Gluten free Medication

Did you know that gluten, lactose and corn are very common fillers in medications, including over the counter? Generic versions often have different fillers, so make sure that you stay with what works.

Here’s a site listing gluten free medications. It also notes if it’s soy, corn, potato or lactose free.

gluten free drugs


The Only Accurate Lyme Tests

Lyme Disease and MCS

It’s pretty well known that Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, and can trigger MCS. If you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and get Lyme disease, it’s considered “pouring gasoline on a fire” and you’ll experience more MCAS symptoms like gluten intolerance, migraines, allergies to medication fillers, RA, blood sugar issues, brain fog, etc. and your triggers will spread.

Until recently the only accurate Lyme test was by iGenex, which only Medicare covers. The test also finds the co-infections that are actually worse than Lyme. The wait for results is about 5-6 weeks. The kit is ordered by your doctor and a hospital or phlebotomy center that agrees to outside lab testing (have your doctor check) will follow the kit’s directions.

Mercy Diagnostics now provides the same tests as iGenex, but for much less, most insurance covers it and the turnaround time for your results is only a week or less!!! This is huge news! iGenex costs $800 while Mercy Labs may cost only $20.  It’s the break through we have needed because it is important to  understand that MCAS often feels like Lyme disease, especially after a round of heavy antibiotics. Unless we can afford to test for Lyme, we won’t know if it’s still Lyme disease or MCAS. To use Mercy Labs you need to have your blood drawn at a Mercy Labs drawing center – usually in Vermont at a Naturopathic Doctor Office office. Where you go in states that don’t allow NDs, I have no idea. This gives you more control over what is wiped on your arm before blood is drawn, a major concern for anyone with MCS or MCAS. The Mercy Diagnostics website should provide you with information about where your nearest drawing centers are.

Detoxification with MCS

If you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity like me, your body (among other differences) probably has trouble with toxins building up. Safe detoxification is part of MCS self care. However, it will be unique to each individual. When you are exposed to a trigger, you have different physiological reactions. Different systems are affected, usually the neurological, endocrine, digestive, and immune. Everyone with MCS has different triggers and reactions. That’s why there is nothing one-size-fits-all about MCS. There’s no treatment that works for everyone. It’s a big problem when people with MCS try to live together or organize in person. What’s safe for me isn’t necessarily safe for you. Please keep this in mind when learning anything about MCS, including detoxification. Always listen to your body and good medical care provider.

Although I’m going to share common MCS detoxification treatments and information that I have learned from Naturopathic Doctors and others living with MCS, I want to start with something very crucial: the health journal. To keep track of what triggers what reactions and how your body responds to things that you hope will help, it’s important to keep a record. I joke I am a scientist and the subject of my experiments, but every good medical professional will tell you that they do not have your body. Only you can figure out what helps and what harms.

As I, like many people with MCS, am ink intolerant, this was a huge problem until someone told me about metal mechanical pencils. New plastic often offgasses chemicals, so metal really rescued our family. There’s only one kind of lined paper we can tolerate, ecojot. A small Canadian company that uses 100% recycled materials and vegetable ink, ecojot will custom make all their journals and art pads with plain covers if asked. (They know about MCS.) We have them sent wrapped in plastic as a vapour barrier during transport. Then we open them and let the pages air out a few days before using.

Your health journal should start with a list of every medication and supplement you take each day. This way, those things will not need to be recorded every day. Each day I write the date, day of my menstrual cycle, the general tempature, and leave space for anything unusual. A rarely taken supplement, big exposure to a trigger, or new symptom goes here at the end of the day. Many triggers cause hypoglycemia and hypoglycemia is a MCAS* trigger, so I make sure to write the time and what I ate. Exposures can knock me unconscious and generally cause “brain fog”, so I have timers set for when to eat and take all supplements and medications. How much I sleep, any exercise, symptoms, triggers, detoxification treatment, stress, etc are all recorded.

This allows me to discover patterns. Some triggers have reactions that are delayed. If you are looking for food sensitivities and allergies, the journal is very important. If, like me, you have Lyme disease (a known MCS/MCAS* trigger) and/or another chronic illness (the tick also gave me babesiosis – kinda like malaria on steroids), the journal is vitally important so you can tell which medications at certain doses cause what. With the cognitive impairment that often comes with MCS and MCAS during and after exposure to triggers, it can be very hard to remember things accurately. Because many people develop new triggers over time, the journal stays important.

Now you are ready for trying new things and recording how they work for you.
When toxins enter the body, you feel sick. When they leave, you often feel much worse. That’s why when people have a massage they are told to rest and drink water to help flush out the toxins. The toxins stored in fat cells make people feel achy and fuzzy headed when they leave.

Many people with MCS seem to have trouble with liver detoxification. The liver has many roles including detoxification. As my doctor says, “Love your liver or die.” With MCS, the liver is usually slow and sluggish when trying to remove toxins from the body. Most of us cannot easily get the toxic substances out of our cells and our “toxic load” keeps growing with every exposure, which is why avoidance is so important. The toxins settle in our fat cells, which includes the brain. That’s where our “brain fog” comes from.

As if that wasn’t enough, we usually feel worse when our bodies try to detoxify through the liver later. Toxins “going in” are normally easier to handle than toxins “going out”! This is why a two minute exposure to synthetic fragrance can cause two days of being sick. When certain toxins leave the fat cells, they become free radicals, which oxidize the body. Sometimes people call it “premature ageing” or “rusting”, and we need antioxidants to destroy the free radicals. One of the most important antioxidant is glutathione, which will be discussed more later.

Meanwhile, other toxins are trying to get out of the liver. They keep circling the liver, hanging out in its fat cells waiting for their turn. But because many people with MCS have slow livers, it’s like a big traffic jam. The toxins are bottlenecked. Some give up and return to fat cells, like the brain, causing “brain fog” yet again.

If you want to learn more, MCS researcher Mark Donohue explains the liver and MCS in Part 9 on this website.

We cannot risk having too many toxins leave our cells at once. Detoxification for people with MCS must be slow and gentle. Traditional saunas, for example, usually cause damage to people with MCS. They are too intense. (Infrared saunas seem to help some people but I have never seen one that looks nontoxic enough for me.) I have really severe MCS/MCAS* and am a “Universal Reactor”. To put it in context, I cannot leave my apartment or have guests. My mother has milder MCS/MCAS* and takes care of me because there are no fragrance free people to hire for cleaning and cooking. I am confined to bed because of the Lyme and babesiosis. I miss eye contact, trees, and laughing with friends. Even more, I miss living without so much fear, as so many things can hurt me and society is filled with what the American with Disabilities Act calls “barriers of access”. Those are often illegal, but that’s a topic for another post about getting your needs met.

Still, as sick as I am, just because my body can handle something does not mean yours can. There’s neither pride nor shame for being more sensitive to something in the MCS world. Some people make fun of people with MCS by mocking us as “special snowflakes”. That makes no sense, because every snowflake is unique, special, and different. As each human being is different from every other human being, we are all average special snowflakes. Listen to your body. MCS actually makes it impossible to ignore your body’s needs, which can be a bonus in a mind-focused culture. The flesh again becomes as holy as the spirit, not something to overcome. Your body is incredibly smart and your best guide. Do not let dogma and other mind tricks block you from your body’s truth.

