Do chemicals bother you?

You are not alone. About 15% of the population is more susceptible to chemical exposure. Such persons may get symptoms like cough, burning of the eyes or nose, skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, brain fog, fatigue or agitation. Some may even experience asthma. (see Explaining "Unexplained Illnesses", Martin Paul, PhD.)

Chemically sensitive people feel better in fresh air and get worse with exposures to a variety of chemicals such as perfumes and colognes, fragranced laundry and bathroom products, solvents, pesticides, paints and other products.

Diagnosis is based on the history supplemented by the response to challenge tests. Often there has been a prolonged exposure to low levels of multiple chemicals and perhaps molds: Less commonly, the person has experienced a sudden heavy exposure to chemicals. Complex patients may have other conditions going on simultaneously including allergies, infections, nutrient deficiencies, metabolic disorders and autoimmune processes.

Treatment can be simple or quite involved depending on the degree of impairment. Avoiding further exposures, providing superior nutrition, desensitizing for a variety of triggers, detoxifying the body of residual chemicals, hormone replacement and balancing, and other supportive care is often needed.

Preventing chemical sensitization depends upon all of us helping to clean up our home, workplace and community environments.