Multiple Allergic Response Syndrome (MARS), also called Environmental Illness (EI), or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) are syndromes because they stem from a variety of causes. It is a medical condition developed by individuals exposed to chemicals that affects the neurological, immune, respiratory, skin, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal systems.
Environmental medicine, also called clinical ecology, was first developed by Dr. Theron Randolph in the 1940’s, when he observed early in his medical career that food allergies and sensitivities to environmental chemicals were a major contributing factor in a wide range of allergies and diseases, including arthritis. He then discovered, of those treated by standard medical diagnostic techniques and confirmed arthritics, more than half were helped by making dietary and environmental modifications along with detoxification protocols.
Low levels of toxins may have been previously tolerated and suddenly the body looses the ability to neutralize the chemicals and an allergic response, in varying degrees, occurs. The onset can be triggered from a single major exposure (as in pesticide poisoning); long-term exposure at low levels (food preservatives and additives, sick buildings, mold, off-gassing from computers, copiers, cleaning products, carpets, building supplies); side effect of prescription drugs (especially medications for pain, inflammation, and over-use of antibiotics); serious illness or trauma…truly an example of our “toxic cup runneth over.” When our bodies (specifically the liver) can’t neutralize toxins as quick as they’re being introduced, that one last exposure is what does us in!
The chemicals synthesized after World War II (pesticides, fragrances, synthetic fabrics, cleaning products, detergents etc.) are mostly “petro-chemicals (petroleum based) and are extremely toxic to humans. There have been virtually no studies done on the majority of these chemicals to determine human consequences – the industry just places the chemicals in the environment with the assumption that they are “safe, until proven toxic,” instead of insuring their safety before allowing them to be used.
According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, 95 percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum, yes, the same ingredient as GASOLINE! The danger is in the fact that the perfume industry in NOT REGULATED – they can include any number of chemicals in a fragrance without revealing what those chemicals are – or how they affect humans. We humans are all participating in a giant “lab experiment,” against our knowledge and our will, and it’s making millions of us VERY sick.
Formaldehyde is another toxic chemical that causes many of the symptoms of MARS, including dizziness, chronic headaches, sinus infections, light-headed, memory impairment, attention disorders, blurred vision, and allergies. Many of the ingredients in construction, especially mobile and modular buildings, are made with particleboard, glues, plastics, and toxic finishes – all of which can outgas toxic substances and formaldehyde.
Repeated exposure weakens the immune system, making you more vulnerable to other toxic chemicals. Formaldehyde is also in many products including some cosmetics, baby shampoo and baby lotion. Look for “Quaternium-15” on the label – that’s formaldehyde in disguise. It’s also in clothing and bedding – if they’re permanent press, crease resistant or a synthetic composition. Years of laundering does not remove formaldehyde! – it’s even in some of the food we eat. Yes, formaldehyde is the stuff they embalm people with; at this rate, we won’t need embalming when we die, think of all the money our survivors will save!
Living with MARS
In the early stages of MARS, repeated exposure to the substance or substances that caused the initial health effects provokes an allergic response. After a time, it takes less and less exposure to the related chemicals to cause symptoms. As the body systems break down, an ever-increasing number of chemicals, including some unrelated to the initial exposure, trigger a reaction.
Once an individual becomes sensitized, he/she must avoid a wide array of chemicals in everyday life, such as fragrances, detergents, fabric softeners, auto exhaust fumes, fuels (gas/propane), smoke, insecticides, weed killers, volatile organic compounds found in paints, solvents and new building materials and furnishings. Many people also become hypersensitive to molds, aromatic plants and wood such as cedar.
Symptoms of MARS (a VERY limited list)
· Recurring headaches/migraines
· Asthma or chronic bronchial disorders
- Increased sensitivity to odors
- Dizziness/light headed
- Food/environmental allergies
- Aching joints/ muscles
- Non-injury related inflammation
- Blurred vision/Light Sensitivity
- Intestinal/colon disorders
- Unexplained rashes
- Chronic insomnia
- Impaired mental clarity
- Chronically sore eyes, ears, nose and throat
- Restricted swallowing
- Anaphylaxis (in acute cases such as my own)
- Sleep disturbances/Chronic insomnia
- Hair loss
- Swollen/Tender Lymph nodes
- Welts in any part of the body
Those of us who are becoming chronically ill from these chemicals are similar to the “canaries in the coal mine.” Coal miners would take a canary into the mines with them to warn when the air became toxic; if the canary stopped singing or died, it was time to get out! We “human canaries” are here to warn the rest of you that, unless you become informed and start making changes in your life to avoid as many toxic chemicals as possible, you too may become very ill, or even die, from the consequences.
Today we live in a world that offers us safe alternative products and therapies of every kind, be an informed consumer – with knowledge you can prevent and reverse these disorders, I did, and so have the thousands of clients that follow my detoxifying and rejuvenation life-style protocols, Naturally.