Episode 192: MCAS: Mast Cell Activation – What Are The Triggers with Beth O’hara

MCAS is triggered by Mold exposure and infections like Lyme, Co-infections, Strep and more. Dr. Deb and Beth O’hara talk about what causes Mast cell activation and how to treat it when you are so sensitive.

Do not miss these highlights:

04:18 What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

07:42 People are sicker now, and we’re living in this incredibly toxic soup of a world. 

10:43 The timeframe of MCAS treatment.

14:14 Defining Mast Cell Activation.

19:52 The symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.

26:11 Mold is the hardest thing people go through and for many people it’s traumatizing. What’s the remediation?

31:45 It is, and there’s no, there’s no one solution that works for everybody. It’s about looking at each individual person. So we also have a mold inspector who consults as a third party.

32:51 And then the other thing I share as you’re checking people out, is if a company tries to sell you that they can remediate your home only with a fogging solution and you don’t have to remove the mold. Runaway, please don’t give them any money. Because that doesn’t work. All it does is improve your air quality temporarily and locks you into having to have that treatment done again and again and again and again. 

36:03 why children and pets are more heavily affected 

37:56 How do you find a specialist to help you with Masel Activation?

44:49 only 10% of people are being diagnosed. So it doesn’t mean you don’t have it. If you don’t have a diagnosis. 

46:05 the mold toxicity because of how destructive mold toxins are.

Resources Mentioned

Whether you are recovering from an illness or just looking to maintain your current overall health, schedule a consult with us at Serenity Health Care  by calling  (262)522-8640 or visit https://www.serenityhealthcarecenter.com 

About our Guest:

I’m Beth O’Hara, and I work with clients with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I am a Functional Naturopath and Functional Genetic Analyst. I have a Doctorate in Naturopathy specializing in Functional Naturopathic Approaches and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. I found my own root causes contributing to my MCAS and have been able to heal. I can help you find your root causes too. 

After decades of seeing traditional health care practitioners, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. The medications often made me worse. Being given the wrong supplements didn’t help either. Finally, I discovered a three part approach that helped me get well: Genetic Analysis, Functional Naturopathy, and Emotional Wellness. Combining the three approaches allowed me to explore genetic root causes underlying my MCAS. I analyzed my lab testing to better understand imbalances in my body. This helped me choose supplements personalized for my individual needs. Stress reduction techniques form a big part of my self-care as well. These things all allowed my body to heal. Since then, my passion is working with others with MCAS to find their root causes and support their healing. 

I have been in practice for over 10 years and have helped hundreds of clients. I can help you too. Together, we will identify your unique root causes, analyze your lab results, and develop a customized healing plan based on your needs, goals, and lifestyle. I’m really looking forward to meeting you on this journey and guiding you in regaining your health, wellness, and full potential. 


Transcript of Episode 192

Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms. Welcome back to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb and I have with me today Beth O’Hara, who’s a functional naturopath and a functional genetic analyst. And we are going to talk about mold exposure, mast cell activation, and How To Detoxify mold. This is a huge problem since 75% of our buildings today in the US are affected with some kind of mold issue. People do not realize how sick they can get from mold. So you’re gonna want to stay tuned and listen to this episode, and learn about how mold toxicity can cause problems for you and what you can do about it. Have you seen 20 Plus medical doctors only to be told your symptoms are in your head? Or you need an antidepressant? We understand your frustrations. Are you tired of feeling sick and tired? Tired of not getting the answers you need to regain your health? Tired of not feeling listened to by your doctor at Serenity Health Care Center, we understand and we will help you find the cause of your symptoms. Together we will create a path to health. We specialize in combining the best of conventional and natural medicine to get you back to doing what you love. We have worked with the most complex chronic diseases such as chronic Lyme COVID, long haulers, autoimmune disease, mold toxicity, and hormonal imbalances. But if you’re not sick, that’s fantastic. We will work with you to maintain your health so that you can prevent illness. give our office a call to see how we can help you regain your health and vitality at 262-522-8640. Or check us out at our website at Serenity health care center.com. So welcome back to Let’s Talk wellness. Now. I’m Dr. Deb. I am going to be speaking with Beth O’Hara, who is a naturopath and she works with clients with mast cell activation. She’s a functional naturopath, a functional genetic analyst. She has a doctorate in naturopathic specializing in functional naturopathic approaches, and a master’s in marriage and family therapy. She found her own root causes contributing to her issues with mast cell activation, and was able to heal them. If you cannot find the root cause you cannot treat it. So after decades of seeing traditional healthcare practitioners, Beth felt like she was at the end of her rope. Like so many of us who’ve had chronic illness, and with wrong diagnoses, wrong supplements, wrong medications, she finally figured out for herself what was causing her problems and was able to heal. So now she combines three approaches that allow her to explore the genetic root causes underlying her own mast cell and her clients to better understand the imbalances and help them heal. So without further ado, I’m going to bring on Dr. Beth O’Hara, and we’re going to talk about mast cell and mold toxicity. So Beth, welcome to the show.

