How To Go To Sleep Earlier And Stay Asleep | Create A Sleep Sanctuary

Previous
Intro: Sleep Training For Night Owls
Step 1: Reset Circadian Rhythm

Do not reproduce without written permission.Step 2: Create A Sleep Sanctuary

We spend an average of 1/3 of our lives in bed.

Unfortunately, during that time we are continually exposed to toxins that detract from rest & repair while we sleep.

So to maximize resting & healing, I made my bedroom more sleep-friendly by reducing the following toxins:

  • Electromagnetic radiation / pollution from wireless devices and electronics
  • Artificial & natural lighting from clocks, light bulbs, etc.
  • Dust & chemicals such as fire-retardant heavy metals legally required to be sprayed on mattresses, pillows, and (children’s) pajamas.

Minimize Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation & Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF)

As I mentioned in the previous post, in regards to sleep, radiation causes stress to the body and interferes with hormonal changes in melatonin. Here are steps I took on my own to reduce electro-pollution in the bedroom:

  • Radio Frequency (RF) radiation: Made the bedroom a cell phone, tablet, Wi-Fi, smart tv, & computer-free zone.
  • Magnetic Fields (MF): Place bed facing North / South in the same direction as the earth’s MF. Changed the electric plug alarm clock with the loud buzzing alarm to a battery-operated clock with a variety of very peaceful wake-up sounds. Another option is the buy an inexpensive battery operated travel alarm clock. And, if you want to continue using a cell phone as an alarm clock, turn it on airplane mode, double-check settings to see if blue-tooth and wi-fi are off, and place the cell phone on the opposite side of the room.
  • Electric Fields (EF): Unplugged anything that uses electricity including lights and the adjustable bed frame. e.g. Tested my body’s electric voltage when the adjustable bed frame was just plugged but not in use and have never used it again while in bed because the persistent EF. (Eventually I will replace it with a non-toxic wood frame.) Keep the head of my bed away from the electric heater or HVAC.

Canopy © BeGutsy.comHere are a few things I did to make my bedroom a sleep sanctuary after hiring a professional EMF Certified Building Biologist (I share much more in my upcoming book.):

  • RF: Purchased a RF shielding canopy & shielding mat to shield radiation from a nearby cell tower and neighbor’s Wi-Fi as a short-term solution.
  • RF: Verified that the digital PG&E “Smart” meters were not radiating in my apartment. (Smart meter shielding kits can sometimes be used to reduce some of the RF if needed if you or not everyone in your building is willing / able to opt out / pay for the digital meters to be replaced with analog meters.)
  • EMF: I did not have to turn off the breakers in the bedroom in this apartment as the electrical wires were shielded (aka Metal Clad wires) and there were no known wiring errors.
  • Dirty Electricity aka Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI): Removed the Lighting Science LED blue light blocking bulb. I purchased it for my bedroom lamps to eliminate artificial blue light not knowing that it emitted HIGH amounts of Dirty Electricity right next to the side of the bed where I slept!@#$. Sigh…the better thing to do is sleep when the sun goes down. (Note: Regular incandescent lightbulbs are no longer legally sold in SF retail because they use more electricity. So I purchased smaller size incandescent lightbulbs that work great and have no mercury like CFL’s and produce no Dirty Electricity like CFL’s and LEDs.)

Address Lighting: Artificial and Natural Light.

External cues like light stimulate our neocortex and alter our brain chemistry / disrupt our biological rhythm. For sleep purposes, light can be broken down into two types: artificial and natural.

1. Artificial Blue Lights: Blue light makes the mind think it is daytime and suppresses melatonin production.

This is how I eliminated artificial lights in the bedroom:

  • Covered the fire alarm light with a piece of tape.
  • Removed electronics with blue light emission like my former alarm clock.
  • Purchased a battery operated reading light with no blue light for the bedroom and a nightlight with no blue light for the bathroom. (Need to test for dirty electricity before sharing here).

2. Natural Lights: The presence of natural light at night can reduce melatonin levels as well. I live in the city and get light from other apartments, the street lamp, and the moon.

  • Purchased beautiful white silk “blackout” curtains. They ended up being only “room darkening”
  • Added blackout roller shades. Light seeped in from the sides and top and the synthetic plastic or vinyl off-gassed chemicals so I took them down.
  • Ideally, non-recessed remote-operated blackout shades would be great. However, I rent so that is not an option so I wear a silk eyemask / organic cotton sock for now. Wish list: ICanBreath Organic cotton eyemask.

Reduce Bed Toxins: Dust mites, Lines, and Mattresses.

1. Dust-mite Protection: We take in small amounts of chemicals when we touch or breathe in dust particles absorbed from disintegrating foam mattresses and cleaning products.

  • Covered my mattress, pillows, and down comforter with dust-mite covers. Helps if allergic to dust-mite symptoms like congestion and sneezing.
  • Replaced my dust-mite mattress cover, down comforter, mattress protector, pillows, and pillow dust-mite covers with organic, non-toxic, wool / cotton products from a California company called Lifekind. Upside: MUCH less dust and no fire-retardant chemicals. Downside: 1. The wool comforter is not as warm as my former down comforter so I need an additional blanket 50% of the time. 2. The low and the medium wool pillows are too flat – and this is from someone who does not like a high pillow. The large pillow I purchased later is the right size, however, it smelled mildewy. I left it in the sun for a month to air out. Followed up with customer service with mixed results.
  • Purchased a 100% certified organic cotton allergy dust mite duvet covers. It is GOTS certified, has no plastic or vinyl, and no chemical treatments (including formaldehyde, antimicrobials, fire retardants, or bleach I believe).
  • Splurged on an Austin air filter. It doesn’t require filter changes for 5 years, however, when I leave it on the middle or highest setting for some time, there is a metallic odor in the air. I wish I had taken more precaution when I read about that in other reviews. I called Austin and they recommended a few tests to see if it is the filter or the unit…

Dust Mite Cover Info

Pore size is the diameter of the space or hole between the threads. The average waste particle of dust mites is approximately 9 microns so the pore size must be less than 9. Typically, any fabric with a pore size less than 6 or 7 will block all allergens including pet dander. Anything below 5 microns is premium and the difference between 5 microns and 2 microns is not an issue at all. Both will equally block all allergens, including cat allergen. A very low pore size (1 or 2 microns) gives you low air flow, which will make the fabric hot to sleep on.

Thread count has nothing to do with pore size. 1000 count sheets for example have more threads per square inch but the pore size is not maintained. Thus, these fabrics will do nothing to encase the allergens. (1)

2. Linens: Sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers come in direct contact with our bodies while we sleep – that’s for at least 8 hours a night. So they should also be free of pesticides, dyes, bleach, and flame retardants.

  • I have Wamsutta 100% cotton fitted bottom sheets & duvet covers in lieu of top sheets, just like my favorite Hotel Haven in Helsinki. I don’t know if they have been sprayed with BFRs and will call to ask. As they age, I will replace them. Wishlist: 100% Organic, non-toxic, unbleached cotton or silk linens.
  • Use reusable Woolzies dryer balls and lavender essential oil instead of dryer sheets with toxic fragrance. I also use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach.

3. Mattresses: Vapors from flame retardant chemicals & manufacturing chemicals, and dust in our mattresses are taken in through our lungs and skin while we sleep.

Currently, I sleep on a memory foam mattress. It provides great support, however, the synthetic latex and BFRs off-gassed chemicals noticeably for several days when I originally purchased it years ago and may still off-gas at a lesser rate today.

I would like to find a replacement, however, most organic mattresses do not provide great support. And it is work to buy, try, and return mattresses. From my brief research, this is what I know about purchasing a healthy mattress:

  • BFRs are toxic chemicals that are legally required to be added to fabrics like pajamas and furniture like mattresses to stop them from burning in a fire. (As a precaution, I’ve replaced my cute flannel pjs with organic cotton t-shirts and pants.)
  • Organic mattresses made with pesticide-free organic fabric and batting and wool or natural latex foam rubber without chemical flame retardants are ideal.
  • Many manufacturers claim to sell organic mattresses but they are not all non-toxic. i.e. Wool is fire-retardant so it does not have to be sprayed with brominated fire retardants (BFRs’), but sometimes wool is sprayed with arsenic.
  • Avoid metal springs and metal bed frames which are EMF conductors.
  • In California you may need a doctor’s prescription to buy organic cotton futons without flame retardants. e.g. Heart of Vermont.
  • I plan to look into several companies: The Naturepedic brand, a local Berkeley company called Savvy Rest, and Samina which I also saw listed at the SF Green Fest a few years ago.

Next
Step 3: Set A Regular Sleep Schedule & Night Time Routine
Step 4: Stay Asleep

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How To Go To Sleep Earlier And Stay Asleep | Follow A Sleep Routine

Previous
Intro: Sleep Training For Night Owls
Step 1: Reset Circadian Rhythm
Step 2: Create A Sleep Sanctuary

Do not reproduce without written permission.Step 3: Follow A Sleep Routine

When I sleep earlier, I sleep deeper, wake less during the night, and enjoy more productive daylight hours the following day.

However, I have to work harder to shift my sleep schedule because my body’s circadian rhythm was disrupted from mercury toxicity, and later I learned cell tower radiation.

Because our bodies like consistency, I prepare for sleep by shutting down neocortex stimulation with the following nightly routine:

1. Set an ongoing alarm. At 7 p.m. a nice melody plays. I boil water in a glass tea-pot and steep a bag of chamomile tea. While I wait, it gives me time to finish whatever I was doing.

2. Start darkness therapy: turn off the tv, computer, and any lights with blue.

3. Take magnesium glycenate (away from other minerals that may compete for absorption) for nutritional deficiency, not for sleep, although it may help with both. Take a probiotic supplement sometimes.

4. Brush & floss.

5. Practice relaxation: meditation or lavender aromatherapy or  yoga DVD or read a non-stimulating book.

6. Prep the bedroom: temperatures below 72 degrees are said to be ideal for melatonin production (I believe that the cooler room temp is because REM cycles can be reduced if it is too hot and the temperature or sweating wakes one up?) However, I cannot fall asleep until my body is warm so in colder months I use a hot glass water bottle. Since amalgam removal, my body temp is up a full degree and that has helped along with sauna therapy.

7. I used to run a HEPA air purifier. Indoor air quality is important for health and for improved sleep. As an added bonus, the air purifier acts as a “white noise machine” and filters out neighbors. However, artificial white noise from sound machines can create a cortisol response in the body.

8. Breath deeply — I like Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 Breath — and tell myself to have sweet dreams!

It is also important for those still using Wi-Fi, to turn it off at least when not in use like when sleeping and keeping all electronics out of the bedroom.


Next

Step 4: Stay Asleep

How To Go To Sleep Earlier And Stay Asleep | Staying Asleep

Previous
Intro: Sleep Training For Night Owls
Step 1: Reset Circadian Rhythm
Step 2: Create A Sleep Sanctuary
Step 3: Follow A Sleep Routine

Do not reproduce without written permission.Step 4: Staying Asleep

As I shared in Step 2: Create A Sleep Sanctuary, I believe the most important step in quality sleep is eliminating environmental pollution, like Wi-Fi and EMF.

In my case, I still wake for two reasons:

  1. To pee. Did you know that mercury toxic people pee more frequently than non-toxic people?
  2. To take frequent-low-doses of ALA to get mercury out of my brain three nights a week.

My solutions:

  • Limit consuming liquids in the evening.
  • Try to not to stimulate my brain with thoughts or artificial lights. That means never turning on a light or checking emails, social media, or text messages at night.

But what if one still wakes up during the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep?

During my research, I read that a drop of Kava Kava at night can help a person stay asleep. However, according to Cutler, mercury toxic patients do not do well with it. And more importantly, although Kava Kava is a herb and not a pharmaceutical drug, it is still a band-aid and not a root cause remedy.

So what does one do to find the root cause? IMO, sleep troubles are symptoms — the body literally saying “Wake up! Something is not right.” I believe that as people age, it may become difficult to sleep through the night AND go back to sleep because “aging” means bio-accumulation of toxins. In many cases, Electro Magnetic Radiation from modern day technology  effects the hormonal system (estrogen, cortisol, melatonin, etc) and is worth investigating.