One reason I track my menstrual cycle is because hormones can have trouble leaving my sluggish liver. This can make PMS really difficult, especially because Lyme bacteria takes advantage of hormonal changes. Dead bacteria or babesiosis parasites can also bottleneck, making antibiotics and antimalarial treatment problematic. Plus the remains of my red blood cells (after they’ve exploded from the parasites) clog my detoxification pathways.

That’s why many of these MCS detoxification treatments are the same for people with Lyme disease and other tick-bourne illnesses. I have had these diseases for a decade. The Western blot Lyme test that insurance covers is not very accurate. There is a movement to have the FDA ban the test due to the high rate of false negatives. Mine came back negative several times. The most accurate test for Lyme disease and its common, severe co-infections is by iGenex, which only takes Medicare. Last I heard it cost $800.

The key to MCS detoxification is to take things slow and steady. Unless you have someone you trust with your life supervising everything, fasting is not safe. In exposures, people generally find that they need a carb for the plummeting blood sugar and a protein to keep the sugar levels regular. As most people with MCS have different food sensitivities, we all have our own exposure food combos. (The digestive issues are probably related to MCAS.*)

To nourish our livers many of us drink dandelion root infusion. I add burdock root to support my kidneys. (People with mold sensitivity may have trouble with root vegetables because fungi are so active in soil. Your health journal can help you spot these types of issues.) A very popular liver support supplement is milk thistle seed (also known by its active ingredient silimarin).

My genetic testing showed a lot of trouble with my methylation pathways, which I was already treating with a popular MCS prescription, B12 Methylcobalamin injections. I take another injection when I have an exposure and it helps brings back cognitive functioning and lessens the limbic system “fight, flight or freeze” freak out. Although too much may cause irritability and “speediness”, it often helps me sleep if an exposure slammed me. Some people rub the B12 Methylcobalamin on their skin. (It is bright red and stains the skin.) These B12 injections are becoming more common with vegans and vegetarians because its very hard to get B12 without red meat. As B12 is also necessary for mitochondrial functioning, it is very important.

I also have a lot of genetic trouble regarding glutathione, a major antioxidant that helps clean up toxins, especially when they’ve become free radicals. This seems to be somewhat common with MCS. Some people with MCS take Pure Encapsulation liposomal glutathione or its precursor NAC. NAC helps the body make glutathione and is less expensive, but also removes intestinal and lung bateria biofilm. If you have Lyme or SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), prepare to be hit with hidden bacteria if you choose NAC. Unless a trusted medical professional says otherwise, do not take both glutathione and NAC.

Of course, some people with MCS have trouble with detoxing too fast using any or all of these supplements. Sometimes supplements are MCAS* triggers. I learned my safe doses from years of taking them. For me one glutathione is good; two is terrible. Yet my friend cannot tolerate any glutathione or NAC, while someone else I know takes 2 capsules. The amount of B12 Methylcobalamin is usually based on your weight, but with other supplements there doesn’t seem to be a correlation.

Usually people with MCS do not need genetic testing, although some doctors will suggest it if a patient is not getting better with avoidance of triggers and detoxification treatment. When a chronic illness is complicated, like how to treat Lyme with severe MCS, genetic testing is often done. Genetic issues that normally were not very problematic can worsen when sick. By helping weak areas in the genetic makeup, it can be easier to heal chronic illness. Most naturopathic doctors are supposed to learn genetics now, but greatly vary in their ability. The best I have seen – by Skype – is Dr. Karen Threlkel. Something a doctor told me to do was use a fake name of a different ethnic heritage with 23andme, the company used for the DNA test. The US started the eugenics movement, which the Nazis quickly embraced. We can’t be sure what will be done with our information in 15 years, so a fake name that makes you sound like you are from a different ethnic group could provide some security for everyone.

Taking the stress off your liver is important. There are other ways to gently detox that lightens your “toxic load” and gives your liver a break. Oil pulling is one. You take a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Then spit it out, scrape your tongue with a spoon, and rinse with warm salt water. Holistic dentists often suggest this, especially after getting fillings or root canals. I brush before oil pulling and floss after. To save time some people oil pull while showering or dry brushing.

Your skin is your largest organ. Dry brushing is a popular detoxification process for lots of people. As I have trouble with synthetic bristles, I use boar bristles and make sure there is no plastic on the brush handle. I once read instructions from Japan about dry brushing with a dry rough washcloth once, but do not remember where. Like most massage, you move from feet, hands, face to the heart. Make little circles and strokes. The brush and your skin must be dry. This helps circulation and lymph. Unlike blood, there is no organ pumping lymph. Lymph requires exercise to move. If you are not physically active (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME is very common with MCS, and exertion is often a MCAS* trigger), dry brushing becomes more important. Someone I know who works with people confined to their beds dry brushes the patients in a state facility.

Bentonite clay packs on the liver, underarms and groin (lymph nodes) is a common way to pull toxins through the skin. Remember to mix the dry clay with purified water. Depending on how sensitive your skin, the amount of time before rinsing the clay off will vary. I have very sensitive skin and wait 5 minutes. The clay does not need to dry.

Other people rub castor oil on their livers and rinse it off 20 minutes later. (Your liver is under your right ribs. I spread clay from the lower edge of my breast to a couple inches below my ribs.) I developed a trigger to inhaling the powerful chemicals in castor oil, but others I know use it daily, including a ND with MCS.

Next is the shower. Dry brushing also exfoliates (and can help with cellulite) so you need to rinse your skin. Clay and castor oil also need to be rinsed off. Soap is usually castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s unscented hemp baby liquid soap. Usually unscented means a company covered the fragrance chemicals in their product with more chemicals, so always look for “fragrance free” – except with Dr. Bronner’s. (Of course, if they were to be bought out, the quality would probably change. Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees became much more toxic when quietly bought by major corporations.) Dilute the soap (it is highly concentrated). If you have dry skin, maybe add a bit of organic olive oil for softness.

Castile soap is the highest quality soap available. Detergent is a chemical product used for shampoo, dishes, liquid “soap” and makes lots of bubbles. Bubbles are a sign that it is toxic. Castile soap can build up, being made from vegetable oil, but rinsing hair with organic lemon juice or apple cider vinegar brings back hair’s natural acidity.

I am triggered by soap now so all my cleaning from teeth to clothing is baking soda. A bit of baking soda mixed with purified water works for gently massaging oils from my scalp once a month. I rinse really well and, having healthy straight hair I do not want to weigh down, I might put a bit of jojobo oil on the damp ends. My mother has wavy, dry hair that can become frizzy. Rubbing coconut oil into her damp hair makes effortless ringlets. (Jojobo is actually a very light wax, not an oil, so it is popular with people who have nornal to oily skin.)