Beth O’hara 3:49
Thank you so much. I’m really excited about it. And I find over and over. This is a big lightbulb conversation for people with chronic illness. And it’s so common.

Debra Muth 3:59
It is extremely common. You and I probably see it because that’s where we specialize in. But the unfortunate part that I see and I’d love to hear your opinion on this, too is how many people we see in the general public are who are seeing regular doctors over and over and over again for complications of things. And nobody is linking it back to their house being sick, or them having a chronic infection, or them even understanding what mast cell is because I find so many doctors don’t understand what mast cell is or how to treat it or anything. Can you talk a little bit about your experience with that?

Beth O’hara 4:36
Well that’s exactly right. And I have a lot of clients. Not a lot but I’ve had a handful clients in medical school. And so they’re getting the like most up to date what’s being taught and they come in and say we had a one hour lecture on mast cells and mast cell activation syndrome still not being taught and we know it only got a diagnosis code in 2016 and It usually takes 10 to 20 years for medical school to catch up with the research for various reasons. The population studies that were done pre-COVID showed that 17% up to 17% of the general population has mast cell activation syndrome. That’s including healthy people. And then we know that COVID is a huge mast cell trigger that’s been established. And so all these people develop mast cell activation syndrome post-COVID. And don’t realize it. I think this is where we’re getting into all these issues with long COVID, which is a whole other conversation we can touch on. But because the mast cells aren’t being properly addressed, and when they’re being addressed in our clinic, we’re not seeing long haulers. So that’s been great. But I think this that 17% is now much higher, and we need new population studies, given what we’ve just been going through. And then when I talk with my colleagues in this area, we’re estimating that over 75% of people with chronic illness are dealing with mast cell activation syndrome. And this is a big thing that’s tying together going, you know, the GI symptoms and the neurological symptoms and the cardiovascular symptoms. But people are running from specialist to specialist, somebody has to tie it in. Yeah, what’s going on underneath? And then the biggest triggers, why are these mast cells dysregulated have to be identified and know that’s what we’re going to unpack here.

Debra Muth 6:31
Yeah, absolutely. And I would agree with you, so many people that have chronic illness, have some degree of mast cell, I mean, it may not be full blown dysfunction, you know, they they have a major issue, but there’s some degree of it. And we’re seeing more and more of it than we ever have before in our chronic illness. I started treating Lyme disease and mold toxicity 25 years ago, we didn’t see the mast cell stuff back then the way we see it now. And maybe we just didn’t know it was there. And we didn’t know what to call it. Back then we called a lot of it chemical sensitivity. That was the big term back then. And now I look at it and go. I think that chemical sensitivity was truly masa, we just didn’t know what we didn’t know back then. But there it is much more common today than it has ever been in my practice as well.

Beth O’hara 7:19
And when I speak with my mentors who’ve been in this field for a long time, and Neil Nathan’s someone I mentor with gifts and music, dear friend, and so he’s told me, he’s been practicing medicine for 50 years. And five, zero. So he’s told me that it’s not just that we’re recognizing it more. It’s really is that people are sicker now. They’re sicker now than they were 10 years ago than they were 20 years ago than they were 30 years ago. And we’re living in this incredibly toxic soup of a world. And it just keeps building. And then we aren’t being born from the same starting point. So yes, all the chemicals and the cord blood of babies we know mon toxins pass through the placenta and the breast milk. We know that tick borne infections can prep pass. And what we need to be healthy today takes quite a bit compared to 20-30 years ago.

Beth O’hara 7:19
Yeah, very true. Yeah, that is a good point. Because if you think about all of the things we’ve had exposures to over the years and generationally and being passed down to us, we are a much sicker population today than we were 20 years ago. Absolutely. The food toxins, the chemicals, the stress, the viruses, all of that plays a role. And, and I love the point that you had said earlier is that somebody needs to put all of the pieces together that used to be our primary care physicians, they were the ones that would put all the pieces together. And then when they had to send you out to a specialist, they would but that’s backwards today. Now, they just send you out to all the specialists. And unless you have an integrative or a functional medicine practitioner on your team, you don’t have anybody looking at the full picture. And doing that, that important history and looking back of When did you get sick? What was going on in your life? How much stress were you under? Where were you living? All of those questions are so important to ask in a chronic illness, and nobody’s doing that either of these days?

Beth O’hara 9:31
And that’s the unfortunate byproduct of managed care. Yes. And a there’s no way to do that in 15 minutes. I mean, our initial appointments are 90 minutes, I’m sure yours are cells. And I say 90 minutes, but all the prep time and then the time end or I’m usually spending, you know, two and a half, three hours on an initial case and that’s just what you have to do. Yeah, and but but we do get huge results. With that kind of approach, and that’s a wonderful thing and where it used to take Well, it took me 20 years to get my health back and I had just an incredible health nightmare. People can get better within two to four to five years, which still I know it’s not two weeks, right? It’s way better than 20 years. Yeah, they’re much less expensive than it was back when, you know, we had no idea what to do. And we just had to throw everything at the wall and see what stuck.