So in order to find the root cause and then detox or supplement appropriately, I would work with a holistic / functional doctor to test (not guess!). And the good news is that most of these tests are appropriate for identifying many health challenges, not just the inability to sleep through the night or fall back to sleep. Here are a few examples:

  • Heavy metal toxicity. Test: Doctor’s Data Metals and Essential Elements. Fairly inexpensive and non-invasive hair test.
  • The liver (specifically enzymes). Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep is a classic sign of adrenal fatigue. This, for example, can start with a taxed liver. When the liver is not able to keep up with detoxification, the body has higher inflammation and needs more cortisol from the adrenals. So before addressing hormones, I would work to clear the liver.
  • Adrenals. Test: Sanesco / NeuroLab’s Adrenal Hormones Profile test measured salivary cortisol 4x/day and DHEA 2x/day. I thought the test was worth doing at lest once to see if my body’s cortisol was out of whack. My results were within normal ranges and I’m not so sure I would pay to re-test unless there were symptomatic reasons to do so.
    • I heard a doctor who tests DHEA sulfate blood and thinks it is more accurate along with supplementing DHEA to help with adrenal support if DHEA is low. Everyone is different, but I would prioritize daily lifestyle changes first before supplementation — meditation, moderate exercise, food choices, and resetting circadian rhythm as discussed in the past few posts.
  • Sex hormones. Test: Still looking…
  • Thyroid. Test: At minimum T3, T4, RT3, thyroid antibodies & TPO blood serum test.
  • Insulin. Balancing insulin levels throughout the day with less sugar, carbs, and stress is important. Some people may even need to eat a bit (1 to 2 ounces) of the right high-protein snack (e.g. hard-boiled eggs, cheese, or nuts) before bed-time to balance insulin and stay asleep.
  • GI.
    • Parasite Test: Doctor’s Data Fecal. Parasites poop between 1-3 a.m. and wake their hosts up.
    • Allergy Test: Blood serum IGE test. I know someone who had intestinal pains that kept her up at night. She finally gave up soy milk, tofu and other soy sources and was able to sleep better.
  • Nutrient deficiencies. Test: Genova NutrEval

Next
Why I No Longer Use A Cell Phone, Tablet, Or Wi-Fi

Electro Magnetic Radiation: Why I No Longer Use A Cell Phone, Tablet, And Wi-Fi

Thank You For Not Radiating

I rarely use a cell phone today. If you told me I would be writing this a few years back, I would not have believed it myself.

I love technology and the convenience, and efficiency that come along with it. But when my body hit its toxic load a few years ago, it could not handle any additional toxic burdens. At the time, I did not know my body had mercury poisoning galvanized by RF radiation from a very powerful cell tower with four antennas placed less than 200 feet from my home.

In this post, I share a few key lessons I learned that helped me understand the complex topic in order to avoid or reduce symptoms like brain fog, headaches, and fatigue caused by every day radiation:

  • Is Cell Phone Radiation Like Second Hand Smoke?
  • What Is Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)?
  • Simple Steps For Avoiding or Eliminating EMR

Is Cell Phone Radiation Like Second Hand Smoke?

Most of us have cell phones. But what most of us do not know is that cell phones may be carcinogenic:

The World Health Organization classified radio-frequency EMF as a Class 2B probable carcinogen in 2011.

And not just to the cell phone user. Six years ago, I read the article quoted below. If you click on the link you will see the photo of a cell phone next to a cigarette pack. Just as non-smokers breath in secondhand smoke and take in nicotine and toxic chemicals, anyone within ~15 feet of a cell phone is radiated. What is more alarming is the potential impact of the cell phone on the user:

Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Earlier this winter, I met an investment banker who was diagnosed with a brain tumor five years ago…. He explained that the tumor was located just behind his right ear and was not immediately fatal—the five-year survival rate is about 70 percent. He was 35 years old at the time of his diagnosis and immediately suspected it was the result of his intense cell-phone usage…When Jim asked his neurosurgeon, who was on the staff of a major medical center in Manhattan, about the possibility of a cell-phone-induced tumor, the doctor responded that in fact he was seeing more and more of such cases—young, relatively healthy businessmen who had long used their phones obsessively…A handful of Jim’s colleagues had already died from brain cancer; the more reports he encountered of young finance guys developing tumors, the more certain he felt that it wasn’t a coincidence. “I knew four or five people just at my firm who got tumors,” (2)

If that’s not enough to give one pause for thought, recently, the NIH study confirmed the connection with cell phone use and brain tumors:

Cell Phone Radiation Boosts Cancer Rates in Animals; $25 Million NTP Study Finds Brain Tumors U.S. Government Expected To Advise Public of Health Risk

So the next question is, what is it about cell phones that makes them a possible cancer-causing toxin? The short answer is that cell phones emit electromagnetic radiation and that radiation damages all living cells.


What Is Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)?

EMR (a.k.a. EMF) is radiant energy released from anything electrical. The radiation can stress or damage DNA in all living cells, including those in humans, animals, and plants. The damage is based upon the radiation’s proximity, power, and frequency.

Here is another way to think about it: Water containing minerals can conduct electrical energy. The human body is approximately 3/4 mineralized water and therefore collects & conducts electrical frequencies. That is why, for example, x-rays and EKG’s (electrocardiograms) are used in hospitals to measure what is happening within the human body.

The problem is that we are now living in a technologically advanced world where it is almost impossible to avoid the damaging electrical frequencies from cell phones, cell towers, and wi-fi. And while most of us are too busy or do not understand how the invisible and silent radiation is harming us, there are plenty of non-industry funded scientific studies that say otherwise.  (See the Bioinitiative report for more scientific info.)

For simplicity, there are four types of EMR exposure that were important for me to understand in order to gain back my health:

  1. Radio-frequency (RF) radiation: Radiation emitted from cell towers, wi-fi modems / routers, and wireless devices such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and DECT cordless phones.
  2. AC Magnetic Fields (MF): Electrical sources like high voltage power lines, transformers on the street, cell phones, tablets, laptops, electric blankets, and appliances with transformers like clock radios, laptop plugs, or power cables.
  3. AC Electronic Fields (EF) like wiring in the wall.
  4. Dirty Electricity (EMI) from sources like dimmer switches, CFLs, and solar inverters. All of these types of electro-pollution can damage cells and cause environmental illness (EI).

It took me a while to understand each type of EMR and keep them straight. Learning how to measure EMR with different meters (see below) helps as does trying different ways to shield and avoid radiation. But to be honest, until one is forced to avoid radiation due to symptoms, it might seem untrue, foreign, or not worth the time. All I can say is that I wish I had known that taking a few simple steps could have prevented me from hitting my radiation toxic-load. I share some of those steps here.


Tips For Avoiding or Reducing EMR

Tip #1: Keep cell phone use to a minimum

  • Keep the cell phone on airplane mode. Cell phones on standby mode still emit strong radiation intermittently.
  • Turn call forwarding on the cell phone and route calls to a corded land line when at home. (Text messages do not forward so I use Google Voice on my wired desktop.)
  • For special situations, turn airplane mode off AND then turn bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular data off. Phone calls and text messages work with less radiation, but the internet and most apps will not work unless cellular data is turned on.
  • Use the speaker phone with the phone at a distance or a corded air tube headset instead of wired headsets, wireless headsets, and bluetooth.
  • Follow safety guidelines when using a cell phone. e.g. Use the cell phone in areas with good reception (aka full bars) and avoid using blue tooth and cell phones in the car, elevator, or metal stairwells. RF can create reflections and bounce around inside the metal enclosures.

Tip #2: Create A Sleep Sanctuary and Wire The Home

  • Sleeping in an EMR-free environment is one of the most important things I did for healing and recovery. Read how to create a sleep sanctuary here.
  • If Wi-Fi routers must be used instead of ethernet wires:
    • Turn the router off when sleeping or not in use
    • Turn down the transmission
    • Comcast customers can call and ask them to turn off the Hot Spot
  • Turn off all wireless devices, bluetooth, and Wi-Fi or put on airplane mode.
  • Opt out of electric “Smart Meters” and avoid “smart” devices like home thermostats, security systems, TVs, Google Home, Amazon Eco, Sonos, smart watches, fitness watches, etc…
  • Replace cordless “DECT” phones
  • Ditch the microwave oven
  • Use infrared remotes over RF remotes for the tv, shades…
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
    • Exception 1: refrigerator — since this cannot be unplugged without effecting food, try not to stand next to it for long and do not have a bed behind it in an adjacent room.
    • Exception 2: oven — stand at an angle when cooking on an electric stove. And with any stove, keep a safe distance from the control panel and clock if at waist level.

Tip #3: Limit flying, driving and outside exposure

  • Cell towers / antennas line the freeways and emit high amounts of RF.
  • Avoid electric cars or measure the EMR to make sure it is not too high.
    • I have heard hybrid vehicles emit more EMR than non-hybrid vehicles. However, 1) I do not feel EMR discomfort in my hybrid, 2) My certified electrician and EMR specialist drives the same make and model hybrid, and 3) I have yet to find a video or study measuring EMR pollution in a hybrid.
  • Avoid going to the mall, sitting in coffee-shops, movie theaters, large public gatherings, or other venues with strong Wi-Fi or cell towers, balanced equally with enjoying life.

Appendix

From my research, I found it helpful to know that some governments outside of the U.S. are more advanced in addressing radiation exposure limits. For example, in France, Wi-Fi has been removed from public schools. Several families have sued and won against telecom corporations and their radiating cell towers. In the U.S., the FCC has passed laws (i.e. The 1996 Telecom Act), that make it illegal for anyone to sue Telecom companies on the basis of environmental effects from cell towers. (This has somehow been translated as health effects?) I suggest doing your own research. To help, I’ve listed a few links below as a starting point:

Helpful Meters
1. Radio Frequency ~$346 + S&H: Currently using the Accoustimeter from SLT.co. Will add link.
2. Magnetic Fields ~$299.95 + S&H: Switchable Single Axis And 3-Axis Gaussmeter
3. Electric Fields ~$159.95 + S&H: Line Noise Meter
4. Dirty Electricity: Greenwave (also sold under Alpha Labs). Will add link soon.

Resource Links
bioinitiative.org
electromagnetichealth.org
emrsavvy.com
emfanalysis.com
emfcenter.com
healthandenvironment.org
microwavenews.com
report: Electromagnetic Radiation Hypersensitivity 

Videos Worth Watching
1. TakeBackYourPower.Net
2. Ted X Talk by a Bay Area engineer (only 16 minutes long and a great primer)

3. CBC Marketplace Video “The secret inside your cellphone”. 22 minute investigation on cellphone radiation asking 1. Are cell phones safe and 2. do consumers have enough information on how to use cell phones safely?

Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR): Setting Up A Home Office Without Wi-Fi

Get Wired!

GetWiredBG

Did you eliminate hardwire cables for the convenience and aesthetics of wireless? And did you ditch your home landline when you realized that owning a cell phone made paying for two lines redundant? Like most people, I did too.

However, if you’ve read my other posts on How to Get to Sleep Earlier or Why I No Longer Use a Cell Phone, you know that I have given up Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) to reduce radiation exposure and symptoms. In my case, less fatigue, brain fog, and headaches have made the time it took to research, modify my home, and change my habits worth the effort.

For those wanting to get wired, this is where I share products I personally use to reduce radiation in my home office:

I. Hard-wiring the home office
II. Wired telephone service


I. Hard-wiring The Home Office

ModemRouter © BeGutsy.com

Obihai VOIP, Surfboard Modem, & Netgear Router

A. Internet Access – typically a modem and router are needed to access the internet. Sometimes these devices come combined in one device. And sometimes only a router is needed, like in modern condos with built-in wiring.

  1. Set up – in my case, I use a separate modem and router (NETGEAR N750) that are compatible with my internet service provider, Comcast, with the following set up:

2. Benefits this router has a button on the front right corner to turn off Wi-Fi functionality so no Radio Frequency (RF) radiation is emitted. Here are additional benefits:

  • Faster internet speed. (Gamers often use ethernet cables for this reason).
  • Better security.
  • Reduced long-term expenses: It costs $10/month to rent the modem / router device from my internet provider. After around fifteen months my modem and router were paid off.
  • Your personal modem & router cannot be used as a “hotspot” for other Comcast users.

However, if you still prefer to rent a combo modem and router from Comcast, ask Comcast to  disable your xfinitywifi public hotspot by following the directions below or calling an agent 800-934-6489.

  • Comcast says the hotspot can be re-enabled if the modem is reset due to a power outage, IP address changes, or system refresh, etc. so it is not possible to permanently opt-out.
  • I’ve heard that they don’t always disconnect the hotspot when requested. Look at available Wi-Fi connections on your computer or “smart” phone before calling to see what hotspots are available and make sure after calling (they say it can take up to 24 hours) that the specific hotspot is no longer listed.
  • Another way to check for local Xfinity hotspots can be found on Comcast’s map, however I do not believe all hotspots are listed there.
  • I have heard that AT&T does not have the option for customers to disconnect their hotspots if using their rented devices.

How to Turn XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot Off – My Account Help

In addition to your private WiFi network, select Comcast-provided wireless gateways broadcast a public hotspot called xfinitywifi that extends the XFINITY WiFi network into your home, allowing any XFINITY Internet subscriber to connect to it there.

We encourage you to keep the XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot feature enabled, as it allows more people to enjoy the benefits of XFINITY WiFi.

This xfinitywifi WiFi signal is completely separate from your private XFINITY WiFi home network and won’t slow down your home broadband connection.

To learn how to enable or disable your XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot, please read the instructions below.

Disable the XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot Feature in My Account

  1. Go to https://customer.xfinity.com/#/settings/security/hotspot.
  2. Sign in to your account using your XFINITY username and password.
  3. Click Turn Off to disable your public hotspot. (Note: Your default hotspot status is enabled.)
    Home Hotspot Turn on or Turn off screen
  4. Confirm your selection.
    Hotspot confirmation pop up.
  5. A confirmation message will appear.
    Hotspot confirmation screen

Note: If you are presented with information about XFINITY WiFi but do not see the option to Turn On or Turn Off, you have a device that is not eligible for the feature and is not broadcasting a public hotspot signal. To learn more about the home hotspot feature, to find a hotspot near you, or to download the XFINITY WiFi Hotspots app, visit xfinity.com/wifi.

3. Alternative Solutions – if you cannot replace your existing modem & router, or if Wi-Fi must be on during non-sleep hours

a. turn the router off at night when sleeping with one of the following:

b. turn down the RF transmission to 25%, 50% or 75% if possible (log in to the router’s manufacturer website as you would to initially set the router up).

c. If it’s not possible to turn down the router transmission:

  • Place the router in room farther away
  • Place the router in a metal media cabinet
  • Purchase a router guard and place the router inside

B. Ergonomic Desk With Less EMR – in addition to reducing the radiation from RF, it was important to reduce the radiation exposure from Electric Fields (EF) and Magnetic Fields (MF)

  1. Computer, Keyboard & Mouse – Using an external wired keyboard and wired mouse creates distance from a computer or laptop and prevents EF & MF from flowing directly into the body. For that reason, I never use a laptop on my lap either.
  • In order to do this, I purchased a desk clamp with an extension for the laptop and separate monitor (see photo above) creates more desktop space and makes it possible to add an external wired keyboard.
  • Move all power-strips, plugs with attached transformers, and the lamp as far from the body, legs and feet as possible.

2. Printer – most printers with Wi-Fi emit radiation when turned on and in standby mode or just simply plugged in and not powered on. (Same for gaming consoles).

  • An ethernet cable can be used to connect the printer and computer, but Wi-Fi RF radiation may still be emitted. A RF meter can be used to verify.

3. Tablets – it is possible to use an ethernet wire adaptor with a tablet, iPhone, and some newer android phones in airplane mode without Wi-Fi. The devices will still emit EF & MF so it would be best to use a stand in lieu of holding the device while using it.

  • I personally use a wired computers for 99% of my digital work and do not use a tablet except to play downloaded videos or music from a distance.
  • I did purchase a 6″ Kindle for reading books. That Kindle is the only model I know of that does not emit measurable amounts of EMF / RF when used in airplane mode.

4. Wired Telephone – my main criteria for the wired telephone was the ability to plug in an external headset, volume control, speaker phone, and no electrical source required (except batteries for the caller ID).

  • Panasonic is one of the few options with external headset jacks. It was only available for purchase from online retailers: Corded Panasonic phone & a Corded Panasonic phone with caller ID.
  • I use a shielded cord plugged in to the telephone jack and either the wall jack or VOIP device (see below).
  • And a Plantronics headset with adjustable volume control that plugs in to the side of the telephone. (Note: The first headset I purchased did not have volume control and even with the volume control on its lowest setting on the telephone, the volume was too loud) & ear tube headset that works fairly well (link coming soon).
  • Avoid cordless “Digitally enhanced cordless technology” (DECT) phones as they emit RF radiation — the base station constantly transmits signals, even when no one is talking on the phone.

II. Wired Telephone Services

There are several telephone services I explored when I stopped using my cell phone at home:  Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service and traditional copper landline service.

With these options there is no charge for me to forward cell phone calls to my landline phone number. That enables me to turn my cell phone on airplane mode when at home and still receive phone calls.

Text messages cannot be forwarded unless an app is used, so I work around this by texting from my computer using a Google Voice number.

Option 1: Obihai VOIP Device + Google Voice (GV) Number:  Obihai OBi202 device for two lines (or an OBi101 with one line) and my existing GV number.

1. Upside

  • One time cost for VOIP device.
  • GV can ring to multiple devices at the same time, including my cell phone, land line phone, and desktop computer. 3. Minus the cost of privacy, GV is free to use.
  • Voicemail and text messages are accessible once logged in to Google.com/Voice on the computer. Both can be forwarded to a google email account as well.

2. Downside

  • Router must always be on.
  • No home telephone service if the internet goes down.
  • EF can travel from the Obihai, through the telephone wire, to the telephone. To address this I connected  a USB grounding cable wire from the Obihai to the surge-protected power strip.
  • Obihai (or Google Voice) drops calls a few times a month and needs to be rebooted by unplugging the power source briefly and plugging it back in.
  • The first time I tried to port a number from a different google email account, it did not go through correctly and there is no live customer service.

3. Notes

  • Obihai is well integrated with Google Voice. In 2014 there was concern that GV was dropping Obihai integration. Reviews discussed this issue quite a bit. It did not happen, and if it does in the future, using this option was less expensive than having a copper wired service for two months.
  • It is easier if you just use a Google Voice number and not a separate cell phone number. However, I did not want to have to give a new phone number out so my immediate circle knows to call, email, or text my Google Voice number since I do not check text messages on my cell phone often.
  • Update: Google Voice was updated in 02/2017 to allow for group text messaging and photos. Yay!
  • Google Voice can be used without a VOIP device or corded landline telephone. Just purchase a USB headset and mic for your computer or just use the computer mic. However, the computer must always be on / not on sleep mode to receive incoming calls.

4. Set Up

  • Shielded cat 7 cable to connect the Obihai device into to a router / broadband connection
  • USB grounding cable to connect the Obihai to an electrical outlet or surge protector. (Purchased from my local EMF electrician.)
  • Shielded telephone line cord  to connect the Obihai device and corded telephone.
  • Register with the ObiTALK portal, add OBi device and use the configuration wizard to set-up the OBi with your Gmail username + password, and start making calls! (May need to sign-in to Google Voice – select “Settings” link in the upper right corner of the window and then choose “Voice Settings.” On the “Phones” tab, check the box next to the “Forwards to: Google Chat.”)
  • *For more detailed information and latest updates, please see Obihai and Google Voice

Option 2: Copper Wire / Fiber-Optics

I also re-activated my home phone number on a copper wire land line telephone with a local service provider. Telephone jacks were previously wired into my apartment so all I had to do was have AT&T send a technician to make sure the wires were still connected in the media room to their external hub. Unfortunately, in newer homes and condos, copper wire options are not always available.

1. Upside

  • No VOIP device needed.
  • Do not have to leave the router on to use it.
  • The phone line works even if the electricity, internet, or cable goes down.

2. Downside

  • Cost: AT&T in my area ranges from $50-70 / month. To compensate for the expense, I reduced my cell phone data plan by almost the same amount when I used this option.
  • Activation appointment needed

3. Notes

  • AT&T has a policy named “2020” that states that they will phase out their copper networks or legacy systems, in 2020
  • Frontier has submitted an application for the acquisition of Verizon’s landline network that will be voted on by the end of 2015
  • Sonic – a Bay Area Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) company has been replacing AT&T copper wires with fiber optic wires. Sonic provides internet service using fiber optic cables / copper wires plus free landline telephone service with voicemail. I do not have the option of using Sonic, but I would if I could.

Option 3: Cable VOIP (I did not try this option.)

1. Upside

  • May be less expensive than a copper wire landline service
  • Easy to add this service to an existing internet / cable service provider for a monthly fee

2. Downside

  • Cost
  • Will only work if the internet is working

My Experience Treating Social Anxiety Symptoms: Copper Toxicity Or Pyroluria?

Anxious & Depressed?

After much research and experimentation, I do not think my body has pyroluria.

However, understanding the science behind treating pyroluria has been helpful in alleviating mild anxiety naturally, without the complications and side-effects typical of pharmaceutical drugs.

Below is my take on pyroluria, copper toxicity, zinc deficiency, diagnosing pyroluria, and my anxiety theory. I share how I supplement in the next post.


Pyroluria, Copper Toxicity, Or Zinc Deficiency?

“Low levels of the mineral zinc and vitamin B6 are frequently associated with a type of anxiety characterized by social anxiety… and bouts of depression.” – Trudy Scott

Briefly, pyroluria is a genetic chemical imbalance that results in faulty red blood cell synthesis and metabolism. In those individuals with pyroluria, the excessive amounts of the faulty bi-products (pyrroles) created when red blood cells are made circulate in the blood in the body and bind to or inhibit zinc, pyroxidine (vitamin B6), and other important compounds. The depletion of zinc and B-6 impacts the nervous system and brain which can then lead to anxiety. (See bonus info below for the long science version of what happens in the body).

So with pyroluria, too much zinc is depleted which can lead to copper toxicity. That is because copper and zinc have a relationship where the increase of one causes the other to decrease: when there is too much zinc in the body, there can be a copper deficiency. Inversely, when there is too much copper in the body, this can lead to zinc deficiency.

Copper is an essential trace mineral. This means copper is essential for our bodies to function. Copper aids in the formation of red blood cells, bone, and hemoglobin, and is essential to nerve health, elastin, healing, melanin. Copper toxicity can result in a number of problems including: estrogen dominance, PMS, candida yeast infections, depression, anxiety disorder, chronic fatigue, migraines, liver toxicity, thyroid conditions, and much more, including pyrrole disorder. (Vicious cycle!)

Zinc, also an essential trace mineral, helps cells in the body communicate with each other, and activates hundreds of enzymatic reactions fundamental to life, including brain and nervous system functions, as well as hormone regulation. All of these areas are effected when there is a zinc deficiency.

Well guess what micronutrients are used to treat pyroluria? Zinc, gamma-linolenic acid, (e.g. primrose oil which helps with the absorption of the zinc), and vitamin B6.


Diagnosing Pyroluria

To rule out if my body had pyroluria, I looked into testing via urine lab tests. However, many practitioners I listened to online said they often found false negative results from those tests because what is tested is fragile / unstable.

I listened to The Anxiety Summit hosted by Trudy Scott and read her book. In lieu of pyrole testing, she recommends 1. taking her revised questionnaire from Carl Pfeiffer to help diagnose pyroluria and 2. taking a zinc challenge test.

I took the questionnaire and scored relatively high. But in hindsight, I believe that the questionnaire is more helpful at identifying anxiety, introversion tendencies, and a need to further test. e.g. copper toxicity / zinc deficiency, heavy metals burdens, EMF radiation, and mold exposure.

Pyroluria Questionnaire Example Indicators:

  • For women, belonging to an all-girl family or having look-alike sisters.
  • Poor dream recall, stressful or bizarre dreams, or nightmares (low B6).
  • Joints popping,cracking,or aching; pain or discomfort between the shoulder blades; or cartilage problems (low zinc).

