Chemical sensitivity or multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is considered as a 21st century condition. The reactions are usually triggered by pollution in the surroundings, chemical fumes produced by modern furnishing such as carpets, wood treatment and paints. It is sad to note that this is not recognized as an illness but it is believed by some to be a chronic condition that affects different parts of the body.
A close look on chemical sensitivity
It is important to note that chemicals enter the body by ingestion (as additives, in food, as drugs or from the hands), injected, inhaled or absorbed via the skin. Any chemical that enters the body should be detoxified and eliminated. This process is performed by a variety of enzymes and pathways in the body, particularly in the liver, kidneys and bloodstream. In some studies, chemical sensitivity develops once these pathways do not work effectively in complying with the demand placed on it.
The condition oftentimes develops among individuals who are prone to other types of allergy such as those who have a history of eczema, asthma or hay fever in the past or in close family members. In reality, some individuals with allergies are highly sensitive and strong odors can lead to respiratory issues.
Some are prone to headaches from perfumes or nausea from paint for many years and this gradually develops into a serious case of chemical sensitivity. In some cases, the condition follows an acute exposure to a high level of a particular chemical such as pesticides utilized during crop spraying. This can act as a trigger by initially reacting to the same chemical that sets off the sensitivity. After some time, the individual starts to react to other related chemicals once exposed.
What are the illnesses caused by chemical sensitivity?
Remember that multiple organ complaints have been recorded. Individuals with chemical sensitivity are totally fatigued and have difficult with coordinating and engaging in activities involving lengthy concentration.
Headaches are quite common and many are prone to skin rashes, asthma, irritable bowel, rhinitis and musculoskeletal pain. In addition, burning sensations can also occur in some individuals.
In some cases, an individual creates a safe haven within his/her house where he/she can keep fairly well. Leaving this environment can worsen the condition and can make the individual frightened to do so.
How chemical sensitivity makes you sick?
The mechanism of chemical sensitivity is still not known. As stated earlier, it appears to be due to an alteration in the ability of the body to detoxify and eliminate chemicals along with an increased sensitivity to the effects of these chemicals on the body.
The detoxification pathways depend heavily on vitamins, minerals and some amino acids in order to function effectively. In addition, some individuals might have a link with low levels or inadequate absorption and use of these substances.