Everyone knows at least one person who is allergic to something. Some people are allergic to pets, whereas others experience symptoms as a result of chicken eggs, pollen or peanuts. The solution usually lies in avoiding the substance that causes the allergic reaction. But what if your body reacts violently to a wide range of everyday products, such as plastic packaging materials and beauty products, as well as air fresheners, perfumes, clothing, household appliances, foodstuffs and medicines?
Author Geerteke de Haas has been suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) for more than 40 years. In this book, she shares her personal experience and the experiences of many others. MCS patients react strongly to low concentrations of everyday chemical substances. MCS is a multi-system syndrome, which means that every organ and every bodily system can be thrown off balance as a response to a chemical material. As a result MCS patients live isolated lives and social contact is extremely difficult or even impossible. Only in Japan, Canada and various American states, MCS is already an officially recognised illness.
‘For years I suffered from serious health problems, for which I got little sympathy from my doctors. I was pushed from pillar to post. Some doctors said I was a hypochondriac. I became increasingly ill and increasingly desperate. My family and friends thought I was going crazy. So did my GP, who referred me to a psychiatrist.’
With this book, De Haas hopes to raise awareness of the illness and to inform people of the connections between environmental pollution and nutrition and the physical and mental complaints that people experience. Furthermore, she provides tips on how to be more flexible and adaptable and how to make life liveable.
Press on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS):
‘There’s a significant percentage of people in our population who have a hyper-reactivity to common environmental chemicals.’ – William Meggs, MD, PhD in the documentary Fragrance-Free Workplaces