Let’s Talk Mold: Debby Hamilton – The Environmental Impact of Toxins and Infections on Children

Let’s Talk Mold

Takeaways from the ISEAI 2019 Inaugral Conference May 2019.

Day 1 Debby Hamilton – The Environmental Impact of Toxins and Infections on Children


               Toxicity and Chronic Illnesses are no respecters of youth.  Dr. Hamilton began her talk on pediatric health with some frightening statistics.

  • 1 in 10 children have asthma
  • 1 in 13 children have food allergies
  • The rate of type I Diabetes in children increased by 23% from 2001 to 2009
  • 1 in 6 children have a developmental disability.
  • 1 in 10 children have been diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 33% of childhood diseases are caused by environmental toxins.

Above statistics from Focusforhealth.org

  • Children are more vulnerable to toxins.

From National Academy of Science, National Academy Press, 1993.

               Despite what seems to be willful blindness by our society and much of the medical community, our toxic world impacts our children and is creating a future disaster.  More and more research points to the damage being done.  Landrigan et al alerted us to the potential high death rates from toxins in children.  They list out toxins such as glyphosate, pesticides, artificial sugars and flavors, food dyes, preservatives, BPA, Hydrogenated oils, antibiotics and others.  Some like glyphosate alter gut flora (Argou-Cardozo 2018).  Others like EMF’s are forced upon us as a whole without full understanding of their impact.

               These toxins and also infections share a multitude of common pathways to cause both acute and chronic disease.  They cause systemic and / or brain inflammation.  They disrupt mitochondrial function.  They increase oxidative stress and deplete anti-oxidant stores.  They damage the microbiome and subsequently harm human function.  They can weaken the immune system or trigger autoimmunity.   Most toxins work through several of these pathways simultaneously.

               Case Studies by Dr. Hamilton:  Her first case was that of an autistic young boy.  In this case she walked through the effects of gut dysbiosis on the child’s development especially clostridium found in the stool and organic acids testing. 

               She diverged from the case for a time to address the multiple infections and toxicities which further impact children with Autism.  These include Lyme and co-infections as well as viruses alike EBV and HHV6.  The ability of any person to tolerate toxin loads may relate to genetic polymorphisms or SNPs.  Single letter changes in DNA code for detox enzymes may put a child at risk should they be exposed to that toxin.  The PON1 gene SNP is one possible enzyme defect which may increase the risk of autism if children are exposed to pesticides.

               Her next case focused on PANS and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep).  In such cases, some environmental trigger overlaps with a genetic predisposition to produce an antibody reaction to nerve tissue in the child.  The previously health child can practically overnight become extremely anxious, have obsessions and compulsions, and develop severe psychiatric symptoms.  Mold may place a role in suppressing the immune system and allowing the infection or may trigger PANS/PANDAS directly.

               In closing, I would add that PANS/PANDAS can be a gut-wrenching thing to watch.  Parents are distraught over their children’s sudden change in personality and behavior.  They often go for months or years without an accurate diagnosis.  Lives of children and parents are destroyed as doctor after doctor are unwilling to look at this disease as a possible cause.  At Sanctuary, we mourn over lost time when we diagnose PANS and PANDAS, but then turn our sights on restoring and rescuing what is left.  Addressing infections and immune weaknesses while encouraging the healing cycle leads many to healthier more abundant lives.  We don’t give up even when other medical providers have before.



Science of the Total Environment. Landrigan P. et al.  Feb 2019. Vol 650:2389-2394

Argou-Cardozo I, Zeidán-Chuliá F. Clostridium Bacteria and Autism Spectrum Conditions: A Systematic Review and Hypothetical Contribution of Environmental Glyphosate Levels. Med Sci (Basel). 2018;6(2):29.




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