Last week I finally started studying for a bachelor's degree, 10 years after I would have done so if I hadn't been ill.
I am happy to report that I have now moved past feeling anger towards my situation and instead am glad my life has turned out the way it has thus far. I now have a new purpose in life that started with the founding of The Environmental Illness Resource and now continues
as I start studying for a BSc (Hons) in Complementary Therapies (Nutritional Health).
I chose this course as nutritional interventions have been behind many positive changes in my condition as I have experimented with various treatments. Doing research for both personal reasons and for this website have also brought to my attention a multitude of nutritional deficiencies and nutrition related issues that are present in environmental illnesses. I truly believe that nutritional therapy, while not being a magic bullet cure for these conditions, should certainly be a major part of any succesful treatment program.
I must add that I would not have been able to start this course right now if it wasn't for the fact that I am able to do it in distance learning form. The course is run jointly by the University of Greenwich, London, and a specilist nutrition college The UK College for Nutrition and Health (BCNH) which is also based in London. The course is aimed at older students who wish to be qualified at the degree level to better serve their clients and is offered in full-time, part-time and distance learning forms. This is increasingly common at UK universities and while distance learning is often looked down upon, these courses are taught by the same academic staff as attendance courses and are accredited by the same education bodies.
The particular degree I will receive (hopefully!) is accredited by the Nutrition Therapy Council (NTC) and will enable me to practice as a nutritional therapist here in the UK with full insurance cover etc.
I am very much looking forward to my studies and hope they will enable me to improve both my own health and that of others in the future. As I like to remind people throughout the site, when it comes to environmental illnesses, our best hope for improving our health is educating ourselves through whatever means possible!
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.