I am here to give you hope and guidance to live your best life. I know that a lot of you are struggling or you know someone who’s struggling. Maybe they’ve gone down the road of seeing all the doctors or all of the specialists and they are to the point where they almost lose hope and that is not okay. Our medical system is broken. There are answers. You just have to keep searching for them. You’re on the right track by listening to podcasts like this. If you know that person who really is losing hope and needs to hear this please share it with them.
I want to be here for you through your struggles. Some of us have deeper struggles than others. Some of us have more health challenges because of our genetics or our environment. Some of us just need a little bit of tweaking here and there. We need a little extra vitamin D, but some of us really have some chronic issues going on, that can’t be figured out. I want you to think about your environment and how things could be impacting your health and wellness that you might not necessarily be aware of.
In today’s episode, we are going to talk about the do-it-yourself detox treatments that you can do. You don’t have to go for fancy functional medicine consults. She talks about basic things that you can do on a regular basis to detox your body from all these environmental exposures. We are more toxically burdened than ever before as a civilization. Chemicals that we’re exposed to every day on a regular basis through our skin, air, food, and water didn’t even exist 100 years ago. Our great grandparents did not have to deal with this. The United States has 1000s of chemicals that are put in our daily regular food that other countries around the world have deemed toxic. They literally do not allow them to be used, yet in the United States, we continue to use these chemicals. We really need to be our own advocates and we need to support our body’s natural detoxification pathways of the liver, gut, skin, lungs, and all of the lymphatic system.
You might not have an extreme situation as Bridget did. However, I bet there are things you can do in your life such as tweaks, make swap-outs, and things you can get educated on that can take your health to the next level. You’re going to end with a bunch of new tools in your toolbox to help you reclaim your health.
On this podcast, we are going to talk about…
Environmental toxins we are exposed to.
How to support a detoxing lifestyle.
Foods that help with liver function.
Bridgit’s daily regimen.
Coffee enemas, what they are, and how they work.
How to detoxify your gut.
How saunas may help with detoxifying.
Mold and how it affects our hormones.
About Bridgit Danner
Bridgit is a licensed acupuncturist and a certified diagnostic practitioner. She has given over 12,000 treatments in her career. Acupuncture can be so healing. She had a thriving integrative wellness practice in Portland, Oregon, but she developed an environmental illness due to toxic mold in her home. Going through this she lost her house and everything she owned due to this toxic mold. She’s an extreme case but, they had to move 1000 miles away to Arizona in the desert for her to heal. She was already experienced in hormone management and nutrition, but this really helped her become acutely aware of the powerful impact the environment has on your health. It took her a long time to really heal from this because she has bio-individuality that makes her more susceptible to mold toxicity.
Bridgit now educates about toxins and detox through her online community. She coaches women on how to detox through a functional approach. She has a master class coming out in a couple of weeks called The Toxic Mold Masterclass. You don’t have to have a mold illness to take this masterclass. She has experts talking about environmental toxins hiding in our homes.
Welcome, Bridgit to the Gutsy Gynecologist Podcast!
Bridgit: Hi, Tabitha. Thanks for having me.
Dr. Tabatha: I’m so excited about this conversation today. You have a really awesome master class coming out and I want women to check it out.
Tell My Listeners About Your Masterclass
Bridgit: It’s called The Toxic Mold Masterclass.
Dr. Tabatha: I don’t think that we know enough about environmental toxins. Mold is one of those sneaky little culprits that we don’t realize, right? So what are you going to talk about in this master class? Why should my listeners check this out?
Bridgit: I think mold is an underlying cause of more things than we realize. Especially the ones that are dragging on and you can’t seem to fix them even though you’re changing your diet, going to bed early, and trying to do the right things.
That was definitely my story, including hormone stuff that we’ll talk about today. So you at least need to have some awareness of what it is, what to check for in your house, and what symptoms might look like. We also talk in general about living low toxic lifestyles and if possible, non-toxic lives.
It is so multifactorial. Once you become sensitive to one thing, you’re usually sensitive to other chemicals more. If your body’s becoming weakened from mold, you may pick up other infections. These events can seem like a lot, but even if you tune into a couple of talks that interest you, great. I’m doing a 10-minute talk every day and going through the whole topic for that week.
Dr. Tabatha: That’s gonna be so good! Is it free to sign up and watch?
Bridgit: Yeah, this is my seventh or eighth event and this is by far my best one. The speakers are amazing. It is very professional with all of them doing slide presentations. It is very organized. We’re not just chi-chatting, we are giving you the real deal.
