Monday, April 12, 2010

Black Mold Exposure…....It Can Happen To You

A Review of the New DVD Movie by Michael Roland Willams
By Dr. Jen Morganti

This must-see documentary begins with the camera panning through a couple’s sparsely furnished house where every item is covered in plastic. The chairs, the tables, the computer keyboard, and every other item is sealed in plastic and covered in cloth. As the story unfolds, we discover that this almost obsessive sterilization process is absolutely required for this couple to exist in their environment. Any type of slight contamination sends their health into a tailspin, causing anything from skin rash to migraines to vomiting. The couple spends hours washing articles of clothing (especially when they are new), dusting,cleaning, and plastic-wrapping every new item they introduce to the home to prevent off-gassing. They spend an entire weekend tediously wrapping and rewrapping a new couch they bought, but nothing prevents them from having a reaction and they must return it.

Imagine being so sensitive to every odor in household products, food, furniture, clothing, carpet, your car, and even outdoor air, that you become ill to the point of dysfunction. You must isolate yourself from other people because of the products they wear. You are unable to work because your work environment makes you ill; the doctors don’t believe you and neither does your family. This film documents the daily struggles of real people with these extreme sensitivities to everything in their environment, all because they were exposed to high levels of toxic mold.

Mold and fungus are critical to a balanced ecosystem, but overgrowth of mold in living spaces can be inhaled, and over time exposure can cause multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). Molds such as Aspergillus, Fusarium,and Penicillium are some of the offending factors that can be toxic. The symptoms that mold exposure can cause are common and non-specific, such as fatigue, asthma, abdominal pain, dizziness, vomiting, hearing loss, and skin rash.

MCS can be caused by chronic exposure to any kind of toxin, including mold, chemicals, heavy metals, and more. It is not a widely-accepted diagnosis within the medical community, due in part to lack of education in medical school as well as the fact that the American Medical Association hasn’t given it credibility. Some of the doubt continues because patients present a long list of non-specific symptoms and there is no definitive lab test to determine a diagnosis. As a result, a person suffering with MCS symptoms may get passed from doctor to doctor without getting any help. During the course of this unproductive process, people with MCS may instead
become labeled as mentally ill, liars, money grubbers, or whiners. The skeptics may argue, why is it that only some people become ill when living in an environment contaminated by black mold or other toxins, and others have no symptoms at all?

Some researchers believe that genetic susceptibility explains why some people are sensitive and others are not. In this documentary, several experts weigh in, including Dr. William Rae, pioneer of environmental medicine and director of the Environmental Health Center of Dallas. His experience shows that people can recover from MCS, but everyone’s physiology is different, so treatments and successes will vary.

This documentary is valuable to anyone. If you suffer from MCS, it is a great movie to share with friends and family, and if you are healthy, it shows us how we should be both careful and aware about hidden dangers lurking in our environment.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.

You may have been trying for years to resolve chronic health symptoms and, yet, still not realized that one of the undiagnosed triggers might be yeast overgrowth.

What is Yeast?
Candida albicans is a fungus living in our intestines that produce 180 chemical toxins capable of making you feel dizzy and fatigued, shutting down your thyroid, throwing your hormones off balance, and causing you to crave sugar and alcohol, and gain weight. Candida and its 180 by-products are associated with symptoms of PMS, loss of libido, painful intercourse, infertility, numbness, tingling, multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s, colitis, irritable bowel, acne, lupus, insomnia, drowsiness, white tongue, breath bad, body odor, sinusitis, bruising, sore throat, bronchitis, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, spots in front of eyes, and dozens more symptoms.

Yeast overgrowth is primarily caused by overuse of antibiotics that kill bacteria, both good and bad, wiping out the intestinal flora. Another overlooked cause is mercury, a powerful antibiotic from dental fillings, which can be inhaled and swallowed in the process of chewing and act like an antibiotic in the intestines. Once yeast has the room to expand, a diet high in sugar, simple carbohydrates, and fermented foods feed their ravenous hunger and corticosteroids, estrogen, and birth control pills further encourage its growth.

