Centre for Environmental Medicine
Clinical ecology investigates the influence of the environment on human beings. It concerns mainly chemical compounds which can be found in water, air, food and drugs: the environment. In Western Europe, clinical ecology is still in progress, but in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand this science is well-established.
In anglo-celtic countries clinical ecology is called environmental medicine nowadays. In Germany it is called Umweltmedizin; in the Netherlands it is still called Klinische Ecologie (clinical ecology).
Traditional medical science mainly concentrates on the treatment of the end points of the disease. In general, it is their point of view that a patient's individual reaction on a pathogen or chemical compound follows a more or less general pattern.
Environmental medicine studies the process of a patient's disease and focuses its attention mainly on the cause of the disease. In the opinion of environmental medicine many diseases are individual reactions on pathogens, or on chemicals in food or in the patient's environment.
A large variety of chronical diseases is related to nutritional and environmental factors such as migraine, gastro-intestinal problems, hay fever, hives, acne, arthritis, infertility, hypoglycaemia, alcoholism, hypertension, overweight, depression, schizofrenia, chronic fatigue, and concentration problems. Of course, not all diseases are caused by environmental factors; food allergy and intole-rance is responsible for at least 80% of the diseases mentioned above. Other diseases, such as eczema, asthma, and sniffing, probably exclusively have an allergic cause. However, they often are not properly treated, because little or no attention is paid to these nutritive and other environmental factors, e.g. moulds.
The Centre for Environmental Medicine (KEAC) has its own laboratory facilities.
Throughout the past years a number of diagnostic allergy and immunology tests have been developed, including tests for determination of different forms of gluten intolerance. Our laboratory is one of the few worldwide which can perform tests on a large number of antibodies; we have the use of over 5000 types of allergens. Specific brands, types of beer, bread, and so on, can also be tested, al-though these allergens have not always been standardized. Those tests are made by order of physicians from many countries; the results can be given in nine different languages.
Furthermore, in our centre scientific research is performed as well. For example, in 1993 we started a research project to determine the influence of an energy balanced diet and nutrition supplements on patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.In another project we studied the effects of heavy metals on chronic fatigue and other related health problems.
In cooperation with the Study Centre for Environmental Medicine we have the use of a library and a documentation centre. Food allergy, intolerance, histamine and other vasoactive amines, chemical sensitivities are just a few major subjects in our library. Data are interchanged with a number of research centres worldwide. A large number of our data is filed in our compute-rised system, so our centre has access to an extended number of data files in the area of industrial hygiene, food composition, additives, contaminants, pesticides, drugs, allergens and their pathology. To expand these data we have contacts with research centres in other countries; with some of them we have made arrangements for taking over the treatment of certain patients. out of the United States. Once a year we meet our fellow workers from the field of environmental medicine. during a scientific congress.
Doctors, dieticians, and therapists can order blood kits. Blood, taken from patients, can then be send to our laboratory to have it tested on food- and other allergens. The most complete test on food allergy is our IgG4-sreening on foods/moulds, which exists of ± 100 allergens. Results will be send to the doctor/dietician/therapist/patient in the language preferred. We can give advice and assist in interpreting the results.
Klinisch Ecologisch Allergie Centrum b.v.