Debra Muth 10:28
Yeah, I agree. Nowadays, if we do a good history, we have some good testing available that we didn’t have before. We can narrow things down pretty quickly and easily or easier, which will blend much better effects. And I’m so glad you talked about the timeframe of treatment, because I have some new clients coming in from different people saying this mold toxicity issue you have will be gone in six months. And I’m like, No, that is not true, it will not be gone in six months. But that’s what some practitioners are telling people. And I think that sets them up for some disappointment when they’re not better in six months,

Beth O’hara 11:05
Understandably. Now, I have seen it in young children who hadn’t had a lot of exposure. And they might be done in six months. But I think what’s happening there has to do with discrepancies in the testing, and what test is being used. So if we’re only using one panel, it looks like it’s clear. And we’re not doing a thorough job of making sure that it’s all gone. So that might be where that six month timeframe is coming from. But it was adults, I typically see about a year and a half on the short end, if not colonized. And if there is colonization, where the mold is growing in us, then we’re usually looking at two years, maybe three hang on how significant I had severe severe mold toxicity. And I’m about five years into detoxing.

Debra Muth 11:56
Yeah. And that’s what we usually see to is about two to four years on average. I love it when patients make me a liar. And they’re better in six months to a year and I tell them that make me a liar. I would love that. But for reality sake, let’s look at two to four years, two years. And I’d love to hear how you see. But two years, they’re usually kind of starting to turn that corner a little bit. We’re starting to see a little elevation in their energy and their cognitive function, but it’s not sustainable all the time for them. There’s still a lot of that up and down going on, do you see a lot of the same things?

Beth O’hara 12:30
I do, I tell. And we work with incredibly sensitive people, and then comes out of where I was where I was somebody who I couldn’t tolerate any supplements, tiniest queer Sutton would send me over the edge. And there were so many things we didn’t know I couldn’t tell her meds, I was going into anaphylaxis if I smelt fragrance. So we really specialize in that sensitive population. So that’s what I speak from the most. Now if somebody has a strong constitution, some of the things I say may not apply to them. Yeah. But for people who are really sensitive, I tell them, as long as we can look back, and over six months time, we’ve had some gains, then we’re going in the right direction, but healings never like this, like we would like it to be, it’s always like this. Yeah, and we’re up and down and step back, and two steps forward, and three steps sideways. And, and, and just we’re looking for that overall trajectory to be better. And there is a small percentage of people Fortunately, it’s not a lot, but a small percentage who just aren’t better until they get all of the mold toxins out. And if they have that tickborne layer, they get that address. And then it’s like, boom, now they turn the corner. And that’s the hardest to stay persistent with for people. But having the expectation set up front really helps us in terms of our mindset, which is so important when we’re dealing with the kinds of chronic illness that people are dealing with or like I’ve dealt with, and you’ve probably dealt,

Debra Muth 14:04
Absolutely. We should probably back up a little bit for people who are listening who don’t understand what we’re talking about with mast cell and define that for them. So how do you define mast cell activation?

