Avatar universal

Allergies or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or something else- Can't Get Proper diagnosis...

After getting ready to sell my home  last June and being exposed to oven cleaner, multiple exposures to lots of bleach fumes and air freshner fumes, scented candle fumes , interior paint, lots of dust from sweeping and more in a very short period of time I had an event of what seemd to be bronchitis with a cough that was non productive and there was lots of clear spit type mucus.. This was during allergy season  in the spring  and I was having sinus congestion and being treated for allergies so I found it unusual to get a cough like this( I have had that in the winter from time to time)   My first doctor tried to treat me with several rounds of antibiotics which did not work. I ended up in the ER and was told that it seemd to be asthma. I was put on Advair. Within a day of starting treatment I felt cured and the coughing stopped. I stayed on Advair for a month and stopped it since I was feeling fine. About 6 weeks went by and we moved to a new area. Almost immediately upon moving to our new apartment I  begin to have events of shortness of breath plus I became very  sensitive to   musty odors, cold air hurt to breath and could not tolerate  certain chemicals  such as bleach products, air freshners, cleaning products, scented laundry detergent and even cigarette smoke . I feel like I want to flee when I am around them because my breathing becomes very disturbed and I feel ill and have shortness of breath sometimes for days following an exposure . I was at the doctors  office almost every week since the symptoms were so frightning. Asthma was suspected and ruled out through testing. I was put back on on Advair which I responded pretty well to this time but still have some sensitivity.  I asked my doc how long I had to stay on it and he said til I heal. Its been almost 10 months and when I try to come off advair I have a flair up of the shortness of breath  and sensitivities and I don't think its looking good if I have not healed yet. Has anyone been through this? Is it possible to heal? How can I get more help? Is it possible to detox? I read about MCS which seems to describe me but I have seen an allergist who supects allergies , a pulmonologist who rules out asthma or lung function problems, and my family doctor and they don't take MCS  seriously. I feel ike I don't get enough air and I feel like there is someting wrong with my breathing at times.I don't want to be  a siiting duck . How can I get some help, other than the $200 advair which I hope to come off. Does it sound like MCS or allergies? Does anyone know if there can be a positive prognosis as my doctor suggests?

  Now 6 months later ( coming on 1 year of being on Advair) I have been having joint cracking and pops in most of my joints throughout the day. I am not sure if this has anything to do with with what is going on.
.   HELP!!
7 Responses
Avatar universal

I need to ask you some questions before i can respond to your queries.

What is your age? Are you allergic to specific substances? Do you hear a whistling sound sometimes when breathing or a wheeze? Do you have mucus plugs or thick mucus in the early mornings?

Has a chest xray, CT scan of the sinuses and lung function testing been done?

Do you have any nasal symptoms or symptoms of sinusitis or GERD / reflux?

Keep us posted so that we may be able to help you.

Avatar universal
I am 42 years old. I have allergies to pollen and maple in the spring. I  have been allergy tested and found allergic to dust mites and many different molds.
From time to time I have sinus problems resulting in swollen  sinuses and debilitating headaches where I  cannot function  have to go to bed. It always happens when I am home. I releive this  with Sinutab and it takes hours to get under control. It seems to be related to humidity levels and maybe mold counts.     I have had   throat clearing   and suspect it is allergy related.
Initially when this all started I was in the middle of having very bad seasonal allergies and the doctors treated me with allegra , singular , claritin and  then nascort.

  I do not hear a whistling sound at all when breathing and  do   not wheeze all, which is why I was not comfotable when 3 doctors originally said it seemed like asthma. I do not have mucus plugs or thick mucus in the early mornings.

Had  a chest xray at ER in June which was clear ,  and lung function testing  that ruled out asthma and I was told my capacity is  low but fine.  I have not been told to have a CT scan of the sinuses. Maybe you can expand on that suggestion for me.

During all of this shortness of breath , I noticed that it was worse and I had some chest pain at times when I lied down.   One doctor suggested  GERD / reflux and had me try  Prilosec in December  which releived the chest pain  and I felt much better for about 2 months ( even with the breathing problems)   until  the some of the symptoms came back. I took another course of Prilosec and it did not help as much as the first time.

Looking foward to your thoughts and thanks...

