EiR Blog

A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors

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09
Oct
0
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Dawn Simulators for SAD and the Winter Blues
 It's that time of year again for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the days are quickly getting shorter now and for many that means symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, depression and more. As a result, it can require the willpower of a polar explorer just to drag oneself out of bed in the morning! One solution to combat these symptoms is the use of a dawn simulator. These are essentially alarm clocks that instead of waking you abruptly with loud and irritating beeping (that makes you want to smash the thing!), produce light that gradually increases in intensity to mimic the rising sun. Many models use full spectrum light which is closest in appearance to sunlight as well. By working in this way you can set your dawn simulator alarm for any time in the morning when it's still dark outside and be woken in a way that is more natural...
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02
Oct
0
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 Pets help fight depression and anxiety in environmental illness
 Many people suffering from environmental illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and particularly multiple chemical sensitivity, lead very lonely existences. This blog entry will look at how pets can offer valuable company for some.  The symptoms of these disabling conditions such as fatigue, pain, and cognitive difficulties such as confusion, poor short term memory, and inability to focus, mean that sufferers are often unable to remain in their jobs or enageg in social activities. To make matters worse these symptoms and many others are aggravated by both physical and mental exertion, as well as environments that are noisy or have bright lighting - typical of work places and coffee shops, bars, and other places where people typically socialise. It is a sad fact that people unaffected by these types of illness find it very difficult to comprehend what sufferers are going through, or even that they are ill at all....
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    My dogs have been a great comfort to me & give me lot's of happiness, mcs really does affect your life & brings alot of sadness in
15
Jan
0
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Molecules of Emotion
 Many people who develop chronic illnesses find that conventional medical care is inadequate for treating their symptoms and incapable of giving them the quality of life they desire. This is a major reason why many of us turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Many CAM therapies are proposed to work through the so called 'mind-body connection'. Despite a now well established body of sound scientific evidence this connection is usually ignored by conventional medicine which still thinks of the body and mind as being seperate. In conventional medicine there is no room for a "spiritual" aspect to healing at all. To many people it seems obvious that the mind and body are essentially one and the same. Science began to make this link experimentally around the 1950s and in 1980 Robert Ader introduced the term 'psychoneuroimmunology' during his presidential lecture to the American Psychosomatic Society. The term brings together research...
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22
Jan
0
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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 As someone who has suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), adrenal fatigue (AF) and a host of related concerns for almost 19 years now, since the age of 12, I am acutely aware of the need to pace myself. I know I should not take on too much at once and allow myself time to relax and recuperate, at least to some small degree, yet after all these years I still find this extremely difficult. ME/CFS patients have often been reported to be disproportionately Type A personalities as a group. This study refers to the "action-proneness" of patients i.e. our need to always be on the go and engaged in activity of some kind, whether physical or mental. I can certainly relate to that. Here I am so many years after becoming ill and I am singlehandedly running this website (which is now...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I find it very difficult to pace myself, especially when I have a good day. And then I pay for it for days...I never seem to lear
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Maff, many, many congratulations for such a wonderful website! Your coverage of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and more) is excellent.
31
Jan
12
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  Invisalign:  A Near Death Experience I would like to tell my story of a near fatal experience wearing Invisalign braces. I was 54 years old at the time, and have always been active and in great shape. I didn't even take any medication, except, Estrogen.   I am, overly sensitive to chemicals and medications.  I might be one in a million to have such a sever reaction, but even if I help one other person I will feel good.  My dentist said that it would take two years with Invisalign because my teeth were so crooked.  I started with them in November of 2007.  My dentist was proud of me because he knew I was very disciplined and kept them in the required time.  He said most people cheated and didn't wear them as many hours as suggested. In early 2008 I started feeling poorly, tired, and achy.  I went to...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Hello, i had invasaline fitted back in june and ever since then i have been so unwell. I am never unwell and was a very fit acti
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    All I can say is that I started wearing Invisalign in July of this year (2013) and I have lost so much hair. I have had blood tes
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I am currently one month away from the completion of my "hypo-allergenic" aligners. I have never had any medical issues, but withi
05
Feb
0
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Hypothyroidism: Nutritional, Lifestyle and Environmental Causes Your Doctor Might Miss
Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) is something that those suffering from environmental illnesses often struggle with. Poor thyroid function has been linked to many of then illnesses covered on this site and is often the hidden cause of a host of chronic symptoms including fatigue, poor cognitive function, low mood, low sex drive, cold intolerance, weight gain or inability to lose weight...and many others. Assuming you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (not easy in itself), unless the cause is obvious such as a tumour or autoimmune disease and is detectable using routine tests, chances are you will simply be given a prescription for thyroxine (the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland and also referred to as 'T4') and have your blood levels monitored, along with levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - a pituitary hormone that stimulates production of T4 by the thyroid gland. Unfortunately many patients find that T4 medication...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Due to PCB's toxicity and classification as a persistent organic pollutant, PCB production was banned by the United States Congres
