If you have any symptoms at all, listen to them. It’s your body’s way of trying to communicate with you. If you sit on these symptoms, it will just get worse.
Dr. Neil Nathan
Our world is changing rapidly and there is much we can learn from the reactions of the most sensitive among us. What may seem like harmless scents or supplements to most of us, will cause a special class of chronically ill patients to develop severe reactions. Why are people reacting in this way? A growing chorus of physicians believes exposure to mold toxins is at the root of many of the diseases of our time. In this episode, we will hear the stories of “canaries in the coal mine” who became so sensitive, they couldn’t even stand to be around people who washed their clothing in certain detergents without reacting violently. We will also hear how they healed.
Today our guest is Dr. Neil Nathan M.D., a physician specializing in mold toxicity, chronic Lyme and chemical sensitivity in Northern California. Dr. Nathan has been practicing medicine for over 40 years, with his practice now focused on complex cases of chronic illness brought on by Lyme disease and mold toxicity. He attended the Pritzkin School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and is a founding diplomat of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He has written several books including Mold and Mycotoxins: Current Evaluation and Treatment as well as his most recent book Toxic.
The interview is rather short at about 42:00, but we get into some interesting topics. To begin, Dr. Nathan touches on his concern over the rise of toxins, both chemical and visual, in our environment. Think it’s safe to say Dr. Nathan is not a fan of Game of Thrones (and neither am I after that disastrous last season).
We then move into a fascinating discussion describing some of Dr. Nathan’s most sensitive patients and the protocols he uses to treat chronic mold and Lyme disease. Dr. Nathan tells us the story of Karen who became so sensitive to scents after contracting Lyme disease that she would faint when exposed to members of Dr. Nathan’s staff who had washed their clothing in Tide detergent. Dr. Nathan also describes mast cell activation that is so acute that it results in water allergy.
Many of Dr. Nathan’s protocols rely on very small doses of supplements that bind to mold toxins and help clear them from the system, such as Bentonite Clay, S. Boulardii, NAC, and Activated Charcoal. It is important to have a mycotoxin panel done from a lab like Great Plains Lab before embarking on any supplement regimen as the type of mold toxin that is elevated determines the type of supplement to use. Here is a link to the more basic Visual Acuity Test Dr. Nathan mentions in the interview.
I asked Dr. Nathan his opinion of the role that mold in the outdoor air plays in mold illness, as well as what he thinks about mold avoidance and lifestyle groups such as the Locations Effect Groups who avoid both indoor as well as outdoor air. He frames the issue in terms of allergy, which makes sense to me in light of the fact that the nutrition plan customers we see being most sensitive to location are those with AOC1 SNPs, and presumably a reduced ability to clear histamine from the system.
Dr. Nathan gets into two small scale studies he has been involved with, both of which are relevant to many of the conversations taking place right now in the nutrition world. The first looked whether mycotoxins in food increase mycotoxins in urine. We get into the mold genes briefly, but it’s not a focal point of the discussion.
The second showed glutathione levels can be increased, and methylation improved, using very small doses of B vitamins. However, Dr. Nathan takes the position that Hydroxocobalamin is the best source of B12 and not the methylcobalamin so many of us take.
This Episode Covers:
- The importance of following intuition when it comes to scents and reactions to chemicals [4:30];
- Karen’s story: a story of chronic illness, Lyme and chemical sensitivity [5:50];
- Identifying symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivity [10:20];
- Are mycotoxins in food dangerous? Dr. Nathan discusses a mycotoxin experiment he ran with Great Plains Lab [13:50];
- The role of ambient mold, mold avoidance and air quality in chronic illness [19:45];
- Glyphosate in food [26:00];
- The wisdom of micro-dosing supplements. choosing a B vitamin, and methylation [28:00];
- Mast cell activation and the “trigger finger” immune system reaction [36:30];
- The changing landscape of food sensitivity and water allergy [39:20]