Dr. Jill Crista – Author, Educator, Naturopathic Doctor – Diagnosing and Treating Mold Sickness

Air Date: 12-20-2019|Episode 568

This week on IAQ Radio+ we welcome Doctor Jill Crista to talk about her thoughts on Diagnosing and Treating Mold Sickness. IAQ Radio+ continues to expose our listeners a variety of approaches on this issue, today we will talk to an Author, Educator and Naturopathic Doctor about her approach. We will also discuss her recommendations on how practitioners can work with Doctors and patients dealing with mold sickness.


Dr. Jill is an author and nationally recognized speaker on neuroinflammatory conditions such as brain injury, mold illness and autoimmune encephalitis. She earned her Naturopathic Doctor Degree with Honors from the National University of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR in 2003. In 2012, she completed the Physician Training Program with the International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society. For over a decade, she was director and practicing member of two integrative clinics offering naturopathic medicine, integrative medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, craniosacral therapy, and massage. Here she witnessed the efficacy and synergy of a team approach to patient care. She’s now focusing on research, teaching, and writing. She serves on the board of the Wisconsin Naturopathic Doctors Association, and was President for 6 years. She worked on the AANP committee for licensure, where she gained experience in seeking licensure for naturopathic doctors in WI and increasing access to naturopathic healthcare nationally.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Diagnosing and Treating Mold Sickness

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

Craniosacral therapy is gentle chiropractic treatment that keeps spinal fluid flowing and allows the brain to drain.

As a mountain biker and premed student in Wisconsin, she became interested in naturopathy while working in a “hippie store” that sold natural foods and herbs owned by a master herbalist who would compound remedies for her clients. When she asked the herbalist how she could learn more about this, she was given a large dusty binder in which she found an advertisement for the National University for Naturopathic Medicine. After a lot of work and a lot of debt she graduated in 2003.

Naturopathic medical students study conventional medical school curriculum for the first 2 years (anatomy, physiology, cadaver labs, etc.) the next 2 years are therapeutics where the body and connections within the body are studied. There are 6 Naturopathic Medical Schools in the US.

Mold related illness- In naturopathic medical school, she was taught environmental courses that laid a foundation that mold is formidable because it’s both an allergen and a toxin. Further research confirmed that mold was much more than an allergen. Mold can affect any part of the body and presents with a wide range of symptoms. Dr. Jill has “motivated patients”, who first receive a good diagnostic workup and are then given homework assignments to improve their health e.g.: changes in breathing, lifestyle, diet, targeted nutrients, herbs, etc. Once the health problem is identified, patients have the power to get better.

Proper breathing down to the belly is very important. Oxygen is our main fuel, we can only survive without oxygen for 3 minutes.

Lyme disease is also a complicated condition like mold related illness. “Stuck patients” with black mold mycotoxins who don’t get better may have Lyme disease, and vice versa.

Dr. Jill is not a Shoemaker certified physician. She has developed her own skillset. In order to help the maximum number of people she has decided not to accept new patients, has written a book for the public, and developed training courses for other medical practitioners.

She learned through her clinical practice the symptoms mold may cause: Restlessness, fatigue, anxiousness, sinus involvement, neuro issues (ear ringing), pelvic pain, sciatica are common symptoms.

Patterned after the “Horowitz Lyme Disease Questionnaire”  https://lymeconnection.org/support_and_resources/meet_the_lyme_disease_experts.html/title/dr-richard-horowitz-latest-treatments-in-lyme-disease

Dr. Jill developed a Mold Illness Questionnaire https://drcrista.com/questionnaire

Her questionnaire will help to determine whether the health problem is mold or something else – gut, food allergy, glyphosate, mothballs, etc. Humans tend to forget the bad by only noticing when symptoms occur and not noticing when they go away over time. Comparative review of past patient questionnaires demonstrates progress.

Zone of inhibition is a circular area around the spot of the mold in which the bacteria colonies do not grow. This is the area is rich in mycotoxins and from which antibiotics used for drugs are harvested.

The same organisms are found in both healthy and unhealthy people. Happy biofilm is when all the organisms are living in harmony; “the right critters, in the right place in the right proportions”. In unhappy biofilms competing organisms are trying to gas bomb each other and become pathogenic. This happens in the sinuses, lungs, and gut.

For mold patients to regain health, both the sinus and body must be treated.

Flu testing and obtaining sputum for culturing fungus are both uncomfortable tests.

Clinicians are too busy and overworked to research, share info and help their peers. That’s why she created the online training course and speaks at many medical conferences.

With big money at stake, there is a push to suppress studies of mold illness in humans.

Due to the lack of human studies, Dr. Jill does informed experimentation on patients. The remedies she uses have a long history of safe use on humans. Old man’s beard is the most dangerous natural substance she prescribes. The plant body of (old man’s beard) usnea is used to make medicine. Usnea is used for weight loss, pain relief, fever control, and wound healing; and to make phlegm easier to cough up. Usnea is also used as a gargle for sore mouth and throat.

Her diagnostic process involves obtaining the maximum number of data points. Toxins have turned on survival mechanisms in internal microbes, which makes the natural fungal flora secrete mycotoxins. When urine testing for mycotoxins; it’s hard to determine whether the health issue is current or prior. Mycotoxins can be found in some foods. To improve accuracy of urine mycotoxin testing, 3 days prior to testing Dr. Jill has patients abstain from: kombucha, beer, alcohol, moldy coffee, corn, potatoes, peanuts, grains, cheese and mushrooms which may contain mycotoxin.

Glutathione levels, mass spec urine mycotoxin testing, visual contrast sensitivity, CBC blood count, liver enzyme, stool and organic acid testing are the diagnostic tests Dr. Jill uses.

When mold mycotoxins wear down sinuses and digestive lining, yeasts (Candida) can take over.

Peel the Orange – her therapeutic order.

  1. Avoidance
  2. Fundamentals
  3. Protect
  4. Repair
  5. Fight.

Avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. The most important.

Assess the threat. Mold wants to decompose you. Lyme disease wants you alive.

Personal property exposed to fungal amplification takes on mycotoxins.

Protect, repair & fight. “Repair before poking the bear.” Dr. Jill recommends high binding and protecting foods (steamed or cooked kale, fish, fish oil, good fats, avocado, olive oil, unshelled walnuts), high bioflavonoids, heart & bladder repair plants. Pollution dilution by drinking spring water. Bile gets recycled to preserve fat soluble nutrients. She recommends kale over meds, to bind in a nourishing way.

Realign with the body’s circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm is a 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria.

Advocates use of “essential oil” sinus treatments (eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMH6enlKNO8

Assessment & Remediation.

  • Jill refers to herself as “body expert not a building expert”.
  • Relies upon Martine Davis for building assessment and remediation advise.
  • The more holistic the remediation the better.
  • Every patient and every building are individuals with their own story,
  • Sensitive people are not hypochondriacs, assessors and remediators need to trust them when they tell you I don’t feel good in this room.
  • The more material removed the better.
  • Pay for an extra day of cleaning and remediation.
  • Treat the remediators to lunch!
  • When she pre and post tests remediated wood, she often finds find 2 additional species after treatment than were present before.

Z-Man signing off

Trivia Question:

What event led to the first use of the term mycotoxin?

Trivia Answer:

Mycotoxin was coined in 1962 in the aftermath of an unusual veterinary near London. UK when approximately 100,000 turkey poults died.

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