Research into electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has so far not been able to prove that exposure is safe for human health. EMF exposure symptoms have been reported by many people. Some people believe that these symptoms are a result of higher than usual levels of exposure, for example living near a power station or power lines, excessive use of mobile devices, or close proximity to broadcasting equipment such as radio transmitters. While these symptoms are often dismissed by the medical profession because of the lack of information about the dangers of electromagnetic fields, they cannot be ignored.
Some people consider themselves sensitive to electromagnetic fields. This is known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome or EHS. The World Health Organization has acknowledged the electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a problem, stating, “The symptoms most commonly experienced include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances).” It also notes the similarity of EHS to MCS, multiple channel sensitivity where similar symptoms are caused by being exposed to chemicals in the environment around us.
EMF Exposure Symptoms
We know that high levels of exposure to EMFs can cause serious health problems such as cancer. This is fully recognized by the medical profession, and there are agencies tasked with working out what we should consider to be “safe” levels of exposure. However, some experts believe that electromagnetic fields can cause damage to the cells of the human body even when the exposure is at low levels. They also have concerns about EMF exposure symptoms that reflect damage to the nervous system. Let’s have a look at the most commonly reported EMF exposure symptoms that people experience.
- Dysesthesia – we often associate dysesthesia with serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis. This is a very distressing condition that includes strange sensations that seem to come from nowhere. The skin is most affected, with sufferers reporting pain, burning, prickling sensations, and a heavy achiness. It can affect any part of the body, but it is most common in the legs and feet. It can sometimes present like the feeling of being squeezed around the abdomen, which is often referred to as the MS Hug sensation. The pain and discomfort of dysesthesia can be short bursts of pain or longer, more chronic problems. Many people find that it is worse at night time or when they go outside or come indoors – it is thought that temperature changes can make it worse.
- Headaches – headaches are one of the most common EMF exposure symptoms. Some people report migraine-type symptoms, while others report low-level headaches that last for longer. There are many different causes of headaches, so it is very difficult to diagnose a headache caused by radiation exposure, so it is important for doctors to look at the wider context and try to find patterns in exposure and headache incidence.
- Nausea – a feeling of nausea – or sickness – has been reported. This can be a low-grade sense of queasiness or a more extreme reaction, and some people have even reported vomiting. Nausea may be accompanied by a loss of appetite. This can lead to dehydration and weight loss if it continues for a long time or happens regularly.
- Sleep Problems – many people attribute sleep problems to EMF exposure. People have found it difficult to get to sleep (known as insomnia), which can lead to all kinds of problems, including mental health issues, exhaustion, mood changes, and cognitive difficulties – all of which are also symptoms of EMF exposure. Some people wake frequently or suffer from extreme tiredness in the daytime as a result of poor sleep at night.
- Depression and Anxiety – Feeling depressed is a common symptom attributed to EMFs. Depression symptoms include lack of interest in all of the things a person once enjoyed, feeling despair or hopelessness, fatigue, restlessness, and mood swings. Anxiety is a feeling of extreme worry or fear. Both these mental health conditions can cause people to stay at home and not go out, suffer from problems in personal relationships and in the workplace, and experience a higher risk of addiction and suicide.
- Fatigue – This is more than just a simple feeling of tiredness; it is extreme tiredness that doesn’t feel any better even after a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can also mean a weary, heavy achiness in the limbs. It can be associated with cognitive problems too.
- Cognitive Issues – Problems with the ability to think, concentrate and remember things are some of the most concerning symptoms associated with exposure to EMFs. People have reported feeling confused or having what is known as ‘brain fog.’ This can seriously impact their lives at work or home, damaging their confidence and affecting their decision-making ability. This can have a profound impact on a person and their loved ones.
- Balance Issues – Some people have reported sensations of dizziness associated with radiation exposure. This can be concerning if it leads to falls, or reduces a person’s ability to work, exercise, or lead a normal life.
For those of us who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation or who suffer as a result of being exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation, the EMF exposure symptoms can be debilitating. Many people struggle to get their condition recognized by a medical professional. This is partly because this is a relatively new condition caused by a relatively new phenomenon as it is only in recent decades that we have been exposed to such levels of EMFs, and only in very recent years that we have had the added radiation from mobile technology to contend with. There is also the issue that this collection of symptoms, or syndrome, is also similar to other conditions, such as nutritional deficiencies, nervous system disorders, and viral infections. Experts may disagree on how many people truly are being affected by electromagnetic radiation, but they all agree that more research must be done into the dangers of radiation and the possibility of some individuals being more sensitive than others to EMFs.