Management of multiple chemical sensitivity
HOW WE TREAT MCS
Proper and effective management of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) requires a thorough, multi-faceted approach.
In her presentation for the Sensibilita Chimica Multipla 2023, Jean Monro will explain:
- Process of management for Italian MCS patients who attend Breakspear Medical:
- assessment: initial investigations recommended and other pertinent investigations recommended
- treatments available and information on these treatments
- Descriptions of the most pertinent investigations undertaken for our Italian patients previously and results of audits undertaken of their results, showing the most common abnormalities.
- Explanations behind these common abnormalities and how they are linked with MCS.
- Other factors common in MCS such as infections and genetic abnormalities.
- Explanations of the methylation and detoxification pathways and the NO/ONOOˉ cycle.
- Summary of how we manage MCS and the tools we find most effective.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER
With over 40 years of experience in environmental and nutritional medicine, Jean is now practising as Breakspear Medical’s environmental naturopath, having retired from the practice of medicine in 2021.
As an environmental naturopath, she works to discern the causes of illness, recommends nutraceuticals to optimise health and advises on how to reduce exposures through lifestyle choices, diet and nutrition.
Her additional memberships include: American Board of Environmental Medicine (ABEM), British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM), Hunterian Society, International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), Royal Society of Biology (RoSB), Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) and Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM).
Our approach is a broad one to encompass the science in relation to chemical sensitivity and our treatments are successful in helping patients to manage their condition.”
Jean Monro, Environmental Naturopath
The following pdfs are the slides from Environmental Naturopath, Jean Monro’s lecture at the Sensibilita Chimica Multipla convention in Italy, 21 October 2023.
A recording of this lecture will be available on our YouTube channel in November 2023.
If you would like more information or to ask Jean Monro questions regarding her lecture, please visit our Contact Us page.
SYMPTOMS OF MCS
MCS often develops after exposure to a large amount of a single chemical, such as solvents and pesticides, but can also follow prolonged, low-level exposure to single or multiple agents. When an MCS sufferer’s sensitivity to chemicals is heightened, normal levels of pollution can provoke illness. After single chemical exposure, sensitivity to the original chemical is followed by spreading sensitivity to other, unrelated chemicals. This is known as the spreading phenomenon.
As the condition continues to develop, affected people often suffer adverse reactions to foods and inhaled particles, such as pollen and dust, in addition to other chemicals. The clinical picture may be complicated by the fact that the body has an inherent, but variable, capacity to adapt to its environment. For example, the first cigarette ever smoked may cause irritation and nausea but, with repeated exposure to the smoke, these symptoms disappear. This is an example of adaptation.
However, when the body adapts, the true, toxic nature of the provoking substance is concealed and this is called masking. To complicate matters further, the symptoms may not be produced until a personal threshold is exceeded, and a combination of different substances and influences may have an additive effect, which is called the load phenomenon. An example of the load phenomenon is when the symptoms of hay fever, caused by pollen allergy, may not be noticed until simultaneous exposure to car exhaust occurs. The increased load of the two substances causes the noticeable reaction.
People with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) often report adverse effects from exposure to everyday amounts of every day common chemicals, such as:
- perfume, cologne, aftershave
- hairspray, hair styling products
- standard laundry products
- car exhaust
MCS must be distinguished from acute chemical toxicity, which is where a given amount of a chemical produces illness in all who are exposed to it.
If you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity, make an appointment for an initial consultation with our Clinical Team.
What do we offer at Breakspear Medical that is different to other clinics?
Unfortunately, not many other clinics have the capabilities to recognise MCS and offer adequate treatment options. However, our clinic is able to provide a comprehensive program designed around the individual’s needs. We start by taking an in-depth history of your condition and aim to clear pollutants that may be burdening your body. Our approach goes beyond simply assessing pollutant loads; we also take into account genetic make up as well as liver, kidney and immune function along with nutritional status when constructing each patient’s personalised treatment plan. By using hyperthermia to mobilise pollutants, infusions to help with detoxification pathways, and using low-dose immunotherapy to reduce allergy/sensitivity reactions, patients can expect results.
How is MCS diagnosed?
A patient’s history is an integral part of diagnosis. If a history of reactions to chemicals is reported, this is of major importance. At Breakspear Medical, we go beyond the standard medical questions and ask for details about specific sensitivities relating to perfumes, scented products in supermarkets or laundromats, cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes and chemical-based cleaning agents. We also use laboratory tests as appropriate if heightened sensitivities are suspected. Our unique, established approach to gathering a detailed patient history provides deeper insights into chemical sensitivities and we offer low-dose immunotherapy to help with the tolerance of chemicals.
Are there things I can change in my environment to reduce my MCS symptoms?
Yes, our Clinical Team will advise you on the steps you can take within your environment to help reduce your symptoms. We have put together a booklet with a number of recommendations to improve your home environment, which is available upon request.
Does nutritional supplementation help with the symptoms of MCS?
Our kidneys, lungs, bowels and skin are our body’s routes for expelling pollutants. To maintain the effectiveness of these organs in eliminating toxins from your body, good nutrition is key. Nutritional supplements can support this process to ensure thorough treatment for MCS.
I have MCS and worry about visiting your clinic because I’m so sensitive. Is it safe for me?
Breakspear Medical is proud to be scent-free. We require all our staff to adhere to our no scent policy, which is enforced 24-hours per day. Only scent-free cleaning products are used around the buildings, including only scent-free laundry powder for hospital bed sheets, towels and robes. You may have noticed in our literature that we will ask anyone wearing scented products to wash or shower and change into a hospital gown during their visit to reduce the impact. For more information, please see our leaflet “Your guide to becoming scent-free”, which is given to new patients prior to their visit and explains how to become scent-free. We try our best to accommodate the needs of our MCS patients.