Dr. Tabatha: Women will also have access to the book you wrote, The Ultimate Guide to Toxic Mold Recovery. So, definitely check it out! The links are in the show notes.
Here’s the link to watch the video version of this interview.
Environmental Toxins and How to Detox With Bridgit Danner
Bridgit: Yeah, so mold is an interesting one, in that it’s the natural substance that releases something really dangerous inside our own bodies like parasites and bacterial imbalances. But then other toxicants are manmade such as pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, and food colorings. There are also heavy metals, which are natural, but weren’t really meant to be like dug up and distributed. One of those in excess could bring you down. But usually, if one is strong then the other ones are kind of piling on as well. They can make subtle changes with your hormones like period changes and fertility.
Because toxins are usually inflammatory to the cells, they are often attached to cell receptors where hormones like estrogen should attach, they create a burden on the liver, back up the lymph, disrupt the gut microbiome, which can lead to a lot of detox problems. It’s simply something that’s not meant to be there. Our body wasn’t designed to handle these. It creates stress on our body and has a cascade of effects throughout our whole system.
Dr. Tabatha: I love how you explain that. A lot of times we don’t find out exactly what our toxic burden is and to what extent because testing can get expensive and complicated, right?
How do we Support a Detoxing Lifestyle? How do we Optimize Our Health Daily?
Bridgit: This topic can be so big and you don’t have to be an expert at everything. You don’t have to know all the heavy metals or anything like that, but I would say you need to keep reducing the toxic load in your home or where you spend the most time and improve or support your detox pathways.
We detox through our skin, breath, urination, and stool. So the liver and kidneys need to be working. The liver needs a lot of nutrition, amino acids, and micronutrients. We need a rich whole food diet and avoid foods that are inflammatory and processed. Also, drinking lots of water is a simple thing you can do. Wake up in the morning and have some warm water, warm water with lemon, or electrolytes. Hydrating and resetting in the morning are super simple things people can add to help detox their bodies.
When I was at my sickest I dry brushed every day. This isn’t something that a lot of people are familiar with, but it’s very easy and affordable. It keeps things moving. When I see people and they just look kind of puffy and like their skin is not healthy, those are the people who should try dry brushing.
Exercise also helps detox the body. It is good for building muscle and creating testosterone, but it also helps us detox by breathing more and having blood circulating.
Making sure you poop is also really important. You should have a minimum of one bowel movement a day, but really having two or three is more ideal, especially when you are actively detoxing.
So, before you even think about doing more advanced detox things try simple things such as moving your body, hydration, supporting constipation issues, and supporting any sleep issues you may have. Our brain detoxifies when we sleep and we do a lot of healing when we sleep. I have about 10 things in my book that will help. So, I always tell people, “Get these 10 things down, then you are allowed to go do more detox work.”
Dr. Tabatha: You threw out so many golden nuggets right there and so many good opportunities to hone in on our health.
Do You Have any Foods That you Really Love to Help Support Liver Function?
Bridgit: I like collagen powder. You can put it in anything. You can add it to soups to add more protein. There are different types of collagen powder, but they are usually different amino acids than you’re getting when you have a chicken breast. As women, we don’t usually get enough protein and we need a lot of protein to detoxify.
Lemon water is also a super simple solution. I like to drink lemon water with cilantro, some greens like broccoli sprouts, and local honey. Blend it up and it is an easy liver tonic. The liver likes a variety of whole foods such as onion, garlic, eggs, nuts, and B vitamins. You can find all of these nutrients in nuts, meats, or greens.
Dr. Tabatha: God gave us everything our body needs to function and we keep trying to muck it up. Everything we need is in the food that’s already created. So I love that you suggest going back to the basics of whole foods such as clean meats.
You talked a little bit about dry brushing for your skin and your skin is amazing!
What is Your Daily Regimen?
Bridgit: Usually, I dry brush my skin first thing in the morning. It doesn’t have to come before showering. I’m more of a nighttime bath person so, I dry brush in the morning and it only takes a few minutes.
You can buy the hard bristle brush at a natural grocery store or we sell one as well. You just brush towards your heart. You can start by doing a few strokes over the front, back, and inside of your arm. They usually come with a long handle so you can get your back. Some also come with a mini brush so you can do areas around your ears or palms. You can read more about how to dry brush and the benefits here.
A little lymphatic massage for your body is also good for cellulite. You can add a little grapefruit essential oil if you’d like. Then also watch that you’re not having processed fats because those can contribute to cellulite as well. Making sure your gallbladder is moving is good for cellulite too. You can help that with a coffee enema, which is something I got into while I was detoxing from mold. I still do it once a week. It helps you recycle glutathione in your body which is a really important detox antioxidant.
Dr. Tabatha: That’s awesome.
Dry brushing is great for detoxifying your skin
Why Does a Coffee Enema Work?
Bridgit: It works because it gets to the blood supply that goes to the liver. There is a compound in the coffee, like a light roast coffee, where the compound is more active. That compound hitting the bloodstream is what helps with glutathione production. It’s different than just ingesting it and having it go through your stomach.
Dr. Tabatha: I’ve had patients tell me that they are really sensitive to coffee, but it’s a light roast and organic so you will be fine. It’s not going to stimulate things in that way. It’s just going to the liver, getting to the bloodstream, and cleaning things out.
Bridgit: It could be a little stimulating, but you could always just start with one round your first time. There are other types of enemas out there if coffee doesn’t work for you.
How Else Do you Like to Detoxify Your Gut? Is That Your Main Way?
Bridgit: I love the sauna. I own one and that helped me when I was at my sickest. You can also move lymph by using a mini trampoline, getting a lymphatic massage, cryo-therapy, or using red light therapy.
These are the Supplements That I Like to Take for Gut Health/Detoxification
As far as the gut, I also have some supplements I like to use…
immunoglobulins (They help with the mucosal layer and kind of gently work on any infections in the gut. Mega Mucosa is my favorite. I also like Mega IgG2000 for infections and chronic lose stool)
a spore-based probiotic
Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, I think you have to support your system and need to have your gut functioning in order to do those detox processes.
I’m so glad you mentioned the IgG because I have seen this a lot recently. I don’t know if it has to do with Covid or what but almost every stool test I’m getting women are low on their IgA and their IgG response is out of control. I think our immune systems are so overburdened that we are struggling.
I also love the idea of using essentially colostrum from cows. It’s what we get from Mother Nature. When we breastfeed an infant we get all those immunoglobulins to support us. I have seen so many adults needing that support. So I think that’s a great supplement that you recommend.
Bridgit: Yeah, I saw that was in test results too. I think stress has a lot to do with it. I read a study about how watching the news makes your immunoglobulins go down. So actually meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude are really good for your gut mucosal layer.
There is a lot of talk about leaky gut, which is important, but there’s not much talk about that mucosal layer that needs to be thick and healthy. Things that can help nourish that layer are licorice, aloe, and licorice tea.
Dr. Tabatha: You had mentioned the sauna a little bit in passing. I would love to talk about that a little more because there are different types of saunas and I think people just think they’re just sweating things out and they’re not really understanding what’s happening with infrared sauna and how that’s helping you detox.
How Saunas Help You Detox
Bridgit: Yeah, so when you sweat during exercise that’s a little bit more temperature controlled. Even though exercise is great, you are putting your body under some stress. This is a different kind of situation and as long as you’re not overdoing it you could get plenty of antioxidants.
Using a sauna you are in a relaxed state so it can be great for sleep. You really need to be in that resting state to heal. Your body can’t heal when it thinks it’s still in crisis. So I think that’s one of the many reasons a sauna can be helpful for chronic health conditions. There’s a lot of science about sauna benefits. They can detox heavy metals, mycotoxins, repair cells, delete damaged cells, and boost the immune system.
I’m really excited that more and more people are buying them for their homes. It doesn’t always need to be the fanciest, newest sauna as long as you’re relaxed and you’re getting a sweat. I own a far infrared sauna. It is a one-person sauna and goes the deepest so it is the most detoxifying. Other levels are mid and near. So if you get a bigger box sauna it probably has all three. You can also do different programs. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, work on your skin, improve an injury, or detox. You can choose the wavelengths which is cool. So pay attention when you buy a sauna which wavelengths they are advertising to fit your health goals.
Dr. Tabatha: Awesome. We are working on our gut, we’re making sure our liver is functioning, sweating, dry brushing, moving our lymphatic system, we’re using an infrared sauna.
What Else Can We Do to Detox?
Bridgit: I really am a fan of getting outside. Getting sunshine and that break from being in your house is so important. Indoor air quality is actually now worse than outdoor air quality. There are a lot of studies on how nature is relaxing for us.
I barely see people get outside. People in my neighborhood even drive to the mailbox and the mailbox is right around the corner. It doesn’t have to be huge. You can walk around the block after dinner, which is great for your insulin sensitivity. If you don’t have time to take a big trip to nature, you can just sit in your backyard, drink tea, and sit in the sunshine.
Also friends time and social time, especially as women, and as we go through difficult things, we need to stay connected to people and make time for the people we love. Because it does nourish us and I think it makes a big difference.
