Multiple chemical sensitivity and Fibromyalgia

 Fibromyalgia and Multiple chemical sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is an overlapping condition that frequently goes hand in hand with Fibromyalgia and many other conditions.

MCS is a syndrome where the sufferer experiences multiple symptoms when exposed to small amounts of everyday chemicals. Find out more including my personal story here.

And isn't is annoying! Out go all the perfumes - you can no longer wear - out go all the beautiful smelling candles and face products and hair shampoos. You can no longer use these without getting a headache, watery eyes and wheezing. 

The weekly pumping of gasoline causes dizziness, inability to concentrate and nausea. 

Heaven forbid walking into a nail salon or a freshly painted room.  

Yes, that's right the treatment for MCS is to try and remove all the triggers from your life. That's why going into the world is like a lucky dip - will I encounter someone with strong perfume or after shave in the elevator? Will I have to walk through the perfume department of the store to get to the manchester that I need? 

And can anyone please tell me why buying cleaning products, like shampoos and conditioners, with perfumes removed, cost MORE money.

No one seems to know whether Fibromyalgia leads to MCS or vice a versa or whether they have related causes.

MCS is a syndrome where the sufferer has multiple symptoms when exposed to small amounts of everyday chemicals. MCS is a term used to describe this condition which has heightened sensitivity to chemicals. It is also called Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI).

The bad thing is that, according to research at the University of Melbourne, occurences of MCS have risen 300 % in the last decade! 

Professor Anne Steinemann from the University of Melbourne estimates that 55 million Americans have chemical sensitivity.  Some people have only mild chemical sensitivities, while others have a more severe form.

A full list of the symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity are:




Difficulty sleeping

Digestion problems




Impaired concentration

Joint pains


Memory problems

Muscle pain


Runny Nose


Sore throat

Stinging eyes



The 1999 Consensus Statement criteria for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) are:

1. The symptoms are reproducible with (repeated chemical) exposure.

2. The condition is chronic.

3. Low levels of exposure (lower than previously or commonly tolerated) result in manifestations of the syndrome.

4. The symptoms improve or resolve when the incitants are removed.

5. Responses occur to multiple chemically unrelated substances.

6. Symptoms involve multiple organ systems.


Other overlapping conditions include:

Chronic fatigue syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome

Restless leg syndrome

TMJ or temporomandibular syndrome


If you would like more scientific information about MCS please go to this informative article by Mithila at MCS Resource 

Understanding multiple chemical sensitivities


Research Gate: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Review


  1. Stephanie B11:19 PM

    YES!! I have this. So annoying. This is the first of read of someone else with my exact symotoms

    1. Hi Stephanie, so glad to meet you even though it's under these annoying circiumstances of having Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Hope you are managing ok.

  2. Leanne L.6:28 PM

    So interesting to read this as no one in my family believes me - perfumes, deodorants with strong smells, pumping gasoline all send me into a downward spiral and ar verydifficult to avoid in this society. Glad to have found your fibro blog. thanks

    1. Hi Leanne, so agree because if people don't have it and they love their perfumes and their candles they just don't get it. It takes a very empathetic person to understand. Thanks for connecting. Hope you are managing to reduce your triggers.

  3. Anonymous1:50 PM

    That's me

  4. We know about our particular chemicals or sets of chemicals since they begin us on the addictive circle of feeling the way we think and thinking the way we feel. Each of these substance creating musings can influence you to debilitated, cause sabotaging convictions/practices and keep you as a reliable purchaser of what "they" are offering, both in items and talk. low dielectric constant means

    1. Hi Dana, thanks for taking time to comment. I'm not sure that I understand fully what you mean. I get it that the smells etc may cause us to buy but once you have MCS all that emotion behind buying has to go and you just look for the brands and products you will not react to.

  5. Anonymous5:16 PM

    I wouldnt refer to it asanoying,but more as a radical change in lifestyle. Not only can the duo be painful,but excruciatingly painful.You're not only ostrasized from general popuation but you are the blame $or it. I was told at work,that I brought this on myself.I can no longer work ,the brigjt side os its a few less small minded people I have to be around.

    1. Sorry to hear about the comments of people who do not understand and your being excluded. This is like a form of bulying, don't you think? Not what you need when you are already going through difficulties.

  6. Hi there, I have a very severe form of MCS and Es with severe food intolerances. I feel that a lot of the advertising to make MCS, ES more known is not put across of how severe and life threatning it can be. Also how life destroying it can be! I have been through a very, very bad time with MCS and ES and I still am. Your notices and advertising does not even touch on how disasterous this condition can be and how severely ill it can make you.

    1. Hi Angie, I also have food intolerances to wheat, dairy, salicylates,and MSG. It does change your life. I'm sorry you did not appreciate the tone of my post. I'm sorry you have been through very bad times with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

  7. Hi, I have severe MCS and ES coupled with severe food intolerances. I have been through a very, very bad time and still am. The advertising and notices that are put to the public clearly do not state on how life changing and how seriously severe this condition can make you. It can be seriously life threatning and totaly destroy your and your families life. This condition needs to be put forward as to how ill it can make you and how serious it can be. There are also so many, many more symptoms than what has been listed in this group.


Thanks for your input