Carbon monoxide poisoning and multi-sensory sensitivity
After carbon monoxide poisoning a survivor may find they are more sensitive or extra sensitive
to a range of chemicals and other "sensory forces".
Carbon monoxide poisoning can trigger chemical sensitivities but more often triggers sensitivities to a wider
range of stimulus. This is sometimes referred to as multi-sensory sensitivity.
This affects an unknown percentage of survivors but is very real to those that experience it. It can take [a
long] time for a survivor to realize that at least some of their ongoing "symptoms" are connected to sensory
This type of sensitivity seems to be unique to carbon monoxide poisoning survivors. It is characterized by
heightened sensitivity to chemicals as well as other stimuli such as light, sound, touch, temperature fluctuations,
changes in barometric pressure, and even electromagnetic fields and electrostatic charges (in some cases even
People can develop Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) from exposure to other toxins such as pesticides or moulds. They may also be sensitive to
other sensory stimuli such as light and sound however what distinguishes multi-sensory sensitivity caused by
carbon monoxide poisoning is sensitivity to almost all types of sensory stimuli.
Many people are aware that carbon monoxide gas is invisible,
odorless, tasteless, dangerous and that it can kill at high
levels of exposure. However, carbon monoxide is also essential for life. Mammals constantly produce carbon monoxide
within their bodies.
Carbon monoxide is produced in the normal breakdown of heme proteins (such as hemoglobin in red blood cells,
myoglobin in muscle, cytochromes throughout the body) by an enzyme called heme oxygenase (HO).
Normal carbon monoxide production within the body increases 10 to 100 times in response to stress of any kind, whether it be physical, biological,
chemical, or mental.
Carbon monoxide is also produced within the body by the breakdown of certain inhaled and ingested chemicals such
as methylene chloride (dichloromethane) which is a common solvent, paint stripper, degreaser, propellant used in
spray cans, and a by product of many industrial/manufacturing processes.
A survivor may become hypersensitive to very low levels of carbon monoxide exposure after poisoning. They may
become so sensitive that they overreact to even the relatively low levels produced by their body in response to
stress of any kind.
A percentage of carbon monoxide produced within the body binds to hemoglobin (red blood cells), is transported
to the lungs, and is then exhaled. However, a larger percentage of carbon monoxide produced in the body binds to
other proteins and is involved in many types of chemical reactions within the body.
Carbon monoxide is very bioactive and is produced and used by the body for the normal breakdown of heme proteins.
Among its functions, it modulates the nerve action firing potential of sensory nerves. It is a gaseous
neurotransmitter in the regulation of learning, memory, heart rate, respiration and vasodilation.
Normal carbon monoxide production within the body controls sensory sensitization and adaptation to odors,
lights, sounds and all other sensory stimuli.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can affect normal healthy carbon monoxide production within the body.
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