Having Strange Symptoms? You May Be Electrosensitive

By Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS.

Agitation, brain fog, dizziness, headaches, inability to concentrate, nervousness, a racing pulse, ringing in your ears, sensitivity to light, skin problems, tingling in your limbs, trouble getting your work done, unrelenting fatigue, waking up repeatedly during the night—do you experience any of these seemingly unrelated symptoms?

One normally healthy New York suburbanite began noticing odd symptoms several months after her power company installed new digital electric and gas meters at her home. “I felt as if I were becoming unhinged,” she says, describing her body as being “weighed down by exhaustion.” She also began suffering heart palpitations, buzzing sounds in her ears, and interrupted sleep. Her husband’s blood pressure rose to the point where he was prescribed medicine, and her son became agitated too.

Emissions from antennae, cell and cordless phones, digital devices, electrical appliances and wiring, power lines, satellite TV, and WiFi—electromagnetic fields (EMFs)—are increasingly linked to these and other mysterious symptoms. The very innovations that make our lives more efficient are also exposing us, in ways both large and small, to an unprecedented number of EMFs, interrupting our bodies’ natural flow of energy.

“We’re surrounded,” says a San Francisco woman who developed dizziness, insomnia, headaches, and a racing pulse after the power company installed a wireless SmartMeter to measure electricity use in her apartment building. “People are going to get sick. There’s a lot of people out there,” she adds, “who are feeling the same way I do, and they have no idea why.”

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

Sadly, she’s absolutely right! During the last decade in my clinical practice, I’ve been noticing a strange constellation of symptoms in my clients—symptoms that defy diagnosis and resist even the most tailor-made diets, evidence-based supplementation plans, state-of-the-art exercise programs, and significant lifestyle changes. I even experienced some of these odd symptoms myself.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with a (thankfully) benign tumor of the parotid, one of the salivary glands located just below the earlobe. Why I got it was a mystery that puzzled even my doctor. It’s a very rare tumor, most often caused by radiation exposure. I didn’t live near a nuclear power plant, I hadn’t been exposed to an inordinate number of medical x-rays or other screening tests, and hadn’t even been near a CAT scanner or MRI machine.

I had, however, been tethered to my cell phone and computer while writing a number of books and promoting them on the road. My parotid tumor turned out to be one of several kinds linked to cell phones.

Like the women in New York and San Francisco, I had developed electrosensitivity syndrome, a kind of digital allergy. And like my clients, my symptoms quickly improved, if they didn’t completely disappear, once I limited my exposure to EMFs from all our digital gadgets and wireless technology.

“Some people may be more sensitive than others,” explains Joel Moskowitz, PhD, director, Center for Family and Community Health, UC Berkeley. Some individuals may experience no symptoms, while “for other people, it’s possible that EMF exposure could be disabling.”

My research into my own and my clients’ strange problems led to my latest book, Zapped, which is filled with ways to limit our exposure to this kind of electropollution, as well as true stories from other “canaries in the coalmine.” The good news is we can be healthier, happier, and regain peace of mind.

Zap-Proof Your Health

In addition to lots of tips on lowering your exposure, Zapped includes a number of EMF-protective supplements. For example, new laboratory research finds caffeic acid, a component of propolis (the resin bees make to protect their hives from pathogens and molds), helps protect human cells against EMFs.

Animal studies also show that propolis prevents free radical damage when rats are exposed to cell phone emissions for 30 minutes a day for 10 days. The animals not given propolis produced less glutathione (a potent antioxidant) and SOD (a powerful anti-inflammatory)—particularly in their hearts. The best propolis supplement formulas contain the highly potent Brazilian green propolis—the gold standard for this antioxidant bee resin, and antioxidants astaxanthin and vitamin E, as well as probiotics to support healthy immunity and fight inflammation.

EMFs cause oxidative stress within the body—24/7—and because the body’s normal detoxification processes don’t work effectively against the all-too-prevalent toxin, consider taking a good, full-spectrum antioxidant formula daily.A good zap-proof supplement provides sulfur-rich amino acids that open up the body’s detox pathways, and contains at least5,000 units of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant SOD, which helps reduce tissue injury from radiation. (Please visit http://www.annlouise.com/blog to learn more about zap-proofing yourself.)


  • Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution (available at www.areyouzapped.com)
  • Moskowitz J. “Government must inform us of cell phone risk.” SFGate.com, Apr. 28, 2010.
  • Dos Santos Sales IM, doNascimento KG, et al.,Caffeic acid effects on oxidative stress in rat hippocampus after pilocarpine-induced seizures. Neurol Sci. 2011 Jun;32(3):375-80. Epub 2010 Oct 1.
  • Lin WL, Liang WH, et al.,Antitumor progression potential of caffeic acid phenethyl ester involving p75(NTR) in C6 glioma cells. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Dec 5;188(3):607-15. Epub 2010 Sep 15.
  • Allday E, Baker DR. “Is wireless technology making us sick?” SFGate.com, Sept. 12, 2010.

© 2011 First Lady of Nutrition Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article and picture were originally posted through Dr. Gittleman’s blog “Edge on Health” (www.annlouise.com/blog) on October 13, 2010. HMDI has reprinted them with permission from Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S.

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