Anyone with MCS is painfully aware of the variety of symptoms that are MCS. And that is a major reason that so many people want to deny that it is real. But that isn’t really what I want to address today.
Instead, I thought it would be good for us all to share our particular symptoms. Perhaps then, those searching for answers may be better able to know what they are dealing with.
I’ll go first. Actually I would classify my symptoms into two categories – chronic and acute. The acute symptoms are the ones that are in direct response to a stimulus. For example, I have one primary symptom – the migraine. If I’m exposed to fragrances and a lot of other chemicals, I’ll develop a migraine. Sometimes, it is minor head pain. That’s usually from short exposures. But other times it can be a severely debilitating migraine. The kind where you just want to crawl into a dark room and then pray that the pain will stop.
At one point, several years ago, my head pain was more chronic. I would have head pain most of the time. Fortunately, by limiting exposure (read staying at home a lot) and diet I have been able to get rid of most of that pain. In fact, I’m probably down to about one bad migraine a month.
Now, the really chronic symptom for me has been vertigo. Beginning in October 2002, I started experiencing vertigo. It was much like the feeling of sea sickness, without the boat. There wasn’t a lot that would help it at first. Except being very, very still. After extensive testing, the cause was found to be excess inner ear fluid. The why of that is all wrapped up in the migraines and MCS issues. I don’t pretend to understand it. I do know that it is manageable. With a diuretic, another drug, and a low sodium diet. As in no more than 2,000 mg per day. (As in, forget bacon which weighs in at 1,000 mg per slice!) It’s tricky to follow that diet if you eat out much, but I mostly manage. And if I fail to follow the diet too much, I’m reminded of why I do it.
Now I would like to invite you to tell us about your symptoms. Leave us a comment to help everyone know about the various health issues caused by chemicals.