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Bleach Causing Additional Symptoms?

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#1 ajw4055


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 05:35 AM

Hi everyone,

I was wondering what you guys know about household bleach causing worse than normal symptoms? I have done a google search, but did not find a whole lot that doesn't require one to have ingested it, which I didn't...

Long story short... I live at home with parents and mother has decided to use bleach now on a daily basis on dishes, in sink, etc. after father complained of dirty coffee cups... So, bleach water has been a common smell in the kitchen. I have always been super sensitive to bleach. I can detect its use hours later in another part of the house without anyone saying it had been used. It is worse if more is used, and for a longer time period.

Currently she is using relatively little, but it sits around in the sink all day. I always can smell it, and if it were just the smell it wouldn't bother me so much. But, starting a bit on Christmas day and everyday since I have been super fatigued (as in can not sit upright after 8 hours of being awake), very nauseous (without feeling of acid reflux-unusual for me), and a headache that progresses to a migraine. I had noticed the use of bleach right away, and noticed it on a daily basis, but when I mention things like that that may be causing symptoms, I am told it is such a little amount etc. This type of thing is a very sore subject, and if I pursue it, she is likely to get quite defensive etc. I already mentioned it in passing and how it correlated with my increase in symptoms, but it did not stick.

I know something is going on because it is so different than "normal" crazy me. I mean I feel like people describe when they are pregnant. Which I know is not the issue here... :unsure: But, the thought of foods, seeing foods, smelling foods etc. all makes me nauseous and go on to a migraine. I couldn't come down for Christmas dinner, because the garlic smell was outrageously awful. I had a migraine and nausea that I just had to sleep off. And I never ventured out of my room, I could smell it so bad from upstairs.

So, my questions are... Does this sound familiar to anything you have experienced? Do you think it is the bleach or something else? What is this called? How do I remedy it?

Also, it is probably important to note that the heat has been on more and increasing my "normal" symptoms, and I am feeling better as I back the heat off. But, I am still experiencing the above symptoms when around the bleach. But, I think the excessive heat had really not been helping any.

Speaking of the heat- How do you brave the heat of the house and dry air, when there are others that are really cold and need the heat????

Thanks y'all!!!

#2 Mack's Mom

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:14 AM

Yes, smells can make me very sick. Any strong household cleaner, esp. anything oil-based can cause my BP to plummet. I went through an awful time after I had used an oil-based cleaner on my car mats. Eery time I drove, my throat started to close up & I felt really dizzy. When I finally figured out the problem, I drove with windows down or mats out until the smell dissipated.

If my husband uses bleach to clean the shower, I start coughing- even a room away. I feel for you. MCAD causes my sensitivities. My blood vessels leak out, I get really tired, and can't stand for long. My chest and throat tighten up. STAYING AWAY from any trigger is the best way to deal with this. If you can't avoid a trigger, try an H-1 and H-2.

Feel better-


#3 MomtoGiuliana


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:10 AM

Yes, I get dizzy etc from smell of bleach. I have to use it only in a well ventilated area.

#4 potsgirl


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:33 AM

I'm really sensitive to bleach and any other powerful cleansers. I can't even stand Scrubbing Bubbles. We're on the lookout for more natural cleansers that also do the job. If my boyfriend cleans the bathroom, I have to stay away from it for hours, and leave the window open in the bathroom for an hour or two. Besides, I really don't think that inhaling those fumes are good for any of us. Perhaps you could get your mom to try a more natural cleaner or cut the bleach with more water?

Good luck, and let us know what works for you!

#5 DelphicDragon


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 12:34 PM

Bleach makes me really sick. I seriously can't handle any cleaning smells. Last time I cleaned with bleach, I was so nauseous I had to lay down on the floor, couldn't even make it into bed. :-(

I found cleaning with vinegar and water doesn't aggravate my POTS as badly and I can get things reasonably clean. Baking soda works as an abrasive. (Though if you use them together you get nifty bubbles/foam)

If I need to use bleach (had to over the holidays - roomie left rotting food in the fridge when she went on break) I call in my friends to clean for me. I've found that since I'm a decent cook, my friends will clean if I make them either a meal or a cake :-). It's not worth "gassing" yourself to get stuff sterile.


#6 MomtoGiuliana


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:16 PM

I used vinegar and baking soda--and hot water and soap mainly. I use ECO-ver products--available at my local organic store. Rarely harsh chemicals.

#7 Cat_Lady


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:07 PM

I know people who are 'healthy' who are sensitive to chemicals/strong smells so I would assume it would make symptoms worse. Or add to them, anyway, as this stuff could already bother you if you were healed.

I've never liked bleach. It makes me itchy, even. When I've had to pull out a load of laundry that was bleached I get itchy. Plus strong chemical smells have always been bothersome.

#8 yogini


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:22 PM

When I first got sick the smell of bleach or any kind of cleaner would make me sick...nausea, headaches, POTS flare up. Those allergy face masks or a towel over my nose helped a little. I switched to all natural cleaners a while ago which have a milder smell. I hope you can convince her to go back to the old cleaner!

Edited by yogini, 30 December 2009 - 12:44 PM.

#9 bjt22


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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:30 PM

This is very normal for me. I have a difficult time with any strong fume that might leach one little iota of oxygen out of the air I'm breathing. Strong cleaners, perfumes, gasoline, heck, sometimes just something cooking in the stove and putting off a little smoke can do it to me.

#10 Tachy Phlegming

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:31 AM

With bleach or other cleansers, perfume, hairspray, I make sure windows get opened. Same thing with any cooking. Heat has to go off when I get too hot; people are told to wear coats or use heating pads. People love to be around me. :P

If this is normal, I don't see why the people on this forum complain about how "normal" people don't get it. To the extent that I have been told by normal people that they know a lot of people who "can't stand" all of these things, I let them understand how wonderful they'll feel when all of these normally offensive smells and heat are allowed out through the window. ;)

#11 emma


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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:38 AM

i used lemon dishwasher tabs once, i could smell them all the way upstairs, and they irritated my stomach. ive been so aware of smells since i was small and didnt know why.

once there was a gas leak, no-one else could smell it, called the gas people out, he couldnt smell it, but got his niffy gas detecter machine out, which beeped, yep there was a leak. he was amazed that anyone could smell it as it was so small. so i suppose this was a time that a good sense of smell came in handy!


#12 jenwic


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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:34 PM

Bleach or other chemical cleaners make me tachy and dizzy. I am going the "green" route too or getting my mom to come over and clean the showers ( which makes me feel like a heel).

#13 lifesaver


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Posted 31 December 2009 - 02:08 AM

Baking soda will clean coffee cups much better than bleach---it takes the coffee scum out of the cup.

Has your house been checked for carbon monoxide leaks? That could add to your symptoms and is life threatening.

#14 alicia


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Posted 01 January 2010 - 11:11 AM

Bleach makes me very sick. It is an irritant & poison. I can't remember the details but I've read that it was used in war & not in a good way. Don't breathe the fumes.

#15 BellaMia


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Posted 01 January 2010 - 12:56 PM

Fumes have always bothered me so much since I was a child. I was always a mold detector in anyone's house or could pick out a bad odor anywhere. Then over the past couple of years I haven't been able to really smelly things like I used to.

Scrubbing bubblings made me gag, oven cleaners made me want to vomit, I did use bleach for many things though, as I felt I needed to disinfect so many things as being soooooo sick with the flu and I like my whites white. I worked in chlorine for years and I swore it made me allergic so badly I had to have my tonsils out in my 30's.

Now I barely smell... That kind of frightens me. I use a lot of vinegar now and when I use other cleaners I water them way down.