Medical Toxicology

What is medical toxicology?

Medical toxicology is a specialist area in medicine that is practiced by professionals known as toxicologists. It is a discipline with a specific interest in the avoidance, diagnosis and treatment of ailments caused by exposure to toxic and poisonous substances. Such toxins can be found in your local environment, household, workplace and in over-the-counter medications. For the most part, toxins you receive in medications over-the counter are not dangerous unless you consume too many, which is why there are always guidelines provided on how many doses you should take.

Other poisons and toxins of interest to toxicologists include snake-bites, drug overdoses, antidepressant poisoning and analgesic poisoning. Toxins are all around us, whether it is under your sink, where you will likely find a bottle of bleach, or in your bathroom, in which you will likely find some form of medication. This is why medical toxicology is such an important sub-speciality in medicine today.

Toxins and their possible affects

The affects of poisoning on the human body can be traumatic. This will typically depend on the level and type of exposure. Some poisons can have an affect within around 24-48 hours, such as the snake-bite of a rattlesnake, which can lead to the infection spreading rapidly and requiring treatment as soon as possible. Other poisons have more delayed affects, such as links between certain environmental chemicals and cancer.

Why is medical toxicology so important?

Medical toxicology is of great importance as it can give us an insight into what causes such negative reactions when chemicals and toxins come into contact with the human body. Through acquiring such information a toxicologist can then work to try and ascertain what antidotes are available, or how to create new ones. There are already several antidotes available for things such as snakebites, but research is still of utmost importance if more is to be done in the diagnosis and treatment of toxins and chemicals.

What this site will cover

This site will examine medical toxicology and the various aspects of this discipline. Firstly, there will be an examination of the process of poisoning and how to prevent it. Then, the diagnosis and treatment process will be looked at, followed by a look at the various toxins and poisons in our environment and in others areas around the world. This will be done in order to demonstrate the importance of medical toxicology as a sub-speciality of medicine, and how research into this area is still an important matter.