Electro-Hypersensitivity (EHS)

Updated: Feb 1, 2020

Although there seems to be a collective scoff from those who aren't debilitated by exposure to a higher level of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs), and although some media ridicule has meant humiliation for sufferers, Electro-Hypersensitivity (EHS), also known as Electro Sensitivity (ES), is a real thing. Doctors agree.

Doctors who specialise in Clinical Environmental Medicine have become aware of a growing number of patients who suffer from what they term ‘Multisystem illnesses’, one of which is EHS. These illnesses can be chronic, but until recently doctors have been not only unaware, but in some cases disbelieving. Many EHS sufferers have been sent away, as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) sufferers once were.

EUROPAEM, or the European Academy for Environmental Medicine, shows the current status of medical opinion in their publication the ‘EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems or illnesses.’

In it the authors state that the so-named non-thermal effects and potential long-term effects of low-dose exposure to EMFs were barely investigated in the years prior to the unparalleled blossoming of EMF generating technologies: Wifi routers, cordless phones and base stations, mobile phones, bluetooth devices, cell towers, magnetic fields from net currents, electric fields from electric lamps, wiring near to the bed where you sleep, the WiFi printer at your office desk, and even your smart electricity meter and your baby monitor. The amount of electric, magnetic and microwave radiation we get exposed to has ballooned beyond belief. Ballooned possibly beyond our bodies’ normal adaptive responses to low level radiation, developed through eons of evolution.

The EUROPAEM Guideline states that:

“the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is more and more recognized by health authorities, disability administrators and case workers, politicians, as well as courts of law.”

The symptoms begin slowly:

“In the beginning, EHS symptoms occur only occasionally, but over time they may increase in frequency and severity. Common EHS symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms.”

According to Dr Peter Ohnsorge, co-author, the lack of clinical awareness is caused by a lack of fundamental medical education in this field at universities worldwide. This is partly due, he says, to the maintenance of an old reductionistic scientific approach which concludes in a wrong risk assessment. EHS sufferers are confronted with an ignorance of institutional science towards EMFs. In order to diagnose correctly, says Dr Peter Ohnsorge, doctors must be “aware of complexity”.

The guideline extrapolates on the complexity of EHS and the therapeutic strategies. The good news is that by using these strategies full recovery for most patients is possible, or at the least enough improvement to regain a decent quality of life.

One of the questions that should be asked to a patient who presents with EHS symptoms is whether the patient habitually gets headaches before thunderstorms? As electromagnetism is heightened in the air before a storm this is an indication of sensitivity from a patient who may have a range of symptoms.

The EHS sufferers I have met have all taken measures to protect themselves and many of them find relief in clothing made with EMF protective fabric.

Moving helps sufferers with the worst effects. Many patients have found that driving very fast through the streets brings relief from their symptoms, because the body doesn’t have chance to react while moving through the fields. Another strategy is to bathe in salt water, or have a sauna. As long as the sauna doesn’t have WiFi, then it can bring massive relief to sufferers.

Dr Mallory-Blythe, an expert in EMF related illnesses, is more explicit on our adaptability to synthetic EMFs. Our vulnerability to EMFs is not the reserve of EHS sufferers, she says, “children, foetuses, [the] elderly, pregnant women [and] the infirm” are also at risk.

I had the honour of meeting Dr Mallory-Blythe in London a few months back. When asked who was most susceptible to EMF related illnesses she gave a wry smile and said, the question should be who isn't?

Further reading:

Study: Reliable disease biomarkers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a unique pathological disorder.

Study: Functional brain MRI in patients complaining of electrohypersensitivity after long term exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Article: "Electrohypersensitivity: A Functional Impairment Due to an Inaccessible Environment"

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