Your Healthy Brain and the Role of Environmental Medicine
By Pamela Costello, MD
As a medical doctor of 28 years, an operating neurosurgeon for much of that time, as well as a published neuroscientist of over 30 years, I’ve had extensive exposure and insights into the true basis of neurological disease. I have additionally further trained and specialized in environmental medicine, allowing me insights to diagnose the influences of the environment on our nervous systems, along with the mechanisms of repair and recovery, in treating the underlying base causes of neuroinflammatory diseases.
The natural progression of neuroinflammatory disease results in neurodegenerative disease, and most neurodegenerative disease is without potential cure by traditional medicine. Furthermore, when pharmaceutical agents are used in an attempt to slow the disease process, the side effects of those agents can be substantial, as these drugs are not removing or reversing the true underlying cause of the illness. However, when the root causes, such as neurotoxins and low grade infections, are identified and addressed, the neuroinflammatory processes can be reversed.
Environmental neurotoxins include substances that enter the body beginning at conception, crossing the placenta, with continued exposure throughout our lives via contaminated air, water, food substances, dental amalgams, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumes and hygiene products, as well as insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. These acquired toxins create an inflammatory response in the nervous tissues, as well as potentially cause cell death. As our environment becomes increasingly saturated with these toxins, so do our nervous and immune systems. An environmental medicine approach addresses the basis of illness by identifying these root causes, including both historical and potential ongoing exposures.
As the burden of industrial, man made toxins accumulates in our air, soil, and water, they also accumulate in our nervous and immune systems.
Although increasing numbers of Americans are becoming aware of the concept of environmental medicine, standard medicine (which is largely run on a pharmaceutical driven “pill for a disease” model), lags slowly behind. While allopathic medicines and surgeries provide life-saving intervention in the acute, or emergency, setting they are far less appropriate in managing chronic disease or in preventing disease. The rise of environmental toxins has become stratospheric, thus mandating a dramatic refocusing of our healthcare system’s attention, as well as that of the public. This awareness is necessary in order to offer any hope to curb the epidemic rise in neuroinflammatory illness, and provide effective curative treatment to those already afflicted.
As the burden of industrial, man made toxins accumulates in our air, soil, and water, they also accumulate in our nervous and immune systems. After generations of toxins saturating our environment, we now are faced with the problem of toxic saturation in ourselves, through the process of bioaccumulation. Furthermore, while many are aware of the causes of acute poisoning, very little of current healthcare deals with bioaccumulation, or the chronic storage or accumulation of toxins in our brains, nervous tissue, immune tissue, bones, organs and other body tissues. Such accumulation results in inflammation and malfunctioning of the cells, glands, and organ systems.
Fortunately, awareness of and general knowledge about hazardous substances in our environment and surroundings is increasing. Numerous risks are continuously reduced by law, certainly through The Clean Air and Water acts, as well as the World Ban on Mercury. Although we might expect people to get increasingly healthier, more and more symptoms are manifesting and, unfortunately, with technological progress, new chemical substances keep entering into our environment and are considered absolutely harmless, until proven otherwise.
Fortunately, awareness of and general knowledge about hazardous substances in our environment and surroundings is increasing.
The good news is that environmental medicine is concerned with the causes and effects this environmental impact has on human health. Beginning with a thorough examination and investigation, treatment then follows, which entails both removing further exposures, as well as beginning the healing process by safely clearing the body of the absorbed toxins.The detoxification process stimulates the kidneys, liver, skin, and lymphatic system, and administers safe approaches, e.g. herbal substances and antioxidants, to absorb and discharge these toxins.
If you’d like a comprehensive brain health/neurotoxin burden assessment and treatment plan for your best brain health, please contact my office at 423-461-0073 and see my website www.drpamelacostello.com.