Addressing Mold and Mycotoxins in your House | Podcast #217
Mold in the house is a big problem. The issues it brings are sometimes mistakenly diagnosed to be linked with things other than molds. To address these issues, functional medicine, then, guides you to the walk of a wounded healer.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss how they are addressing their own mold issues. This update highlights the non-toxic products and cost-effective means that address the underlying mold issues that Evan Brand has been going through. Also, listen as they discuss how Dr. J’s own personal journey approached the same issue through moisture readings, scrubbers, pre-imposed test on the house air, dry fogging and many more. Continue or more. Sharing is caring!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
06:51 Mold as the Rabbit Hole of Functional Medicine
12:55 Steps to Know if you have a Moldy House
18:11 Do all the Foundational Things Right
19:39 Cautions and Reminders to “Doing it Yourself”
26:14 Preventative Maintenance Protocol
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Today’s podcast, we’re gonna do a little mold update, we’re gonna talk about how we are addressing our own mold issues. Evan, how’s the mold issue that we’ve been keeping everyone update on? I actually found out, I have some mold behind my stove. So, not good news, but we are remedying it, we are on top of it and we’re gonna share a little bit about our journeys. And again, Evan and I see patients from all over the world that actually have mold issues. So, because this is happening to us and our families, we researched, we- finding out some of the- the more non-toxic products, the more cost-effective means to be addressed in this issue. So, we’re really excited to share the solution with everyone.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s the best thing to suffer, because then you have the best solutions, you know? I was told that I would have to take pharmaceutical drugs for my gut issues, and I would have to take acid-blocking medications, and I would have to take Alinia and Mebendazole and all these drugs for my parasites, but instead, with your advice, I was able to get rid of my parasite infections using herbs. So, I just love to basically challenge the status quo, and I love to just deny, deny, deny the conventional options because now even with all these mold illness, you know, people are saying, “You have to do Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s protocol”, which is a bunch of different pharmaceuticals like taking these resins, like cholestyramine-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: -and doing all nasal antibiotic sprays. And I don’t wanna do any of that crap. So, I’m gonna prove that wrong, and maybe I’m stubborn, and maybe I’ll fail, but I’m gonna try to prove it wrong and do this natural way just like I did everything else.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it totally makes sense. So, let me get people a little update on my situation and then we’ll come back and we’ll follow-up on yours, that sound good?
Evan Brand: Sounds good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, in general, last week, we’re having a frozen pipe issue addressed, there was no leakage in the pipe but we have to go in to uh- underneath the cabinet and put some extra insulation around that pipe. In the process, we saw some mold on the- in between cabinet board and the outer side of the drywall. So, most of the molds have actually sandwiched in between the cabinet and the outer part of the drywall. And there was a little bit of mold inside but not much, and then the back wall, where the outside of the house was, there was no mold. So it seemed to be sandwiched between the cabinet and the outer dry wall and uh- and uh- maybe- f- maybe 70 or 80% less mold on the inner drywall. So, it seems like some kind of a water leak must have happened in the past. Could’ve just been water that went down in between, there could’ve just been not enough uhm, adhesant, or sealer, or cement, you know, that uhm- that you seal the cabinet with or you seal the uhm- the various tile up against the wall, it could’ve been that sealer was just- lo- loose and wider overtime, accumulated down there, it could’ve been the vent pipe on top of the- the stove, could have some flushing issues there. So, my mold guys are coming in tomorrow to- to break down that wall behind the cabinet and look and see what’s going on and assess it. Based on going in there and looking at the moisture readings, the moisture readings are all very low in that area. So, based on the low-moisture, it doesn’t seem like it is an active leak. Of course, if it’s a flushing issue, it could only happen when it rains. There- there is that, but you’ll think there be some level of high moisture. So, what we’re doing is just making sure- the- the cabinet’s we’d already had re-sealed because we have a uhm- you know, a kitchen remodel done, but now that it’s exposed, we’re gonna be coming in there now, we’re gonna be uh- trying to assess the root underlying issue as much as possible and rectifying it whether it’s a flushing issue, whether it’s just the sealant behind the stove. Obviously, all that will be addressed either way. So, now, we’re gonna go in there, any visible mold we’re gonna hit, and we’re gonna topically get it with hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid which is like an apple cider vinegar mix formula to kill it. And this kind of formula is non-toxic which is great, and it will kill that mold on contact. We’ll gonna have it all remediated in a negative-air environment, so the air- so the mold spores do not go systemic around the house. I’ve been Scrubbers on the last 5 days, so it’s keeping the- the air pretty darn filtered. And we’re also doing a pre-imposed test on air and plate so I can assess the quality in the house. So, that’s really important number 1, and then kind of to finish everything off, we have a special herbal ss- essential oil-based solution that’s kind of tangerine, lemon, grapefruit seed extract, ___[04:16], it’s a product called CitruSafe that we have links for below, some of the products that we are now starting that- to promote because we’re looking at finding the most effective yet also non-toxic. Some of the more conventional products can leave almost like a- a residue or leave a metabolite behind that says, as virulent, or as reactive as the mold was originally. So, a lot of people who are sensitive can have problems. And again-
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -so, this is kind of where we’re at right now with this kind of 3-step solution, actually 4-step. We’re figuring out where the mold is, identifying how that moisture got there, 3, we’re killing it in a negative containment, negative air environment so it doesn’t spread. Number 4, we’re doing it the whole thing, with Scrubbers on in the background that keep that air clean. And then number 5, we are topically using the essential oil fogging solution afterwards. And we do the Dry Fog. Dry Fog seems to be the best because the Dry Fog gets to a- a size in about 1 to 10 microns that’s small enough to get in between baseboards and in between, uhm, really hard area. So, mold that maybe hiding behind the board or hiding behind certain things will still get touched and hit by it, so we have the best ability to kill whatever’s going on there.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the good thing is for you guys, that… err.. unless we just don’t know yet because you haven’t been in the house too long, but, your family seems to be doing pretty good, you all don’t seem to have any major symptoms.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, no major issues. Now, the difference is, once that mold is now exposed, we all know that kind of moves around. So, we scrubbed it, we’ve done our best, we’re doing pre-imposed air, pre-imposed testing on the plates. So, we’re doing our best to quantify what’s going on, and then we’re gonna be doing the Dry Fog throughout the entire house. So, my whole entire house, all the ventilation, all the drywall in my kitchen area, out- after it’s been fully killed, and then we’re also gonna be doing a- and the HVAC or- there’s a little bit of mold on some of the 2×4’s, uh, which is common. Anyone that gets the house built brand new, most uh, people are gonna have mold on their 2×4’s. I’ve had a- I’ve spoken to people with the mold companies where patients or people have requested like “Hey, I want none molding 2×4’s”, and the- the builders can’t even accommodate that. So-
Evan Brand: Oh my God.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I know people who basically said, “Hey, uhm, let’s choose all the boards that we’re gonna use for the house”, and they would just show up that day with a little sprayer and they would just spray it down with the 28% hydrogen peroxide and just kill it all, but then you’re good to go.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s the hard part is, you know, even during construction, right? If the house gets rained on during construction, if it doesn’t dry out in 48 hours which it’s never going to around here in Kentucky ’cause it rains so damn much, then you start building up and putting walls around those 2×4’s that are still wet. So, just like us, we moved in to a brand-new home with a mold problem, right? So, people may say, “Oh, my house is new, and my apartment’s new, or my condo’s new”, “new” doesn’t mean that it’s clean. And, same goes with the age, you can have a 10-year-old, 20-year-old house that’s pe- perfectly perfect. So, it’s- that’s the hard thing. Uh, there was a question here which I think is relevant to bring up now, which this question, uh, from somebody on YouTube comments says, “Does mold still qualify as a functional medicine rat hole, or is there something about mold toxicity that you can identify from the GetGo, when diagnosing a patient?”. I’ll just tell you with my own personal story, yes, mold is sort of a, I like to term “rabbit hole” rather than “rat hole”-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, yes.
