Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for February 25, 2007

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From the British Newspaper called the “Daily Mail”

“Every doctor he has seen has told him categorically there is nothing wrong and that his symptoms are all in his mind. ”

Allergic to electricity

As the chief executive of a high-tech food company with a turnover of £500m and 5,000 staff, you would expect Brian Stein to have all the latest electronic gizmos.

But he doesn’t even watch television or listen to a stereo system, much less use a mobile phone or computer.

He cannot travel by electric train, take a long-haul flight or drive a modern car, and long ago traded in his £50,000 BMW7 series for a Nissan that is now 12 years old and has 235,000 miles on the clock.

For the past seven years, says Brian, he has been electrosensitive, which means he reacts to the electromagnetic radiation – sometimes known as electrosmog – given off by electricity systems and appliances.

Five minutes near a mobile phone mast is enough to cause sharp pains in his head. Longer exposure produces aching muscles, heart palpitations and stomach cramps. On occasion, he says, it has caused him to bleed internally.

But every doctor he has seen has told him categorically there is nothing wrong and that his symptoms are all in his mind.

Officially in the UK, electrosensitivity does not exist. Sufferers of the condition, meanwhile, claim that as many as five per cent of the UK population could be affected.

Electrosensitivity is becoming an issue in schools, with many parents concerned that their children are exposed to more electronic gadgets than previous generations – and that we don\’t know enough about the effects of the radiation emanating from them.

While there is no scientific evidence to suggest radiation from wireless technology poses any immediate health risks, there has been little research into its long-term effects, something sufferers are clamouring for.

People who claim to be electrosensitive say they suffer disturbing symptoms such as stomach pains and palpitations whenever they are in close proximity to a mobile phone mast or a wi-finetwork \’hotspot\’. Yet most doctors say their symptoms are psychosomatic. So is this very modern-sounding malaise the ME of the Noughties?

Brian, 57, believes his symptoms began as a result of using mobile phones. “I had used one since they came on the market about 20 years ago,” recalls Brian, who runs Samworth Brothers, a Leicestershire company that supplies chilled foods to supermarket chains.

“Then seven years ago I started to experience a tingling sensation in my face and right ear, a bit like earache. It happened only while I was using the mobile phone. At first, I could use it for 20 minutes without a problem, then only for 15 minutes.

“Then one day, about a year later, as I put the phone to my head, it felt as if my eardrum had burst – there was a sharp, stabbing pain. I swore I would never use a mobile again and never have.’

Unfortunately for Brian, that was not the end of his problems. Soon after, he began to experience head pains when he sat in front of his computer or drove his car. Convinced he had a brain tumour, he visited his GP, who told him that his symptoms were not consistent with a tumour.

But his fears were not allayed and he asked to be referred to a neurologist who – at Brian’s insistence – arranged an MRI scan, which was clear.

Over the next few weeks the symptoms spread to include a sore throat, frequent chest pains and palpitations. “I wondered what the hell was happening to me,” he says.

“It was my wife who went on the internet, just over a year after I first started having problems, and found out about electrosensitivity. As I read through the list of symptoms, I ticked all the boxes. It was like a jigsaw fitting together.”

Brian began conducting a series of ‘experiments’. Driving the car made him feel unwell, but getting out of it made the symptoms subside.

From the internet he learned that old vehicles with fewer electrics are less likely to cause problems for people with electrosensitivity than more sophisticated models, so he began driving his wife’s old Nissan, which he still uses.

He also found that being near the washing machine caused a pain in his chest and watching television resulted in headaches.

Some rooms in his home caused him no problems, but in others his symptoms would flare up.

By this time Brian had made contact with Alasdair Phillips, scientific director of Powerwatch, an organisation that researches electromagnetic fields. Alasdair’s company, EMFields, sells electrosmog detectors – devices that convert electromagnetic radiation into noise.

Using one of these, Brian discovered that some rooms in his home had higher levels of radiation than others. He concluded the radiation was coming from a mobile phone mast about half a mile away, as the rooms affected were those positioned closest to it.

Delighted to have identified the cause of his illness, Brian again visited his doctor — and was shocked at his response.

“He told me that electrosensitivity did not exist and said now that the brain scan had given me the all-clear, he thought my symptoms were psychosomatic. I knew they weren\’t but it is intimidating when a doctor says that.”

Things were getting worse. Within two years of first experiencing head pains, Brian found that merely sleeping in a room with an electricity supply for more than a few nights caused him to develop pains all over his body and ringing in his ears.