Avatar universal

Over the years, I have had a lot of allergies and that included chemical sensitivities and food allergies as well. I think I was the only patient in the allergy waiting room that didn't have a red bump on my arm after I had my allergy shots. Instead, I would get so ill the next day that I would have to miss work. My allergist kept lowering the dose and it helped a little, but I would still get ill. Anyway, that experience lead me into checking out homeopathy. I had an allergy to mesquite trees so severe that I would need steriods every summer, when the mesquite trees would bloom. I tried a homeopathic remedy and guess what ? That allergy disappeared and my allergist couldn't explain it. They have homeopathic remedies for household products and other chemicals. You may want to check it out... the products are cheap and it is definitely worth it. (IMO)

Good luck !
Avatar universal

The information that you have given rules out your hypertension  medications and asthma as being a cause of your symptoms.

A Ct scan of your sinuses would help to know the extent of sinus involvement and then further management can be planned accordingly.

You should talk to your doctor about prescribing a combination of esmoprazole/ pantoprazole with domperidone to help with your symptoms of reflux.

Post us the CT report and also discuss it with your doctor.

You also need to avoid all the substances that you are allergic to.

Have you been on oral steroid medications? Have they helped with your symptoms?

Keep us posted.

Avatar universal
AS I satated I am on Advair since last June. It greatly helps with my shortness of breath, and I am much less sensitive to many chemicals and cleaners (though some I still cannot tolerate ) when I am on it. My hope though, is to hopefully find a a way to come off the inhailed steroids.

I am not on hypertension meds.  I am on Synthroid,

Do you feel that reflex is the cause or related to this problem?
Avatar universal

Chronic sinusitis and reflux are known causes of chronic cough and therefore it could be a possibility in your case too, and needs to be ruled out.

For how long have you been on the inhaled steroids? What doses are you taking currently?

You should first aim at getting control over your symptoms and then aim at tapering the dose of inhaled steroids. Are you having any side effects from the inhaled medications? Do you use a spacer device? Do you do a mouth rinse after taking your steroid medications?

Are your thyroid levels under control?

Let us know if you have any doubts and post us about how you are doing.


Avatar universal
I have MCS, and medication will only make it worse, since prescriptions are artificial means, which only cover the symptoms and toxify the body further, and does not address the cause.   For the last 35 eyars,  I have learned a great deal more on natural healing.  And since doctors can't help me because most of them studied medicine, not natural healing.  My problems are multifold.  It was a series of unnecessary surgeries, when I was young, an auto accident 21 years ago, along with too much stress and too many traumas, has caused me MCS.
The main causes is, I had my tonsils out, 3 in 1 surgeries, where part of my stomach, a necessary nerve, and gall bladder taken out, which has ruined my immune system, and a total hysterectomy.  I have been studying natural healing and taking supplements.  However, in my quest for natural products, I have found out that not all products labeled "natural" are really natural.  What we need to look for when the claims of “organic” are made, make sure that the products are organically certified.  I found some organic products made in Australia.  Australia has the most land in the entire world, set aside for organically grown products.  However, my latest find, since I cannot eat much, no longer can take supplements, I started using oxygen.  Lo and behold, oxygen helps me immediately.  My main problem was misaligned atlas and no gall bladder, which have led to no digestion.  I take digestive enzymes for no digestion, since my body rejects all prescriptions since after the stomach surgery and the gall bladder out.  My stomach was being impacted by many factors and the main one was pinched nerves leading to my stomach.  Most doctors I went to, either ignored me, were in denial or did not know how to help me.  About two months ago I found a specialized chiropractor, who uses the Blair method and adjusts the atlas, the first vertebrae in the neck.  There are only 75 doctors in the entire USA like him.  He has patients out of state.  The entire spine gets misaligned if the atlas is subluxated.  My right leg was 1 inch shorter.  I have been healing for almost two months now and I don't have to get the rest of my spine adjusted because it is going back to normal after the atlas adjustment.  The point I am trying to make is to learn all that you can about natural healing.  Our body is a miracle, renewable machine.  You give it what "it needs," and it will heal itself.  And it does not need for us to use artificial means or to treat the symptoms. My advice to doctors, update yourselves on natural healing, nutrition, supplements and the environment, then you will be able to help patients heal, not mask the symptoms.  However, even though the body will renew itself, if it is getting more toxic radicals in it than the speed it can heal itself, it will go into autoimmune condition; thus, we end up with many chronic deceases, like diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, cancer, and many others.  The key here is to slowly create a healthy environment and utilize organic products and foods.  Of course, we must also get plenty of exercise, sleep, positive lifestyle and above all spirituality.  Wisdom is a gift for those who are faithful, which is what this world is grossly lacking.
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