Evan Brand: But, but yes, I would say, mo- mold is a “rabbit hole” because it’s the great mimicker just like lyme disease, meaning, I had blood pressure spikes, I had heart palpitations which did get resolved after I got my cavitation surgery, my heart palpitations disappeared. But I still had blood pressure issues, I still had cold hands, cold feet circulation problems, my sleep was terrible, I had random rashes, I had brain fog, I had some joint pain, I had some anxiety issues just like this weird sympathetic overdrive for no reason, and that was all mold. So, you can go by looking at all the symptoms but ultimately you have to test your environment which is like the plates that Justin has discussed. I’m giving the plates to every single new client now. Every single new client that comes in, we say, “Hey, we’re gonna do your functional medicine test, we’re also gonna do plates and we test your house”. Just like standard protocol now, and then we test your urine, if the budget allows, we run the urinary mycotoxin panel so we can look at the body and see what is the accumulation of bile toxins. For me, I grew up in my grandmother’s house which flooded. As a kid, I remember she had box fenced down there trying to dry out the basement, and have like a 2 ft. of water down there. That place had mold, so, long story short, if you do a mold-urine test, that is your whole lifetime accumulation, that’s not just current. And that’s why I think it’s important ’cause what if your environment’s clean now but you lived in a moldy house a year ago or 5 years ago, or 10 years ago, you could still have the accumulation in your toxin bucket.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that’s good to know that those tests are more of accumulation. My biggest concern is, healthy people that aren’t reacting to mold maybe just naturally detoxifying it from their environment and not be reacting to it-
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -that’s my only concern, right? Is how do you- how do you, ugh, differentiate and draw the line between people that have a- a body borne of mold and people that are just naturally getting exposed to it and re- and re- uhm removing it, remediating it from their environment to their natural detoxification, ’cause we know, you’re going to a forest, I mean, part of the reason why leaves don’t stack up to infinities, ’cause hey, they decay and they produce mold as a result. So, you going out to a forest, you’re gonna get, ___[09:51], basically exposed to mold as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well that’s why I would go hiking and I would get super dizzy in the woods, right? I didn’t know, I mean, I love hiking so much but I didn’t realize it was making me sick until this whole mold thing. To answer your question, I do have the an- the answer to that because I asked, uh, William Shaw over at GreatPlains at question. I said, “Okay, so, let’s say you- you take a buddy of mine, my friend Justin, he’s not symptomatic at all, if he’s living and/or near mold, is his urine test gonna show mold?”. And he says, “Not necessarily” because if your body is making the antibodies to work on the mold, your body will push it out, and your mold test should show nothing. Well, my test- my genetics are not as good as yours for mold, my test show tons of mold. You and I could live in the same environment, I may show high, and you may not ’cause you’re detoxing it and I’m not.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But why wouldn’t it show up in the urine, because isn’t the urine part of a natural detoxification system, for eliminating mold?
Evan Brand: Yes, that is true but- [crosstalk]
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …why you wouldn’t see something there?
Evan Brand: You could see something but you’re not gonna see it off the chart. It’s because for me, what I did was the glutathione challenge test where I did a few days ago. If I have to mobilize it, so, because my uh- levels were so off the charts, the idea, and this is not all black and white but the idea is that I’ve probably had mold in my brain, my kidneys, everywhere else, and the glutathione pushed it out of the hiding spots, whereas you, you don’t have any hiding spots. Yeah you probably still have some baseline urinary excretion, but probably not an off the charts excretions like I had.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I think anytime you do a mold test, I think it’s good to do that glutathione pushed. It’s kinda like doing a heavy metal test, urine and doing like a DMS or DMPS, uh, doing it like a challenge product. So, you can kinda get more a tissue burden, I think it allows you get more of a- a whole body burden if you add some type of a- a glutathione Calpol to it.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the- the reason that glutathione is the best at least in my reading, is because mold depletes glutathione. Now, interestingly enough though, I did an organic acid test, and my glutathione according to the oh, look somewhat decent, but I’ll tell you, I don’t feel well if I take too much glutathione. So, I know that I probably am at a deficient state. Maybe a functional deficient state where, maybe the test doesn’t show it, but when I take glutathione, I can feel that I’m mobilizing toxins with it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: E- exactly. And again, you’re in a high level of function, I mean, you’re seeing patients, you’re doing a lot of deep- deep level thinking, so I mean, potentially if you have lower glutathione, that- that may have even worse or more exacerbated, right?
Evan Brand: I’m uh- yeah, I mean, you’re right, I’m so glad that my symptoms are more related to dizziness and blood pressure and all that, and then my cognitive function is still good because I would hate not to be able to be helping people throughout this. Luckily, I’m still grateful that even with the symptoms I have had, I’ve still been able to work. Where many people, they can’t work, and they have to go on, you know, if you talk with J.W., many people say they go on disability, they’re living with family members and friends because their house is too moldy, but, luckily, I didn’t have to do that. You know, we did stay in the hotel for about a month, but that hotel is moldy too, I still had problems there. That’s the hard part, is, where is your safe place?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: And the answer [crosstalk].
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, my perspective about it is this. It’s like number 1, I wanna do a deep timeline and find out, number 1, is there any visible mold where it dry- you know, stai- w- water stains on the ceiling or drywall stains, number 1, can you visualize any mold? Number 2, any history of water damage in the house? If you can answer negatively to those, that’s- that’s step 1. Step 2 is do you feel better when you’re out of the house? If you’re at a better environment and it’s not like you’re just on a beach having a vacation, meaning, you’re outside of the house, and you’re still doing better, uh, you’re doing better outside of the house, and that’s consistent, that’s another sign there could be mold. And then number 3, is let’s work on some of the foundational diet and lifestyle things, do some of the functional tests, see if we start to move the needle and start improving. If we start improving with some of those things, and that’s a good sign that there could be other, let’s just say, higher priorities on the list, so we’re gonna go after those first. Those are the first 3. And then of course in between there, forever in doubt, we may wanna do some of the mold plate testing to at least get a baseline and see what’s going on. And if we don’t have any area that specifically target, right? That’s where doing some of these essential oils dry fogging could be helpful, and I would only do that if we have some plate testing that’s showing some higher levels, and maybe we’re just finding that we feel better when we’re outside of the house.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. And remember, you and I used to have this conversation where I was upstairs in my office working and I felt fine, and then I would come downstairs to the dinner table, and that’s when I would get a blood pressure spike, and it was because my dinner table area in the kitchen was right where the crawl space issue was and that’s where the vents were, and the bad air from the crawlspace came into the living area. So, all day at work upstairs I had a separate heating and cooling system up there that did not have mold, I felt fine, and then I come into the moldy environment, eat dinner, and then I would feel bad. So, yeah, it may even be a difference of room. When I sleep in this bedroom versus that bedroom, I feel better. Or, when I go to work at the office, I feel worse, and then when I come home I feel better. Well, then, your- your office, you’re work environment, could be a source too. Someone’s working at, let’s say at old moldy building like a courthouse in their city, that probably a moldy building and then you gotta try to find remedies to still keep your job. Maybe you have a portable HEPA air purifier on your desk to pump good air into your face, maybe that’s all you could do in certain situations. Teachers, schools are very bad, schools are notoriously moldy. If you’re a teacher in the moldy school, you gotta try to hack that situation-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I know, I mean, if that was me, I would probably bring a fogger in and just fog it really fast without anyone knowing, just to be on the safe side of having really good air filter. What’s your take on it?
Evan Brand: Yeah, if I was a teacher and I had moldy classroom, on a Friday afternoon, I would just stay a little la- a little extra after hours, I’d fog the classroom, leaves, so, over the weekend that fog is that doing its job. Put the fogger on a timer, so after the x amount of hours or whatever, it just shuts off, and then Monday morning, you come in and then you got a cleaned- you got a clean room. The problem is, of you don’t have like a window unit in your classroom, ’cause we have a lot of teachers, you know, I have teachers as clients, I know you do too, uh, if you have like a single unit, you could probably fix it, but if you’re on like a central system where the entire school is connected to some giant HVAC room, that fogging is only gonna buy you time until that HVAC central kicks on again, throws more spores back in your classroom.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and again, ye- we have- you should be having like if you’re in a school like that, the newer schools probably run almost like a hospital level of filtration, right? The newer ones?
