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Are You, or Is Someone You Know, Experiencing Environmental Illness?

When you looked into the mirror today, did you see a face that may be reflecting the signs of environmental illness on the outside or inside of your body? Though it might surprise or shock you, there’s not a single person or living thing walking the face of the Earth today that is not being affected by environmental illness, in one form or another. The symptoms of environmental illness (which this article will spell out for you) develop in the human body when environmental toxins and excitants cause adverse reactions in the body.

The Kinds of Environmental Excitants that Are Said to Cause the Illness

Excitants to which we become susceptible to developing this illness are found in the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the water we drink, and the drugs we use or come into contact with. They are frequently found in the home and workplace, as well as in schools and play environments. Exposures to these agents may adversely affect one or more organ systems and this effect is commonly not recognized by individuals and their physicians! (1)

Other Names for Environmental Illness

Environmental illness is also referred to as "sick building syndrome," or MCS"

Environmental illness is also referred to as "sick building syndrome,” or “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” (aka MCS). Some doctors call it “idiopathic environmental intolerance.” While some health authorities don’t consider MCS an illness, doctors who practice functional medicine treat it as a real (symptomatic) medical condition that develops for a variety of reasons. (2)

How Does Environmental Illness Develop?

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine offers three basic theories to explain the cause of environmental illness: 1) "the total load" concept, 2) individual susceptibility, and 3) adaptation.

Doctors Explain Three Causative Factors

The "total load" concept postulates that multiple and chronic environmental exposures to toxins in a susceptible individual contribute to a breakdown of that person's homeostatic (balance) mechanisms.

  • Individual susceptibility to environmental agents occurs for a variety of reasons including genetics, gender, nutrition status, level of toxicity, 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. (3)

The Symptoms of Environmental Illness Vary from Person to Person

For some, environmental illness might manifest as a never-ending sinus infection, skin rashes, joint pain, or neurological issues linked to mold exposure or radiation exposure (from Wi-Fi.) For others, it might manifest as gastrointestinal issues and immune system dysfunction linked with the consumption of foods that have been treated with toxic herbicides such as glyphosate. (Glyphosate is known to disrupt gut bacteria.) For others, it may manifest as hormonal problems, infertility, and birth defects, linked with chemical exposures. For others, it might manifest as…well, there are a thousand different conditions I could mention! Most illnesses have an underlying toxicity component!

Facing The Hard Reality of Our Times

The reality of our times is that the chemical toxins circulating within our environment (of which there are more than 85,000 forms) have placed too heavy a burden on our human ecology systems. And when the human ecology system fails to function optimally, stagnation can set in, laying the foundation for disease. Like rivers that become stagnant swamps when they're overloaded with toxins, our human bloodstream isn't designed to handle the toxic load that it's carrying. Birds, insects, animals, and marine life (made sick by human-disposed toxins), have been showing us the effect of toxins on biology for a very long time, but only in recent times have people begun to realize that what hurts the earth's health also hurts theirs.

Finding a Functional Medicine Doctor and Detoxing to Get Well

Even though Environmental Medicine is a relatively new branch of medicine, the number of doctors in this field of medicine has (thankfully) been growing by leaps and bounds in the US and abroad.


To find a doctor in your area, you may want to visit the AAEM website at:


A doctor (and pioneer) in the field of environmental medicine who has helped me to develop a deeper understanding of the cause (and cure for) environmental illness is Dr. Neil Nathan, M.D.


He has written a book titled “TOXIC.” It offers in-depth explanations for the illness and spells out the remedies that he uses to treat it. (4) He has recently released another book titled "The Sensitive Patient's Healing Guide."


I have also written a book that chronicles my journey with environmental illness, titled "Born to Live

Green--Awakening My Heart's Wisdom to the Path of Eco-Intelligent Living, Learning, Healing, & Mentoring. You can find the 2022-2023 edition here:


I've also created an online certification course known as my Eco-Mentor Apprentice Training. It features the book in audio format along with learner assessments. To learn about the course, go here:


Candia Lea Cole

Founder, Eco-Learning Legacies

(my new e-learning platform)


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