Leaky Gut: An Open Door to Our Tissues
In the absence of competition, yeast colonies grow into all the empty nooks and crannies of the large and, possibly, small intestine. It is a scientific fact that when yeast cells reach a certain critical mass, they change from round buds to a thread-like invasive tissue. They are running out of food and looking for more, so they pack their bags and emigrate to the small intestine from their main home in the large intestine.

In the small intestine, the yeast threads poke microscopic holes in the intestinal lining. Such a phenomenon is called “leaky gut”—a superhighway to the blood stream with nothing to block toxins trickling across the gut lining. Instead of absorbing life-giving nutrients, a now-compromised and permeated intestinal wall allows all 180 of yeast’s chemical by-products, as well as undigested food molecules, bacterial toxins, and other chemicals to take a one-way ride straight into the blood. Though the holes are not necessarily big enough to allow the yeast to get in or infected the blood, the bloodstream is now carrying hundreds of waste products from head to toe.

Yeast and Inflammation
When yeast, bacterial, and food toxins hit the blood stream, they trigger widespread inflammatory reactions by either directly attacking tissues or creating allergic reactions along with the production of histamine, which causes immune cells to react. Some of the yeast toxins, like acetaldehyde, alcohol, zymosan, arabinitol, and gliotoxin, have been named by mycologists (biologists who study fungi), but rarely do they extend their discussion to the human suffering caused by these toxins.

Acetaldehyde is produced when yeast digests sugar. It is a particularly potent toxin that can damage all bodily tissue, including the brain. It is also produced when you drink alcohol, breathe the exhaust from cars, and smoke cigarettes. What most people don’t know is that yeast also produces alcohol in the body—enough to make some people feel drunk and give a positive reading on a breathalyzer test. Most people with yeast overgrowth can’t touch alcohol because it makes them feel so rotten.

Weight gain is very common in yeast overgrowth. Our bodies create pounds of fluid retention in an attempt to dilute the inflammatory toxins that yeast produces. Over time, tissue toxins and fluid build up lead to cellulite and weight gain. The gas produced by yeast can cause abdominal bloating that can increase your waist size up to 6 inches from one meal to the next.

The Yeast Questions
Positive answers to most of these questions may mean you have yeast overgrowth.
1. Have you taken several courses of antibiotics in the past?
2. Have you been on the birth control pill?
3. Do you react to the smell of damp moldy places?
4. Do you crave sugar and bread?
5. Do you feel drained to the point of exhaustion?
6. Do you have symptoms of intestinal gas, bloating, and cramping (IBS)?
7. Are you troubled by constant vaginal infections?
8. Are you bothered by itchy burning eyes?

Where’s the Cure?
The treatment for yeast does not lie in just a pill, as many women have learned. Even if your doctor is one of the few that does recognize yeast overgrowth, the most common treatment recommended is a week or two of antifungal medications. Most doctors don’t understand that yeast overgrowth requires a change in diet, probiotics, and antifungal supplements and/or medications.

• Diet: avoid sugar, wheat and dairy as well as fermented foods, and alcohol.
• Probiotics (good bacteria): the best ones are acidophilus and bifidus. Products that guarantee 2-10 billion organisms per capsule are recommended.
• Antifungal supplements: garlic (eat one or two cloves a day), oil of oregano (take 2-3 capsules per day) and grapefruit seed extract (take two to three capsules per day) or take a formula that also includes caprylic acid, pau D’Arco, black walnut, beta carotene, and biotin.

If you are suffering with long-unresolved symptoms, then it may be worth investigating the possibility that your intestinal tract may be under siege of a yeast overgrowth. When the source of the symptoms is properly identified as yeast, you can arm yourself and finally lay your suffering to rest.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor, specializes in managing and healing often misdiagnosed and chronic conditions, such as digestive problems, hormone imbalance, recurring infection, IBS, widespread inflammation, allergies, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. In the health industry for 28 years, she has authored and co-authored 12 books on health,, including The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health. Dr. Dean has an active telephone wellness consulting practice; visit her at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is Fibromyalgia Making You Crazy?

by Rodger Murphree, D.C., C.N.S., reprinted from NEEDS Natural News

Do you suffer from anxiety, fatigue, and chronic pain, yet are told you're crazy, lazy, or depressed by friends, family, and doctors who try to make you think your illness "is all in your head?" If so, you're not alone.

