Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance for Chemicals, Foods, and Drugs: A Global Phenomenon

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this presentation by Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio, to the World Asthma Foundation Microbiome First Summit on May 18, 2022.

Watch the presentation at Microbiome First.

The 40-minute presentation by Dr. Miller, “Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance for Chemicals, Foods, and Drugs: A Global Phenomenon,” explores a theory of disease that join the germ theory and the immune theory: Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT).

“TILT explains the mystifying range of symptoms suffered by people with chemical intolerances,” according to Miller’s presentation abstract on Microbiome First. “It is a two-step process. First, initiation involves acute or chronic exposure to environmental agents such as pesticides, solvents, or indoor air contaminants, followed by triggering of multi-system symptoms by exposure to small quantities of previously tolerated substances such as traffic exhaust, cleaning products, fragrances, foods, drugs, or food-drug combinations.”

Dr. Miller has developed diagnostic instruments to help identify patients suffering from TILT-related intolerances.

To find out how chemically sensitive you are, answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!