Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance or TILT

Dr Claudia Miller at the University of Texas commented on a recent blog about oat and corn sensitivity with some information about the work that her group does with those who develop multi-system sensitivities, including food sensitivities, after being exposed to a major pollution event.

Hi Michelle – Informative blog on gluten!

I am a researcher and physician at the University of Texas. I am best known for my work on Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT).

Following a major exposure event, like pesticide extermination, solvents, or indoor air contaminants (due to new construction or remodeling), some individuals develop multi-system symptoms and new onset intolerances for everyday chemicals, foods and drugs that never bothered them before and do not bother most people.

Food intolerances include corn, wheat, milk and eggs. You are one of the few writers to include many grains besides gluten- which is only the tip of the food intolerance iceberg.

The Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) is a tool anyone can use to determine whether they meet the diagnostic criteria for TILT. What has been missed by most people looking into food intolerances is that these common chemical exposures can cause food intolerances.

Please see for information on the QEESI and our website at

This information could help your readers deal with doctors, disability claims, and avoiding chemical exposures that are causing their food intolerances. I have seen many people who developed TILT become able to tolerate foods once they stop exterminating their homes, avoid strong cleaners, etc.

Some brief excerpts from the TILT website:

TILT-related symptoms may involve any and every organ system. Neurological symptoms such as memory problems, brain fog, and mood changes are common and often disabling. A particular initiating event (such as exposure to a sick building, Gulf War chemicals, or a pesticide) can result in intolerances that trigger multiple symptoms varying from person to person. Commonly-reported symptoms include:

  • difficulties with attention, memory and mood
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • allergy-like symptoms
  • migraines and headaches
  • fatigue and muscle pain

Common Triggers:


Indoor air is the most common source of chemical exposures in many peoples lives. Moving to a new house or renovations to home or office often bring new furnishings, carpet, paint, synthetic fragrances, and pesticides.


Common foods often become triggers for people who are chemically intolerant. Examples include, corn, wheat, milk, eggs and commercial foods that may contain pesticides or other artificial ingredients.


Various medications and medical devices also initiate and trigger TILT. Patients report that anesthetics, implants, antibiotics, chemotherapy and other medications cause them to become intolerant.

Click here for more articles on causes of allergy

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