Clinical Ecology, attempts to understand the effects of environment on a person’s health. Clinical ecgologists will test a particular area, such as an office building, for a wide range of environmental factors, ie. synthetic chemicals found in office furniture. The aim is to determine the root causes of allergies and to develop thorough strategies of dealing with them so that people can live and work in environments that are free from health hazard.
Clinical Ecology draw on the work of Theron Randolph, a leading 20th
century allergist. It is an area that is continually evolving, as people
come to better understand the effects their environment upon their
health. Clinical Ecology is also known as, or related to, Toxic Injury
(TI), Chemical Injury Syndrome (CI), Chemical Sensitivity (CS), 20th
Century Syndrome, Sick Building Syndrome, Environmental Illness (EI) and
Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance.
Theron Randolph, a USA born allergist, researcher and doctor, lived from 1906 to 1995. During his career he wrote four books as well as some 300 medical articles. Co-founding, in 1965, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Randolph was one of a number of American allergists who objected to the idea that allergies should be diagnosed from a person’s blood sample, rather than by looking at the person’s environment.
Theron Randolph helped found the Nutrition for Optimal Health Association (NOHA) Professional Advisory Board. This was part of his effort to educate people about the impact of environmental on health. He is considered to be a pioneer of ecological perspectives in medicine.
Theron Randolph observed that a number of his patients were falling ill due to environmental exposures such as househould chemicals, pesticides in food, auto exhaust and gas stoves. Dr. Randolph noted that his patients would recover from their illnesses, even their symptoms had been chronic, once the environmental exposures were removed. And only when the environmental conditions were reinstated would the health problems would return.
In 1949, Theron Randolph went before the FDA and requested that all ingredients used in processed food be listed on the package. Due to taking such a stand, which was controversial at the time, a great deal of pressure was placed on him by the medical establishment, but Dr. Randolph was never deterred from his work.
How it Works
Although clinical ecologists do make use of skin and blood tests, they do not rely on them to reveal allergies . They believe that, since allergies are still not completely understood by medical science, such tests can only produce limited results. Studies show that increasing numbers of people are being affected by allergies throughout the western world, and clinical ecologists believe that this increase can only be explained by attributing the allergies to chemicals present in the environment and in food.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Clinical Ecology is about removing the source of an allergy from a person’s environment. Conventional medicical practice may involve a blood test and then a drug prescription that will surpress allergy symptoms, but clinical ecologists take a more painstaking approach; they will carefully examine an individual’s chemical environment and diet.
One process that is used by Clinical Ecologists is to systematically remove allergenic foods from diet. The foods are later reintroduced and the results noted. This process requires discipline on the part of the patient, but it can reveal unexpected food-bourne allergies.
Other treatments involve purging the body of its toxins that may have accumulated over time. Sauna detoxification is