Evan Brand: Hopefully so. I don’t know.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hopefully. I know, that’s the [crosstalk] situation- that’s the tough situation there. But at least you can have an air filter in your classroom and maybe talk to the school, see if you can get the whole HVAC system, you know, uhm, fogged. It doesn’t take much to fog it, you know [crosstalk]…
Evan Brand: No, [crosstalk]… and the co- and the cost is not that bad and, you know, if we talk about how this problem of mold affects society, I mean, we’ve seen- uhm one of the- one of the biggest symptoms of people getting re-exposed to mold, is suicide. It’s suicidal thoughts.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: And, think about all the suicides we’re seeing-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: -how much of that is linked to mold. Obviously, pharmaceutical drugs and media and all that, so don’t say, “Evan said, it’s all mold”, no, I didn’t say that, I’m saying it’s a factor. And I’ll tell you, when I went to this moldy building, I went to go get my driver’s license changed out, I went to the old courthouse like down the road, after I came back-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: -from that- that courthouse-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: -I was sweating, my blood pressure was spiking, and I just had a super big wave of depression and anxiety for no reason, I just felt miserable and terrible. And that was me getting re-exposed to mold. So, I know from a mental health perspective, this is huge. And how many times is your psychiatrist saying, “Hey, I think your problem is mold”, they’re never saying that. They’re saying, “Oh, this is a problem with your marriage”. Well, when I talk with J.W., he said the number 1 and 2 problems people have when they’re exposed to mold, number 1, financial problems, number 2, marriage problems, ’cause if you’re sick, you’re not gonna be as happy, your family members are gonna have to deal with you being sick. I see how it could strain marriages and relationships. There’s your counselor or therapist bring up mold in your house is the cause of your marriage issue? Absolutely not. But they should be ’cause this is a huge factor, this is a smoking gun. For so many problems that we see, but nobody knows.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, my perspective on it is this: is not everyone is genetically succinct- or super sensitive to mold. I- I know I am not, at least right now. Number 2, there’s the idea of having a stress bucket, so, the better you do other things in your life, diet, blood sugar stability, keeping inflammation down, keeping external exposure to toxins down, that’s gonna make a bigger difference, so then when you are exposed to mold, i- it may be the less of an issue versus if you’re carrying 50 or hundred pounds overweight, you’re inflamed, your diet’s poor, your sleep’s poor, you’re over under excising, those things are gonna add to your stress bucket without mold may be an issue versus if you have everything lined up, the mold may not be an issue, may be more of a speed bump than a s- than a stop sign. So-
Evan Brand: Don’t say…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -the first thing is, I think anyone that has any potential mold issues, do all the foundational things right. See how much that moves the needle. Uh, person on the Q&A question list has a really good pertinent question, they wrote, uh, “How can you find if there is a mold inside the ceiling separating 2 floors. One of our kids let the water run ’till it poured to the kitchen ceiling spotlights”. [Crosstalk] I would- I would say number 1, if you have the root cause addressed, meaning, you know how the water got there, that’s good, right? So, don’t repeat number 1. Number 2, if you can see water in the spotlight, I would definitely cut out anything you can visibly see, I would at least have a mold remediator come in, open the ceiling up and at least spray anything in there that they can topically get with the hydrogen peroxide solution, and then fog the rest and then put clean, drywall up where the water spots were.
Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s good- [crosstalk], that’s good advice, yeah, and- you know, definitely have somebody if you’re gonna try to do it yourself, you’d wanna have a mask on, you don’t wanna try to, disturb a wall cavity, uh, and make yourself or your kids sick, so you wanna have the proper, uh, PPE, the personal protection equipment if you are gonna try to do any that work on your own, it sounds like there’s probably not an ongoing water or moisture problem, I would still look into getting a uh, portable humidity monitor to check your house. So, make sure your humidity level’s below 50%. And then what you could do too if you have somebody cut open the uh, the wall cavity, you could always just throw a plate in there, just for curiosity’s sake, and if you do have any symptoms or any of your children have symptoms, you know, put a- put a plate in your master bedroom, put a plate in your kid’s room, just make sure your sleeping areas are covered. That goes directly into this other question here from someone that says, “Is there a range delivered in the report to indicate an overgrowth that needs to be remediated?”. In other words, is there a safe amount? Yes. For the plate, we’re talking about the company we’re using, you have a “health score”, 0 to 4 is normal. Some mold in the environment is normal, you’re probably never gonna get to 0, but when you go 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 96, like my issue was, then you have a problem. That’s when you know you need to remediate it, so, 4 and below, generally, you’re okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and the big areas to look will be obviously the roof to make sure there’s no leakage there. And, for the most part, like you’re gonna see, if there’s an active leak, you’re gonna see some level of exposure. I think you saw a lot of depthness in your attic, right? You’d a big pool of water in your attic?
Evan Brand: I did. Yeah, and-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.
Evan Brand: -that was from the uh- the dripping. It was dripping from the uh, from the rafters.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, you saw water and moisture in the attic, and, most people with an active leak, they would see on the drywall, they’d see on the roof of the ceiling. If you don’t see it, and there was other major vectors haven’t addressed, and you’re still concerned because of high level of plate testing. I mean, I would a mold personnel with a good moisture meter to check all the major areas for moisture, higher levels of moisture, you can even do the infrared heating to assess cold and hot spots. And then once that’s been addressed, if there’s no major issues, then that’s where I think just the fogging would be the next logical step throughout the whole house.
Evan Brand: And- and uh, one other point is like apartments and condos and hotels and all that, you know, these are places to have multiple units. So, for example in the hotel we were staying at, there was a huge water spot that looked like mold above our hotel room, and we asked the staff about it, and they said, “Oh yeah, you know, the dishwasher overflowed above you guys on the 2nd or 3rd floor whatever it was”, like, “get us out of this hotel room”. So, we moved to another hotel room, it took me to go to 3 different rooms in the same building before I could sleep through the night. And my wife, she was waking up too, she had terrible sleep, our daughter had terrible sleep, so we just kept moving hotel rooms until we found one that was clean. So, if you live in a place where you got somebody above you or below you, what if they are not as careful about their dishwasher, or shower, or sink, or whatever, and they have a plumbing issue, their plumbing issue then becomes your plumbing issue because it’s affecting your breathable air.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, exactly, that makes so much sense. So, in general, can you smell mold? I mean, I can just tell you like, I’ve been in moldy houses where you can smell that moldiness, but I can tell you, when we have that visible mols, I could not smell that. Could you smell mold in your house?
Evan Brand: No, we did not smell it, and-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: – it was not visible. We couldn’t see it and we couldn’t smell it. That’s why it’s like the invisible assassin. And uh, they say, when we say “the”, we’re talking to mold experts that Justin and I consult with, the experts say, “When you smell mold, it’s a very, very, very bad problem at that point”.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s a very bad issue. But, in general, it’s just the plate testing’s simple and cheap. So if anyone’s watching to- to reach out to my office, we’ll put information below where you can just email me and we can get you that. Same thing if you’re listening to Evan’s, check below and you can reach out to Evan directly and we can give you access to some of that testing. But that’s a good first spot, and if you had health issues and not there’s like no water spots, there’s no active leak, uhm, there’s no major issue off the bat, there’s no timeline history in and around water damage, or with the house, don’t worry about it off the bat. Don’t- just focus on the foundational things yet, and then we can always do a little bit of cheaper testing in the meantime to see if there’s an issue, but work on the foundation ’cause sometimes that can move the nail so much and it can take so much stress booze out of your stress bucket and allow you to heal significantly.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you make a good point, you know, I’ve done all the foundational work, gut, adrenals, etc., so, my diet’s dialed in. I’ve done everything which is probably why I stayed afloat, because when I talk with Dr. Shaw at the lab about my report, he goes, “Dude”, he didn’t say “Dude”, but he was like, “This is very high”. And I was like, “Well, luckily, I’m just dizzy and have blood pressure problems because I’ve still been able to work, versus if I didn’t have all the other, you know, 10 years of, you know, herbs and adaptogens and all that in my system, maybe I would’ve collapsed further and had further health problems.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you may not have been functional and being able to help all the patient to do all that, but it’s great, it’s good to walk the journey of the wounded healer. I feel, like for me, this is been a such a great journey ’cause I’m gonna be so much more, you know, when you take a crash course when you deal with the experts and you get concentrated, actionable information, it’s so much more valuable that just popping your head and do a book, or watching the documentary because you’re- you’re getting actionable steps to fix the issue. It’s not fluff or theoretical nonsense if you will.
