thrivingwithmcs logo

Thriving With

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity


Image description

Blog 1

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

February 2009

Before we begin discussing how to thrive with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity(MCS), it is important to have a good understanding what MCS is. 

In 1989 a group of researchers looking into MCS came up with the following list of criteria for the disorder:

1 - Symptoms are reproducible with repeated (chemical) exposures.

2 - The condition has persisted for a significant period of time.

3 - Low levels of exposure (lower than previously or commonly tolerated) result in manifestations of the syndrome          (i.e. increased sensitivity).

4 - The symptoms improve, or resolve completely, when the triggering chemicals are removed.
       Responses often occur to multiple, chemically unrelated substances.

5 - Symptoms (can) involve multiple-organ symptoms (runny nose, itchy eyes, headache, scratchy throat, ear ache,        scalp pain, mental confusion or sleepiness, palpitations of the heart, upset stomach, nausea and/or diarrhea,            abdominal cramping, aching joints


I'll admit that this is a somewhat 'clinical' viewing of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity but when I saw the list for the first time I thought, "Oh my God, That's me!"  After seeing this short list of criteria for MCS I felt as if I wanted to run around and shout at the world, "Look everyone… it's real!  I told you I was not imagining it!"   Just knowing that people were researching MCS meant that I was not the only person in the world experiencing it. 


Many people who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity had it start with an acute toxic event such as an exposure to industrial chemicals, alcohol poisoning or chemotherapy.  With some it coincides with the onset of a chronic disease such as lupus or fibromyalgia.  For others simply being repeatedly exposed to the barrage of manmade chemicals in our modern world lowers their resistance over time.  What causes MCS varies from person to person.  But one defining attribute we all have is a drastically lowered resistance to environmental toxicity. 


A great starter text for anyone who has Multiple Chemical Sensitvity or knows a person with MCS