Hello, and thanks for tuning into this week's episode of The Mold Show. And today we're going to be focusing on something that is going to be definitely of value to anyone who is experiencing mold or biotoxin illness, and that is, what is the future of healthcare? Now, I'm an environmental microbiologist, but I also consult at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, and I am always on the lookout for where the future of healthcare and medicine is going, because I can certainly bring this to the attention of my clients, and hopefully they will have better clinical outcomes when they see their preferred healthcare practitioner. But how have I gotten this insight? Well, I have been participating for the last couple of weeks in a range of different integrative health, integrative medicine, functional medicine, environmental health, and wellness clubs and groups on a new social media app called Clubhouse.
Now, many of you might've heard about this. In fact, it is valued at $1 billion. It is an audio-only app. It's very different to Facebook and Instagram. And this week we are going to be focusing on disease prevention, is this the future of healthcare? And it is a Clubhouse conversation recap. So what do I mean by that? Well, to give you a bit of an understanding of what the Clubhouse app is all about, as I said, it's an audio-only app. That means that you tune in and listen to live conversations. It's a bit like a podcast, but it's different because instead of just listening to content that you are interested in, you have the opportunity to actually participate and engage with the speakers. And there are lots of different rooms and clubs that are highly relevant to those individuals that are suffering from mold exposure, biotoxin illness, and in fact, a range of other problems in healthcare.
And why do I like Clubhouse? Well, it has all the best aspects of a support group. There is very strong mentoring in the sense that you can join a particular club, find other like-minded individuals, and learn from their experience, learn from the conversations. So it also brings contemporary thinking and research to life, and I think that, that is very, very important. There is an aspect of coaching here as well that you can certainly find in a lot of the rooms. It isn't just restricted to healthcare. There are rooms on any different topics. So lots of topics that you might be interested in, for example, camping, or Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, or really any niche interests. There's differently a Clubhouse room or group or club for you. But why I wanted to focus today on the future of healthcare, because that affects you and I, and as we age and move through the journey of life, it's particularly important to work out what we can proactively do to optimize our own health and well-being.
And so I wanted to bring you some of the key takeaways that I've learned about integrative health and preventative medicine in the last week or so. And the overwhelming theme that keeps cropping up, again and again, is that genetic testing is necessary, and that genetic testing is extremely valuable because we need to understand the role that genes play in order to live a healthy lifestyle. And the clinically front-facing participants in these various different Clubhouse groups have certainly made the point that many people are very knowledgeable about their condition and about how the role of genetics plays in their particular condition. But on the other hand, many people are completely unaware of the strong fact that there are actionable genes that are increasingly being linked to known genetic mutations, which then in turn influence the disease state. The second key takeaway is that lifestyle that is a healthy lifestyle can definitely promote longevity.
And that's really probably not news to any of you here. But someone said that while our genes load the gun, it's really our lifestyles that pull the trigger. And that is really important to reflect on that, because certainly any individuals that are exposed to water-damaged buildings, we already know that mitochondrial dysfunction has a genetic component, that different people respond to biotoxins in the environment in different ways. What affects one person may not affect the other person, and there are odd different dose-dependent relationships that we see again and again in those persons exposed to water-damaged buildings. So it's important to not lose sight that diseases turn on later in life due to the lifestyles and the environments that we find ourselves in. There are many health coaches on Clubhouse that are strong advocates of the correlation between proper nutrition and good health, and I'm not going to go on about that any further here other than to position the fact and make the statement that nutrition is obviously of fundamental importance in ensuring positive, proactive health for yourself.
The role of the environment, again, is something which I'm very pleased to see is increasingly being discussed, certainly discussed in contemporary society, in the news media, and also strongly on Clubhouse. Certainly, where we live affects us. It can certainly make us healthy or sick, and it really doesn't matter how many nutritional supplements we take, if we're living in an unsafe environment, this needs to be recognized. And certainly, on Clubhouse, I was very pleased to see that people are talking about other aspects of unhealthy buildings. Unhealthy indoor air quality, the importance of having healthy air in commercial buildings, not just in residential buildings is something which I'm going to be diving into in future Mold Show discussions we have, but also the role that toxic people can play in the experience of health. And that's something which I am acutely aware of when I go into people's homes, I talk to them about their experience around biotoxin illness.
Often, they are trying to convince someone external to their home or workplace that they are in fact sick, that these symptoms are real. But a lot of the clinicians are talking about people being exposed to toxic people as well and why that's related to biotoxin illnesses. I often meet families where one or more members of the family or the extended family simply don't believe that the individual is in fact suffering from anything and they continually say, "It's all in your head." Fortunately, a lot of the healthcare practitioners, integrative medical people on Clubhouse are strong advocates for mental health and the role of toxicity in all its forms, not just environmental pollutants. So, that's something which I'm pleased to see, and I really want you to take away, that toxic people can be just as damaging to one's self-worth and health as being exposed to toxic pollutants.