Evan Brand: Yeah, you know, and- and that was the same thing when I knew, uh, that you were gonna be having your first kid, I thought, “Oh, this is so exciting because I was gonna be alone on the parenting journey and now, you’re a dad, with your son, and I’m a dad with my daughter. And then same thing with this mold issue, I was like on this road alone, and then now you found your issues, so I’m partially kind of glad that this happening to you-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Laughs]
Evan Brand: -because now, I’m like, “Yes, now he gets to empathize and now he understands what I had to go through to fix it”, so-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s a good journey, and you know, I think most people. And here’s the hard part, right? Is people listening, “___[25:31], oh my God!”. Like, “I don’t just have any water spots”, “I don’t think I have any damage”, “I feel like I’m gonna have to tear my house down to go figure out what’s going on”, don’t worry about that. Uh, ge- get the plate testing, if you can’t see anything visibly if you- if you know your roof’s good, if you know those things that the common areas are kinda dialed in and there’s no leaking, nothing visible, then, the easiest first thing is get- get a little bit of testing for your house on start there. And then number 2, we can always move to just a simple, systemic, kinda dry fogging solution that’s totally essential oil based, non-toxic, that’d be the first natural step and, we talked with some people at the labs, they even do this kinda once a year, once every couple of years on their house anyway, just kinda for preventative as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and we have one comment here, and then we can wrap up, uh, guy put, “We had a major wind storm that rolled through with 70 mile per hour winds, causing a lot of roofs shingles to be blown off. Time to examine those roofs for leaks”. Yes, it is time, I would get a plate, put it up in your attic, I guarantee your attic could have potentially a roof leak or mold, and that’s not to freak you out or cause panic, it’s just to say the reality is very high. The- even the uh- the EPA, the environmental protection agency in some of these major government entities say that 1 in 3 homes has a water event every year. So, the- this water problem is huge, water, moisture, equals mold. So this is like a huge epidemic that has just way underdiagnosed.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’m putting on my- my kind of like preventative maintenance protocol for my house is, to get my roof looked at preventably once a year. Just to have someone go up there, check all the flashing, check any pipes, check any area where there could be something, I mean, my roof is like 3 year- it’s only 3 years old. So, it’s relatively brand new. [Crosstalk]
Evan Brand: When- when Jeff came to my house to do the fog, uh, he went up in the attic, which we’re gonna turn into a playroom and he said, “Evan, there’s a lot of staining on this plywood up here…”, he said, “…this scares me, get a roof around here”, and the roofer came, and he said, this looks like it was a water event from when the roof got put on. He says this is not a current leak.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.
Evan Brand: So, the staining we’re concerning, but luckily, you know, it was not a red light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, it’s not an active issue, then you just fog it, and- and leave it alone, right?
Evan Brand: Yup. Exactly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: ‘Cause there could be a water stain and there’s no active, you know, if you can’t visualize the mold on there, then you just stain it, or you just do the fog on it and then you’re pretty go.
Evan Brand: Yeah, he did a peroxide on a couple spots ’cause they looked a little scary, but he said no, this is fine, so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, I think when in doubt, right? You just peroxide it, and then- and then fog it afterwards.
Evan Brand: Yup, absolutely. And this is the stuff that we like people to do it on them- with the- you know, DIY sure but when we say hydrogen peroxide, that’s not your standard 3%. This is very potent like 30+ percent that’s been diluted to the mid-10 to mid-20% hydrogen peroxide that would really burn you, and it will really hurt you. So, don’t just like, “I heard this podcast, I’m gonna go fix my house”, no, please like, speak with Justin, speak with me, speak with some of our friends and experts because this is something that, you know, you may wanna have expert help. I don’t want you going and “oh, let me open up this wall panel”, and then to get hit in the face with black mold and you end up in the- you know, in the hospital, or so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and if you do visualize it, you- if you wanna kill it, you wanna do it in a negative air containment so the- it does not go systemic. So, if you visualize it, if it’s like, you know, on the outside of the wall, then you know it’s a bad thing, right? But you’d wanna have a, you know, take off, or bagged off, while you’re waiting to get a mold person up there, and then they would address it in a negative kinda containment environment with the right type of uh, respiration and the right type of uhm, type of material to- to- to shoot out that hydrogen peroxide in a way so they don’t get burnt. So, you wanna have some expert do that as well. And for me, this gonna have them do the fogging as well because, why not, they’re already doing 80% of the job, I’d- I’ll have them do the whole- the whole hundred percent.
Evan Brand: Yup, absolutely.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One thing I would say, maybe if uhm- if there’s no active issues and you wanna do it from a preventative standpoint, where, hey, there’s no active leaks, there’s nothing I’m trying to hit specifically, I just wanna do a general dry fog, I think that would be doable by yourself. I know you and uhm, you and the other expert did it together, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, Jeff. Yeah, he- he- basically showed me the ropes but, I let him handle it all because I was so overwhelmed with moving and, I was living out of a suitcase for a month, so I just said, you know, well, I’m just gonna- just have him do it for me and it turned out to about a dollar per square foot, uhm versus some of the other enzyme based treatments I’ve previously discussed on the podcast was around 5 dollars per square foot. So, significant difference in cost, but we’re seeing just as good, if not, better results.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly. And I think, if you buy it, it’s way cheaper than that, ’cause I know, with my house…
Evan Brand: Yeah, if you buy it- yeah, if you buy it, I think he said around 50 cents a square foot.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yup. So, you’re looking at 50 cents a square foot, I would even say potentially a little bit less than that. I think you can get it down to, yeah, 50, 40 cents a square foot, makes about sense, totally.
Evan Brand: One comment on here, “If we built homes with solid concrete, we may not have this mold issue? Hmmm, maybe. But a lot of concrete holds moisture, and moisture creates mold, so. Uh, I’ve heard of plenty of different cases speaking with the lab where they’d have concrete walls in the basement that are absolutely covered in mold. So, uh, it sounds good in theory. There are other building materials that are better, but there is no like, sure all, ’cause there’s houses in the middle of the desert that- that J.W. has seen that are moldy, so-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: E- exactly, and then, you know, if you have, let’s just say you can’t make a whole house out of uhm, concrete. You know, Edison back in the 1920’s I think was trying to do that, really interesting. But, eventually, you’re gonna have some type of a break and then moisture will get in there, mold will form at a- at a acute, you know, at a level when you can’t see it and you may have high levels of moisture in the basement, so that’s where I think the fogging is- is really good, either way, just having a really good HVAC system in there. Uhm, like when we put our basement in, we’re like, “Uh, should we put an HVAC in them like, heck yeah”, ’cause I wanna have really good air circulation and really good control over the environment down there-
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -keep the humidity low, and to keep the air- air moving in a way. So, it’s not- the- the more that air just sits, if you get moisture in there, it’s more likely to mold versus, you know, dry up and evaporate.
Evan Brand: Yeah, absolutely. Well, let’s wrap this thing up, but, uh, in terms of consultations, if you wanna reach out to Justin and get help, you know, we noticed a lot of clients get better on our protocols that we use for the gut because we’re using a lot of anti-fungal herbs. We see a lot of fungus show up on stool test, so, fungus in your home equals fungus in your body which is why people dose- do so well on our protocols. So, if you wanna reach out, you can get a hold of Justin at his site, justinhealth- justinhealth.com. Reach out for a consult, we love helping people across the world, if you wanna get in touch with me, the website is evanbrand.com, and we’ll send the lab test to your house. So, if you reach out, say, “Hey Justin”, or “Hey Evan, I’ve got this problem”, we send the test to your house, whether we’re talking plates, urine test, or looking at your home, or looking at your body, that’s done, for anywhere in the world, literally, and then we get a protocol together. So, you know, yes, you could do a lot of these on your own, is it better to have a “tour guide” so to speak who’s been through it, yes, it is. Am I biased to say that? Yes. But I hire people to help me. So, I think having a teammate is helpful especially ’cause this topic gets overwhelming quickly.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, 100%. Well, today was a really great I think podcast, actionable information. I think if anyone’s dealing with these issues is gonna, hopefully it make it seem a little bit more simpler, a little bit more bite sized, give you some good non-toxic solutions to address the issue and- just get- and maybe just one part of your- kinda healing health journey.
