Answering the question of “Is multiple chemical sensitivity real” is a real struggle for many. You will find many different articles, doctors and others in the medical, mental health, science and other fields that will have varying opinions. This is why it is very frustrating for persons that have symptoms that cause them great discomfort and in many cases be physically debilitating. Not to mention the psychological trauma experienced by those with MCS. We have heard from many with experiences of going to their regular primary care physicians only be told that it is all psychological and in their head but not real. This is usually because a doctor is trained to be analytical and to look at fact based diagnosis. If after a comprehensive set of tests and the results are found to be inconclusive, some doctors will default to assume it is psychosomatic. This is because they fear diagnosis it as something when they don’t know based on the data, would give legitimacy to the symptoms the patience is experiencing. This is often the case especially when the symptoms given by a patient is deemed vague and hard to describe.
Many times at this point a patient experiencing these symptoms will begin to research and try to piece together what they find on the internet that best describes what they are experiencing. Many times they’ll find forums where people are experiencing similar types of symptoms. This can lead some people to alternative medicines and approaches to deal with the serious health issues they have. Some find relief through these paths and some don’t. Unfortunately some may waste time and money going down these paths, with unscrupulous people providing services or products they claim will resolve the issues.
In many cases, the research will lead to finding what may result in relief for you. Given the experience we have in speaking with many MCS people, we did find many things in common that would lead us to believe that the question of “is multiple chemical sensitivity real” to really not matter from a perspective of an individual with the symptoms if no medical reason can be given for it. Even if the symptoms they were experiencing are psychosomatic, then taking actions to relieve it will resolve in relieving the symptoms. We are not medical experts and we are we not qualified to provide guidance on solutions for MCS. We are simply sharing what we hear and our opinions from all that we have researched. From our perspective we believe it is real in the majority of the cases, but there are probably some who are only experiencing a psychosomatic reaction.
Our belief from speaking to many people with this condition, is that MCS is tied to the immune system deficiencies. There may be genetic reasons that the immune system has been degrade, but also seems to related to shocks to the body that people have shared with us. Some examples of what we have heard are exposure to chemical spray in large amounts, mold mycotoxins in large quantities, and work related exposures to chemicals. . Because everyone’s immune systems are different and will have different levels of tolerance, things that cause degradation to it will also be uneven. So the severity of the symptoms and the things that cause the symptoms will be different from person to person.
Regardless of the origins of the symptoms of Multi Chemical Sensitivities, the approaches to address it along with the time it takes to recover are varied from person to person because we are all individual. As indicated, we have found that people who approach recovering and restoring the immune system to full strength are the most successful in the long run. Unfortunately this can take a long time. Again recovery is varied for each individual but can sometimes take 5-10 years to fully recover and restore.
Since recovery can be a long journey, avoiding and removing the things that trigger the symptoms is important in the interim. If you know your triggers, this can be an easier task. But if you are unsure of the triggers, then some of the things we would recommend is testing your air quality in your home for chemicals. If painting your home, look for non VOC paints. If remodeling or building a new home, make sure non VOC glues, caulking, stains, and similar finishing products. We recommend avoiding engineered floors as they off gas quite a long time as the material is pressed wood with many finishers and glue in the pressed wood. If putting carpeting in, make sure the supplier unfurls/unrolls and lets the carpet off gas at least several weeks before installing. Hardwood wood and cabinets are better option that pressed wood options. Once again pressed wood contains glues and finishers that can off gas for a while. Choose metal vs plastic appliances and items when possible as the plastic will off gas chemicals as well. We also recommend using an air purifier to reduce and eliminate the VOC in the air. The Airpura C600 Air Purifier is perfect for these situations. With its thick carbon and not additives, MCS patients will benefit from the air quality improvements experienced.
While finding the answer to the question "Is multiple chemical sensitivity real" is very important, we will leave that to the experts in the field to determine. The issue of having symptoms that the medical professionals cannot diagnose is none-the-less real and finding relief is important.