Beth O’hara 14:17
Well, this comes from the some of the research in that mast cell activation syndrome as a dysregulation of the mast cells. And let me do a just a quick elevator speech on what those muscles are for people. Those are some of our major frontline defending and sensing cells of our immune system. So they’re involved in sensing for infection, like a bacterial infection or viral infections, pathogens, other pathogens like parasites, molds yeasts and mobilizing the immune response. They can release histamine and things like that when we get a cold, we’re gonna call that inflammation. Mast cells are involved in creating Some of that to protect us. They involve things like wound healing, you get cut your finger and you know be cleaned out against red swollen as some mast cell response. And they have a lot of other roles in the body. But I really want to focus on the pathogens, and the toxins are also responding to toxins. And the way they do this is that they have over 200 receptors on the outside, and there’s some of the most complex and intricate cells and our bodies are really fascinating. And so they have receptors for these different pathogens, all kinds of receptors for chemicals, actually lots of receptors for different kinds of hormones, thyroid hormone, estrogen, progesterone. And they have receptors and this is really important for neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. And they have a constant cross talk with the nervous system, they actually line every nerve sheath and they’re at every nerve ending. And they’re in every tissue in our bodies except the retina. If we think about that, they’re all our entire skin, our entire GI tract from the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, in the respiratory system, so sinuses in the nasal passages, trachea, the lungs, they’re in the muscles, they’re made in the bone marrow, and they migrate out from there. They’re in the thyroid, they’re in the heart tissue. They’re in the pancreas, and the liver and the kidneys and the bladder. So that’s important to know, we think about the various kinds of symptom presentations that can occur. And I’ll come back to that in a second. And then the way they respond to all of these things are they’re mediators, these are the chemicals they house inside them. And they can release them selectively, which is called piecemeal to granulation, or all at once, which is total degranulation. And that’ll trigger anaphylaxis. And they have over 1000 mediators, which is amazing. We’re still finding mediators and histamines, the best well known. They also released tryptase is prostaglandins. interleukins, cytokines have become a household word. Now, muscles are really involved in cytokines, they have an involvement in cytokine storms, this is why I say we want to really take care of our mast cells, kinds of situations. And in a normal mast cell, normal mast cell functioning, they’re going to respond. So you ate something you shouldn’t have eaten off the salad bar, you get some food poisoning, they’re going to be involved in triggering the vomiting response. They’re also going to be involved within the limbic system of the brain to make you never want to touch that jello salad or whatever it was again, and those aversions, they have a role in habit formation. And then they come back down, and you go on your way. So you forgot that you had food poisoning or sprained your ankle gets red and hot. Mast cells have involvement there and other immune cells, it heals you forgotten about it, you go on your way. What’s happened though, is because we have this constant onslaught now of these toxins, toxins, and stressors and pathogens, EMFs all the stuff we were talking about. We’ve been in a global trauma state for two years, over two years now well over and all of that has an effect on the mast cells. And so if we think of them, like the guards of our castle gate, where they are standing duty, they’re protecting us, but guards should get to take a break, and they seek it to go rest and sleep. Except now they’re doing battle 24/7 months and years on end. So just like if we had to be on security guard duty 24/7 never got to sleep would get pretty wonky. They get dysregulated. And when they get dysregulated it means they become overly responsive and sensitive, and over releasing mediators or releasing them inappropriately. That’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it, which is the way I see it is that the people that have the more sensitive mast cells, we are the canaries in the coal mine. We’re the ones responding immediately to the toxicity, the unhealthy stressors. The level of pathogens were exposed to levels of mold. were responding faster, for various reasons. And where the alarm bells saying this world is not safe anymore, and we need to change it now. So that’s what I think is going on in a bigger global context. Yeah, but from just a medical standpoint. mast cell activation syndrome is where you have a multi system inflammatory response. waxes and wanes so that can be it’s gotta be two or more systems could be GI tract and brain. So you might see brain fog, insomnia, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation.

Beth O’hara 20:13
That visceral hypersensitivity or gut pain that people complain about. Some people may have skin symptoms. So it may be hives, itching, flushing, and then they may get heart palpitations. So these kinds of nervous system things, they may get nerve pains. Other people may have bladder burning, and urinary burning, pain, urgency. Some people get upper right quadrant pain with liver swelling or upper left quadrant with the spleen inflammation. And the symptoms are so varied, we could spend the whole podcast just doing that. But I do have a symptom survey that’s free that we can share with people and they if they’re curious, they can go look at it. Wonderful. If people have so want to dial in on who should look at this. If you’ve had mold toxicity, tick borne infections or any kind of chronic epstein barr, you should look at this. If you have any form of autoimmunity, every form of autoimmunity that’s been studied so far is linked to mast cell activation and what we know about th one, th two and th 17, every form of autoimmunity should be linked, which means calming the mast cells helps tremendously with autoimmunity. Anyone with a cancer history, a lot of cancers have been linked with mast cell dysregulation doesn’t mean if you have mast cell issues, you’ll develop cancer. But there’s a roadway if we can think of it that way into cancer development. And mast cells have a major role in controlling cancer or not being able to control it. And if people have hypersensitivity, so they chemical sensitivities, EMF sensitivities, if you’re holding your breath to go down the laundry aisle, at the grocery store, take a look at this. So if we go back to our definition, we have two or more systems with information that come and go. And it’s with or without allergies. So it used to be thought that people would have seasonal allergies, they don’t always. But if you only have seasonal allergies, that’s not what this is. Because it can two or more systems, with or without anaphylaxis. So throat closing blood pressure drops, passing out or feeling faint. trouble breathing with response to trigger, I used to have that with perfume. And that’s not for me, not everybody has anaphylaxis. Fortunately, some people have anaphylaxis with this 24/7. And that’s just horrific state. So that’s the real in a nutshell, definition. But why it’s mystified so many providers because you can have 30 people with completely different presentations all dealing with mast cell activation syndrome. But to really heal from this, we just did a whole summit called reversing mast cell activation and histamine intolerance really recover, we have to not just target the mast cells and calm them down. Because they are sounding the alarm bells for a reason. They’re not just out of control for no reason. So we’ve got to look at those root triggers. And identify those just like you were talking about before, and address those. So we calm the mast cells down to allow people to address the root triggers. And then for most people, the mast cells will stay calm down with a minimal protocol. Some people they’re so dysregulated, they can stay dysregulated for a long time. So it may require even after the root causes are dressed, keeping them managed because they live over a year, very long live cells.

Debra Muth 24:01
So when they they go through their life stage, can they heal when they come back and they come back as a healed cell? Are they going to come back as a disrupted cell?

