Two cases of multiple chemical sensitivity successfully treated with kampo medicine

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Abstract

Context • Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic disorder in which minimal but sustained exposure to particular chemicals causes headaches, vertigo, and multiple other symptoms. Up to 10%of cases are clinically unresponsive to treatment. Kampo medicines include multiple crude components with many applications for organ disorders. Objective • The research team aimed to assess the efficacy of goreisan, a Japanese Kampo medicine, for 2 patients diagnosed with intractable cases of MCS. Design • The research team conducted case studies with 2 female patients. Setting • The study took place at the Kampo clinic in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Japanese Red Cross Maebashi Hospital in Maebashi, Gunma, Japan. Participants • The participants were patients at the clinic. Intervention • The first participant received the Kampo formula goreisan for her headaches and keigairengyoto for her mucosal discomfort; the second received goreisan for her headaches and kakkonto to reduce her shoulder-muscle stiffness. The participants received Kampo treatments for one month. Outcome measures • The first participant’s MCS symptoms were evaluated with the Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory questionnaire (QEESI); the second using a numeric rating scale (NRS). Results • After the Kampo treatments, the first participant’s QEESI scores for chemical intolerance, symptom severity, and life impact were reduced from 47, 92, and 76 to 37, 39, and 55 points, respectively. The second participant’s NRS scores were likewise reduced from 6, 8, and 8 out of 10 to 1, 2, and 1 out of 10. Symptoms were relieved in both patients, and didn’t recur. Conclusions • These results highlight the potential benefits of Kampo medicine for the treatment of intractable MCS. Further investigations will be needed to confirm the mechanism of action, thereby improving the understanding of the effectiveness of Kampo medicine for MCS therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalAlternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
Volume27
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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