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Mold and Mycotoxins with Dr. Ashley Beckman: Rational Wellness Podcast 350

Dr. Ashley Beckman discusses Mold and Mycotoxins with Dr. Ben Weitz.

[If you enjoy this podcast, please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, so more people will find The Rational Wellness Podcast. Also check out the video version on my WeitzChiro YouTube page.] 

 

Podcast Highlights

5:23  The most common symptoms of mold illness include brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, eczema, skin issues, and respiratory problems like sinus infections.  Skin issues could include rashes and hives and histamine reactions.

6:55  When Dr. Beckman has a patient with symptoms of mold illness, she will often run the Total Tox Burden test from Vibrant America Labs that includes heavy metals, environmental toxins, and mycotoxins, and also the organic acids test, both from urine.

 

                             



Dr. Ashley Beckman is a doctor of Chinese Medicine, a Functional Medicine practitioner, and an Epigenetics expert. She combines ancient wisdom with modern medicine to transform your health.  Her website is drashley.com.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.  Dr. Weitz has also successfully helped many patients with managing their weight and improving their athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111.

 



 

Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:                            Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates. To learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me, and let’s jump into the podcast. Hello, Rational Wellness Podcasters. Today, I’m excited to be speaking with Dr. Ashley Beckman about mold and mycotoxins. Dr. Beckman is a doctor of Chinese medicine, a functional medicine practitioner, and an epigenetics expert. She combines ancient wisdom with modern medicine to transform your health. Our topic for today is mycotoxins and mold illness. Included in our discussion will be what are some of the more common symptoms, how to test for mold and mycotoxins in your home or work, how to test for it in your body, and how to treat it. Ashley, thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Beckman:                     Of course. It’s my pleasure. I always like to shed light on this topic because it’s more prevalent than we have so far seen.  Right now, we have some great tests where we can check for more and see what’s going on in the body and see if this is part of somebody’s either health mystery or part of the root cause of why they’ve been unwell for usually many years.

Dr. Weitz:                           I mean, is this something that really is more common or is this the new chronic disease de jour, that if we look for it, we find it and everybody has it? It seems like over the many years I’ve been involved with healthcare, which is 35 years as a chiropractor and being involved with nutrition and functional medicine, we’ve gone through periods where certain conditions, everybody had chronic fatigue. That was one of the most common conditions, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, [inaudible 00:02:21] then it became adrenal fatigue. You just wonder if this is just mold is the common chronic disease of the day.

Dr. Beckman:                     Well, so I guess what I would say is we do have way better testing. It’s like with Lyme disease too. The tests are so bad, in general, if you’re seeing a regular practitioner, that most things were not diagnosed at all. The same with mold. If you go to a regular doctor, they say they don’t check for mold. Most of my clients have been even to the Mayo Clinic. They’ve been all over looking for answers. They get a lot of things, even from just saying mold doesn’t make people sick, which we know is not true. There’s plenty of PubMed articles that state that it does, and they’re known carcinogen, or they affect the genetic expression or just the kidneys and liver. There’s a lot of things that mold does do beyond respiratory issues, so I guess I’d say it’s probably a bit of both.   I think it’s really good that it has been uncovered as a really big piece to look at, because the clients that I have are very, very sick. They often have complex layers of illness. Especially since you’ve been in this field so long, I’ve been in maybe 20 years, but everyone seems like their cases are way more complex and layered. You don’t just have one thing now. Even you didn’t before, but now it’s like people have really serious things like mast cell and POTS. There’s just lots of layers of many viruses, many bacteria, et cetera, and then many autoimmune. They don’t just have one thing usually, so I think it’s really great. At least, we can look and see what are the factors that are implicating that. Again, it never boils down to one thing. But if someone has a significant amount of mold exposure that we see in their body, it’s usually a very big piece of what’s keeping them sick because of what it does to their immune system.  It doesn’t allow our body to fight off the things that we could, keep the viruses or bacteria or gut overgrowths in check, which then have a lot of other downstream issues like the autoimmune diseases and things like that. I still think it’s a really huge important thing to check, because we can bring down the load in the body from the mycotoxins, and then their numbers of active Lyme or active Epstein-Barr, active other viruses, those numbers go down. That’s our whole thing, is prevention and creating this really amazing terrain, because your body is amazing. We want it to be able to do its job well.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. What are some of the most common symptoms that you might see in a patient that would make you suspect mold illness?

