What Are Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) & Mold Illness?

These conditions can encompass a wide range of symptoms.

Some individuals tend to link to environmental causes. The condition is also known as “environmental illness,” "sick building syndrome,” or “idiopathic environmental intolerance.”


They may be the resulting symptoms of conditioned trauma in the Amygdala, Insula and the limbic system in general, following specific or general exposure to a chemical, mold or other threat.

Woman has body pain

Common symptoms can include: headache, fatigue, nausea, congestion, dizziness, itching, sore throat, sneezing, chest pain,  heart rhythm changes, muscle stiffness or pain, diarrhoea, breathing issues, gas, bloating, confusion, trouble in concentrating, skin rash, mood changes and problems with memory.

Sick man resting in the bed

Unfortunately, the condition is still not widely understood or accepted by any health experts & medical institutions. At this stage, there are no reliable tests to diagnose these sensitivities. And many doctors don't even agree that these conditions are even a medical illness despite its devastating effect on the sufferer

Lonely Teddy Bear sitting on bed and looking out at the window in rainy day.

These Conditions are Neurological Disorders

My hypothesis is that MCS and Mold Illness are neurological disorders caused by conditioned trauma in the amygdala and insula, involving similar pathways that are hypothesized in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. We call these types of conditions, "Neuro-Immune Conditioned Syndromes (NICS)".

Close up sad elderly asian old man lost in thought sitting in park. Senior healthcare concept.

A Genetic Disposition?

There is likely to be a genetic predisposition to developing these conditions, which may influence mechanisms that are described within this page, or maybe peripheral to them. However, our genes are not our destiny, as emphasized by the latest developments in epigenetics. Therefore a genetic predisposition does not necessarily mean a person cannot heal and improve.


What Are The Roles of The Amygdala and Insula?

The amygdala is responsible for detecting threats to the body, and initiating appropriate responses to mitigate those threats.

The insula modulates sensory experiences and information about the physiological state of the body.


During a particularly stressful period in someone’s life, the amygdala is on high alert responding to emotional and physical threats. If the level of alert of the amygdala is particularly high, and the person is exposed to a toxin at the same time, a conditioned trauma can occur in the amygdala in association with the insula.

This exposure may be a one-off exposure or repeated exposure. (If there is repeated exposure, there is a theory called “kindling” which occurs in epilepsy, which might help explain how the neurological process itself works).


This Amygdala and Insula hypothesis serves as a potential unifying model for the various observations in patients. You can find out more here. 



Ashok Gupta is the Director of the Gupta Program. He has dedicated his life to helping people get their life back from Chronic Illness, improving people’s well-being, and helping them achieve their potential. He has been teaching meditation around the world for over 15 years. He runs a global e-clinic specializing in treating ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia & Multiple Chemical Sensitivities – guptaprogram.com

Ashok has spent many years researching the brain neurology of emotion and linking well-being tools with science. He has published medical papers on the basis of stress-related illnesses. He has appeared in many media as an expert on stress on the BBC, CNN, Guardian Newspaper, ITV, The Independent, and many others.

He wrote and presented the Meaning of Life Experiment which is a Free, Award-winning Meditation and Self-Development App www.themeaningoflife.tv

He also works with companies around the world, teaching courses in Leadership, Time Management, and Personal Development. www.ashokgupta.tv

Leave a Comment