Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doctors overlook chemical illnesses, study finds

Date:
July 10, 2012
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Summary:
Chemical intolerance contributes to the illnesses of one in five patients but the condition seldom figures in their diagnosis, according to new clinical research.

Chemical intolerance contributes to the illnesses of 1 in 5 patients but the condition seldom figures in their diagnosis, according to clinical research directed by a UT Medicine San Antonio physician.

Clinical tools are available to identify chemical intolerance but health care practitioners may not be using them, lead author David Katerndahl, M.D., M.A., said. The study is in the July 9 issue of Annals of Family Medicine. UT Medicine is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.

Avoidance of triggers

The study's authors said physicians need to know how chemical intolerance affects certain people and understand that conventional therapies can be ineffective. Some patients would improve by avoiding certain chemicals, foods and even medical prescriptions, the authors said.

Patients with chemical intolerance go to the doctor more than others, are prone to having multi-system symptoms and are more apt to have to quit their job due to physical impairment, the authors said.

90-question survey

The study involved 400 patients who gave personal health information while waiting to be seen at primary care clinics in San Antonio, one in UT Medicine and the other in the University Health System. The researchers asked the patients to respond to 90 questions about their illnesses, mental health and ability to function.

In the end, the authors said, 20.3 percent of the patients questioned met the scientific criteria for chemical intolerance.

Patient inclusion

Researchers surveyed patients with chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes and heart disease. They excluded patients who were at the clinics for acute conditions such as earaches, flu or bone fractures.

The origins of chemical intolerance have been the subject of much speculation, the authors acknowledge, but the condition is also understudied. People with chemical intolerance, or "CI," are highly sensitive to common substances such as cleaning products, tobacco smoke, fragrances, pesticides, new carpet and auto exhaust.

Important consideration in care

"Apart from the debate over causality, the fact that so many patients meet the criteria for chemical intolerance holds particular relevance for primary care providers," said Dr. Katerndahl, professor of family and community medicine who is supported by the Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Distinguished Professorship.

Chemically intolerant individuals often have symptoms that affect multiple organ systems simultaneously, especially the nervous system. Symptoms commonly include fatigue, changes in mood, difficulty thinking and digestive problems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. A. Katerndahl, I. R. Bell, R. F. Palmer, C. S. Miller. Chemical Intolerance in Primary Care Settings: Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Outcomes. The Annals of Family Medicine, 2012; 10 (4): 357 DOI: 10.1370/afm.1346

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Doctors overlook chemical illnesses, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710120331.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (2012, July 10). Doctors overlook chemical illnesses, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710120331.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Doctors overlook chemical illnesses, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710120331.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins