The last few days have been really difficult for me. I had a really bad reaction after sitting in the doctor's office next to a woman the other day who was wearing perfume. Her perfume was so over powering and sweet that it made me physically sick. There weren't any other seats to move to either. I felt myself getting hot, sweaty, sick to my stomach, and I felt "tachy"---it was horrible. The technician called the women in the back and after 20 minutes or so I began feeling better and the symptoms subsided.
I was fine until we had lunch. My daughter and I were driving home in the car when I got very sick again and had to pull over 3 times. It's really weird to me that perfume triggered this entire POTSie episode but it did. I'm not sure why it did and so I decided to do a little bit of research.
In researching I discovered that it is believed that many illnesses including POTS is believed to be caused by a "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity". They say that people who are more emotionally charged and super sensitive are more likely to have these reactions.
The symptoms of MCS are:
- feeling tired
- "brain fog" (short-term memory problems
- difficulty concentrating)
- muscle pain
- neurological conditions
- orthostatic intolerance
- sleep disorders
- high blood pressure
- autoimmune problems
- difficulty breathing
- pains in the throat, chest, or abdominal region
- skin irritation,hives
- neurological symptoms (nerve pain, pins and needles feelings, weakness, trembling, restless leg syndrome, etc.)
- visual disturbances (blurring, halo effect, inability to focus)
- extreme anxiety, panic and/or anger, sleep disturbance
- suppression of immune system
- digestive difficulties, nausea, indigestion/heartburn, vomiting, diarrhea,
- joint pains
- abnormally acute sense of smell (hypersomnia)
- sensitivity to natural plant fragrance or natural pine terpenes
- dry mouth, dry eyes
- an overactive bladder
I haven't found much on the internet about this but plan to ask my POTS specialist when I see him in January. I often have issues with smells and have done away with all chemicals and cleaning products in my house. I make my own rug cleaner using baking soda, vinegar, peroxide, clear dish soap and a touch of fabric softener. I use mild soap or no scented cleaning supplies etc...
I've heard others with POTS say that chemicals bother them as well and I'm curious "how" it affects them. (For me I get weak, tachy, nauseous and feel like I will faint. It basically incapacitates me.