Dr. Jill Crista walks us through the maze of neuroinflammation in part 1 of my conversation with her.
We discuss neuroinflammation in Autism, the difference between OCD related PANS and PANDAS , how to know when autoimmunity has kicked in, the importance of diet and most importantly how mold is persistent and can be a trigger in the driest of climates.
For my free ebook on how to optimize gut health to build immunity, CLICK HERE.
Let us delve into the world of neuro inflammation diet and the mysteries of mold with Dr. Jill Krista. I’m Vice chemist and functional nutrition consultant and science educator, as mom to a mind bending point for Down syndrome and autism who happens to be nonspeaking. It wasn’t too long ago that I felt helpless at what I saw to be said dysregulation, severe gut issues, apparent lack of communication, extremely low energy, and disinterest in anything I offered. Sit in I have since traveled through 1000s of lessons learned about the gut, the brain, and the extreme importance of presuming competence. And assuming intelligence said lives now a motivated regulated ambitious life has put pillar of house and profound thinker and I’m living a life for mom of a regulated ambitious child, which is always a blessing.
I present this podcast functional nutrition and learning for kids in order to bring to you the lessons that have changed my life. If you are a mom, a dad or a teacher who believes that equal education, some nutrition and arrested mind are the birthright of your child. If you are looking for answers to help your child find regulation and focus. If you’re looking for out of the box learning and nutrition strategies that have helped children with Down syndrome with autism with anxiety and ADHD thrive, you are in the right place. A good place to start if you’re new is to check out my free eBook at WWW dot functional nutrition for kids.com. forward slash gut health. It has a lot of actionable information that you are not likely to find outside. I am really excited to finally welcome Dr. Jill Crist. I’ve been stalking her on social media and podcast for a long time and I’m so happy that she’s here today.
Dr. Krista is a naturopathic doctor best selling author, an internationally recognized educator on neuro inflammatory conditions, like mold, lime pandas stance, and post concussion syndrome. Dr. Jill is passionate about helping people recover their health after exposure to toxic mold. She is the author of break the mold five tools to conquer mold and take back your health. And she supports small sick people through the heart inspire membership. She also provides online training for medical practitioners wanting to become more literate. And something that I have personally taken is if you go to our website, Dr. Krista calm Dr. Krista calm sorry, if you go to her website, she also has a training on pans and pandas that parents can also take. So thanks for being here.
Welcome. Dr. Joe, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to talk to your group, your audience. I think they’re they’re right there on my topics. Yeah, and I’m really excited to and I’m actually so excited that I don’t know where to start.But you know, I had, I wanted to, I had wanted to start it off by asking you about the importance of a diagnosis and maybe that can be where we start? How important is it to separate neuro inflammation from just autistic symptoms? And actually that should be with quotes, whatever. from anxiety from depression, OCD, and so on is first of all, is this separation real? You know, do you?
That’s a really good question. I mean, we do see in some studies that what separates kids with OCD, which be could be consistent with pandas and pans, kids can have OCD, they don’t have pandas and pans. It’s almost like the immune system hasn’t tipped over into an autoimmune disease yet, but it’s working that way. But what distinguishes that from other conditions, so adults with OCD, kids with autism, the difference is that kids with pandas and pans, and children with OCD, and that kind of picture, have a low secretory, IGA, or IGA total, which is immunoglobulin A, this is the antibody that protects all of our mucosal linings. And I’m a very big proponent of guarding the gates, you know, because I think a lot of these kids, a lot of our kids, they’re not interacting with enough dirt. So we don’t have all our protective critters in our sinuses and our throat. And a lot of these kids are very susceptible to toxins to infection. So that’s an interesting finding to me that if we can see a total low IGA in that group, that tells us that there’s some immune change and immune modulation that we’re going to need to pay attention to. That’s different, possibly from the other group. But how important is the diagnosis? I don’t know that it’s so important for me, what I focus on is let’s get a cause. Let’s try to figure out what the cause is and take care of that. And of course, is it ever one? No, it’s always like, multiple things.
