Multiple Chemical Sensitives, CFS, Allergies, Anyone?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greatgran, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Well, after all these years of feeling so terrible I have done a lot of reasearch and found out that MCS/Allergies are one of my BIG problems..Causing a lot of what I thought was a CFS crash..

    I started noticing when I got around cigerette smoke, in resturants,when the lawn was mowed or just being outside in general, also when cleaning house, doing laundry etc..How sick I would get..I didn't have the classic allergy symptoms such as water eyes, sneezing etc but had ear pressure headache, nausea, dizziness, off balance, head congestion, anxiety/depression, etc..

    I thought it was sinus and allergies but after doing some research I know that I also have MCS along with CFS and allergies..

    On, reading about MCS I find that there is so little treatment except avoidance, but its hard to avoid everything...

    Anyway, just wondering how many of you experience the same, if so what are some of your treatments?

    Another interesting thing was that many doctors see MCS as depression/anxiety the cause.. or should I say mental, that was my dx for 3 yrs before acutally being dx with cfs..Any input on MCS and the mental issue?

    Miserable today with MSC and allergies after trying to be outside and be normal..

    Thanks for any input,
  2. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I am the same way...very bad allergies and I believe MCS

    I started to notice that everytime I cleaned, my hubbie cut the grass, someone sprayed Chemlawn on their grass, I painted, or anything like this, I would have a HORRIBLE day the next day

    And like you, not the usual symptoms, but headache and feeling dizzy and awful

    I feel like I must live in a big bubble

    Sorry I can't help, but I can sympathize. The only solution I have is avoidance, and that is hard

    I started wearing a dusk mask outside. People call me Michael Jackson!
  3. Empower

    Empower New Member

    What is Chemical and Fragrance Sensitivity?
    By David Tan, President of AlerG, Inc.

    If you feel ill when around fragrances, cleaning products, plastics and other products that have odors, you may have a condition called chemical sensitivity. This is also sometimes known as MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) or EI (Environmental Illness). Symptoms can range from headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulties to almost total incapacitation in serious cases. Many people -- including many medical professionals -- do not understand this condition well and some even try to attribute it to psychological reasons. However, if you suffer from this condition like I do, you probably know it is not psychological. It can even be infuriating and discouraging to have those around you say you are crazy or it is just in your mind. But rest assured you are not crazy and there are many fellow sufferers like you.

    Even furniture can emit toxins

    Chemically sensitive people are sometimes referred to as the canaries of the 20th century. Canaries were used by miners starting during the 1700s to detect explosive methane gas and later in the the 1900s to detect lethal carbon monoxide. The canaries were so sensitive that they would faint and keel over long before the miners would even notice the dangerous gases. This was a sign to get out of there fast. In a similar fashion chemically sensitive people are detecting toxic stuff in the environment well before others are able to sense it. Even if you aren't chemically sensitive, using products made for chemically sensitive people will help reduce your exposure to toxins.

    The general consensus appears to be that chemical sensitivity is a result of a weakened immune system and/or an overload of your immune system. Read Kim Palmer's story about an extreme case of immune system overload. Kim was a healthy person who became highly chemically sensitive after long term exposure to toxins.

    Unlike allergies, which are usually a result of your immune system overreacting to normally benign substances like pollen or seafood, chemical sensitivities are often a result of a reaction to known toxins. Most things that cause chemical sensitivity reactions have some toxic chemicals in them. Perfumes, for example, can have as many as 4,000 different chemicals in them, a large percentage of which are made from petroleum and many of which have some level of toxicity. Formaldehyde is used extensively in wood furniture manufacture and building construction and is very toxic (it is a significant ingredient used in chipboard). Smog has Nitrous compounds, toxic hydrocarbons, and ozone to name a few. Your hypersensitivity to these kinds of substances that other people seem to handle with no problem is your body's way of saying that it doesn't want any more exposure because it hasn't got the capacity to handle it anymore.

    The best way to cope with chemical sensitivity is to remove, block, and avoid the offending substances and attempt to strengthen your immune system.

