Electromagnetic hypersensitivity review of evidence.
Subject: Electric waves (Health aspects)
Electromagnetic radiation (Health aspects)
Electromagnetic waves (Health aspects)
Allergic reaction (Causes of)
Allergic reaction (Care and treatment)
Allergy (Causes of)
Allergy (Care and treatment)
Author: Klotter, Jule
Pub Date: 10/01/2012
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: Oct, 2012 Source Volume: 351
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 304943439
Full Text: The 2011 review "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Fact or Fiction?" outlines a history of current knowledge about human-produced electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and its health effects. The Canadian authors, Stephen J. Genuis and Christopher T. Lipp, also present ideas for helping people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). Adverse health effects ascribed to EMR first appeared in medical literature during the 1950s, according to Genuis and Lipp. At that time, Eastern European doctors reported treating "thousands of workers" who either made, repaired, or operated microwave/radio frequency-emitting equipment. This "radio wave sickness" consisted of a range of symptoms including headaches, weakness, sleep disturbance, emotional instability, dizziness, memory impairment, fatigue, and heart palpitations.

Since that time, industry-backed research has disputed the idea that human-produced nonionizing radiation can cause such symptoms. Independent research, however, gives another picture. Most recently, N. D. Volkow and colleagues reported in 2011 that cell phone radio frequency exposure alters brain glucose metabolism. Also in 2011, a double-blind study, led by D. E. McCarty, documented somatic reactions to EMR in a female physician with self-diagnosed electromagnetic hypersensitivity. The scientists and doctors involved in this study say, "'EMF hypersensitivity can occur as a bona fide environmentally-inducible neurological syndrome."

Genuis and Lipp provide recommendations for treating EHS that are similar to treatment protocols for chemical hypersensitivity: avoiding triggers, correcting nutritional and biochemical deficiencies, and reducing the toxicant burden. The article includes specific measures for reducing exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, cordless phones, computers, handheld electronics (electric toothbrush, hair dryer, smartphone, electronic tables, etc.), fluorescent lights, household power, high-voltage power lines, and transmission towers and emitters. However, avoiding EMR triggers is easier said than done, given the "ubiquitous" presence of electromagnetic technology. People with electromagnetic hypersensitivity are often forced to become loners, restricting their movements to a few safe sites, because the presence of EMR in public places and homes of family and friends trigger reactions.

People who are hypersensitive to electromagnetic radiation (and chemicals) need to have key nutrients replenished. Nutrients vital for cellular metabolism and the body's detoxification processes are easily depleted during chronic stress and inflammation. In addition to nutrient supplementation, toxins that add to the body's stress load must be reduced. "Some recent research is beginning to make the link between specific toxicants such as heavy metals and EHS," Genuis and Lipp write, "but it is imperative to explore the total load that encompasses the range of potential toxicants including various adverse chemical agents, implants, some dental materials, mold exposures and other toxins." By addressing all three components of the protocol, Genuis and Lipp say, " ... it is possible for patients with [sensitivity-related illness] to improve considerably and be restored to normal functioning."

Genuis SJ, Lipp CT. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: Pact or fiction? Sci total Environ. 2011401:10.10164.scitotenv.2011.11.008. Available at http://aaemonIine.org/images/Genuis_EHS_paper.pdf. Accessed July 30,2012.

McCarty. DF., Carrubba S, Chesson AL, Frilot C, Gonzalez-toledo F, Marino AA. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: evidence for a novel neurological syndrome. int J Neurosci. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlmmih.gov/pubmed121793784.

Volkow ND, Tomasi D, Wang CI-I, et al. Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism. LAMA. 201 l;305(8):808-813.

briefed by jute Klotter jule@townsendletter.com
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