Environmental Medicine has many components that focus mainly on the impacts of natural and man-made environments on human health. Epidemiological data about the impacts the environment has on human health has provided important insights for health practitioners and researchers. More so, a growing body of knowledge has shown how environmental medicine can impact certain populations like the elderly and families living in poverty.
Environmental Medicine is focused on the interaction of environmental factors with human biochemistry and physiology, and the resulting physiological and psychological symptoms and pathology.
A trained environmental practitioner assesses and evaluates the impact of environmental medicine on human health. This assessment recognises how human health interacts with the environment, and how this has contributed to the human health or illness and how it can be used to regain or recover wellness. Hence, using this strategy to recover one’s health from environmental insults is like using a GPS to navigate the road blocks on a trip.
What is Environmental Medicine
Environmental medicine was established during the early 20th-century research into allergies and sensitivities. This medicine has evolved into a system of medicine that treats the impact of environmental factors on human health. A number of disorders may be caused by environmental factors such as pollution and intrusion from certain food substances, chemicals and heavy metals, pollen, exhaust fumes, pesticides, dust, moulds, unfiltered water, air and a highly processed diet exposes us to hundreds of synthetic chemicals daily. These include:
- Heavy metals in the bodies of water that affect fish, seafood and drinking water we consume.
- Pesticides and herbicides applied to vegetables and fruit.
- Preservatives, colourings, additives and chemicals found in processed foods.
- Residues of drugs fed to animals prior to slaughter e.g. antibiotics and synthetic hormones.