Evan Brand: Absolutely. Well, you all take good care and we’ll be back with more updates on this whole mold topic soon.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks so much and give us the thumbs up, uh share, and leave your comments below. We wanna get your feedback on it and we’ll go up through there and try to answer some of y’all questions. You guys have a phenomenal day, thanks for listening.
Evan Brand: Take care, see ya.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Take care, bye.
Mold and Mycotoxins | Podcast #212
“You don’t just magically become sensitive to smells, you become sensitive to smells after you get exposed to mold” – Evan Brand.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Justin Marchegiani discusses Evan Brand’s personal journey on molds and mycotoxins. Listen and learn about byproducts of mold, aspergillus and penicillium, the bad things they produce that make one sick, ochratoxin and aflatoxin, the mycotoxins which are found on urine, and many other toxins that might cause cancer. Continue for more and don’t forget to share. Sharing is caring!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
00:50 Evan’s 8-Months Journey
03:56 ImmunoLytics Lab Testing
12:37 Where are they Coming From?
20:12 Mold Disinfectants
21:52 Compounds to Help on Detoxification
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to the podcast, I got Evan Brand here today. We’re gonna be talking about mold, mycotoxins and Evan’s personal journey through this- through this topic live. So, let’s dig in. Evan, how we doing today?
Evan Brand: I’m pretty good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk]
Evan Brand: So, if people can see, I’m in a hotel right now.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk]
Evan Brand: Yeah, in my portable office.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Sorry about that, we got a little delay in the bandwidth. For listeners here, we have uh… Evan on video as well, and we also have uhm- on iTunes, so if you wanna watch the video, feel free to click below and- and subscribe to the YouTube channel so you can see us in the flash. So, yeah, Evan, you’re in the hotel you mentioned. You’re in the process of- of getting your house remediated. I’m gonna just give you the floor for a few minutes here. Just to kinda walk everyone through your story of the last months so to speak.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well, really. It’s like a seven or 8- 8 months story. Uh, you know, I started having some blood pressure issues back in July, and you and I were talking about it. We had talked about doing adrenal support and testing. We were looking at the gut, we were looking for infections and fixing all that stuff. And then all of a sudden, the blood pressure issue still remain and so, you know, I- I just now got the answer within the last month, and it was mold and it was about toxin problem the whole time, which would explain why did all these other body systems like we do in our functional medicine approach but it still wasn’t enough. And that’s because I have ochratoxin in my urine which is a mycotoxin. What are mycotoxins? They’re the byproducts of mold. So, aspergillus and penicillium, those are bad, but it’s the mycotoxins they produce that make you sick. And so, when we test our clients for the urine, and we’re looking for mycotoxins, we’re looking for stuff like ochratoxin and aflatoxin. And, my ochratoxin is off the charts. The reference range is 4 to 20, and my levels are a hundred and 96. And I talked with Dr. Shaw at the laboratory, and he said it’s one of the highest levels he’s ever seen, which I hate to break any record for something that bad because it’s very toxic to the kidneys, it’s a known carcinogen, it does cause cancer. So, hopefully we caught this early enough that my cancer risk is gonna be low because I’m working on getting it out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we also talked about this as well. The fact that you are moving, it’s also a good thing because if you weren’t removing it and you are being exposed to all of that, that means all that stuff trapped in your body. So, even though your detoxification systems under stress and processing it, it’s at least processing it though, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, er- yeah, I mean, I think I probably have the gene, I’m not gonna waste the money to test if I have a genetic problem with detoxing mold, but I did do some glutathione before with the test, so I don’t know if my levels are very high because the glutathione pushed it out or if that means I’m truly just detoxing. And let’s just hope that it’s a combination of both.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well the glutathione’s pushing it out and that means, you know, we should continue to keep you on the moderate dose of glutathione. Is that in your current protocol now for detoxification?
Evan Brand: I’m taking a few days off. Uh, you and I we’re kinda talking about it…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: …both the weekend. The hard part is…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: …with the detoxification of mycotoxins, you gotta be careful because, you know, it makes you really sensitive to stuff, and I noticed that I don’t sleep like at all. Like I’ll just stare with the ceiling all night if I pushed detox too hard. So, right now, I’m taking two days off [crosstalk].
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It’s probably whipping up the adrenals and maybe just creating too much of a stress response. So it’s good to really to know that. I know we talked last week, you’re like, “Hey I’m doing this dose of this, this dose of this, this is where I’m at” and like, and we noticed that as you titrate up, it- you know we’re kind of be a delay in your ability to see if you could tolerate that dose. So, I know, we chatted and like, “Hey, instead of going, you know, every day increasing, let’s go every 3 or 4 days”. And I think once we did that, we were able to calibrate your dose so you wouldn’t detoxify too fast.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a pain like I don’t wanna go that slow because I wanna get this out of my system.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Right.
Evan Brand: And, you know, I’m a- I’m kind of stubborn, like I wanna just detox this and get it to- get it over with, but you can’t man, you have to go slow and that- and that’s a hard lesson for me to learn.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I hundred percent agree. So, let’s start off here. First off, we did some testing, right? We did some of the ImmunoLytics lab testing on your house to kind of assess your mold level. So, we first found that your levels is to the roof. And then, let’s kind of go in to what some of the vectors were like, where in the house did, we see some of these issues. Go ahead.
Evan Brand: Yeah, so the living room showed up with a high amount of candida, which is an interesting because if someone treats their guts for candida but they don’t treat their environment for candida, you’re actually breathe a candida in, and it’ll recolonize the gut. Now I’ve got a whole podcast on this coming soon with JW from ImmunoLytics to explain this further, but the long story short is that, candida in the environment can colonize the gut. So, if you do a candida protocol with supplements which is what you and I do all day every day with our clients, we’ve gotta fix their houses too. So, this- unfortunately as another layer of complexity, because the pets can have candida too. That’s a very big vector is pets. So, there is this special type of pet shampoo that we’re using on our dogs to clean her to get the mold off of her, and it’s by a company called Citrusafe. And that’s a…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Oh.
Evan Brand: …and they have this special shampoo…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Mm-hmm.
Evan Brand: …that’s been shown to get all the mycotoxins and the candida off because here’s the problem, if you move to a new environment like I’m doing but you bring your dog with you, that dog can just cross-contaminate your home- your new home.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.
Evan Brand: And so, people like, “Oh I don’t bring my possessions”, but you brought your dog. So, we have to address that, we’ve got a special mold solution that we’re using to wash all of our laundry, our clothes, our blankets in, uh- and then we’re probably just gotta be ditching some personal possessions. So, it’s uh- it’s unfortunate. But, you know, I’d rather have health and have like a nice or whatever. I can always buy new possessions.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, we ran the ImmunoLytics test. We saw a very high levels of various mold toxins. What type of mold specifically? You mentioned candida; so, was it the lo- literally the candida albicans or the candida krusei, what specific candida species, and what other mold species came back in that test?
Evan Brand: I don’t think it shows the specific type. I believe they gave you a- they call the genus, which is basically the big group- [crosstalk]… Yeah, it does not say…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just like ochratoxin, trichothecene, aflatoxin, I forget the big 4.
Evan Brand: All they is- is candida.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.