Washing the scalp with water and a little baking soda, rinsing well, and then rinsing with apple cider vinegar is a popular “no ‘poo” option. No ‘poo means no shampoo. Shampoo didn’t even exist 100 years ago and people still had beautiful hair. We are triggered by the smell of vinegar but it worked when I was a child. A burdock infusion rinse can help damaged, dry hair.

Epson salts, so inexpensive, are very popular in the MCS comnunity. Many bathe in an Epson salt bath, sometimes adding a cup of baking soda. (I do not know why they add baking soda.) Epson salts work as a gentle skin detox but they are salt. Baking soda is also sodium. Your skin will dry out, so rinse afterwards and/or use oils on your damp skin to seal in moisture. Epson salts have magnesium and help relax tense, aching muscles. We do not have a bathtub, so I mix a cup of Epson salts with warm water in a metal pan in the shower. With the water off, I use a soaking wet washcloth to help get the Epson salt water all over my body, except my face. Again, this is salt so do not get on cuts or broken skin.

I air dry and use a mix of coconut oil, olive oil jojoba oil and a drop of vitamin E on damp (salty) skin. Oil alone does not moisturize. Oil holds in moisture, so apply oils to damp skin for maximum benefit.

If the bathroom is toxic, maybe from a neighbor cleaning their apartment or road construction outside, and I need to stay in my room on oxygen, I have a couple ways to detox. First, my oxygen mask is porcelain with special tygon tubing, ordered from the famous MCS specialist, Dr. William Rea, and his American Environmental Health Foundation (AEHF). Plastic would make the oxygen toxic. Wearing the mask, I can still oil pull, dry brush and sponge bathe. I also do lymph massage, based on this series. Just doing sinus lymph massage  helps when I’m congested.

Another way people eliminate toxins is through urinating, so drink a lot of purified water. We use a Berkey with the additional fluoride filters. If there’s a disaster and there’s no running water, the Berkey can purify other water. It’s used a lot in Haiti. Our shower filter is Berkey, too. Another important part of detoxification is having daily bowel movements.

Exposures can cause constipation. Fleet suppositories are available at most drug stores and made from glycerin. They also help soften stool.

A Naturopathic Doctor should test your blood for heavy metals. Leaded gasoline is believed to be partly responsible for the rise in inner city gang violence. The body can mistake copper for estrogen. Zinc helps keep copper in balance. Vegans and vegetarians sometimes have high copper and low zinc, which can cause erectile dysfunction, a weakened immune system, and other problems. A good ND should know safe ways for getting metals to safe levels.

Honestly, my entire detoxification routine takes about an hour, and with Lyme and babesiosis, it wipes me out. Exposures to chemicals also can wipe me out, even cause partial seizures and fainting. Of course that’s when I need to detox the most, but I will not risk falling in the shower. I eat, cry incoherently, inject B12, and sleep it off, sometimes with oxygen. (As most triggers cause hypoglycemia, eating something with protein and carbs is often very helpful. MCAS* can be triggered by hypoglycemia, making it a vicious cycle.)

MCS means a lot of being inTOXICated. I treat it like coming out of anesthesia. Do nothing remotely dangerous. Unplug your phone or turn off its ringer. Email no one. Buy nothing. You are like a glue huffer. As I explain to people, the world is my Rufie. I didn’t choose to be incoherent, crying, nauseated, weak, fainting, or in pain, having seizures. Other people’s toxic choices decided it for me. They don’t know better and they haven’t been given easy, inexpensive options. The best way to educate them is by finding the common ground – and many people have MCS and don’t know it.

* MCAS stands for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which I hope to explain in another post. MCAS is believed to be behind MCS by some modern Western medical doctors, especially if triggered by Lyme. It seems to be part of MCS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, migraines, generalized anxiety disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, sensitive skin, nonallergic/vasomotor rhinusitis, allergies and more. As these tend to overlap, MCAS is viewed as the systemic cause for such a variety of overlapping ailments. You can learn some basics about it here  and here.

MCAS gives persons living with MCS or chronic Lyme disease a respected ICD-10 code. The US finally has joined the rest of world and uses the ICD-10 guide for diagnosistic codes. However, even though MCS has an ICD-10 code from Germany (T78.4) that American doctors are supposed to respect, very few do. Medical professionals should be more cooperative (or at least afraid of killing you) if you say “mast cell disorder”. For me that’s a big win because now I could go to a decent Emergency Department if I had a broken arm or needed stitches, and have my needs taken more seriously.

MCS (even Celebrity) Memes! Share!

160118-bernie-sanders-2209_500346d698bd7c4b249d8ab9c5db3ab3.nbcnews-fp-1200-800_kindlephoto-2039258746Another MCS advocate and I used to fantasize about someone internationally famous speaking out about MCS. Someone mainstream, maybe an actress from Sex & the City, who could grab the general public’s attention: that was our dream. Quotes from non-profit organizations and “only well-known in our circles” writers would not cut it. We needed an “in” to the American public.

Many MCS activist groups focus on seeking to create special government-funded disability housing and inevitably burn out. For an organization to last, it needs to focus on manageable, achievable goals so members do not feel hopeless or apathetic and lose momentum. Small successes keep people going, hold groups together, and can build into larger success.

Raising awareness about MCS first is important. One reason is housing: No one will help with a problem they don’t realize is really happening. People have to be as used to hearing about MCS as they are hearing about asthma before we can do more. We need to mainstream MCS awareness.

Bernie Sanders has given us a few quotations about the reality of MCS. I was shocked that during the last American presidential election no one used the popularity of Sanders to make memes about MCS. (A meme is an image and words that people post on social networking sites. At that time I did not have access to the necessary technology, and I do not have the energy for online social networking.)


One person who had severe MCS for decades told me, “MCS is not on his website’s political platform.” Ummm… That is not something the general American population considers an issue. I began to understand why MCS advocacy groups were failing. No saviour will rescue us, and we need to use our few resources wisely. Sanders is a resource and a lot of people with MCS can only have online friends. Low effort, high yield actionism – just what isolated, oppressed people often with chronic pain and fatigue need.

MCS got its celebrity. Sanders is not Sarah Jessica Parker, but people still recognize his name and face. He was on every major news program and in all the mainstream newspapers repeatedly. The point of memes with his picture and quote is not to promote Sanders. If Trump said MCS is real and matters, I would have his face and quote as a meme. The point is get people used to seeing MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY.

Slowly, MCS is getting mainstream attention. Even common household cleaning product Bon Ami has a page about MCS on their website. (People with mild to moderate MCS kept writing the company, saying it was the only cleaning product they could find.) The disability community and our allies are much more aware that fragrance is an (illegal) barrier of access. MCS is sometimes a symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. and Lyme Disease – and mainstream medical websites often list it as one. More government offices and health clinics have signs saying “Fragrance Free Zone” and new mothers learn that chemical cleaning products can cause their child to develop asthma.