12
Aug
1
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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Genetic Testing for Detoxification, Immune and Neurological Risk Factors in Environmental Illness
As an environmental illness sufferer myself and someone who is in the final stages of clinical training to become a Nutritional Therapist having obtained a bachelor's degree in nutritional health, I have become interested in genetic testing.   In the past genetic testing of any kind has been extremely expensive and has tradtitionally looked only for genes that identify hereditary diseases. Now however there are commercially available tests that many naturopathic doctors and other functional medicine-orientated health care practitioners are utilising to better help patients with environmental illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), as well as those with chronic unexplained ill-health but no diagnosis. Such testing allows for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphyisms (SNPs - pronounced "snips"), small sections of genetic code that determine, for example, the efficiency with which an individual can neutralise and excrete toxins or synthesise neurotransmitters by affecting the functioning of various enzymes and...
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19
Sep
0
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Chronic Illness: Stress, Suffering and Psychological Reframing
 There is no doubt that chronic illness involves a lot of suffering, a lot of soul searching, and a great deal of loss, both of one's capacity to continue doing all the things that bring enjoyment and of self-esteem and fulfillment in life. But what if chronic illness could be turned into a positive experience? This summer I completed a bachelors degree in nutritional health and was awarded first class honours by the University of Greenwich, London. At 31 I was beginning to think I would never obtain a degree after being forced to drop out of a computer science course at the University of Sheffield aged 19 due to ill health - this was therefore a great achievement for me. However, the degree was supposed to be followed by a year of clinical training to become a nutritional therapist/nutritionist. A recent downturn in my health as forced me to re-evaluate...
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27
Oct
1
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A Life Changed by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (Photo Diary)
For those who are not regular visitors to The Environmental Illness Resource, I am a 31 year old male from the UK and was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in March 1991 around the time of my 12th birthday. Recently my parents moved house and my mum dropped off a box full of old photos of me from my childhood. Looking through them I was struck by how happy I looked as a child. This was clearly the purest type of happiness borne out of freedom from worry and a true zest for life and the excitement of discovering new things every day. Naturally, it's easy and 'normal' to lose these things as we get older, but even more so when a chronic and misunderstood illness such as ME/CFS deprives you of many of the things that most people take for granted. As I found photos of myself as a...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    How did you find a way to manage your sensitivities better? I have moved 3 times now, but each place i try to make 'Home', has pro
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Thank you for sharing. I really think this will help others. Keep up the good work Christina
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Thanks Maff, I can completely understand your logic and I too feel shackled by this illness that some idiots consider to be all i
29
Jan
1
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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Food cans contain bisphenol A (BPA)
At the back end of last year I underwent a number of laboratory tests through my environmental medicine doctor. One of these tests, through UK-based laboratory named Acumen, looked for 'DNA adducts' (substances bound to DNA that should not be there) and found bisphenol A (BPA) to be an issue for me. The significance of the DNA adducts testing is that if a toxin such as BPA is present in in large enough quantities in the body to become bound to DNA then its concentrations in the body as a whole are likely to be quite high. Once these toxins become bound to DNA they may also damage it and change the way genes function. Our genes regulate every process in the body so this is not a good thing at all!  The purpose of this blog post however, is not to go into an in-depth discussion of DNA adduct testing, but rather to look at...
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  • Maff
    Maff says #
    Hey Chris, Absolutely, the list of chemicals in common use that research is showing might have health impacts is pretty frighteni
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Hey Maff, Good heads up. BPA is just one of many dangerous chemicals floating around society today, not only dangerous to the hype
10
Feb
0
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LifeWave Y-Age Aeon Patch
So, I again find myself writing on my positive experience with a LifeWave patch...this time the new Aeon product which is aimed at reducing stress and its consequences, both as a standalone product, or as part of LifeWave's Y-Age system which also incorporates patches designed to increase levels of glutathione and carnosine in the body. Having last year completed a Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional medicine, including a dissertation which involved performing a systematic review of the medical literature, I am quite familiar with the 'hierarchy of evidence' which is revered in academia, and perhaps most of all in medicine. In modern medicine if an intervention does not have numerous randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews of such trials supporting its use it is dismissed as useless or a scam. Now I understand the rationale behind this system and to a point agree with it. Living with a...
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07
Mar
0
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Genes and Personality: An Introspective Exploration
