Women's Health Matters

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Approximately 60 percent of people with fibromyalgia have some environmental sensitivities/intolerances, whereby they experience symptoms when they are exposed to low levels of everyday substances in the environment. If you have environmental sensitivities/intolerances, the most important thing to do is avoid the substances that trigger these symptoms.

Here are some tips for making your home more environmentally safe. (If you suffer from fatigue, you may need help to make these changes. Try breaking each task into 15-minute intervals.)

  • Decrease the number of "dust collectors" in your home by removing knick-knacks, decorative pillows and stuffed animals.
  • Reduce clutter, particularly paper and books, which collects dust. Keep papers in a desk and books in a glass-covered case.
  • Make your own cleaning products, using baking soda, vinegar and pure soap; or buy cleaning products labelled "non-toxic," "eco" or "safe."
  • Use unscented personal care products, such as deodorants, lotions and shampoos. Avoid perfume and cologne.
  • Reduce the humidity in your house to 30 to 50 percent, to prevent mould growth.
  • Get rid of any mouldy items and indoor plants which support mould growth.
  • Do not store items in cardboard boxes – use moisture-proof storage containers.
  • Avoid pesticides and herbicides, both indoors and outdoors.
  • If possible, choose hardwood or ceramic flooring instead of carpets. If you have carpets, use a central vacuum or vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Ventilate well, with open windows on nice days
  • Watch the Air Quality Health Index to avoid exercise outdoors when the index is high.
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