Dr. Beckman:                     I’ll go into kids too, because kids are really easy after, but basically a lot of brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, eczema, or other skin issues. The respiratory ones are the most common, if someone has chronic sinus infections. They even have surgery and it doesn’t really resolve it, they keep coming back. Let’s see. A lot of people have some issues… Again, so skin. It could be rashes, hives, histamine issues. Some people, a lot of times, if they have chronic viral infections, Epstein-Barr, HSV, the herpes family, things like that, we can look and just see what’s going on. What’s nice is the testing for the body is a urine test, is the one that I use. There are blood tests and there’s a set of markers that you can look at, but what’s tricky about those markers usually is they’re not just for mold. It’s mold, Lyme, or cancer. That, to me, is not very definitive or helpful. That’s showing there’s a lot of inflammation and your body is responding by creating a bunch of inflammation in your body in response to something.

Dr. Weitz:                           You have these symptoms, you’re suspecting your patient may have mold illness, and what’s the next thing you do? Do you recommend that they test their home or office or school, or do you test their body, or do you do both?

Dr. Beckman:                     I first test their body. I do have a quiz so you can see do these symptoms correlate at least with mold toxicity, because this is a big path to go down. In general, I do like to include a pretty comprehensive toxin screening test in my practice that will test for pesticides and environmental toxins, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and then the organic acid test to see a bunch of metabolic markers, see what’s going on. It gives a pretty great picture of different things that people are exposed to. If mycotoxins show up high there, then the next step would be to try to figure out if this is in your home. Yes, work and school are tricky. No one really wants to-

Dr. Weitz:                           You have this patient, they have some of these symptoms, they have brain fog, they have maybe skin rashes, and so then you run a organic acids test. I believe you do the Total Tox-Burden test from Vibrant.  Is that the one you do?

Dr. Beckman:                     We do. Yes, and then I add on the organic-

Dr. Weitz:                           That tests animals, and mycotoxins, and environmental. You add on what?

Dr. Beckman:                     I add on the organic acid profile, because again, probably if anyone can only do one test, that might be my ultimate favorite lab, because it’s just very comprehensive for what I work on with people. Seeing overgrowth of gut bacteria, yeast, fungal markers. There are five mold markers on that test, yet there are plenty of cases that I’ve seen that even those might not show up because they just might not have that kind of mycotoxin exposure. But on a full in-depth test from the Vibrant America one, they have significant mold. It’s not just enough to run the organic acid to test for mycotoxins, but it’s a great first place if someone can just do one test.

Dr. Weitz:                            How do we know that these urinary mycotoxin tests are really accurate? Can’t some of the positives be from mold in food or mycotoxins in food, right?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. There are a few that are based on food. There’s citrinin, there’s fumonisins, and then there’s ochratoxin a. Ochratoxin A, we see a ton of. That’s probably the most common. That would be some of the ones that are more common with food and in grain storage especially. A lot of the people who eat a lot of oats or oat milk and things like that, that one is common. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t give you symptoms, but that’s a way easier one to work with. Sorry. One more that’s very strong is aflatoxins. That’s the one related to coffee and peanuts and more nuts in the way that those are stored. That is the one food that I do actually ask people to omit, would be peanuts, and then switch to a mycotoxin-tested coffee to see, because there are about maybe six brands now that are great. [inaudible 00:10:35]

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah. I know a number of practitioners who recommend a special diet for patients with mold toxicity, and take out mushrooms and take out foods that are likely to have mycotoxins.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Yeah. I have a low mold diet that I work on or give people when they’ve been exposed, but it’s still very individual. You can see-

Dr. Weitz:                            What is a typical low mold diet for you?

Dr. Beckman:                     Things that don’t ferment into sugar or… Sorry, non-fermented foods. A lot of people that have mycotoxin issues often will have severe reactions to histamine or fermented foods. If you’re someone who can’t eat yogurt, sauerkraut, things like that, then it’s good to eliminate those until you get your liver cleared out a little bit better and your body can process histamine better. Often, what happens is your immune system is overwhelmed with these different things that it’s trying to deal with. Histamine issues can be a problem, but they’re not for everybody. I don’t just take them out for everyone. I try to ask and see if they have issues, or they get hives, or things like that, or can they not tolerate anything fermented. I usually check more of a fermented sauerkraut or veggies instead of the yogurt, because a lot of people have issues with dairy too. But anything that really converts to sugar too, as we know, the starches and sweet things will feed all these lovely bacteria, and yeast, and fungus. [inaudible 00:12:19]

Dr. Weitz:                            What is the relationship between fungus and mold?

