Health and Wellness Blog

Detoxing with Cholestyramine and Natural Binders

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

May 16, 2020 | Category: Environmental Toxins


Have you ever paused to consider the contaminants that you’re exposed to each and every day? The simple fact is, we live in an increasingly toxic world. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, we’re exposed to high levels of environmental toxins.

These come in the form of biotoxins (such as mold toxins); toxins from bacterial, fungal, and viral infections; toxic chemicals such as pesticides; heavy metals; air pollution (smog); and dust and other irritants. Harmful chemicals can also be found in food, beverages, clothing, cleaning products, home construction materials and furnishings, and electronics and electronic emissions.

When the toxins in our bodies exceed the body’s innate ability to detox, we are at an increased risk of developing one or more of the following environmentally acquired illnesses (EAIs):

  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • Asthma
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Depression, anxiety, and other neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Dysbiosis/leaky gut syndrome
  • Gluten, casein, and other food sensitivities
  • Infections
  • Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)
  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)

The first two steps to treating any environmentally acquired illnesses are: continue reading

Recommended Reading: TOXIC, by Neil Nathan, MD

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

May 8, 2020 | Category: BioDesign Recommends


While COVID-19 continues to besiege the human population, it has had a positive impact, at least temporarily, in some of the most polluted areas on our planet. Images from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) pollution monitoring satellites show the stark contrast in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels over China before and during their quarantine (when transportation and industries were largely shut down). Nitrogen dioxide is a noxious gas emitted by motor vehicles, power plants, and industrial facilities.

Imagine what would happen if we were able to stop polluting the planet, filter pollutants out of the environment, and focus our efforts on restoring healthy ecosystems in air, land, and water. Within a matter of years, we would see a big improvement in the environment overall. In just a few decades, we would start to notice increasing populations of diverse plants and animals as balance was restored.

Now imagine taking the same approach with the human body. What if we could avoid exposure to toxins in our food supply and environment? What if we followed that up by detoxing the body and then restoring every system in the body — the nervous system, immune system, endocrine system, gastrointestinal system, and so on? Over the course of a few months or maybe a year, we would probably start to feel amazing. We would be more energetic, think more clearly, and be much happier overall.

In his book TOXIC: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness, Neil Nathan, MD, recommends such an approach with the many people who suffer from environmentally acquired illness (EAI). And this approach closely aligns with the one we follow at BioDesign Wellness Center to restore optimal health and fitness to our patients: continue reading

Meet the Patient: Case Study on Treating Toxic Mold Illness via Remote Visits

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

May 2, 2020 | Category: Case Study | Mold


Meet the Patient is a series here on the BioDesign Wellness Center blog that showcases actual patients we have treated over the years or are currently treating. It goes without saying that we do not reveal the identity of these patients, changing their names and certain details about their case in order to insure their privacy.

Our reason for us asking our patients to allow us to share their stories — again anonymously — is for the benefit of the reader who is or knows someone struggling with a similar health condition. It’s for those who perhaps have not received an accurate diagnosis or effective medical treatment. It’s for those who might be giving up hope of ever feeling healthy, energetic, and happy again.


Our objective with these case studies is to restore a belief that optimal health and fitness can be achieved, even for those who are chronically ill and may have no clear explanation of the underlying cause of their pain or dysfunction.

Up to the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Meet the Patient posts spotlighted patients we have seen in our Tampa functional medicine clinic. However, like many healthcare clinics, we have severely curtailed office visits to help prevent spread of the virus. As a result, we now conduct many of our patient appointments remotely via phone or videoconferencing software such as Skype, Zoom, or the telemed feature offered through our electronic health records platform, MPN.

Today’s Meet the Patient post is unique in that it highlights the successful treatment of a patient who has never stepped foot in our offices.

Meet AJ, a 63-Year-Old Patient

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 63-year-old retired woman, whom we will call AJ, was referred to our office by her daughter, who was concerned about her mom’s health. They both live in south Florida, and the daughter was already a patient of ours.