    Perfume can contain as many as 4,000 different chemicals

    Removing Offensive Chemicals
    The first step to removing substances that cause chemical sensitivity attacks is to identify the sources. The easiest way to do this is to go around smelling everything. Do this with caution as this may cause you to become ill if you breathe in too much nasty stuff in one go. Furthermore, your body will automatically desensitize your sense of smell to substances you are constantly exposed to even if it is making you ill. The most common offenders that you should investigate are:

    Personal care products such as shampoos, hair sprays/gels, lotions, etc. These substances remain on your body all day and will constantly subject you to their effects if they are not removed.
    Washing detergents for clothes and your bedding.
    Furniture and household furnishings
    Carpets and flooring materials
    Don't rely only on the ingredient label to determine if the product substance bothers you. Trust your own senses. Why? Manufacturers are only required to list the main ingredients in their labels. Furthermore, ingredients often have a large range of purity levels. In fact you may find that it is not the main ingredients itself that you are reacting to but impurities introduced or not removed during the manufacturing process. Most products from big name manufacturers are made in batches in equipment used to manufacture other produt lines. Your new so called "unscented lotion" may have been made in the same vat and equipment that a batch of highly fragranced lotion was made in a few hours earlier. Chances are that traces of the prior product and the detergents used to clean the equipment between batches are in your lotion. Furthermore, manufacturers are also able to hide information from the label using trade secret exemption loopholes.

    Once you have identified the offending items, stop using and, if necessary, remove them. Replace personal care items and detergents with products made by companies that are truly concerned about people with chemical sensitivity. A selection of our preferred products can be found in our Healthy Hair Care, Healthy Body Care, and House Cleaning sections

    Air Purifiers for MCS Sufferers
    Austin Air Health Mate

    BlueAir 501 w/ Smokestop

    IQAir HealthPro Plus


    IQAir GC Multi-Gas

    IQAir VOC


    It is often almost essential for chemical sensitivity sufferers to use a good air purifier with activated carbon or VOC filter. This is because no matter how hard we try to remove the sources, there will always be a low level of toxins in the air.

    Determining the right purifier for you is a huge article in itself. Not all air purifiers are created equal and some can actually be bad for you. In general, avoid ionic type air purifiers as they produce toxic ozone. See our Air Purifier section for a chart describing the benefits of each purifier we offer. If you need still need help with your selection please feel free to e-mail or call us (888 760-1900). We'd be happy to offer any advice you need.

    Blocking Offensive Chemicals
    If you are unable to remove the offending item -- a piece of furniture, carpet, or anything you cannot remove or replace -- try blocking the "offgassing" of the chemicals. Two products that have been a lifesaver for me are Hardseal and Safeseal. Both are liquids that dry clear and do an incredible job of sealing in odors and chemical offgassing. I have used them on furniture, wood flooring, office items like cork pinboards, and even on nasty smelling rubber trolley wheels. Hardseal has a gloss finish and can be used both on porous and non-porous surfaces. Safeseal is for porous surfaces and dries to a matt finish that is virtually invisible on most porous surfaces.

    For carpets use Carpet Backing Sealer and Carpet Fiber Sealer. The Carpet Backing Sealer puts an invisible layer that blocks offgassing of the carpet backing glues and offgassing from the carpet padding below. The Carpet Fiber Sealer is the 2nd step that puts an invisible coat over every carpet fiber blocking offgassing from the carpet material itself. If correctly applied, they will not affect the look and feel of the carpet.

    Other specialty sealers are available in our Sealer section and in our Non Toxic Paint section

    Strengthening Your Immune System
    This is likely the most difficult thing to do and I am not really qualified to advise you on this subject. However, I can tell you that eating right, taking vitamins, and getting exercise will help. A healthy body usually means a stronger immune system. I have personally found that Vitamin C and E have helped me reduce my sensitivity to a manageable level. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that binds with many toxins in your blood, allowing them to be removed safely by your liver. I use a time release formula with rose hips. Vitamin C is not stored in your body so a constant stream of it over time works best. Rose Hips will help increase the amount of vitamin C that can be absorbed by your body.

    Recommended Products for the Chemically Sensitive
    Hair Care
    Magick Hypoallergenic Shampoo
    Magick Hypoallergenic Conditioner
    Free & Clear Hypoallergenic Shampoo
    Body Care
    Magick Hypoallergenic Hand and Face Cleanser
    Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Care Cream
    Naturally Fresh Anti-Bacterial Spray Deodorant
    House Cleaning
    Super Clean Fragrance-Free Heavy Duty Cleaner
    Safety Clean Bathroom Cleaner
    Safe Care More Than Glass Cleaner

    Offgassing Sealers
    Carpet Sealers
    Carpet Backing Seal
    Carpet Fiber Seal
    Air Purification
    IQAir GC VOC
    NQ Clarifier
    IQAir GC Multi-Gas

    Copyright © 2001-2006 AlerG, Inc.

  4. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Thanks for your reply, sure is a miserable feeling isn't it?

    Does the mask help? My husband is going to Lowe's today will have him to buy one..

    Even when I go outside to sit on the patio this happens..I hate staying in side on these beautiful days..

    Have you tried any meds for this?

    Thanks again,

  5. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Enpower, thanks for the informative article.. Yes, perfumes bother me as many other things.I do not have an air purifier will have to consider it..

    Prickles, where do you get a purifier to wear that sounds great..Does it work? Tell me more..

    Thanks so much,
  6. dumdum

    dumdum New Member

    Yes, me too. It took my ages before I realised that what was triggering off my bad days was some times simple things such as Smoke, Smog, heavy perfumes etc. So I avoid as much of these as possible.

    I work in a small arear with only 2 other people where before I worked in a call centre and I find my health is much improved. Also I have asked the others I work with not to use sprays such as cleaning agents etc while I am around and they were very understanding.

    The one thing that really sets me off is artificial sweeteners even mouth wash had it in it and this was making me sick in the stomach each morning I used it for ages until I cut it out to see if it was what was effecting me. And it was.
  7. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Sometimes the mask does help, but if it is something like Chemlawn, forget it

  8. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    I'm also very sensitive to so many things. I'd take a book to list them. But, recently, I read an interesting article about how just the chlorine in our water can affect our health.

    The woman described FM symptoms. After installing chlorine removal gadgets on her faucets, her symptoms improved dramatically.

    We're surrounded by chemicals in so many ways.
  9. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    this is the latest problem that i'm trying to get a handle on. i think perhaps a lot of us simply have problems with histamine in general, which can cause a lot of symptoms beyond the traditional sneezing and watery eyes. i have found that any time i try to begin an exercise routine that involves strengthening or stretching my muscles, i have terrible histamine attacks (fatigue, sneezing, congestion). during these attacks, i've noticed that my pain level DECREASES, which means that histamine build-up can even cause muscle pain! the condition is called histadelia. it might be worth looking up.

    i've started taking 500 mg quercetin and 1000 mg methionine, which counteracts histamine in the body and assists the liver with the methylation process. i'm also trying to limit my intake of folic acid, which can make the histamine problem worse.

    be well,
  10. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    Get an odor controlling mask. It doesn't work 100% but, it helps. I don't know about ioniziers cause I keep reading about how they generate ozone. I also keep my kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans on which also helps. Looking back, I think chemicals have been affecting me for a very long time. For years and years I thought I had "allergies" but I think it was really chemical sensitivities. And because of aspartame poisoning I MAY only be sensitive to formaldehyde.
  11. Windytalker

    Windytalker Member

    Ionizers can be dangerous. Trust me on this. If you notice that mirrors, windows, any surface is getting harder to clean (greasy surface), just imagine what it's doing to your lungs.

    One brand of ionizer made me ill...another made the odors in my house worse. Please use these types of air cleaners with caution.

  12. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    that I realized that the symptoms of MCS were not like typical allergy sufferers (always). My son tends to get really nauseous, dizzy, headache when hay and chemicals are present here- which is a lot in the summer. I can't blame him for wanting to stay inside. But a mask is a simple idea and could help- why didn't I think of that??

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