Integrative Environmental Medicine

Integrative Environmental Medicine

Aly Cohen and Frederick S. vom Saal

Print publication date: Feb 2017

ISBN: 9780190490911

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Integrative Environmental Medicine looks at the history and changing landscape of environmental issues in the United States, including water supply, air quality, extensive plastic pollution, harmful chemicals in cleaning and personal care products, radiofrequency radiation, food additives, pesticides, and medications. The unique properties of compounds such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals are explored along with their ability to disturb the body’s normal signaling pathways, genetic profile, and gut microbiome. Resulting molecular derangements promote thyroid and other autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and influence developmental problems in children. Analysis of current research identifies ways to reduce exposures and health risks, improve regulations and appropriate testing for chemicals, remediate environmental pollution, and design healthier products for the future. Best practices are considered for clinicians to ascertain exposure history, test for toxins, and teach patients how to avoid harmful exposures. Patients will be prepared and empowered with information about healthier food choices and cooking practices, appropriate supplement use, water filtration, cleaning and personal care product selection, improved sleep, stress reduction, sauna, fasting, chelation, safe cell phone use, and other means of reducing harmful environmental exposures. Solutions at every level require interdisciplinary collaboration to advance assessment, design, stewardship, and regulation of chemicals to promote environmental and human health.