My small wellness support group happens to be all women from all-girl families. I asked Trudy why all-girl families are an indicator of pyroluria and she said that one of the early researchers, Carl Pfeiffer, made the observation: “We now know that in pyroluric families boys are often miscarried.” I don’t think my mother ever miscarried so maybe there is more to it?

UPDATE: This year, Dr. William J. Walsh, PhD, FACN, author of Nutrient Power was interviewed on The Anxiety Summit. I found his information to be very helpful and wish I had learned more from him before prior to using any Pyroluria protocol.


My Anxiety Theory

At the height of chronic mercury poisoning, I experienced some mild depression. I felt sad, cold, and lonely — and yet I did not want to socialize. In fact, it was difficult to leave my house on my own some days. This is sometimes referred to as “sickness syndrome”. Like when an injured animal finds a safe cave to hide away in while it heals.

My working theory now is that electromagnetic radiationheavy metal poisoning, and mold exposure from food were the root cause of my mild depression and anxiety symptoms and not pyroluria:

  • Cell tower RF radiation can cause mercury (and copper) to leak out of dental fillings in teeth and into the body and brain at least twice as fast.
  • Excess copper from amalgams also galvanize mercury in “silver” fillings and thus flood both metals into the body and brain faster. (As a result, my shiny black hair started turning a copper brown color. I learned that this is a signal that my body was having a problem with excess copper and insufficient zinc.)
  • High levels of mercury in the body causes copper retention. As mentioned above, excess copper can lead to a zinc deficiency.
  • Heavy metal exposure (along with stress, poor digestive health, alcohol, smoking, drugs) can increase blood pyrrole levels. One reason is red blood cells become defective because mercury sits on the same receptor sites as oxygen. This prevents red blood cells from working at full capacity. The body has to degrade those red blood cells AND create more which in turn produces extra pyrrole by-product.
  • Mercury also damages cells, and chews through vitamins, minerals, and co-factors in order to detox it from the body, and creates a problem called deranged mineral transport (mercury sits on receptor cells preventing minerals from working in the body). This hampered my body’s immune system and caused leaky gut cells & a leaky blood brain barrier — allowing things like mold and parasites to go where they should not go. Parasite herbal cleansing helped.
  • Both zinc and vitamin B6 are important cofactors in the methylation cycle. Deficiencies reduce levels of glutathione which is important for the detoxification of heavy metals. So when zinc and B6 are depleted, the detoxification pathways can be overwhelmed and ineffective.
  • Supposedly, pyroluria requires supplementing zinc, GLA, and B6 for life. However, I quickly ended up with B6 toxicity and my zinc RBC and ceruloplasmin have tested in range without continued supplementation. And copper tested very low for several years on my hair tests after all the zinc supplementation and that I believe caused other problems:

Symptoms of Cu deficiency include: elevated cholesterol, increased inflammatory responses, anemia, bone and collagen disorders, reproductive failure, and impaired immunity. Possible reasons for a Cu deficiency include: intestinal malabsorption, insufficient dietary intake,molybdenum excess,zinc excess, and chelation therapy. Cu status is adversely affected by excess of antagonistic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and manganese. (From Doctor’s Data Heavy Metal Hair Test)

Who knew avoiding EMF would help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms!@#$ And as much as I love technology, I learned that there are much safer and healthier ways to use tech in the home.


Final Thoughts

While I always wanted blonde or brown colored hair growing up, I am happy to report that my hair is growing in shiny black again. In hindsight, I believe my body did not have a pyrole disorder.

I actually have some regret about trying the pyroluria supplementation protocol without taking the pyrole urine test first. Recently I learned that Dr. Walsh recommends testing with three other labs in a specific way. (Dr. Klinghardt also recommend pyrole urine testing in a very specific way to address the fragility via Vitamin Diagnostics ~$55). Testing and monitoring RBC zinc and RBC copper, vitamin B6, and essential fatty acids is also a must!

This journey, even as natural as I have tried to take it, seems like taking one step forward, two steps back. Even after several years of not supplementing with the pyroluria protocol, I have to avoid taking B6 to avoid nerve toxicity. That means I have to make my own B-complex with all of the other B vitamins except B6 because all multi-vitamins or B complex vitamins I have looked at have quite a lot. I write more about it in part 2: Supplementation For Social Anxiety + My Lessons Learned.


Appendix

The Science of Pyroluria

1. For perspective, two million red blood cells are made by our bodies per second. Hemoglobin is synthesized in a complex series of steps (1):

a. Heme, synthesized in the spleen, is a component of hemoglobin.
b. A heme group consists of an iron ion bound in the center of a porphyrin ring, which consists of four pyrrole molecules.
c. These pyrroles, involved in this formation of heme, are metabolite by-products, also known as hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2-one (HPL).
• HPL is problematic because it may decrease heme levels. Low levels of heme result in an excess production of nitric oxide — a toxic free radical. Free radicals can damage and destroy your cells — a.k.a. oxidative stress.
• HPL can also damage the brain, nerves, cells, and tissue.
d. Those with healthy genes have few pyrroles in their system at any given time.

2. In people with a faulty inherited condition, too many pyrroles are produced during hemoglobin synthesis.

a. When pyrroles are elevated, the excessive amounts circulate in the blood in the body and bind to or inhibit zinc, pyroxidine (vitamin B6), and biotin (vitamin B7), manganese, archidonic acid, and other important compounds.
b. Pyrroles, zinc, and B6 are excreted in large amounts in the urine, depleting the vital nutrients.
• A depletion of zinc and B-6 has direct implications on the function of the nervous system and brain. (2)
• Zinc, B6, and biotin, are all required for heme production, as well, causing a circular problem.

3. Heme degradation: When red cells reach the end of their life due to aging or defects, they are broken down in the spleen. The hemoglobin molecule is broken up, and the iron gets recycled. When the porphyrin ring is broken up, the fragments are normally secreted as a yellow pigment called bilirubin [~and pyrroles?], which is secreted into the intestines as bile. (1)

Outstanding Questions

If you can answer questions or add to the conversation, please leave feedback below:

1. Are pyrroles elevated in the synthesis of red blood cells only in people with pyroluria genes but not in people without? Or do the toxins like heavy metals turn on the faulty genes?

2. Do the extra pyrroles floating around cause anxiety if there is not enough zinc or vitamin B6 to bind to them in the body or the lack of the micronutrients used up from binding that cause the anxiety?

3. What happens biologically with pyroluria during the menstrual cycle when the body has to make more blood? On a similar note…

4. Should those with pyroluria limit blood draws? Does the body create extra pyrrole by-product when the body has to replace the blood that was taken out? I had a lot of blood draws the month before my hair starting turning copper brown so this could also have been a contributor. However, I did not have any blood drawn for almost a year and also stopped supplementing zinc and my hair started changing colors again.


Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out

Supplementation for Social Anxiety Symptoms, Copper Toxicity, And Pyroluria

Do not reproduce without written permission.Part 2: Testing & Supplementation for Anxiety

I am still pretty amazed that supplementing zinc, vitamin B6, and Gamma-linolenic acid can alleviate symptoms of social anxiety for some people.

“Low levels of the mineral zinc and vitamin B6 are frequently associated with a type of anxiety characterized by social anxiety… and bouts of depression.” – Trudy Scott

However, there are a few things I wish I had known before I took a trip down the rabbit hole:

  1. It is possible to overdose on some B vitamins and cause low copper with too much zinc.
  2. Serum testing can be helpful in determining what the body needs.
  3. What is actually causing a lot of anxiety and depression is electromagnetic radiation from the proliferation of the internet of things!

In this post, I share my notes on how I supplemented for mild anxiety. This post is my supplement protocol for mercury poisoning. And if you missed it, Part 1 covers copper toxicity & zinc deficiency, the science of pyroluria, and diagnosing — or rather mis-diagnosing  — pyroluria.


Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of supplements, none of this is a brand endorsement or recommendation, and all of it is subject to change as my body heals.

1. Zinc is an essential trace element that activates several hundred enzymatic reactions fundamental to life and biological activity. (1) A deficiency can increase intestinal permeability.

a. Zinc Tests and Indicators

  • Zinc status test using Designs For Health Liquid Zinc. The zinc tastes terrible right away if zinc levels are sufficient.
  • Genova Essential Fatty Acids Test. Zinc is necessary for the action of an enzyme involved in the fatty acid conversion. So if LA:DGLA is high, there may be a zinc deficiency. (~Yes.)
  • Serum alkaline phosphatase less than 50, or 70, possibly low zinc. (<70.)
  • Serum copper & ceruloplasmin. Serum zinc is not a good indicator.
  • Doctor’s Data Heavy Metal & Essential Elements Hair Test.
  • White spots on nails. (~No)
  • Copper color hair if normally black. (~Yes)

b. Zinc Supplements: Finding the right type of zinc, without copper, for bio-individuality is important. e.g. The wrong form may not be absorbable or cause nausea. Monomethionine or Picolinate may be more easily absorbed for pyroluria.

  • Pure Encapsulation Zinc Citrate.  (~Did not help increase zinc.)
  • Solaray OptiZinc® (as Zinc Monomethionine 30 mg 200% + B6 Pyridoxine HCl, 20 mg 1000%; Additives: magnesium stearate and whole rice concentrate.) Based on Trudy’s recs. (~Worked well, however, I can no longer supplement with it because it also has vitamin B6 – see below).
  • Another Optizinc brand. (~Accidentally purchased, nauseating. Copper?)
  • Metabolic Maintenance Zinc Picolinate 30 mg. (~TBD. Currently using in rotation several times a month and not daily.)
  • Douglas Labs Opti-Zinc 30 mg. (~TBD. Currently using in rotation.)
  • Pure Encapsulation Zinc Picolinate 30 mg. (~TBD. Currently using in rotation.)
  • Zinc is also in my multi-vitamin.

c. Other Notes

  • Zinc taken at the high levels for treating pyroluria can deplete manganese which is necessary for protein metabolism, joint development, and neurotransmitter production. (~Have not supplemented manganese and blood tests do not indicate a need so far.)
  • Food sources: oysters, shellfish such as shrimps and crab, red meat, fish, poultry, and some cheese.
  • Depleters: eating refined sugar, honey, exercise, sweating, and stress. Also many plant sources contain phytic acid which binds to zinc and prevents absorption. And excess copper from vitamins, nut flour, organic farming, IUDs, pots, amalgams, and crowns. Copper is grandfathered into organic farming — a very popular California-made EVOO, sold at stores and farmer’s markets, sprays copper on their crops, as do some avocado growers.

2. Vitamin B-6 plays a critical role in the synthesis of 5 essential neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, GABA. B-6 deficiency may alter the expression of genes. This may be due to the essential role that B-6 plays in a biochemical pathway referred to as methylation, which greatly affects DNA and RNA activities. (2)

a. B6 Tests

  • Blood work marker gamma-glutamyl transferas (GGTP) may be used to determine the cause of elevated alkaline phosphatase. If less than 10 may need B6. (~Yes.)
  • Organic Acid Test. “elevated levels of xanthurenate in the urine can indicate an insufficiency of vitamin B6, as can elevated levels of kynurenate” (~Wish-list.)
  • Serum blood test. (~Tested out of range from taking too much.)

b. Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine (not methylated) or active form, Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (100 mg pyridoxine is equivalent to 25 mg P5P). Trudy recommends 100 mg (pyridoxine) and then working up to 500 mg as needed using dream recall. “I often add in P5P 25 mg and may go up to 75 mg or 100 mg and then reduce the B6 – some people seem to do well on a combo on B6 and P5P, some just need B6 and some just need P5P.”

  • Pure Encapsulation Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate 50 mg. (~Split caps in 2-4 portions taking 1 daily for around a month. No longer taking.)
  • Optizinc by Solaray zinc with B6 Pyridoxine HCl 20 mg 1000%. (~No longer taking, see below).
  • Thorne & Pure Encapsulation B complex Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate 10 mg 500%. (~Split caps into 4 portion sizes and took daily for a few months. No longer taking, see below).

c. Other Notes

  • Supplementing B6 in large amounts can deplete magnesium levels. (~I was already magnesium deficient and supplementing).
  • Do not over-supplement vitamin B6 or B3! Too much B6 can give you peripheral neuropathy – tingling symptoms. (~I did not have tingling but my central nervous system felt stressed, had pain in my spine, etc., and a strange skin discoloration on my left hand and left ankle. Tested B6 on my annual blood test and even though I had reduced supplementation a few months back, levels were twice as high as the normal range / HIGH. Read it takes 6 months to clear!?)

