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.
Wondering if a food, allergen, or a chemical might be causing your symptoms?
Dr Ward is trained in environmental medicine and strives to identify toxic triggers to illness and then build up the body’s ability to deal with the triggers.
What is Environmental Medicine?
Environmental medicine involves the interactions between a patient and triggers in the environment that cause 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 include chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia related to chemical, food and mold sensitivities. The concept comes down to a belief that there is a cause for all chronic illness, and that what we are exposed to in food and the environment can have a direct effect on the illness and our health.
The "total load" concept is a fundamental part of the environment medicine approach. Dr Tawnya Ward (ND) investigates the "total load" with an understanding that it is usually multiple triggers that are chronically present in the environment that cause a breakdown in the body's natural, homeostatic, balancing mechanism. An individual's risk for developing sensitivities depends on multiple factors, including genetics, nutritional status, total exposure levels to triggers, chronic infections, and emotional and physical stress. By assessing and lowering the "total load", balance and health can be restored.
What techniques can be used to help the total toxic load?
Techniques used by Dr Tawnya Ward 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.
What type of conditions respond best to environmental medicine and detoxification?
Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity may respond, even when other therapies have failed. Immune system problems, including asthma, bronchitis, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergies, and eczema are candidates as well. If the condition seems to be made worse by certain triggers, such as foods or environments, then it is particularly important to evaluate the "total load" and detoxify or treat accordingly.
Patients who suffer from chronic symptoms, such as fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome, with difficult to pinpoint causes might benefit from an evaluation.
For example, in migraine headaches, there may be a food allergy component that is important in reducing or eliminating the frequency of attacks. Stimulating compounds in certain foods such as tyramines may be an aggravating factor. In some patients, there is marked sensitivity and reactivity to chemicals, especially solvents and their associated smell. In other patients, mold sensitivities and the frequent accompanying sinusitis is an important component to be addressed. Either way, there can be an environmental component that triggers blood vessel irritation. The irritation can 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 most important to identify the triggers that cause the illness. Remember, in the headaches case the triggers or toxins are causing irritation of blood vessels leading the headache, whereas in other patients it might be the tissues that leads to the typical allergy symptoms of runny nose.
Environmental triggers can be:
-Food allergies and sensitivities
-Chemical sensitivities (volatile organic compounds, solvents, sick-building syndrome, heavy metals, mercury)
-inhaled allergens (pollen, dust, mold, pet dander)
The body’s ability to deal with the triggers depends on:
-balancing for a proper immune response
-alkaline tissue environment (oxidative medicine, diet therapy, nutritional supplements)
-detoxification of chemical triggers (sauna therapy, exercise, chelation therapy, IV vitamin C)
While the following list of conditions is comprehensive, it represents conditions where an evaluation of the environment and its possible effects on the body is just as important as looking at the body itself only. The list of conditions is from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
First level: excellent results with environmental assessment and treatment
Asthma, gut flora dysbiosis, irritable bowel syndrome, Meniere's disease, rhinitis.
Second level: One of the better therapies for these conditions.
Attention deficit disorder, chronic bronchitis, chronic fatigue, dermatitis herpetiformis, dysmenorrhea, eczema, enuresis, fatigue, fibrocystic breast disease, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, muscle spasm headaches, myalgia and arthralgia, premenstrual syndrome, recurrent otitis media, regional ileitis, rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, ulcerative colitis, and urticaria.
Third level: A valuable adjunctive therapy for these conditions.
Alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, angina, angioedema, anxiety, aphthous stomatitis, arrhythmias, certain anemias, certain malabsorption syndromes, certain pneumonias, chronic cystitis, chronic gastritis, conjunctivitis, eczema of the eyelids, edema and fluid retention syndromes, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, frequent colds, gastric and duodenal ulcers, glomerulonephritis, hearing loss, hypertension, infertility, irritability, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, myocardial infarctions, nephrotic syndrome, obesity, parkinson's disease, pressure in the ear., recurrent vaginitis, schizophrenia, scleroderma, scleroderma, sexual dysfunction, thrombocytopenia, thrombophlebitis, thyroid dysfunction, tinnitus, various cognitive and memory disorders, vasculitis, vertigo, and vulvodynia.