Dr. Beckman:                     Oh, well, they’re in the same family.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. But if somebody has mycotoxin illness toxicity, are they necessarily going to have fungal overgrowth or-

Dr. Beckman:                     Pretty much. Usually, yeah. The mycotoxins are the toxins released from the overgrowth of these particular molds. They’re the toxic piece of it. But again, we still are also dealing with when you have… Our gut is such a beautiful community and all of these microorganisms live together, that generally, if you have overgrowth of bacteria, there’s often more overgrowth of yeast, and different types of fungus, and candida. For all these clients that have SIBO… Chronic SIBO, sorry, is one of our number one. If someone has SIBO, I look for mycotoxin exposure. Pretty much, it’s usually there. A lot of people, they’ve been doing these low FODMAP diets for years. Anytime they eat a little something fermented or that will ferment in the gut, then they get their symptoms back. We want to see if there’s parasites, bacteria, yeast, fungal overgrowth, and chronic candida. Same chronic candida, to me, is a telltale sign that we need to look for a bigger, more prevalent upstream issue of mycotoxin exposure.

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay. Do you have them test their home or office as well, and what does that consist of?

Dr. Beckman:                     Sure. I wouldn’t say testing is that great, because unfortunately, there’s different levels. I know that there’s some discrepancies on this, but I still do use the least expensive method first, which would be the test plates. You can send them into immunolytics. You get one where, again, you send it in to see actually what’s growing. They do make a screening so you can decipher yourself, but that’s not that helpful really. The second step would be you can get a dust test, which is going to show the health of your home overall.

Dr. Weitz:                            That’s the ERMI test.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Sorry. It’s an ERMI test, but that can show things that are older and not necessarily growing and falling down into the air. Again, I wouldn’t base moving out of home or anything on one test. You really need to have an inspector. That’s your ultimate one because they do a combination of most of all of these tests together, and then they’re an expert at the visual inspection too. The next, you could do air samples. There’s a company called GOT MOLD?. They do air samples. But I have had plenty of people just do air samples and they had a ton of mold that was hidden that was causing a lot of problems. The inspectors are the ultimate best thing, because they will pick and decide what is the right test. They usually include air, and ERMI, and possible actual samples that they would swab, if needed, to see what’s actually growing if it’s visible.   Most mold is not visible. I lived in a beautiful home, couldn’t see anything, and because it was in the HVAC that it was actually in almost every single room in the whole house. At that point, you have a different situation, also because I had a lot of symptoms and I was very sick. It really also depends on the health of the individuals in the home. Not everyone gets sick usually.

Dr. Weitz:                            Did you have to move out of your house?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Yeah. I stopped testing after six rooms because it was… Even my inspector, he was great and I sent all my clients to him, but he was like, “You need to leave.” Because I know what to do in the body, but then at that point, this was maybe three years ago now, I wasn’t as well-versed on what to do with all the home items and the home piece, because that’s a whole nother aspect.

Dr. Weitz:                            Did you sell your house?

Dr. Beckman:                     I was leasing, and because they did not want to fix it or clean any of it up, then again, we had to go. The main reason too is I hadn’t felt that sick in probably 15 years, so I knew it wasn’t just from work. That’s when I found out that I had Lyme. I did a bunch of testing and included the mold. I had already done mold testing the year before, and I didn’t had one or two types. Now, I had six types. One of the leaks was in my office. There’s just so many things with the home that are tricky. Again, if you own your home, it’s one thing, and if you rent. It’s so significant.

Dr. Weitz:                            Did you get rid of all your clothes and your furniture and everything else?

Dr. Beckman:                     I’m a bit more moderate with all of this. Again, I washed and cleaned everything that I could. I also tested a lot of my individual pieces of furniture, just because they were all wood, which was never good for the mold situation. I did end up getting rid of the things that didn’t get cleaned properly. Again, a lot of people do think and trust the companies that say you can fog and that it’ll kill everything and you’re good to go. A 100%, that’s not true. That was what was part of our rental situation, was they were going to fog and then they said that everything’s fine, because that’s what the company assured our landlord. Then I retested everything after, and it was just not to be kept. A lot of the items were just filled. All the mold plates were just chock-full of mold.

                                                But again, mattresses, pillows, anything that was not something that we could clean, I definitely tossed. Again, there’s so much fear about this that I think it can go overboard. I’m more moderate. I think, again, the fear that’s put into people in this situation is also very unhealthy too. People get really freaked out. There’s such a spectrum of how people feel. If you have someone who walks into a home and then gets hives or instant reaction because there’s mold, that’s a whole different type of case than you’re dealing with than somebody else who doesn’t but has underlying inflammation that gets activated, if that makes sense.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah. Here’s the technical question. When you get the results of the ERMI test and they talk about certain forms of mold or mycotoxins, do you try to correlate that with the mycotoxins testing for their body? Do you usually see them correlated or not necessarily?