These memes are another reminder to the public that chemicals make people sick. Only a few reactions to the trigger of chemicals are mentioned, but “brain fog” and poor balance during an exposure are obvious to others and now they know why. People were not aware of the problems caused by food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances 10 years ago, and now there’s gluten-free, dairy-free versions of even junk food. Linking MCS with a newly mainstream health problem like food intolerance helps people put MCS in context. They might notice they or their child has these symptoms. If the person likes Bernie Sanders, they may just parrot what Sanders said to others at a party or at work if MCS is mentioned.

Because right now he is still famous. People on Facebook will stop long enough to see “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” and the words will stick in the back of their mind. The next time they read or hear about MCS, their brain will file it with this, until eventually they will accept that MCS is part of reality. There’s lots of memes about the dangers of chemicals, but they don’t have a mainstream image and name to grab the general public’s attention.

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Also, while anyone can make up anything online, but look at the U.S. Congressional Record, October 9, 1998, and you will find this by Bernie Sanders:

“Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS is a chronic condition marked by heightened sensitivity to multiple different chemicals and other irritants at or below previously tolerated levels of exposure. Sensitivity to odors is often accompanied by food and drug intolerance, sensitivity to sunlight and other sensory abnormalities, such as hypersensitivity to touch, heat and/or cold, and loud noises. MCS is often accompanied by impaired balance, memory and concentration.”

A MCS activist asked me if I got Sanders to do that. When I recovered from the surprise that anyone thinks I have that much power, I explained. No, Sanders headed the committee on Gulf War Syndrome, and he has supported people with MCS since then. However, the naivety of the well-meaning activist really helped me understand why MCS activism has stalled. People with MCS need to learn more about successful advocacy, and that is something in which I was trained and now must do to literally stay alive. I will share some of those skills here, along with other information about living better with MCS/MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome). From health care information to making your home MCS safer, from living organic on a budget to MCS safe activities, I  hope to offer what I have learned and provide support.

Living with MCS is hard, but it can also give your life a deeper meaning and a greater purpose. MCS help us help change our species to saner ways of living. We need to share what we know with each other, create toolboxes for emotional sustainability, and build bridges to other disenfranchised populations who share common concerns.

We are not alone. Our “special needs” are fresh air, safe food and clean water. We are the vast majority of life.

What is MCS? Science & History

From the amazing Chemical Injury Information Network, one of the most helpful websites for people with MCS. We all owe CIIN a huge amount of gratitude. Because hackers have been destroying MCS related websites I try to copy and save important information as Word documents in case the webpages disappear. This is such an important essay – the medical history of MCS – I’m reposting it because we need to know our history. We need to know the people who did the medical work that found out what MCS is and why people don’t know about it. Whether or not we like it we’re a vulnerable, oppressed community and we need to start acting like it. Like any oppressed minority we must know our history. MCS is not a personal problem. It’s a societal one and by studying the Disability Rights Movement, making alliances with others affected by the same issues and taking pride in our strength and ingenuity we can become a real organized community. We also need to know and honor those who have passed on who fought for our rights. Cynthia Wilson is an important mover shaker in MCS activism. Much gratitude for her work, including this: the only history of MCS scientific research I’ve ever read. (If you wonder why there’s nothing more recent, no one will fund the research or publish the papers by MCS researchers. It’s a career dead end.)


An Overview of MCS

by Cynthia Wilson

Back when doctors believed their patients and before psychosomatic illness and stress became a catch-all for illnesses doctors couldn’t diagnose, there is evidence to suggest that doctors were diagnosing chemical sensitivities as vapors. Vapors were described as an exhalation of bodily organs held to affect the physical and/or mental condition or as a depressed or hysterical nervous condition. Then in the early 1950’s, Theron Randolph, M.D., recognized that people were getting sick from their environment, hence the original name Environmental Illness.

In the 1960’s, it finally became evident to the government that pollution was causing adverse health affects. Dr. Randolph attended that first conference on outdoor air quality. He was the only one to question the effects of indoor air pollution, and his concerns where ignored and/or ridiculed by the medical profession as well as the government. In 1992, EPA conservatively estimated that poor indoor air quality costs the U.S. $1 billion annually in lost productivity. That same year, the National Academy of Sciences estimated indoor air pollution contributes $15 to $100 billion annually to health care costs.

The energy crisis of the 1970’s exacerbated the problem of chemical sensitivities but did nothing to add to the understanding of the illness itself. To conserve energy, the government encouraged weatherization and energy efficient construction that included reducing the ventilation requirements of bringing outdoor air into new buildings. It is this air reduction together with the increases in volatile chemicals in new, synthetic materials and products since World War II that is being blamed for the ever increasing number of people who are being adversely impacted by chemicals.

Then in 1981, in response to the poisoning of thousands of people by urea formaldehyde foam insulation, the National Research Council commissioned a study called Formaldehyde And Other Aldehydes. The report estimated that 10 to 20% of the population was at risk from low level exposure to aldehydes. Though the report’s major focus was the cancer risk, it did recommend an extensive study be done on chemical sensitivities. Nothing was done.

Unfortunately, the medical/biologic understanding of chemical injuries breaks down because of a lack of knowledge created by a lack of basic research. The lack of research is further hampered by a lack of a case definition for the illness. There are several theories as to how these low level exposures are poisoning people, and research into detoxification enzymes found in veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome have provided some clues into how the body’s inability to process toxics may be playing a critical role in the initial sensitization process as well as other long-term health problems.

Chemical sensitivity was once thought to be an immune system dysfunction or related to allergies. The latest research strongly suggests that chemical sensitivity is most probably some combination of central nervous system and blood-brain barrier damage, low-level porphyrin abnormalities, and detoxification enzyme deficiencies. Chemical sensitivity is more often than not characterized by real, verifiable damage to the body, though the implications of these anomalies are poorly understood and need research. MCS is also usually accompanied by other diagnosable types of chemically-induced injuries.

The government has been woefully slow to respond with research money, not only for chemical sensitivities, but to study many of the adverse, non-cancer health affects being associated with toxic chemicals in general. The chemical companies have a vested interest in promoting the belief that chemically induced health problems are more psychiatric in nature than a physical response to their products. It is the Chemical Manufacturer’s Association that stated in its 1991 briefing paper, “The primary impact on society would be the huge cost associated with legitimization of environmental illness.” However, with 15% of the population now suffering from some form of chemical intolerance, we may be fast approaching the time when the government will not be able to support the cost of those suffering the health effects caused by poorly regulated consumer products.

Two other factors help complicate the process of unraveling chemical sensitivity. They are masking (adaptation) and spreading (cross sensitization). A very simplistic explanation of the very complicated process of masking is that the body forms an addiction to a chemical so that if a person doesn’t get a regular dose of the chemical, the body will go into withdrawal much like that associated with drug or alcohol addiction. While overt symptoms are being controlled by the masking, internal damage continues unchecked. Spreading can turn chemical sensitivity into a progressive condition. Once a person is sensitized to one chemical, the sensitivity can spread to include other unrelated compounds. Once that happens, repeat exposures reduce the body’s tolerance level by an as yet unknown mechanism so the body becomes more easily reactive to more and more chemicals at lower and lower levels until it finally reaches the point where the person is sick all the time. If this illness reaches that point, the person can kiss a life of casual convenience good-bye.

