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To remove confusion, we need to clarify that there are two different categories of Chemical Injury.
This gradual type of Chemical Injury is better known by its key symptom of Chemical Sensitivity, which simply means that the person has toxic reactions at very low levels of exposures to toxic chemicals. These reactions are not allergy reactions; they are toxic reactions. The toxic reactions are informing the person that chemical injury is occurring and there is a need to leave the toxic environment before greater injury occurs. The severity of the toxic reactions depend on how poisoned the person’s body is at the time of exposure.
In simplified terms, the Chemically Injured are unable to produce sufficient glutathione to metabolize and eliminate toxic chemicals. This dilemma can be compared to a diabetic person who lacks sufficient insulin to metabolize sugar. Sugar is a safe product, but it is not safe for a diabetic person who lacks sufficient insulin. The chemically injured person lacks sufficient glutathione, making it difficult and at times impossible to metabolize and eliminate toxic chemicals. Therefore products such as pesticides are not eliminated from our bodies and, instead, become stored in the tissues and organs of our bodies, causing our bodies to very gradually become increasingly poisoned.
Gradual-onset Chemical Injury is an acquired, preventable health condition, which can disable and can be fatal.
Chemical Injury is an umbrella term, which includes such ailments as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chemical Sensitivity, Sick Building Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome, etc. The common thread in Chemical Injury health conditions is the body’s inability to deal with the daily bombardment of toxic chemicals. The body becomes overloaded and enters a poisoned condition. In some cases, this poisoned condition is the primary cause of ill health; and in other cases, it is the secondary cause. Also, there is a lot of overlap among this group of health conditions, for example, patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might also develop Fibromyalgia.
Very rarely are there two patients alike. There is a wide variety in the symptoms and the manifestations of these illnesses. The reason is very simple. Each person is a unique individual, with his/her own life experiences. The variety of toxic chemicals daily encountered will probably be very different with each person. Different chemicals have different characteristics when they enter the human body. They also have different target organs. For example, some bond rapidly with fat tissue, some with bone tissue, some with muscle and organ tissue, etc.
Chemicals can be classified as:
Consequently, various combinations of organ systems may be affected. This accounts for the wide variety of symptoms and manifestations of these health conditions. Chemical Injury can vary widely in the degree of severity, similar to physical injury. Physical Injury can vary from a small cut, to fractured bones, to multi-system trauma, and everything in-between. Likewise, Chemical Injury can vary from a headache, to painful muscles and joints, to multi-system trauma, to everything in-between.
However, the first medical step with each situation of chemical injury is always avoidance. The person must be removed from the toxic environment and relocated to an area of good air quality. This step is crucial in order for the medical treatments to be effective. If this step cannot be achieved, the medical treatments will either not be effective at all or will be greatly reduced in its degree of effectiveness.
The two greatest medical needs of a chemically injured person is:
If these medical needs can be met, the chemically injured individual would have the opportunity for some degree of recovery from their injury (maybe even full recovery), and the opportunity to go from surviving to thriving.
Revised - 2017
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