Multiple Chemical Sensitivites

We have included a section for environmental illness as many individuals with M.E. / CFS, experience a beginning or an increase of environmental and food sensitivities.

Reported Symptoms and Syndromes

Skin: Itching, burning, flushing, warmth, coldness, tingling, sweating behind the neck, etc. hives, blisters, blotches, red spots, "pimples".

Ear, nose & throat: Nasal congestion, sneezing, nasal itching, runny nose, postnasal drip. Sore, dry, or tickling throat, clearing throat, itching palate, hoarseness, hacking cough. Fullness ringing, or popping of ears, earache, intermittent deafness, dizziness, imbalance.

Eyes: Blurring of vision, pain in eyes, crossing of eyes, glare hurts eyes; eyelids twitching, drooping, or swollen; redness and swelling of inner angle of lower lid.

Respiratory: Shortness of breath, wheeze, cough, mucous formation in bronchial tubes.

Cardiovascular: Pounding heart, increased pulse rate, skipped beats, flushing, pallor, warm, cold, tingling, redness or blueness of hands, faintness, precordial pain.

Gastrointestinal: Dryness of mouth, increased salivation, canker sores, stinging tongue, burping, retasting, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, rumbling in abdomen, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, itching or burning of rectum.

Genitourinary: Frequent, urgent or painful urination; inability to control bladder; vaginal itching or discharge.

Muscular: Fatigue, generalized muscular weakness, muscle and joint pain, stiffness, soreness, chest pain, backache, neck and muscle spasm, generalized spasticity.

Nervous System: Headache, migraine, compulsively sleepy, drowsy, groggy, slow, sluggish, dull, depressed, serious, crying, anxious, stimulated, overactive, restless, jittery, convulsive, head feels full or enlarged, floating, silly, giggling, laughing, inebriated, unable to concentrate, feeling of separateness or apartness from others, amnesia for words or numbers, stammering or stuttering speech.

Source: Miller, J.B. Food Allergy; Provocative Testing and Injection Therapy. Springfield; Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1972, p.21

Chemical Stressors in the Home

  • Aerosols
  • Air deodorizers
  • Aluminum pots and pans
  • Ammonia
  • Bleaches
  • Car exhaust fumes entering the house from open windows or an attached garage
  • Cedar-lined closets
  • Charcoal
  • Chlorinated or fluoridated water
  • Christmas tree needles
  • Cosmetics
  • Deodorants, anti-perspirants
  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Dyes
  • Electric Blankets (because of plastic wires)
  • Felt-tip pens
  • Flameproof mattresses
  • Floor cleaners and waxes
  • Food additives
  • Food wrapers
  • Formaldehyde (added by I.R. Bell)
  • Furniture polish
  • Gas stoves and other gas appliances
  • Hair sprays
  • Heat-sealed soft plastic packages
  • Insecticide sprays and no-pest strips
  • Lacquer
  • Medications
  • Mineral Oil
  • Mothballs and Moth Crystals
  • Mothproofed shelf paper
  • Mouthwash
  • Nail Polish
  • Newspaper print (inks and solvents)
  • Oils for fans, sewing machines, etc.
  • Oven cleaner
  • Paint Fumes
  • Paraffin
  • Perfumes, Aftershaves
  • Permanent-pressed Clothing
  • Pesticides
  • Pillowcases and Sheets of (which contain resin) Synthetics
  • Pine-scented cleaners
  • Plastics (mattress covers)
  • Refrigerant gas (check for leaks)
  • Rubber-backed carpets
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Scented soaps
  • Shampoos
  • Shelf paper
  • Soft plastic containers and Fungicide-treated Wallpaper Wraps
  • Solvents used for duplicating machines
  • Smoke from frying foods<
  • Sponge rubber (mattresses and upholstery)
  • Stainproof upholstery and carpets
  • Synthetic clothing
  • Tablecloths, Shower Curtains, Draperies, usually contain vinyl
  • Teflon pots and pans
  • Tin Cans with phenol lining
  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Toothpaste
  • Turpentine
  • Varnishes containing Varsol

Source: Golos, N., Golbitz, F.G., Leighton, F.S Coping with Your Allergies,New York; Simon and Schuster, 1979, pp. 46-47.