Beth O’hara 24:12
Typically,that’s the real question is what’s going to happen with that cell turnover? Is the turnover is the cellular expression being passed along? That’s a dysregulated one, or can we pass along a regulated cell expression to the next line of mast cells. And I do see where that can change but people need also to know that it takes time. It’s not like that first mycotoxin test that comes back clear. The mast cells are going to be done. You’ve got to get through that year turnover. And then if we really have a targeted approach, and retargeting, this is where genetics come in and help people in what I call the optimization phase retargeting, those those areas As that may be genetically weaker, and target the genetic expression and improving, then I do see that people recover from Masel activation syndrome. And that’s not been talked about a whole lot. Lot of times you say it’s degenerative, or I was told that I would be degenerating through my life. That’s not what happened. I’m healthier now than I’ve been ever in my life. And every year I’m better.

Debra Muth 25:23
That’s awesome. And that’s from looking at the whole approach, though to you know, looking at genetics, healing things getting out of environments that are toxic for us, which is probably I think the most devastating thing that we can talk about with people is people think their house is safe. And then if they find out it’s not, and there’s mold there that is debilitating for a lot of people. How do you get out of the house? Do you remediate? Is it safe after you remediate? How do I get rid of every single thing that I own? I mean, these are major things that we have conversations about with people who suffer from a mold, toxin illness, how do you address some of those things with patients and clients?

Beth O’hara 26:11
It’s,it is this The hardest thing people go through. And for many people, it’s traumatizing. And pending, you know, some people just have a little mold. And they can get that, you know, bathroom shower wall, torn out and replaced, and then that they’re done. So that’s an easy remediation. Not that it’s easy. But that’s rumination, other people, it’s throughout the house, and it really is that what is going on? How far you’re going to have to go and remediating and remaining in your possessions. And in those instances, for people, it’s akin to having gone through a fire, I mean, zoo, we can lose a lot of things. What I really tell people is to stay off the internet. First of all, there’s a lot of fear. And there’s a lot of traumatized people who are really trying to help. But they’re traumatizing other people in in that because they haven’t healed their trauma around it. And that doesn’t help people. And going back to what we talked about with the nervous system, stress, the mast cells respond to every thought, every stressful thought we have. And I’ve done experiments where I start to think stressful thoughts, and my hands will swell. And then I can shift myself to my parasympathetic and watch within a few minutes and the swelling drains out of my fingers. Wow. That’s how quickly it is. But I tell people, first of all, let’s just get the testing. Let’s get an inspector in and see what you have to deal with. And don’t jump into the mold. Mold avoiders. Most people, at least in my practice. And I have really, really sensitive people. Most people don’t live leave their homes. That’s not everybody. And I have had, you know, maybe five to 10% of the exquisitely sensitive people who did it was just imagined it wasn’t worth remediating. And they just couldn’t handle any load. Yeah. And we work across the country, and especially it’s a problem in Florida and the whole Gulf Coast. Yeah. But then I have people we work through, let’s look at what the inspector wants to do. Get your major remediation steps done. Let’s see where the symptoms are. So I break it down into chunks as my approach and we actually have a health coach now who walks people through this because handholding helps so much. Yeah. And just to have peace of mind that you also get all these conflicting opinions, right? Like, it’s almost like you’re saying that or me or saying that and I consulted with somebody else, and they’re saying this, and then I read this on a Facebook blog and or Facebook post so. So we do have some a meets with people regularly, which really helps. And then what we do is if they’re still reacting, it seems like to the environment, we start that they still should do a deep clean. But then we start with things like I’m just thinking because I see it on the screen here like the books. So we would take the books and put them in a plastic bag and put them in the garage. I had a client who they had museum quality teddy bear and a Persian rug collection. Oh gosh, and first print antique books. And they had extreme mold in their homes. Yeah. And they had so much money invested in all of this. So they went through special process on the rugs. books usually can’t be remediated. I know some people say can and I think it depends on how sensitive you are, say absorb those mold toxins because more so all the books in the teddy bear collection, there was a doll collection, all went into bins in the garage. We worked on getting her stable And where her health was good and she wasn’t acting day to day. And then she would bring three or four items in. And that was it. And then three or four items. And they had been, I mean, they had been treated with owsm things. I don’t like the house treated with ozone, but those objects have been taken out of the house and treated. And then she worked with that to see if anything triggered her. And if she started to feel worse, okay, that item had to go. And that’s how they really pare that down. Because even if you don’t you don’t have that kind of money or that kind of collection. Savings, like baby photos. Oh, yeah. So your baby photos and your scrapbooks. And all those things can go in bins and plastic bags that are going to be protected from humidity, and then put in a garage or something like that, where they’re airtight, sealed.