At first he switched off the house electricity supply every night, but as this caused the fridge-freezer to defrost, he had a special extension built, using a silver-plated insulating material that screens out virtually all radiation. This is where he now sleeps.

Although neither his wife nor his three grown-up children suffer from the problem, they try to be sympathetic.

“The children get exasperated that they cannot watch the television when they come to visit,” he says, “but they are very understanding. It does make our home life challenging.

“One of the biggest problems is staying in hotels when I am in London on business. If the room has wireless internet access, I wake up at 1am trembling, with ringing in my ears.”

All electrical appliances have been removed from his office and his secretary handles his e-mails. “Instead of doing presentations from a laptop, we use slides and overhead projectors.

“If somebody needs to get hold of me, they leave a voicemail message which I collect from a land line. I have never lost a contract through being out of touch.

“Because I am the chief executive, I can modify my environment. However, as a trustee of the EM Radiation Research Trust, which lobbies for more research on electromagnetic radiation, I have met many people who are severely electrosensitive like me. Everyone apart from me has had to give up work.”

Nobody knows how many people in the UK suffer from electrosensitivity because the symptoms vary from person to person and the condition is not recognised by most doctors.

A review carried out by the Government’s Health Protection Agency in 2005 estimated that somewhere between a few people per thousand and a few per million are affected by symptoms they believe to have been caused by electromagnetic radiation.

But others put the figure much higher. Professor Olle Johansson, from the Karolinska Institute’s department of neuroscience in Sweden, where electrosensitivity is recognised as a disability, estimates the prevalence of the condition in his country at three per cent.

In the capital, Stockholm, sufferers can have their homes adapted to screen out sources of electromagnetic radiation. They can even rent council-owned cottages in areas of low radiation.

And according to a report published by the Swiss Government in 2005, “electric
ity supply systems, appliances and transmitters for various wireless applications generate electrosmog that can be harmful to our health”.

In contrast, the British Health protection Agency report investigated various symptoms attributed to electrosensitivity, including fatigue and headaches, but decided that there was no proven link between them and exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

The World Health Organisation came to the same conclusion: “It has been suggested that symptoms experienced by some individuals might arise from environmental factors unrelated to electromagnetic fields.

“Examples may include “flicker” from fluorescent lights, glare from VDUs and poor ergonomic design of computer workstations.

“Other factors that may play a role include poor indoor air quality or stress in the workplace.

“There are also indications that these symptoms may be due to pre-existing psychiatric conditions as well as stress reactions as a result of worrying about electromagnetic health effects, rather than the exposure itself.”

“With most diseases, sufferers have roughly the same symptoms, but people who have this condition show a variety of responses,” says Professor Lawrie Challis, chairman of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, which, though funded by the Government and the mobile phone industry, is independent of both.

“The symptoms are real but we do not know what they are caused by.”

For the past five years, the research organisation has been investigating the short-term effects of mobile phones and masts and is due to publish the summary of this work in May.

“We have looked at a range of possible effects on memory, blood pressure and inner ear function,” says Professor Challis.

“We have taken blood samples and measured hormones. These are high-quality studies and the signs are that they do not show any short-term effects from exposure to mobile phones.

“What we have found is that when extra-sensitive people are placed in conditions where they do not know whether a mobile phone is on or off, they are unable to tell more often than you would expect.”

Brian Stein believes the Government is reluctant to acknowledge the danger posed by mobile phones because the industry generates around £13 billion a year and brings large amounts into the state coffers through taxes and the granting of licences.

Those who, like him, are convinced that electromagnetic radiation is detrimental to health have suggested various theories as to why this should be the case.

Some believe an allergic reaction is at work. Others argue that pulsed radiation from mobiles or laptops using wi-fiinterferes with the body’s internal electro-chemical signalling systems.

The Reflex study, funded by the European Union, reported in 2004 that electromagnetic radiation caused DNA damage to cells in the laboratory, but it said that this did not prove that mobile phones could cause cancer.

Recently, however, more serious concerns about mobile phones have begun to surface.

Some studies, including one published in the International Journal of Cancer last month, suggest that there may be a correlation between using mobile phones for ten years or more and an increased risk of brain tumours, though the authors stress the link could be due to chance or to bias in the research.

“This needs further investigation,” says Professor Challis. “Cancer takes more than ten years to appear: we have seen that with cigarettes, asbestos and the atomic bomb.