We used to think that B vitamins were harmless because, like vitamin C, they’re water soluble and therefore can’t accumulate in the body as can the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). However, we now know that too high an intake of certain of the “B’s” can present problems. For example, vitamin B6 can cause nerve toxicity although it usually doesn’t cause problems in doses lower than 300 mg per day.

“High doses of niacin (vitamin B3) can also cause problems, but you’re not likely to run into trouble unless you’re taking a total of 2000 to 3000 mg per day to lower cholesterol.”

“However, if you’re taking two of the B-50 Complex…the levels of B vitamins you’ll be getting won’t be high enough to cause you trouble, even when combined, as recommended, with a multivitamin and the antioxidant formula. You’ll be getting only an additional 100 mg of B6 and 100 mg of B3.” (3)

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adult males between 19 and 50 years of age is 1.3 mg, and those over the age of 50 need 1.7 mg. Women between 19 and 50 years of age should take 1.3 mg, and those over 50 should take 1.5 mg. Dr. Weil recommends 50 mg as part of a daily B-complex supplement that contains a full spectrum of B vitamins, including thiamin, B12, riboflavin and niacin. (4)


3. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) improves the absorption of zinc. It also helps with “skin conditions like eczema, PMS, and inflammation”.

a. GLA Tests. Those with pyroluria often show low levels of GLA, as well as low DGLA, and adequate levels of EPA and DHA. (~This was true in my case except DHA was also on the low-side. Tested Essential Fatty Acids through my holistic doctor with Genova.)

b. GLA Supplements: Evening Primrose Oil (may be most effective for pyroluria), Black Currant Seed, and Borage Oil. Make sure non-GMO and hexane-free.

  • Pure Encapsulation EPO (~Take it two weeks out of monthly cycle with breakfast with zinc).
  • Pure Encapsulation Black Current Seed Oil (~In the afternoon sometimes).
  • May try BodyBio/E-Lyte or Now Brand Super Primrose.

c. Other Notes

  • EPO may increase estrogen levels. (~Need to research more).
  • Avoid fish oil supplementation. Trudy said that many people with pyroluria need omega-6 fatty acid supplementation and can get omega-3 from food like oily fish, walnuts, green veggies, and grass-fed red meat. “For people with pyroluria who are getting enough omega-3s from food, it’s important not to take them as supplements, because this can worsen symptoms if you aren’t deficient.” (~Yes, stopped taking fish oil because EPA is high on Genova test.)
  • Arachidonic acid from omega-6 deficiency may “lead to the impairment of white blood cell function, primarily the leukocytes which may lead to one being more vulnerable to infection”, neuropathy, skin eruptions, dry skin and hair, slow wound healing, hair loss, kidney dysfunction, etc. (5)

4. Iron is needed to make red blood cells, etc. “HPL also inhibits synthesis of heme explaining why people with pyroluria often also have low levels of iron or ferritin (the body’s storage form of iron and the first indicator of decreased iron levels)”. Trudy

a. Iron Tests – Serum Ferritin. And Iron.

b. Iron Supplements – Controversial to supplement iron. Taken only if low levels, well-tolerated, and helps as identified by monitored testing.

  • Thorne Research Iron Bisglycinate prescribed with vitamin C and taken two weeks out of the month (~Have not taken yet due to ).
  • Floradix is another brand often recommended. (~Tried a sample size once. No nausea but decided not to take for now.)

c. Other Notes

  • Heavy metals can contribute to anemia. They cause oxidative stress as does iron. The body may dump iron stores to try to lower this and protect itself. Chelating and increasing antioxidants, especially vitamin C helps lower oxidative stress and help increase ferritin levels.
  • Per Cutler: Ferritin will come up as soon as you detox them enough that the body doesn’t have to dump iron to protect itself from the mercury. Often iron goes up on its own if you use antioxidants properly. Hair iron does not reflect body stores. The most absorbable iron is the clear red juice from cooking beef roasts. Many people like eating this soaked up into a piece of bread.
  • With the help of my holistic doctor and supplemental digestive enzymes, I have been able to digest pastured red meat and pork again after 20 years!

5. Other Micronutrients

a. Manganese: deficiency may be associated with joint pain, inflammation, and arthritis. It is essential for normal growth, glucose utilization, lipid metabolism, and production of thyroid hormone. (6)

  • Not currently supplementing.

b. Biotin: is essential for healthy brain and nervous system and “is an important factor in the production of energy in the mitochondria.” It may be associated with “depression, lethargy, hearing loss, fungal infections, muscle pain, and abnormal skin sensations such as tingling.” and ” may be evidenced by rashes, dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, brittle nails, fine or brittle hair, and hair loss.” Biotin is an important factor in the production of energy in the mitochondria. (4)

  • ~Supplemented periodically with methylated B-complexes (see above): 400 mcg, 133%

c. Niacinamide (vitamin B3): necessary for the production of tryptophan, which in turn is necessary for the production of serotonin. Helps to speed pyroluria recovery process. (3)

  • Methylated B-complexes: 130 mg as Niacinamide & 10 mg as Niacin 700%.
  • Supplementing B3 requires a fine balance like B6 or it can be toxic.

d. Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5): helps weakness and fatigue and re-building adrenal glands that have been exhausted from the tension caused by pyroluria (7)

  • Methylated B-complexes: 110 mg 1,100% as Calcium Panthothenate

e. Avoid gluten?: “pyroluria and gluten sensitivity often co-occur in people with anxiety, depression, autism, alcoholism and other addictions, bipolar disorder” etc.

f.  Avoid histamines?: Pyroluria may occur along with other imbalances like histapenia (low histamine), histadelia (high histamine).

g. Avoid amino acid supplementation: From my brief trial, I am NOT a proponent of taking amino acids to support making neurotransmitters so do not take tryptophan, 5HTP GABA, etc.


6. Vegan / Vegetarian diets often lack iron and other nutrients. Below are some of the nutrients that may be missing if one is not consuming animal protein. The deficiency can impact the body and brain. I worked with my holistic doctor to get my body to be able to digest grass-fed red meat again after being mostly vegetarian for years and share that experience in my upcoming book.

a. Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is the one nutrient that must be supplemented if not eating animal products. (Are lost fingernail orbs a sign of B-12 deficiency because I pretty much only have them on my thumbs?) Since I ate a mostly vegetarian diet for years, at the beginning of my healing crisis I supplemented quite a bit of liquid vitamin B-12 from Pure Encapsulation. It is a red color (not sure why?), had stevia, natural glycerin, sodium benzoate, and citric acid, which I did not like, but I took the trade-off until my blood levels showed improvement. I no longer supplement liquid B12 orally but I B12 is in my multi-vitamin which I take a few times a week in children size doses.

b. Choline – there are high amounts in meat, pork and eggs. So for vegetarians who eat eggs they might not have a deficiency. I was never really a fan and recently learned that I have a slight IgE allergy to eggs. So I usually only eat pastured eggs in cooked dishes and baked goods.

c. Creatine – creatine phosphate helps the mitochondria recycle ATP (energy contributor to body). It is so essential that the body will make it itself if it is not consumed, however producing it in the body uses a lot of methyl groups. Creatine is very important for methylation so this may be one reason I crave red meat more now.

d. Carnitine is important for mitochondria function — it shuttles essential fatty acids in to the mitochondria as fuel and removes them as waste. Red meat and pork are the only food source. Moving the good fat into the brain is important for making neurotransmitters, so without it one can be more depressed, anxious, have poor memory and unmotivated.


Healing Naturally = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out

Be Gutsy!

Review: The Bellicon Rebounder For Detoxing

Bellicon Rebounder BeGutsy.com

Rebounding To Detox Heavy Metals

As a gymnast, my most favorite apparatus was the long tumbling trampoline. I loved doing tumbling passes, flips, and jumps with the added bounce. So when I learned that mercury was dampening my lymphatic system, I knew that rebounding would be a great addition to my detox protocol.

Before I share which rebounder I purchased, how I use it, and when I do not use it, here is a brief look at how the lymphatic system works from Bellicon’s website:

The “lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and organs that recycles body fluid, in the form of “lymph,” as it targets and removes invading bacteria, viruses and waste. It accomplishes this by moving the thick lymph fluid through a filtering process, including passing it through lymph “nodes” to remove impurities and to allow specialized cells, called “lymphocytes,” the opportunity to attack any harmful organisms… When your lymphatic system becomes sluggish, unhealthy or fails, you become vulnerable to a wide variety of illnesses and health problems.

Our lymphatic system has no pump to circulate its fluid. It depends on enough body motion, gravity, and muscular contraction to do the job, which our normal, daily activities rarely provide. 10,000 years ago, our ancestors were chasing herds, foraging for food and providing more than enough movement to keep their lymph systems healthy. Today, we go from our beds to our cars to sitting in front of computer screens… and our lymph fluids sit, too.” 


Choosing A Rebounder

There are a plethora of rebounders, a.k.a. mini-trampolines, on the market (thankfully not as many as saunas!)

In order to make the best choice for my situation, I created a list of criteria to help with the decision process:

  • Is the bouncing low-impact? (i.e. will my knees hurt using it?)
  • Is the rebounder noiseless?
  • Where is the rebounder made?
  • Are the parts chemically safe?
  • How much does the rebounder cost?(Dollar value, durability, good value?)

I looked at many options, but narrowed the list down to three:

Option 1: I briefly considered purchasing the least expensive option, called the Stamina for around $40 as a starter rebounder that I could give away if rebounding did not feel right.  However, I knew that the steel springs would bother my temporary joint / ligament knee pains from heavy metal poisoning and that it would be on the louder side.

Option 2: The 39″ Jumpsport was the second best option, however, reviews said it was not noiseless and it is made in China.

Option 3: The Bellicon hit all of my criteria except price. The Bellicon rebounder was around $200-$250 more than the similar 44″ Jumpsport with elastic cords.

In the middle of a healing crisis, it can be difficult to research and purchase anything, especially with doctor visits, tests and other numerous expenses. At the same time, I am a big believer in “you get what you pay for” so I knew that investing once in a well-made rebounder would be a good value IF I actually used it.

Fortunately, there was a fitness studio down the street that gives free Bellicon trials (in trade for purchase referrals). There is nothing like actually trying before buying so I very much appreciated the thoughtfulness in both companies for providing the unique trial opportunity. I took my SO along to make sure he thought it was a good purchase. We both gave it a thumbs up!


Purchasing A Bellicon Rebounder

Given space and budget constraints, I chose the Classic 44” Bellicon with folding legs, strong bungee strength, black bungees, and a pink mat (just like the photo above).

1. Rebounder Model: Classic $499 | Premium $899

~The Classic frame is steel coated with black powder-coated finish. The Premium made with stainless steel makes it largely anti-septic and the “high-tech inner thread where the legs meet the frame, makes the join firmer and more durable” (For those without space & money constraints, I would have purchased the 49” Premium Stainless Steel model with screw in legs, silver bungees, and a black-grey mat. A splurge at almost a grand $!)

2. Frame Size: 39” | 44” +$100 | 49” +$200

~Frame sizes should fit the person and the space (the inches reflect the diameter of the frame). The 44” was the most purchased size option and so I went with it. I imagine the 39” works just as well at $100 savings, but I have not done more cardio type rebounding which may be easier on a larger frame.

3. Leg Option: Screw-in legs | Fold-up legs +$50

~I chose the folding-legs so I could easily store the rebounder if needed. They are very easy to use, however, they make a VERY slight noise when jumping because the join is not as firm as the screw-in legs. If I had to buy it again, I would save the $50 and opt for the standard screw-in legs that Bellicon says takes less than two minutes to remove and less than four to attach.

4. Bungee Strength: Soft | Medium | Strong (110-200 lbs) | X-Strong | Ultra.

~For the most part, this is based on a person’s weight. (See Bellicon website for info on specific health conditions like osteoporosis.)

5. Bungee Color: Orange | Neon green | Pink | Silver | Black | Blue | Alternating.

~The colored bungees made me dizzy looking at them on the website so I went for black.