Dr. Beckman:                     Not necessarily. I have seen a few where they line up pretty well. A lot of them don’t because the genus in the family is so large. There’s so many things that people test for more in the home and they’re not always the exact same ones that are tested for in the body, because we’re testing for the top most toxic ones and how they affect your system. There’s usually definitely a penicillin family, penicillin aspergillus, stachybotrys. Some of them do a course lineup, but it’s not going to be exact at all. I wish it was. That would be amazing.

Dr. Weitz:                            No, I know. I’ve dealt with that too. How come they’re not lining up, et cetera.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. But I do, again, because I love, well, not love, but I often work with families, so I’ll run the parents and the kids, and then we line that up to the home too. It’s very interesting, because just again, even whose bedroom it’s in or if somebody is getting exposed to school or work, there’s so many different factors. But generally, there’s at least some overlap, and it’s usually more so in the parent family as opposed to the exact specific type of mold.

Dr. Weitz:                            How do you help them to detox and get their body to heal?

Dr. Beckman:                     Sure. Well, what gets implicated a lot is the immune system, the liver, the gallbladder, and then again, different organs. If it’s affecting someone in their respiratory system, because usually how they’ve gotten it, is through inhalation. We want to make sure and optimize their detox pathways. The first and foremost thing, they need to make sure they’re pooping, sweating, peeing, having normal elimination, because if someone’s already, let’s just say constipated, you can’t put them on a detox protocol. You’ll make them very sick. I do use binders, very specific ones. There are a lot of things out there, but what I’ve seen work… I’ve probably been testing mycotoxins significantly for the last five years, so I’ve seen lots of labs. I [inaudible 00:22:28].

Dr. Weitz:                            What are your favorite binders?

Dr. Beckman:                     My favorite binder for mycotoxin is CellCore BioToxin and Carboxy. I mean, I am a big fan of Quicksilver. I use a lot of their products. I don’t use Ultra Binder that much, but that is another one that people use. Again, I pick my favorite brands. There’s probably about six lines I use and I pull my favorites. I don’t really think always that everybody has the perfect lineup of something for every need we have. I love Quicksilver’s Liver Sauce, and the Bitters, and things like that. We really need good things for the gallbladder too. TUDCA is great. Because there’s a big [inaudible 00:23:18]-

Dr. Weitz:                            For listeners, if you’re not familiar, Liver Sauce is a product that has a bunch of specific nutrients to support liver detoxification, as well as herbal bitters, which we think help to increase bile flow.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. In Chinese medicine too, the gallbladder is the overflow for the liver. When the liver gets very congested, then the gallbladder comes in to try to help. What’s just very interesting, to me, is there’s a big correlation with just detoxification in general, but we have to support the gallbladder. Bitters are a nice gentle way. I do love glutathione. We utilize that to make sure that that’s working.

Dr. Weitz:                            You utilize the liposomal form or which form?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Yeah. I love Quicksilver’s glutathione pump, Designs for Health pump. Glutathione Complex, I love even more from Quicksilver because it has some of the methylated Bs in there too. Yeah. So then you don’t have to take two products. Because I do use B vitamins for clients, and normally, they might need some support with methylation.

Dr. Weitz:                            Why do patients need B vitamins?

Dr. Beckman:                     Well, so to help optimize the methylation or the detox pathways. Again, we want to try to make this as easy as possible. If you’re deficient in some of the B vitamins and minerals, you’re not even helping your cells on the basic level of normal function, and then not even detoxification. We want to start with these foundational things even before we start adding in binders, and glutathione, and things. I’m a big fan of foundational health first. A lot of people, as we know, they want, “What can I take? What can I take?” It’s like, well, first of all, you have to make sure to move every day. If you can’t move, you need to move somewhat, even if it’s just your upper arms if you’re not feeling well. You need good sunlight. You need fresh, actual whole foods, ideally that you cook but at least just actual food, and really good clean water. No one loves this one, but going to bed between 9:00 and 10:00 is ideal for detox and just functioning.

Dr. Weitz:                            Why between 9:00 and 10:00?

Dr. Beckman:                     Once you hit 11:00, again, this is Chinese theory medicine clock, once you hit 11:00, that’s the time of the gallbladder, and then next is the liver at 1:00. If you’re awake, your gallbladder is not going to dump all that bile and help you detox as it should. We also have the glymphatic, which is your brain drainage system, that also detoxes around that time. If you’re up and about, your body is focused on what you’re doing, and it’s not optimizing the time that is best for detox. I always say 10:00, because usually, it takes people a little while to actually wind down and be asleep. I think most people get too little sleep, and especially just our nighttime routine is generally interrupted with our phones.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yes, way too much.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Yeah. Minerals, to me, are part of foundations. I do love the hair mineral test to see what’s going on.

