What is an environmental illness?
Chemicals, fumes, pollution, allergens, and other health hazards are common in our environment, and sometimes they can make us sick. Maybe you have mysterious headaches that only occur on weekends. Or you develop nausea and a rash after moving into a newly built home. Such symptoms can be caused by exposure to toxins commonly found in our homes, workplaces, and communities. For example:
Those weekend headaches may be caused by a faulty furnace leaking carbon monoxide. Using a fireplace creates a back draft of furnace gases that can cause headaches. Replacing the furnace could make the headaches go away.
Building materials in new homes—insulation, particleboard, carpet adhesive—emit formaldehyde, which can cause nausea and rashes. Also, the paper that makes up the outside layers of drywall provides the right conditions for the growth of mold. Exposure to these molds may cause respiratory problems and allergylike symptoms and may provoke asthma attacks.
You and your doctor may not know what is causing your illness, or it may be mistaken for another problem. Environmental hazards can cause or aggravate a wide range of common medical problems. A thorough evaluation of the environments in which you work, live, and play could reveal the culprits.
What causes environmental illnesses?
Short- and long-term exposure to hazards such as chemicals, allergens, pollution, and other toxins can cause environmental illnesses. Chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause lung cancer. Exposure to asbestos, a common insulating material, can cause tumors in the linings of the chest and abdomen, lung cancer, and other diseases. Wood-burning stoves and improperly vented gas ranges can cause respiratory problems. Drinking water from a rural well contaminated with pesticides or solvents from a nearby industrial plant could cause cancer or neurological problems.
Inhalation of spores from molds that grow on building materials can cause respiratory problems and may make asthma more severe. Exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace may cause sterility, especially in men.
But often we don't know such exposures are causing our sickness. We don't know the types or amounts of chemicals to which we've been exposed, especially when the symptoms of disease or illness don't develop for years. For example, most cancers have a latent, or silent, period that can last a decade or more before symptoms develop.
What symptoms do environmental illnesses cause?
Symptoms depend on the environmental cause of the illness or disease. Common symptoms include headaches, cough, fatigue, and nausea. In some cases, you may not have any symptoms for years, until a disease progresses far enough for you to notice signs of it. In other instances, exposure may cause immediate allergic reactions, such as when contact with dust mites, cockroaches, pollen, or pets triggers an asthma attack. Or symptoms may emerge more gradually and become worse as the time of exposure lengthens.
For some people, going to work in a building with poor indoor air quality may cause headaches, coughs, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. The building may be improperly ventilated, causing exposure to fumes from cleaning solvents or cigarette smoke. Or it may have bacteria, molds, or viruses that have accumulated in heating and cooling ducts, carpet, ceiling tiles, or insulation that can cause fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, and other respiratory symptoms.
Symptoms of environmental illness are difficult to diagnose and may be mistaken for other medical problems. If you think exposure to toxins could be making you sick, it is important that you discuss your suspicions with a health professional.
How will I know my symptoms are caused by something in my environment?
You or your doctor may not know your illness is related to a toxic exposure unless your symptoms won't go away or they appear only at specific times or places. Good detective work by you and your health professional will be needed to diagnose an environmental illness. For example, if you keep a log of your symptoms, you may discover that you feel nauseous and sluggish throughout your workweek, but you feel better on weekends and vacations. Poor indoor air quality, which some people call "sick building syndrome," may then be suspected as the cause of your illness. But unless you discuss the variations in your symptoms with your doctor, it will be difficult for him or her to make such a connection.
Checking the walls of your home or workplace for efflorescence—a white, powdery or crystalline substance that accumulates on the surface of concrete, plaster, or masonry—can be a good initial indicator of the presence of molds or moisture that can lead to molds. Air sampling, in which trained professionals analyze a sample of the air in a building, is another way to determine the presence of molds.
Many times solving the mystery isn't so simple. A more serious illness may be caused by something to which you were exposed decades ago. Perhaps you once lived near a hazardous waste site, or you had a job remodeling old homes, which exposed you to asbestos. Before talking to your doctor, think about your history, previous jobs, homes, and activities.
How will my doctor diagnose my symptoms as an environmental illness?
Doctors and other health professionals can diagnose an environmental illness by taking an exposure history, which is a lengthy set of questions about your home, workplace, habits, occupations, lifestyle, family, and other matters. Your answers to the questions can help identify chemicals or other hazards to which you've been exposed recently or in the past and help your doctor decide whether you need specific tests to diagnose your illness.
How are environmental illnesses treated?
Initial treatment for an environmental illness includes eliminating or reducing your exposure to what is making you sick. For example, one of the most effective ways to improve air quality is to get rid of the source of the pollution. Gas stoves can be adjusted to reduce emissions. You can also increase the amount of fresh air coming into your home, change furnace and air-conditioning filters often, and make sure exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom are working. Treatment beyond these first steps varies based on your symptoms, the cause of the illness, and what part of your body is affected.
The health effects of mold exposure are best treated by preventing or restricting further mold growth. Maintaining a dry environment indoors can help restrict the growth of molds. Humidity should be kept at less than 50%.
Though it may be difficult to do, it is important to eliminate exposure to molds that have already infected your home or workplace or your child's school. Molds should be removed from buildings by trained professionals, and you or your children should not return to the building until the removal process is complete.
ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS TREATMENTS:
Humans are now struggling under a burden of multiple environmental toxins. For many individuals, this is not from workplace exposure, but from simply living in a polluted world. Some individuals appear to be less able to clear the daily chemical exposure from the body than others, leading to a total load of toxins that exceeds the ability of the body to adapt.
When the toxic load reaches this point, damage to certain organ systems can occur. The major organ systems affected are the immune, neurological, and endocrine systems. Immunotoxicity may be the major factor in the increasing rates of asthma, allergies, cancers, and chronic viral infections. Neurological toxicity can affect cognition, mood, and cause chronic neurological illnesses. Endocrine toxicity can affect reproduction, menses, libido, metabolism, stress-handling ability, glucose regulation, and other important functions.
The following is the New Holistic Protocol for body detoxification developed by Dr. Tatyana Yakovleva:
FIRST STEP in Body Detoxification:
Establish your personal toxin levels:
This includes a Body energy check up by using the Orion equipment based on the spectral analysis of vortex magnetic fields of biological organisms.This is quite unique and has no equivalent in the world.Or QXCI machine the most advanced medical assessment and therapy device in the world today.
SECOND STEP in Body Detoxification:
Detoxification of Heavy Metal Toxicity, Environmental Pollutants and Metabolic Waste, Lymphatic Drainage, Allergy Treatment.
THIRD STEP in Body Detoxification:
For Immune, neurological, respiratory and endocrine systems balancing we are using the Orion or QXCI ENERGY BALANCING machine. This feeds back its own frequencies to readdress or neutralize destructive wave patterns. In some cases it may add frequency, in others reverse it to either enhance or counteract the body's own resonances. Relieves and helps corrects all the stresses that cause illness, disease and injury in the body.
This may also be combined with Acupuncture for detoxification (Different styles: Korean, Chinese, French) and Acupressure, used for Lymphatic Drainage.
Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical
Our job at Patients Medical is to listen, to connect the dots between a patient's medical history, symptoms, and their underlying causes. Patients Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalized care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.
To make an appointment with one of our physicians, please call us at 1-212-794-8800. We look forward to hearing from you.
Next Steps For Supplement Therapy:
Many of us will benefit by taking supplements for the issues discussed on this page.
To order the supplements, please visit our supplements store website www.mysupplements.store Or call 1-212-794-8800 to place an order.