6. Mat Color : Black-orange | Black-green | Black-pink | Blue-orange |Black-grey | Black-blue.

~I love color and am happy when I see the pink ring on my rebounder. The ring is a raised layer of fabric so you can feel the edge with your feet, but a bright color makes it easier to see the edge of the jumping surface as well if you need it.

7. Price/Shipping: $729.00 Subtotal + $95.00 Shipping & Handling -$25.00 Discount = $799.00 Grand Total (Incl.Tax)

~Bellicon has had sales on major holidays and lower or sometimes free shipping options in the U.S.

Note: I list info as a reference, but please get up-to-date options and prices on the Bellicon website. And of course, work with your doctor and research your specific contraindications.


Final Thoughts

I have no regrets from this one wellness splurge — the Bellicon rebounder is easy on my knees, noiseless, made in Germany, and chemically safe. It is also easy to set up and most importantly, has held up extremely well with daily use.

  • The bungees are far superior on the joints compared to spring trampolines.
  • There is virtually no noise when bouncing on the rebounder.
  • The company says they use environmentally safe materials made in Germany and assembled in the USA.
  • I did not experience off-gassing effects or smells when I unpacked it, which was important since I need to avoid additional toxic exposure.
  • And there is really no set-up — just open the box, take the rebounder out of the plastic bag, and unfold or affix the legs. (Note: My shipping box had some holes in it resulting in several scrapes on the Bellicon frame so it is a good idea to check for shipping damages.)

How I Rebound

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have much energy for exercising these days. For one reason, mercury sits on the oxygen receptors which causes fatigue. So cardio is out of the question, as well as some of my long-time favorite workouts like yoga and Pilates. Rebounding is the one exception. It is a gentle form of getting oxygen in my body, stimulating my lymphatic system, and bringing out happy endorphins!

1. Before I start, I turn my sauna on to heat it up.

2. I don’t drink water before to prevent water from sloshing around my belly and putting pressure on my bladder (fyi: I read that incontinence is possible for women who have conceived but that in the long-run rebounding can help strengthen the bladder.)

3. Sometimes I dry skin brush.

4. I wear comfortable loose organic cotton clothes and non-slip Exersocks so the mat stays clean.

5. I like using the DVD that came with my rebounder. I follow the 20-minute beginning routine without having to think. I look outside my window at the bay, the sky, and the trees, and hummingbirds and bounce.

6. After, jumping, I hop in the sauna and drink two glasses of warm water.

7. I keep the rebounder covered when not in use so it does not get dusty. This is not recommended by the manufacturer, but I am not concerned about anyone tripping on it and I use it more because all I have to do is take off the cover and start bouncing.


When I Do Not Rebound

1. When I first received the rebounder I tried it a few times. I enjoyed bouncing but then felt terrible afterwards — similar to when I ate cilantro before I had my silver amalgams removed. I learned that rebounding with amalgams releases more mercury into the lymphatic system and should be avoided. So I stopped rebounding until after holistic amalgam removal.

2. When my body had a thallium poisoning and then mold toxicity my knees felt inflamed so I did not jump as high as normal and even took a break.

3. During herbal cleansing I was knocked off my feet for a few weeks.

Other than that, I LOVE Bouncing! Hope you will too!!

Be Gutsy!

P.S. The best thing about rebounding is that the trampoline does not need any electricity to run like other exercise equipment. Super important when trying to avoid electromagnetic radiation!!


Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out

Holistic Mercury Amalgam Removal a.k.a. Total Dental Revision (TDR)

Mercury Poisoning

Mercury is one of the most toxic naturally occurring substances known to humans.

Mercury is toxic because it can invade every single in the body and brain and damage the mitochondria. It interferes with how minerals are used (or not used) in the body. And it disrupts the endocrine system as it is a xenoestrogen (mimics estrogen in the body).

Mercury is a cumulative poison, meaning that it accumulates in the body over time. As it accumulates health can decline and manifest as different symptoms often equated with aging. When the body reaches its maximum accumulation level, the body will become impaired and the minor symptoms will become severe. From what I have learned, sometimes this shows up with aging like with Alzheimer’s, and sometimes this can happen long before, as seen in Autism.

“Mercury poisoning is the most common heavy metal problem. It is also difficult to diagnose because the exact problems it causes vary so much from person to person.” Andrew Cutler, Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities, p.81

Each person’s toxic breaking point varies:

  • We all have a unique set of genes that determine many things, including how quickly or slowly one is able to remove toxins from the body.
  • We are all exposed to different toxins at homes, schools, workplaces, and other frequented locations.

In other words, Genes + Toxic Exposure = Individual’s Bio-accumulated Toxic Load.

It took a while to figure out why my body broke down. I was always cold, had chronic illnesses, fatigue and a host of other symptoms. Thankfully I found some resources on-line and took a hair metal and elements test along with a metal fecal test that confirmed that I had a lot of mercury floating around in my body and accumulating in my tissues, organs, and bones.

Once I had identified mercury as the main toxic element in my body, the next important step was identifying where the mercury exposure was from. Because of the rise of industrial manufacturing, we are exposed to many sources of mercury: compact fluorescent light bulbs, high fructose corn syrup, dental amalgams, some vaccines, and as a bi-product of coal-burning (which pollutes our air, water, and land.)

In my case, I had mercury flooding into my body at a high rate for an extended period of time after placing a gold crown and copper-filled amalgam into my mouth that already housed six additional amalgam fillings (more in step 1 post).

“Copper fillings emit mercury fifty times faster than conventional amalgams.” Dr. Huggins

This meant I had to have all of the metal dental work removed from my mouth. Drilling the metal out is when the highest amounts of mercury can enter the body. So removing the metals safely is key to accumulating less mercury in the body and brain. And preventing autoimmune diseases or other illnesses. So I began my research into what the grandfather of holistic dentistry Dr. Hal Huggins called “Total Dental Revision (TDR).

I share my TDR experience and the 7 steps I took to get the best possible health outcome in my upcoming book. For now, you can start by reading step 1:

Step 1: Educate Myself On Holistic Dentistry
Step 2: Prepare Financially / Understand Dental Insurance
Step 3: Finding a Holistic Dentist Who Follows ALL safety removal protocols & has experience*
Step 4: Testing Heavy Metals via Doctor’s Data & Dental Product Compatibility via Biocomp*
Step 5: Creating a Detox Protocol
Step 6: Receiving Holistic Amalgam Removal
Step 7: Chelating Mercury From The Brain, Tissues, and Organs

*If I were getting a TDR done asap, I would definitely not skip these two steps*

UPDATE: Here is a recent study published this year on Radio Frequency (RF) releasing mercury from amalgams at a higher rate:

Effect of radio frequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations (Source: Study published on NIH.gov)

Background

Dental amalgam is composed of approximately 50% elemental mercury. Despite concerns over the toxicity of mercury, amalgam is still the most widely used restorative material. Wi-Fi is a rapidly using local area wireless computer networking technology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that evaluates the effect of exposure to Wi-Fi signals on mercury release from amalgam restorations.

Results

The mean (±SD) concentration of mercury in the artificial saliva of the Wi-Fi exposed teeth samples was 0.056 ± .025 mg/L, while it was only 0.026 ± .008 mg/L in the non-exposed control samples. This difference was statistically significant (P =0.009).

Conclusion

Exposure of patients with amalgam restorations to radio frequency radiation emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices can increase mercury release from amalgam restorations.

Holistic Amalgam Removal | What Is Holistic Dentistry?

Breaking Bad-ly

A few years back, I was enjoying a great life — happily married to my soul mate, pursuing the career of my dreams, and in pretty good health. And then one day my nails started shredding, I had repeat illnesses, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, to name just a few symptoms.

It took me over half a year of intense research to start to figure out what was going wrong. The root cause of illness was heavy metal poisoning. From mercury. But not mercury from eating tuna fish, or from a broken thermometer, or an industrial accident.

I had mercury toxicity from my “silver” amalgam dental fillings and “gold” crowns.

What!?! First, I never even knew that there was mercury or other toxins in those fillings. Second, how could it be possible that my dentist, the caretaker of my oral health, would knowingly put toxic metals into my mouth?


Test Don’t Guess

Do not reproduce without written permission.California has laws preventing patient’s from ordering tests or receiving results directly, so I had to find a holistic doctor.

The new holistic doctor (both western and easter trained) that I chose was well-aware of mercury toxicity and had a decade of experience working with patients in this area.

I asked her if we could order two tests from Doctor’s Data — one measuring heavy metals & minerals from hair, which reflect 3-6 months of metals and minerals in the body, and the other measuring heavy metals in a fecal specimen, which reflect recent metal levels in the body. Both test results established that my body’s mercury levels were high and had been high for some time.

Since I did not really eat seafood, or work in manufacturing, we both agreed that the most logical place to look for the source of mercury in my body was in my mouth.

Note: In addition to the two heavy metals tests, my annual blood serum profile with a Complete Blood Count (CBC) was helpful at diagnosing inflammation and more. Wish I had been able to monitor the excretion of porphyrins in urine as a way to measure the success of treatment (Huggins p.94), but had to prioritize my time and budget.


“But we know that there are two definite ways that mercury comes out of fillings: through electrical current and mercury vapor.” – Dr. Hal Huggins.

Drill, Fill, & Bill! 😦

“Silver-colored” fillings, also called amalgams, were used heavily on my generation and the previous generations to fill cavities. These fillings are actually an amalgam (a mixture) made up mostly of mercury, as well as silver, tin, and sometimes copper or other toxic heavy metals. When that mercury in the fillings mixes with saliva, it becomes methyl mercury that vaporizes into the body, possibly causing gut and cell damage, autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s, and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, MS, or Parkinson’s.

In Dr. Hal Huggin’s book, It’s All In Your Head, he explains that the American Dental Association (ADA) has always known the toxic effect of the mercury and kept this information on the down low — “Today, any dentist who mentions that mercury might be a hazard is liable (under the new dentistry commandment of “ethics”) to lose his license.” (p.15) … “in all states except California.” (p174)

But how could dentists put such toxic substances in our mouths and therefore our bodies? (FYI: Countries like Sweden have banned amalgams.) My former dentist, of almost twenty years, is part of the old school of dentistry who were trained to believe that the mercury in amalgam fillings cannot come out of the tooth and harm the body.

In 2011 my dentist upgraded offices. That year he recommended filling a small new cavity in my mouth. The content of the filling was about 50% mercury, 28% silver, 14% tin and 8% copper. In 2012, he replaced my “silver” onlay (similar to a crown) with a “gold” one. The content was 74.5% gold, 3.5% Palladium, 11.0% silver, 10.45% copper, .5% zinc and .05% Iridium. At the end of that year, my body broke down.

That is when I read Huggins book and learned:

1.”Plain mercury when not combined with anything is poisonous.” “When mercury combines with methyl groups it is called methyl mercury. Methyl mercury is 100 times more toxic than plain, elemental mercury. It is especially toxic to the brain and nerve tissue”(p. 31).

2.”Let a gold crown be placed beside an amalgam filling, though, and all kinds of electrical fury are generated.” (p26) Because “gold” crowns galvanize each “silver” filling and “porcelain” metal-infused crown, Huggins states “Under no circumstances would I now put gold in a mouth that contains amalgam.” (p115)

3. Most gold crowns and some amalgam fillings are made with copper which (p.76-78).
• “reacts adversely with over 90 percent of our populace”
• “emit mercury fifty times faster than conventional amalgams” and
• “Clinically, when a person becomes ill due to high-copper amalgam, it is extremely difficult to correct his or her disturbances…is probably the most deadly.”


Holistic Dentistry

Today, most conventional dentists have since switched to using white “porcelain” fillings made with aluminum, mainly for aesthetic purposes and possibly for financial reasons.

Other holistic / environmental dentists, have learned that the amalgams and some porcelain fillings are toxic and have switched to using biologically compatible dental material and safer removal protocols to protect themselves and their patients.

Many of the holistic dentists belong to an organization called International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT.org). The Academy has 

“chronicled and promoted the research that has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that dental amalgam is a source of significant mercury exposure, and a hazard to health. It has taken the lead in educating dentists and allied professionals in the methods of safely dealing with amalgam fillings, and safely disposing the waste.” 

