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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome Definition
A constellation of symptoms that result from exposure to common chemicals at levels that do not normally cause response or reaction. Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome is difficult to diagnose and treat. Symptoms are often broad ranging. There remains disagreement among medical experts (doctors and researchers) about the diagnostic criteria and causes of the syndrome. Some believe multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome is a component of GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD) or PANIC DISORDER. Others believe it is a HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTION.
Symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome often include
- PALPITATIONS and CHEST PAIN
- fatigue and shortness of breath (DYSPNEA)
- difficulty sleeping
- cognitive disturbances
The diagnostic path is primarily clinical, based on the person’s symptoms. Though BLOOD tests can detect changes in immune indicators such as IMMUNOGLOBULIN levels, LEUKOCYTE activity, and complement factors, the changes are inconsistent from one person to the next and do not necessarily correlate either to symptoms or exposures.
Treatment Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome
Treatment is avoidance, whenever possible, of environments and circumstances that exacerbate symptoms. Because the substances and their quantities or exposures to them are common, however, it is often hard for the person to avoid exposure. Medications typically given to treat hypersensitivity reactions, such as ANTIHISTAMINE MEDICATIONS or CORTICOSTEROID MEDICATIONS, do not relieve the symptoms and discomforts of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome. For most people the syndrome is chronic, with symptoms waxing and waning. Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome can have a significant affect on QUALITY OF LIFE.