“We have no evidence so far of harm coming from mobile phones, but that does not mean that there is no harm. We cannot sit around and do nothing for the next ten years. Short-term experiments do not tell us much about long-term effects. The only sure way of finding out whether there are long-term effects is to study people’s health over a long period.”

Brian disputes that there is no evidence of harm from mobile phones so far. He has received sheaves of letters from other sufferers through his involvement with EM Radiation Research and the electro-sensitivity support group ES-UK, and says there is plenty of research to back up his belief.

“I don’t doubt my sanity, but I am concerned about the sanity of the rest of the world,” he says. “Scientists used to say the earth was flat. I have no doubt that I will eventually be proved right.”

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February 25, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | 2 Comments

Entry for June 19, 2006

Experience from ten years work with electrosensitive patients.

ULRIKA ÅBERG, M.D., Spec. child & youth psychiatry, Skövde, Sweden.

During my work with amalgam and electrosensitive patients I have met around 1 200 patients and 300–400 of these patients have electrosensitivity as their main problem. Approximately 50% of my patients become stronger and feel better with injections of vitamin B12 – mercury disturbs the transport of vitamin B12 from the blood to the CNS liquor. Electrosensitive patients who are also sensitive to light, or have been, may have good use of PABA, Para-amino-benzoic-acid. During the last year I have understood the importance of hidden infections and hidden metals in the teeth and the jaws for the health in general for patients of these categories. That these infections are treated and these metals taken away may be necessary for these individuals to recover.

PABA? There’s one I should try for sensitivity to light. The increase in B2 has definitely helped my eyes. I was at the beach just this past weekend and there was a big difference.

Maybe the sunglasses industry is feeding of the fact that everyone has B2 deficiencies!

June 19, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 21, 2006

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Today is my second appointment for acupuncture and I’m very eager to get started. She checks my tongue and says there is no improvement. She asks me if any of her recommendations have made any difference.

  1. Drink one glass of warm water every morning.
  2. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  3. For breakfast eat a bowl of oatmeal with sliced apple.
  4. Soak my feet in really hot water for five minutes before going to bed.

I told her that I have been doing her suggestions and I don’t feel any different with the exception of the blockage in my nose and I’m going to the washroom a lot more. She’s very happy to hear about the progress and says it’s a good sign because the first treatment of acupuncture is very mild to see how the body reacts. She asks about the blood pressure and I tell her I have been doing the readings and getting varied results. Sometimes it’s normal, other times it’s high and I start to panic. I’ve been drinking lots of water lately so she says she wants to take a reading before the treatment and again at the end. The first reading is 141/98 pulse: 88. It’s still high and recommends that I go to my family doctor as a precaution. I haven’t seen my regular doctor since I’ve made the EMF discovery so it’s a good time to follow up with him.

I tell her that I’ve recently had a complete physical and nothing was ever mentioned and that high blood pressure is a symptom of EMF exposure. She agrees and tells me she did some research about electromagnetic sensitivity.

Not only do I have a doctor that actually agrees with what I have, she does her own research and I have results after one appointment. Now that’s what I expect from a very good doctor.

We get started with the treatment and she said she’ll expand the treatment to help me with my high blood pressure and bowel movements. She notices my hands and feet are still cold. They’ve always been like that and she thinks part of my problem is poor blood circulation. She says the allergies have effected my lung capacity. I’m not breathing deep enough and it’s affecting the pumping of the heart. WOW! This is making a lot of sense. Why has no one else has mentioned this? I’m really starting to think western medicine is such a joke.

I start telling her about the sharp pain in my chest two years ago and that I had checked out by a cardiologist. I had an ECG, heart echo and stress test. I know I’ve had this sharp pain for a very long time but I never did anything about because it always went away and there were no other symptoms. She said it was probably caused by my lungs and my allergies. She asks me if I had any other symptoms when I felt the sharp pain. Nope, just a sharp pain and I wasn’t able to take a deep breath until it went away. It probably wasn’t the heart then. This makes so much sense it’s truly amazing. I know I’ve had the allergies since I lived in Orangeville and if I had to guess, it started around 1990. I also know I’ve had the sharp pinch for a very long time but don’t recall when it started because I never went to a doctor about it. The only thing I remember was telling my dad about it and he thought it was gas. So it was forgotten. It happens about once a year or maybe longer so I never thought anything of it.

