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  [ 44 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • December 8, 2005

During the 1990s, interest in chronic illness caused by chemicals increased dramatically. Much of this interest was stimulated because of chronic illnesses which developed in military personnel who served in the Persian Gulf. But in spite of increasing scientific documentation of the reality of the physical causes of these illnesses among military personnel, most physicians, including those in civilian life and the government, have said in effect, "These complaints are caused by psychological stress." In a comprehensive discussion of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in the 1998 second edition of their book Chemical Exposures, Low Levels and High Stakes, the authors commented: "Fatigue is consistently one of the most prominent complaints of MCS patients who frequently acquire a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) during their medical odyssey...Buchwald and Garraty (1994) explored similarities and differences among 30 patients diagnosed with CFS, 30 with fibromyalgia (FM) and 30 with MCS. Patients with either CFS or FM frequently reported symptoms consisting of MCS. All three groups were remarkably similar in demographic characteristics and in the presence of specific symptoms; some 60-90% were female, mean ages ranged from 41-44 years, and the mean years of education was 14.7-14.9. Not surprisingly, 87-97% of the MCS patients reported sensitivities to each of the four exposure types: air pollution/exhaust, cigarette smoke, gas/paint/solvent fumes and/or perfumes. Likewise, 53-67% of patients with CFS and 47-67% of patients with FM also reported adverse effects when exposed to these substances..." (Source: Tired - So Tired and the 'Yeast Connection' by William G. Crook, M.D.)

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