We are entering a new phase a medicine that is much different from our current medical model. The medical industry is geared toward treating acute conditions from infections or physical injury and we have excellent physicians and treatments for these conditions. But today, it is the chronic illnesses that have both genetic and environmental causes that make up 80-90-% of clinic visits.These chronic complex diseases such as autoimmune, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer etc.
These are 'ecogenetic' diseases that occur because the chemistry of the environment is changing faster than our genes can adapt. In the last 70 years 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced into our consumer goods, and agricultural and industrial complexes. These chemicals are new to our biological systems and cause molecular and cellular damage. Cellular damage occurs silently throughout the body but eventually presents with symptoms that are more global, more diffuse and harder to diagnose.
As stated by The American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine,, which was founded in 1965, we are all being affected by environmental chemicals. Their mission statement is as follows:
We believe that environmental toxins are the major determinant of almost all chronic complex health issues affecting the majority of the population. These include but are not limited to Alzheimer’s Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease, hormonal dysregulation and neurological disorders.
Environmental Medicine is concerned with the interaction between mankind and the environment. More specifically, Environmental Medicine involves the adverse reactions experienced by an individual on exposure to an environmental excitant. Excitants to which individual susceptibility exists are found in air, food, water, and drugs, and are frequently found in the home, work, school, and play environments. Exposures to these agents may adversely affect one or more organ system and this effect is commonly not recognized by individuals and their physicians.
Environmental Medicine offers a sweeping reinterpretation of medical thinking, especially in its approach to many previously unexplained and ineffectively treated chronic diseases. The basis of this view is the simple concept that there are causes for all illnesses, and the obvious but not well accepted fact, that what we eat or are exposed to in our environment, has a direct effect upon our health.
The basic theories of Environmental Medicine include the "total load" concept, individual susceptibility, and adaptation. The "total load" concept postulates that multiple and chronic environmental exposures in a susceptible individual contribute to a breakdown of that person's homeostatic mechanisms. Rarely is there only one offending agent responsible for causing a diseased condition. Multiple factors co-exist, usually over a prolonged period of time in bringing about the disease process.
Individual susceptibility to environmental agents occurs for a variety of reasons including genetic predisposition, gender, nutritional status, level of exposures to offending substances, infectious processes, and emotional and physical stress. Adaptation is defined as the ability of an organism to adjust to gradually changing sustained circumstances of its existence. Maladaptation would be a breakdown of the adaptive mechanism.