Environmental Medicine And Allergies
What is Environmental Medicine?
Environmental medicine is a medical specialty, which explores the effects of food, inhalants and chemical substances on human health. Included in the practice of Environmental Medicine are assessment and treatment for allergies to foods, molds, dust pollen and other airborne materials. It also includes identification of any symptoms caused by exposure to chemicals found in our environment. A great number of common medical problems ranging from fatigue to autoimmune disease can be successfully assessed and treated using the principles of Environmental Medicine.
What can cause people to get ill?
Sarah has not felt healthy since she was a small child. She has been frequently ill with ear infections and sore throats, requiring antibiotics several times. She developed fatigue and mild depression as she became older, while no doctors could help her. When we evaluated Sarah for food allergies, we found a large number of common foods which triggered fatigue, depression, headaches and many other of her symptoms. By changing her diet and improving her nutrition, she greatly improved.
Mary was fifty years old and in good health when she decided to purchase new furniture for her home. Within several weeks of the arrival of a new couch, she noted the onset of fatigue, muscle aches, and chest pain. It was later discovered that the stain repellent chemicals used on the couch caused her to become ill with severe fatigue, muscle aches, and heart problems. Once the couch was removed and we treated her for reduction of her allergy exposure and improvement in her nutritional status, she improved substantially.
Bob was a healthy and active 10-year-old boy when he started having severe headaches and fatigue. He had gotten worse after certain changes occurred in his school’s air circulation system and it turned out that his headaches were instigated by high levels of contaminants at school as well as many foods in his diet. He improved by avoidance of certain foods, desensitization, and improvement in the school’s air cleaning system.
Sally was an executive working in a high-rise office building with poor air circulation. She developed chronic sore throats, cough, and respiratory infections when the other suites on her floor remodeled, exposing her to many of the solvents and other chemicals through the air circulation. By using high dose nutrient therapy and avoidance of exposures, she improved greatly.
These patients demonstrate the key concepts of Environmental Medicine
- Foods, chemicals and inhalants (molds, dust, mites and pollens) can all cause different symptoms
- Often the cause is not obvious from the history, or it is overlooked such as the woman with the new couch or the food allergy in Sarah
- Not all people exposed to certain chemicals will become ill from them so many physicians do not believe this type of exposure can cause problems
- Symptoms of food or environmental sensitivity can vary greatly from person to person with the most common being: fatigue, nasal allergies, recurrent infections, asthma-like symptoms, headaches, joint or muscle pains including certain types of arthritis, depression, anxiety, poor concentration, childhood hyperactivity, digestive complaints such as bloating, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and obesity
- Many serious medical problems may be partially or completely caused by food or chemical sensitivity. These problems include asthma, ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and other autoimmune illnesses.
How are these problems evaluated and treated?
The first step is a thorough medical history and physical examination. There are often indications in a medical history of what the key problems might be. A special type of elimination and detoxification diet could be prescribed. Many people require allergy skin testing which includes the use of small amounts of the suspected triggers placed under the skin to measure the reaction and identify the allergic response. Certain blood tests might also be employed.
The treatment includes dietary changes such as rotation diet, desensitization if required, nutritional supplementation and environmental changes in the home or workplace if needed. We provide a large number of educational resources to assist you in any changes you need to make. Most people see significant improvement in many of their symptoms within the first month of instituting their recommendations.
For further information, please contact the office and we will be glad to assist you.