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I ve always had sensitivity & reactions to various chemicals:

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Posted on Mon, 11 Feb 2019
Question: I've always had "sensitivity" & reactions to various chemicals: everything from alcohol to sea sickness meds to OTC and prescribed medications. Sometimes to the point where my heart starts beating at a fast rate (tachycardia) after I take a medication. I would like to get Pharmacogenetic testing done so I could understand my sensitivities to various medications as well as how I metabolize everything from surgical anesthesia to steroids to antibiotics, etc. I have been prescribe various typical meds (high blood pressure meds, painkillers, etc.) but I refuse all of them due to my reactions/sensitivities. I've turned down optional surgery due to this problem. QUESTION: What would be the correct protocols for getting testing & where would I go to get tested? Would I need to see a genetic counselor first?
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Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah (11 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Discussion follows

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Welcome and thanks for your query.
I understand your concern and it is indeed tough living with your sensitivity.
Let me explain what happens when you take anything that is causing an adverse reaction.
Your sympathetic nervous system goes into an overdrive status pumping adrenaline, non adrenaline and other hormones which leads to overstimulation of the heart and cause tachycardia.
Things containing caffeine, cocoa, alcohol and medicines containing pseudoephedrine can do this to many people. You have the situation that for some unknown reason other things also evoke this sympathetic nervous system overactivity. The way to overcome this is to block the sympathetic nervous system before you take things that are known to produce this adverse reaction. Check your usual pulse rate. If it is above 70 beats per minute and you are not suffering from asthma, propanol ( Instal ) taken at 20 mg twice a day will help you tolerate many of the things that normally cause racing of your heart. You can try after 24 hours of starting Inderal, which has to be continued for some days.
There are blood tests for food and inhaled allergens and also skin tests for hypersensitivity. Your issue may not be detected by these.
Do get back to me if you have further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Noble Zachariah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2276 Questions

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I ve always had sensitivity & reactions to various chemicals:

Brief Answer: Discussion follows Detailed Answer: Hello, Welcome and thanks for your query. I understand your concern and it is indeed tough living with your sensitivity. Let me explain what happens when you take anything that is causing an adverse reaction. Your sympathetic nervous system goes into an overdrive status pumping adrenaline, non adrenaline and other hormones which leads to overstimulation of the heart and cause tachycardia. Things containing caffeine, cocoa, alcohol and medicines containing pseudoephedrine can do this to many people. You have the situation that for some unknown reason other things also evoke this sympathetic nervous system overactivity. The way to overcome this is to block the sympathetic nervous system before you take things that are known to produce this adverse reaction. Check your usual pulse rate. If it is above 70 beats per minute and you are not suffering from asthma, propanol ( Instal ) taken at 20 mg twice a day will help you tolerate many of the things that normally cause racing of your heart. You can try after 24 hours of starting Inderal, which has to be continued for some days. There are blood tests for food and inhaled allergens and also skin tests for hypersensitivity. Your issue may not be detected by these. Do get back to me if you have further queries.