There is no doubt that electrical sensitivity (ES) is a real phenomenon - I have had too many people affected by electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) to think otherwise. Clinically I nearly always see electrical sensitivity in people who are already suffering from chemical sensitivity. Chemical sensitivity is often switched on by some sort of exposure to chemicals which can be a single overwhelming exposure or chronic low grade exposure. This leads to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) but then sufferers notice that it is not just chemicals that are a problem - they are also reacting to electromagnetic radiation.
It's hardly surprising that one can be electrically sensitive - high doses of EMR can certainly kill. EMR is a known cause of cancer. So that some people sensitise to it is inevitable - there are obvious parallels with chemical sensitivity.
There are many symptoms that can be switched on by electrical sensitivity and it appears that almost any electro-magnetic frequency can cause this. These are emitted by all sorts of electrical pieces of equipment such as mobile phones, cordless phones, internet connections, computers, microwaves, baby listeners, microwave room sensors, burglar alarms, mobile phone masts, television sets, strip lighting and many other gadgets. It may well be that natural radiation through the earth (because essentially the earth is a large magnetic) can also be a problem for some sensitive sufferers.
Thanks to Professor Martin Pall we have a biochemical explanation for ES. See Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects EMF disrupts voltage-gated calcium channels across cell membranes. So in a susceptible individual ES will allow calcium to leak into cells - calcium is toxic inside cells - the normal concentration gradient of calcium outside to inside is a 14,000 fold difference! Since all cells have voltage gated calcium channels ES can present with any symptom. However 2 conditions have been particularly linked with ES namely autism and cardiac dysrhythmias.
As always, diagnosis is difficult. One needs a high index of suspicion with symptoms getting worse when one is exposed and better when one is not exposed. However, we now have some gadgets that can help to diagnose the electrical sensitivity. One can buy an electro-smog detector, which tells one if there is EMR pollution. This converts the EMR into an audible signal so one can easily tell where the hot spots are. This is available from Healthy House - just search "electrosmog detector" in their search box.
Ways to protect yourself from electro-magnetic radiation
I am also grateful to Sarah Dacre, who has put me in touch with some organisations which help further, namely Detect and Protect - electrosmog and Powerwatch. Also see Electric Forester who do electromagnetic surveys and investigations - contact Electric Forester.
It is also possible to get shrouds that one can wear like a sort of cloak which block out all electro-magnetic radiation. This, for example, allowed Sarah to attend a meeting at the House of Commons recently. These are available from EMFields (EMFields is the trading arm of the Powerwatch). She showed me how the detector howled with noise outside the shroud and went almost silent inside the shroud. This convinced me!
Finally do contact ElectroSensitivity UK. This is a registered charity (reg number 1103018), address: BM BOX ES-UK, London WC1N 3XX, Tel: 0845 643 9748 - freely available help line staffed by volunteers.
Their mission statement: To work towards the recognition of ES by the general population and the medical profession and seek to find the best ways of ameliorating the condition of people so affected.
For protection from radiation emitted by mobile phones and computers, visit SaferWave
Earthing is often helpful to reduce the electrical charge load - the idea here is for the body to come in direct contact with the ground via a conducting media - eg walking barefoot on grass, earth, rock etc. Wearing rubber soled shoes or boots blocks this effect. See Earthing - Get Connected & Vibrant
There is some evidence that in ES production of melatonin is reduced and this impacts on sleep. Try melatonin 1-9 mg at night!
There is evidence that the malign effects of ES may result through the production of free radicals. Improving antioxidant status will help mitigate some of these effects - see Antioxidants
Electrical sensitivity and chemical sensitivity
Electrical sensitivity almost always occurs in conjunction with chemical sensitivity. Chemical sensitivity can be tested for by Lymphocyte sensitivity to metals and chemicals tests. These same tests can be done within or without an electrical field. A positive test would support the diagnosis of electrical sensitivity and may give an indication as to how sensitive the sufferer is.
One possible cause could be heavy metal toxicity. We are all conductors of EM radiation - I can greatly improve the reception of my wireless by holding the aerial. Heavy metals will make us better conductors and therefore receivers of EM radiation. Since humans have been mobilising minerals from the Earth's crust, more have appeared in our food, water and air so we all have a heavy metal load. Indeed, I suspect this is what is causing our current epidemics of cardiac dysrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. It may be worth assessing this by measuring urine toxic metals following an oral chelating agent DMSA. The metals that most commonly come up are mercury, lead, arsenic and nickel. See Toxic Elements screen - urine sample
- Lymphocyte sensitivity to metals and chemicals - the idea here is to look at calcium influx into lymphocyte when they are exposed to an antigen (such as a chemical ) within and out side an electrical field. In ES there seems to be a magnification of the sensitivity.
- Toxic Elements screen - urine sample
- "Electromagnetic sensitivity: Fact or Fiction" by Stephen J. Genuis and Christopher T. Lipp
- "Microwaves causing CFS, cancer and other degenerative conditions". - a declaration by Barrie Trower, a scientist, about malign effects of microwaves on human health.
- "The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields - problems and solutions" - by Dr Andrew Goldsworthy
- Healthy House
- Detect and Protect - electrosmog
- Electric Forester
- ElectroSensitivity UK
- Earthing - Get Connected & Vibrant
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