Dr Tawnya Ward has a focus on environmental medicine. She strives to help patients with multiple chemical sensitivities and allergies identify underlying causes and triggers.
Dr Tawnya Ward (ND) has a focus within her practice on environmental medicine. She strives to help patients with allergies and chemical sensitivities identify underlying causes and triggers for their condition.
What is Environmental Medicine?
Environmental medicine involves the interactions between a patient and potential triggers in the environment that may trigger a poor health response. These triggers may be in the air, food, water, or drugs, and are commonly sourced from the home and work environment. The simplest example is allergy to pollen; more complex examples may include chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia related to chemical, food and mold sensitivities.
What techniques can be used to help the total toxic load?
Techniques used by Dr Tawnya Ward (ND) include allergy assessment, tests for allergies, sensitivities, mold toxins / mycotoxins, heavy metal detoxification, sauna therapy, IV vitamin C, nutritional therapy, diet therapy, and environmental controls.
Example: Migraine Headaches
In my experience, in migraine headaches, there may be a food sensitivity or inhalant allergy component, or compounds found more so in certain foods (e.g. tyramines), that may be an important in reducing the frequency of attacks. Hormonal factors can influence migraine headaches, potentially lowering the threshold for a potential trigger to manifest in the syndrome (e.g. headache.) In some patients, there is marked sensitivity and reactivity to chemicals, such as solvents, perfumes or strong scents. Visual stimuli, such as flashing bright lights may trigger a migraine headache in some, in my experience this may be more likely when combined with other triggers (e.g. strong scents, hormonal changes, more tyramine in diet, and/or flashing lights on the same day or series of days.) In other patients, mold sensitivities may be an important component to address. Either way, there may be an environmental component that potentially triggers blood vessel irritation. The irritation may cause blood vessel spasm, with decreased blood flow, and then subsequently the tissues become edematous or swollen. It is the swelling that triggers the headache. The headache itself can be treated but it is also important in our opinion to identify the corresponding triggers.
Environmental triggers can be:
-Food allergies and sensitivities
-Chemical sensitivities (volatile organic compounds, solvents)
-inhaled allergens (pollen, dust, molds, pet dander)
Treatments may focus on:
-balancing immune response (environmental controls, oxidative therapy)
-detoxification of chemical triggers (sauna therapy, exercise, chelation therapy, IV vitamin C)