Environmental Medicine Part I: Can Your Environment Make You Sick?

air pollutants
We have all heard people express concerns about being sick without being able to receive a proper diagnosis. Some health problems simply do not fit a disease pattern, which leads me to discuss Environmental Medicine.

Environmental Medicine is a field of medicine that involves studying the interactions between our environment and our health, and the role our environment plays in causing disease.

We have been taught to believe our health is caused by genetics. This is true to an extent. The environment also causes health issues. Exposures to certain environments damages our DNA, and the exposure may also initiate or promote cancer growth by disrupting our normal immune and endocrine system functions.

In May 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel submitted a report titled, “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What do we do now?” The main focus of the report stated: “the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated.” The panel urged the President to “remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase our health care costs, cripple our Nation’s productivity and devastate American lives.” These are very strong statements made by two medical doctors in the cancer field of medicine.

The environmental contaminants are categorized into 6 areas:

  • Industrial & Manufacturing
  • Agricultural Sources
  • Exposure to Modern Lifestyles
  • Hazards from Medical Sources
  • Military
  • Natural Sources

If you feel like you have had environmental exposures, contact me for an appointment. I can determine the necessary treatment for you through understanding the type of exposures and symptoms you experience. Read next week’s blog for recommendations on how to create a cleaner personal environment.

To read the entire report by the Cancer Panel, go to http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf

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