Dr. Tabatha: That is the biggest struggle with COVID is we’re not connecting the way that we did and we’re all feeling alone.
Why is Mold Such a Big Deal When it Comes to Hormones?
Bridgit: I read something a couple of years ago from a book by Neil Nathan and one thing he explained was that your hypothalamus-pituitary access, gets inflamed directly from the mycotoxins so it’s not receiving and sending signals correctly. Then for people like me, that can result in low hormone levels. One of my chronic symptoms you wouldn’t think had anything to do with mold was spotting for my periods. I had low progesterone and everyone said it was stress but my hormone levels were like a grandma and they were pretty tough to come back.
The thyroid is often affected too. I see a lot of Hashimoto’s and mold come together. So because mold is so disruptive with the gut it then starts to develop into autoimmune problems.
It can make for more difficulties during menopause, periods, low sex drive, and fertility. Because if men are producing less testosterone and potentially producing less sperm or not as strong sperm, there could be some really mitochondrial deficits. Mitochondria is really important for fertility. And then women need to be cycling regularly and strongly to get pregnant as well.
Ironically, I got pregnant right after moving into a moldy house, but I hadn’t been there that long. I didn’t know but it was making my life as a new mom a lot more difficult than it needed to be. I was developing chronic pain that didn’t go away and I developed all these different problems.
It can also make hormones low, but some people experience having high estrogen in a mold situation. So they’re not clearing the estrogen out of their gut properly because their gut isn’t healthy. Then they may be storing mold, or mycotoxins in fat tissue, and that fat tissue is making more estrogen. So that can go that way too.
I see more with myself and my client’s low levels, but some of the mycotoxins do have an estrogenic effect on the body as plastics or fragrances do. It probably just depends on your genetic makeup and different things about each person.
Having rapid weight gain could also be a symptom of being exposed to mold. However, it can go the opposite way too, your brain is inflamed, so you lose your appetite. Or you’re having heartburn and you’re not digesting. So it can kind of go either way. With your appetite, you can also lose your sense of satiety which can affect your ghrelin and your leptin. You could lose your cue to stop eating. I was definitely craving carbs and caffeine because I was so tired. So that’s one more reason you could be gaining weight on top of everything else is you’re looking for some energy.
How Did You Figure Out It Was Mold?
Bridgit: It took forever. I was in that house for eight years, trying everything and doing everything. Then one winter I got strep throat. I had to take antibiotics for the first time in 20 years and I just didn’t recover from that. I was still super tired.
I had just started working at home full time. I was going to the naturopathic college getting IV therapy, doing a detox program, and a supplement one. I told them, “This is not working I am so tired.” So they ran some more testing and they asked me about my home and if anything changed in my environment. We thought of a couple of things. One of them was some moisture that had leaked into the basement. The basement was always gross and smelly. I was down there more because we got a cat and all of its stuff was down there. I was also working at home more. Then we had this rainy winter and the water intruded in the home.
I had already been having lots of little symptoms. But by that point, I just couldn’t handle any of it anymore. I’m really thankful that they said something. I had of course heard of mold. I didn’t really want to do that because I knew what a horrible mess it would be. But you do have to open that box and find out. We had a lot of different areas with mold that had been going unaddressed for many years.
Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, I think some people can definitely relate to your story. They’ve done all the regular stuff that should have made them feel better, but they don’t. So I think it’s really important to know that there could be deeper things going on.
I talked to Dr. Diane Mueller about mold toxicity in-depth on one episode. And I think that us sharing our stories is so powerful. The fact that you finally figured it out, but then you go on to help a million people and figure out how to avoid all this tragedy, that’s really awesome. It shows and hopefully gives people hope that there is a way out. You can get through it and feel amazing again.
Bridgit: Yeah, it took me a long time before I was ready to teach and write about it. It wasn’t an easy journey. I already had the background of great habits. I was a health practitioner and so were my friends. I had plenty of resources and it was still slow. There were some years where I was just keeping my head above the water and taking breaks from work when I could.
I had to move and then I got divorced, but life keeps happening. But then I started to talk more about detox and had the energy to share the information. It’s tough to lose your home and go through all of this stuff. But with every crisis, there’s usually a happy ending and it is better than you could have ever imagined. You create this whole new life.
Dr. Tabatha: Exactly. You can never give up hope. You have to keep searching. I think that’s the key.
I know that there are people listening to this and thinking about that friend who just does not feel well and can’t figure it out. You get to the point where you feel bad for that person and you don’t know what to say to them anymore. You might even avoid their calls and this is the kind of episode you need to share with them. It could be mold exposure or a high toxic burden.
