the page of our new friend Dr. Manisha Ghei. Dr. Manisha works as a functional medicine physician in Sugarland, TX and online.

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Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for joining us on Mold Week!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

A Functional Physician's Approach to Mold with Dr. Jill Carnahan

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We’re back for day 5 of Mold Week, and my guest today is Dr. Jill Carnahan. Dr. Carnahan is an integrative and functional medical doctor practicing in Colorado. 

Jill and I cover:

  • Why you should not use bleach to clean up mold
  • What air filters she recommends
  • Her four step approach to healing
  • What other infections and chemical exposures she looks for
  • What natural and pharmaceutical medications she uses
  • How to test to see if you have mold and the genes that make you susceptible


Download notes from this interview with Dr. Jill HERE.

Dr. Carnahan's Free Guide

To learn more about Dr. Carnahan, visit her website here and follow her on social media:




You can listen to this and all other episodes on the podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.

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If you are on the go or have a poor internet connection, it will be more reliable to play the following audio-only version.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Restoring Your Home Properly After Water Damage with Ryan Gilyeat

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It's day 4 of Mold Week and our guest today is Ryan Gilyeat from Oregon Restoration Company.

Ryan and I discuss:

  • Simple things you can do to prevent accidental flooding
  • What to do to minimize the damage once a flood has begun
  • Why not all contractors do the job correctly
  • The three types of water damage
  • How to find a qualified contractor
  • How to make good decisions while doing work yourself


You can listen to this and all other episodes on our podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.

Download notes from this interview with Ryan HERE.

To learn more about Ryan Gilyeat and Oregon Restoration, visit his website here.

Concrobium mold control

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

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Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Symptoms of Mold and Easy Detox Tips with Bridgit Danner

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We are back for day 3 of Mold Week!  You'll learn about:

  • How mold can grow without you knowing it
  • The difference between mold spores and mold toxins
  • The long list of symptoms that can be caused by mold
  • Ways to test your home and body for mold
  • Simple, affordable ways to clear mold toxins out of your body
  • Why your belongings often need to be left behind in order to heal

You can listen to this and all other episodes on the podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.

You can also subscribe and listen on our podcast.

Download notes from this interview HERE.

Private Coaching with Bridgit

Apply to be a coaching client with Bridgit and we'll reply with availability, pricing, and a little feedback on how we'd approach your case.  There is no obligation to apply and she can see you no matter where you live as all appointments are by video chat, but supplement and lab testing access depends on where you live.

Apply Here.


Go here for mold testing information.

Listen to our interview on Marcons here.

We do interviews all the time!

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Shopping Links

Bonus Content!

Get headache tips from today's host, Erin Knight of Engineering Radiance. Erin is a natural migraine relief specialist and a functional health coach.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Detox Your Body and Brain with Dave Asprey

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Mold Week is here, and I’m so pleased to share our first interview with Dave Asprey of Bulletproof. Dave may be best known for his Bulletproof coffee but what started it all was his quest to end his chronic, mysterious illness, which he later learned was triggered by toxic mold.

Dave’s interview is a good sampling of the many aspects of mold. We talk about:

  • Your odds of having a water-damaged home

  • Why modern homes are great homes for toxic mold

  • How you can get sick from a water-damaged building without realizing the source

  • How toxic mold is found in human and animal food

  • A Bulletproof ® diet to avoid mold and help your body recover

  • Dave’s favorite supplements to help clear mold

  • A spray that helps stop mold growth

You can listen to this and all other episodes on the podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.

You can also subscribe and listen on our podcast.

Download notes from this interview HERE.

Dave Asprey's Resources:

Moldy Documentary

Homebiotic Shopping Site

Bulletproof Diet Poster

Click on an image below to get the resource.

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Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

The Benefits of Lab Testing for Women's Health


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.


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!


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.


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

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.

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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

Functional Medicine For Mold Toxicity With Dr. Ann Shippy

Ann Shippy

Our guest this week is Dr. Ann Shippy, MD, and we talk about mold toxicity and her approach to treating it.

Dr. Shippy is a former Chemical Engineer at IBM. She got sick and became frustrated that conventional medicine wasn't able to solve her health ailments. She sought possibilities on how to heal her body and decided to go to medical school.

She attended University of Texas Medical School and now has a thriving practice in Austin, Texas. She combines traditional medicine testing and functional testing to treat her patients. 

In this interview we talk about:

  • How long she has been practising
  • How she got into treating mold 
  • Symptoms of mold toxicity
  • What other ailments she treats in her clinic
  • Who she treats (and the ages of her patients)
  • And so much more

Dr Shippy's educational background:

  • Board Certified in Internal Medicine
  • Board Certified in Functional Medicine
  • Doctorate in Medicine – University of Texas
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering – Washington University
  • Master of Science in Engineering – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

She is also the author of two books:

  1. Mold Toxicity Workbook: Assess your Environment & Create a Recovery Plan
  2. Shippy Paleo Essentials: A Medical Blueprint for Health

To learn more about her, visit her site here

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