Evan Brand: All they say is candida, doesn’t which type. Uh then it shows like Cladosporium, microsporum, nocardia, ___[06:16], uh penicillium. So, some of these are new because these are not things that you and I are seeing on urine or stool testing. These are things that are only environmental. So, some of this is new for you and I. We’re having to become experts at these because of my situation. Right. Uh, the plate testing does get a lot of flak- people talk a lot of- uh crap about it, I’ve got some push back on my Facebook page sharing this story and I’ve got some hate mail through email about people saying, “How dare you promote plate testing, duh-duh-duh-duh-duh… air testing is the best”. Look, here’s the thing, plate testing is not the best, but for the cost, you get really bang for your bucks. So, yeah, just like in functional medicine, there are really good and then there’s amazing test for the price in what we’re getting. We’re looking for the tip of the iceberg here, and that’s what the plate testing provides.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And also, some of the remediation options that you’re going under, they don’t have to be super expensive, there are some essential oil, and some enzyme-based uhm- remediation that’s on the cheaper side that can be done. And also, a couple things, is we also compared your urinary mold as well. So, that kinda helped, so we- we didn’t just say, “Okay, let’s just only go off of the plate, let’s look at urinary mold that’s excreted in the urine. And then, let’s also look at how do you feel when you leave the house for a week or two. So, I know when you got in the hotel like in- in a better hotel room for a week or two and you worked there, you noticed you felt much better. And again, your stress didn’t change, you were still working, you were still seeing patients, just the environment change. So that was one aspect too that we knew that when you change environments, we saw a big different symptomatically as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and we’ll have to do a podcast. First of all, I’ve got a- I’ve got a just- uhm, learn more myself, even speak more on this topic at an expert level ’cause I’m not there yet but, you know, they- there’s something called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, there was another one called CIRS, C-I-R-S, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome where your bucket is just so full that you can react to everything, and I believe I’m having a combination of both of those things happening to me, because you and I chatted last week. I went to the grocery store, and uh- the pharmacist on staff at ImmunoLytics told me to stay out of grocery store for 3 months because of all the condensation from the refrigerators and the freezers at grocery stores contributes the high moisture, therefore moisture equals mold. And so, I went into this grocery, with my wife, and within 30 seconds in me walkin’ in, I was so dizzy, I had to turn around. So, I am limited in where I can go. And it’s uh… it’s kind of a burden but it’s really cool to be able to see ’cause Dave Asprey, he used to talk about how he could go into a building and say whether it was moldy in 30 seconds. And I was like, “Ugh! Really?”, like come on, you can tell me if there’s mold in there, I believe him now because if I go to certain places, within a minute or two, I get dizzy and I’m like, “Ugh, I gotta get the hell out of here”. I- I went to target with my wife, this one target was really bad, we went to a different target, that target was perfectly fine. I had no dizziness. So, not all buildings are safe and not all buildings are dirty. So, it’s uh- it’s crazy, it really is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then we have some of the air testing that can be done which is the ERMI testing, which is too reasonable, I think that can be done well. And then we have the plate testing, and one thing is, you noticed in your office, where [clears throat] had a different air supply, and I think it was under a different roof so to speak. It showed very low on the mold test. So, that’s at least the good thing where- it wasn’t like your whole house. It was moldy, it was primarily your office, was it?
Evan Brand: Yeah, the upstairs, you know, we have one of those little hotel units in there, kind of like a- a separate heating and cooling unit up there? And it didn’t have any of the ductworks. See, the ductwork was the problem. ‘Cause this return vent was sucking all the moldy air and just re-circulating it through the house, pumping it into our closet, getting all over our clothes, and I was wearing those moldy clothes and going up in my office. So, I was cross-contaminating my office with my clothing. But now we’re doing this mold solution and I’ve also got a special uhm- shampoo and body wash I’m using. And that’s helping too, like when we- went over to my grandmother’s house, I got really dizzy. And so, when we came back from her house, I just change my clothes and I washed myself. Took a shower, and I felt better. My dizziness was gone within half an hour after the shower. So, these mycotoxins, they can stick to your skin, they can stick to your pet, they can stick to your hair follicles, so for me, that’s more motivation for me to keep my haircut a bit shorter. ‘Cause if you have a long, big old afro of hair, there’s a lot of room for mycotoxins to hide in your hair, and you put that on your pillow, and then you’re breathing in mycotoxins as you sleep. So, no afrols for me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And what was the name of the uh- the solution that you use to clean your pet, as well as your hair?
Evan Brand: Yeah that’s the same company, Cit- Citrus-A.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Citrus-A.
Evan Brand: Yup, and uh- they have a- they call it like a bio balancing shampoo and body wash and they have a pet solution. And uh- uh- you know, I’ve got a- uh- practitioner account with them which you can get one too, and that way we can sell it to our clients which is great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s good. Awesome. I’ll make sure I’ll get this on my site. Now you’re using this for your laundry now and your detergent?
Evan Brand: Yeah, we’ve got the mold solution too for the laundry, so, we just do, I think it’s a 1 ounce uh- serving of solution. You put it in the washer, and that’s gonna take care of all the mycotoxins on the clothing, which is very-very important. You know, I’ve read some of these mold stories on the forums and these Facebook groups I’ve been part of. That- you know, people come home and they change their clothes. And I use to think that was extreme but I’ve actually felt the difference. When I come home from a moldy environment, I just put on a new set of clothes, and I feel better. So, this is not- you know, this is the unfortunate thing about mold is that, uh people get diagnosed as crazy and they get put on psych meds, and they’re not crazy at all they’ve just got a multiple chemical sensitivity, mass cell activation problem going on, they’re not crazy at all. They’re just so sensitive and doctors don’t understand this. So, they just label ’em as nuts and put them on under depressant. They’re not nuts at all, trust me, I’m in the trenches right now with this carp and it makes you feel crazy but you’re not.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well it’s affecting your brain, right? So, obviously, mycotoxins and these mold toxins can affect your gut. They’re gonna increase gut permeability, correct?
Evan Brand: Yeah, and they uh, create a leaky brain, too which is why…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Great.
Evan Brand: …you have to clear out your sinuses. So, Citrus-A f- also makes another product I’m doing which is a nasal rinse with essential oils, because… uh, if your sinuses have mold in them, that’s so close to the brain, it goes right through the blood brain barrier every time you breath.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, rinsing up the sinuses are important. And then also cleaning the pets, cleaning yourself as well. And then a couple other things. We were just on the topic of cleaning, shampoo, and so right now…
Evan Brand: -We talked about testing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …testing, great. And then right now, let’s kinda go into where the mold was coming from in your house. I think we saw, there was a vent in your attic, it was boarded off incorrectly, and there was also a water leak behind your cabinet. Let’s go into where the vectors in your house, where the mold and, how’s that being addressed?
Evan Brand: Yeah, so there was a faulty- what they call a seal cock valve down in the crawlspace which connects to the front spicket of the home. So, that had either froze or busted, or was leaky, or something which contributed to water in the crawlspace. And that water wants to evaporate back up into the sun to make clouds so that it can rain. So whatever water is, it wants to go up. So, guess what’s between the crawlspace and the sky? My house. So, that water was evaporating from the crawlspace up through the subfloor, wi- just creating high humidity in the home. High-humidity equals mold. And so that’s why we had- it wasn’t a leak in the cabinets but there was mold in the cabinet, due to all the moisture coming up from down below. So that was part of the problem. And then as you mentioned the attic, that was contributing to mold down in the living area. So, for trying to point fingers here, we have to point fingers at both issues. From above and below, we have moisture problems.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Very interesting. So, you’re on top of it. So, right now you’re having the attic ventilation issues fixed, you’re having the crawl space issue I think fixed as well and then you’re in the process of everything getting remediated via an enzyme and/or essential oil method, correct?
Evan Brand: That’s right. Yeah, we’re probably gonna go at the essential oil blend ’cause it is a bit more cost-effective, it’s about 2 or $3 I believe per square foot versus the enzyme blend is around $5 a square foot. So, it’s a lot of money that can add up if you’re doing the enzyme solution. And with some of the testing that we’re doing, we’re not really seeing that the enzyme blends are much more effective than the essential oil blends. And these are both alternative solutions, chemical solution is the primary treatment for like black diamonds and all these other generic mold killers, it’s a bunch of crap. You don’t wanna do that, it just pisses the mold off. You don’t wanna do standard mold remediations, not safe. Bleach, all that stuff, bad news.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, right now, you’re trying to do- uh you’re favoring the enzymes over the essential oils, or you’re leaning to-
Evan Brand: -No.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -the essential oil over enzymes?
Evan Brand: I- I’m leaning to the essential oils because I talked with JW at the lab…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Yeah.
Evan Brand: …and he looked at before and after results using the enzyme, and it compared it to before and after using the essential oil blend, and determined the essential oil blend is just as good, if not, better, and it’s…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -And it’s cheaper.
Evan Brand: …half the price.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I’m just curious, what happens to like the dead debris or the exoskeletons? I mean, does the essential oils just encapsulate all of it? There must be dead debris leftover. What happens to that? How does that get cleaned up?
