Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Understanding Causative Factors

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Author: Yanick, Jr., Paul
Date: Jan. 2001
From: Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients(Issue 212)
Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,881 words

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Increasing worldwide pollution coupled with overcrowding, contaminated water and food, and indoor air contaminants gives a friendly welcome to a wide spectrum of serious and complex diseases. Escalating levels of these pollutants build up in the body and can exceed and incapacitate the body's natural detoxification capabilities, weakening immunity to the point where Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), chronic and fatal infections, and cancer are becoming our greatest health challenges. With the continual rise of cancer and the increase of many treatment-resistant syndromes, many professionals are challenged with multisystem, complex disorders that do not respond to their best clinical efforts.

Indoor air contaminants from the widespread use of synthetic cleaning agents and synthetic colognes, perfumes, body care products, and air fresheners wreck havoc with immune functions of the body. These pollutants infiltrate and damage delicate detoxification mechanisms of the body and rapidly deplete the body's nutrient reserves of precursors and co-factors needed by the liver to keep toxins from suppressing immunity and congesting the lymphatic system.

The prevalence of MCS is greater among individuals with a history of childhood allergies or who were not breast fed. Between 15 and 37% of the American population consider themselves sensitive or allergic to chemicals, car exhaust, tobacco smoke, air fresheners, and the scents of many common household cleaning agents and body care products. Only 5% of the these allergic individuals are actually diagnosed with MCS. Symptoms of MOS may include headaches, seizures, fainting, dizziness, extreme fatigue, muscle or joint pain, asthma, sinusitis, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, maldigestion, depression, anxiety or panic attacks, and skin disorders.

The best way to understand what MCS is -- and what it is not -- is to see how it affects the lives of people who have it. Many of the symptoms of MCS have serious implications and social effects that demand more public and professional understanding. Many MCS individuals experience personality changes -- becoming angry, irritated, anxious, fearful, and lethargic -- when exposed to certain chemicals. Most sufferers find it impossible to live a normal life. Shopping and the normal social routines of life can result in acute brain and nervous system reactions, an inability to breathe or a feeling of suffocation, intense headaches, dizziness, brain fog and short-term memory disorders, muscle spasms, and convulsions. Sadly, in an attempt to avoid these symptoms, MCS individuals experience isolation and withdrawal as they are often left with no choice but to avoid social situations where a given chemical could potentially trigger a serious or near fatal allergic reaction.

Problems with chemical sensitivity can occur at a number of different levels and in a number different ways. Symptoms maybe silent and internal, producing a symptom pattern that may be diagnosed as ADD or fibromylagia earlier in life. Indeed, many inflammatory disorders such as fibromylagia involve the excess storage of toxins in the joints and connective tissue. Many of these patients are resistant to treatment and continue to suffer because they and their doctors are not aware of the hidden and toxic effects...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Yanick, Jr., Paul. "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: Understanding Causative Factors." Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, no. 212, Jan. 2001, p. 55. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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