There are two main techniques to diagnosing a patient with TILT. The first step is to have them take a free exposure assessment screening called the QEESI (Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory). The QEESI is the most widely used screening instrument for chemical intolerance. It is a validated screening questionnaire for chemical intolerance that is available for personal use. Researchers and clinicians use the QEESI to document symptoms and intolerances of people who suspect they’ve been exposed and, therefore, TILTed. When taking the QEESI, people find the screener helpful for self-assessment. It’s also a useful tool for you to take to your doctor to explain your exposures and symptoms.
Treating People Affected by TILT
People who are TILTed can improve if all triggers are simultaneously removed. There is a clear and compelling need for EMUs in every major medical center for research and diagnosis. We appear to be dealing with a new theory of disease— paralleling the germ theory—but involving synthetic organic chemical exposures, resulting in loss of tolerance for foods and our natural environment. Just as the microscope enabled scientists to see germs responsible for infectious diseases in the late 1800s, the EMU is a tool that will allow us to see the role of exposures in today’s chronic illnesses. With the availability of EMUs, we can better identify the link between exposures and chronic illness and in so doing, set our loved ones on a path toward wellness.
How an EMU Can Help Diagnose TILT
How can families determine whether their loved one will benefit from a change in diet and environment? We now know there is a sound, scientific way to get answers — by using a specially designed and constructed hospital facility called an Environmental Medical Unit (EMU). EMU’s employ what is called “takeaway medicine” by eliminating all potential exposures in a chemically “clean” hospital environment while controlling diet.
Individuals with chronic illness may be unable to link their symptoms to exposures because they are heavily masked. Masking results from overlapping reactions to many different chemicals, foods and drugs and normal habituation associated with chronic exposures. Until masked people reduce their exposures, it’s impossible to know which, if any, of their symptoms or underlying health problems may be related to these exposures.
Environmental Medical Units, or EMUs, are needed for research, diagnosis, and treatment of TILT. Without an EMU, it will be difficult to determine which chemical and food triggers may underlie chronic conditions. Unfortunately, no EMU is available in the United States.
In Depth Explanation of the TILT Process
Stage 1: Initiation
TILT begins following a one-time major exposure or a series of low-level chemical exposures. Examples include chemical spills, pesticides, cleaning agents, and indoor air contaminants emitted from materials used in construction or remodeling.
Loss of Tolerance:
After an initial exposure, people who are TILTed lose tolerance for chemicals, foods and drugs that never bothered them before. Different people lose tolerance to different things, even if they’ve had the same initiating exposure.
Stage 2: Triggering
Exposures trigger symptoms, including difficulties with attention, memory and mood, gastrointestinal problems, and allergic-like symptoms. Problems are often masked so patients and their doctors cannot tell which exposures are triggering which symptoms.
People with chronic illness may be unable to link their symptoms to exposures because they are heavily “masked.” Masking results from overlapping reactions to many different chemicals, foods and drugs and normal habituation associated with chronic exposures. Until masked people reduce their overall exposures, it is impossible to know which, if any, of their symptoms or underlying health problems may be related to these exposures.
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