Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Can Be Considered an Invisible Illness
“I can’t even go to church anymore now that perfumes make me break out and start itching so badly.”
“I never thought I would end up so simply because I decided to get my carpets cleaned. That started it all and life has never been the same.”
“Everyone thinks I am exaggerating the amount of pain I am in. When I say I have a migraine… I mean I am ‘out’ for at least 3 days.”
By: Meredith Lee
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a little understood illness that has arrived on the medical horizon in the late ’60′s but became increasingly known after hundreds of veterans complained of associated symptoms after their stint in the Persian Gulf War. The medical community has yet to officially name the illness as a viable syndrome and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not provided an official diagnosis as of yet.
However, many people around the world still suffer with common symptoms such as loss of memory, poor cognitive functions, nervous system interference, body aches, allergy symptoms and a plethora of other problems that appear after either a short term exposure to high levels of a chemical or long term exposure to low levels of various chemicals. It is believed that the syndrome did not significantly appear until after the 1950′s when various new chemicals were introduced to building materials, food sources, and general manufacturing processes.
Since the AMA has yet to pronounce their belief that this syndrome actually exists, medical treatment and research studies have been slow to evolve. However, as more and more physicians are seeing a growing number of patients who complain of serious and many times debilitating symptoms, there has been a number of medical doctors who believe that multiple chemical sensitivities syndrome actually exists. There are other names given to MCS syndrome such as 20th century disease, chemical sensitivities, and environmental illness (EI) probably because of the broad symptomology that exists from patient to patient. While MCS sufferers may react to traditional allergens such as foods, mold and pollens, the primary symptoms that set this illness apart are associated with various chemical exposures in day to day life.
The typical chemical offenders for those who suffer with multiple chemical sensitivities include formaldehyde, phenol, benzine and petroleum based chemicals. Most people are surprised to discover that even the most common items may be laced with toxic chemicals. From food to clothes and building materials to cleaning products, there is almost no way to escape everyday exposures to various chemicals that have been applied to these products.
Did you know that a teflon coated frying pan has small amounts of formaldehyde in the teflon material used to produce a non-stick cooking utensil? In fact, a heavily coated teflon pan can be heated sufficiently to emit enough formaldehyde fumes to kill a nearby pet bird in the home.
While the acceptance of MCI from the traditional medical community has been slow to develop, there are some medical doctors who have seen enough patients to convince them that there is a viable health problem that cannot be explained away. Some doctors, in fact, have begun to add environmental medicine treatment as an additional specialty so that they can meed the needs of these particular patients. There are clinics, support groups, medical personnel, and even non-traditional housing available for those who have special needs because of this illness.
Multiple chemical sensitivities is considered one of the invisible illnesses that plague many sufferers who find themselves virtually disabled. If you or a loved are suffering from MCS, there are many online sources that can help provide more information and support in dealing with the difficulties of multiple chemical sensitivity.
Meredith Lee writes about a variety of interesting topics for online readers. Come visit the newest website at Bed with Drawers which can help people find their best deals on a trundle bed with drawers and more info about quality storage beds for everyone.
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Resources We Like
The Clean Indoor Air Campaign The CIA Campaign strives to educate medical facilities, businesses and churches on how to create a less threatening environment for this growing number of people. True, we may not be able to protect them from every possible harm, nor can we guarantee that our actions will provide a fool-proof environment when out in public. However, if we all do our part, we can make a huge difference by making our facilities a more favorable haven.
BOOK: Comfort in the Storm: Devotions for those with Chemical Sensitivity People describe the challenges of living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in a variety of ways. People describe the challenges of living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) in a variety of ways. To some, it feels like being locked in prison. To others it is like being in a nightmare they wish they could wake up from. In the midst of the various trials associated with MCS, many are in desperate need of encouragement. Whether you have furniture chemical sensitivites, multiple chemical sensitivities and asthma, or every a breath of someone’s perfume leaves you gasping for air, this book will bring comfort to your soul. In this collection of devotionals, Comfort in the Storm: Devotions for those with Chemically Sensitivities, Janine Ridings candidly shares anecdotes about her journey through the storms of MCS, and how she has found comfort through her relationship with Christ.
Share Care and Prayer, Inc. a Christian-based ministry for sufferers of EI/MCS and related illnesses. Many articles, books, tapes, and tape/video lending library available. Contact: Share Care and Prayer, Inc., P.O. Box 2080, Frazier Park, California 93225-9987.
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