After my celiac diagnosis, when my symptoms began escalating, I started to feel sick after being around certain smells.
I still remember the night I used hairspray after not using if for awhile (because at that time, I was leaving the house less and less), and then went to a friends birthday. By the time I got there, I felt drunk. And not in a good way (also, I hadn’t had a sip of alcohol). I felt dizzy, I had a headache, I broke out in a red blotchy rash which I sometimes got when I drank alcohol. And I felt drunk.
After that, I became more and more sensitive to smells.
At first, I had no idea why all of a sudden, I would have a headache, a rash, feel dizzy and need to take a nap. But after time, as the same thing kept happening, I was able to put together that it would come on after specific exposures, almost always there was a chemical/strong smell, fumes, outgassing.
Plus, I’d seen this before.
Growing up, my Mum had lots of health problems. The biggest one was chronic fatigue syndrome, and she had never been able to be around people smoking without getting sick. She was sensitive to chemical smells, smoke was just the most obvious and common one.
And it was happening to me too.
I couldn’t be near anyone who was smoking. I had to distance myself from friends and family who wore lots of perfume, because it would make me so sick just being near them. I couldn’t go near petrol stations, or any where that had been recently painted or renovated. I couldn’t go to the shops, especially those with incense.
I was already becoming a bit of a recluse because I felt sick all of the time – and now it was like the entire world was enemy, not just gluten anymore (I already had to stay away from bakeries, anywhere that used flour etc).
You really don’t understand the extent of toxins in our environment until every little exposure makes you so sick that you become hyper aware.
The sicker I became, the more sensitive to toxic smells and chemicals I was.
I was already scared and nervous to leave the house because of the celiac disease and gluten being everywhere, and now it was like the entire environment was attacking me. And everyone else just went on their merry way and seemed just fine.
I felt like such a drama queen not being able to do these things. Like I was making a big deal out of nothing. But the reaction in my body was REAL.
This is the reason I am SO annoyingly passionate about detoxing.
It’s not just some vague idea to me – oh toxins are bad, detoxing is helpful to get better. No, these toxins were destroying my life. It was VERY real to me.
The only way I’ve been able to heal, to put my life back together, to be able to leave the fricking house again, is to DETOX.
I can actually be around people who wear perfume now, and not get sick. I can hug my family wearing perfume. I can have someone in the car wearing perfume.
I can go to the movies and sit around people, who smell like gross perfume and cologne and smoke and not get sick.
I can go visit my Dad at the new house he just built and gave a fresh coat of paint, without getting sick (I did that just this weekend!).
I can walk past people on the street smoking and not get sick.
I can be at a petrol station and fill up the car, without getting sick.
These little tiny things that most people never even have to give a second thought to, were absolutely life changing for me.
SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY
The symptoms of MCS are non-specific, meaning they could be attributed to a lot of different things. But usually, you’ll get quite a few of the symptoms come on after a specific exposure, maybe to a smell that you’re aware of, or even something your not.
Do you find yourself getting any of the following around certain smells:
- red/sore/itchy/watery eyes
- running nose
- feeling spacey
- sore joints and muscles
It’s called multiple chemical sensitivity, and it’s an adverse reaction to chemicals in the air, food and water. And in people who are sensitive, even EMF and WiFi fields can affect them – electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS).
The medical community and the American Medical Association don’t acknowledge it as a “legitimate illness” – doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though. I know first hand that it does.
At my worst point, if I was around someone wearing perfume, or in somewhere that has been recently painted, or someone used hairspray near me, within a minute I have a headache, I feel dizzy, I feel nauseous, and I feel like I’ve been slipped a sleeping pill and would need to lie down.
The next day I would wake up with puffy, red eyes, a headache, feel achy and ‘locked up’ all over and have inflammation burning inside me.
We’re not alone. It’s estimated about 16% of the population have some degree of MCS, and it’s increasing all the time as the level of toxicity in the environment does.
THE TOXIC TIPPING POINT
When you develop chemical sensitivity, it’s because you’re body is overloaded, and it’s reached it’s toxic tipping point. The threshold where the body was juuuuust able to keep up with detoxification enough that it can cope has been crossed.
Now, the body can’t detoxify fast enough for all the incoming toxins. The liver is overloaded. You are toxic.
Not everybody is getting sick from this at the same level or age, because we are all different. Some people have a better constitution, where they are able to detoxify better and have a better adaptive ability.
Some of us don’t. We’re the “canary in the coal mines” – we are the smoke signal that the environment is toxic. But it’s affecting every single person alive, whether they’re feeling it yet or not.
HOW TO HEAL IT
When this was first starting to happen to me, I had no idea what was going on. I was researching online, and not finding very much at all. I had no idea if this was something I’d have for life, or something I’d be able to fix and would go away.
I can now say, after almost 3 years of detoxing, about 2 years being “serious” about it and fully understanding it, that I have healed the MCS. I haven’t tested it to any extremes yet (nor do I particularly want to, but as I start to travel more etc then it’s inevitable). But my day to day life is now normal.
I am still sensitive to chemicals in that I have the nose of a blood hound now and the smell of any chemicals (even perfumes) is absolutely disgusting to me and I can’t get away from it fast enough. But it doesn’t make me feel instantly sick.
1. REMOVE TOXIC EXPOSURES
You have to remove all the exposures in your environment, including: perfume, make-up, sprays, paints, beauty products, personal care products, pesticides, clean water etc.
Coffee enemas saved my life during this time. Before I discovered coffee enemas, I couldn’t function in my day to day life. I would sleep 10+ hours, then wake up in a fog, riddled with inflammation and feeling like my head had been hit over and over with a sledgehammer, then I’d walk around in a daze or lie in bed and take naps.
At first coffee enemas were just able to clear my head and some of the inflammation in the morning. They would calm the inflammation and clear some of the fog, so I could think and get through my day. And over time, slowly but surely, I started feeling better and better, less toxic, less inflammation, no more brain fog.
Nutrition plays a huge part in healing this too. Fixing nutritional deficiencies, getting loads and loads of nutrients through food so the body is able to heal and detoxify and rebuilt.
Ready to detox properly?
In my 6 week program Detox Done Different I take you through my process for REAL and DEEP detoxing, so you can finally feel better and come alive again! I teach you all the detox methods that ACTUALLY work, like coffee enemas, saunas and so much more. Plus, we go through your entire house and environment, removing toxic exposures one by one.