Yeah. Well, you answered my next question, but maybe I I also was very curious. And most of most of the kids that you see are probably having significant behavioral issues, which is why they’re coming to see you and they don’t know why that’s happening. Where do you start? What do you maybe first two or three things to check off? What What do you start by suspecting or or eliminating?After I say to the parent, this isn’t bad parenting because parents have PTSD from you know all the doctors that they’ve seen that have suspected their parenting so the first thing we do is we rule out bad parenting is thatour parents still being back. Okay. Yep, you bet I thought like I was so 90s But okay, no,maybe it’s just a Midwest thing. But you know, the especially when it’s pandas and pans, kids can come into it looking completely normal and then they change overnight. But from my experience with pan’s they change over a period of time and so it can be perceived as parents who are too lacks with that child, you know, all of these different things. So, So first, we rule that out and take the pressure off the parents This is a a body problem expressing as neuro psych symptoms. So it’s a body problem.
Where do we start gut, always the gut, the gut, the gut, actually asked my son before I went on I came on today I said, Hey, in retrospect, he’s 21 now, what do you think was the most important thing for you getting through having pandas and pans and congenital Lyme and all these things? And he said, good diet. Having a mom that knows how to feed kids, right? And you know, and you know, it used to be an I know it was a battle, and I had to get Uber creative. You know, I’ve one tip for parents is, don’t always think sweet when you’re trying to hide a food or whatever. Go savory. It’s so much easier to hide a food in savory foods. Daddy sauce, soy sauce, curries, you know, that’s ketchup, you can hide a lot in the savory and I’m seeing a lot of kids ending up with Candida overgrowth probably because their mold exposure and also because of antibiotic use, but that’s not being addressed and Candida can go right through the blood brain barrier.
Candida goes to the mind very quickly. So if you’re always hiding the good food and a sweet thing now you’re you might be contributing, you know, as then we do the thing is, was that worth the little bit of broccoli you got in them? Was it worth the sugar load that they just had. So diet, diet, diet diet, specifically with pandas and pans, Dr. datis kharrazian, who’s just brilliant, has found some connection with eggs. So we’re common, we’re kind of accustomed to dairy free, gluten free.
I think it’s interesting that we’re now seeing that the connection there with mold is that dairy can concentrate mycotoxins that have been fed to that cow. And so are we really reacting? Is it really the case of morphants? Or is there some because other people eat dairy and don’t get stoned? You know, I mean, is it actually that they’re eating a mycotoxin, which is a mole toxin, which is specifically designed to cause leaky gut mycotoxins are extremely hard on the gut. That’s interesting because then gi doesn’t help either. Right? Right, right, because all of us dairy avoiders are bingeing on me and then and the toxins get stored in fat a little bit.
They’relipid soluble, so they’re going to concentrate in the fattier part. Oh, no. Okay. I know. But so I test stuff all the time because of my mold, passion, obsession, you might say. And organic, tends to be lower in these mycotoxins because they can’t, they can’t mass produce, you know, they have to be organic tend to be smaller farms. So we have a local one in Wisconsin, organic valley that is just beautiful. And I’ve tested their milk and it’s fine, and the butter is fine. So I think being organic is a real, that’s a real emphasis. So I just, I’m not purposely trying to be a disrupter, I’m just wanting to have people think about maybe we’re blaming a different mechanism, but it’s still a problem if you’re eating regular commercially mass produced dairy products.
Okay, so gluten, now we’re learning about glyphosate and round up and what that does to bumping I mean, Stephanie sent off if people don’t know her, she’s brilliant. And my colleague, Dr. Greg Nye, they have a paper out that describes how they think that the glyphosate the roundup is bumping glycine out of the neurotransmitters and replacing itself. glycine is also one of the amino acids that makes glutathione which is our detoxifier so now we’ve caused a neurotransmitter mildew that is more anxious and we have reduced the body’s ability to detoxify by eating gluten that is not organic. So again, I think the message in the in the food is every kid is different.
Test your kid you know, test and see and do one thing at a time because that’s then you’re not sure What’s going on, and realize that with pandas pans, it’s a wax and wane. That’s the normal cycle of this condition anyway. So try to be testing things in a in a waning period. Because if you remove a food or add a food, you don’t know if it’s just the natural course of the condition went up and down or if it’s something that you did, so when certain time period, give it a Yeah, give it a couple of weeks, you know, to really lay it all out. Yeah, so changing one thing at a time, give it a few weeks, and go organic. And you know, if you are noticing in your child that they can tend to have a little bit of organic dairy, and that helps them eat the broccoli, go for it. You know, so I work with my parents.