Dr. Weitz:                            Whose hair mineral test did you?

Dr. Beckman:                     I use Trace Elements. There’s two, Trace Elements and Analytical Research Labs.

Dr. Weitz:                            Doctor’s Data.

Dr. Beckman:                     Oh, yeah. There’s Doctor’s Data. The two, Trace Elements and ARL, they don’t wash the hair samples, which is supposed to be, they say, ideal. But yeah, there’s Doctor’s Data. Mosaic has a hair test. I’ve used a lot in the past, but I use Trace now.

Dr. Weitz:                            That’s looking for mineral deficiencies or insufficiencies?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. Yes. It does also show heavy metals in the hair, which means it’s the last three months of exposure. One thing that is also great about that test is it can give us a lot of clues of between the ratios of how you’re using minerals in the body too. How stressed you are, sometimes cellular stress, and different things. Especially if our calcium and magnesium is off, it’s pretty hard also to detox. You’re just asking your body to do a lot. The same, I see it so low often, potassium. A lot of my clients are extremely fatigued and just really worn down. They’ve been in this chronic illness world for a long time, so we just want to make sure their basics and foundations are being addressed.

Dr. Weitz:                            This hair mineral test, which some people feel is problematic because it could pick up hair products and things you put on your hair.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yup. Again, I would say, in general, testing is never going to be perfect per se, but it does give us clues and insight that we wouldn’t normally have. Especially when you work with clients for a while, you can see patterns. Again, sometimes you want to make sure and see that what they’re doing is working and is effective for them, to just track their progress. That’s what I love about getting a mycotoxin test, is you see them go down. If it isn’t, it’s a clue for sure that we need to dive a little deeper and see are they still getting exposed. Maybe [inaudible 00:29:36].

Dr. Weitz:                            Meaning you repeat the mycotoxin test and you expect to see those levels coming down.

Dr. Beckman:                     You do not on the second test. The second test usually should have more, because you’re giving them products to help them detox.

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay. What is the typical course of treatment? I know each patient’s individual, but on average, how long are you ending up treating patients and when do you do their second test? I’m assuming you’re doing a third test as well.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. I often space it out a bit more just because if they are expensive. You could test anywhere for the second one between four and six months. I usually do six months just for cost savings purposes.

Dr. Weitz:                            The patient’s on the same detox protocol for this whole period of time, correct?

Dr. Beckman:                     You’re changing it up a bit.

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay. What are you changing?

Dr. Beckman:                     Some of the pieces for the mycotoxins will stay the same. The glutathione and methylated Bs, if that’s what they’re on, and different minerals, but then I do add in things. If they have a lot of overgrowth of candida or bacteria, then we are going to work on that, and parasites as well. I work on [inaudible 00:31:00].

Dr. Weitz:                            You add antifungals?

Dr. Beckman:                     Mm-hmm, and antiparasitics, and antibacterials. Again, I rotate between them based on their symptoms.

Dr. Weitz:                            These would be what, herbal formulas? Okay.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. I do like self-course parasite products. I use GI Microb-X. I really love from Designs for Health. I love Microb-Manager from Quicksilver. Those are some of my favorites. I mean, someone could use oregano oil or monolaurin. I love Cat’s Claw by Quicksilver, that has a bunch of anti… If someone has a lot of viral components, if they have coxsackie, or Epstein-Barr, or different in the HSV family, so sometimes they need some-

Dr. Weitz:                            Are you doing a viral test?

Dr. Beckman:                     I actually do love their infection panel from Vibrant America. That is one of my… I love labs. Sorry, one of my favorites. Just because a lot of people, they might think, they’re like, “Oh, I have Epstein-Barr, for sure,” because they read that 75% of the population or whatnot has it. They assume that that’s their biggest issue. But, for us, we want to know what’s causing whatever this is to flourish in your body. Of course, we have to look at lifestyle, the way they eat, and all of these things. But if you have a toxin load that’s high, that also will be burdening your system to not be working as optimally as it could. Again, a lot of [inaudible 00:32:44].

Dr. Weitz:                            As far as Epstein-Barr, also, it’s come up a lot in discussions of long COVID that one of the mechanisms by which long COVID makes you sick is this reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus.

Dr. Beckman:                     I would say every single… Well, okay. Most of my-

Dr. Weitz:                            And/or HHV-6, that’s the other one that seems to come up [inaudible 00:33:11].