After being chronically ill for 20 years, having been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) at the young age of 11, I have grown increasingly interested in psychology and particularly the traits required to survive an illness that robs sufferers of so much (what I would give to be able to just go for a run). My ill health has also included multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.), and adrenal fatigue, which are all terrible things to deal with in themselves and have forced me to draw on every last bit of inner strength I could muster to keep going despite a distinct lack of enjoyment in life. Rather than crushing my spirit however, these trials and tribulations that have shaped my life, have actually strengthened my resolve, given me greater confidence in myself and my abilities, and changed my outlook on life for the better. When one is...
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08
Apr
6
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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Close up eye in black and white
Those of us affected by what are frequently referred to as 'Invisible Illnesses' - chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FMS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) etc - are constantly frustrated by the fact that we feel lousy, yet appear perfectly healthy to the casual observer i.e. our friends and relatives. Perhaps even more frustrating is that to the eye of the conventionally-trained doctor we also show no signs of illness, leading many to assume it's all in our heads and to send us off to the shrink. Which is of course unproductive, and often counter-productive, given that these illnesses may often be invisible, yet are nevertheless as real and legitimate as physical conditions as the likes of diabetes and arthritis. The medical literature is now full of decades worth of research documenting immunological, endocrine, and neurological abnormalities that overwhelmingly makes this case for us.   These illnesses may be invisible to...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I am the drunk with a grumpy face that can't remember what she was trying to say. Never had bags under my eyes but people say my c
  • Maff
    Maff says #
    You can still pull off some good moves on the dancefloor with the slow and gingerly approach tori Thanks Airy, I'm glad you like
  • Airy
    Airy says #
    Wow Maff, Great list. I so relate to all of these. I also sometimes forget things that I've known for years like passwords or a
20
May
2
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Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is my kind of guy. Although undeniably one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, he did not see the world simply through the narrow focus of physics. Although his views on religion and the existence of God are far from clear...due in no small part to his (I suspect deliberately) ambiguous comments on these subjects, he appears to have had a spiritual side and despite his great knowledge and understanding of the workings of the universe, he maintained childlike wonderment at that which we call reality. Einstein famously said "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind". Although open to interpretation, my take on what he was saying is that without the ability to see scientific findings in the context of a greater whole those findings serve little purpose and do nothing to furthering our understanding of reality and of the human experience. Equally, to follow...
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  • Maff
    Maff says #
    No problem Tracy, I'm glad you found this blog post of interest. I totally agree that this subject could form the basis of a resea
  • Tracy Mac
    Tracy Mac says #
    Thanks for this Maff. Only today I was wondering what sustains the people who suffer this journey. It is a research thesis in itse
08
Aug
1
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Black Mold
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is estimated to affect up to 15% of the population in the US and other industrialised nations (1), yet research into why people develop this hypersensitivity to chemicals is sorely lacking. Currently we have mainly animal testing and studies involving small numbers of participants diagnosed with MCS to go on. One leading theory suggests the development of a hypersensitivity to chemical stimuli in an area of the brain known as the limbic system which controls a variety of functions including emotion, behaviour, long term memory, and olfaction (our sense of smell). Animals studies have shown that both large acute exposures and low-level chronic exposures to certain organic chemicals can result in hypersensitivity of the limbic system to subsequent minute exposures to the same, or similar chemicals (2). Perhaps the most complete theory of the pathophysiology of MCS thus far has been proposed by Martin Pall, Professor Emeritus...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Have you thought about vaccinations?
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I honestly believe this century (& maybe next) will come to be known as " The Chemical Age" & even future schoolchildren will be a
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    Hi Monique and Maff and all, Certain medications such as Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause damage to the Cytochrome P450 syst
12
Sep
2
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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How To Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home Or Office: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office
If you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), sick building syndrome, allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems you may own or be thinking of buying an air purifier to purify the air in your home and relieve your symptoms. Modern air purifiers are certainly extremely efficient at removing troublesome chemicals from the air with their HEPA, carbon and zeolite filters. They do have their drawbacks however. They can be expensive to buy, the filters need replacing periodically, they can be noisy, and they add to your electricity bills. There is an alternative however that many of you may not have considered......house plants! That's right, research has demonstrated that certain plants are highly effective natural air purifiers. Not only that but they are cheaper to buy than their manmade counterparts, don't require filter changes, are silent, use no electricity, are much more attractive, and may even contribute to our happiness! One...
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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    good article, maybe not all is true but anyone that says plants are bad needs to re-examine themselves. our ancestors died out bec
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    "I would take this article with a grain of salt. It is actually the microorganisms in the soil that are degrade air pollutants."
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I would take this article with a grain of salt. It is actually the microorganisms in the soil that are degrade air pollutants. Alt
11
Oct
8
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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LifeWave Patches I'd like to tell you about my experiences with LifeWave patches. After initial skepticism I can report that I am quite frankly amazed and excited by them.

