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Diagnosing and Treating Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

Some medical conditions are relatively easy to diagnose with a standard blood test, urine test, or medical imaging. Among them are diabetes, anemia, impaired kidney or liver function, certain thyroid disorders, and certain infections and cancers.

However, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) isn’t one of those conditions. In order to diagnose MCS, doctors must first be aware of the condition, and then generally must rely on a clinical diagnosis — a trained doctor’s best guess based on the signs and symptoms of the illness and the patient’s medical history, rather than on lab tests or medical imaging.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Graphic

That’s a problem, because most conventional doctors have trouble accepting that multiple chemical sensitivity is a bona fide illness, and without hard evidence, such as that provided by lab tests or medical imaging, patients can’t prove that they have a medical condition. I often see patients who have been suffering with MCS for years on end. They’ve been to a half dozen doctors or more who’ve been unable to offer any explanation for their symptoms. In some cases, their doctors have gone so far as to suggest that nothing is medically wrong with them, or even led them to believe that “it’s all in your head.”

I’m here to tell you that if you’re experiencing symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivity — which I will describe in this post — you have a real medical condition. It’s certainly not a figment of your imagination, and you’re not a hypochondriac. I’m also here to tell you that bona fide medical treatments are available to alleviate your symptoms and put you back on the road to recovery.

Understanding Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a medical condition that causes a person to react to low levels of certain chemicals in their environment, such as the following:

  • Cleaning products
  • Detergents
  • Off-gassing from furniture or building materials
  • Paint
  • Perfumes and other fragrances
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Vehicle exhaust fumes

Electromagnetic fields may also pose a risk to some individuals.

While most people without MCS tolerate low levels of these chemicals, people with MCS react to them. It’s not technically an allergic reaction, but it can trigger allergy-like symptoms that cause discomfort or negatively impact your quality of life.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple chemical sensitivity symptoms differ among individuals who have the condition, but generally include one or more of the following: Continue reading…

ISEAI Profiles Dr. Matt Lewis

Among the complex health conditions that I study, diagnose, treat, and write about, Environmentally Acquired Illness (EAI) continues to reveal itself as an pervasive underlying factor. If you’re unfamiliar with EAI, it covers a category of illnesses caused by mold and biotoxin exposure; Lyme disease and other persistent infections; toxic chemicals such as pesticides, heavy metals, air pollution/smog, and dust; and other irritants found in our natural environment.

EAI is so pervasive that there’s even an international medical society dedicated to raising awareness of the environmental causes of inflammatory illnesses and to support the recovery of patients affected by these illnesses through the integration of clinical practice, education, and research. That organization — the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) — recently interviewed me about my healthcare practice and approach to patient care.

Below is an except for that interview, along with a link to read the entire write-up on ISEAI’s website:

Member Spotlight: Matt Lewis, DC, CFMP, DACBN

Dr. Matt Lewis, DC, CFMP, DACBN, is a doctor and Functional Medicine Practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic health conditions. His passion is seeing his patients put their chronic conditions in the rear-view mirror and enjoy their lives again. He is an active member of the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI).

What is the name of your practice, where are you located, and do you offer remote help?

BioDesign Wellness Center is located in Tampa, Florida, where we offer on-site appointments for our patients as well as virtual healthcare appointments online. In-person visits take place at our offices at 4111 West Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa. For an appointment, patients may call (813) 445-7770. For virtual appointments, visit doctormattintampa.com. Our email address is .

What are your specialties and unique perspectives on environmental health?

I have been practicing clinical nutrition and functional medicine for…. click here to continue reading

Thank you to the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness for choosing to shine a spotlight on me and the work I do at BioDesign Wellness in Tampa, Florida. If you’d like to read the interview in its entirety, please click on the image below: