Over this last weekend, I had the misfortune to be exposed to someone whose clothes had been exposed to an auto oil-based air freshener, it could have been Febreze or some other brand. My wife was immediately effective. I was not — until the second day of exposure. I have had only one other incidence of MCS reaction in my life, and that was some 12 years prior. Having suffered from it once, I believe it is a very real condition.
Day 1: exposure – no effect
Day 2: re-exposure. following happen at about 2 hr intervals…
- Suddenly chilled, even in a warm room – I had confusion about why?
- Bronchial issues started appearing (i.e. IgE response, klaxon went off that it could be MCS reaction) – I immediately left the exposure area
- Noticeable cognitive issues
- Gut cramping, difficulty swallowing(throat was constricted significantly)
- Significant physical clumsiness (some nice bruises from the clumsiness)
- Disorientation, lack of focus
Day 3: Took some racetams (3 different ones) and anti-fibrins, anti-inflammatories. Detox with Olestra chips. I felt like I was living in a different body, mind was extremely scattered, did not feel normal, etc
Day 4: Kept up the above — dizziness, lack of mental focus continued. Attempted to do WII fit. On Day 1 I did over an hour with no problem; today, barely did 20 minutes before I had to sit down. Played against the computer for backgammon — instead of winning 90% of them, I was loosing 100% of them.
Day 5: Recall that I had significant improvement of cognitive issues with Neem and Tulsi, so I started taking 3 “00” capsules of one of them every two-three hours. Soon after taking them, had chills again, etc — I chose to believe that it was herx and that part of the MCS reaction was due to gut bacteria. Gut cramping also returned for about 1 hr. After some five rounds, my cognitive abilities felt normal-ish. I was winning at least 50% of the backgammon. I could do 40 min of WII fit without any problem.
Day 6: Sleep in, sluggish. Once I had coffee and a WII fit session, I was close to normal. Slightly scattered (easy to loose focus).
Day 7: Awoke at usual time, a very little bit of sluggishness, much less scattered. Keeping on task and focused well – still not up to my usual standards, but close enough others do not notice.
This was not a control experiment. I do not know if the recovery would be the same if I had not taken Neem/Tulsi. I am shifting my belief about MCS towards it having a significant gut bacteria component. The model of these synthetic chemicals being misinterpreted by the immune system may still apply, but these chemicals may also be acting as signals (or signal interference) to gut bacteria growth rate.
I do not know if this may also apply to asthma and food allergies, but I suspect it may be worth investigating.