For those who don't know, a company called LifeWave Inc has been promoting a range of skin patches, much like nicotine patches, which they claim have various specific effects on the body. For instance, there are patches for increasing

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  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I find it unfortunate to read that someone giving a good review about a product to have to listen to bullshit comments from people
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I am a life-long skeptic and a nurse. I do not believe in natural remedies; I'm a firm believer in traditional medicine. I am a ch
  • adminv15
    adminv15 says #
    I'm curious. If Lifewave is a real product that does what they say it does, then why did David Schmidt feel the need to falsely cl
16
May
0
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IBS, Smoking, E-cigarettes and Nicotine

IBS and other diseases of the digestive system, including diverticular disease, are affected by cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoking is rapidly being replaced by the use of e-cigarettes known as ‘vaping’. This system is claimed to be safer than tobacco cigarettes, giving the pleasurable effects of nicotine with only trivial side effects. However, the pharmacological effects of nicotine are still relevant to all nicotine delivery systems.

 

IBS sufferers are well aware that diet and the passage of food residues through the gut can influence their problems. Similarly, worry and stress affect the digestive system through nerve connections between the head brain and gut brain. Less attention is paid to substances which reach the bowel through its blood supply to modify nerve and muscle behavior. Drugs and their side-effects are an example.

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22
Apr
0
Posted by Posted on in EirBlog
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Looking Good During Pregnancy

Looking Good During Pregnancy
When a woman goes through pregnancy, it would be clear that there would be many physical and mental changes taking place. When these changes are taking place, certain women tend to take it as a negative sign. However, it should be known that this is nothing negative. You would be giving birth in a matter of few months or weeks and you would be receiving the much respected title of motherhood. It is an occurrence that you should be happy about; while it is possible for your life to undergo certain changes that would be much different from the life that you may have been used to. It should be understood that these changes should be accepted in a positive way and matters should be handled in such way where you would be able to be satisfied with the life that you lead during pregnancy. Here, attention should be directed...
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24
Mar
1
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How to Protect Your Eyes and Maintain Good Sight

How to Protect Your Eyes and Maintain Good Sight
Eyes are one of the organs we are naturally inclined to protect. Eye is extremely important for everyone. Even a small eye issue, if left untreated, could lead to more serious issues like permanent vision loss. So, follow the below health tips for maintaining good eye health:   Image Source:pexels Wear Sunglasses In harsh sunlight, do wear protective eyewear like sunglasses. It’s useful to keep protective eyewear like goggles and safety shields around the house just in case. Wear protective eyewear when engaging in activities that require them. If you are undertaking DIY projects or are handling chemicals at home, protective eyewear is a must. You can buy protective eyewear over the counter from pharmacies, sporting goods or convenience stores.  Visit an Eye Doctor or an Optometrist  An optometrist is not a medical doctor. But these are professionals who can conduct comprehensive eye examinations and diagnose conditions such as myopia...
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