While most MCS research has focused on an immune system mechanism, MCS critics have repeatedly pointed out that much of what MCS sufferers claim simply cannot be immune system mediated. Especially controversial has been immediate reactions to chemicals or upon the cessation of an exposure. With the exception of a histamine response and some IgE-mediated responses such as anaphylactic shock, the immune system is not generally capable of reacting as fast as the symptoms appear. This has led some researchers to look at the central nervous system because it can and does have the capacity to respond within the time-frame most patients’ experience. The best hypothesis for these fast responses comes from triggering research into neurogenic inflammation. Reactions such as nausea or vomiting are being neurologically mediated unless the patients also have indigestion.

Neurologic testing is finally proving subtle nervous system dysfunction and damage. While it may be years before the full implications of these tests are understood, at least they are available to objectively show abnormalities. With the use of challenge QEEG evoked potentials, SPECT scans, and PET scans, great strides are being made in documenting the effects of chemicals on the nervous system. However, the lack of controlled blind studies on the central nervous system effects of MCS patients is problematic.

The neurological phenomenon known as time-dependent sensitization (TDS), which has been primarily studied in animals for the last 20 years, has an amazing and uncanny similarity to MCS and not only helps to explain how the brain becomes sensitized to low-level chemical exposures in the first place, but the role that stress plays in adverse reactions. It also provides a mechanism for cross sensitization to unrelated chemicals. Until TDS was discovered and applied to MCS, this cross sensitization phenomenon was thought to be impossible by MCS adversaries because no immune system mechanism has even been established for it. Because classical toxicology makes no allowances for cross sensitization either, the impossibility of cross sensitization became a critical element in most theories of why MCS had to be a psychological rather than a physiological disorder.

In 1963, research conducted by Eloise Kailin, M.D., strongly suggested that MCS was a metabolic (enzyme deficiency) disorder. Dr. Kailin’s findings were rejected by both clinical ecologists and MCS adversaries because both sides maintained that to exist at all, MCS had to be immune system mediated. Follow-up research on metabolic problems in MCS sufferers was not conducted for 31 years.

Then in 1994, testing showed that over 90% of MCS sufferers have developed a condition known as Disorders of Porphyrinopathy (an acquired form of the porphyrias). The porphyrias are a group of rare metabolic, enzyme deficiency disorders involving the production of heme (a component of blood) and liver and/or bone marrow damage and have many symptoms in common with MCS. The most significant symptom MCS shares with the porphyrias are chemical intolerance/sensitivity and any estrogen mimicking chemical or drug can trigger an attack.

Disorders of Porphyrinopathy are also showing up in people with chronic fatigue, fibromylagia, amalgam problems, and silicone implants.

Estrogen load may be one reason females (human and animals) are more susceptible than males to metabolic disorders, time-dependent sensitization, and MCS. In addition, a study on Gulf War veterans discovered the plasma butyrylcholinesterase deficiencies may play a significant role in how people get poisoned. A Danish study found that women in their 30s and 40s are at an all time low for the production of this scavenger detoxification enzyme that protects the central nervous system.

Autoimmune disorders are also a major problem for the chemically sensitive. Autoimmunity is not suspected as the triggering mechanism for MCS, but rather it is a consequence of the body’s inability to convert toxins in to harmless by-products fast enough. Toxic exposures can and do trigger autoimmune responses which MCS sufferers must deal with on a regular basis. Being chemically sensitive makes a person more vulnerable to all the possible health consequences associated with chemical exposures — only for MCS sufferers these toxic responses are occurring at extremely low (thought to be safe) levels.

In spite of these medical advances, product warning labels that advise of adverse reactions such as headaches, nausea, blurred vision, etc., mounting animal research that links specific reactions to specific chemicals, and numerous double-blind clinical studies with humans that demonstrate a direct connection between exposure and symptoms; our subjective symptoms still remain highly controversial. Double-blind studies are routinely discounted by critics because there is no way to verify if a patient is nauseous. In science, humans are still not considered reliable indicators. With TDS and enzyme deficiencies, animal models are now available to study MCS, however, lack of funding for basic research is still a major problem and getting what research is available into an established medical journal is even more difficult. For example, the Journal for Occupational Medicine is controlled by doctors employed by Dow Chemical Company, Eastman-Kodak, General Motors, and ITT Corporation.

While things are changing, chemical injuries resulting in chemical sensitivities are still controversial. So given the controversial nature of this illness, the best advice I can offer you is the same advice I got from one of my doctors. He told me I had to become the expert on me. And you need to become the expert on you.

Treatments Recommended by Canaries

(What works for some may not work for you. Please read disclaimer at bottom of page.)


If you have the full 23andme genetic testing, the raw data may be interpreted by a trained professional. Naturopathic doctors are suggesting this for all patients with difficult to treat disorders , diseases and syndromes. When using 23andme, it’s suggested that you do not use your real name or birth date due eugenics concerns. This information could lead to profiling that may keep people from receiving health insurance or other forms of ableist discrimination. (Please read “No Pity” by Joe Shapiro the history book of the Disability Rights Movement to understand how eugenics harmed millions in the past. Also the disability community is the US’s largest minority and we need to know our history to make the future better.)

Finding someone well trained in interpreting 23andme is very difficult because it’s an immense amount of information. The best person I’ve found allows you to do your extensive intake with digital forms with a legal electronic signature or papers mailed to you. The appointment is with Skype. She emails you the 40 page document about different parts of the body like digestion, detoxification, etc, with the genes listed and showing if you have one or both alles in the gene not functioning properly. These don’t equal a disease or disorder! They show weak areas that, when strengthened with supplements, increase your body’s healthy functioning.  She also sends a list of the problematic issues with suggestions for supplements. The first appointment is $250 with $80 for the genetic report. Follow up appointments are $130 I think – I didn’t need one. Your DNA never changes but the science does improve so you may want to do it again in the future, but only if they make big advances in understanding the genes. She also has a report that looks at genetic issues that are common with chronic Lyme. These issues make it harder to recover. I don’t like doctors, no matter what their philosophy, most of the time. She was what I look for: a scientist, good communicator, considerate of my needs, down to earth and no sales pitch.

Dr. Karen Threkel, ND, 4801 Wisconsin Ave, NW Washington DC 20016, 202-244-6661

Making Your Environment Safe, Chapter Four of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide 2nd Ed. by Pamela Reed Gibson PhD download (This is the main, most important treatment.)

Treatment of MCAS

Keep your blood sugar levels even. Have your doctor get you a test so you can check for reactive hypoglycemia or diabetes.

Get medications from a compounding pharmacy if you have food or medication filler intolerance or allergies.