Now, what are some of the other things that I didn't know about, for example? Well, certainly there is a lot of people talking about the importance of sleep and the benefits of sleep in preventative medicine has to do with hormone imbalances, and poor sleeping can affect this. And so, for example, if you're prone to snoring, if you have airways which are at all interfered with during your sleep, this can lead to daytime sleepiness and problems, certainly with studying and working. And we've talked a lot before about kids who are exposed to water-damaged building interiors and the fact that they often are the first responders in a family who have these immune reaction mediated problems that are not food-borne allergies, that a very similar to a strong IgE immune reaction. Now, often these kids have problems at school but think of the role that sleep interference has. And we talked a couple of weeks ago on The Mold Show about the emerging research literature about kids going to sleep in water-damaged buildings interfering with their sleep and leading to all these problems that they see during the day.
And certainly, some of the U.S. clinicians are talking about ADHD being linked to sleep disorders and a whole range of rage effects as well, which certainly other clinicians talk to me right here in Australia about mold rage linked to brain fog and that sort of thing. But the other thing that I was less aware about was the importance of fasting. And again, fasting is not for everyone, and I certainly was very interested in the dynamic range of conversations around fasting. But let's talk about the pros first. Fasting regulates pretty much every function and it's not just for weight loss. It can promote longevity, hormone optimization, and even gut rebalancing, so that has to be a good thing. But variation is the key here when it comes to fasting, if you don't want unwanted outcomes. So always consult with your primary healthcare practitioner if you are about to embark on a fasting protocol. And it definitely will be inappropriate for some people, but I wanted to raise it here because there are an increasing number of apps that you can put on your phone to track not only your sleep, but also with regard to fasting.
So the potential for technology to be integrated with our own proactive healthcare is, really, we're right at that tipping point now where we can take advantage of the ability of our phones to work with us to proactively manage our health. And there were other futurist-focused groups as well that were looking at the future of healthcare, where, for example, our cars will register our weight, where our keyboards will check to see whether we are potentially having a brain fog or moving into a dementia like symptomology. And so this computer-human augmentation is certainly where the future of healthcare is going. But I now want to round off today by talking about the problems of preventative medicine and the way forward, and certainly, the key takeaway here is that a lot of the medical clinicians have a lack of time with their patients.
As I said, when I am referring people who are in water-damaged buildings off to various different healthcare practitioners, they all talk about the fact that they haven't had enough time to explain all of the nuances of their condition and that often they've been met with a negative response by their healthcare providers. So this lack of time is a central feature of improving outcomes for individuals. This issue of personal responsibility came up as well in that people need to be aware that they are personally responsible for their health. They can't leave it up to just going off to see their healthcare practitioner and getting their advice. Everyone needs to improve the way that they consider themselves and consider the role that they play as well in optimizing their health. The problem with integrative medicine and functional medicine is that it is in some cases expensive and that was brought up time and time again.
So those individuals with lower socioeconomic status often don't take advantage of the healthcare options that are out there. So what do we do to balance this? Well, grassroots education is something which is very important to consider because if you tell people that there are options, it means that they won't consider a 5, 10 or a 15-minute consultation about potentially their complex symptomology, how the environment impacts on their home or workplace, and how they feel about the psychology underpinning their condition. They may not be able to get that across in 5 or 10 minutes, so education about the range and diversity of people working in healthcare, scientists like myself, working positively with other healthcare practitioners to hopefully give the aim of better outcomes for people. The issue is that healthy food can't be underestimated. There is a definite push towards improved and increasing genetic counseling and testing, and this role of healthy collaboration cannot be underestimated.
There are a lot of healthcare models in the United States and elsewhere that are focusing on people seeing a range of experts in order to optimize their healthcare. And as a scientist, that is the model that science follows and I think that healthcare and medicine is certainly taking advantage of this. This social media app Clubhouse I think is really fantastic. It's certainly a flavor of the moment, and like anything, it has echo chamber like problems. So be aware of that. Also, there is only moderation based on buyers. That is essentially like a CV, so you need to be mindful of the fact that any advice or conversations that you're hearing or participating in, it is opinion-based information. So, again, you have to make up your own mind, but it is still valuable.
The takeaway for you this week is that, step one, if you have an iPhone, go to the App Store and download the Clubhouse app. Join interesting rooms and even consider starting your own. I've had people reach out to me about Lyme disease, about other areas of symptoms related to water-damaged buildings. Everyone has got a voice here, and this is particularly important. Join groups. Certainly, in the last day or so, there is the opportunity to set up specific groups. So we'd set up the Integrative Health Club and the Building Biology Club. And I also am working with experts in the United States, Exposing Mold, on Instagram. That's the handle. In the USA on Sunday and Thursday, every week at 3:00 p.m., and in Australia, Monday and Friday time at 8:00 a.m. Join us for weekly discussions on water damage and biotoxin illness.
How do you find it? How do you identify it? What does the research literature say? What are some of the treatments and best practice solutions here from healthcare practitioners? People who have actually gone the whole gamut of the journey through mold and water damage, insurers, property managers, mold remediators. Really, anyone who impacts on this space, we'll be talking about it. So consider this as almost a live conversational podcast where, get on the app, talk to us, engage with us, and find out some timely information to hopefully make your life healthier and happier. My name's Dr. Cameron Jones. I'll see you next week for The Mold Show. Bye for now.