Every child is different, every family is different. And their you know, their heritage is different. Like some people love spicy. You get, you know, a white kid, they’re not handling that very well. So you know, I mean, it just depends. Yeah, yeah. And then so eggs, Dr. datis kharrazian, has found that there is a cross reaction with the egg protein in the brain tissue. So if it has already switched into autoimmune, I have seen that eggs even organic and cage free and you know, healthy good eggs have flared some kids here because of the egg and the ghee, and which are my favorite foods. But I’ve noticed that in myself, too. I’m getting fatigued from eggs. I’ve had eggs throughout my life but interrelated. Yeah, Yeah. And I think that if you have a leaky gut, leaky brain situation, you’re going to be more susceptible to that. But when we get the gut healed, and we get the brain healed, because what i think that you know, As above, so below, and likewise, you know, so gut, gut gut is where we start diet is where we start, you cannot out supplement a junkie diet. And these kids need tons of vegetables, tons and tons and tons of vegetables to keep trying and are you being creative? Do what you need to do to get there. It’s gonna take time. That’s not it. You’re not Yeah, yeah. And you need to have three different ways to get that one veggie in.
Especially with an non-speaking child, they need to have a sense of control, they need to have a sense that they get to have a choice in it. So you can say, Okay, did you want the steamed carrots? Or did you want the carrot ginger stuff, you know that you you blended up really well or whatever? Because there’s, you know, can be some sensory things. And then Which one did you want, and then they have choice. But either way, they’re eating a carrot, you know, either way you’re getting it in. So I think having multiple tools, and I think really working with somebody that can help you with creativity, whether that’s a nutrition coach, or health coach or something, to get many, many recipes, many ways to do it. And freezable stuff, because they’re going to refuse carrot ginger soup is one an easy way just to get in the freezer, and a little teeny tiny thing. And then when it’s time to try carrots again. Try it and you don’t have to remake it. I like that. Yeah, very all those little tips. Yeah, I mean, as a busy mom slash doctor of some kids, you know, with pandas and pans, we had to get very efficient in the kitchen.
You were talking about, we’re talking about diagnoses and root costs and root cause issues. Now, you said the diagnosis may not be that important, but the root cause is probably important, Mike, my one question was going to be Is it important to get a pan’s pandas diagnosis. But feel free to take this question beyond pans because when you have behavior, it’s work. I mean, at least I’m kind of fixated with finding out whether it’s pans or pandas but now you know, it could be mold. It could be anything. So could you talk a little bit about the importance of finding the root cause and what it might be?
Yeah, and going back to the diagnosis, I think once the neuro inflammation has gone to a point where we’re now talking autoimmune, which is the immune system attacking the brain tissue, there are some things that we would normally use for neural inflammation that could make that situation worse. And I am completely alone in this so I’m just gonna let you know this is just my little like Dr. Joel take on this. Like either Yeah, tumeric I do not use pandas and pans, because once we understand the mechanism, or now that we’re starting to understand a little bit more about the mechanism, once it goes into that autoimmune state, now we have destruction of the dopamine receptor, which means we have excess dopamine in the synaptic area tumeric increases dopamine so we’ve just accentuated a neurotransmitter imbalance that has is really prevalent and the tics, the compulsions, the food avoidance, you know, the the dopamine access and the glutamate excess that has to be managed and paid attention to. So all of the things that we would think, you know, oh, it’s good for the brain. Turmeric boswellia you know, she Sandra, I don’t use the ice, tell the parent you take that now, because you probably need that. But now that it’s dipped into autoimmune And I don’t use those plants. We have other options. Right? Yeah. So I think that understanding where you are in the continuum is really important.
So that’s why it’s important to know not only where you are in the, the continuum being autoimmune or, or autoimmune neuro inflammatory, you know, you start with neurotypical, to a typical new, anyone that’s atypical has some level of neuro inflammation. And you know, autism kids do great on tumeric if they don’t have the autoimmune situation. So you know, that’s where it’s important is that we want information is going to affect our treatment. That’s the only reason have any infant information. And the other thing is that cognitive behavioral therapy is is another one that is a very useful tool for OCD, that’s very, very useful. It can also be really hard on a kid who has neuro inflammation to the level of autoimmune disease, it can be almost feel militaristic and re traumatize them, because it is very strict. I’ve had kids have to go to the urgent care for refloating, we’ve had one kid had a big flare after CBT because it just it tweaked them, it was just too much it was trauma actuallyhad a physical response or a physiological response. Wow. Yes, yeah. And with pandas pans, there’s an ad with mold. Urinary frequency is a really big issue and the brain not making the hormone from the brain that holds on to water, so they get dehydrated very quickly.