Dr. Beckman:                     That’s another big one. A lot of my clients have Lyme and a bunch of the co-infections, and that COVID has been a big reactivator for Lyme. Pretty much these things, if there’s something that your body comes in contact with that’s very strong, we have these things just in our either spinal cord or just your body waiting for an opportunity to get reactivated. That’s why, from our perspective, it’s our job to try to mitigate the things we can and then boost up your terrain after you’ve also cleared some of these things out too. You don’t want to loose up your terrain with all this junk in it.

Dr. Weitz:                            Because Epstein-Barr is a virus that tends to live in the liver, fatigue is a very common symptom.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Yup.

Dr. Weitz:                            How does Chinese medicine change your approach to treatment?

Dr. Beckman:                     Definitely, a lot with constitution. When I talk to somebody or just get a better idea of do they seem to be someone where something affects their liver more or their spleen, are they always worried and deficient and cold, or are they more hot and have a lot of energy, those are different ways that you look at somebody. That’s not just male and female. Yeah. It’s looking at their whole. Even what they look like, you can get an idea of some of the element theory. But again, a lot of this, it’s almost like how I would ask someone when we’re talking about different detox support tools. If they’re doing cold plunging or sauna, those are two totally opposite things that could be really wonderful for one person and really hard on somebody else. In Chinese medicine, we look a lot at heat and cold excess deficiency. I do utilize that lens when I’m working with clients, and especially with their lifestyle, the type of food they eat, and things like that.

Dr. Weitz:                            In terms of the length of a treatment plan, you were mentioning how typically your second mycotoxin test will come at the six-month mark. How long is usually the total course of treatment? I know everybody’s individual.

Dr. Beckman:                     I used to think it was just a year. But again, a lot of my clients, and I’ll just add myself into, when you have six or so mycotoxins, a handful of metals, and then Lyme on top of that and some viruses, it’s generally a couple years. I know it sounds so long, but most of these people have been sick for a long… For me, I had symptoms for 15 years, I’d say, but I just didn’t know exactly what it was. I thought it was all from food, because I could feel so better cleaning up my diet until I lived in this home that had mold. I had resolved symptoms of Lyme by not eating gluten, dairy, or sugar at all, but then add this another big stressor and it all came back even though I was eating perfectly and doing everything.   Most of my clients, it’s amazing to me when I just see gut overgrowth and heavy metals. That is not a two-year thing necessarily. My biggest concern is trying to get someone get the best symptom relief with the least amount of issues or detox reaction. A lot of times, people want to go hard and fast, and that doesn’t mean it’s better for their body at all. Usually, it’s too overwhelming.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right, if they try to do a super intensive course of treatment. What about patients who are incorporating prescription medications like prescription antifungals? I know that’s not within your scope of practice to prescribe, but do you think those can be helpful as part of the treatment or not? Do you just go with them?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. A lot of people, sometimes too, they’re using fluconazole or different antifungals. Again, I would say looking at their labs to see how the severity is. Again, if someone’s liver is already pretty taxed, you have to be really cautious with the antifungals and the connection. They have to get tested all the time, or at least I think it’s about once a month to make sure that their liver enzymes aren’t going up, which happens a lot. Again, at least from my perspective, I know that we can work with and help people with all the natural ways at our disposal. It doesn’t mean that they’re not strong. It’s the same with other interventions like IVs, and ozone, and hyperbaric. Those are lots of tools that are available.

                                                Lot of times, they are really too strong for a lot of my clients. I tend to have a lot of very sensitive clients, yet I think we still can have very comprehensive protocols within our scope and help people. People sometimes take cholestyramine or a prescription binder. I think what’s great now is we have ones that are so effective with less side effects. I think that often, in that regard, we have really great options, because our side effects can be less and they don’t have to be monitored in the same way with making sure their liver enzymes are okay.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. You ever look at that panel that looks at chronic inflammatory response syndrome?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Oh, sorry. Myself, so I don’t order that panel, but again, that’s the one where, too, some of the markers-

Dr. Weitz:                            I know Vibrant had offered that at one point, but I think they stopped.

Dr. Beckman:                     Oh, yeah. Again, I still try to make everything as easy for my client as possible. That usually means an at-home urine or fingerprint test. There are ways. I do work with clients, of course. If they want a blood test, we can do a prescription for that and get it done. I just tend to use the urine testing as well, because the compliance is much better usually too. For that particular test, I think it’s way more informative. But yeah, there are the markers. Again, I don’t use them, but it is an option. But like I said, often, it doesn’t really tell us what your body’s reacting to, inflammation-wise. Is it a bacteria? Is it a toxin? Again, mold or Lyme can create similar effects in the body, and so that’s one thing that’s really nice, is the testing. Vibrant has a very thorough tickborne test, which I love, and then they have their mycotoxin. You can then make a differentiation, but a lot of people that have Lyme have mold exposure to.