B12: MethylMateB

B12: Hydroxy B12 Mega Drops

B12: PERQUE Activated B12 Guard

Treating MCS: What Really Works

“Perceived Treatment Efficacy for Conventional and Alternative Therapies Reported By Persons With Multiple Chemical Sensitivity”

Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Glutathione (oral, do not use too much lest you detox too fast; most people take 1 or 2 after breakfast)

Instead of Glutathione, you can try NAC, which makes glutathione.

Homeopathic detox (some people with MCS need to do this so homeopathy can work): UNDA 1, UNDA 20, UNDA 243. One drop of each on sole of foot each day. Caution: in an alcohol base. Only recommended you work with trained professional.

What to Do When You are Reacting to Chemicals

Recovery Basics from Planet Thrive


A Canary’s Eye View Supplements

Ecological Formulas Tri-Salts



Wellness Recovery Action Plan by Mary Ellen Copeland (WRAP was designed for person living with psychiatric disorders as a way to stay aware of how one is feeling and what needs to be done when certain symptoms arise. It adapts well for MCS and other illnesses.)

Hypnosis, Meditation and Relaxation for Pain Treatment

Chem Defense

Neti Pot (Get ceramic)

Also many antioxidants such as vit A, C, and E, zinc and perhaps a very, very low dose of selenium, often from food sources. Check ingredients for food allergens.

Clay mask on the liver for 15 minutes before shower.

Bath in Epson salts (they pull out toxins).

Castor oil on the liver for 15 minutes before shower. (Some people keep it on overnight.)

Milk thistle seed (silymarin) supplement for liver detoxification.

Dried burdock root (for kidneys) and dried dandelion root (for liver) infusions (a tea that seeps for 4 to 8 hours) or non-alcoholic tinctures of both herbs daily.

Dr. Martin Pall

Supplements & Herbs NEEDS

VitaCost online store for cleaning, supplements, body care, etc (not all MCS safe! but cheaper in bulk.)

Medical Research MCS & MCAS

Anyone trying to tell you MCS isn’t real? Let them read all these papers before making up their mind.

Lists, Articles, etc.

International Scientific Declaration on EHS & MCS, Brussels, 2015. Following the 5th Paris Appeal Congress that took place on May 18, 2015, at the Royal Academy of Medicine, Brussels, Belgium.

James Madison University MCS Research Team

Chemical Injury Information Network

Dr Walter Crinnion ND

Chemical ‘soup’ clouds connection between toxins and poor health, Scientific American 23 November 2012.

Maternal Chemical and Drug Intolerances: Potential Risk Factors for Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Lynne P. Heilbrun, MPH; Raymond F. Palmer, PhD; Carlos R. Jaen, MD; Melissa D. Svoboda, MD, Claudia S. Miller, MD, and Jimmy Perkins, PhD; Journal of the American Board Family Med. 2015;28(4):461-470.

The Methylation Cycle

Dr Martin L Pall

The Role of the Brain and Mast Cells in MCS by Gunnar Heuser, MD, PhD, FACP

The Mast Cell Disease Society

William J. Meggs, MD, PHD may have relevant articles/publications available.

Online Articles by Dr Rea a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon with a strong passion for the environmental aspects of health and disease and founder and director of the Environmental Health Center (EHC-D)

TDEX – The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

Canadian Human Rights Commission, The Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities by Margaret E. Sears

Invisible Disabilities Association Why Go Fragrance Free?

Daily Mail (UK) Why air fresheners and scented candles can wreck your health: They could cause cancerous DNA mutations and asthma

National Geographic March 5, 2015 Chemical Exposure Linked to Billions in Health Care Costs

Occipital Lobe Meningioma in a Patient with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Moorhead JF, et al
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 37(4):443‐446, April 2000

Chemical Sensitivity and Fatigue Syndromes from Hypoxia/Hypercapnia
Ross PM.
Medical Hypotheses, 54(5):734-738, May 2000

Deep Subcortical (including limbic) Hypermetabolism in Patients with Chemical Intolerance: Human PET Studies
Heuser G, et al
Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, 933:319‐322, March 2001

Organochlorine Pesticides and Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Solvents in the Blood of Chemically Sensitive
Patients [corrected]. A Statistical Comparison with Therapeutic Medication and Natural Hormones.
Rea WJ, et al
Journal of Environmental Biology, 22(3):163‐169, July 2001

Solomon GM, Weiss PM. Chemical contaminants in breast milk: time trends and regional variability. Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110:A339–A347.[PMC free article]

Genetic Susceptibility to Adverse Effects of Drugs and Environmental Toxicants. The Role of the CYP Family of Enzymes
Ingelman‐Sunberg M.
Mutation Research, 482(1‐2):11‐19, October 2001
Pupil Light Reaction of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Patients to Extremely Low Concentrations of
Miyata M, et al
Neuro‐Ophthalmology Japan, 19(2):155‐161, 2002
Mechanisms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Winder C.
Toxicology Letters, 128 (1‐3):85‐97, March 10 2002

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – An Elevation of Enzyme Induction Thresholds
Mellish CE.
Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 12(4):337‐342, Dec. 2002

Markers of Genetic Susceptibility in Human Environmental Hygiene and Toxicology: The Role of Selected CYP, NAT and GST genes
Their R, et al
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 206(3):149‐171, June 2003

A Metabolic Basis for Fibromyalgia and its Related Disroders: The Possible Role of Resistance to Thyroid
Garrison RL, et al
Medical Hypotheses, 61(2):182‐189, August 2003
Reproducibility of Immunological Test Used to Asses Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome
Hoover DR, et al
Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology, 10(6):1029‐1036, November 2003
The Plasma Cysteine/Sulphate Ratio: A Possible Clinical Biomarker
Moss M.
Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 13(4): 215‐229, December 2003
Identification of Responsible Volatile Chemicals that Induce Hypersensitive Reactions to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Patients Shinohara N Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 14(1):84‐91, Jan. 2004

Effect of Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds on Plasma Levels of Neuropeptides, Nerve Growth Factor and Histamine in Patients with Self‐Reported Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Kimata H. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 207(2):159‐163, February 2004

Mycotoxins and Antifungal Drug Interactions: Implications in the Treatment of Illnesses Due to Indoor
Chronic Toxigenic Mold Exposures
Anyanwu EC
Scientific World Journal, 4:167‐177, March 12 2004
LongTerm Exposure to Low Levels of Formaldehyde Increases the Number of Tyrosine Hydroxylase‐Immunopositive Periglomerular Cells in Mouse Main Olfactory Bulb

Hayashi H, et al Brain Research, 1007(1‐2):192‐197, May 2004

The Endoplasmic Reticulum in Xenobiotic Toxicity
Cribb AE, et al
Drug Metabolism Review, 37(3):405‐442, 2

Chemical Exposures: Genes and Sensitivity
By Angela Spivey
Environmental Health Perspective, 113(3):A157, March 2005

Exposure of Eyes to Perfume: A Double‐Blind, Placebo‐Controlled Experiment
Elbering J et al
Indoor Air, 16(4): 276‐281, August 2006

Drug Intolerance in Patients with Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance Syndrome
Niedoszytko M, et al
The International Journal of Clinical Practice, 60(10):1327‐1329, October 2006

