Let's imagine that you are the child with a deadly reaction to peanuts, but don’t realize it. One solution is to provide you with an EpiPen to inject you every time your turn blue and can’t breathe. Another solution is to figure out that it is the peanuts that almost kill you and then stop eating them. It’s pretty easy to understand that avoiding the peanuts is a better plan. The challenge we face is that we first need to know that you're allergic to the peanuts. This is the start of our pathway to environmental health.
The fundamental problem in exploring causes of environmental illnesses is that those reactions occur in time delay. Our minds are trained to understand that it hurts if we hit our thumb with a hammer, and we should stop doing it. Environmental exposures are cumulative and in” time delay” often complicated in combinations of exposures and locations.
The first step to wellness is to identify the cause of the illness. Functional medicine practitioners have the approach of looking for the cause of the environmental reaction. Modern medicine has developed blood, and urine tests that can identify the source of the illness. Underlying diseases such as Lyme disease, childhood diseases and occupational exposures also need explored as they can combine with environmental triggers to intensify an illness or delay recovery.
The next step is identifying the exposure that is making the client ill. Common environmental exposures include mold, household chemicals, pesticides, chemicals used in hobbies, illegal drugs, HVAC defects, sewer backups, tainted water, air pollutants, off gassing construction materials and allergens. Many of these exposures can only be identified through testing. Identifying possible sources and the proper testing methods is where the environmental inspector comes in handy.
This investigative process involves developing a list of potential exposures and then looking at how these exposures match with testing by the Functional Medical practitioner.
Once they are identified, the sources of the illness need to be avoided. Removing the sources of environmental triggers is another difficult part of the puzzle. The environmental consultant should, wherever possible, provide a plan or options to avoid the exposure that is making people ill.
Modern medical science is developed treatments to remove toxins from the environmentally ill patient. The challenge is that each of us is a unique individual. We are complex organic machines. Treatments that work with some of us will not work with others. Removing toxins from the miraculous and complex human body usually takes time and sometimes multiple approaches. The good news is that if we avoid toxic environmental exposures, the body tries to help heal itself.
Modern man has developed an endless stream of new products and chemicals in the name of making life better, easier or more convenient. It doesn't always work that way. There are defects in manufacture and in some instances reckless behaviors that expose innocent people to toxic health risks. When this happens, it is devastating to the lives that are touched. Sadly, the people who are environmentally ill are often accused of psychological problems or not helped in a way that can restore their health, their health and the lives of their friends and family. For a full article as published Click here for a PDF copy of the full article
If you are like many of us, the addition of another term in the medical
field can just be babble and one more thing in a confusing, but major part of
our lives. Over 20% of the US economy is dedicated to health care.
The place to start the discussion is to answer the question: Why does
Functional Medicine matter? The answer lies with the fact that chronic disease
(diseases that linger in our lives) has become more and more prevalent.
Auto-immune disease, Asthma, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, COPD are some
examples of chronic disease.
The traditional treatment of patients is geared for treating problems such
as infections, heart attacks, broken bones, and other afflictions that can be
corrected with a heroic swoop down and medical intervention (often a medical
miracle) to correct the specific problem.
Functional Medicine Practitioners address the whole person using systems to
work in partnership with the patient for the best long term health outcome.
If you are like me, your first reaction to that sentence would be of course,
isn’t that what everybody does? That is because it makes sense when we hear
that said. The traditional model is disease centered. In other words, if you
get sick, the isolated set of symptoms are treated as a single point of
The Functional Medicine Practitioners spend time with patients, consider
their histories and look at possible interactions and the influence of genetic,
lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the long-term health of the
patient. This is a much more personalized or holistic approach to medicine and
When the general health of a person is managed, the chronic conditions are
better managed and acute episodes are reduced and quality of life is improved.
Additionally, proactive and predictive management of health improves overall
quality of life. It gives patients the personal power to improve their own
We are fans of Functional Medicine for good reason. This type of practice
usually improves the health and well-being of patients. We have seen this
happen as we work on the environmental with many of these practitioners.
When the Functional Medicine Practitioner is concerned about the
environmental conditions affecting a patient’s health, we test and report the
finding to the practitioner. We are experienced at providing the proper testing
and results for the evaluation of the medical provider.
The role we play in the Functional Medicine puzzle is identifying and
solving the environmental issues that affect both long term and short term