The Chemical Octopus presented by Mary Lou Ballweg

On December 26, 2010, 11:47 am

Many of us are involved in dealing with various disease entities--endometriosis, birth defects, autism, ADHD, various cancers, autoimmune diseases and others. Yet, our research over the last 30 years and other cutting edge science (which I have recently reviewed for a chapter on prevention for a new medical textbook on endometriosis) clearly show that each of these disease entities is one arm of an モoctopusヤ--at the heart of these problems, one can see a pattern of epigenetic chemical contamination. For instance, in families with endometriosis, we now understand that the exposure in-utero to dioxin and other chemicals has transgenerational effects (we're into the fifth generation), sometimes resulting in various birth defects (broadly defined, including autism), sometimes resulting in endometriosis, sometimes in autoimmune diseases or various cancers and for unlucky individuals, several diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are very similar.

We will never solve these problems if we spend the next centuries studying each disease in isolation--we simply must reach for the synergy that is possible by looking at related mechanisms as well as in-utero exposures, which set up the gene transmission regulation for the life of that organism.

Mary Lou Ballweg is president and executive director of the Endometriosis Association, an organization she co-founded in 1980 after being bedridden with endometriosis and related illnesses. The non-profit organization provides support and information for families affected by endometriosis, educates the public and medical community about the disease, and promotes and conducts research.

The Endometriosis Association was the first organization in the world to address the support and education needs of women with endometriosis (endo) and to carry out ongoing research. It maintains its international headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. The Association has affiliates, members, Advisors, and funded scientific projects worldwide.

Ms. Ballweg sits on the evaluation panel of the NIH Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction Research, is an extramural advisor on development of the NIH Reproductive Sciences Branch strategic plan, is an ad hoc reviewer for Fertility & Sterility, and has won numerous awards for her work.

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