When she called us, AJ said she was certain that it was mold from her home that caused her illness. During our online telemedicine consultation, she described more than 30 symptoms that arose over a period of several years. Her symptoms included shortness of breath, constant stomach upset, anxiety, loss of memory, tingling in her body, extreme exhaustion, and weakness, to name a few. She was experiencing several of the more than 40 symptoms that can be ascribed to mold, including the following: continue reading

Toxic Mold Illness in the News and How to Treat It

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

April 23, 2020 | Category: Mold


While COVID-19 has dominated the news cycle for the last 60 days or so, reading between the lines reveals a host of other health issues that we should be aware of, including mold-related illness.

From a strictly news perspective, here’s what’s happening across the nation with respect to some of the dangers mold presents in our daily lives:

  • In Seattle, Wash., an award-winning children’s hospital that waged a years-long battle to contain an Aspergillus mold outbreak, was recently sued by the family of a seven-month-old boy who is fending off a mold infection after open-heart surgery. As reported by The Seattle Times last week (see: Mold found in baby’s heart after surgery; family suing Seattle Children’s hospital), the hospital closed its operating rooms in March of 2019, after Aspergillus infections were attributed to gaps in the walls of operating rooms and in the array of air filters that serve them.
  • In Montague Township, N.J., where about 250 children attend Montague Township schools, parents complained to the school board about visible mold in one of the district’s schools. Local citizens are contending with a school superintendent who they claim is dismissing reports of mold as a “running narrative without any evidence” (see: State: Montague School mold issue still an active investigation).
  • In Brooklyn, N.Y., home to the second-largest public housing development in New York City — Red Hook Houses — the New York City Housing Authority and local courts have been bombarded with thousands of complaints and hundreds of lawsuits regarding mold at the 6,000-resident facility. As reported by UnDark (see: In Public Housing, a Battle Against Mold and Rising Seas), research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows strong associations between early exposure to mold and the development of childhood asthma. That matters because in New York City, public housing developments like Red Hook are home to a disproportionately high reported rate of asthma compared to rates in more affluent neighborhoods.
  • Closer to home, more than 100 employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office recently filed workers’ compensation claims after mold was found in their offices at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel (see: Mold chases cops from offices at Fort Lauderdale airport), the Sheriff’s Office ordered an analysis of the air in the offices in question, and the results revealed significantly elevated mold spores in the air. Meanwhile, in a tiny village outside of Tallahassee, four whistleblower complaints have been filed against Sunland Center, a state-managed institution for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. According to reporting by News Service of Florida (see: State tests disabled residents amid mold problems), a 145-page report revealed major mold problems throughout Sunland’s 16-building campus in Marianna, just south of the Florida-Alabama border.

Also in Florida — and very close to our Tampa functional medicine clinic — is the ongoing saga of Harbor Bay at MacDill Air Force Base. There, as we previously reported (see: Update on Toxic Mold in Tampa and Responding to the Mold Outbreak at VA Bay Pines Center), a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court’s Middle District of Florida accuses the six companies operating the privately run housing of ignoring complaints about mold, conducting shoddy remediation work, and then not revealing mold test results to those who live in the houses in question. The lawsuit, filed in December of 2019 by five service members and their families, has yet to be resolved. But as a result of pressure by military families around the nation, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was passed in mid-December, establishes a bill of rights for military families living in base housing and ensures that contractors are held accountable for housing issues that are not addressed quickly, such as those experienced by residents of Harbor Bay at MacDill.

Toxic Mold Diagnosis

If you suspect that you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of exposure to toxic mold or a mystery illness that other doctors have been unable to diagnose, we here at BioDesign Wellness Center may be able to help. Our approach begins with a process of discovery — in order to determine if your symptoms match those of mold illness. We have you complete a symptom checklist survey, which one of our doctors’ reviews with you during your initial visit.

For people who are susceptible, exposure to mold can trigger a continue reading

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