Dr. Weitz:                            If part of the problem is throwing the immune system into imbalance or suppressing it, do you do anything to help with the immune system?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. I love immunoglobulin. I like Mega IgG. Designs for Health makes one. None of them tastes very good.

Dr. Weitz:                            A lot of these products really don’t taste that great.

Dr. Beckman:                     That’s true.

Dr. Weitz:                            Herbal bitters are not exactly the most thrilling food.

Dr. Beckman:                     No. I do have to say, as much as I love Quicksilver, that they’re not the tastiest, right?

Dr. Weitz:                            No, no. I use the Ultra Binder a lot and patients come back and go, [inaudible 00:41:24].

Dr. Beckman:                     That’s true. That’s what I mean. I’ve known and used Ultra Binder. It’s like, well, if I have a hard time taking something, I know most of my clients will, because I don’t even mind the [inaudible 00:41:38]. I get a lot of pushback on those, because people think they’re repulsive, but I have to say their liquids are not the tastiest. That’s the thing too, is that we have options. I have liquid tinctures for people and I have full protocols if you need to be on liquids. Sometimes, the Quicksilver for-

Dr. Weitz:                            For patients who don’t want to swallow pills, for example. Yeah.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. Yeah, or for kids, you’re trying to hide it in something. That’s another big whole piece in itself. Generally, a lot of people are taking just so many supplements. I just like to, if possible, [inaudible 00:42:25].

Dr. Weitz:                            Myself included.

Dr. Beckman:                     No. Because of our education in it, I’m sure I… I rotate things around a lot, but when you’re giving someone a protocol and then they might be taking things from other people or they’re looking up things online and then just they come with this ginormous list, and when we’re working on something very specific, like a specific toxin or things like that and optimizing to get those things out, I want my body to be very focused on that.

Dr. Weitz:                            But you strip some of the other stuff out and ask them to stay with the focus program mostly.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. I mean, of course, people have what they know works for their body and they love. You probably need, depending on the time of year, like an immune supportive protocol with whatever it might be, or if you have little kids that are always getting sick. We have to layer these little protocols in too. But I would say, overall, our system, I think, is a bit confused with so much.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah. I think especially being a specialty practitioner like yourself, you’re going to see some of the worst patients. Some of them maybe have combined numerous protocols, and so that’s one of the reasons why you end up with this long list.

Dr. Beckman:                     It is beautiful, but there’s this age of information, but none of that is pertinent to the individual specifically, where when you’re working with us, we know your history, your labs. We work with genetics. There’s so many pieces we put together as practitioners.

Dr. Weitz:                            You also have an intuition about these things and how they combine.

Dr. Beckman:                     Exactly, because people will say, and I know this happens, I’m sure to you too, they’re like, “No, but I need a biofilm disruptor. I need this.” I said, “Well, it’s already in your Cat’s Claw tincture.” It’s already in that, put together beautifully by [inaudible 00:44:42].

Dr. Weitz:                            I just read this. I just heard this on my online forum.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes, the Facebook groups. It’s very interesting time as a practitioner because you’re constantly questioned or ask this, and this, and this. It’s made to appear as this beautiful solution for all your problems, that’s sea moss gel or whatever the really popular thing is at the time. That’s the thing, is we put so much care in consideration and education into people’s protocol.

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, speaking of specialty things, I heard you say on some of these podcasts that you use methylene blue.

Dr. Beckman:                     Oh, I do.

Dr. Weitz:                            Maybe you could talk about that for a minute and exactly what that does.

Dr. Beckman:                     This works for everything. No, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.

Dr. Weitz:                            Especially if you want to turn blue.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. What drew me to it first was because I was having these strange, weird symptoms from Lyme that I’d never had from Bartonella, which is a co-infection of Lyme. In the family, but different, and especially because it could go to the heart and it has a lot of these strange neurological things that happen on your feet sometimes for people. I was having that and I had been taking methylene blue for it. It also helps kill candida overgrowth, which again, with mold or Lyme, there’s… I mean, as we see, there’s a lot of candida and it’s natural in the body. It just tends to be more prevalent than it should be and cause some issues, especially joint pain, brain fog, fatigue, all that.

