Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
written by Doreen Schwegler on May 26, 2016
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) involves an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to numerous pollutants including solvents, Volatile Organic Compound, perfumes, petrol, diesel, smoke, “chemicals” in general. Environmental triggers can include pollen, house dust mites, and pet fur & skin.
There is much debate in the medical fraternity as to whether such a syndrome exists, but it is a very real experience for sufferers, who may have to move away from the city into a low chemical environment until they can recover.
Why does it occur? It is thought to arise after a person detoxification systems is overwhelmed by toxic load. This can take the form of acute exposure (e.g. poisoning by eating heavily contaminated seafood), or chronic low grade exposure such as long term use of personal care items (like make-up and perfume), exposure to work chemicals (paints, solvents and glues), medication use and inhalation of occupational toxins (like dust, carpets chemical out gassing, building materials etc.)
How do you treat MCS?
- Investigate – there are many tests to check liver detox capacity, environmental chemical exposure and oxidative stress levels. Tests include those done in regular labs like liver and kidney function tests, those done in functional labs like Functional Liver Detox profile, Environmental Chemical exposure tests, Hair mineral analysis (to screen for heavy metal exposure), and oxidative stress test using a CR300. Genetic profiling can identify people who are genetically predisposed to not eliminating toxins as effectively as others. Some practitioners use live blood testing to visually assess what is happening in the patient’s blood.
- Avoid – minimise exposure to environmental chemical as much as is feasible. Eat organic foods grown without pesticides, drink purified water and ensure personal care items and cleaning products are free of harmful chemicals. Ensure your environment is supportive (see reference 2 below)
- Detoxify – there are specific programs to gently release chemical burden for the body. Some naturopaths supervise personalised Detox programs and prescribe products to effectively eliminate a client’s toxic burden. Far Infra red saunas may be of benefit.
- Support – counselling and emotional support is essential to give hope and effective resolution for sufferers. Nutritional support to replace required minerals, vitamins and nutrients is essential.
For sufferers, MCS is real entity that can be helped with the right investigations, treatment and support.
- http://sevencanaries.com.au for suppliers and tips on low chemical living
- http://www.buildingbiology.com.au – see 10 tops tips on the front page of this website
- http://www.buildingbiology.com.au/index.php/Biology/healthy-home-healthy-family.html A great book to read by Nicole Biljsma to keep your home and family healthy
- alldegreesofhealth.com.au An Melbourne based Wellness Centre with trained professionals, diagnostic tests, Far Infra red sauna and range of testing options to identify and correct underlying imbalance.
Article by Doreen Schwegler, BApSc (RMIT), DipApSc (SSNT). Doreen is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, Naturopath and Natural Fertility Specialist in Essendon Melbourne
Optimal Fertility Diet – 10 Top Tips
written by Doreen Schwegler on October 20, 2015
This article is based on the well researched book: “The Fertility Diet” by Jorge E. Chavarro, Walter C. Willett, Patrick J.
I have adjusted some of the information to account for food potential food sensitivities, newer information related to genetic variations in folate metabolism , issues with GM foods and lots of experience in helping couples optimise their fertility.
1. Avoid trans fats, the artery-clogging fats found in many commercially prepared products and fast foods.
2. Use more unsaturated vegetable oils, such as cold-pressed olive oil or flaxseed oil.
3. Eat more vegetable protein, like beans and nuts, and less animal protein. If you’re using tofu and tempeh, choose organic brands that are not genetically modified
4. Choose whole grains and other sources of carbohydrate that have lower, slower effects on blood sugar and insulin rather than highly refined carbohydrates that quickly boost blood sugar and insulin.
5. If you are not sensitive to dairy, drink a glass of whole milk or have a small dish of full-fat yogurt every day; temporarily trade in skim milk and low- or no-fat dairy products like cottage cheese and frozen yogurt for their full-fat cousins. This seems counter-productive considering everyone is pushing low fat dairy, but a large study (involving 18,000 women) investigating the dietary impact of food showed a link between low fat dairy and not ovulating and conceiving.
6. Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and other B vitamins. If you have a variant in the MTHFR gene (and 40% of us do), this means folate is not the best supplement to take, as you don’t process it very well. Instead of folic acid, use activated forms such as folinic acid or methyl folate, or better still, seek the advice of someone well versed in this field.
7. Get plenty of iron from fruits, vegetables, beans, and supplements but not from red meat. I recommend you have your storage iron (ferritin) checked with a pathology test from your local GP, and consider supplementing it is very low (less than 30), or if you are vegetarian.
8. Beverages matter: water is great; coffee, tea, and alcohol are OK in moderation (small amounts of red wine can be beneficial); leave sugared sodas unopened. Herbal teas are great and I suggest no more than one coffee daily, and it can deplete essential nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins.
9. Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing between 5 and 10 percent of your weight can jump-start ovulation.
10. If you aren’t physically active, start a daily exercise plan. If you already exercise, pick up the pace of your workouts. But don’t overdo it, especially if you are quite lean—too much exercise can work against conception.