Addressing the Whole Body to Heal Autoimmune Thyroiditis and Mold Toxicity
by Carly Johnson Brawner
Seven years ago I was living a carefree life in Los Angeles, working for a fast-paced, health-tech start-up, and I was enjoying all that LA had to offer post-college. I had grown up eating the standard American diet and living the standard American lifestyle … which means my health wasn’t a worry nor was it a priority.
Undesirable, Unexplained Symptoms
Slowly, undesirable health symptoms started creeping up. I had itchy skin. I was more tired than usual. Acne was more present than before, and I noticed that I constantly felt like there was something in the back of my throat making it hard for me to swallow. I went to the ENT and to the dermatologist to check on these things and they said everything was normal and there was no reason to worry. Months later these symptoms were more prominent and more disruptive to my life. I also noticed that my periods were irregular, I had indigestion and heartburn frequently, and my fatigue had gotten so chronically bad that I was working from home (from my bed) 3-4 days a week.
Some Answers . . . Finally
At this point, I got scared and demanded answers from my doctor. I had a list of labs I wanted her to run to rule out severe issues. When my results came back, they surprised me but the answers provided me a sense of relief. I had Hashimoto’s and was given medication immediately.
(Note: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disorder that damages your thyroid function. It causes white blood cells and antibodies to mistakenly view the cells of the thyroid as foreign and attack them creating inflammation and health symptoms relating to multiple body functions. Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid.)
To make a long story short, medication alone didn’t help me. At the time, my endocrinologist told me there was nothing I could do to improve my health except take meds and that diet and lifestyle didn’t matter. A combination of my own intuition and discovering other women with thyroid problems sharing their journeys online led me to believe there was more I could do and more to the healing story than “take these meds forever” and manage the symptoms. I fired my endocrinologist and sought care from a holistic provider in LA who discussed things like diet, root-cause healing, and reducing inflammation. This approach and the fact that illness could be improved by things other than medication was completely new to me.
Learning More About the Root Causes of Hashimoto’s
My doctor did extensive lab work and found that my Hashimoto’s was caused by a plethora of whole body dysfunction. He explained that my thyroid problem is actually an immune system problem and that my gut health, adrenals, and liver all needed support for my thyroid to better function. He discovered I had gluten intolerance, toxicity in my body was high, birth control had wreaked havoc on my hormones, and inflammation was contributing to pain, acne, and menstrual irregularities. By changing my diet drastically, targeting inflammation, nutritional supplementation, and reducing stress, I made major health improvements over a year’s time. I felt much better and committed myself to a lifestyle of holistic health and wellness.
Mold and Mycotoxins
My wellness journey didn’t end there, though. I had made massive improvements but wasn’t completely better. I moved to a new city, which brought a new doctor, and a new perspective on my health. This doctor wanted to test me for something I had never heard of, mycotoxin illness.
That’s when I learned one of the missing pieces to my health puzzle: mold. My urine testing showed off the chart mold counts in my body. This means at one point or another I was living in a moldy house and had accumulated mold in my body. Much of the work with my previous doctor had given me a head start on addressing mold, hence why I felt somewhat better, but there was still work to be done.
Hashimoto’s and all autoimmune diseases have various components. One needs genetic susceptibility, leaky gut, and dysbiosis, as well as environmental triggers for autoimmunity to occur. Mold can be a huge trigger for many health issues, including autoimmunity. Without taking care of triggers (others include parasites, viruses, unknown allergies, trauma, birth control, etc.) it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fully heal and experience autoimmune remission. I knew that to fully overcome my thyroid autoimmunity and go into remission, I would need to make sure my body was mold-free.
Knowing I had more health issues felt like a huge mountain to climb but I dove in and learned about mold, detox, sick building syndrome, and preventing mold in the future. The break I caught here was that the house I had recently moved into did not have mold, and we learned it had to have been from a previous living situation. Mold can be incredibly daunting because many people who discover they have it have to address their bodily health, and home health at the same time. Doing both can be extremely challenging, expensive, and confusing, so it was a relief that I only had to think about physical detox.
For 6 months I detoxed with diet, sauna, supplements, and coffee enemas. You can read more about my detox here. What became very clear to me in this process is that I needed to learn how to avoid mold, both in the short term and in the long term. In a country where at least 40% of buildings have water damage, improper ventilation, poor building materials, and where mold literacy is extremely low, this is not an easy task.
Among various things, I learned about Micro Balance Health and the products they’ve created that make living mold-free much easier. It made me feel so much more confident about combating mold in general, keeping my home mold-free, and traveling without the fear of mold exposure. Getting rid of mold is a daunting task and any trusted resource that makes it easier feels like a huge bonus.
Favorite Products for Tackling Mold
I started using many of these products right away and have been for years. Not only do they help with physical detox, but also with tackling mold in the home and preventing mold growth in the future.
I used the CitriDrops Nasal Spray and CitriDrops Dietary Supplement in nasal washes while detoxing mold from my nasal cavity. I also use the spray anytime I’m traveling, have bad allergies, or feel like I’ve been exposed to mold. I keep both in my purse and bathroom. Many people detox mold from the body but don’t think to target their nasal cavity, meaning they aren’t fully rid of mold and can be left feeling symptomatic (even after a physical detox). CitriDrops Nasal Spray made targeting the nasal cavity simple and easy.
The EC3 Air Purification Candles are a go-to of mine. I burn them for hours when sleeping in hotel rooms, take them to friends’ houses to burn instead of their scented candles, and will even burn them in my house preventatively. I recommend them to people who know they are in a moldy home but can’t change their living situations. The candles are affordable and can create improved sleeping environments by reducing mold spore counts.
The EC3 Laundry Additive is a game changer! When I found out I had mold, I washed all my clothes with the solution to reduce the chances of bringing mold from a previously moldy home into my new one. Now, I use this additive when washing all towels (they sit in moist environments more than other clothes), after trips, and all clothing a couple of times a year to keep things fresh and mold-free. I absolutely love this product and think it’s a must-have in all homes.
The EC3 Sanitizer Fogger is awesome. This is a handy tool that I use with the EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate. It makes evenly distributing the solution and reaching every corner of my home much easier and less time-consuming. Again, I use the fogger monthly and can bring it to an Airbnb–where I have less control over the environment if needed. I also loan it to various friends who find out they have mold issues and need short-term solutions too– I seem to have a friend almost weekly who finds out they have mold!
I could not be more grateful for the ease and peace of mind that Micro Balance Health Products has brought me. They have created incredible solutions that I can use in my home without hiring professional help, and their affordable and unique options for whatever mold situation one may be navigating are created and supported by a team who really cares about those suffering from this health and environmental problem. They have been a huge bonus on my health journey, help me stay mold-free while traveling frequently, and are a resource that any mold-sick person needs.