So there’s higher urinary frequency. Yeah.And CBT, they weren’t letting them drink water and run to the bathroom because they were staying on the regimen. So one, one of those kids had to go to urgent care and go get fluids. So knowing where you are on the spectrum can actually impact the kind of therapy that you’re getting.Absolutely. Yeah, yep. So knowing where you are informs your treatment and and how how much you set up that child for success in all the things that you’re choosing? Yeah.
What are the primary root causes that you see in your practice for this? And when a child comes in this inflammatory state inflamed state, whether that be into our community or not? Yeah, I would mold is a huge factor feud, huge, huge, huge underrecognized factor in because we can’t see it, if it’s trapped behind building material, there isn’t any.You don’t have to see somewhere to have more, right? Yeah, I was hearing your podcast where you talked about you could be in the driest place and your building could be set up. Where a probably every building is set up to be so well sealed with all the new environmental friendly, right building regulations that you’re just kind of making it more friendly.
We’re making it very mold friendly, mold can grow at over 50% humidity, such as everywhere. So even if you’re in Arizona, your indoor environment is where it matters. And humans tend to like a certain level of humidity for our respiratory passages. And so you know, but then if you have, if you live in a place that has a lot of humidity, like where are you are very wet for a lot of the year, that makes it really difficult to manage the indoor humidity without, without a leaky house. You know, we used to have enough airflow that things could kind of move. But that’s just not happy that is more is that more and more a big factor that you’re seeing today where kids are reacting to mold? Yeah, yeah, that there’s more mold me, because now then builders figured out that mold is a problem. Once we sealed up homes, and you know, forced air, he is kind of a new invention.
That’s a whole lot of horizontal space that you can’t get in there and dust. So if you add humidity to that, and it’s dust, which is its favorite food, because it’s already pre digested for it. Yeah, it’s a great place to grow some mold, the furnace coils where it condenses, that provides enough water for the really thirsty molds, which is the toxic black mold. So it could be growing on a furnace coil, and then you’re blowing that all around the home. So we have a few innovations that have happened in the way that we build buildings that have really set the stage for a mold problem. So when they figured out Oh, mold can be a problem.
Now what they’re doing is they’re adding antifungals to the paper on drywall. They’re adding antifungals to paint. And so now we’re creating a superbugs, because it’s just, you know, they just say, Oh, well, I’ll figure out a way to work around this. Right. So yeah, we’ve really, we’ve really created our next I think endemic is is moldy buildings. It is happening right now, but it’s nobody’s paying attention.Is there a way that I mean, everybody is not necessarily reacting to mold, right? So there are people that like isn’t the status of your immune system or you know, your just your overall modulation of your immune system that can determine whether you react to it or not.
There are there are different susceptibilities. But everybody is affected by indoor mold. It was written about in the Bible. They have remediate instructions in the Bible, and that is to actually remove the stones that were moldy, they have to be taken to an unclean place outside of town. Because what they realize is that mold if you just take it outside can just reinfect your neighbor. So they saw it as a village problem. And there are instructions of how to remove it and to get it out so they you know, this isn’t a new problem and all bodies are affected by mold. It just depends on how how much you know, which mold Are you exposed to? Which mold toxin is the mold? Do you have a wet enough area that many molds want to move in and if so, you’re going to have more mycotoxins because they use those to defend their territory. mycotoxins are used by militaries around the world as bio warfare. So if they didn’t affect everybody, they wouldn’t be using them. So it’s just a matter of dose, duration type. And susceptibility. Yeah, mold is a big big deal. Yeah. Hmm. I haven’t told you no, paint over it. It does not work.
Thank you for listening to part one of this podcast because that helped matters more than anything when you want your child to thrive. Make sure you do check out the free ebook that I mentioned earlier. Again, functional nutrition for kids.com forward slash gut health. Signing off. I’m your host vice but don’t forget to meet me again here next week for part two of this phenomenal podcast with Dr. Krista. Bye.