Posted by Patrick on 2/28/03
Hi Mary, I appreciate your response. I am glad you replied because
there are some issues I'd like to comment on.
>>> This person, who expresses all kinds of troubles, is roaming the
internet looking for the RIGHT CHAT ROOM to solve their problems. Is
this really a good plan?<<<
Probably not. But try to understand that this person is greatly
distressed as is looking for at least a little support. People with
MCS hardly get to socialize and the net is often all they have.
>>> Has this person derived any meaningful benefit from the
reponses? What distinguishes the RIGHT chat room from the WRONG
chat room? What would 'help' even look like? <<<
The first two questions are not relevant to my point. My point is,
as I said, that this person is suffering and will not benefit from
being put down or insulted.
As to the third question, help would be providing this person with
relevant information, such as treatments, where to find a good
>>>Is sarcasm an invalid means of expressing an opinion? You
certainly figured it out.<<<
It is a valid means of expressing opinions. But, allow me to draw
an analogy. Let's say a person is highly allergic to peanuts, and
that peanuts are found practically everywhere, public places and
even the sufferer's home. The person becomes home-bound, forced to
be an out-cast and not socialize. Then the person finds a chat room,
and vents out some of the frustration but is still clearly upset and
perhaps even scared that things won't get better.
Do you believe that in such a case sarcasm and insults would be an
>>> Would it have been more 'objective'and helpful to say
something like this:
Your writing suggests to me that you may not be rational. I
think seeking solutions at a website designed by lawyers to
troll for plaintiffs is a bad idea and you should reconsider
your approach. I suggest you consider that the vast majority of
public health authorities doubt that MCS is real. While this
fact may trouble you, and may upset those with contrary
opinions, it remains a reality. And, dear writer, because of
this reality, you are potentially dealing with those on the
fringes, some of whom may be seeking to exploit you.<<<
That would have been excellent, since you did not insult an innocent
But moving on, I would like to reply to the comments within that
>>> the vast majority of public health authorities doubt that MCS is
That is partly true. Most major health organizations either doubt
MCS' physical nature, or have no opinion. However, most of those
authorities have not actually gone through the medical literature on
The American Medical Association, American Lung Association,
Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission all stated that MCS should not be dismissed as
psychogenic. In addition there are a great many well qualified
doctors and scientists who accept MCS' physical nature, and do not
belong to any Clinical Ecology organization.
It is unscientific to accept the views of some medical authorities,
while ignoring others.
Most of the critical statements on MCS by medical organizations were
made before 1993, or in 1993. This is significant because at that
time there was not a lot of published researched on MCS. As I have
said before: As of 1999, there had been 609 published peer-reviewed
articles on MCS. Of these, 311 present data supporting a physical
origin while 137 present findings (mostly opinionated) of
psychological origin. This gap is continuing to grow. To argue that
those 311 pro-MCS articles, which all show physical laboratory
abnormalities in MCS patients and, again, exclude clinical ecologist
Journal articles, were all tainted and biased is absolutely ludicrous.
So to be more accurate, the vast majority of scientists and doctors
who actually study MCS believe it has a physical cause/ or causes,
whilst most of the skeptics have not gone through the published
However, even IF the vast majority of such researchers doubted MCS'
physical cause(s) (which they do not), such would not be = to a
rebuttal to the studies that show MCS being a physical disease. For
example, double blind studies show that CFS and MCS sufferers have
an excess of 2,3-DPG enzymes "due to body's attempt to provide more
O2 into tissues by unloading more from hemoglobin (which is what
2,3-DPG does)" (Donnay's review). To try to counter that scientific
argument by saying "most doctors say it's not real though", does not
constitute a counter argument.
My point is, you are making a cop out with that statement, seeing as
how it does not provide a counter to the numerous scientific studies
showing MCS is a physiologic. Am I wording this in an understandable
way? I hope so.
To further elaborate on this point, I'd like to say that I believe
you are an intelligent person. I think you should view the
literature for yourself, and come to your own conclusion.
I believe that there are two groups of chemically sensitive
sufferers. In one group, chemicals on a physical basis adversely
effect the sufferers, whereas chemicals on a psychogenic basis
(often due to traumas involving sexual abuse) adversely effect the
other group. An analogy can be drawn from a recent study on food
allergies. In the study, many people who reacted to chocolate and
thought they were allergic only reacted to the food when they
thought it was chocolate (placebo study). It is well known that food
allergies exist, but it is now also known that many people have
reactions to foods on a psychological basis. Thus, there are two
groups of people adversely effected by certain foods, just as there
are two groups of people harmed by chemicals.
Although the etiology of chemical sensitivity conditions has not
been fully researched, there is clear and abundant enough data to
confirm the existence of chemical sensitivity on a physiological
basis. However, I have been studying the theory put forth by Dr.
Martin L. (Marty) Pall, Professor of Biochemistry and Basic Medical
Sciences, Washington State University, which can be read at
proposes that a "vicious cycle" involving elevated levels of nitric
oxide causes MCS, and there is overwhelming evidence supporting his
theory. I encourage you to review the essay thoroughly.
>>> Well, reading through it, I think you're right. The 'objective'
approach is probably better than the sarcastic approach. Do you
prefer this style?<<<
Yes, I don't like insulting people because then the issue at hand is