Since the end of World War Two, there has been a rapid rise in the incidence of more complex and chronic diseases. This rise is directly due to environmental factors and has resulted in an entirely new class of health conditions known collectively as environmental illness. Yet, despite rapidly escalating costs associated with the treatment of these illnesses, conventional medicine has proven itself ill-equipped to deal with them, primarily due to its reliance on just treating symptoms and not giving enough attention the causes of such diseases and why they developed in the first place.
The range of health conditions that have been linked to environmental factors is extensive and growing. Included in that list are many common childhood diseases; eye, ear, nose, and throat conditions; skin conditions; autoimmune diseases; certain forms of mental illness; chronic fatigue syndrome; fibromyalgia; respiratory conditions; gastrointestinal disorders; cardiovascular diseases; and illness associated with the body's endocrine, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems. Potentially, any health condition can be due, at least in part, to environmental factors that negatively impact healthy body functioning.
Factors Explain the Rise of Environmental Illness
The rise and increased incidence of environmental illness can be explained in one word: pollution! Today, more than at any other time in history, our air, soil, and water supplies are fouled with a wide range of harmful chemicals and other toxins that pose a threat to our health. In addition, a number of these toxins are now prevalent in our food supply, both because they are found in the soil in which food crops are grown, and because they are also used by the commercial farming industry to grow, package, and preserve food crops.
Here are some other facts that explain more about the consequences of environmental illness and why it is on the rise:
The sources for the above facts can be found in my book, The American Holistic Medical Association Guide to Holistic Health (John Wiley & Sons, 2001)
Do You Or Your Loved Ones Suffer From Environmental Illness?
As mentioned, environmental illness (including food allergies and sensitivities) is often overlooked or misdiagnosed by many physicians today, simply because they are not trained to recognize the telltale signs associated with it. Such telltale symptoms include:
If you or your loved ones suffer from any of the above symptoms, then some form of environmental illness may be to blame, especially if symptoms are chronic and do not respond to conventional medical treatments.
What To Do If You Need Help
If you suspect you or a loved one is at risk for environmental illness, you will be best served by consulting with a physician trained to properly recognize and treat its symptoms and underlying causes. Such Health Experts practice what is known as environmental medicine, a branch of medicine that was founded by the late Theron G. Randolph, MD, who was recognized as one of the world's preeminent allergy specialists. During his long life, Dr. Randolph taught at four medical schools, including Northwestern University, where he served as Professor of Allergy and Immunology.
In the 1950s, Dr. Randolph turned his attention to the many other chemical compounds that were by then being introduced into the environment as a matter of course by the burgeoning chemical industries that came to dominant so much of our modern life. Based on his research, he became the first person to describe the concept of chemical sensitivity. In 1962, he published his findings in his book Human Ecology and Susceptibility to the Chemical Environment, which was the first medical textbook on the subject of environmental medicine.
In 1965, a group of physicians influenced by Dr. Randolph and his research, established the organization that is today known as the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM). Since its formation, the AAEM has continued its mission of educating physicians in the most effective ways of diagnosing, treating, and preventing environmental illness. Another important part of the AAEM's mission lies in the ongoing work they do in educating the public about how their diet and environment can adversely affect their health.
Today, physicians trained by the AAEM are recognized as being the most well qualified health practitioners for diagnosing and treating all forms of environmental illness.
To locate a physician member of the AAEM in your area, contact: