An Integrative Approach to Environmental Intolerances: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Related Illnesses
With increased prevalence of chronic disease has come increased illnesses attributed to environmental exposures.
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is the best-studied.
- Diagnosis is highly controversial with the disorders not recognized by many medical organizations.
- Etiology is also hotly debated.
- No standard of care exists for diagnosis and management.
- Unconventional, costly treatments exist with unproven efficacy.
- Average patient with MCS has seen 8-12 clinicians and reports only 1in 4 to be helpful.
Self-diagnosis is typical. No laboratory tests exist to definitively confirm diagnosis. MCS has consistent characteristics:
- Chronic. Symptoms present for many months.
- Reproducible. Predictable when symptoms will occur.
- Symptoms occur with low levels of chemicals.
- Symptoms triggered by multiple, unrelated chemicals.
- Symptoms disappear when exposure stops.
- Multiple organ systems involved.
Research lacking. Management based on subjective responses from patients. Encourage the following:
- Holistic approach
- Avoidance of chemicals that cause problems (within reason)
- Support group
- Prayer and meditation
- Other mind-body therapies (e.g., biofeedback, hypnosis, breathing exercises, journaling)
- Exploration of emotions (e.g. cognitive-behavioral therapy)
- Energy medicine (e.g., acupuncture, healing touch, reiki, homeopathy, acupressure)
- Rotation diet
- Focus on assets
- Supplements (e.g., magnesium, multivitamin containing C, E, and minerals, milk thistle seeds)
- Only one approach at a time
- Safe detoxification regimen.
Please see the downloads section for more detailed clinician and patient information.
Disclaimer: This information is for general education. Please work with your health care practitioner to use it in the best way possible to promote your health.