I rode a bus to New York City yesterday, and the woman sitting next to me told me about her daughter with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).  Her daughter suffered a lot of cognitive problems, severe impairment, that they attributed to petroleum products in small amounts.  She told me that her daughter had been exposed to mold a lot - I don't remember how exactly - and this had caused her to develop MCS.  Her reactions to chemicals started with tingling in her ears, then a headache, then brain fog. 

They had spent huge amounts of money detoxifying their living space - getting mold out and I don't know what else.  Her daughter had seen Dr. Sherry Rogers, a clinical ecologist in Syracuse NY (near where I live).  Dr. Rogers gave her weird-sounding treatments like "sweating out toxins" with some infrared treatment (maybe heating the skin), etc. 

Eventually her daughter moved to the Los Angeles area, which is much drier than New York.  New York is very humid, and mold is a big problem here.  She said her daughter was much better now, and she highly praised the clinical ecologist's treatments. 

MCS has not passed double-blind challenges.  That means that the symptoms are caused because they believe they have been exposed, i.e. via the brain, rather than an effect of the chemical itself. 

But mold CAN cause a lot of problems.  Many people have mold allergies.  Many other people have local mold allergies - that is, allergies that are only in the nose, so they don't show up on the standard skin and blood allergy tests.  This is called local allergic rhinitis. People also have innate immunity to molds, since our bodies don't want to rot.  And (I think) the innate immune response can be very irritating and cause inflammation. 

This woman said her daughter had gotten allergy testing and it was negative.  But that doesn't mean that the mold didn't bother her. 

Probably her daughter got better because of moving to a drier and less moldy area.  Maybe I should move to a drier place, too.  I was a lot healthier when I was living in southern California, which is dry. 

The rest of it - avoiding chemicals, the clinical ecologist "sweating out toxins" etc. - was probably all wasted.  But having improvement because of getting away from mold lends credibility to the rest of it. 

 

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