Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a condition that can occur independently or co-occur for patients with many conditions, such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia. It is recognized as a disabling medical condition by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Symptoms of MCS are diverse, can be chronic in nature, manifest in multiple organ systems (e.g., nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular) and in severe cases, significantly impact individuals’ quality of life. Possible symptoms can include breathlessness, cognitive impairment, palpitations, fatigue, and mood alterations. Research into pathophysiological mechanisms causing these symptoms is ongoing, and as such, management interventions are by and large limited to patient self-management and specialist care. Clinicians are encouraged to support individuals in adopting self-management techniques (e.g., keeping a diary of symptoms, seeking community support, utilizing resources like 211 Ontario), connecting them with specialist care (e.g., referral to the Women’s College Hospital Environmental Health Clinic) and facilitating access to supplementary disability income support.