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Target Ailments



Referral to a physician well trained and experienced in Environmental Medicine should be considered anytime a patient or his/her physician wishes to try to find the actual causes behind a chronic and/or complex illness rather than just continue to treat it with symptomatic drugs. All organ systems are commonly involved with illnesses that may respond well to the Environmental Medicine approach. See the "Office Applications" section below.

A referral might be particularly helpful if a patient's illness is chronic; consists of multiple symptoms in multiple organ systems; exhibits patterns that fluctuate over time (expecially if the patterns are known to result from biological mechanisms dysfunction due to involvement with exposures to environmental inhalants, chemicals, or the diet); or has not responded satisfactorily to a symptomatic multiple drug approach.


This list illustrates only some of the potentially extensive range of adverse health effects that have been associated with Environmentally Triggered Illnesses (ETI) as defined in this section. By listing a disease name here, it is not implied that it is always the result of ETI. However, the physician should be alert to the possibility and should consider evaluating the patient for an ETI connection if indicated by an appropriate history.

Where an illness involves an ETI component, therapy to correct the contributing causes of the illness should always rank as the number one choice, ahead of any other therapy that is just symptomatic, though symptomatic therapies are appropriate adjuncts. All of the diseases and symptoms listed are documented in the published peer reviewed medical literature to be potentially due to the mechanisms of ETI. (Chemical Esposures: Low Levels and High Stakes, 2nd Edition by Ashford, Nicholas A., Ph.D., J.D., and Miller, Claudia S., M.D., M.S., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, New York, 1988; Human Ecology and Susceptibility to the Chemical Environment, by Randolph, Theron G., Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1962.

  • Systematic Illnesses: Alcoholism, obesity, tobacco use, and food allergies.
  • Cardiovascular Disorders: Migraine headaches, arrhythmias, vasculitis, thrombophlebitis, hypertension, angina, myocardial infractions, edema, and fluid retention syndromes.
  • Eye/Ear/Nose/Throat Disorders: Conjunctivitis, eczema of the eyelids, blurring vision, photophobia, laryngeal edema, Meniere's disease, recurrent otitis media, rhinitis, frequent colds, sinusitis, vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and pressure in the ear.
  • Pulmonary Disorders: Asthma, certain pneumonias, chronic bronchitis.
  • Endocrine Dysfunction: Thyroid dysfunction, premenstrual syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, and diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: aphthous stomatitis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, chronic gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, infantile enterocolitis, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, regional ileitis, ulcerative colitis, certain malabsorption syndromes, and gut flora dysbiosis.
  • Hematological Disorders: Certain anemia's, thrombocytopenia.
  • Genitourinary Disorders: glomerulonephritis, nephritic syndrome, chronic cystitis, recurrent vaginitis, enuresis, dysmenorrheal, infertility, and vulvodynia.
  • Neurological Disorders: Fatigue, certain seizure disorders, sleep disorders, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and various cognitive and memory disorders.
  • Neurobehavioral and Psychiatric Disorders: Attention deficit disorder, manic-depressive illness, somatoform disorders, sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, schizophrenia, panic disorders, irritability, anxiety, spaciness, and chronic fatigue.
  • Rheumatologic Disorders: Lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, myalgia and arthralgia, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and other arthritides.
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders: Muscle spasm headaches.
  • Skin Disorders: Eczema, urticaria, angioedema, scleraderma, and dermatitis herpetiformis.
  • Cancer