Blood laboratory findings in patients suffering from self-perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)

Bioelectromagnetics. 2009 May;30(4):299-306. doi: 10.1002/bem.20486.

Abstract

Risks from electromagnetic devices are of considerable concern. Electrohypersensitive (EHS) persons attribute a variety of rather unspecific symptoms to exposure to electromagnetic fields. The pathophysiology of EHS is unknown and therapy remains a challenge. We hypothesized that some electrosensitive individuals are suffering from common somatic health problems. Toward this end we analysed clinical laboratory parameters including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), creatinine, hemoglobine, hematocrit and c-reactive protein (CRP) in subjects suffering from EHS and in controls that are routinely used in clinical medicine to identify or screen for common somatic disorders. One hundred thirty-two patients (n = 42 males and n = 90 females) and 101 controls (n = 34 males and n = 67 females) were recruited. Our results identified laboratory signs of thyroid dysfunction, liver dysfunction and chronic inflammatory processes in small but remarkable fractions of EHS sufferers as potential sources of symptoms that merit further investigation in future studies. In the cases of TSH and ALT/AST there were significant differences between cases and controls. The hypotheses of anaemia or kidney dysfunction playing a major role in EHS could be unambiguously refuted. Clinically it is recommended to check for signs of treatable somatic conditions when caring for individuals suffering from self-proclaimed EHS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / blood*
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Liver Diseases / blood
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Thyroid Diseases / blood
  • Thyroid Diseases / etiology
  • Thyrotropin / blood

Substances

  • Thyrotropin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Creatinine
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase