What is multiple chemical sensitivity?Multiple chemical sensitivity (or MCS) is a physical reaction to low levels of chemicals in everyday products. It affects people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles, and causes sufferers to have flare ups similar to allergic reactions. Essentially, chemical sensitivity prevents your immune system from working efficiently, and means that your body can’t process toxins as well as it should.
Chemical sensitivity symptomsIf you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity, you’ll experience a range of symptoms when in close contact with common chemicals. But what causes chemical sensitivity? When we’re talking about routine causes and triggers, we’re referring to the things that most of us use every day. Everything from tobacco smoke and car exhausts, to chlorine and laundry detergent has the potential to cause chemical sensitivity. So avoiding chemicals altogether isn’t the answer, because they’re found in everything – even our carpets, bedding, clothes and perfume. For a lot of us, these potential reactions won’t make a huge impact on our day-to-day life, but others will feel chemical sensitivity symptoms more severely, and will experience side effects such as:
- Dizziness & sickness
- Breathing problems or a tight chest
- Muscle pains and aches
- Skin rashes and itching
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Confusion or trouble concentrating
- Mood changes
Reactions like these will vary from person to person, and can either occur immediately or several hours later - depending on how your body works.
What causes chemical sensitivity?The root cause of being affected by chemical sensitivity could be down to our environment, our diet, our water intake, the products we use and the rooms we sleep in. While it’s not easy to steer clear of toxins and chemicals that are naturally all around you, there are a few things you can do to alleviate your sensitivity to them, much like you would if you suffered from an allergy.
It’s also tricky to narrow down or pinpoint exactly what it is that’s causing a chemical sensitivity flare up, so it’s important to cover all bases when you’re trying to relieve yourself of any symptoms.
The easiest way to get diagnosed with MCS is to keep a diary of any symptoms you’re experiencing, and activities you’re doing when you’ve noticed a significant reaction. Tracking everything you eat and drink will also be beneficial in identifying any recurring patterns. From this, you should be able to notice which items or products are triggering a reaction and causing you to feel under the weather. Then you’ll simply be able to remove, reduce or replace it from your everyday life.
Is there a natural cure for chemical sensitivity?There is currently no known cure for clearing multiple chemical sensitivity completely, but there are certainly a lot of natural, simple ways you can manage any chemical sensitivity symptoms.
Firstly, you should stop using any products you use that may contain allergy triggers or harsh chemicals, such as perfumes, aftershaves, air fresheners, cleaning agents, laundry detergent or bathroom toiletries. For these, opt for brands that are fragrance free and are labelled as natural, environmentally friendly or sensitive on skin.
It also helps to stay ventilated, so if you work in an office, request a desk that’s next to a window, and invest in an air purifier for your home.
Your bedroom environment can make a huge difference to how you react to chemicals. With synthetic bedding, such as down or polyester, you’re likely to experience much bigger flare ups, because they’re treated with harsh chemicals. For a peaceful sleep with no interruptions or MCS break outs, make sure you’re bedding down on something that’s natural, hypoallergenic and organic – like wool bedding.
If you’re finding that your reactions and symptoms are creating a severe problem – for instance, if you’re unable to leave the house – you’ll need to refer to your doctor for some additional support. Other proven methods of helping multiple chemical sensitivity include nutritional therapy, body detoxes and specialist desensitization.
The best products for chemically sensitive sleepersIf your multiple chemical sensitivity symptoms are bad during the day, it’s likely that they’ll be even worse at night. And trying to get some much-needed shut eye is hopeless if you’re constantly being woken up with an itchy rash, a pounding headache or a sneezing fit. That’s why getting your bedding right is so important.
So, what is the secret to better sleep? And what are the right products for chemically sensitive environments? It’s a known fact that wool is nature’s miracle material, and can be massively beneficial to those suffering with MCS. Not only is it completely chemical free, but it also provides a hypoallergenic environment, which makes it hard for any allergies or chemical sensitivity symptoms to materialize. Wool is also a breathable and natural material, so you can rest assured in the knowledge that you’ll be getting a happier, healthier sleep every night.
Want to sleep sounder at night? Make multiple chemical sensitivity a thing of the past by switching up your sleep environment with a natural bedding set.
by Jean Switzer
14 Sep 2020