However, I first learned about mercury poisoning from dental amalgams, while trying to heal my gut, from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. On her FAQ page she discusses dentistry and references dentist Dr. Hal A. Huggins, to understand how to safely remove amalgam fillings.

Both Dr. Natasha and Dr. Huggins books are extremely helpful but dense reads — heavy on the science/biology and not so easy to grasp when you have a lot of mercury on the brain.

In addition, I listened to several podcasts, read through various websites like IAOMT.org, and read another informative technical book by Andrew Cutler called Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities.


Huggin’s Protocol

The late Dr. Huggins is considered the grandfather of holistic dentistry by many. (There is some controversy over Dr. Huggins. I believe this article explains it well.) From Huggin’s book, It’s All In Your Head, I learned that removing amalgams without the proper equipment is dangerous because the highest amounts of mercury are released and absorbed into the body during the drilling and removal process. In some patients, the careless removal advances potential thyroid auto-immune disorders, like Graves or Hashimoto Thyroiditis, and other severe neurological disorders.

Making sure the biological dentist I chose followed all of the mercury safety removal protocols and had several years of experience doing it was very important to me. My biological dentist is trained by both Huggins and IAOMT and uses a combination approach for removing amalgams. We worked together to make sure she implemented more of Huggin’s protocol than she normally did.

Below are a few noteworthy steps in the Huggin’s protocol:

1. Sequential Amalgam Removal – In short, fillings have both positive and negative electrical charges on them. “If the negative fillings are removed first, the patient’s chances of improvement are good. If the positively charged fillings are removed first, leaving the negative behind, changes for success drop substantially.” (p.114).

2. Seven-Fourteen-Twenty-One-Day Immune Cycle – It is worth reading the explanation in Huggin’s book, but at a high level: “White blood cells, like all cells in your body, live a cyclical existence. Seven, fourteen, and twenty-one days after a challenge, legions of your little defense soldiers are dying off while new, inexperienced recruits are being brought in. During the changing of the guard, there is a time of reduced defense. Herein lies your susceptibility.” (p.119)

3. Complete amalgam removal within 30 days. I called the Huggins Center to find out the why behind this rule. I think the gist is that there is less burden on the immune system. In addition, once all of the mercury is out, I was able to start a full detox protocol. And, as Huggins wrote, many of his patients did not start to feel well until the last bit of amalgam was removed from their teeth. Last, “Usually within twenty-four hours of final amalgam removal, body temperature has moved [1 to 2 degrees] toward 98.6°F.”(p.122)

4. “Even if the procedures are quite short – like 15 minutes – never, never cross the midline during the same appointment. The midline is an imaginary line dividing the head into two halves at a point between the front teeth and between the eyes. Unless, of course, you are utilizing IV conscious sedation. Then you can do things upside down and backwards with no effect on the immune system.” I don’t think this rule was in Huggin’s book but it is on his website.

5. Dental Bio-compatibility Testing. This test measures serum blood against many commonly used dental products and metals. It is one of the most important tests I’ve ever taken and I am thankful I invested in it. There are two companies that offer the test. I chose Biocomp and trust their testing methodology.

Huggin’s also focused his work on the dangers of root canals and cavitations, which can lead to bacterial infections, inflammation throughout the body, and heart attacks. I only briefly explored cleaning up those areas since I had to prioritize getting the mercury out.


Next

Today I am amalgam-free and am feeling better each day. It takes several years to recover from mercury poisoning. I am continually working on healing my gut cells, addressing my body’s micronutrient imbalance from heavy metal damage, and eliminating stress and other toxins from my body and environment that wreak havoc on my weakened immune system.

I share the 7 steps I took to get the best possible health outcome in my upcoming book. My goal is to share my experience with others going through similar trials, and help prevent what happened to me from happening to others with a cohesive book that can reach more people!

Step 2: Prepare Financially / Understand Dental Insurance
Step 3: Finding a Holistic Dentist
Step 4: Testing Dental Product Compatibility With Biocomp
Step 5: Supplementation Support Protocol
Step 6: Receiving Holistic Amalgam Removal
Step 7: Detoxing & Chelating Mercury From The Brain, Tissues, & Organs

In the meantime, you can read the other related posts in my healing protocol linked below.

Be Gutsy!


Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out

Choosing Traditional, Near Infrared (NIR), or Far Infrared (FIR) Saunas To Detox Heavy Metals

Do not reproduce without written permission

How Saunas Improved My Health

There are many benefits from taking a sauna. For example:

  • Relaxation and the release of feel good endorphins
  • Increased blood flow which helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells
  • “Hyperthermic effect” — meaning a rise in body temperature that can activate detoxification and even kill some viruses and bacteria

However, choosing the type of sauna to use can be complicated!

Before I explain how I chose my sauna, here are a few of the reasons why I believe sauna detoxing was the right choice for me in recovering from mercury toxicity:

1. From testing, I have seen mercury levels in my body decrease significantly after using the sauna post holistic amalgam removal..

2. For as long as I can remember, my average body temperature was around 97.4°F and my hands, feet (& butt) always felt cold. My body hardly ever broke a sweat even when exercising. Now, my body temperature averages around 98 to 98.6°F and is not usually cold to the touch. Truth be told, I cannot sleep with socks on anymore!

3. My body sweats on its own now when I am outside of the sauna, like while sleeping, on brisk walks, cleaning my apartment, and when exercising.

Note: Contraindications, e.g. MTHFR polymorphisms, histamine issues, M.S. etc, should be considered when using any sauna along with the advice of a knowledgable physician.


Traditional, Near Infrared, or Far Infrared Sauna?

I looked into three different types of saunas before settling on a Far Infrared sauna for my home. Here are some of the factors I took into consideration for each type of sauna:

Option 1. Traditional Steam Or Dry Saunas

I was most familiar with traditional dry (and wet) heat saunas from using them at gyms and spas. Home versions are available, however, I thought the easiest option for me to sauna was to join a local gym. Although traditional saunas seem like the most natural, I chose not to go this route for several reasons:

  • I read that traditional saunas can increase circulation to the surface of the skin and cause one to sweat — similar to exercise sweat — but not as much deep toxin release from organs and tissues. (½ inch does not reach the majority of muscles and connective tissues or organs).
  • Traditional saunas operate at a high heat level so I could only stay in for a short amount of time (i.e. 10 to 15 minutes) before overheating. (And the air in a wet sauna is saturated with moisture so the body cannot cool itself by the evaporation of sweat on skin.)
  • The possible exposure to other people’s heavy metals and germs (as well as potential mold & bacteria from the moisture in a wet sauna.)
  • The cost of joining a nice gym, parking, travel time, communal showers, and gym hour restrictions.

Option 2. Near Infrared Saunas (NIR)

Dr. Wilson, who advocates NIR saunas over FIR saunas, is frequently referenced. He made NIR saunas sound both appealing and affordable:

“While traditional saunas require high temperatures for copious sweating, infrared penetrates the skin and heats from the inside as well as on the skin.”

“The infrared lamp sauna penetrates deepest due to the fact that the heat source is all concentrated in a small area, and not due to the frequencies of the energy used.”

“Near infrared is an antioxidant nutrient, activates the cells, supports metabolic processes and decouples toxins from water molecules. Near infrared is helpful for wound healing and cellular regeneration as well.”

“The bulbs emit mainly near infrared energy, with a bit of middle infrared as well. This type of sauna also provides warming and stimulating color therapy. The lights emit a small amount of red, orange and yellow visible light. These particular frequencies draw energy downward in the body and can assist the digestive and eliminative organs to some degree.”

“Far infrared saunas use metallic, ceramic or black carbon elements for heating that mainly emit in the far infrared range. The electric heating elements are spread around the sauna space. Unfortunately, all of these far infrared saunas give off stray electromagnetic fields that may be extremely harmful.”

I considered making my own NIR sauna panel with a few bulbs and clamp lamps and also looked at Dr. Wilson’s NIR sauna purchasing recommendations, however:

  • At the time, I could not find much specific NIR research, studies, or other advocates who did not refer to Dr. Wilson.
  • There were no chemically safe NIR options available for sale. (See UPDATE in next post.)
  • And I was concerned about using the NIR sauna in a closet or bathroom as chemicals from wall paint and other toxins might be absorbed more easily into a heated body.
  • I experienced a single NIR lamp at acupuncture and while I enjoyed incubating under the warmth, it did not make me sweat.
  • I read that looking at the red bulbs was not good for the eyes, etc.

Option 3. Far Infrared Saunas (FIR)

I continued researching saunas and found quite a lot of information (maybe too much?!) on FIR saunas that made them seem like the best choice for detoxing heavy metals. There were many FIR sauna companies claiming that FIR was better than NIR, but truth be told, I still do not know if the infrared info for FIR saunas applies to NIR as well:

FIR initiates a stronger and sooner detox sweat than near-infrared does…Near-infrared must be positioned properly for optical safety and it should not be positioned directly in front of the upper body as is often found. (1)

Infrared heaters send out a wave of light in the infrared range known to penetrate 1 ½ or so into the body. And the rays do not carry the dangers associated with ultraviolet rays or x-rays.

Because the heat penetrates deeper, directly heating the body, organs, and cells (vs. heating the air and room), the composition of sweat is different from that produced in a traditional sauna. Therefore, the body releases more harmful metabolites, solvents, chemicals, heavy metals, and toxins.

Because the largest organ, the skin is used to excrete toxins, liver burden is decreased. (Toxins are released via the skin with sweat and later through urine, feces, and hair.)

Infrared heat is more effective at delivering the blood supply to fat. This liberates dangerous lipid-trapped toxins and creates a mode for excreting them out of the body instead of re-circulating them.

The heaters run at a lower temperature range of 90°F – 130°F, so one can stay in longer, breathe easier, and sweat more heavily.

Based on all of the info I read, and several health advocates strongly promoting FIR saunas, I decided on a medical-grade FIR sauna for chemically sensitive detoxing:

  • Made with non-off-gassing wood or glue
  • Low-EMF
  • Made in the USA

I share my quest for the ideal FIR sauna in the next post:

Part 2: Purchasing The Best FIR Sauna Brand

Be Gutsy!


Healing Naturally = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out

Purchasing The Best Far Infrared Sauna (FIR) For Heavy Metal Detoxing

Previous Part 1: Choosing Traditional, NIR, or FIR Saunas

Do not reproduce without written permissionPart 2: Buying A FIR Sauna

After weighing the pros & cons of what type of sauna would be best for detoxing heavy metals, I researched, purchased, and built the best medical-grade, chemically sensitive FIR sauna I could find.

Unfortunately, the majority of home saunas sold in the USA are either made or assembled in China with toxic glue (some claim to use a non-toxic “water based” glue), and have wood that off-gases. So even if detoxing in a sauna via sweat, one may actually be re-toxifying by breathing in and absorbing different chemicals and toxins.

That is especially important to understand in a healing crisis. In my case, heavy metal poisoning disrupted my immune and nervous system. This made it even more difficult for my body to detoxify any additional toxins like chemicals, fumes, and fragrances. A fitting analogy is comparing the body to an overflowing bathtub. Toxins are flowing in at a rapid rate, however, the drain is either clogged or unable to work fast enough to properly eliminate the toxic assault, so the water overflows. Shutting off the flow of toxins is most important. And then finding ways to detox the existing toxins in the body.


FIR Sauna Options

Option 1: Two well-known health advocates I previously followed online recommended a sauna company that happened to be headquartered in my city. I spoke with a sales rep over the phone who offered to deliver and set up their hypoallergenic cedar wood sauna for no charge. But I wanted to test the sauna in person. At the showroom, my head started to bother me when I sat inside the sauna for just a few minutes. At that time, I did not know to ask about VOC’s, formaldehyde and toxic glues that off-gas.

The owner of the company followed up with a call to explain that one sensitive client needed a different wood they offered. He proceeded to share his business expansion into wellness products like juicers made in China. I read about a similar customer experience on Yelp except the person had an EMF meter that went off the charts when measuring the sauna. So I continued searching.

Option 2: Another company marketed their sauna as the only one for chemically sensitive people. The sales rep shared that Dr. Sherry Rogers only uses and endorses their sauna and that I should read her book “Detoxify or Die”. When I asked if Dr. Rogers had tested and compared other saunas, the sales rep said no. After reading numerous online reviews, I decided to continue looking.