Evan Brand: The best thing to do is to have a HEPA vacuum, which there’s one called Miele, which…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Yeah.
Evan Brand: …is one I just purchased…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Yeah.
Evan Brand: …it’s M-I-E-L-E.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s actually a…
Evan Brand: It’s really cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s close enough. It- it’s Swedish brand. M- Miele.
Evan Brand: Did I say it wrong?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Okay.
Evan Brand: Miele?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Okay.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love ’em ___[15:26] it’s awesome vacuum.
Evan Brand: Okay, but I didn’t know you had it. Cool. So, so uh- so that is the one that was recommended by some of these mold experts. And it’s got a HEPA system on there and it’s a close HEPA with a bag. ‘Cause some HEPA systems are bagless, and when you suckle that debris up on the floor, you just pump it back out into the air. So, because it’s a closed system, that’s the highest recommended one. To come in after the- the fogging job has been done, you come in and do the- the HEPA vacuum on everything and then at that point, you should be in the clear. But for me being so sensitive, I’m probably not gonna take all my- my physical possessions. I’m gonna be super careful about what I bring with me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: Even computers. Here’s the bad thing, a lot of people are saying like this laptop I’m talking to you on right now, people are saying I should be getting rid of this laptop because the mold is inside of the- uh fan and that- when the fan kicks on, it’s gonna pump the spores back out. So, I tried to do this mold solution, and spray it into the computer and use an air duster like compressed air, and that’s supposed to help, but I- I- I- I’m not sure yet, I haven’t- you know, noticed feeling significantly worse when using the computer, so I’m just trying to gauge…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …whether I can keep this.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would think you could spray one side and put the- put the Miele vacuum on the other.
Evan Brand: That’d be cool.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, force it all the one direction, I- I would imagine that be helpful because I mean, you’re gonna pull a lot of that mold out with that vacuum.
Evan Brand: That’s a good idea, I should try that, I haven’t done that yet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, if you can just control one site, ’cause it’s gotta be vents on both sides. I think you have a Mac, right? So, use control on one side…
Evan Brand: Yeah, the on this- on- on this Mac, the vents are just right where I can feel it. The fans are on right now. Uh, the fan is right where the screen connects to the keyboard, right in this little V in the 90-degree angle, that’s where the fan vents are, so I need to shut it- [sips], just suck it up and hopefully it works.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I’ll just open the thing up and then just vacuum it up that way. And then…
Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean I could, there’s like these weird proprietary screws on here. If I could…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh yeah.
Evan Brand: …unscrew the thing and then…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: -Yeah.
Evan Brand: …vacuum it out, that’d be great.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Okay, that’s cool. And so right now, so you were saying, ugh! I missed that last part again, so- oh yeah, you- we just said that- the HEPA filter will be kind of the best way to- to get it up and get it to closed loop, it’s not gonna pull the mold back out like a lot of other vacuums made.
Evan Brand: Yup.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [Crosstalk]
Evan Brand: Yeah, so that’s the end- that’s like the- the- the, and you know, kinda like the functional medicine order of operations, that’s kind of the order operations. Last step, suckle the crap out that you pulled out the sky.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know, a lot people are asking, well, we know that you’re- you’re moving as well. Now, you’re not moving strictly because of the mold, right?
Evan Brand: No, I mean, you know, you’ve been telling me, “Hey, Evan, your house is gonna be too small when you have 2 kids”, and I’m like, “dang it”, it, because, you know, our house, we’ve built it too small. It was a 1600 square foot house. We just built it too small thinking…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: …”oh we’re minimalist, we don’t need any room”, but, with the home office and with 2 kids running around, it’s gonna be a bit crazy. So, I’m kinda using this mold thing as the final straw for me to say, “Hey, I should have listened to Justin and built the bigger house, but now I’m just gonna have to purchase a bigger house.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And which is great too, because you got that house all remediated for the next person that comes in. So, they’re gonna have a great- uhm- living situation as well. I know a lot people, they’re kinda like under the wraps, they kinda like, “Okay, you know, I’m not gonna remediate” and they just kind of move on, they let it slide under the radar, so it’s good that you got this house all cleaned up too, that’s great.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I- I couldn’t sleep at night if I would just try to do that. I’ve heard a lot of airbnb, people, the reason they put their houses on airbnb, according to this mold experts is ’cause the house is too moldy and they don’t have the money or the interest in remediating the home to sell it, so they just put it on airbnb instead. ‘Cause they don’t like airbnb is gonna say, “Hey do you have mold in your house? Yes or No. Yes, you do, oh, okay, you can’t rent it.”. So, all these people, on these mold forums and Facebook groups, they talkin’ out how they can’t go to airbnb’s because so many of them are contaminated by people trying to pull fast, wanna make money on the moldy house which is just totally, just freaking wrong. But that’s society, so, wha- what can we do?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah a- and again, there’s a significant percent of the population that does not gonna react, like, “I- I don’t really…
Evan Brand: That’s true.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …react to these issues”. So, I mean, you know, as long as it’s not something that’s visible, right? Like black molds…
Evan Brand: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …in the bathroom or something like that, you know, most people are probably gonna be okay. But, you know, like someone like yourself or David Asprey, you gonna just have to be more choosy in where you stay, for sure.
Evan Brand: Yea- yeah, and tend to be clear that we didn’t see any visible mold but I also ha- wasn’t a trained eye. So, after the mold experts came in and showed me what I was looking at, I did see it. It was just a white fuzzy looking stuff in our ca- in our cabinet. I mean, it just looks like dust. But it wasn’t dust, it was millions and millions and millions of spores. But it wasn’t like, “Oh my God, black mold”, no. This was just a l- a light dusting of snowflakes. It’s kinda what it looked like.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And then, did you have any smell, and a yeasty kind of smell or moldy kind of smell in your house at all?
Evan Brand: You know what, I didn’t smell anything, but my wife said that when heat would kick on, she would smell some smell coming out of the vents. I never smelled it though so, maybe that was it, maybe that was something else.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. And then just curious, what’s your take on some of the- the mold disinfectants for like mildew in the bathroom? And do you have an issue with those?
Evan Brand: I think the enzyme solutions are gonna be a good…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s better.
Evan Brand: …a good formula or the essential oil blends. There is a mold concentrate that you can use, and you take like a one cup and you turned it into like a gallon or something, you’d mix it with water and you can wipe materials down, put it in a spray bottle, you know, they’ve got tried into lab testing on that. So that is something that you and I are gonna have to start caring ’cause it’s a great product and it’s not too expensive.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I personally don’t mind any of the mold and mildew stuff in the bathroom personally just because it’s being sprayed, scrubbed, and then rinsed down, so it’s not like it’s sitting there, uhm- you know, later, where- I think the es- the benefit of the essential oil stuff is you could spray it, let it sink, you didn’t have to worry about rinsing it ’cause it’s non-toxic.
Evan Brand: Exactly, and you know, if s- somebody were very sensitive like me, I would probably just wear one of those 3M- N95 mask, those particulate mask-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Evan Brand: -those would be good enough to help if you- if you’re concerned about you getting sick, try to clean some of the stuff. There’s also another uh- filter you can get, it’s a bigger respirator system called a PSM- uh- P100, and that’s a type of filter that does filter out uh, mold spores. So, you can do that for safety if you had to.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. And also, what’s your take on the- the concrobium compound as well that does more of the encapsulation of the mold? Thoughts on that?
Evan Brand: I don’t have a- I don’t have clue about it, I can’t speak on that. I don’t- I- I’m not educated on it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve seen it recommended by a few remediation specialists where it’s just- it’s really just designed to encapsulate the mold and- and prevent it in spreading and such.
Evan Brand: Oh, wow, no, I’ve got no idea-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: This one on toxic. Okay, well next time you get on the phone with JW, ask him about concrobium.
Evan Brand: I will.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And then, let’s just talk briefly about a couple of the compounds, some of the ingredients that you’re using- we’re using right now to help you on the detoxification side. So, what- what are some of these actual compounds? What are they?
