Crunchy, Granola Girl, Health Fanatic, Hippie…I’ve heard them all.
I don’t take offense, but I think my just-joking friends don’t understand why I do the things I do.
My toxic load is too high.
And my body does not detox very well.
The combination of those two things can lead to some bad stuff.
Like autoimmune diseases, chronic illness, cancer and death.
There are three things that cause all illness (well, I guess you could argue accidents/trauma would be a fourth cause of illness):
- Poor nutrition and lifestyle factors (totally in our control)
- Toxic load (partially in our control)
- Genetics (we used to think that was not in our control)
We are learning through the study of Epigenetics that if we handle #1 and #2 wisely, we won’t ‘turn on’ some of the bad genes in #3.
Epigenetics is the study of inherited changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence.
If you have underlying genetic defects, you can keep them at bay if you keep a handle on your lifestyle factors and toxic load.
It Started with Killer Head Pain
I found out that my toxin level was too high when I started having killer chronic headaches and spinal pain that wouldn’t quit.
Joint pain and cognitive decline soon followed.
After running the gamut in the conventional medical world for a very long time, I landed on a functional medicine doctor (licensed as a Chiropractor) who tested me for Toxic Mold (Mycotoxins).
Lots of toxic mold.
Trichothecenes, Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin and Gliotoxin–in large amounts.
I knew exactly where I had been exposed to mold, but most people don’t.
But why did I get sick and my husband who lived there too, did not?
Well, that’s because genetically, I cannot detox mold (and other toxins) very well.
The HLA-DRBQ (Human Leukocyte Antigen) gene is estimated to be impaired in about 25% of the population.
Lucky me. I’m one of them.
Here’s what Dr Rick Sponaugle, Mold and Lyme Disease expert, shares about this genetic issue:
“The test for HLA-DRBQ genetics is a DNA blood test. People like us, with HLA DRBQ genetics, cannot make antibodies to mold toxins. Hence, we cannot effectively remove these toxins from our body like other people. It’s not a problem unless we’re living or working in a water damaged building.”
More Genetic Defects
To make things more complicated, I also discovered that I have the MTHFR genetic defect (C677T).
MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) is the gene that controls an enzyme that converts folic acid to folate.
It’s kinda’ important.
Lots of people have this genetic polymorphism and fortunately for me, it only affects one of the paired chromosomes, not two.
This hampers my detoxification pathways as well, but only by about 30%, not 70% if I had two copies of the polymorphism.
Heavy Metal, not the Cool Music Kind
After spending gobs of money (not covered by insurance) and months of time to detox the mold through IV infusions, I felt great….
…for about two months and then all my symptoms returned.
Then I discovered that I also had high levels of the heavy metal, LEAD. The mold was binding to the lead and I couldn’t prevent the mold from building up.
Gotta get the lead out.
Chelating (binding and removing) the lead was my next step.
I chose an IV method using EDTA (a chemical chelating agent) through my primary care physician (still not covered by insurance).
Currently I am waiting for the results of my first round of 10 weeks of treatments to determine whether I need to continue chelating the lead or if I can return to detoxing the mold.
My Hippie Habits
As the result of my high toxic load and genetic defects, I am careful about every bite I eat, the water I drink, the skincare/hair care/cleaning products I use and the chemicals I expose myself to.
Realizing that I cannot control all the toxins around me, I do the best I can.
We live in a toxic world, for sure. Sadly, it’s mankind’s own doing.
It’s easy peasy and saves me gobs of money too.
Granted, I don’t make ALL my own products–some healthy ready-made versions are available online from places like Thrive Market.
Check out this link from Mommypotamus about recipes to make your own or alternately, where to buy the everyday products we need.
You May Not Know you are Sick Until it’s Too Late
In some ways, I am lucky that I had the pain to tell me that something was wrong.
Many people don’t find out until it is too late. They develop an autoimmune disease or MS or cancer, making it much harder to reverse the problem.
What can you do?
- Mycotoxin testing: The GPL-Mycotox test from Great Plains Labs is a new resource that you can order yourself. It is a simple urine test for toxic mold conducted at home and costs $299.
- Heavy Metal Testing: Great Plains Labs offers a Metals Urine Test that needs to be coordinated with your doctor so that a chelating agent is administered prior to the test. Note that heavy metals can be hidden in the tissues and bones and may need to be pulled out by a chelating agent to show up on a lab test.
- Genetic testing: LabCorp offers a blood test for the HLA-DRBQ gene. A physician who is familiar with this test would need to order the test and the results need to be interpreted as well.
Insurance typically does not cover these tests, but you should always check with your insurance company anyway.
If this makes me a hippie, then break out the tie dye and psychedelic colors.
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Joli Tripp and Mind Blowing Wellness are not medical doctors nor licensed medical professionals. No comment or recommendation should be construed as being a medical diagnosis. If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you should consult an appropriate healthcare provider.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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