I wanted to use my blog this week to give you a quick update on the things I am currently working on on the site and things planned for the future.
For those who don't know, The Environmental Illness Resource is essentially a one man show run by myself, Matthew Hogg (Maff). I suffer, or thankfully in some cases have sufferered, from a number of the conditions the site addresses. The pace at which I can work is therefore limited and a site of this size and scope really needs more than one person working on it......unfortunately something outside of a very limited budget at the moment! I hope then that you will have patience while the full potential of the site is realised.
For 5 months in summer 2007 I worked non-stop to develop the current version of the site. This version provides for a number of interactive features which allow visitors to share their knowledge and opinions for the benefit of other visitors. It is my hope that The Environmental Illness Resource will become an interactive community where sufferers of poorly understood illnesses can learn from other people going through similar experiences and contribute their own knowledge and experience.
Many of you have already taken advantage of the ability to comment on content which is fantastic to see!
I am currently working hard to add pages to this section of the site so that you can all begin to review treatments and products. There are currently 159 items in the database and 19 reviews but I will be adding many more items in current weeks so please keep checking back and share your experiences if you come across a treatment you have tried or a product you have used.
Items for review include nutritional and herbal supplements, household cleaning products, personal care products, complementary and alternative therapies, water filters, air purifiers, and allergy reduction products.
I have been writing my own blog every week (mostly!) since I completed this version of the site almost a year ago. I talk about important stories in the news relating to environmental illnesses, specific conditions and potential treatments, and issues such as experiences people with environmental illnesses have with people around them including doctors, family and friends.
The system allows for all registered visitors to write their own blog and a handful of people have done taken the time to contribute so far, so my appreciation to them. Recently Clearday has added a large number of blog entries discussing her experiencesd with Candida and its treatment.
If you've got anything you'd like to share with similar health concerns as yourself then please write them down in a blog. Your knowledge is sure to be of interest to the thousands of people visiting the site.
The site already features regular columns from:
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum - leading expert in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
Gloria Gilbère - naturopath and bestselling author who regaind her own health after suffering from fibromyalgia, leaky gut syndrome, chemical sensitivities and other problems.
Lourdes Salvador - Science writer and co-founder of MCS America. Lourdes brings us all the latest information on multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and related issues, making complex scientific information easily understandable.
In the near future I hope to have many more regular columnists with expertise in environmental illnesses who are willing to share their knowledge.
Before the re-design of the site last summer we had a very active forum with over 300 members. Unfortunately it was impossible to keep those forums going so we had to start from scratch. Things have been slow to get going but now look like they are starting to hit critical mass where people feel it is worth posting. With 60,000 visitors passing through the site every month there really aren't a shortage of people so please get posting and you will no doubt receive replies before too long! I will always try to reply myself as well.
Articles and Original Content
The site alredy has a database of a few hundred articles written by doctors, researchers, patients and others. I am always on the look out for quality articles and will be continuing to add them as I find them.
As time allows I plan to write new content myself. This will focus on related conditions such as heavy metal toxicity and on more treatment options.
I hope these efforts will help to make The Environmental Illness Resource one of the most helpful places on the web for those suffering and struggling with the illnesses which have affected my own life so badly.
If you need any help with any part of the site or have any comments or suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me!
To a more healthful future,
About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.