Are You Chemically Intolerant?

Common complaints of Chemical Intolerance (CI), or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) include difficulties with memory and concentration, fatigue, headaches, weakness, and mood changes such as extreme irritability, and depression. Gastrointestinal, respiratory and skin problems are also reported.

The Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) is a validated questionnaire used worldwide to assess intolerances to foods, drugs, and/or chemicals. The results of the QEESI help gage CI, which has a reported prevalence of 8-33% in population-based surveys (Azuma et al., 2014; Katerndahl et al., 2012). Up to one quarter of the U.S. population report being either “especially” or “unusually” intolerant to certain chemicals, with about 5% having physician-diagnosed CI.

To allow for cross-comparison of CI in various groups, Miller and colleagues developed a validated, standardized form of measurement for affected patients and populations, called the Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory or EESI. Subsequently, the QEESI, an abbreviated, 50-item version of the EESI was developed. The QEESI is validated, self-administrable, and geared toward differentiating individuals with CI from the general population.

The QEESI is now the standard for measuring CI and has been used in over a dozen countries around the world. The Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI) is a newly developed screening tool whose three questions help physicians and researchers determine whether an individual should take the entire QEESI. The BREESI’s three items predict CI as confirmed by the QEESI. The BREESI is ideal for use in a range of health care settings including medical clinics. Find out if you are chemically intolerant.

-Dr. Ray Palmer