Option 3: While researching, I read a review about another chemically sensitive sauna company called Heavenly Heat. And in the Onibasu posts Andrew Cutler is quoted to only recommend the Heavenly Heat brand for detoxing IF using a FIR sauna. (Aside: Jenny McCarthy used the Heavenly Heat sauna to help her son detox from autism. And Jeremy Davies reportedly lost 33 pounds to play the Laos prisoner of war role in Rescue Dawn with the help of Heavenly Heat’s sauna.)

I called the owner Bob who patiently answered all of my questions about his “medical-grade” made in the USA sauna (excluding the Korean made ceramic heaters.) From the Heavenly Heat brochure:

Each sauna is built without wood glue, varnish, plywood, or any similar materials.

Only untreated white poplar wood is used for all wooden parts of each sauna.

The frames are built with steel screws rather than pin-nails and glue.

Window gaskets are custom-milled poplar rather than synthetic materials.

Lights are made of metal and glass.

“Gadgets” like CD players and ionizers are excluded. Metal-grilled speakers are optional.

Wall heaters are ventilated to provide an automatic, constant air-change.

Heaters are tested to assure low electro-magnetic fields (EMF). [*See UPDATE below].

A carbon filter purifies the stale air leaving the sauna before it enters your living space.

The only thing I did not fully understand were the heaters. Some companies used ceramic heaters, others carbon heaters, and others both ceramic and carbon heaters. I went with the assumption that Heavenly Heat made the best choice claiming ceramics are greatly superior to carbon at delivering more IR energy to the body.


Heavenly Heat Sauna

Do not reproduce without written permissionI purchased the standard FIR1 sauna that is 3’4” deep x 4’5 wide and 6′ tall. It plugs into a standard, grounded, 15-amp, 110V outlet and comes with the following:

  • Six FIR heaters
  • A glass door and two windows, one at the left side and another in the facing wall.
  • Installed incandescent light.
  • Free-standing back rest.
  • Two footrests.

Customization Options:

1. Size – Personal: FIR1-Eco or FIR-1, 2 person: FIR-2 or FIR2-DX; 3 & 4 person FIR-3

~Initially I considered the 2 person sauna. Since mercury vapors may off-gas from “silver” amalgams fillings while taking a sauna I ruled it out. I chose the FIR-1 because it had more heaters than the FIR1-Eco. In hindsight, the FIR1-Eco, with a near infrared upgrade, might have been better for my situation because it is smaller and easier to assemble. However, I haven’t seen it in person to know if the two heaters on the corners would be as effective (close) as the two heaters on the sides of the FIR1.

2. Recessed red near infrared (NIR) heat lamp in the ceiling.

~No, but I wish I had paid for the upgrade. My front does not get heated in the current set up. The owner said I could purchase an after market NIR lamp like the IncubatorWarehouse bulb. I did not because of the extra wiring and metal.

3. Locking caster wheels to reposition the sauna, or to keep it above a potentially damp surface, or for cleaning underneath. Raises the sauna by 4″.

~YES! Castor wheels made it possible to put the sauna together in an open space, plug it into the outlet, and then push it against the wall where it resides (see photos below). However, the wheels have ridges that will scratch hardwood floors if placed directly on the floors. (I used a padded drawer liner under the wheels).

4. Windows removed at no charge.Do not reproduce without written permission

~No. I prefer the ability to look out the window and natural light. Also heard it is not good for the parasympathetic nervous system to sauna in the dark.

5. Pre-wired, metal-grilled stereo speakers to hookup to a sound system.

~No. I prefer less metal and wiring.

6. Metal switches instead of plastic dials.

~Not a standard option so ask when placing an order.

7. Combo sauna with FIR and steam rocks.

~No. This was not a possible option because the electrical plugs are not set up to accommodate it. If I had the option, I would have researched more about mold possibilities.

8. Apply a safe, water-based sealant to the exterior for very damp locations.

~No.


Set-Up & Lessons Learned

Do not reproduce without written permission1. Because there is no adhesive glue, this FIR sauna was fairly difficult to set up and took two of us at least five hours to receive, un-crate, and put together. There are a lot of high quality metal screws that had to be drilled in to different sections in a specific order.

Before drilling, we had to unscrew each section from the shipping crate and carry them inside using a dolly and elevator. The high quality wood was heavy and bulky and requires strength and patience. Breaking down the shipping crate was laborious as well. Tip: Consider hiring two handy-persons to build it!

FYI: The first sauna I saw at the showroom was like link-n-logs — connect the four walls together on a base and plop the roof on. This is because they use nails and glue, which can be toxic.

Do not reproduce without written permission2. There was a medium-to-low wood aroma after curing and using the sauna for up to six months. I did not experience headaches or apparent side-effects, but was glad I had a lot of ventilation around the sauna.

3. If I could change one thing about the sauna layout, I would prefer two or three heaters on the back side to cover the whole back and arms instead of the two heaters in front that are too far away to heat my legs or chest. This might not be an issue for taller or long-legged people. The heater at the back of the legs and the ones for each side of the upper body are great.

4. It took a few months after placing the order to receive the “artisan” sauna because there was a waiting list.

5. I wanted to make sure Heavenly Heat would let me return the sauna for a 100% refund, minus shipping both ways, if it made me feel worse using it. It gave me peace of mind when I made the purchase and the owner was kind enough to agree.

To date, it cost less than $4 each for hour-long sauna session . There has been no noticeable increase on the electric bill from using the FIR sauna almost daily. In fact, the electricity bill has gone down since I hardly turn on the heater in my apartment anymore.

I share how I used the FIR sauna, including setting up an efficient towel system, how long & often, plus most important, how to replace lost nutrients with the right micronutrient support in my upcoming book.


*UPDATE #1: FIR saunas use far infrared light (above 3000 nanometers) to produce heat that warms up body molecules. The is also called heat therapy which helps the body by increasing blood flow, tissue oxygenation, sweating, detoxing, etc.

However, while FIR saunas companies claim to be low-EMF, all but maybe one emit at least two types of EMF (three types of EMF if a wireless tablet or media sound system are installed or you use Wi-Fi in your home, and four types of EMF if an LED lightbulb is installed). This means there is a trade-off in heat therapy or detoxing and radiating the body and damaging cells.

The one person sauna I ordered measured Electric Fields at 100 vm and Magnetic Fields at 5-6 mg. Heavenly Heat has since made changes to their saunas with the help of an EMF specialist in CA. However I now have EMF concerns and can no longer use a FIR sauna. At this point, I also have no interest in going through the trouble of ordering, building, and testing another as using any device in close range that is plugged in to electricity because I no longer can be exposed without painful symptoms.

Did you know that mercury from silver fillings not only damaged cells, tissues, and organs but also makes the body and brain like an antenna attracting radiation from a nearby cell tower and other wireless devices? If you are still using Wi-Fi and wireless devices like a cell phone, please read more here.

Near Infra-red Saunas (NIR)

I am still chelating and enjoy heat therapy, so looked into NIR saunas again. NIR saunas do have lights that are plugged in to electricity. However, you must sit several feet away from the lights, so any EMF exposure should drop off to zero with that distance.

Because radiation from EMF damages cells, I am both encouraged to read that NIR saunas claim to heal mitochondrial cells and a bit weary that it is too good to be true.

NIR saunas use full spectrum, low-EMF, incandescent Tungsten-filament red bulbs simulate sunlight by producing the entire red and near infrared light band (650 nm – 1000 nm). Mitochondria, the energy producers in the body in almost all cells, have light receptors called chromophores. Chromophores absorb near infrared light from the sun promoting cellular regeneration, and theoretically the same happens with the Tungsten bulbs.

In short, NIR saunas provide three benefits: heat therapy, red light therapy, AND near infrared light therapy:

Light therapy is on the visible part of the light spectrum (between 400 nm to 480 nm). [It] can help to regulate sleep patterns, improve mood, increase cognitive performance and regulate hormones.

Red light falls into the visible part of the light spectrum between 630-700 nm on the electromagnetic scale and is used to treat the surface of the skin. ([Red color therapy] is believed to increase the pulse, raise blood pressure and increase the rate of breathing. Red would be applied to support circulatory and nervous functions.)

Near infrared wavelengths fall into the invisible part of the light spectrum between 700 and 1200 nm. The longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration to deliver energy to the cells, stimulating healing and relieving pain. Various cell and tissue types each have their own unique light absorption methods at varying wavelengths. This means certain tissues absorb certain kinds of light.

For example, inside the mitochondria of every cell are receptors which respond to Near Infrared wavelengths. The light triggers an increase in cell metabolism, protein synthesis (including collagen), and anti-oxidant activity (meaning the cells detoxify). Additionally, it reduces inflammation and pain while simultaneously triggering growth and regeneration in the cells. (1)

There probably are clinical experts and patients who have this knowledge, but so far I have not been able to find other people who have used NIR and FIR saunas for healing from heavy metal toxicity to compare which one, if either, truly helped. And I have found zero accounts of anyone recovering from EHS from too much EMR exposure using a NIR sauna. (From my experience, FIR saunas do eliminate heavy metals but there is a trade-off with EMR exposure.)

As part of my research, I re-read Dr. Wilson’s How to build your own NIR sauna and found that he addressed many of the concerns I listed in the previous post. He is very specific about not altering his recommended design which uses 3 to 4 bulbs, a safe enclosure, and rotating every few minutes. He also writes: “I do not recommend staring at the lamps, though they should be safe to look at. (Wear sunglasses if you are very sensitive to the light.)”

Two of Dr. Wilson’s more recent NIR sauna recommendations are made with higher quality chemically safe materials. Both companies have been around for less than 4 years, have similar NIR single and 4 light panels, use locally sourced zero-V.O.C. rated Basswood, and use 250 Watt NIR Infrared Bulbs with no coatings or teflon or mercury. Yay!

The NIR saunas appear to differ in a few areas:

Option 1: Sauna Comfort: NIR sauna with custom-made wood enclosure with 400UV protected eyewear priced at $2,850.00.

  • Guards: Stainless steel
  • EMF: Claims it has low EF. No MF testing done to date
  • Features: Auto shut off/Count down timer/GFI plug and play protected
  • 4 Light Panel: If purchasing only the 4 light panel and no enclosure the price for the Sauna Comfy is $695 and the design has a removable stand included in the design.
  • Returns: Short-Term Trial Refund

Option 2: Sauna Space: NIR sauna with cotton canvas enclosure, stool, and travel bags priced at $2,999.

  • Guards: Double dipped chrome plate
  • EMF: Shielded EF power cord. Used TriField meter to test EF which is not very accurate imo. Claims extensive MF testing
  • 4 Light Panel: If purchasing only the 4 light panel and no enclosure the price is $999 and a separate sauna pedestal can be purchased for $249.
  • 100 Day Trial 100% Money Back Guarantee.

There is a third option for the cost-conscious. There are YouTube videos and blogs showing how to buy the raw materials and build a NIR sauna light panel for much less than it would cost to purchase a pre-built 4 light panel. I looked at buying a 3 headed salon lamp (used for heating hair color treatment). However, the stand is metal (and plastic) and would carry electric fields and the height does not adjust low enough for sitting. I also looked at buying bulbs, clamp lamps, and a frame to hold the clamp lamps. But then I would have to sew a non-toxic enclosure, find shielded wiring, and an electrician to re-wire the clamp lamps.

After weighing the pros and cons, I decided there was value in paying for the time, research, and procurement these two NIR sauna companies invested in making a safer, healthier, handcrafted, American-made, artisan NIR saunas.

I spoke with both NIR companies and decided to give the Sauna Space Pocket Sauna a trial. It is more expensive than the Sauna Comfort, however, Sauna Space “claims” to have addressed EMF’s and that is one of my highest priorities. I also prefer to have a more portable enclosure instead of a wooden enclosure, but am still unsure where I can place the Pocket Sauna in my small space.

UPDATE #2: I am currently working with Sauna Space. The EF and MF measurements were too high for me to use comfortably. Sauna Space has a grounded&shielded power cord and says they’ve found a way to shield the EF in the 4 light panel. MF is still tbd.

♥ Be Gutsy!


Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out