Debra Muth 30:53
Yeah,that’s awesome. Because I think there’s so many concepts out there, right? Like, you’re going to live in a tent for the rest of your life outside your house, because you’re never going to be able to go back in. And you have to get rid of absolutely everything you own. And luckily today, we have cleaning solutions and programs that we can do to really remediate things and clean things up and get them to a place where like you said, if you’re healthy enough, you could tolerate it, where even just 10 years ago, we didn’t have tools like we have today, which is so much better. And then we go into this whole concept of if I leave my house, and I go to a different house, how do I know that house isn’t moldy and worse than the house that I live in today. I mean, there’s just so many struggles around being an environment that can be toxic.

Beth O’hara 31:44
It is, and there’s no, there’s no one solution that works for everybody. It’s about looking at each individual person. So we also have a mold inspector who consults as a third party. And he will look at the inspection plan and look at the remediation plan understands the medical level issues. And that’s what it’s all about. Some important thing I want to share with people is when you’re looking for an inspector, make sure that they understand that an air sample and a spore trap is not enough if you’re sensitive or you’ve got chronic illness. And most mold inspectors have had very minimal training. And the certification is basically in favor of landlords and what would fail a building inspection. It’s not in favor of people with chronic illness. So you need somebody who’s gone above and beyond studying this. And I really like it when they’ve had personal experience with being sick, or their family members have been sick. And then the other thing I share as you’re checking people out, is if a company tries to sell you that they can remediate your home only with a fogging solution and you don’t have to remove the mold. Runaway, please don’t give them any money. Because that doesn’t work. All it does is improve your air quality temporarily and locks you into having to have that treatment done again and again and again and again. And that’s horribly expensive. And I see companies doing it, it’s not ethical. Yeah.

Debra Muth 33:22
I’ve had companies do that too. And I’ve done pre and post tests after they’re fogging with mycotoxin testing and the mycotoxins are still there. And then they come up with this thing where well you just need a scrubber that runs 24/7 That’s why the mycotoxins are there. And it’s like no, the mycotoxins shouldn’t be there for what we did worked.

Beth O’hara 33:42
Yeah,they’re there because there’s still mold growing producing it. Yes. And I’m, I’m a fan of fogging with with the non toxic solutions. Yeah, as part of improving the air quality post remediation. So what that does is what’s the particles they fall down and we can go do a deep clean and wipe those up and vacuum HEPA vacuum the floor and wipe the walls and all of that and just get it collected and get it out of the house? Yep. But not is the only way you’re addressing the mold.

Debra Muth 34:12
Yeah, can’t be that. That’s for sure. I have a client right now who her son is sick, and she’s sick. And I kept saying you guys have to have mold somewhere. And they didn’t want to admit that it was in their house and they finally did an Urmi test and it was positive and they ended up finding out that their entire basement is full of mold. And unfortunately, they got a remediator who was less expensive than the people that really knew and understood mold and they’re remediating and nothing’s being sealed off. They’re coming from the basement to the upstairs to use their bathroom and they’re not. They’re not blocking anything. So they’re just bringing those mold spores everywhere. Not that they’re already not everywhere, but they’re moving them as they’re remediating. And, you know, we only have to remediate this drywall, we don’t have to take it to the studs, we don’t have to get rid of the insulation, because this is going to all save you money and I’m going, but this is not going to fix your problem, you’re going to spend $20,000 on this remediation and you’re still going to have mold and the wife knows it. But the husband saying no, we can’t afford it. And so there’s a lot of this that happens in families as well, which we understand. But if you’re going to embark on the remediation, it should be done correctly.

Beth O’hara 35:31
That’s right. And you’re saying, it’s so much cheaper to do it correctly the first time, yes. So that you’re not spending all this money on your health over and over. And people may have to do a couple rounds of remediation that’s not uncommon, or three rounds, we went through three rounds. Because we found a part thought and that was it. And then and one of the tip-offs for me that we had another layer to go and I want to share this because it might help other people think about it. children and pets are more heavily affected because they’re smaller as tissue to tuck these toxins into. So my dog earlier this year, early this year developed mucocutaneous, lupus, skin, lupus, and I knew there was something triggering it because she’s she she eats better than most people. And they’re on you know, wellness protocols and all this stuff. I mean, we did the same with the dogs that we do in our clinic and they should be extremely healthy for So for her to develop lupus was a tip off that something autoimmune condition, something wasn’t right. And I was correct. And we found moisture under the carpet. We didn’t have any water intrusion, nothing fell flat. But the basement floor wasn’t sealed and wasn’t sealed correctly fully. So that got pulled out. We redid the concrete, we just had it go to finished concrete so that we can’t have a mold issue from that floor again. Yeah. Then there was still something I opened the closet door and I just felt brain fog and sick that carpet had been holding the airflow down. Yeah. So now it hit me and I knew there was something in the car in the closet. And then we had them come out again. And the drywall had been installed touching the unfinished concrete. And it was wicking moisture up even though there was no nothing felt wet. But all it takes is 50% humidity, we know even having just living in a humid area, which is most of us desert region. So those are things to think about. And just to get some guidance and doing this because it’s overwhelming. It’s too much to try to navigate on your own.