                                                I started taking methylene blue from a different company. I’ve been taking it for I think a month or so and I didn’t really notice anything, and so then I switched to another brand. It was actually half as strong, but all those weird heat sensations I was having on the bottom of my foot, like a burning heat pain probably every 30 seconds. It was annoying and new. Whenever you get a new symptom of something that you’ve been having for a long time, it’s concerning and you’re thinking like, “Oh, I need to…” For me, I’m like, “I need to rectify this.” I saw in some articles that methylene blue had an affinity for killing or bringing the load down of Bartonella. Anyway, it went away within a week, which I am not the client who takes something and notices like, “Wow, I have all this energy,” or, “Oh my gosh, I feel so great.”

                                                I take a bunch of things because I know that they help and what they do scientifically and whatnot, but I’m not that client that’s writing amazing testimonials for things because I’m not that sensitive, which is good, because then I can try things out at high doses too and just see what happens as well. But yeah, I love it. I also got it, of course, for… I have red lights in my sauna and I use red light therapy a lot because of joint pain and inflammation, so I was really interested in that combination of the methylene blue being accentuated by the red light therapy.

Dr. Weitz:                            Red light as opposed to infrared or red light on top of infrared?

Dr. Beckman:                     I use infrared. Yeah. I use a few different, maybe three different devices.

Dr. Weitz:                           Oh, okay. You have a red light device and you have an infrared sauna, or are they combined? Okay.

Dr. Beckman:                     I have a red light panel in my infrared sauna.

Dr. Weitz:                           Oh, okay. Is that something that some people are doing? You put a red light panel inside the infrared sauna?

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes. Yeah. I have a clear light sauna, and so then they have a big red light panel that’s very strong. I have a [inaudible 00:48:44] pad and a PEMF mat, and then also have a FlexBeam. I mean, I think you know this, basically, when you have pain… This is interesting to me because, as an acupuncturist, I did not focus on pain. I really loved other aspects of it, but then you know and I know that you know this too, pain is a very big motivator for change. Again, when these critters and microorganisms love to live in joints, you need a way to get in there. The red light is a good way,

Dr. Weitz:                            Get them critters out.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yeah. Yes. I do utilize a lot of therapies and things like that too. Again, also because so many of these microorganisms create fatigue, and brain fog, and things like that, I do utilize them a lot, because the red light can help with the mitochondria and creating energy at the cellular level. That’s supposed to be what the methylene blue does too.

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, okay. Let’s bring this to a wrap. Final thoughts and then tell us about your contact and programs that you have available. I know you have a course out there.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes, yes. Again, I love working with clients one-on-one, but I know that that’s not always possible for a lot of people and a lot of different reasons. My colleague and I, who was a good friend, we both have had similar things go on. We have a course together called Mastering Mold. We have a self-paced option, and then we have an option where we’re teaching live, so that’s really great. All of this is on my Instagram, which is Dr. Ashley Beckman, or my website, drashley.com. Again, we teach practitioners too, because like I said, I’ve seen this mycotoxin exposure be so prevalent and at one of the biggest root causes, I think, of a lot of autoimmune issues. If other people and practitioners knew more about it and I think helped more people and had really great protocols that were updated. There’s been a protocol around for 20 or so years, but we have new information. We have all these great new products, and I think we can help people faster with more targeted protocols. It doesn’t sound fast.

Dr. Weitz:                            I know. Two years, but… Yeah.

Dr. Beckman:                     I mean, you know this too. It’s not like you do a program and then you’re just done. People think that we’ve gotten things where their Hashimoto’s goes away, it’s no longer showing on there. Then they’re like, “Great, I can eat gluten again and I don’t need to take supplements.” I was like, “No, no, no. That’s not what we’re doing here. We’re showing that it’s possible, but you need to maintain.” Right?

Dr. Weitz:                            Absolutely.

Dr. Beckman:                     That’s with any kind of thing, that we can get a lot of people back in normal range so it’s not showing as an issue or not diagnosable, even though they’ve been told that it’s incurable, but you can’t go back to what got you there, right?

Dr. Weitz:                            Correct. Great. Drashley.com.

Dr. Beckman:                     Yes.

 


 

Dr. Weitz:                            Thank you so much. Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. For those of you who enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, I would appreciate it if you could go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and give us a five-star ratings and review. If you would like to work with me personally to help you improve your health, I do accept a limited number of new patients per month for a functional medicine consultation. Some of the areas I specialize in include helping patients with specific health issues like gut problems, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, cardiometabolic conditions, or for an executive health screen. To help you promote longevity and take a deeper dive into some of those factors that can lead to chronic diseases along the way, please call my Santa Monica Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition office at 310-395-3111, and we’ll set you up for a new consultation for functional medicine. I look forward to speaking to everybody next week.

 

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