What is Environmental Medicine?
The environment we live in has become increasingly toxic over the past several decades, resulting in the U.S. population’s heightened exposure to environmental chemicals. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have both completed research to investigate the toxic burden on individuals in the United States, and have identified numerous chemical toxins in the subjects of those research studies. Environmental toxins can cause myriad health conditions including allergies, autoimmune disorders, poor attention and/or cognition, headaches, fatigue, and a host of other symptoms. Environmental medicine involves a comprehensive audit of current and past exposures to environmental toxins to shed light on the exposures that may contribute to the patient’s specific disease state. Some instances call for functional medicine testing that may include blood, stool, or urine testing to look for specific toxins. If an environmental toxin is identified and thought to contributed to the patient’s current symptoms, a treatment is tailored to the individual to remove or neutralized the offending toxin(s).
What Can I Expect During an Environmental Medicine Visit?
The goal of an environmental medicine visit is to identify current and past toxin exposure to reduce and eliminating continued exposure and to remove or neutralize the existing toxins. These visits involve a thorough history, questionnaires, and/or physiologic testing. Treatment plans for environmental medicine frequently include lifestyle changes, nutritional advice, and supplement suggestions. The goal is always to improve the symptoms while identifying the underlying cause of the disease state and to ensure that future exposure to dangerous toxins to prevented.