Debra Muth 37:50
It is a lot and especially when you’re sick, it’s a lot to go over. Can you talk a little bit about people who have this issue? How did they find a specialist like yourself or somebody like myself that that deals with masa? What kind of advice can you give them to look for somebody that’s going to help them with this and is knowledgeable?

Beth O’hara 38:14
Hmm, that’s a great question. So there’s still no consolidated training in this. Yeah, we’ve had a lot of practitioners who’ve taken our courses which were developed for lay people. But there’s a lot of practitioner level knowledge in there. And, you know, if you’re looking for somebody who understands mold toxicity, I think it first of all, if you’re still taking patients, reaching out to your practice, we do take applications and do consultations, and work with people across the US. And then there is the ICI International Society for environmental acquired illnesses, and they have a list of providers that are at least very well trained in mold toxicity. Masel activation is a hard one. I think it’s really searching, looking online for people who are writing about it or writing about it in a way that makes sense. And is cohesive. That’s the best way I know right now. There’s no provider search, I keep toying with doing some practitioner training. So we may have that coming. It’s a big undertaking, but it’s got to happen. It’s got to get him it does.

Debra Muth 39:34
I’ve had a few endocrinologist, be knowledgeable with mast cell, but not understand the the illness part of it like the tick borne illness or the mold toxicity on the back end. They understand it from the endocrine allergy side of it and can treat the anaphylaxis of it but they don’t understand how to clean up the body to get rid of it. And so that’s a double-edged sword unless you’re having a lot of anaphylaxis. You need somebody to manage that that’s good. But it’s hard when they don’t understand the illness part of it on the backside, because you won’t get better unless you treat the illness side right?

Beth O’hara 40:09
You’re really looking for functional medicine, integrative medicine. In traditional medicine, the a lot of the concepts were taught, we think that someone has been in practice 20 years. So what was taught in medical school 20 years ago, it’s very outdated. So yes, it was taught back then that you had to have hives and itching to have a message and there was no Masel activation syndrome, right? That was in research phases, it was theoretical. They’re taught that tryptase has to be elevated for they have Masel activation or, and even now, the diagnostic criteria is still in flux. So from what I can tell, it’s only catching about 10% of people, we should be qualifying for that. And that’s its own problem, but you have to have criteria for insurance coverage, and for research and for studies, and there’s a good use of it. But that criteria is so new compared to what we have for type two diabetes or Parkinson’s. So it’s been established for a long time, that’ll keep shaking out and improving over time. But it’s problematic.

Debra Muth 41:13
Yeah, it is. And sometimes you have to test people multiple times before you get that tryptase Or buko, try re trying for or any of the catecholamines to be abnormal. And I find it’s, it’s better if we can catch somebody in a flare when we’re testing. But that’s a challenge too, sometimes. Because if they’re in a flare, how do you get out to get a test? And, you know, do you have standing orders in these tests are not inexpensive by any means to continue to keep running just to get a positive sometimes.

Beth O’hara 41:42
And the other problem is that with the mast cell tests, the sample has to be kept chilled from the time of collection, and then it needs to be cold centrifuge, and very few labs have a cold centrifuge, so rarely being processed correctly. And that’s another challenge. There is there are some great mobile phlebotomy networks across the country. Most cities now have mobile phlebotomy available so you can get a phlebotomist to come to your home and do the blood draw. And that’s helpful.

Debra Muth 42:14
That’s very helpful. Yeah, that’s nice. So that if somebody is listening to this, and they’re thinking, Gosh, this sounds a lot like me, how do I reach out to Beth and find out more or learn from her or work with her how is the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Beth O’hara 42:33
Well, the best starting point is to go over to her website. And it’s mastcell360.com. So mastcell360.com. We have a wealth of free blog posts, you can find this symptom survey in menu. And we also have a lot about mold detoxification, and how to do this when you’re sensitive. That’s what we’re really. So if you’re not sensitive, then what we do maybe overkill for you, if you can take any supplement you want, and you can take a high dose glutathione and you have no trouble then you may find our our information a little tedious. But if you’re sensitive, this is really how to, you keep falling through the cracks. You keep hitting the brick wall. This is how you get through. And then if it’s appealing to you, we do have three levels of courses, we have a nervous system course called the mast cell nervous system reboot. So great sensitive starting point for sensitive people, and anybody who’s having trouble tolerating anything, especially if you can’t take supplements, that’s the place to go. Then I have a supplements course. And we have the MC 360 precision mold masterclass. And that is a really great value because it is what I do with people in the first two to three years if you get the advanced level. But if you’re getting stuck and you need tweaking, you need fine tuning or it’s really complex, you can apply. And we do have an application on our website for the clinic. We do take applications because we want to make sure people are in the right place. Yeah, I don’t want somebody coming in with a sensitive or may no easy case. And we’re overkill for you. Yeah. And if somebody has something that really needs that, in person, medical supervision, we want to make sure people are also in the right place for that. We have a great team of practitioners and I oversee the everything that happens in the clinic and all the cases. That’s wonderful.