What Do You Get Out Of Going to Your Masterclass?
Bridgit: It’s incorporating some awareness when people are curious. You can either go by your symptoms or you can start thinking about your home.
Part of the masterclass is a quiz about symptoms in your home. I have a blog that has some info about testing, but the masterclass has professional remediators’ in-home testing. We also discuss having a non-toxic home and how to maintain your home properly. We talk about your health journey, supplements, and calming your nervous system.
So whether or not you have mold, there could be useful information for everyone. Whether you are a renter or an owner of a home there are things you need to be aware of. For instance, if your gutters are draining properly.
Health is not just about your body, it’s also about your space. Having knowledge about mold and other potential health triggers is so important and are things you can learn from the summit as well. There are so many different causes and you owe it to yourself to have a healthy life. So that means keep digging and trying. I had to try a bunch of stuff before I found the things that worked. So I hope I’ll save some people out there a lot of time.
Dr. Tabatha: I love the idea of watching the master class to learn what to look for so you don’t get to the point of having mold toxicity.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I built a brand new home and they started in November. The foundation is all wood. I’m in Michigan and it got snowed on and it sat there and melted how many times. And to think that mold could be growing behind your beautiful new walls and you have no idea. So, I love the idea of you guys delving into all of this stuff that we just don’t think about on a regular basis.
Bridgit: Yeah, you don’t want to, it’s totally boring. One of our experts who’s just been in this space for 30 years says that every crawlspace he has ever been in is moldy. And it’s not to say everyone’s getting sick from mold, but it is something to be aware of.
As women, we tend to take care of the house. But it takes a team sometimes because we’re not catching the same things. This is one of those things to know about so you can protect your family.
Dr. Tabatha: You mentioned the attics and the crawl spaces. My husband is an electrician and when he works and goes in those spaces his respiratory tract is flared up for days. He can’t breathe and is stuffy. I think he has the genes that make him more sensitive to mold.
So it’s not just about you listening. It might be about your family members or other people you know. We have to share this information. I hope everybody will sign up for the master class and share it with everybody they know because it’s just good information to have to hopefully prevent chronic illness.
Bridgit: For sure. Tell your husband that I want him to wear a full respirator mask. None of us like to wear that stuff, but we’ve all had to get used to it during COVID. If you’re in a space for a few hours and you have to wear a mask, it’s better than ripping up your lungs. I just interviewed someone about the mold cancer connection and it’s real. So it’s definitely for your long-term health as well.
Tell Me How My Audience Can Connect With You
Dr. Tabatha: Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your story, being brave, and helping other people deal with this!
That’s A Wrap
I know you got some really good tips to help your own detox pathways do their job. Our body has the ability to get back into homeostasis and detoxify. If we first remove the source, we stop being exposed. Also, optimize those pathways so they can do their job.
My favorite golden nugget was the coffee enema. I think that is a really great tip, especially for women with gallbladder and liver issues. The gallbladder stores the bile that the liver makes and the bile’s job is to pick up toxins, excrete it through the stool and get rid of it. So if the gallbladder is being sluggish, which often happens with estrogen dominance, other hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, and obesity, the liver gets sluggish. Gallstones then start to form with those toxins in there. It’s very common for women to end up having their gallbladders removed over this whole mess. If you do a coffee enema, it stimulates your liver and gallbladder to contract and actually excrete those stored toxins. So it’s a really easy way to actually get things moving and removed from your body.
Coffee enemas also stimulate glutathione production in your colon. Glutathione is one of those master antioxidants that our body hopefully makes. It goes around and cleans up all the cellular debris, damaged DNA, and reactive oxygen species that are leftover. It’s like when you have a fire, that fire produces energy in the form of heat, which is good., but it also creates a byproduct of smoke. And if the chimney isn’t open, the smoke will fill the house and make us sick. So the fire was good, it kept us warm, but the byproduct of the smoke could choke us out. Antioxidants are like opening the chimney and getting rid of that smoke. Getting rid of all that used up energy, the bad stuff, the byproducts that we don’t want. So, you really do need glutathione for health and wellness.
That’s actually a big reason why NAC has been used so much during this pandemic and does such a good job because it’s the precursor ingredient to make glutathione. Give coffee enemas a try, it’s not as crazy and scary as you think. It might really save your gallbladder and save you from having surgery.
I hope you’re getting value out of these episodes. I’m listening to my patients and hearing what they’re struggling with and that’s what I’m focusing on. I’m here for you. I know that you’re not getting the answers necessarily that you want and we’re going to change things. We’re going to change the system, but I need your help. I need you to spread the word and share the news.