Evan Brand: Yeah, so conventional treatment is something called cholestyramine. Uh- I’m not using that, as a pharmaceutical they have another one called ___[22:11], I’m not using that either. Uh- I’m just doing a formula from beyond balance called tox-ease bind which is a blend of Shilajit and charcoal, and I’m actually feeling really good with that. I told you today and yesterday or the first days, thank the Lord, I’m actually not as dizzy as I have been for 6 to 7 months. I’m actually starting to get better with my dizziness. Now if I detox too fast, uhm- then I don’t get a- the- then- if I detox too fast, I get more dizzy, if I detox uhm- slower, I’m less dizzy. So, so it’s a balance. So, charcoal i- is one peice of the puzzle. Uhm Shilajit’s another piece of the puzzle, and then in terms of, uh- antimicrobials, you and I both have our own custom blends of antimicrobial. So, I’m mixing and matching things, I won’t mention exact specific protocols right now because this is all an experiment and I don’t want somebody to hear this and thing, “Hey, Evan’s protocol is the protocol I should do”, but let’s just say I’m doing anti-fungal herbs. So, some some of it include like olive leaf…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Chlove, right? [crosstalk]
Evan Brand: …I’m doing some chlove, I’m doing some ___[23:13], uh- I’m doing some French tarragon leaf, I am doing a little bit of oregano cycling on and off of it. But, I’m not gonna say a full protocol yet because maybe this isn’t the right stuff. I’m still experimenting and rotating in a lot of things. So, I don’t have like, here’s the thing you should be doing on paper yet.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We do have some good binders though, right? We had some of the activated cur- charcoal, some of the- the minerals that you mentioned as well, and then also, you’re still incorporating some of the- the- this modified citrus pectin as well?
Evan Brand: I have it, I’ve got it at home, uh- I would like to do some of the citrus pectins but I have it at the house and, I’m- you know, I’m in this hotel so I just haven’t been taken that yet. But yeah, but that’d be another good solution. I do have some zeolite products as well, uh- those are also supposed to help in mycotoxins. I’m just not currently taking ’em.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How about the glutathione too?
Evan Brand: Yeah, I’m doing glutathione. Yup, I’m off right now for a few days, but I have been on that consistently at about 3 to 600 milligrams per day.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So, I think just- if anyone’s listening to this, and there’s noticing some correlation, dizziness, and weird neurological symptoms, definitely, reach out to your functional medicine provider. If you don’t have one reach out to me- myself or Evan and let’s get your house tested. Let’s potentially get you tested. Let’s look at, you know, utilizing some detoxification protocols to help one the gut, to help one the nervous system, the immune system, and get some of these toxins out because once you have a leaky gut, you got a leaky brain, all of the inflammation that goes to the brain is gonna create neurological issues. Either mood, or brain fog, or just fatigue, or- or lethargy, and I think it’s really important to kinda highlight the fact that, when you throw more androgens, which is a foreign compound, more stressors, you fill up that stress bucket, it’s like my coffee mug where it can overflow. It’s kinda like you walk around with a coffee mug and someone filled to the top, you’re like, you gotta be like a little mummy as you walk around holding it versus if you fill it down here, you kinda have a little more wiggle room to move. And that’s kinda with your situation right now with your bucket, right? You mentioned your stress bucket, that antigenic bucket is just so full, so, you add a little bit of mycotoxins in your house, it’s like, boom, you’re overflowing.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s not fun. I wouldn’t wish upon anyo- anybody. But it is a good experience. I mean, a lot of people, uhm, relate to you and I- because of how much suffering we’ve gone through. We’ve gone through issues of hashimoto’s and gut infections, I’ve gone through gut infections, I’ve gone through candida, and now I’m going through mold. So, I guess at the end of the day, it will make uh- us better practitioners, for us to have to- we have to become experts on this because, there’s only a few docs in the U.S. who the- we can’t even look up to, to learn this information. So, lot of this is really just an experiment and, uh- I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to have voices like we do to spread this information because there are so many people suffering. If you just google uhm- mold symptoms shoemaker, uh- Ritchie Shoemaker’s got a list of about 39 different mold symptoms, anything from fatigue to ringing in the ears which I had, to diarrhea which I had, to insomnia, which I had, and my blood pressure problems, and cold hands cold feet. If your hands and feet are cold, that was me, that’s also biotoxin problem. Multiple chemical sensitivity, fragrances, perfumes, charif sauce, that multiple chemical sensitivity is a byproduct of biotoxin exposure. You don’t just magically become sensitive to smells, you become sensitive to smells after you get exposed to mold. And that’s weird because my wife didn’t used to be sensitive, now some nice perfume, she’s like, “Oh, my God, they’re perfume!”. She used to not be like that, and that’s ‘cause she was living in the moldy house with me.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, one thing to highlight, a lot of these mold symptoms, we’ve talked about it- it’s a rabbit hole of functional medicine, meaning, lots of people have other issues that aren’t the primary- the mold is not their primary issue. Now just to be clear, you know, with yourself Evan, we dug deep and addressed lots of other issues. And we had you kinda at a place where you were stabilized until this mold exposure happened the last year. So the- the mold wasn’t the- the chief issue years ago. It’s a- it’s a relatively new issue, but we had cleaned other issues out, leading up to this. So, it’s important that everyone listening, work with your functional medicine provider to make sure you deal with all of the key-core adrenal, hormone, thyroid, gut, detox issues first, because so much of these mold symptoms if they are there, can improve just by dealing with the foundational tenets of functional medicine. Many people may not have to go to that extreme. With Evan, all that was already done, and then mold came later on when he moved into this house and have the leak and have the ventilation issue. But it was something that was addressed later, not before. Now again, why would we address it sooner and not later? If you move into a new house, and you noticed you start feeling bad. If you noticed that when you’re leaving your house, for a week, you’re out of your house for a week, uhm- business or whatever, you feel better. Then, we may wanna dive in and do some testing, but you still gotta deal with the foundations of functional medicine. You can’t ignore that and just go to the ___[28:09], and they still don’t get all the way better.
Evan Brand: Yes, same with lyme disease, and I’m so glad you brought that point up, you know, this conversation you and I are having today is a culmination of 5-plus years of personal work on me. I’ve been in the trenches fixing everything else for a long time, now I’m approaching mold versus somebody just now hearing this conversation. You can’t go from a standard american diet, tons of gut infections, bad sleep, you’re on your smartphone at 1:00AM, you’re working night shift, you feel like crap, you’re just gonna go straight to mold, you’re probably not gonna win. You gotta do the other foundations first, but that never gets old to hear that refreshing message again.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% man. So, anyone listening to this and they’re- they’re not quite sure where to go, make sure you go- head over to evanbrand.com, or justinhealth.com and schedule a consult with myself and or Evan so we can dive in deeper, and come up with a strategy plan for you. Also make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel so you can kinda chime in here live with us, and also uhm- potentially get some of your questions answered with some of the live Q&As we do throughout the week. So, make sure you subscribe, give us the thumbs up, hit the bell that allows notifications so you know when our contents coming up, subscribing’s not enough, you gotta hit the bell as well which is next to the subscribe button. And uh- give us a review on iTunes, we appreciate it, justinhealth.com/iTunes and then evanbrand.com, and how would they go to your iTunes page, Evan?
Evan Brand: I believe it’s uh- evanbrand.com/iTunes as well…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, good.
Evan Brand: …but let me confirm…
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Perfect.
Evan Brand: Let me confirm here. We’ve got, let’s see here… If you just google evanbrand iTunes, it’ll pop up. I don’t have that link set up to evanbrand.iT- .com/iTunes, won’t work. Just evanbrand iTunes and find us. You know, between us both, we’ve got over 60,000 people subscribed on YouTube channels, uh- hundreds and hundreds of reviews on iTunes, but it’s still not enough because this information is not mainstream. You go down the street and talk to some random guy on the street corner about mycotoxins, he’s got no clue what you’re talking about, so Justin and I, you know, yeah, we make it a little bit of ego boost if we say, “Oh, 50,000 subscribers”, but that still a drop of- that’s still a drop in the bucket. We have millions and millions and more people to help with this issue. This is a very underdiagnosed and under-appreciated problem in the modern healthcare industry.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, we appreciate it. Give us the share, give us the thumbs-up and the like. I’ll be back later on this week for a more live Q&A, so make sure you checked in here with me. And you guys have a phenomenal day, we’ll talk real soon. Take care.
Evan Brand: Take care. See you, bye.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.