That Smell is Making Me Crazy

On my recent visit to my doctor, an Integrative Physician specializing in Functional, Environmental, and Orthomolecular Medicine, I arrived early and had to wait for my appointment. There was a smell coming from a neighboring office that was overpowering to me. I could smell it through the narrow opening by the window. A medicinal, chemical smell like you might smell in a hospital or a dental office. I was irritated by the smell almost immediately, but as the minutes passed, I found myself pacing in the room, unable to remain seated and feeling increasingly agitated. I was fidgeting, irritable, trying to cover my mouth with my sweater. The agitation was escalating. My nervous system was in fight or flight. I waited in the hall.

Once I was called back, I described my symptoms to the doctor. Neither she nor the receptionist had noticed the smell that was so intense to me. The doctor recognized the symptoms as chemical sensitivity. The diagnosis made perfect sense.

I am not regularly exposed to strong scents.Transitioning to unscented cleaners, laundry detergent, shampoos and soaps was one of many efforts I made years ago to try to mitigate my son’s ADD symptoms. Looking back, there were signs of sensitivity earlier. I took my sons to a doctor for their physicals and the waiting room had this unbearable smell of chemical deodorizer. I was unable to stay in the waiting room so after putting my name on the list, I waited outside. The smell was sickening. I wondered how anyone could sit in that smell. The waiting room was full of adults and children obviously managing, but I was reacting. I had to stay out of there.

Months later, my son sprayed himself with cologne before getting in the car for school. With all the windows down, I made it a couple of blocks before having to stop to get out of the car to breathe. It wasn’t an unpleasant smell, it wasn’t even excessively applied. I remember enjoying that smell in the past. But, my nervous system reacted forcing me to get out. All I could do was reassure my son that it wasn’t him, it was me. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I couldn’t handle strong smells anymore.

The doctor’s protocol was as follows:

Daily Multivitamin
1 TB Fish Oil (I prefer Nutra Sea Brand)
N-Acetyl Cysteine 500 mg.
Methionine 500 mg.
Glutathione 250 mg.
Glycine 500 mg.
Vitamin C 2000 mg.
Selenium 400 mcg.
Manganese 50 mg
Alpha Lipoic Acid 300 mg
Digestive Enzymes after meals

I take B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, and Iodide/Iodine for additional diagnosed deficiencies.

Although there are many treatment approaches to multiple chemical sensitivity, I prefer to provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs, sometimes in therapeutic doses, to restore optimum function to the biochemical pathways necessary for natural detoxification to occur. The body wants to heal itself. No drug will ever replace the body’s need for all the essential nutrients in sufficient amounts. Optimum Nutrition is and always will be the foundation for optimum health.

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