Debra Muth 44:39
That’s great. I mean, we could talk forever about mast cell because it’s such a big problem and so many people have it and unfortunately, you know, like you said only 10% of people are being diagnosed. So it doesn’t mean you don’t have it. If you don’t have a diagnosis. It just means you don’t meet the insurance criteria, quote unquote. But it’s like so Many other illnesses, it’s like thyroid, you know, we’re set up to pick up a good chunk of the people. But we’re still missing a 20% chunk of the people at minimum, this is very similar, it’s just opposite instead of picking up 90%, we’re only picking up 10%. And I think that’s where it’s important to work with a functional medicine practitioner that understands mast cells so that you aren’t told well, you don’t have mast cell, when you probably do, you’re just not meeting the criteria, and somebody still needs to get you to that other side so that you don’t develop such a severe mast cell that there is no return from it. And, you know, I hate to say that there are people out there that there’s no return. But unfortunately, we all know there are going to be some people that we’re just not going to be able to turn around 100% or even 80%. And that’s going to be the tough part because we want to help everyone we want everyone to be well.

Beth O’hara 45:51
Right. And there is particularly on the mold toxins, I want people to take that seriously in terms of how toxic they are. I had severe mold, toxicity, Bartonella, lime and the Asia. And if I had to go back and do it all again and have just one of those, I would pick a lime and pick it over the mold toxicity because of how destructive mold toxins are. And you really have to keep ahead of those because bacteria and viruses weaken us that there are strategies to keep us alive. Molds decompose. So we think about mold on a piece of fruit on a piece of bread. it decomposes and when it’s growing inside us, which is 70% of adults who’ve been exposed and have mold toxicity. It grows in the sinuses, it grows in the GI tract, it grows and Hall spaces, people get these chronic vaginal infections, itchy ears, ear fullness. Many of those areas have had people whose skin was peeling off in sheets because they had such severe fungal growth on their skin. It literally decomposes us, yeah, inside. And that can cause permanent damage. I don’t want to scare people. But I want people to take it seriously. Some of these mold toxins are used in chemical warfare. So we got to get them out. But the good news is you get them out, and you kill off the mold that’s growing in you in a gentle way that you can tolerate. It’s a game changer. I went from being bedridden and couldn’t read a book and barely able to hobble using a cane and had no quality of life excruciating pain, in severe insomnia. And I never thought I was going to be able to do much with my life. And once I got that handled, I mean, I was just off to the races. I went back to graduate school, I got two graduate degrees, I built this practice, and I would never ever guess that I had been that sick.

Debra Muth 47:52
That’s amazing. I’m so glad you shared that story. Because I think there’s so many people like you that just think their life is older is over. And there’s no coming back from their illness. And it’s nice to be able to have somebody share their story and say yes, there is a way back.

Beth O’hara 48:08
Yeah, yeah. So much hope. I want to share just one more resource if I can, yes, please. So on our Facebook page, which is mast cell 360. You can also find us on Instagram, but Facebook, we have free Facebook Lives most Mondays at two Eastern and I cover some topic or we do a q&a. So people can keep learning because it’s something you really, the more you learn as well, the more that you will accelerate your own healing a still need a guide through this because it’s too much to navigate. This is different than trying to navigate acne or estrogen dominance, because it’s, it’s quite large. But we just tried to keep putting a lot of community resources out there for people and we’d love for people to join that community with us and keep learning and growing and being able to keep healing because we can, we can use their lives back.

Debra Muth 49:04
That’s great. I will definitely share that with my clinic people as well. So they can hop on and learn from you. Because that’s the goal of all of this. If we learn from everybody, everybody can get well. And it’ll just be quicker and easier to do that. So thank you for doing that. That’s amazing. It takes a lot of time and energy. So thank you.

Beth O’hara 49:25
It’s my pleasure if I can take what I learned from the nightmare journey, and I can help shorten other people’s journeys. And if they spent over $350,000 It doesn’t have to cost that much. It doesn’t cost it cost a tiny fraction of that now to get better. So if people can get better, faster, and not be so lonely. I mean I was nobody knew what was going on with me. People told me practitioners told me I was crazy. It was on my head. They’d never seen anybody as sensitive as I was. And I know when I hear stories every week, people have been told that again And if we if we can just shorten that and make it so people don’t have to do this alone, it makes what I went through worth it.

Debra Muth 50:09
Yeah, exactly. I agree. I think all of us who’ve had our healing journeys feel that same way is that we want to give back to people so they don’t have to go through the trauma and the post traumatic stress that you get from seeing practitioners who don’t believe you, and just the loss of your life and finances and everything. You don’t have to go through that if you can get with the right people right away. So that’s helpful. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here on the show today. This has been a great conversation. I really appreciate it.

Beth O’hara 50:40
It’s my pleasure. Thank you. I’m so happy we can team up this way. Absolutely.

Debra Muth 50:47
Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you, or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review. Share this podcast. And if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest.

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