The Role of the Brain and Mast Cells in MCS
Heuser G.
Townsend Letter, October 2006

Relevance of the Deletion Polymorphisms of the Glutathione S‐transferases GSTT1 and GSTM1 in
Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Bolt HM,
Current Drug Metabolism, 7(6):613‐628, Aug 2006
Increased Release of Histamine in Patients with Respiratory Symptoms Related to Perfume.
Elbering J, et al
Experimental Allergy, 37(11):1676‐1680, 2007

Immune Effects of Respiratory Exposure to Fragrance Chemicals
Ezendam J et al
RIVM Reports,  2007

A Cross‐Sectional Study of Self- Reported Chemical Related Sensitivity is Associated with Gene Variants of Drug‐Metabolizing Enzymes

Schnakenberg E, et al.
Environmental Health, 6:6, 2007

Effect of Long‐Term Exposure to Low‐Level Toluene on Airway Inflammatory Response in Mice
Fujimaki H, et al
Toxicology Letters, 168(2):132‐139, January 30 2007

The Effects of Evaporating Essential Oils on Indoor Air Quality
Su HJ, et al
Atmospheric Environment, 41(6):1230‐1236, February 2007

Volatile Organic Compounds Contribute to Airway Hyperresponsiveness
Jang AS, et al
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine, 22(1):8‐12, March 2007

Odor Processing in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Hilbert L, et al
Human Brain Mapping, 28(3):172‐183, March 2007
Quality of Life and Capsaicin Sensitivity in Patients with Airway Symptoms Induced by Chemicals and Scents: A Longitudinal Study
Ternesten‐Hasseus E, et al
Environmental Health Perspective, 115(3):425‐429, March 2007

Gene-Environment Interactions in Environmental Lung Diseases Kleeberger SR, et al Novartis Foundation Symposium, 293:168‐178, 2008

Coagulation Cascade and Fibrinolysis in Patients with Multiple‐Drug Allergy Syndrome
Asero R, et al
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 100(1):44‐48, January 2008

Sequence Variations in Subjects with Self‐Reported Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (sMCS): A Case‐Control Study

Wiesmuller GA, et al. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 71(11‐12):786‐794, January 2008

The Health Effects of Nonindustrial Indoor Air Pollution
Bernstein J, et al
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 121(3):585‐591, March 2008

Mechanisms of Increased Airway Sensitivity to Occupational Chemicals and Odors
Millqvist E.
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 8(2):135‐139, April 2008

Detection of Low‐Level Environmental Chemcal Allergy by a Long‐Term Sensitization Method

Fukuyama T, et al Toxicology Letters, 180(1):1‐8, July 30 2008

Anaesthesia for Patients with Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fisher MM, et al
British Journal of Anaesthesia, 101(4):486‐491, October 2008

Breathtaking TRP Channels: TRPA1 and TRPV1 in Airway Chemosensation and Reflex Control Bessac BF, et al Physiology, 23(6):360‐370, December 2008

Cerebral Imaging and Olfactory Disorders: A Review
Plallly J, et al
B‐ENT, 5 Suppl 13:61‐69, 2009

Phenotypes of Individuals Affected by Airborne Chemicals in the General Population
Berg ND, et al
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 82(4):509‐517, March 2009

Relation of PON1 and CYP1A1 Genetic Polymorphisms to Clinical Findings in a Cross‐Sectional Study of a
Greek Rural Population Professionally Exposed to Pesticides
Tsatsakis AM, et al
Toxicology Letters, 186(1):66‐72, April 10 2009,

Neuroregulation of Human Nasal Mucosa
Baraniuk JN, et al
Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, 1170:604‐609, July 2009

Glyphosate‐Based Herbicides are Toxic and Endocrine Disrupters in Human Cell Lines
Gasnier C, et al
Toxicology, 262(3):184‐191, August 21 2009

The Chemical Defensive System in the Pathobiology of Idiopathic Environment‐ Associated Diseases
Korkina L, et al
Current Drug Metabolism, 10(8): 914‐931, October 2009

Brain Dysfunction in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Orriols R, et al
Journal of Neurological Science, 287(1‐2):72‐8, December 15 2009

How Can We Cure NO/ONOO ‐ Cycle Diseases?
Pall ML
Townsend Letter For Doctors and Patients, 319‐320:75‐86, 2010

Functional Impairment in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Lavergne RM, et al
Canadian Family Physician, 52(2):e57‐e65, February 2010

Xenobiotic, Bile Acid and Cholesterol Transporters: Function and Regulation
Klaassen CD, et al
Pharmacological Reivews, 62(1):1‐96, March 2010
Genetic Susceptibility Factors for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Revisited
Berg ND, et al.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 213(2): 131‐139, March 2010

Factors Associated with Prospective Development of Environmental Annoyance
Eek F, et al
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69(1):9‐15, July 2010

Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI): From Molecular Epidemiology to Molecular Medicine
De Luca C, et al
Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 48(7):625‐635, July 2010

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a Response to Chemicals Acting as Toxicants via Excessive NMDA Activity
Pall ML
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69(3): 327‐328, September 2010

Human PON1, a Biomarker of Risk of Disease and Exposure
Furlong CE, et al
Chemico‐Biological Interactions, 187(1‐3):355‐361, September 6 2010

Biological Definition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity from Redox State and Cytokine Profiling and not from Polymorphisms of Xenobiotic‐Metabolizing Enzymes

De Luca C, et al
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 248(3): 285‐292, November 1 2010

Debating the Legitimacy of a Contested Environmental Illness: A Case Study of Multiple Chemical
Sensitivities (MCS)
Phillips T.
Sociology of Health & Illness, 32(7):1026‐1040, November 2010

A Novel Methodology to Evaluate Health Impacts Caused by VOC Exposures Using Real‐Time VOC and
Holter Moniters
Mizukoshi A, et al
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7(12):4127‐4138,
December 2010

Increased Capsaicin‐Induced Secondary Hyperalgesia in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.
Holst H, et al
The Clinical Journal of Pain, 27(2):156‐162, February  2011

NonAllergic Cutaneous Reactions in Airborne Chemical Sensitivity – A Population Based Study
Berg ND, et al
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, February 14 2011 (Epub ahead of print)

Isolation and lack of Access in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Qualitative Study
Gibson PR, et al
Nursing and Health Sciences, 13(3): 232‐237, 2011

Effect of Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) on Airway Inflammatory Response in Mice
Wang F, et al
The Journal of Toxicological Sciences, 37(4): 739‐748, 2012

Women with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Have Increased Harm Avoidance and Reduced 5‐HT1A Receptor
Binding Potential in the Anterior Cingulate and Amygdala
Hillert L, et al
Plos One, 8(1): e54781, 2013

Evaluation of Genetic Polymorphism in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Cui X, et al
Plos One, 8(8): e73708, 2013

Xenobiotic Sensor – and Metabolism‐Related Gene Variants in Environmental Sensitivity Related Illnesses: A
Survey on the Italian Population
Caccamo D, et al
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Epub July 7 2013

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: On the Scent of Central Sensitization
Tran M.T., et al
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 216(2): 202‐210, 2013

Caress S.M., Steinemann A.C.  Prevalence of Fragrance Sensitivity in the American Population.  Journal of Environmental Health 71(7): 46‐50, 2009.

Caress S.M., Steinemann A.C.  National Prevalence of Asthma and Chemical Hypersensitivity: An Examination of Potential Overlap. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 47(5): 518‐522, 2005.

Caress S.M., Steinemann A.C.  A National Population Study of the Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Archives of Environmental Health 59(6): 300‐305, 2004.  Abstract

Caress S.M., Steinemann A.C. Prevalence of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: A Population-Based Study in the Southeastern United States. American Journal of Public Health 94(5): 746‐747, 2004

Caress S.M., Steinemann A.C.  A Review of a Two‐Phase Population Study of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
Environmental Health Perspectives 111(12): 1490‐1497, 2003.

Caress S.M., Steinemann A.C., Waddick W. Symptomatology and Etiology of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in the Southeastern United States. Archives of Environmental Health 57(5): 429‐436, 2002.

Kreutzer R, Neutra R.R, Lashuay N. Prevalence of people reporting sensitivities to chemicals in a population- based survey. American Journal of Epidemiology. 150(1):1‐12, 1999

from Chemical Sensitivity Foundation Research Bibliography
Selected Bibliography of Studies and Articles on Chemical Sensitivity Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals
March 2014 Version

  • Abdullah, L., Evans, J.E., Montague, H., Reed, J.M., Moser, A., Crynen, G., Gonzalez, A., Zakirova, Z., Ross, I., Mullan, C., Mullan, M., Ait-Ghezala, G., Crawford, F. “Chronic Elevation of Phosphocholine Containing Lipids in Mice Exposed to Gulf War Agents Pyridostigmine Bromide and Permethrin.” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 40 (November-December, 2013):74-78.
  • Antelman, S.M. “Time-Dependent Sensitization in Animals: A Possible Model of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in Humans.” Toxicology and Industrial Health 10, nos. 4-5 (July-October 1994):335-42.
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Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (often the cause of MCS)

The Mast Cell Disease Society

Lawrence B. Afrin et al., Often seen, rarely recognized: mast cell activation disease – a guide to diagnosis and therapeutic options, Annals of Medicine Volume 48, 2016 – Issue 3

Afrin, Lawrence B. “A Concise, Practical Guide to Diagnostic Assessment for Mast Cell Activation Disease.” WJH World Journal of Hematology 3.1 (2014): 155-232.

Brain mast cells link the immune system to anxiety-like behavior by Katherine M. NautiyalAna C. RibeiroDonald W. Pfaffand Rae Silver

 Theoharides TC, Stewart JM, Hatziagelaki E, et al. Brain “fog,” inflammation and obesity: key aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders improved by luteolin. Front Neurosci 2015;9:225. [PMC free article]

Anastasia I Petra,Smaro Panagiotidou,Julia M Stewart,Pio Conti &Theoharis C Theoharides Spectrum of mast cell activation disorders, Pages 729-739 | Published online: 01 May 2014, Expert Review of Clinical Immunology Volume 10, 2014 – Issue 6

Talkington J, Nickell SP. Borrelia burgdorferi Spirochetes Induce Mast Cell  Activation and Cytokine Release. McGhee JR, ed. Infection and Immunity. 1999;67(3):1107-1115.

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Wilhelm M, Silver R, Silverman AJ. Central nervous system neurons acquire mast cell products via transgranulation. Eur J Neurosci 2005;22:2238-48. [PMC free article]

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Arck PC, Slominski A, Theoharides TC, et al.Neuroimmunology of stress: skin takes center stage. J Invest Dermatol 2006;126:1697-704. [PMC free article

Theoharides TC, Alysandratos KD, Angelidou A, et al. Mast cells and inflammation. Biochim Biophys Acta 2012;1822:21-33. [PMC free article]

Theoharides, Theoharis C., and Julia M. Stewart. “Genitourinary Mast Cells and Survival.” Translational Andrology and Urology 4.5 (2015): 579–586. PMC. Web. 23 Apr. 2018.

Theoharides TC. The mast cell: a neuroimmunoendocrine master player. Int J Tissue React 1996;18:1-21.

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Dystych J, Walczak-Drzewiecka A, Wyczolkowska J, Metcalfe DD. Murine mast cells exposed to mercuric chloride release granule-associated N-acetyl-β -d-hexosaminidase and secrete IL-4 and TNF-α J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999;103:1108–1114.

Esposito P, Gheorghe D, Kandere K, Pang X, Conally R, Jacobson S, Theoharides TC. Acute stress increases permeability of the blood-brain-barrier through activation of brain mast cells. Brain Res. 2001;888:117–127.
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Kempuraj D, Papadopoulou N, Stanford EJ, et al.Increased numbers of activated mast cells in endometriosis lesions positive for corticotropin-releasing hormone and urocortin. Am J Reprod Immunol 2004;52:267-75.

Harvima IT, Nilsson G, Suttle MM, Naukkarinen A. Is there a role for mast cells in psoriasis? Arch.Dermatol Res. 2008;300:461–476. [

Woidacki K, Jensen F, Zenclussen AC. Mast cells as novel mediators of reproductive processes. Front Immunol2013;4:29. [PMC free article]

Theoharides TC, Cochrane DE. Critical role of mast cells in inflammatory diseases and the effect of acute stress. J Neuroimmunol 2004;146:1-12.

Maldonado MD, Mora-Santos M, Naji L, et al. Evidence of melatonin synthesis and release by mast cells. Possible modulatory role on inflammation. Pharmacol Res2010;62:282-7

Theoharides TC, Petra AI, Stewart JM, et al. High serum corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and bone marrow mast cell CRH receptor expression in a mastocytosis patient.J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014;134:1197-9

Rottem M, Mekori YA. Mast cells and autoimmunity.Autoimmun Rev 2005;4:21-7.

Pedotti R, De Voss JJ, Steinman L, Galli SJ. Involvement of both ‘allergic’ and ‘autoimmune’ mechanisms in EAE, MS and other autoimmune diseases. Trends Immunol. 2003;24:479–484.

Goines PE, Ashwood P. Cytokine dysregulation in autism spectrum disorders (ASD): possible role of the environment. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2013;36:67–81.[PMC free article]

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Wouters MM, Vicario M, Santos J The role of mast cells in functional GI disorders. Gut. 2016 Jan;65(1):155-68. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309151. Epub 2015 Jul 20.

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Tired or Toxic? By Sherry A Rogers MD

Why Can’t I Get Better? By Dr Horowitz (Although about Lyme disease, it has the only in depth, scientific, medical information I’ve found about why MCS happens, the right way to do tests and treatment. Just for understanding the liver detoxification pathways it’s worth owning.)

Explaining ‘Unexplained Illnesses’: Disease Paradigm for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Gulf War Syndrome by Martin L. Pall