She starts with a new technique called cupping to draw the heat out from my lungs. She has a bunch of small round glass jars and asks me to lie down on my back. She applies them to my skin one by one for about ten minutes. It doesn’t hurt and there is a lot of pulling and suction. She tells me that this procedure will cause my skin to bruise and it might go red, yellow, blue or purple and this is quite normal. One of her patients actually refers to it as the pepperoni treatment. (See picture)

Cupping refers to an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup.  In some cases, the cup may be moved while the suction of skin is active, causing a regional pulling of the skin and muscle.

After the Cupping, she starts with the needles in the exact same places as last week and she asks me if I can feel my internal vibrations as I’m lying down. Nope nothing. So she tells me to relax and to call her if I feel any internal temors. A few minutes later, I start feeling the internal vibrations with a dead feeling in my arms and then it goes away. A few minutes later, I feel them again. I call her back into the room and she says the vibrations are a normal sensation from the acupuncture and she uses tiger balm to massage my arms.

Finished with another treatment and I am feeling good. She takes my blood pressure again and it’s come down.  134/80 pulse: 76 So either I’m more relaxed now or the acupuncture is working.

Still vibrating but making progress with my allergies…

March 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 09, 2006

In my googling today, I came across a web site with a report from the Health Protection Agency in England.

Definition, Epidemiology and Management of Electrical Sensitivity
Report for the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection
Agency (November 2005)

This document review gathers the findings from numerous studies around the world listing the symptoms, method of treatment and the results. This is what I’ve been looking for.

The variety of symptoms were simply astounding! After reading it through, there were several answers and clues that I was looking for. In addition to the symptoms that matched my research so far, there were more:

  • Low body temperature.
  • Growth of bacteria and yeasts is affected by specific frequencies.

The low body temperature was confirmed from the Naturopath as a way of checking the thyroid and she also suspected an overgrowth of yeast by putting me on the Candida diet. I had both symptoms but went in a different direction.

It went on to talk about how the symptoms described by people with electrical sensitivity are non-specific in type and found commonly in the general population. It listed the all of the symptoms with a percentage of frequency. These were mine:

  1. 29.5% Abdominal Pain
  2. 11.2% Intestinal Trouble
  3. 15.4% Chest Pain
  4. 65.1% Fatigue
  5. 51.3% Neck Pain

Further reading listed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Shaitsu, Acupuncture and Hypnosis as different ways of treating people with ES. It goes on to mention about EMF avoidance and how symptoms can persist despite radical steps to reduce exposure. One theory mentioned that the body could no longer recover from the prolonged EMF exposure.

All very interesting. Could this be why am I still having some of the symptoms? The Acidophilus is working wonders and since I unplugged the wireless intercom, I’ve got my energy back. None of the “weird” symptoms have returned.

Then I came across a 2001 study where Vitamins C & E used with selenium as a method of treatment. However, in this study, it showed no effect on the symptoms but success had been reported with Acupuncture and Shiatsu.

It listed the symptom-based conditions:

  • Charateristic symptoms potentially involve multiple organ systems and not a recognisable pattern of complaints.
  • Charateristic symptoms are not consistently associated with objective physical signs or laboratory abnormalities.
  • Charateristic symptoms are similar, paticularly fatigue, headaches, muscle/joint pains, cognitive difficulties, and sleep disturbances.

No wonder the doctors are having a hard time. With these new discoveries I’m convinced that I have electromagnetic sensitivity. The only thing that confused me was the Toys R Us experience. The meter was giving us safe readings and I was feeling sick. How safe are the hydro transmission towers?

Evaluation of the Potential Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields,” page 2-21. For example, the field strength of a 500 KV Transmission line begins to fall off measurably at 50 meters, but does not fall off below 1 mG until distances nearing 1000 meters.

I know for sure that the transmission line was less than 1000 meters from the Toys R Us store but that still doesn’t explain the meter readings within the safe zone. Maybe it’s time to try something different.

March 13, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 08, 2006

Sunnybrook Women’s College returns my message and I ask how I’d like to see Dr. Bray as I have some symptoms that I believe are caused by the environment. She tells me there is a six to eight month waiting list, a twenty page questionaire and can only get in with a referral from a family doctor. I give her my address and she will send the questionaire in the mail.

Seems like a lot of work but I think it will be worth it. Hopefully I ‘ll be able to convince my doctor to give me the referral. I give it another try to make an appointment with my doctor. I get his voicemail again. Maybe he’s on vacation.

Wish I was on vacation…still vibrating.

Took my blood pressure today and it’s 168/113. What is causing it to be so high? Is it the EMF exposure?

March 8, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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