Though your distress certainly feels real, their accusations make you wonder. You do often lose your train of thought mid-sentence, have strange reactions to medications, and suffer with an assortment of health problems as all your labs return normal. Then there is insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, mitral valve prolapse, chronic sinusitis, tingling in the extremities, night sweats, chemical sensitivities, headaches, and reflux to name a few. Maybe you are crazy. You've been bounced from one doctor to another, had dozens of tests, taken numerous prescription drugs, which didn't help, and you get worse year after year. Anyone would be made crazy if they went days without sleep, had diffuse chronic pain, no energy, no answers, no life, and no hope.

The traditional drugs of choice for fibromyalgia include: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), antidepressants, anticonvulsant medications, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and pain medications. While they may provide short term relief, their results are often fleeting and their side-effects detrimental. It's not unusual for fibromyalgia sufferers to take 12 or more prescription drugs, many of which contribute to their erratic behavior.

For example, the sleep drugs, Ambien and Lunesta, may cause short-term memory loss, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and depression. Tricyclic antidepressants, including Trazadone and Elavil, may cause early morning hangover, mental confusion, and lethargy. Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) drugs may cause anxiety, depression, mental blunting, and lethargy. Klonopin and other benzodiazepines may cause depression, fatigue, and decreased mental function. All of these drugs are known to deplete at least one or more essential mood-dependant vitamins, minerals, or nutrients (B6, B12, CoQ10, folic acid, etc.). Individuals with fibromyalgia are also deficient in the brain chemicals, which help regulate mood and mental function.


Research shows that most fibromyalgia patients are deficient in serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are essential for optimal mood and mental function. Serotonin, also known as the "happy hormone", helps regulate mood, sleep, digestion, bowel movements, pain, and mental clarity. Individuals with fibromyalgia also have low levels of the amino acid, tryptophan, as well as 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), necessary for the production of serotonin. L-phenylalanine-derived norepinephrine, when released in the brain, causes feelings of arousal, energy, drive, and ambition. It's no wonder you suffer with "fibro fog."


I like to use the analogy of being born with a stress-coping savings account. We have certain chemicals, vitamins, minerals, and hormones, like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, that allow us to handle day-to-day stress. The more stress, the more withdrawals we make. Individuals with fibromyalgia make more withdrawals than deposits.

SSRIs like Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft, and others don't make serotonin, they only help the brain hang onto and use serotonin more effectively. These drugs are essentially a high interest loan. Those with fibromyalgia simply don't have serotonin to re-uptake. They've bankrupted their stress-coping savings account and depleted their serotonin long ago. These drugs usually only provide short term relief, while perpetuating their debt. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true nutritional protocols that can help put your stress-coping savings account back in the black.


» 5-HTP

Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials show that patients with fibromyalgia experience benefits from increasing serotonin through 5-HTP replacement therapy:
• Decreased pain
• Improved sleep
• Less tender points
• Less morning stiffness
• Less anxiety
• Increased energy
• Improved mood in general, including in those with clinical depression

SAMe increases the action of several neurotransmitters including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, by binding these hormones to their cell receptors. However, patients with fibromyalgia can be deficient in this essential amino acid.

One study shows that patients taking SAMe for a period of six weeks had a 40% reduction in pain and 35% improvement in their depression.


A blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids comprise the necessary building blocks to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. These include malic acid, sometimes known as the apple acid, which helps the body make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) more efficiently. ATP is the body's primary form of energy currency. Magnesium complexes with ATP become the main carrier of metabolic energy in the body and are essential for all biosynthetic processes in the body. Magnesium is also well regarded for its role in maintaining healthy mood, sleep patterns, and joint function. Amino acids are required for protein synthesis, which builds muscle, connective tissue, and other structures. Individuals with fibromyalgia have been shown to be deficient in several key amino acids, including methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, threonine, and lysine—all of which must be supplemented to restore healthy levels. I have formulated a product that includes these critical nutrients and more, in a convenient, easy-to-remember "packet" system.

Please know that, while you might not feel you're the sharpest tool in the shed at the moment, you can replenish your brain chemicals, rebuild your stress-coping savings account, and even remember where you put your car keys … with the proper nutritional support.