Living in this modern world means we cannot escape exposure to chemical pollutants. They are in our foods, cleaning products, personal care items, and beauty products. In advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, many suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities, as well as other sensitivities, when they did not have problems before. You may suddenly become sensitive to foods that you have never had a problem with before and develop intolerances to soy, wheat, corn, or dairy products. Or, you may begin to experience sensitivities to simple things you wouldn’t even think of, like the nail polish you’ve always used, shampoos, and kitchen cleaners. Perhaps you’ve become sensitive to fluorescent lights, electromagnetic fields, petroleum byproducts, or fumes from car exhaust. In fact, some of the most common offenders are nail polish, paint, and plastics. The fumes, from these, may have never bothered you before and could be a part of your daily life.
All of these things are absorbed by your body, and are easily filtered and eliminated when you are young and healthy. However, in advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, the body becomes congested as it attempts to conserve energy. The liver, also, becomes congested and is not able to process metabolites, chemicals, and byproducts efficiently. The hormones that are generated from the chemicals overload on the body, which cannot dispose of them quickly, can cause inflammation and illness. The sluggish processing and eventual overload of toxins and metabolites overwhelm your body.
Though the adrenal glands can handle mild, intermittent stress from chemical irritants, in early stages of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, advanced stress requires the entire body’s organs, systems, pathways, and chemical reactions to fight, this is known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response Model. As the adrenals cry out for support from the rest of the body, the (NEM) Stress Response kicks in, and other organs go into overtime. The liver, which produces, secretes, and regulates additional stress regulating compounds, becomes extremely fatigued, by handling this process, and becomes congested with the onslaught of chemicals the body can no longer process efficiently. This leads to multiple chemical sensitivities as a symptom. This is often accompanied by gastric irritation, bloated, brain fog, anxiety, hypersensitivity to medications or supplements, and paradoxical reactions. These all represent a body under stress and in a state of toxic overload.
The body does not welcome metabolites from the outside world. They have to be broken down, processed and excreted. When this break down process is sub optimal, laboratory test will continue to be normal. However, a person can develop MCS. MCS worsens over time if not reversed. It can become unbearable as congestion backs up into what we call the Extracellular Matrix. Once these chemicals enter the body, they have to be broken down. The sluggish liver is unable to dispose of toxins in a timely manner. In order to make room; toxins start entering the extra cellular matrix (ECM). This is the cellular communications network between cells, and it forms the structural scaffolding that supports all organs. As the ECM becomes polluted from excessive inflammatory metabolites, energy will be required by the body to reduce inflammation. This extra energy required will put excessive stress and burden on an already weak body, worsening adrenal fatigue. Therefore, It is vital to reduce inflammation and keep the cells functioning optimally, because inflammation causes the cells to be overworked, creating more metabolites, enabling a vicious cycle and causing you to be hypersensitive to chemicals, which did not previously bother you.
Multiple chemical sensitivities are a sign that the body is congested, which is a sign of advanced Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. However, all hope is not lost, as there are steps you can take to reverse the congestion and recover from AFS.
First, you must be attentive to your body, and your body will tell you what to avoid as it senses your environment. You may smell fumes more acutely than before, or detect exposure in an environment that others don’t notice, because you are more sensitive. Your body can’t deal with this, so it sends up major red flags almost immediately. You may notice headache and dizziness from holding a cell phone to your ear, or become sensitive to fluorescent lights. Perhaps your computer monitor begins to cause dizziness. This is your body begging you to listen to the underlying problem, which is congestion.
Awareness of these signs is critical in understanding and assessing your body’s ability, in terms of adrenal gland function, and the body’s ability to process unwanted chemicals. Once you reach this advanced stage of adrenal fatigue, you may discover you have sensitivity to a broad range of foods, supplements, and chemicals. It is important to avoid any triggers as much as possible. Exposure to triggers only servers to add stress to your body and adrenals. Reducing exposure to triggers is the first step to preventing unneeded stress on the body and allowing your adrenal to heal. Getting adequate sleep, in a consistent pattern, to aid in cortisol production of the adrenal glands, and adjusting your diet to maintain a balance of nutrients and minerals is vital to keeping your body regulated to handle stress as well.
Taking a holistic, whole body approach to your Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome means taking steps to decongest the body as soon as symptoms present themselves. Because most sufferers at this time are weak and fragile, extreme care must be taken prior to embarking on any aggressive detoxification program, even though they may appear to be innocuous in nature. A sudden change in the body, even for the better, may not be well tolerated, and adrenal crash may be triggered, resulting in an even higher level of chemical sensitivity with each negative reaction.
Completely avoiding triggers and chemicals is impossible in this day and age, but here are some other tips that can help.
Clean Up Your Environment – it is essential to adjust your lifestyle to incorporate organic foods, purified or filtered water, clean air, and less exposure to electrical fields. Turn off and unplug electronics when not in use, and avoid fluorescent lighting as much as possible. Use all natural beauty and cleaning products. Keeping your sleeping area and office clear of dust and allergens, and removing synthetic fibers (rugs, carpeting, clothing, etc.) can be helpful in reducing exposure to multiple chemical sensitivities.
Organ Detox – Taking a holistic, whole body approach, to your Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, means taking steps to decongest the liver as soon as symptoms present themselves. Cleansing the liver, colon, and other organs will clear congestion and aid in ability to process chemical absorption, allowing relief from the stress of processing contaminants through a congested system. Detox is vital to adrenal fatigue recovery. As mentioned before, the key is to understand the body’s state and have a matching program that does not add undue stress during the process.
Glutathione, milk thistle, and dandelion root are but a few examples of supplements vital to helping your liver decongest your body and battle chemical sensitivities. However, more is not better. The right delivery system is critical when the body is weak. Phytoplankton and folic acid are options for clearing out the extracellular matrix of any toxins and helping your body heal. Be careful when detoxing, as a retoxification reaction is always a possibility, especially in those with advanced adrenal fatigue. Consult with an experienced clinician before embarking on any detoxification program if you have AFS.
You cannot live in a bubble, so avoiding all chemicals to prevent multiple chemical sensitivities is impossible. We are surrounded by impurities in our air, food, and water. However, with some careful planning, you can reduce your exposure and take steps to clear the congestion that is blocking your body’s ability to process and eliminate chemical contaminants.
© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.