MCS can be so confusing, especially if one also has biotoxin illness &/or Lyme.
An MCS reaction to perfumes or pesticides is usually immediate and easy to figure out. Other chemicals can be more tricky. For one reason, they may not have nearly as much scent or smell.
Also, because of something called TILT, someone can be okay with a substance & then “suddenly” become very sick from it.
The most “dramatic” example that happened to me was plastic vinegar jugs. For several years, Steve gathered spring water for me in empty vinegar jugs. One summer, I grabbed a vinegar jug of water to drink. The jug was hot. I poured the glass and downed half of it when I realized it seriously tasted like plastic. Foolishly, I drank the rest of the glass. After that I could no longer tolerate water even from not-hot vinegar jugs. We switched to glass jugs.
Likely, the plastic from the vinegar jugs was affecting me “a little” all along. But in comparison to other factors which affected me fast and hard (oil refinery, leftover scents in rentals, carpets, localized mold in rentals), it was not that much. But when I “dosed” myself with a larger amount of plastic molecules, my body broke down in the face of that particular toxin.
I can still handle vinegar jugs, pour vinegar into my washing machine, etc., but I can’t drink water from them.
But tracking these things down (what’s causing reactions) can be hair-pullingly frustrating.
- Suspect man-made things first, especially those related to petrochemicals. Eliminate all you can, even if you don’t “notice” a reaction.
- Hunt down flame retardants and antimicrobials–2 chemicals that may not smell much but can be devastating to the body. They can be in furniture, carpet, building materials, fabric, and more. New cleaning products and items for the kitchen and even floor tiles are now being touted as “wonderful” because they contain antimicrobial chemicals. 🙁 Read labels carefully, call manufacturers, and even experiment with what you have–cover a chair with cotton barrier cloth & see if that helps.
- Don’t forget propane and natural gas. If they are working properly, you shouldn’t smell much, but they can still greatly affect a person for worse. My energy increased quite a bit at one decent rental when we turned all the propane off.
- Frog-in-a-pot (getting used to your environment) can “turn off” your ability to sense something that may be affecting you over time.
- Read labels of your foods and supplements. Even supplements can contain petrochemicals. Personally, I have found also that my body does not respond well to synthetic vitamins (sometimes) and additives which are supposed to be inert. I hope my body improves in this regard as my gut heals.
A “bonus”–don’t forget to wash after returning from a “scented” place–wash hair several times (depending on how bad the environment was & how long you were there), clothes (put in clean metal trash can until you can wash), glasses, watch, everything. (We keep separate shoes & watches for out and for home.)
MCS pretty much is a constant battle in today’s world. It’s hard to persevere. Hoping the best for all of you who have to struggle with this.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books Edgemont, SD 57735